Things That Make You Say, “Yay!”

What a whirlwind of a week! During the course of taking down Christmas decorations, sending kids back to school, heading back to work, and dealing with a few messes along the way, I managed to find a few delightful discoveries…

{ONE} Rubbing Alcohol for Carpet Stains

This is the “after” photo.

Naughty, naughty Leo found a purple gel pen in the girls’ backpack and decided to chew on it until it exploded. He also thought it would be fun to shake his head with the pen in his mouth so the ink would fling all over the carpet.

Oh, and he carried the pen to our bedroom where we have brand new carpet…that’s white. Yeah, there’s that.

After the immediate wave of horror, Brandon helped me Google WTH to do in this situation. It turns out, dabbing rubbing alcohol on the stain will pull it up from the fibers. Then follow it up with warm water. I’d say we got 90% of the stains out.

One small spot (where the initial explosion took place) was so full of ink, we had to call in the professionals. They used their magic potion (which turned out to have an alcohol base) to get the rest out. I’m finally breathing some sweet relief. Alcohol to the rescue. Lol!

{TWO} Burning Serious Calories Cleaning the House

As I’m making plans to exercise more (because resolutions) I stumbled upon an article that basically shows me how to multi-task like a champ.

According to this list, I can burn 119 calories in 30 min by vacuuming the house. And…I can burn more than 160 calories in 30 min washing windows. So now I be like…

And then there’s this article that explains if you simply believe cleaning is a form of exercise, you can lose more weight. Powerful stuff. I’m going to believe cheesecake is a health food! #wishfulthinking?

{THREE} Pretty Winter Decorations

We took down all of the Christmas decor this week, which means now our house feels empty. Isn’t that such a funny phenomenon? The house feels so drab – when it was perfectly fine before the decorations went up. Maybe it’s the cold weather outside?

One thing that helps me through the doldrums is forcing bulbs. It adds life and color to the house. These are paperwhites I grew last year. >

I’m excited to try a new trick this year and dress up the vases with sweaters. Look!!

Aren’t these darling? I plan to take a trip to our local thrift store this weekend to upcycle some sleeves.

Another post-holiday tip: If you remove all of the red decorations from your Christmas decor and keep all of the greenery and other wintery, white touches, it keeps the place looking pretty until the spring thaw!

Here are a few inspiring pics:

{FOUR} The Bachelor: Season 22

The Bachelor kicked off this week, and it’s still one of my guilty pleasures. I know…these shows are completely ridiculous, which is why I love to watch them.

And these hilarious and honest write ups are worth a read each week.

{FIVE} Day Designer: Week One in the Books!

I really do love my planner, and I was super excited to spend this first week of the year filling in dates and plannin’ my dreams in this beauty.

I went with a pretty blue pattern this year and am loving the decision. >

{Order yours here!} #affiliate

That’s a wrap. Yay!

Okay, what’s on your list? Name at least ONE thing that made you happy this week!

Blessings,

Kate

PS. I’m linking up with these amazing bloggers again. Be sure to check them out.

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Decorating with Easter Bunnies

Last week I shared a list of Easter ideas using carrots – of all kinds. So I thought it would be fun and most appropriate to follow up with some ideas for using BUNNIES among your holiday decor, gifts, and menu.

First of all, I’m dying over the cuteness in this photo. Just look at these bunny best friends…with beautiful floral headbands!! I wonder if my little Rosie would wear one of these?! {photo via}

Now here are five of my favorite finds. >>

{ONE} Bunny succulents

Can you believe how cute these are?! I didn’t know these succulents even existed until I saw a story on them in this article. Apparently they’re all the rage in Japan right now. And I can see why.

The official name is Monilaria Obconica, and I found an online seller through Etsy. I haven’t ordered any yet, so you’ll have to let me know if you find another good source.

{TWO} Bunny pops

What a smart (and darling) treat for little ones! Two safety pops have been wrapped together and made to look like a bunny with the help of a white pom pom glued on like a tail. Cutie-patooties!

{THREE} Bunny baked goods

Every year I’m on the lookout for something super easy and delicious to add to our Easter brunch menu. I loved these homemade cinnamon twists the moment I saw them – and thought you might, as well. Enjoy!

{FOUR} Bunny napkins

Love, love, love this idea. If you look closely, this is simply a white napkin and a pink napkin that have been layered and folded up into a set of bunny ears.

