Category: For The Home

Cheap Chic Kitchen Makeovers

Posted on Oct 30, 2014 by No Comments

The kitchen is one of the most frequently used rooms in the home, especially if you’re a mother with young children. Unfortunately, it’s often the last room to be properly decorated.

The high cost of new appliances and designer cabinets might be prohibitive if you’re on a tight budget, but even a few small tweaks can give your kitchen a fresh look.

It’s amazing what happens to a room when you get rid of unnecessary items. Too much clutter makes your room look dirty and unappealing. Be honest about your cooking habits. Donate or sell cookbooks and kitchen gadgets you know you’ll never get around to using.

A fresh coat of paint is an inexpensive option that can have a big impact. Generally, you’ll want one base color and two accent colors that are used in smaller amounts. If needed, you can use heat-resistant appliance paint to fix scratches or change the color of outdated appliances.

Themes aren’t for everyone, but they can be a cute way to tie the room together. Apples, chefs, or wine bottles are examples of popular kitchen themes, but you could also choose accessories from your favorite decade for a vintage inspired kitchen.

If you can’t afford new kitchen cabinets, simply replacing the hardware will create a different look. Any major home improvement store will have a large selection of decorative knobs and drawer pulls for you to choose from. I had a friend who did this in her kitchen a few months ago and the results were amazing!

A new backsplash doesn’t have to be expensive, but it’s a great way to add an interesting design element to your kitchen. Ceramic tiles are generally the cheapest option. Another alternative is using salvaged materials from remodeling projects within your community. Check Craigslist to see what you can find.

Pinterest has lots of great kitchen makeover ideas to help you get started. Sondra Sweeney’s Low-Cost Kitchen Makeovers & Updates board is one of my personal favorite resources.

Photo credit: Stock.chng

Halloween Version of Elf on the Shelf

Posted on Oct 29, 2014 by 1 Comment

My kids were grown before the Elf on a Shelf craze started, but when my niece visited with her three children on the way to Disney last year, I was introduced to the rules of having one of these elves.

The children weren’t allowed to touch it or it would lose its magic, and while the elf wasn’t allowed to move or speak while people were around, it moved to a different location each night. Just what a mom of three (5 and under) needed to deal with on vacation, but I kept my lips zipped on that.

The Elf on the Shelf started as a storybook, and now it seems a new Halloween tradition has come on the scene in the same way with a book titled Switchcrafted.

Switchcrafted is a 20 page hardcover book with beautiful illustrations, an 8.5-inch witch doll, and a trick or treat bag.

The story introduces Switch Witches Ruby, Wanda, and Piper along with their helpers Sugar and Chewy and a new Halloween tradition of getting rid of all the sugary Halloween treats your children collect.

It encourages them to exchange their sweets for a healthier options – thus the title “Switchcraft.” I just learned about this, but I guess it goes on all October with the witch doll moving around to different places watching pre-Halloween activities much like the elf does before Christmas.

The Switchcrafted website offers ideas for ways to donate candy and provides ideas for healthy snack alternatives, along with games, activities and more. The idea behind the book is to help equip parents with a way to deal with the massive amounts of candy brought into the house following trick or treating.

While the idea might be fun, the practical side of me kicks in. As a parent we spend money on costumes and candy, let the kids go out and trick-or-treat, and then want them to give up their candy to the witches who need it for fuel. I’m not sure how that’s going to work.

Maybe if we want to limit their candy take, we could limit how many houses they visit on Halloween. I’d love to hear from parents out there to hear how this goes over with the kids. The giving up of their candy stash that is.

Photo credits: Amazon

Link Round-up: Fun Ideas for Halloween, a Superfood Smoothie, and More

Posted on Oct 28, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has more fun ideas for Halloween, treats, a superfood smoothie, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie taught us how to make Butterfinger brownies.

A Beautiful Mess shared 13 fun ideas for Halloween.

Create Craft Love taught us how to make Halloween mini donuts.

link ru dry erase marker
Kenarry taught us how to remove dry erase marker from the wall.

I Heart Nap Time showed us how to make banana cream pie.

Crafts ‘n Coffee shared how to make a Halloween eyeball wreath that glows in the dark.

Mommypotamus gave us a chocolate peppermint superfood smoothie recipe.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Kenarry

Link Round-up: Avoiding Toxins, Healthy Meals, Fingerpainting with Starburst, and More

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has tips for avoiding toxins while pregnant, treats, healthy meals, a new fingerpaint idea, and more.

A Beautiful Mess shared a giant skillet brownie recipe.

Mind Body Green shared 14 tips for minimizing toxins while pregnant.

Bitz n Giggles showed us how to make a Snicker caramel apple dip.

link ru monogrammed pumpkin
Uncommon Designs Online showed us how to make monogrammed pumpkins.

Life a Little Brighter showed us how to make Starburst fingerpaint (that’s one idea for getting rid of the Halloween candy!).

