Flaunt it Friday 105!

Hi party animals!

Boy, am I ready for a party! Yesterday was one of those days... It was topped off by one of my boys spilling water on our 4 month old laptop. :(

I'm currently trying some "laptop drying methods" but it might be a goner.

This is really going to cramp my blogging style!

Please bare with me while I attempt to get back online for real. Blogging from my iPhone just isn't gonna cut it! (but I guess it's better then nothin')

Party on!

My Spring Kitchen

Hi there!  How's it going in your neck of the woods?  Around here we've gone from some lovely springtime 70 degree days to 96 over the weekend!  School has been out for one week, swim lessons have started and it feels like summer.

Since we have a few more weeks before it is "officially" summer I thought I'd share my kitchen decked out in it's Spring motif before I switch it up again.  Besides, I haven't shared any pics of my entire kitchen for quite a while so thought I'd give a little peak.

One small update with big impact that we recently completed was switching out our kitchen cabinet drawer knobs to cup pulls.  See how we easily drilled new holes HERE.



Some Patriotic Pinspiration for your Memorial Day

Hi all!   In honor of Memorial Day I'm sharing some patriotic "pinspiration" with you.

Maybe we can put some of these great ideas to good use for the 4th of July which will be here sooner than we know it!

Some lovely patriotic tablescapes...

An All-American Party: Table Setting
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Patriotic
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DIY patriotic wreaths...

patriotic wreath patriotic wreath patriotic wreath
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Patriotic
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Free patriotic printables....


all crafts 20 Patriotic Printable Gifts and Decor  {free printables}
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Patriotic sweet treats...

Hidden Flag cake
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patriotic strawberries.. patriotic strawberries.. patriotic strawberries..
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“We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
- President Abraham Lincoln 


Kitchen Herbs in Numbered Pots Cuteness



I've always wanted to grow herbs in my kitchen in cute little pots.  They would add a nice touch of green and whimsy AND I could conveniently clip some off whenever I needed some fresh herbs while cooking.
I found some really cute and cheap numbered pots at TJ Maxx (where else!? when will they pay me for all the free advertising?! ;)  They were going to be perfect for my kitchen herbs!

numbered pots


I picked up some herbs at the grocery store and was especially excited to be getting a basil plant.  I love pesto sauce but rarely find good pesto anywhere.  The stuff you buy in the jars is yuck-O.  The trick that makes it so delicious is using fresh basil.  With my new little kitchen herb garden I'd be able to make fresh pesto sauce any time!  Yippee!

The other plants I picked because they were cute (sweet marjorum) and smelled good (lavender).

sweet marjorum is cute!

I lined up my darling little numbered pots on a thin white serving dish that I already had and rarely used.   Perfect!  I had to sneak it out of the garage sale pile, shhh, don't tell Mr. Chic aka: Mr. My-wife-has-too-much-decorative-stuff-and-it's-taking-over-my-house-so-I'm-trying-to-make-her-sell-everything-in-the-garage-sale.;)  I put them in my kitchen near two windows and the sink... filtered sun and easy watering...  it was going to be great!

numbered planter
fresh basil.


It was great!..

for about 2 weeks.

Then they started looking a little stressed.  I made sure they had enough water.  Was I over watering?

Then the basil they started looking a lot stressed.

Maybe they weren't getting enough sun.  I moved them outside hoping the sun would cure what ailed them.  I guess I waited too long.

Now they look like this...


The basil and marjoram or goners.  I'm not sure if the lavender will bounce back or not, it's been oustide for 24 hours and doesn't look much better, actually a bit worse.

I'm not very good at house plants. If I were a pirate my name would be "Captain Black Thumb".  Oooh, sounds mean, huh.

Anyway, I do ok at  outdoor plants (mainly because Mr. Chic waters them everyday... thanks, honey!).  I realize that these plants are all "full sun" herbs and apparently my kitchen is not quite "full sun".  Big surprise there considering my kitchen is inside, duh.