And how fun to wrap it around an Easter egg! I plan to do this – and add love notes and treats inside each egg for my family.

{FIVE} Bunny gift wrap

Aww. Wouldn’t these felt bunny bags make a precious addition to any Easter basket?

If you don’t have time (or the skills) to sew felt bunnies, not to fear. You could try DIYing some paper sack buns. I’ve seen several tutorials using brown paper sacks, but I love the white in this photo. Any supermarket should carry white bags, too.

That’s my list – for now. What kind of bunny goodness do you have up your sleeve for Easter? I’d love to know!

Blessings,

Kate

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Friday Wrap: Easter Carrots

Rosie wishes you a happy day. <3

I love this time of year. Spring is in the air – even if it means a rain shower here and there. Trees are budding, flowers are blooming, and Easter is just around the corner, which leads me to today’s round-up post.

What goes hand in hand with the Easter bunny? Baskets, treats, decorated eggs and CARROTS!! Although, funny and true story…our little Rosie the rabbit doesn’t really eat carrots. She’ll nibble on the green tops, but that’s it. Haha!

Assuming all of the other rabbits in the world love them, here’s a tribute to those beta-carotene packed little wonders. I found five extremely festive ways to work them into your holiday celebration. >>

{ONE} Carrot Door Decor

I could not be more in love with this front door decoration. It’s simply made with silk tulips tied with greenery at the top. I can’t wait to attempt this project this weekend. I think the trick will be finding the right color of tulips. Wish me luck!

{TWO} Carrot Cutlery

I’ve seen several variations of this idea online, but I like this one the best with the green curly ribbon tied to the tops. This would be an easy project for the kids – and something they could do several days in advance of our Easter brunch.

{THREE} Carrot Treat Boxes

I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for new and interesting ways to package up treats for my kids’ Easter baskets. I’ve done the carrot-shaped goldfish bags and bunny bags, but I’ve never seen this adorable carrot packaging before.

The possibilities for what to put inside are practically endless…popcorn, candies, nail polish, hair clips. It would be cute to fill the entire basket with a carrot patch of treats.

{FOUR} Carrot Centerpiece

You know how I adore fresh flowers. Well, just look at this gorgeous number. Pictures like this seriously make me want to own a floral shop. Sigh.

I love how the earthy carrots line the inside of the vase that’s overflowing with tulips and Queen Anne’s Lace – which is also known as Wild Carrot. So that makes perfectly good sense for this arrangement. Beautiful work. And something for us to try at home.

{FIVE} Carrot Cheese Ball

Another passion of mine…cheese! Haha! You may or may not remember my annual pumpkin cheese ball for Halloween. Well, it’s always a huge hit at parties. Now I’m on a mission to create a cheese ball “something” for every holiday. And this carrot is spot on for Easter.

That’s a wrap for this Friday, anyway. Have a great weekend preparing your hearts and homes for the holiday.

Blessings,

Kate

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5 Ways to “Fall Up” Your Home

Happy Fall-riday!! I hope you live in a spot where the air is cooling off and you’re able to really get into the spirit of the season.

We’re finally dipping into the 60s here in Northwest Arkansas. So this weekend, I plan to do the seasonal clothes swap, where I put my summer dresses and blouses away and pull out the sweaters and boots.

I also plan to spruce up the house with some fall flair. I’ve found that it doesn’t have to take a lot of effort to transition your home into a warm and cozy spot.

Focus on these five things to seasonalize your space in a snap!

{ONE} The Entryway

The front door and entryway help set the tone for your home. So this is a great place to showcase seasonal decorations, and even messages. Look at this cute chalkboard that has been decked out with leaves and berries. I could see this updated with holly in the winter and even daisies in the spring/summer >>

Here’s a fun twist. This wreath includes cotton bolls tucked among the greens. I found some real cotton stems on this site if you’re interested in making something like this for yourself. You can also buy this wreath online >>

If you want to go for simplicity, here’s a wreath made with corn husks. Doesn’t it remind you of a white sunflower? You could hot glue strips of corn husks (from a craft store) onto a foam wreath to make this lovely display. And you can make homemade tamales with any left over husks. Lol >>

This would be another DIY project. It’s a repurposed frame with fall flowers and greenery glued to the edges. I also love the personalization with the initial in the center. >>

{TWO} Framed Artwork & Photos

You can easily freshen up your walls with signs of fall, like colorful leaves that have been framed >>

How pretty is this? I love the idea of having a large chalkboard as the focal point in a room. That way you can sketch out a new message each season >>

