Friday, November 30, 2012

Santa Advent Calendar

Tomorrow marks the first day of December! Wow... I really need to get on the ball and start Christmas shopping.  Anyway, I am a total sucker for the holidays.  The Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack runs on repeat in my house.  Literally all day.  For the entire month.  (The construction workers probably think I'm insane.)  This year I'm especially excited for Christmas because the boys are starting to understand the concept of Santa.  To help build their anticipation and get them engaged in the holiday season, I've put together a bunch of fun activities in the form of an advent calendar.  How cute is this Santa I picked up at Pottery Barn Kids?!

I made the tags with some cute craft paper, holiday duct tape, baker's twine and stickers.

24 age appropriate holiday things to do with the boys for the next month.  I can't wait!!!  A few things planned are...

Indoor Snowball Fight
Build a Christmas Fort with Blankets
Have a Picnic Dinner under the Christmas Tree
Make a Christmas Tree Ornament
Make Snowflake Cookies
Learn How to Ice Skate
Decorate a Gingerbread House
Wear Christmas PJs and Watch The Polar Express

Sure, the crafts I have planned will be an epic disaster and make a total mess but we'll have fun and that's what is important.  I'll keep you posted on how things turn out. What are you guys most excited about this holiday season?!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

Well, well, well.... look who decided to join us a few days early!  Ginger usually doesn't make an appearance until December 1st.  Apparently she couldn't wait any longer and neither can I!  It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!!!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kicking it up a notch... It's SPICEY!

Yesterday I revealed the kitchen pantry makeover.  My favorite part of the pantry is the DIY magnetic spice board.  The pantry is right next to the stove so having all my go to spices right next door is super handy.  

This was the spice draw in it's original state.  Close to the stove but just far enough away to be annoying.  And look at this mess.  In most cases, I use fresh herbs so half the jars in here haven't been opened in quite some time.  I hear a good rule of thumb is to pick a time of year and replace your spices every year during that time.  Chances are if they are over a year old, they've lost their flavor flav. 

Back to the magnetic spice board tutorial.  I measured the pantry door to determine what size the board should be and picked up a pre-cut piece of sheet metal at the local hardware store for about $15.  Then cut a piece of fabric leaving some extra to fold over the edges just like you would wrap a present.

Line the edges of the metal and fabric with double sided tape.

And fold the fabric over.

To adhere the metal to the wooden pantry door I used a Mirror adhesive.

After mounting the board to the pantry door, secure it with some tape while it sets in place just to make sure it stays in place.

Have you ever been to World Market?  This was new to me when I moved to the west coast and I love it!  For you east coasters, it's like the Christmas Tree Shop on steroids.  L-O-V-E.  I got these little turquoise magnetic tins there for about $2 each.  And the labels!  Get this... I actually won a giveaway at The Social Home, one of my everyday blog reads.  Jen has an Esty Shop called The Paper Society where she offers her own designs for all sorts of fun labels.  Aren't they the cutest?  I got a few more designs which I'll share next week.

In the infamous words of Chef Emeril Lagasse... BAM!! The before and "kicking it up a notch" after shot of a DIY Magnetic Spice Board. 

I'm linking this post to these fab blogs...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pantry Purge

I mentioned way back in October (October 17th to be exact) that I was working on a little project called "Pantry Purge".  Soooooo... when the heck did it become the end of November?!  This past weekend I found myself with a sick-free family and 3 hours of uninterrupted nap time to put this project to bed.

Just to recap, this is what I was dealing with.  I confess.  I am that girl who has NO idea what's in the pantry because it's jammed packed with so much useless food my family will never eat stuff.

Case and point, after emptying all the contents onto the counter I found...

- 3 jars of vinegar peppers from 2006... yeeeeah, I think it's safe to say those bad boys had past their prime

- 4 cans of black beans and 2 cans of black bean soup.  I hate black beans.  My husband hates black beans and I'm pretty sure I don't even have a recipe that would necessitate 1 can of black beans never mind 4.  Anyone know of a local canned food drive??

- 4 jars of green olives. Who wants to come over for dirty martini's every night... for the next month?

- 1 beef jerky.  Ew!  I don't even know how that got in there

- and what the heck is that Wasabi paste for??  

Here's the pantry cleared of everything.  Pretty tiny, huh?  Consolidation was mandatory.

And of course, I had to paint it a pretty color because... well because I wanted to and I had the paint.

I also had a bunch of left over chevron fabric from my friend's bridal shower, so I decided to put it to use to line the shelves and make a little magnetic spice rack.  More on how I made that and where I got those cute labels tomorrow.  I also used Martha Stewarts metal book plates to label each of the shelves.

