Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Wow! I can't believe that 2012 is already over. It has been a year full of fun, blessings, love and laughter.  Thank you for supporting me and reading this blog. Here is a look back at the top rated blog posts since I started back in March.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Representing the Bay Area

I have been eyeing these ornaments from Pottery Barn for a couple years now and I finally bought them the other day. Eeek! So happy to have them hanging on our tree this year!  

I think it is only fitting to have a Golden Gate Bridge and Cable Car hanging on our tree since we live the bay area. Finally we are representing!

In case you are in the market for ornaments, Pottery Barn does free shipping and occasionally will have 15% on their ornaments. Click here to link to their site.

It's the most wonderful time of the year...........

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Decorating for Christmas

Christmas around here is a big deal. We get the decorations down the day after Thanksgiving and start decorating the house inside and out right away. By the end of the day, the house is glowing with lights and the countdown has begun.  In case you aren't able to stop by for a visit, here are a few photos of the "McKeown Residence".

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce

In the spirit of Thanksgiving I thought I would share with you our family recipe for Cranberry sauce. It is the best cranberry sauce I have ever had and it is super easy to make. 

- 4 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water

Put cranberries and water into a pot on medium/low heat. Cover and cook until cranberries stop popping. About 7-8 minutes. Then pour mixture into a sieve. Press through sieve and return to stove. Bring to a boil. Pour in sugar and stir until dissolved. Immediately pour into jars or small bowls. Let sit overnight in cool area before serving.

I usually double the recipe to be sure I have enough....and have leftovers.

These serving bowls I found at TJ Maxx for $4.99 each. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Accessories for the Coffee Table

Our living room is really lacking some major accessories. Now that we added the accent table (read about that here) we have enough furniture, but now it's time to make it look like we actually live here. I thought I would start with the coffee table. Here are a few of my favorite coffee table vignettes that I have seen.



I'm not sure how mine will end up, but I'll keep you posted!

Monday, November 5, 2012

New Accent Table

So excited to report that we bought a new accent table for the living room. I don't know what the table is called because when I look online it is not there and, of course, I can't find the receipt. I did buy it at Potterybarn. I believe it was originally $199 and I got it for $100 since it was a floor sample. Just a couple small dings in the glass, but other than that it is in perfectly good condition. It also doubles as a serving tray! The top of the accent table lifts off and you can serve drinks with it if you so desire.

Now we have a place to rest our drink, instead of on the armchair. I still need to accessorize it, but for now,  I just borrowed the flowers off of the coffee table. 

Here are a couple of my other favorite accent tables I also love.

Fall Boots Under $200

I have been in the market some winter boots and I came across this website called Polyvore. I put together a collage of some amazing boots all for under $200!

Happy Monday!

Fall boots under $200

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Wanted to wish you all a happy halloween! With our Madilynn being 2 this halloween, it is so much fun to decorate and celebrate. Here are a few photos of how we decorated this year.

We also decorated the inside with a fun and easy pumpkin craft.

And lastly, we started on a centerpiece for the dining table. Maddie loves "baby pumpkins" and we have bought a few for her. We also found some acorns at the park yesterday and added those. We will probably collect a few more by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, but it is a start for now.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Handmade Dollhouse

I have been working on a dollhouse for Madilynn for the last couple months. What started out as, "oh, I'll have that done in a weekend" turned out to be much larger ordeal.  The house is completely custom and handmade. Every wall, stair, trim piece, and chair has to be individually glued and placed. Wall paper, paint and roof shingles were not included in the kit, but I think they take the dollhouse to the next level. 

After all the work, I'm glad that she likes to play with it too! 

Dollhouses come in all sorts of layouts and sizes. Ranging from $30-$1,000!....and yes, you still have to assemble it too. This dollhouse is extra special because it belonged to my Aunt. It was found in her house and I found it my mission to assemble it in her honor.  Therefore, the cost was free for the house. With the paint, wallpaper, roof shingles, glue and other miscellaneous supplies, the total cost to assemble it was approximately $55.00. Not bad considering some of the others on the market.  


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ikat PIllows from Crate & Barrel

I have been drooling over the Taza pillow from Crate & Barrel. The pillow looks like this.

The funny thing is, I bought the pillows awhile back and then returned them. Why you ask? Because I am very indecisive and and for $89.00 a pillow, you gotta be sure. After a few months had passed, I realized that I actually did like the pillows.  When the new catalog from Crate & Barrel came in the mail, I saw that the taza pillows were on sale. Eeek! I took this as a message from above and went out and re-bought them yesterday. Oh! How I am in love.....again.

Here is how they look in our house.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Diet That Really Works

I can honestly say that I have never done a real diet before, but after binging all summer on cheese puffs and bratworsts, it was time do something! We heard about this diet from my husbands co-workers and from friends who are in crossfit community (we don't do crossfit, but know people who are). After hearing about their success stories, we decided that we should at least find out what this diet was all about.

We went out and bought a book called The Paleo Diet.  I have added it to my amazon store if you are interested in buying it.

After reading the book, I couldn't agree more with the theory behind it. The Paleo Diet focuses on foods that were consumed by our ancestors of the Paleolithic Era or the Old Stone Age.  There are no processed foods allowed including rice, soy, flour, etc.  My meals consist of lean protein, fruits and vegetables. I don't have to count calories, I can simply eat as much as I want.  Within a week I had slimmed down 4 pounds and by two weeks I was down 6 pounds. My stomach was flatter and and you could see my muscle tone better.  The diet allows you to cheat one meal a week, so I don't feel deprived of the foods I love.  It has been about four weeks since we started the diet and I have lost a total of 8 pounds. I feel like I am at my ideal weight and I owe it to this diet.

I thought I would share since it has been so effective with our family. Anyone else Paleo?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Where Have I Been?

You may have noticed that I haven't been blogging as much lately and I wanted to share with you why.

About two months ago my neighbor and I took on the task of painting her house. Yes, call us crazy. We did it all by hand, no sprayer. It took us about four weeks to complete. However, we only worked for 3-4 hours each morning, in between three kids running around, crying, playing, pouting and all the drama three kids can bring. It was hard work, but it was fun and a great way to get to know our neighbors.

The Before:

As you can see the color was dark, so we had to prime the entire house.  We managed one coat, but did touch up some of the darks spots twice.  Here is a photo after the primer was on.

The After:

Doesn't it just look 100 times better?! The body color is called Sliced Cucumber by Behr paints. The trim paint is also by Behr and the color is white. You can grab the trim paint off the shelf, no mixing required. She chose a satin enamel exterior paint and used the premium plus brand by Behr. They are currently adding a picket fence and re-doing all the landscape in the front yard. It is going to look great when they are done.

Have you ever thought of painting your house by yourself? I can tell you that the savings are huge if you do. Total cost for paint and supplies was approximately $500. If she were to have hired a company she would have paid between $2500-$3000.  

Well, now you know what I have been up to. Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

More Art

Since my neighbor gave me the Peace, Love, Happy Hour art (more on that here), I have been inspired to add more throughout the house.  I love chevron print and wanted to incorporate that somewhere into our house, but I didn't want to duplicate what I did in my daughters room (more on that here).

While randomly searching google one day, I found this diy chevron piece that I really love.

I wanted to create something like this, but didn't need it to be exact. I also have no art skills whatsoever, so I can't be too picky. Here are the supplies I had on hand.

And here is what I created.

Of course, I needed to frame it, so I headed to Aaron Brothers and got a frame for $14.99 and then added a white mat to fill the frame. Total cost was $26 for this art. 

What do you think of my diy chevron art?