Friday, April 18, 2014

Candy-Less Easter Basket Ideas

Candy-less Easter Basket Ideas
This year we're trying hard to have a little less sugarier Easter. This doesn't mean a few Cadbury mini eggs haven't snuck their way into my shopping cart, or that Grandma D didn't send baskets of our favorite treats. I guess that's even MORE reason that the boys don't need loads of candy from the Easter Bunny. Because the candy-less baskets will be a bit of a shock on Easter morning, I wanted to make sure the baskets were filled with lots of things they'd love. Here's what will be in their baskets this year:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Brown Sugar Bacon Green Beans

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sam's Club. All opinions are 100% mine.

Living of the middle of North Dakota there aren't a lot of grocery shopping options, This means that when I travel 100 miles to Sam's Club I seriously stock up. At the holidays I stocked up on Green Beans and found lots of great recipes on the Sam's Club website. Recently I remembered how much we loved those recipes and decided to check out their, "Celebrate Spring" website.

Their website did not dissapoint when I came across a new favorite recipe for these Brown Sugar Bacon Green Beans.
Brown Sugar & Bacon Green Beans

Monday, April 14, 2014

Gallery Wall with Clipboard Display

Kitchen Gallery Wall with Clipboard Display
Do any of you moms feel like you are on paper overload?? Seriously there's the school calendar, playgroup calendar, church calendar, sports calendar, and that's only the calendars! Then add artwork, handouts, and everything else that comes home in their backpack and we've got a LOT of paperwork. This is where I used to keep all that stuff, but as the boys are getting older it just wasn't cutting it anymore.
Frame with Hanging ClothespinsDIY Picture Frame with Hanging Clips
In our last house I LOVED the gallery wall in my kitchen, and I knew that I wanted something similar in this house.
Kitchen Art Gallery Wall- Black, Wood, and Tan
I only had this one open wall for creating both a gallery wall and some type of paper corralling/display system. I completely forgot to take a "before" picture after we painted so this is the "before, before" from the week we closed on the house.
First we painted ALL the walls of the kitchen Benjamin Moore's "Edgecomb Grey" which I completely love. It also created a fresh and clean backdrop for my bright and colorful gallery wall.
Then we brought in the Ikea Hemnes TV stands to serve as a bench. They were actually our dining seating in the old house, but because they weren't "built in" they came with us. I'm glad they did though because they are perfect here too.
Ikea Hemnes TV Stand as a bench for a table
I started out by laying out all my frames on the floor with two tape measures to show exactly how much space I had. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Millennial Central for Seventh Generation. I received a promotional item and product samples as a thank you for participating”

Around here in North Dakota we are FINALLY having some beautiful spring weather and it has put me in the mood for some serious spring cleaning. I'm not just talking about a little dusting and vacuuming, but full on pulling out the furniture, scrubbing the baseboards kind of cleaning.

Although my house gets a decent cleaning every week, once I started deep cleaning I realized how many things were REALLY dirty. I decided to try to knock out a pretty comprehensive list of the whole house. In case you're also pleasantly oblivious to the hidden dirt in your house, today I'm sharing my spring cleaning list (download here):
The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist Printable

Monday, April 7, 2014

How to Enjoy the Sun without the Sunburn (tips for very pale skin)

TIPS & Tricks for enjoying the sun WITH kids WITHOUT sunburn!
This is Jack, his skin is so light it's practically translucent. He's got the token strawberry blonde hair and freckles to go with it. He's pretty darn cute, but when it comes to the sun he cannot handle it.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Palm Island 2014- The Vacation I Didn't Want to End

Last night we got home from an amazing 10 days visiting my parents on Palm Island in Florida. To say it was a great vacation would a serious understatement. We did SO much and I did SO terrible at documenting it with pictures. I did manage to snap some iPhone pics so I'll try and summarize our wonderful vacation with the pics I took.

We Celebrated Mason's birthday.
We snuggled. A lot.
 We ate ice cream. A lot.
 We built sandcastles.

Friday, April 4, 2014

My Fantastic Find- Architectural Salvage Shops of Sarasota

My Fantastic Find- Salvage Shops of Sarasota
This post is coming to you from vacation on Palm Island. Currently we're in Florida visiting my parents at their house down here. Of course vacation doesn't mean there isn't time for a little thrifting! A couple days ago my mom and I decided to get off the island and go check out a few architectural salvage shops in Sarasota. I didn't have any money to spend, or extra luggage space to bring anything home, but I couldn't help but snap a few pics of some of my favorite things. My favorite shop (with the best prices) was "Circus City Architectural Salvage".

1. These wood light fixtures are so simple, but so beautiful, and would be so easy to DIY. The problem is I'm about out of places to put light fixtures!
2. These old glass buoys are so pretty, but I'm pretty sure they only work in beachside decor… not in the middle of North Dakota!
 3. I came across lots of neat metal baskets with lots of character. Can't you picture this one holding throw blankets, kids toys, or as another light fixture?? It even has the perfect hole on top! 4. I've been wanting a ceramic hand for a while, but the fingers on this one were too big for my rings. Otherwise this might have found a place in my luggage.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Four Bean Southwest Salsa (Texas Caviar)

Four Bean Southwest Salsa
Here in North Dakota there isn't a lot to do, which means we do potlucks often, and we do them well. One of my favorite things to bring is this Four Bean Southwest Salad, also known as "Texas Caviar". 
Four Bean and Veggie Mexican Dip
This is awesome eaten as a salsa with chips, but is also amazing in burritos, on tacos, on nachos, and served on taco salad. This recipe makes a HUGE batch so I also like to put it in jars for friends to bring home. I have never preserved it though so I always store the jars in the refrigerator.
Four Bean Southwest Salsa (Texas Caviar)

-2 cans pinto beans
-2 cans blackeyed peas
-2 cans black beans
-1 can garbanzo beans

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Birthday Cake Recipe

The Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Birthday Cake
Growing up all birthdays included one of my Grandma Caroline's famous chocolate fudge birthday cakes. Now as an adult I love carrying on the same tradition with the boys. Every time I make this it is  a huge hit and everyone always wants the recipe, so here you go! I hope you love it as much as we do!
Chocolate Fudge Birthday Cake Recipe
Chocolate Fudge Birthday Cake

-2 C. sugar
-1 C. butter
-3 eggs
-4 T. Cocoa
-1 C. Sour Milk (milk with a capful of apple cider vinegar in it)
-2 t. baking soda
-3 C. flour
-2t. vanilla
-1 C. boiling water

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My Fantastic Find: Vintage Fan and Suitcase

My Fantastic Find- Estate Sale Edition
A few weeks ago I noticed an ad for an estate sale starting a noon. At 10 til noon I was leaving playgroup and I remembered the sale. Matt happened to be working from home so I quick dropped the boys and showed up at 12:02. I walked into the house at the end of the crowd and while everyone headed for the main floor rooms I tried to avoid the crowd and headed straight to the basement. It turned out that these three gems were all hidden away in the basement and the main floor was full of junk! As I was walking up the stairs with my finds a guy actually cursed at me for "finding all the good stuff"! Anyways, here's the goods:
First, this little wood table has cute Mid-Century lines, but has a laminate top and is in need of some sanding and repairs. Even though I'm pretty much Anti-Paint when it comes to Mid-Century furniture this piece will likely end up with some paint on it. I'll share it when I get to it (it's one of at least 15 pieces I need to work on).

Monday, March 24, 2014

Mason is 4

Today my baby is 4. I really do thank God daily for giving me such an amazing little boy.
Here's a Bit About Mase at 4