Luv a Bargain shared a cilantro lime chicken with zucchini and spinach recipe.

Play Dates on Fridays took a look at some of the insecurities we have as parents and how they sometimes show up in daily conversations.

Photo credit: A Beautiful Mess and Uncommon Designs Online

Keera PTZ Baby Video Monitor Is Smart and User-friendly

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 by No Comments

Baby monitors offer peace of mind and a measure of freedom to get other things done while baby sleeps.

Levana’s new Keera PTZ Baby Video Monitor does more than just keep an eye on your baby. It has the ability to pan/tilt/zoom and record and is even equipped with the ability to play lullabies.

When you hear about all this baby monitor can do, you might think it would be complicated to use, but the 3.5 inch touch panel features intuitive graphic icons that make it a user-friendly monitor option.

With such technology, I can’t help but think of how my mom used to talk about having eyes in the back of her head. Now we can have eyes all over the house! The Keera Baby Monitor features a camera that operates smoothly and silently from anywhere in the house.

It lets you adjust the camera view horizontally (300 degrees) and vertically (110 degrees), plus you can zoom in to get a closer look if you want. It’s a great way to see what your child is doing whether they are asleep or playing. It also lets you record video and take pictures with a 2GB micro SD card if you want to capture something adorable or funny!

The Keera PTZ Baby Video Monitor equips parents with super powers to see what’s going on anywhere in the house. It runs on a powerful battery designed to last up to 24 hours and the monitor and camera can be set to “sleep” when there is no noise in the nursery to extend battery life. When the baby wakes and makes any sound, the camera and monitor activate.

The Smart LED Indicator Ring changes with the sound of your baby’s voice so you can tell how loudly your baby is crying even if the monitor is on mute. Sensitivity controls can be adjusted to suit your needs.

This monitor also includes an interactive feature that let’s you talk to your baby through the two-way Talk to Baby intercom. Use it to sooth them and let them know you’re on your way.

Photo credits: Amazon

Link Round-up: Homemade Candy, Tuna Roll-ups, Fall Home Maintenance, and More

Posted on Oct 21, 2014 by 2 Comments

Today’s link round-up has homemade candy, mushroom risotto, tuna roll-ups, a fall home maintenance checklist, and more.

A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make homemade salted butter caramels.

Mind Body Green asked, “Are you taking care of everyone but yourself?”

Luv a Bargain showed us how to make mushroom risotto.

link ru fall maintenance checklist
Kenarry shared a fall home maintenance checklist with a free printable.

Life a Little Brighter showed us how to make tuna roll-ups.

Play Dates on Fridays shared five of the worst times to be a mom of multiples.

I Dig Pinterest showed us how to make Halloween Oreo popcorn.

Photo credit: A Beautiful Mess and Kenarry

Link Round-up: Cookies, a Halloween Pillow, Pumpkin Hummus, and More

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has cookies, a Halloween pillow tutorial, pumpkin hummus, and more.

Crafts by Amanda shared a creepy hand luminary craft idea.

Bombshell Bling showed us how to make a cute Halloween pillow.

Around My Family Table taught us how to make pumpkin hummus.

link ru oatmeal butterscotch cookies
Living Well Spending Less shared an oatmeal butterscotch cookie recipe.

Uncommon Designs Online showed us how to make pine cone flower embellished mason jars.

Club Chica Circle showed us how to organize the bathroom with mason jars.

Yesterday on Tuesday shared a recipe for hearty French fry casserole.

Photo credit: Crafts by Amanda and Living Well Spending Less

Link Round-up: Fall Crafts, Inspiration, Cake, and More

Posted on Oct 14, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has fall crafts and inspiration galore.

Crafts by Amanda showed us how to use a cardboard tube to make a Superman.

Bombshell Bling showed us how to make a Jack Skellington cake.

Club Chica Circle showed us 25 no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas.

link ru fall wheat and burlap wreath
Uncommon Designs Online taught us how to make a fall wheat and burlap wreath.

Yesterday on Tuesday showed us how to use mason jars to create Halloween creatures.

Organized 31 showed us how to make a cup sleeve for your coffee.

Dollar Store Crafts taught us how to make a bewitching door mat for Halloween.

Photo credit: Crafts by Amanda and Uncommon Designs Online

Link Roundup: Halloween Foods, Cronuts, Fight Aging, and More

Posted on Oct 9, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has Halloween and fall-inspired foods, glow-in-the-dark pumpkins, homemade cronuts, and more.

Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons showed us how to make Halloween bat burgers.

Living Locurto taught us how to make Frankenstein Halloween Pops.

Cupcakes and Cashmere shared her pregnant girl’s guide to what to sleep, eat, and wear.

link ru cronuts
A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make cronuts.

Mind Body Green shared seven ways to fight the effects of aging.

I Love to Create showed us how to make glow-in-the-dark pumpkins.

Tone It Up shared a recipe for healthy, yet decadent and divine, mocha brownies.

Photo credit: Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons and A Beautiful Mess