Tuesday, March 31

FUN | Harmless + Silly April Fool's Day Pranks

A couple of years ago, I posted some Harmless + Silly April Fool's Day ideas and I thought I would update you with a couple more fun things I've done through the years...


BATHROOM SINK PRANK
Unscrew the cap on the bathroom faucet.
Insert a bold colored dye tablet from an Easter egg kit into the cap and screw back on.
Watch as your unsuspecting victim is confused by the bold change in water color.
Only lasts for a few seconds but it's high impact with zero clean up!!

MOUSE + WASHI TAPE PRANK
Place a piece of cute washi tape over the sensor located on the bottom of someone's computer mouse.
It peels off easily - after they've been perplexed by the malfunctioning mouse for a few minutes.

And here is my all time favorite from last year...

POPCORN + ICE DISPENSER PRANK
Empty the ice from the ice dispenser in your freezer. Turn the ice maker OFF!
Fill the ice dispenser with popped popcorn and wait in suspense for the fun to begin!!

TIP: Store ice in ziplock bag or freezer-safe container 
and put it back in the freezer so you still have ice once the prank is over
Rinse ice dispenser well after prank and let it dry completely before putting back in freezer.
Don't forget to turn the ice maker back on!!

It worked like a charm! I totally laughed out loud when I tested out the idea when no one was home. Unfortunately, when my two older girls were actually pranked by this idea I wasn't home to see it. In fact, the way I found out they had been punked was when I saw the above video posted to my daughter's Instagram account. I was SO happy they found it amusing enough to take a video and post it. I LOVE it!! And so did they! *wink*

Again, check out  MORE of my Harmless and Silly April Fool's Day pranks I've shared through the years!

Have fun...be inspired and let the shenanigans begin!!

KEEPiNG iT REAL
I'm not saying ANYTHING to my girls about it being April Fool's Day tomorrow.
I can't wait to catch them off guard with a few things!!

Read more...

BOOK CLUB | March Discussion :: Sheet Pan Suppers



It was a month filled with promise for inspiration in the kitchen!
Did you find it?

WHAT TWO RECIPES DID YOU TRY?
I personally tried two recipes from the book:

Bruce's Barbecue Meatloaf & Potatoes - page 119.
I loved the idea of cooking the meatloaf on a cooking rack and letting the juices from the meatloaf drip onto the cooking potatoes below. It turned out yummy although it was a little tricky serving the meatloaf and potatoes at the same time from the pan since the meatloaf made getting to the potatoes kind of tricky. You really need to transfer the meatloaf onto another sheet pan or surface for cutting after baking...which kind of takes away from the whole "one-pan meal concept and easy clean up". But it's still way better than having to use two completely different things to cook the two items separately.

FAMILY FEEDBACK - 3 thumbs up (out of 5)

Lemon-Herb Sole on Crispy Potato Rafts - page 81
I was really excited about the "potato rafts" concept in this recipe. It turned out really good and the family gave me the thumbs up to cook it again. I swapped the Sole for Swai because we already had some in the freezer. It turned out to be super easy to prepare and it looked pretty going in the oven and coming out. My fish fillets were much bigger than the Sole fillets shown in the cookbook so I used more potatoes underneath. (darn - I was really upset to have to do that...not!)

I ended up tweaking the recipe to accommodate our family of 5 - especially because four of our five have adult-size appetites and I didn't want to chance anyone feeling hungry afterwards.

FAMILY FEEDBACK - 4 thumbs up (out of 5)

WILL YOU CONTINUE TO COOK FROM THIS BOOK?
I, personally, will continue to reference this book.

I still love the idea of easy food prep and for the most part it seems like the recipes are conducive to that. The side dishes are something I will definitely be trying since the two recipes I've already experimented with were full meals.

The one thing I found myself thinking as I scrolled through a lot of the recipes is "I wish these meals were all Whole30 approved". At the same time, I don't think it would take a whole lot of tweaking to make them a little more clean-eating-friendly.

I'd love to hear what recipes you tried and if you found this book to be inspiring.
Let me know because your feedback helps drive the upcoming Book Selections (and the upcoming book giveaways that coincide). *wink*

So will you be participating in April's PNPF Book Club selection with me?
I am SO excited to dive into some home decor inspiration!!

KEEPiNG iT REAL
I wasn't sure how I would feel about selecting a cookbook for the PNPF Book Club.
Although I NEEDED inspiration in the kitchen, I found myself WANTING different inspiration; pretty inspiration.
I think that's why I'm really excited about the selection for April!