Find little nooks in your home, like a bookshelf or side table to display a framed seasonal message. This is simply a piece of burlap that has been colored with a Sharpie >>

If you have a gallery wall in your home, swap out a few photos or objects for one of these cool fall prints >>

{THREE} Seasonal Centerpieces

Flowers and even gourds are a great way to bring the fall season indoors. Here’s a cornucopia-like basket that’s overflowing with silk greens and fabric pumpkins, so it will easily last through Thanksgiving >>

Fill the middle of your dining room table or even coffee table with a planter of herbs and small pumpkins. If you can’t find mini white pumpkins, you can buy orange ones and spray paint them white – or even silver or gold >>

If you can’t tell, I love white pumpkins!! Here’s a pretty centerpiece that uses one as a vase. Just hollow out the inside, fill it with oasis floral foam and then you can insert flowers of your choice. This has tulips with seeded eucalyptus. I don’t usually think of tulips this time of year, so that makes this arrangement a tad unique >>

For another pumpkin-turned-vase idea, these beauties have succulents planted inside >>

And speaking of succulents, I think they’re great for fall (and even winter). They add life to your decor, come in beautiful colors and don’t require much sun or water. This makes them happy additions to any home. This pretty mix is planted inside of a wooden box >>

{FOUR} Pillows & Throws

As soon as the temperatures drop, I love making cozy spots throughout the house with blankets and soft pillows. “Sweater” pillows, like the one below, are my favorites to snuggle with while reading a book, sitting next to the fire with a hot cup of apple cider…pardon me while I daydeam for a minute.

It’s also fun to use decorative pillows to really make the house feel “in season” >>

Here’s a fun assortment of pillows that would be darling on a couch. I even like that plaid throw tucked in the left corner >>

If you’re feeling like an easy DIY project, here’s a pillow you can make! >>

Here are a few more plaid throws that I love. These are from Pottery Barn. You may remember I mentioned them in a previous post? Well, they’re still on sale!!

PS. I ended up buying the second one down (neutral) >>

{FIVE} Soaps & Candles

For the final touches, I plan to pick up some of these yummy candles from Bath & Body Works. They have such great fragrances each season. I’m a little more partial to Cranberry Woods than the Pumpkin Pecan Waffles. The pumpkin-scents are a little too sweet or pumpkiny for me.

Here are a few stars in this season’s line up >>

I like having seasonal soaps in all of our bathrooms. So I plan to check out these interesting choices this weekend. Have you shopped any of these? If so, what’s your favorite?! >>

That’s a wrap, my friends. Have a beautiful weekend. How are you celebrating fall, so far?

-Kate

PS. I’m continuing my series of posts on how to clean and organize a few special places in our homes. Yesterday I started with the heart of the home (the kitchen). Join me this weekend for some laundry room ideas!

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Friday Wrap: Feelin’ a Little Like Fall

As the days turn cool and crisp, my excitement for fall quickly builds. I want to bust open the windows and let the breeze fill and clean each room of the house. I also look forward to pulling out cozy blankets, baking recipes, and anything else that screams “fall.”

The official first day is next Thursday, so here are five ways we can gear up for a grand entrance into this fresh season.

{ONE} Seasonal Planters

I shared a post yesterday that went into more detail about fall planters. So be sure to check that out for lots of inspiration.

In the meantime, I think this might be my favorite (below). I have a pair of urns just like this in front of our house, so I want to try and pull this off. That purple fountain grass is gorgeous with the yellow mums and orange peppers. As we get closer to Halloween, I could stack some cute punkin’s around the base.

{TWO} Cozy Blankets

I’m a big fan of snuggle time. I’ll even make the house a tad colder in the summer just so I can wrap up in a blanket. Crazy, I know. Now that it’s actually getting chilly, I feel good about having them out on display.

Our mini Goldendoodle chewed through a few of my favorites when he was in full-on puppy stage, so I’m in the market for blankets. I love this plaid number from Pottery Barn. And it’s on sale?! Yes, please.

{THREE} Soul Food

I heard through the vine that Pecan Pumpkin Butter is back at Williams-Sonoma. Yay! That means it’s time to whip up a batch of warm pumpkin dessert squares.

