{Carried Away by Life Space Changes}

I got so carried away with my boys during my maternity leave that I decided to stay home with them full time! After returning to work, I suddenly knew I needed to turn in my two weeks notice and place my current career [10 years running–5 years with that employer] on hold. Even though this is a bittersweet decision, I know I’ll never regret the uber-special bonding time with my children during their formative years! I don’t want to miss another second!!

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How to Make a Mini Modern Zen Garden

Looking for a beautiful modern and mini zen garden? Want to add a touch of green and a big splash of bright color to any space? I love to position unusual tropical and desert plants inside various containers to create small, fascinating worlds. And they’re simple and fun to create!

Did you ever make sand art as a kid–you know, where you poured layers of colored sand one by one into a clear glass or plastic vessel and then poked around the edges of the vessel to make designs? Well, this is kind of like the adult version of that because you get to pour and shift colored sand into place and make designs in it, but you get a chic result this time!

THIS LOOK CAN BE ACHIEVED WITH:
* A small glass bowl
* Colored sand
* A single small plant
* Potting soil

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{How to Make Citrus Herb Crusted Chicken}

AN EASY-TO-PREPARE CROWD PLEASER!

DIRECTIONS:

1) Zest lemons and oranges and leave at room temperature to dry out until ready to use. Juice lemons and oranges and combine with oil and chicken in a large freezer bag or shallow pan. Cover and place in fridge to marinate for one hour or up to overnight***.

2) Preheat oven to 450º. Drain and pat chicken dry, season liberally with salt and pepper and evenly coat chicken with zest and herbs. Place a cooling rack over a baking sheet and arrange chicken on top–this will allow juices/fat to drip off and create a delicious crust. Place in center of oven and cook for approximately 25 minutes, or until juices run clear when meat is pierced.

3) Serve family style on a large platter atop greens, pasta or wild rice.

PERSONAL NOTES:

* I used Watkins Grapeseed Oil instead of olive oil. I liked the idea of this since I was using citrus flavors.
** Obviously if you use store-bought herbs from a jar, you do not need as much of the herbs; it seems this ingredient measurement is incorrect.
** Leaving the chicken in the fridge to marinate for one hour was enough for us to taste the citrus juice, even after I drained the mixture and patted the chicken dry.

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My Toddler’s The Lorax Inspired Birthday Party

When I started pulling the elements together for my toddler’s Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax inspired birthday party, I knew that I wanted to focus in on The Lorax’s theme around the environment. Therefore, I used a bunch of natural elements such as bamboo plates, serving bowls, spoons and matching serving tray, slices of birch trunks, faux grass/moss and real plants, fallen tree branches, and upcycled glass bottles. And any party supplies that I didn’t reuse in the process of this party will be reused in the future!

I had so much fun planning for this party, but I learned something about myself in the process this time…I realized during my party planning this time is that one of my favorite parts of party prep is the curation of ideas! To check out all of my inspiration, here is a link to my Pinterest board entitled, {“Oh, the Places He’ll Go!”}

The Lorax theme for this party actually evolved from my search on the world-renowned Dr. Seuss book; in fact, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax is an adaptation of Oh, The Places You’ll Go. To quote a blog post I referenced when learning about the story and movie background, “Although the story was written back in the seventies, it is still on time…[it] is spreading [a] sadly very true ecological message and warning […]

‘Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It is not.’ “

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My DIY Felt Flower Wreath

Now that we are feeling settled into our new home, I’m back to crafting and blogging again! Soon I’ll begin working on another painting for my home which I’m very excited about! In the meantime, a couple weeks ago I made this fun, modern wreath that I’ve been eager to post!

My friend and I enjoy making seasonal wreaths together, but this time I was happy to choose a combination of colors and a pattern that I can display for more than one season. Beginning with the inspiration links, we decided we liked the striped fabric on this wreath and the look of the felt flowers on this wreath.

While not all Pinterest pins for felt flowers provide tutorials, there are many great ones out there! We just went out to various tutorials to learn how to make our flowers. Here are a few of the ones I used: this with uneven petal borders, this with spiral petals, this with folded petals, and this rolled pom one. There are so many more varieties, but I wanted a bit of unity, so I stuck with slight variations of each of those I listed. That leaves many other felt flower varieties for me to try for future crafts!

My Personal Best Tip: If you use pin backs, you can insert the needle end into the fabric and leave the closure unfastened so that the pinned flowers are just resting in place on your wreath. Then if you ever want to reposition them or take them off and swap them out, you can just slide them off in a millisecond! I liked the option of using pin backs so that I can remove the flowers at any time and re-use the wreath for another creation during the year! Further, this option lets me re-purpose the flowers in another craft as well! Voila! Up-cycling at its finest. 🙂

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My Baby’s Circus Themed 1st Birthday Party

For those of you who missed {My Baby’s Ringmaster’s Big Top 1st Birthday Party} last year, here is a round-up of some of the best party shots! See my Facebook page for more pictures of family and friends acting silly. 🙂 Here you’ll find DIY Ring Toss, DIY Ribbon Banner, “A Big Top Thank You” Circus Peanut Treat Bags, Party Hats with Clown Noses Atop, Ringmaster Mustache Kazoos and more!

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{My Naked House Tour}

Made ya look! 😉 Come take a tour of my “naked” house (pictures from while it was still bare)! This “bare all” sans furniture and decor tour is a preface to an upcoming decorated house tour! No need to knock, just come on in!

Since my husband had our last house built shortly before we met, he let me pick EVERYTHING for our new house!! During this nine month labor of love, I had SO much fun researching and looking at lighting, hardware, trim, carpet, tile, hardwood and more to customize our home to suit our style and lifestyle!

We’ve only been living here for a week and a half but this house has quickly become a home to us! After four days I had nearly everything unpacked (other than items for storage in the basement and my craft room) and now the next fun part begins…decorating!! Don’t miss my request for your suggestions at the end of this post because I just LOVE collecting ideas! #hellopinterest

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{My Sister’s Champagne & Cupcakes Bridal Shower}

My little sis and I had so much fun planning our other sis’ bridal showers together and I thought it was high time I post the pictures! I was eager to do some crafting so I happily volunteered to plan and execute decorations for both parties! Popping bottles with Bellini’s and Mimosa’s in hand and plenty of cupcakes, candy, fruit and veggies to go around, the soiree was great fun! In this post, I showcase all of the party elements in pictures and I provide the DIY instructions for a couple of the crafts as well!

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{My Former Master Bedroom Retreat}

While I continue to wait in anticipatory delight for my next haven, I thought I’d give you a tour of my prior master bedroom sanctuary! Along with showcasing our DIY projects, below I share pictures as well as where I purchased some of the items. Down the road I’ll share the instructions for making {My Faux DIY Floating Shelf} that my husband built and stained to match the headboard as well as {My DIY Aluminum Lanterns} shown on the side table next to the chevron slipper chair below. And if you haven’t seen {My Geometric Print DIY Canvas Wall Art} project, it’s not to late!

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{My Geometric Print DIY Canvas Wall Art}

In recent years I have really fallen for geometric shapes and patterns. Inspired by color field paintings, this project combined that love with my infatuation for DIY projects and large-scale art — a perfect union! It also met the need for wall art in my master bedroom and coordinates nicely with my other patterns, so I was quite tickled!

I created my DIY wall art by eyeballing a layout and placing thin tape accordingly. Then I painted over the tape and removed it before the acrylic paint dried; the key is removing the tape before the paint dries.

Stay tuned for instructions and tips on {My DIY Aluminum Lanterns} and {My Striped Wall Paint Techniques} in upcoming posts!

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