Read more...

Wednesday, March 25

iNSPiRE | Just Do Your Thing



I am so guilty of over-thinking things.
Maybe you suffer from the same thing?

Well here's my word of advice to myself AND to you...."Just do your thing!"
Or if you prefer a little more sass..."Just do your thang!"


If this message resonates with you...
then print out the free art print I've created and post it somewhere as a reminder!!



KEEPiNG iT REAL
Right now I'm completely over-thinking the exterior paint choice for our house.
Like seriously obsessing over it.
I'm just going to do my "thang" (or "thing) if you prefer...and make a choice.
Working on the post of house pictures to share with you all!! Promise!!

Read more...

Tuesday, March 24

FREE | It's Always Spring with Buttercream Art Print :: The Cake Blog



You guys...."It's always Spring with Buttercream"!
Or...you could say "It's Blooming Spring with Buttercream"

Whichever way you say it, these brand new whimsical kitchen art prints I designed for The Cake Blog this month are posted and ready for you to download for FREE!! 




And so what if you aren't a baker.
I'm sure your baking friends or your favorite bake shop would LOVE for you to share this with them!
Head on over to get your FREE ART PRINTS today
and then be sure to check out these other posts on The Cake Blog that have me very intrigued and are must-trys for Spring...and beyond.

Edible Moss Cake
Lemon Meringue Cake

KEEPiNG iT REAL
Those frosted cupcakes were supposed to be a cinch.
Store-bought cupcakes. Easy.
Pre-made store-bought buttercream. Easy.
One working piping bag. NOT easy.
So just keep focusing on the art prints....
while I run out for more piping bags. *wink*

Read more...

Friday, March 20

GIVEAWAY | Keep It Simple Book by Atlanta Bartlett



After posting my April book selection for the PNPF Book Club earlier this week, the publishing company, Ryland, Peters + Small reached out to me yesterday to offer up THREE FREE copies of Keep It Simple to my readers and fans. Yay!!!

With that, although I had intended on NOT opening the book until April 1st - the official "start-reading-the-book-date"- I just HAD to with three free copies up for grabs! The quick lookie was so I could take a few photos of the images from inside the pages. (and yes, I love having that as an excuse for a preview). *wink*

I promise I didn't look TOO closely at the pages although I was pleasantly surprised to see a couple of captions that caught my eye as I was flipping through. I have to say with conviction this book is going to provide much more inspiration than I had originally anticipated.

If you are looking for ways to simplify your life and your home decor...you're really going to want this!

Since the giveaway was a last minute idea, I'm hosting the actual giveaway on Instagram to make it quick and simple. I'll be picking a winner at some point this weekend and making the announcement on Monday. That means if you don't have an IG account, you have time to create one...if you want. Here are quick and easy instructions for creating an Instagram account.

If you are wary of Instagram, I have to tell you it's my very favorite social media site.
I've never been a big fan of Facebook and honestly, Twitter,  for me is "okay" but my experience with Instagram has been really positive. I've found it to be a community of very supportive and positive people and I've discovered some incredibly talented people over there that I'm continually inspired by from simply searching different hashtags. (there really is a rhyme and a reason for those things). *wink*

So...if you want to enter the giveaway, head over to my Instagram account and follow the instructions. 

Oh! And Hey!! 
While you are over there you may as well enter to win the 
$500 GIFT CARD to West Elm. Yep! That's right.
I've teamed up with 6 other Instagram friends to make someone's day!!
The giveaway was announced a few days ago and will end on Tuesday, March 24th!
Just one more reason to create an Instagram account!!

Enjoy your weekend friends!!

KEEPiNG iT REAL
I could really use that West Elm gift card myself... *wink*

For those of you wondering...the new shingles are officially on the roof! (and I love them).
Still trying to decide on paint color and I REALLY need to do a blog post about this whole process so I can keep you guys in the loop. Seriously!!

Read more...

Sunday, March 15

BOOK CLUB | April's Selection :: Keep It Simple by Atlanta Bartlett



In my search for simplicity not only in my day-to-day life but in my home decor as well, I decided to pick something for the PNPF Book Club for the month of April that ties all of that together in a nice NEW book by Atlanta Bartlett called "Keep It Simple."

The book is SO brand-new /"hot-off-the-presses" that I thought I would have to skip it for April's selection and choose it for May instead because pre-orders on Amazon said the book would be ready on April 5th. BUT...I received notification my book will arrive TOMORROW!!  

