Thursday, May 30, 2013

Front Porch Inspiration

Do you have a particular room that stumps you when it comes to designing the space?  Well that room for me – is our front patio.  Actually it doesn’t just stop there, it continues into our backyard too.  The outdoors space is just a big challenge for me and my black thumb doesn’t help at all.
The only time I’ve loved our front patio since moving in 3 years ago was when I decorated for the holidays last Christmas season.  The space is just difficult for me, but I wanted to really try and make an effort this year so I started to gather some inspirational ideas.

What do you do with your front patio? Do you fill it with plants and flowers?  Use it as a blank canvas for color that draws the eye in from the street?  Is it a place for comfort and relaxation with neutral colors and natural textures?   Here are a few of my favorite patio spaces that really caught my attention.

Colorful Inspiration Ideas:MY SUMMER PORCH

Neutrals and Classic:


Modern and Exciting:IMG_8400IMG_8432Hunted Interior

Over the next couple weeks I hope to piece together a front patio that welcomes me home everyday in a warm and happy way.  I just have to start with a plan and direction I want to go in! Which do you suggest???

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pinterest and Shopping– Spark Studio makes life just a little bit easier!

This discussion is brought to you today by Walmart Labs
So, there’s this new thing.  And it has to do with online shopping. And Pinterest. Yup I’m sold.  Actually when I was asked to check out Walmart’s newest website, Spark Studio, that combined the love of Pinterest and online shopping into one I was literally doing leaps of joy, just like those women above! Can’t you just imagine me?

Here’s the quick lowdown:
Spark Studio is a new website that Walmart created to help their customers become inspired to find what they love for their lives.  Their home page is a welcome pad for the the top most pinned items from Walmart.  You can see the number of pins, and how long it’s been a hot item for in the Pinterest world. 
Beyond that you can break down your search by so many different ways.  They have an easy drop down menu that will pull up the most pinned items in different categories. Also seen in their drop down menu are the top pinned brands. 
Spark Studio, you can browse and shop products by:
1) Inspirations- Items by Walmart shoppers on Pinterest
2) Fashion and Beauty- Discover must-haves from Walmart shoppers
3) For the home- Solutions and ideas from Walmart fans
4) Babies- Search the top picks from Pinterest moms
5) Pets- Find everything you will need for your pet
6) Playtime-  A collection of items to entertain the whole family

They take it one step further and you can also search for different items depending on color scheme. 

When you click on an image from the category page it’ll give you the option to pin it to your board of choice (tip: Make a board specific to shopping with
Spark Studio for an easy to remember shopping list!)  Or you can click again to be brought directly to that item’s page on This seriously targets my BIGGEST weakness to online shopping: IMPULSE BUYING!

I spent some time on
Spark Studio and picked some of my top choices from each category just to give you a preview of some serious awesome things that now I really want.  You can also view my Pinterest Board inspired by Spark Studio where you’ll find the links to these ideas, plus lots more!
Spark Studio, Beauty Choices
Isn’t that bathing suit so cute?! Also, I have a problem with buying hair product tools, I’m convinced I need to buy 50 versions of the same thing until I find the perfect one for my hair to be styled perfect.  Even though I often usually fail to user error.

Spark Studio, Home Choices
Big on my shopping list right now is a high quality outdoor patio set that won’t break our bank, but looks great.  Low and behold, this one is reasonably priced, especially for the whole set!  I’m also loving that industrial inspired TV stand!

Spark Studio, Baby Choices
I’m trying to tell myself with Baby Kenzie I’ll make time to prep some homemade baby food.  Maybe if I buy that adorable food prepping system I’ll be more motivated?!  Also, that crib there? I don’t need a new crib, but that was TOP on my list for the entire time I was planning Baby Kenzie’s nursery and so many have asked where they could get an affordable, but adorable crib. And last but not least… do you SEE THOSE WHEELS? Yup, that will be ordered by me once Kenzie’s old enough.

Spark Studio, Pet Choices

We don’t have a dog…yet.  We will be getting one eventually, or some day soon, or at least we tell ourselves that.  It’s nice to know that Walmart has such adorable pet accessories!

Spark Studio, Playtime Choices
Isn’t that bike AMAZING? I cannot wait until our kids are old enough and we can do family bike rides.  And did you know Walmart has great options for accessories for your DLSR?  This lens might needed to be added to my camera bag.  And as a DIYer I always thought I’d just build Kenzie a play kitchen when she’s old enough, but for around $100 this play kitchen may just be the PERFECT solution for a low cost but so so cute play kitchen.

This is bad. Seriously. I already online shop a lot. And I spend WAY too much time on Pinterest…. I had a blast checking out Spark Studio, and this is one of those times I’m seriously sharing a product I LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE with you! Be sure to check out Spark Studio for yourself and feel free to visit my Pinterest board, and also their Pinterest board for lots of inspiration. 

I’d love to hear your feedback and let me know what you think of this.

This is a sponsored post by Walmart Labs, asking my review of their product.  As usual, I only share products with you that I love myself and use!


Monday, May 6, 2013

Just about the CUTEST DIY Kid’s Kitchen

I recently saw a friend of mine post some pictures her husband and her making their daughter a new play kitchen – DIY style.  I about DIED of cuteness once I saw the final kitchen!  I instantly asked her if I could share it on my blog and was so happy to be able to feature her.  Check out her daughter’s DIY’d play kitchen and all the amazing details they incorporated into it!