So, do any of you have any suggestions of easy little herbs or house plants I could put in these pots?  I love the look of them but don't want Captain Black Thumb to strike again.  Maybe I should get some fakes??  I'd be much obliged for all ye suggestions, Arrrrr ye a black thumb too?  (that was in my best pirate voice)


PS:  Sorry, been watching too match Jake and the Neverland Pirates around here.


Linking: Someday Crafts.


Flaunt it Friday 104!

Hey party peeps!  Once again it's time to flaunt it!!





How to Change Your Kitchen Cabinet Knobs or Handles

Hello friends!  Is your kitchen looking a little out of style but you can't spend a lot to fix it up?  One inexpensive change you can make that can have a pretty big impact it is to change your cabinet handles and/or knobs.
glazed kitchen cabinets

People seem to forget about this little detail that can really make such a difference for not a whole lot of cash.

We made the change a few months back and I'm so happy with the results.  Our cabinet pulls weren't out of style, they were completely fine, just a little boring... plain stainless steel knobs on everything.  I decided to put a more stylish cup pull on the drawers.  It would make a big difference for a small price.

Since I could easily match stainless steel knobs to new stainless steel cup pulls, I only had to buy new cup pulls for the drawers leaving the cabinet doors as is.  Consider doing this if your current hardware isn't too shabby.  This cut the cost by more that half because we have more cabinet doors than drawers.

I got mine from a wholesaler I work with but you can find some decent pulls at Target and even Wal-Mart.


I enlisted my favorite handy man Mr. Chic to do the labor for me because he's faster with the drill.  But really, this one is easy enough that someone who is a power tool rookie could handle it.

Here's a little picture of all the tools you need (which aren't very many).

Tools:

  • Cordless drill
  • Proper size drill bit
  • New cabinet pulls (most come with the screws needed to attach them)
  • Measure Pro Cabinet Hardware Installation Kit (or something similar)
  • Marker or pen
  • Small screwdriver





We didn't end up using the grips, we thought we'd have to use them to hold on our measuring tool but it ended up fitting over the top of the drawer.

Let's get started...

First, remove the old knobs (Duh).  Use the smallest screwdriver you've got, the screw head will be inside the drawer.  Having a short little screwdriver helps avoid taking everything out of the drawer to get to the screw.

Once you've got the old knob off it's time to mark the drill holes for the new pulls.

Mr. Chic found this handy-dandy and inexpensive "Measure Pro Cabinet Hardware Installation Kit" at Menards and it made this job foolproof!  


Since the center of the drawer was already marked by the old cabinet knob it was really easy to find, the new pulls had a 3 inch span so we found it on our measuring tool and made the marks for the new holes.  Make sure you check your new pull measurement before you drill!

This little Measure Pro thing-ma-jig makes sure that your new holes will be placed properly.  It takes all of the guess work out of it, highly recommended!  And no, they did not sponsor this post!


Now that you've got your new holes marked, it's time to drill!

This will make some major saw dust in your drawers so you may want to take everything out, especially if the drawer has any eating utensils in it.  It's a good excuse to give your drawers a good wipe down.  Once I got into mine, the were really kind of grosser than I expected... lots and lots of crumbs!

Now that the holes are drilled and the drawers are wiped out it's time to add your new cup pulls!  Simply stick the new screws through the new holes and screw them by hand into the handle, make sure you tighten them up with a screwdriver once they are attached.



Here is a bad "before" shot that was taken from the real estate listing of the previous owners, the one I took was accidentally deleted by one of my little helpers. :)

This shot is from the previous owners before we moved in!

I'm so happy with the results, what a difference!

Kitchen cabinet cup pulls

Could your kitchen use some new cabinet handles or knobs?  It might make a bigger difference than you think!


Linking:  Home Stories A to Z Tutes & Tips Party, Someday Crafts Whatever Wednesday, Tatertots & Jello Weekend Wrap-up

Shaklee Basic H2 Sample Winners!

Hey everyone!  Checking in real quick with 5 winners of Shaklee Basic H2 samples chosen by Random.org.