That means this is OUR official book for April, friends and I'm excited!!

A brief overview of the book mentions, "Keep It Simple" reveals how to create a happy and relaxed home that looks fabulous and works brilliantly for everyone who lives in it."

I encourage you to flip through the pages of the book before purchasing and make sure this is a selection you feel you'll be inspired by. If you decide it looks like your cup of tea...join me in reading it in April.

I took the liberty of trying to find a couple of images to share with you about the design style of Atlanta Bartlett, the interior stylist and author of this book. I found these pictures on Pinterest since the Atlanta Bartlett website didn't seem to be working very well with regards to images. I made the most of the what seem to be really low-quality images being shared around the world-wide web. But you'll get the idea, I'm sure, as to what her decorating style is. Take a peek...








And here's a little bit of information about the interior stylist herself, as mentioned on her website:

Atlanta Bartlett is an interiors stylist well known for her relaxed, accessible style. Having started her career at Homes & Gardens, she became a successful freelance stylist and has worked for magazines including Elle Decoration, Living etc, House & Garden, Harpers & Queen and Marie Claire, as well as contributing to the launch of Red magazine as the Interiors Editor. Her client list includes high profile names such as Habitat, Laura Ashley, John Lewis and Marks & Spencer and she is the author of the internationally best-selling books The Relaxed Home and At Home with WhiteEasy Elegance and Pale and Interesting.

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I'm looking forward to the inspiration that awaits!
Speaking of which...how are you doing with the PNPF Book Selection for MARCH?
I've tried a couple of recipes out already with great results.
I'll share pictures in the book review and discussion coming up at the end of March.
I hope you are being inspired as well.

KEEPiNG iT REAL
My middle daughter turns 16 on March 16th!! (her golden birthday)
We celebrated with family on Saturday.
I'll be sharing her birthday dessert soon!

In the meantime, we've got new shingles on the roof and it's time to pick an exterior paint color!
I'm having SUCH a hard time deciding.
I've posted some pics on my PNPF Facebook Page but I should totally share some here too so you know what's going on, shouldn't I?

Read more...

Monday, March 9

LOVE LETTERS | Dear Ella :: Keep on spinning




Dear Ella...

This world we live in can really "scuff up our boots" and leave us feeling as though we no longer want to dance and twirl with abandon.  My sweet, sweet girl...I pray with all of my heart that you hold onto your innocence, kindness, joy, laughter and selfless love for others with such a tight grip...that no matter what...you never stop dancing and spinning through life.

xoxo,
Mom




This girl...
I want to be THIS girl when I grow up.

She has my whole heart...
mostly because she loves life and everyone in it with her whole heart.

These are photos from her special night out with her prince charming to attend the Daddy Daughter Dance a couple of weekends ago.

SOURCES
Ivory Dress - see more details from THIS post
Jean Jacket
Brown Boots
Headband - a make + take from attending Snap Conference last year
Wrist Corsage - made by metutorial coming soon

KEEPiNG iT REAL
This post has been sitting for days...
waiting for me to post it.
I really thought it was going to take me longer than it actually did to write what was on my heart.
I love that I was able to keep it pretty simple and still convey my deepest thoughts and wishes.
I've really got an angel on my hands with this little girl.

Read more...

Tuesday, March 3

FREE | Spread Joy In Life with An Icing Knife :: The Cake Blog



I just love this "sweet" reminder to "Spread joy in life with an icing knife" I designed for The Cake Blog this month! It's soooo perfect for all you "Bakeristas" out there!! *wink*

It's a FREE DOWNLOAD so pop on over there and get yours today!!


While you are over there...be inspired by my all-time-favorite Spring cake ever: Speckled Easter Cake - designed and created by Carrie from The Cake Blog!

It's sooooo incredibly adorable! I LOVE it!! And I think I should totally make it!! *wink*

KEEPiNG iT REAL
I think this "Spread Joy" art print is my favorite so far, since I started designing kitchen art prints for The Cake Blog last Fall. Do I say that every month with each new design I make?!  I guess that's a good thing! *wink*

Read more...

i WAS PUBLiSHED iN CASA CHiC MAGAZiNE

i WAS PUBLiSHED iN ARTFUL BLOGGiNG MAGAZiNE

MEMBER OF MARTHA STEWART'S DREAMERS iNTO DOERS

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