For my daughter Zoey’s first birthday, I knew I wanted to get her a kitchen. As I started looking, I was unimpressed with the options. If I was going to have something that large in my house, I needed it to at least look like it matched my style. I found one or two options that I liked, but with a price tag that just did not match my budget.
So, I found this idea on Pinterest (of course!) and decided what the heck, I’ll give it a try. I found a $30 TV stand for sale on Craigslist. It was the perfect height and size (dimensions) for Zoey.

Kids kitchen makeover 
Once I had the shell, it was all pretty easy from there. The TV stand we bought was made of particle board covered in laminate. We were able to easily sand it all off, and paint using Glidden True Turquoise. Once the paint dried, we painted MinWax Semigloss poly urethane over the paint for a longer lasting color.
sanding stage

I’d say the hardest part was building the oven and making sure it opened without falling on her toes. We used wires to suspend it off the floor when it opens (see photo below) and a pneumatic door closer.
oven door
oven door open
  We also found this Con-tact paper that gave the oven and fridge a “stainless” feel.
silver contact paper

The second hardest part was finding something that could work as a
faucet for her sink!
kitchen close up

The rest was just seeing how creative we could get and having fun with it!
kitchen details
kitchen burners
These are the pre-cut round wood discs from Michaels – spray painted and the burners hand painted on.

kitchen play food
kitchen back splash
I used paint chips to create her backsplash! We then covered it with plexi-glass that I got at Home Depot for $13.
At the end of the day, I think it’s the details that make it special. We made sure the knobs can turn, that there is a light to light up the counter, hand painted the burners, picked out the knobs especially for her, and added some flowers – because a girl always needs a fresh bouquet of flowers in the kitchen!
Kids kitchen

ADORABLE right??? I love all the amazing details they did everything from the awesome backsplash, the adorable turning knobs, the play food, and the perfect accessories!  My baby girl needs to grow up fast so I can copy make my own play kitchen for her Smile

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Let’s all take a deep breathe of clean air.

Can you tell from this picture what I’m going to be talking about today???
Today’s discussion is brought to you by Filtrete Filters.  I am a brand ambassador for Filtrete and sharing my love of their products with you!

Confession time: When is the last time someone in your home changed your air filters?
I’d be really curious to know how many of you are currently asking yourself, “changing our what?”

See that big grate in the ceiling?  That’s where one of our two air filters goes in.  An air filter helps quality control the air you breathe in within your home. “They help create a healthy home and healthier indoor air by capturing airborne dust, allergens, bacteria and viruses.”  (  As most products, there is a wide range of filters you can choose from cheap to high quality ones.  Many may be drawn to buy the cheaper ones however the time and energy you spend changing them out and buying new ones monthly, will end up costing you more than purchasing ones of a high quality that you can change out every three months.

Filtrete air filters have always been our filters of choice for many reasons.  This spring season we wanted to try out their new Odor Reduction filters.  Not only do they improve their air quality in our home but these are specific to help control the odors that can build up in a home. 

As you can see in the first picture our downstairs air filter is near the front of our home.  It sits in between our kitchen area, living area, and entryway area.  A true meeting ground for smells and odors to collect, which is why I’m really eager to see the difference these will have on the air quality in our home.

The packaging give you clear instructions of how to install your air filters into your vents.  It can be easy to forget which way your filter is supposed to go in so they conveniently mark on the filter.  They also list all the odors that your filter will help capture, so you don’t have to smell the lingering odors in your home.

My husband has pretty sensitive allergies, especially in the spring, so I really hope that this line of Filtrete Filters will help him while he’s in the home to have a break from all his sneezing and itchy eyes.

Want to more about this awesome bad boy? The Filtrete Odor Reduction Filter:
  • Has a unique two-sided design, with one side that captures large airborne particles and the second side that removes household odors.
  • Is the most effective 1” odor=reduction filter at removing odors in the home – such as those from cooking, tobacco smoke, pets, mildew and cleaning chemicals – and is 65 times more effective than other carbon filters (Based on comparison of organic vapor capacity vs. other national retail furnace filter brands)
  • Starts to remove even the strongest odors in minutes after the furnace fan is turned on
  • Also helps improve indoor air quality and captures airborne allergens such as pollen, mold spores, dust mite debris, smoke, pet dander and smog from the air passing through the filter
  • Last up to three months for odor removal and particle capture for air passing through the filter.
  • MSRP $15.99
You can find Filtrete filters at your local Target, Walmart, Lowe’s, Costco, and your local hardware store.  You can also find your local dealer of Filtrete filters by visiting
You can also stay up to date with Filtrete filters on Facebook, Twitter, and their eNewsletter on the website.

Want to know some more “quick” facts about YOUR air quality?

According to the EPA, air fresheners release VOC’s into the air, and scented candles and incense may contain particulates, soot and chemicals. These also only provide temporary relief from odors by masking them in one particular room but will do nothing to remove the odors from the entire home.

The EPA has identified indoor air pollution as one of the tope five urgent environmental risks to public health.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) declares May to be “National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month”

The American Lung Association (ALA) releases the State of the Air Report in April, which identifies the cities and towns with the worst outdoor air. But did you know that the air inside your home could be 2-5 times worse that the air outdoors
So, tell me, when’s the last time YOU changed your air filters?

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