1  Carly Sturm
2.  Jackie
3.  Natural Nesters
4.  Amanda & Graham
5.  Jen

I will be sending you all an email shortly.

There are only a few more days to take advantage of free membership for life, place an order now and you're in!  expires May 31.

Click here to check out great Shaklee products!

I'll be back shortly with how to give your kitchen an update for cheap!  Come back and see me soon! :)

Restoration What?!

Hello there!  A few weeks back I got a huge fancy catalog from Restoration Hardware.  I don't know why they keep sending me these things because I never buy anything (shhh, don't tell them!).  But, I love to browse them so I hope they keep coming.

I've blogged about Restoration Hardware before (check it out here), how they have some really awesome stuff and some stuff that is just way out there, as in, what are they thinking and they want $$$ for it?!

Their Summer 2012 catalog did not disappoint.  There are plenty of amazing pieces and a good amount of crazy too.

Let's start with crazy, shall we?

The new "Deconstructed Collection" line has a bit of the crazies.

photo via Restoration Hardware

See all of those frayed strings, those are the back of the tufts.  Note the nail head trim that is made of actual nail heads and not very straight.  Also, the rough wood, messy burlapish mesh material and rusty metal piece that holds part of the chair together.

Can you say "C R A Z Y" ??

This might be the weirdest thing I've ever seen in furniture.

Deconstructed 19th C. English Wing Chair
photo via Restoration Hardware


This unfinished chair can be all yours for $1495 (plus tax and shipping and handling)  More of the crazies!

I love the neutral linen/burlap look, they started out great but then it's like they forgot to finish the chair because... well, they did.

They've got the colors and style right, and most of the pieces have great lines.  But this is bizarre, this stuff seems like it belongs in a haunted house.

But, it doesn't look too bad when they put it with this...

photo via Restoration Hardware

But really, are people going to pay $1500 bucks for a half made chair?

Yes.

Can you guess what that makes them??

CRAZY!

You got it.

So not to hurt Restoration Hardware's feelings (yeah right, they are laughing all the way to the bank) I will share some of their awesomeness too.

They need to stick with stuff like this:



Alt text for My Lifestyle Image
photo via Restoration Hardware


photo via Restoration Hardware


Alt text for My Lifestyle Image
photo via Restoration Hardware


Lovely Living Rooms

photo via Restoration Hardware


photo via Restoration Hardware


Beautiful Blues!

Alt text for My Lifestyle Image
photo via Restoration Hardware


Alt text for My Lifestyle Image
photo via Restoration Hardware


Dynamic Dining Rooms!

photo via Restoration Hardware




photo via Restoration Hardware




Beautiful Bedrooms!

I love that bed!  Does the headboard look familiar??  It's on special for $1480 for a king.  Mine wasn't quite that much.  You can see how I made one very similar HERE. :)  

So really, I'm a fan of Restoration Hardware, they just get a case of the crazies every season.

What do you think about the Deconstructed Collection?  Am I just closed-minded and uncultured or do you agree, RH got a case of the crazies on this one???

Flaunt it Friday 103!

Hello Chic-sters!  It's already time for my party again!  Wow, the week flew by and I had high hopes for so many things I was going to share with you.  Mr. Chic was gone on business and before he left I had this fantasy that I'd have so much free time on my hands when the boys went to bed that I could blog and blog and blog and stock pile all of these great posts, I'd be ahead of the game (for once).  But instead, I was so exhausted by bedtime that I only got one post done in a week and I posted it already.  So much for getting ahead of the game.

I did manage to choose a color (finally!) and paint our master bathroom.  It's not finished because Mr. Chic is going to have to help me with the vaulted ceiling area but I made some progress at least.   I'll be sharing that makeover sooner than later hopefully (the way things are going it could be 2013) ;)

Please sign up to win one of 5 samples of Shaklee H2, giveaway ends this weekend, click HERE to enter and see why I'm switching products to help my kids allergies and asthma!