Recipe:

1 Box Yellow Cake Mix
1 jar Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter
1/4 cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Flour
3 Eggs
3/4 cup Butter
3 Tbsp Milk
1 tsp Cinnamon

Reserve 1 cup of the cake mix, set aside. Mix remaining cake mix with 1/2 cup melted butter and 1 egg. Press mixture lightly into the bottom of a 9×13″ pan. Mix 1 jar of Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter with 2 large eggs and 3 tbsp of milk. Pour over cake mixture in pan.

Mix the reserved cake mix with 1 tbsp flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup of soft butter and 1 tsp cinnamon. Crumble over top of pumpkin layer. Bake 35-40 min. @ 350 degrees or until golden. Cool and serve.

{FOUR} Simmering Scents

As you may know, I’ve always had a “thing” for smells. Nothing makes our house feel more like fall than a big batch of simmering spices on the stove. Here’s my favorite combination. Mmm…

{FIVE} Fresh Colors

Every season Pantone Color Institute develops a palette that helps summarize the hottest colors worn during New York Fashion Week. And here are your beautiful, jewel-like colors for Fall 2015. >>

This year’s line up is heavy on blues. And beautiful, soft blues at that. Below shows you each color in more detail and what their exact number and names are in the Pantone Color system. (This is especially helpful if you’re a designer.) Have fun styling your outfits, accessories or even your house with these trendy hues.

color3color1 color2

That’s a wrap! Have a great weekend and let me know what you’re up to. How are you flirting with fall?

XoXoXo,

Kate

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Beginning to Look Like Christmas (Finally)

We got busy with it this week and made serious progress with Christmas decorations and to-dos. We blared the carols while we decorated the trees and strung lights on the front porch. If it weren’t for the unusually warm 70-degree weather, it would have felt like a full-on winter wonderland at our house.

Here are five of my favorite things we did, in no particular order…

{ONE} Puppy Proofed the Tree

Leo under the tree

Seeing as how Leo is still under a year old and is fascinated with shiny objects, having a Christmas tree almost seemed impossible. The kids freaked out when I mentioned the thought of it, so I went online to do some serious research. I found many contraptions, including a static electricity mat and a fence that was wrapped like a giant present. All of this seemed excessive, so I went for the simplest route I could find.

We took cotton balls and dipped them into a jar of Vicks VapoRub – like the kind you smear all over your chest when you’re sick. Then we tucked them into the branches around the bottom of the tree. It worked like a CHARM. Leo took one whiff and was like, “Ew.”

To be on the safe side, I also didn’t put as many decorations on the bottom of the tree. And I’m waiting until Christmas Eve before putting out our gifts. But at least we HAVE a tree – and one that Leo doesn’t want to touch.

{TWO} Shopped with my Girls

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Nothing makes holiday shopping more fun than my sweet, silly girls. I swear. As I was stressfully looking up and down the aisles of greenery, which were all picked over like a bag of trail mix with raisins, I heard Avery giggling her heart out. Her twin sister was modeling an enormous bow.

When we turned the corner and saw an even BIGGER bow, we totally had to “try it on.”

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They’re so good for me. Sometimes I take things way too seriously, and my girls help me remember to stop and laugh already.

{THREE} Dressed up the House

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Not knowing how Leo was going to do with the tree and all, I decided to elevate our decorating – literally. I hung things in places I had forgotten existed – like the pretty doorway leading into our sunroom. It’s nice to look at your house with different eyes sometimes.

{FOUR} Baked Cookie Ornaments

As you may know, I have a thing for “smells,” so I love making these fragrant ornaments every year. And they only require two ingredients: cinnamon and applesauce! Once you make the dough, simply cut your shapes and bake for a bit. The full recipe is here. They seriously make your house smell SO amazing. I recommend doing this before you have guests come over.

{FIVE} Launched the December Coaster Giveaway!!

Speaking of entertaining…you totally need some of these cute Christmas coasters. You still have until Sunday at 10pm CST to enter to win a free set. My friends at Qostr graciously offered FOUR designs this month, so the winner gets to choose!

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If you want some right now, you can get 20% off using the special Neat Nook promo code of DECEMBER20 at checkout.

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Here’s to a happy weekend ahead. We’re off to the Bentonville Christmas parade tomorrow morning. That’s always such a fun tradition. I just hope it doesn’t rain. I told my kids that if it does, we’re totally painting candy-cane stripes on our umbrellas. Nothing is going to stop our fun! 😉

Be sure to enjoy all of the beautiful bloggers at Five on Friday and Oh, Hey Friday!

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Cheers!!

-Kate

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