And drumroll please... before and after!

What a relief!  Nice and organized.  Now I can finally see everything in the pantry.  Maybe I'll even make those Sprinkles cupcakes soon.  YUM!

I'm sharing this post at these fab blogs...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Operation Kitchen Cabinet Re-org... continued

And the "operation" continues.  I made my way over to the other side of the kitchen sink today.  It's kind of funny how giddy I get about cleaning and organizing.  Oh how times have changed.  I'm sure my mom is laughing to herself because she used to relentlessly nag me as a child to clean my room.  She still tells me the story about how my Kindergarten teacher was concerned about the cleanliness of my disarrayed tote tray during my first parent-teacher conference.

I was able to make room in the adjacent cabinet where all my tupperware lives for all the kiddos sippy cups, bowls and plate.

Similar to last week's re-org, I cleared everything out, mounted the fabric and re-installed the shelves.

I still feel like this cabinet needs to be styled a little more with a "pop" of color or something.  Perhaps a trip to Homegoods is in order...

 Nevertheless, I'm loving how these two spaces are now organized, functional AND looking so purrrddy.

Hope everyone has an amazing Turkey Day tomorrow!  We're headed to the beach for an oceanside Thanksgiving Dinner... can't wait!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Home Tour Part 3: Kitchen Reveal

This has been a long time coming.  The Kitchen Reveal!  Otherwise known as the heart of the house.  I fell in love with the kitchen when we had our first walk through before purchasing this house.  The cabinets were exactly what I've always wanted.  White with shaker cabinets and drawers.  There was just one problem update to be made.  The counter tops and backsplash.  They were white but they were tile.  I've always loved the classic look of Carrera Marble and subway tile.  Here's the kitchen in it's finished state.  I heart it.

Here are some before shots.  The kitchen has always been very bright but the tile countertops were not ideal. I felt like I could never really get the counters to look clean - everything would get caught in the grout.

This past summer we took the plunge and removed all the countertops and backsplash.

Here's a progress shot.

And the After shot.  So crisp and so clean.  Just the way I like it.  You'll notice that we added an overhang on the island.  The kitchen isn't really big enough for a proper kitchen table and I've always loved the idea of a breakfast bar.  So now we have the best of both worlds.  Our little family of four fits perfectly around the new breakfast bar for meals.

I would love to replace that Buick of a refrigerator for a nice stainless steal fridge.  Let's be honest, I'd love to replace the fridge, the stove, the dishwasher and the microwave with stainless steal appliance.  Some day...

But for now, I heart my kitchen just the way it is.... for now ;)

As suspected, I was not able to get to any more cabinet re-orgs last week.  Everyone in the family (except me) was hit with the stomach flu.  As you can imagine, I was knee deep in laundry.  Tomorrow is another day.  


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Operation Kitchen Cabinet Re-org

It's time.  It's time to stop procrastinating and organize the kitchen cabinets.  It's been on the list for months and months and I'm finally going to tackle this project - also known as Operation Kitchen Cabinet Re-org.  There are two beautiful glass cabinets on either side of the sink.  They have so much potential to be full of style and charm while still being functional.  I put that fabulous fabric to use yesterday and moved some things around.  What do you think??

This was the state of the cabinet before.  All of our everyday glasses, mismatched mugs and random martini and wine glasses (these should be stored in the living room bar.... helloooooo!).  I've replaced them with our white everyday dishes, bowls and coffee mugs, plus a pitcher and my fav cake stand.

First, everything had to be cleared out so I could measure the width and length of the back cabinet wall.

Then I measured out and cut the fabric to size.  I added an inch to the length and the width so I could fold the edges to prevent the fabric from fraying.

Not only do I not own a sewing machine but I have no idea how to use one.  "Lo and Behold"... heat bond!  A pretty freaking cool little item I picked up at the craft store.

I followed the simple directions, folded over the extra inch slack I gave myself on the fabric and ironed on the double sided "sticky hem" (very technical term... ahem).  Again, the purpose of this step is to have a nice clean edge on all sides and prevent the fabric from fraying.

The fabric was installed by using four little thumb tacks on each of the cabinet corners.  I didn't want to use any type of glue substance to mount the fabric because if I get tired of this it can easily be removed or switched out with another fun fabric.

And there you have it.  Not bad for an hour of my day and about $8 for a yard of fabric!

If the boys take a nap time permits, I plan to work on the other glass cabinet tomorrow.  Wish me luck!

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