A Frenchy Burlap Pillow and Spring Decor

Hey there, Chic-sters!  (I just gave all of you bloggy friends a new nickname, hope you like it!)  I also hope all of you moms out there had a wonderful Mother's Day.  I spent it with my sweet boys outside on a beautiful day, couldn't ask for more than that. :)

Anywho, do any of you feel like May is slipping away way too quickly?  Tomorrow is half way through the month, half way! Since May is the last official month of Spring I need to hurry up and share my Spring decor.  Pronto!

I had some TJ Maxx gift cards burning holes in my pocket and was so happy to find this fabulous Frenchy burlap pillow for my kitchen. (yes, a pillow for my kitchen, for all those times I can lay down and relax in my kitchen.  yeah, right)

burlap home decor

Don't you love it??  I do even though it smells kinda funny because burlap just has that funny smell.  Good thing I'm never going to sleep on it.  I wonder what it says?  Hopefully not any French curse words...

Anyway, I know there are all kinds of tutorials out right now on how to make a burlap pillow and then image transfer via freezer paper (or something like that?)

But you Chic-sters know me, if I can buy it cheaper than I can make it, I'm buying it 'til the cows come home.  This pillow was less than $17 (and I had a gift card so it was free to me!)  and for all the supplies and time it would've taken me to make it, it would have definitely been more than $17 bucks.

I think sometimes it's easy for us bloggers to get so caught up in all the DIY goodness that we assume things are cheaper to make than to buy, but there are deals to be found!  Anytime I DIY it always, ALWAYS costs more than I assume it will.

To go along with my new burlap kitchen pillow I pulled out all my decorative green goodies for Spring. So not to bore you with a million pictures in one post, I'm going to split it up my spring decor between a few posts.  The suspense will be killing you I'm sure. ;)

I'll start with my kitchen sideboard.  For the past couple Springs I've been using my green birds on candle holders with flower nests. 


spring decor birds



I needed to change it up this year and I've added some lamps to the table and now the birds are too tall to fit with the lamps anyway.  I decided to use my cloches and some greenery since green is my accent.

I tried to put the domes on cake stands but it just wasn't working.  I decided to just set them on the table but the bases blended in with the dark table top.

domes cloche decor plants

I added the funky zebra runner to make the bases of the greenery stand out on the dark table.  The runner was a clearance find at TJ Maxx, $3 bucks.  It was too long and instead of cutting it down and sewing up the edge I just folded it in half and now it fits perfectly and I can still use it on a longer table.  Besides, you guys know I don't sew!

home decor

Shameless Giveaway Plug:  My cloches are very clean and streak free thanks to my new Shaklee Basic H window cleaner and window cleaning cloth, go HERE to enter to win one of 5 samples!

spring home decor


My Spring sideboard decor is complete!


And, my Frenchy burlap pillow is part of this vignette which you can see below.

spring kitchen decor


See, I definitely needed a pillow in my kitchen.  Now I can just plop down there and take a little nap anytime on my comfy new pillow right in my kitchen.  I'm sure my kiddos won't mind or bother me while I'm resting.  ;)

Linking: Home Stories A to Z, A Stroll through life


Spring Cleaning on the Cheap with Allergies/Asthma AND a Giveaway!

Hey there, friends!  Are you still spring cleaning or am I just really late?  It seems like I could spring clean all year long for all the jobs that need to be done.  I need a housekeeper to take care of my regular cleaning so I can get my spring cleaning done. :)

Part of the trouble with cleaning is all of the stinky chemicals.  We are a house of asthma and allergies and the stinky chemicals are really bothersome to most of my family.  I don't have much more than seasonal allergies but find that I am very bothered by the strong smell of some cleaners, the fumes give me a headache (as if cleaning isn't enough in itself to give me a headache, I don't need any help from my stinky cleaning products!)

I have to clear everybody out and open the windows while I'm cleaning and still the stink will linger for the rest of the day.  Even in the dead of winter I'm cracking a window to let some fresh air in when I use certain products.  Not exactly practical with the furnace or air blasting.

After we found out one of my boys had bad allergies/asthma I looked into some organic/natural based cleaning products found in stores.  Ummm... major sticker shock for the prices on most of that stuff.  I forked over the cash for a few and was unpleasantly surprised that they were really stinky too, only in a bad smelling herb type of way rather than a harsh chemical with fragrance added type of stink.  Plus, many of them didn't work very well so I paid double for equally stinky products that didn't work, awesome, right?

I didn't do my homework on any other products than what was available at my discount store.  I figured I'd be stuck opening the windows and banishing everyone else to the basement while I cleaned with Fan-stinky-tastic forever.

If you read enough blogs you'll see Shaklee all over the place.  I started looking into it and realized that this could be the solution to having a clean home without the fumes or the expense of natural cleaning products found in stores. I was so excited when Jennifer, a Shaklee independant distributor, contacted me to see if I'd like to test out some of their products.  Of course I said yes!

She sent me the Shaklee Get Clean line to honestly review and all opinions are 100% mine.  It came with a bottle of multi-purpose Basic H, 3 super cute spray bottles, a mircofiber cloth and a window cleaning cloth.

Aren't those the cutest spray bottles ever?

First, I filled my spray bottles, each cute bottle is conveniently labeled with directions.  The window cleaner takes 1 to 2 drops (that's right, DROPS) added to a full bottle of water.  According to Shaklee "1 bottle of Basic H2 equals the cleaning uses of 5,824 bottles of 26 oz. Windex®*"  


WOW.

Seriously, WOW.

One bottle of Basic H is going to last FOR-EV-ER and is around $12 bucks.

I'd call that a deal.

Basic H can be used to clean just about anything and it has absolutely NO SMELL.  I can't even believe how smell-less it is, I can spray it around my kids without worrying about stinky fumes and it actually works!

I first used the Basic H All-Purpose cleanser for my stainless steel appliances.  If you have any stainless steel appliances in your home you'll probably agree with me that they are a pain in the booty to keep clean, especially with kiddos running around touching them because those shiny surfaces are just screaming "please touch me all over with your sticky little fingers!!"

There also aren't a lot of good products that clean stainless, even the products specifically for stainless can smear it all up.

You can see below that my dishwasher is a little drippy/smeary/fingerprinty.


A few squirts of Basic H All Purpose and some swipes with the microfiber towel and it was shining like new!


I used it on all my stainless steel appliances and it worked great.  I did have some trouble with a few spots on my fridge that had been on there for months ahem, quite a while.  They were "set in" if you will.  However, it worked great on everyday smudges and fingerprints, perfect for a quick shine-up.

I tried out the window cleaner on my powder room mirror.  There were some splatters on it which are pointed out with arrows (it's hard to take a picture of the surface of a mirror!)  Plus some streaks from whenever I cleaned it last time with that blue stuff.


A few squirts of Basic H Windows and some swipes with the Shaklee window cloth and it was sparkly and streak free!  


When I use that blue window cleaner I wipe and wipe and wipe and can't get rid of all the streaks.  This was clean and streak free after just a few swipes!



You might remember that I love glass cloches (aka: glass domes).  I have  too many a nice collection and they are big time dust collectors. I used the Basic H Window Cleaner to shine them up.

This one had spots from the last time I washed it (without Basic H)


A squirt on the Shaklee mirror cloth and a quick cloche rub down and it's squeaky clean and spot free!



If you've never tried Shaklee products, now is the time!  Especially if you or anyone in your home suffers from allergy or asthma.  There are several specials for ordering this month...

Offer good through May 31, 2012

I'm so excited to try more of Shaklee's products I can hardly wait!  If you'd like to give it a try, click the link in the caption below and take advantage of the May special.




Jennifer was generous enough to giveaway 5 Shaklee Basic H samples to my readers!

Here's how to win...

Leave one comment per entry:

Extra entries:
Winners will be chosen by Random.org on Saturday, May 19.