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Friday, March 30, 2012

LaForce Likes #5

LaForce Likes numero cinco is all about decorated bookshelves. Almost everyone has a bookshelf in their home that is decorated and sometimes needs to also serve a functional purpose... like say storing books. Who would have thought that's what a bookshelf would need to do?!
This picture from Lovely etc. is a perfect example of making your functional shelves also look decorated. She has a wonderful post explaining how.

Just A Girl just built a wall of bookcases using those Billy bookcases from IKEA and decorated them. They look mighty nice.. especially how they seem to just fit right in with the wall.

These next 2 come from Real simple:

I love all the white here with the book covers.

This one really pops with the back of the bookshelf being a few shades darker than the room.

How do you like to decorate your bookshelves?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Bapron

The Bapron.. or Baby Apron. Really its like a super-powered bib. After seeing the tutorial for this adorable bib, we decided to make it for our craft day in January.

My mom had already made one following the tutorial and gave me a few tips like hand basting on the bias tape. This really helped us beginning sewers get the bias tape on well... even with basting it, stitching ended up not catching the bias tape in a few spots on the back of the bib so I had to redo those. I can only imagine how much I would of had to redo without it!

I snapped a pic of how Katie's turned out right before the girls left. I didn't get a picture of Danielle's because she hadn't quite finished but she used a print for her fleece back instead of white which I hadn't thought of and it was really cute.

I don't have a cute baby to put it on like in the tutorial post so the tiger is modeling it. Clearly he has not grown into it yet.

This will make a really great gift for a baby girl. I can see these things preventing all kinds of mess since it covers such a big area while also being cute.

The tutorial is very detailed and the project took awhile as beginners but definitely doable so GO FOR IT! Let me know how it goes :)

Linking up at these fun parties

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

LaForce Likes #4

Sometimes we dread doing weekly meal planning.. who am I kidding, it's more than sometimes and I'm sure many of you do too so this week's LaForce Likes is Healthy Recipe sites! I use these sites to find tasty and healthy recipes for our dinners to make meal planning easier. Of course we have some usual standbys and cookbook favorites that we can often pull from but it is nice to have lists of recipes to try from blogs/websites that aren't a ton of calories.

1. Skinny Taste

Just last week I shared the delicious Chicken Enchilada Soup recipe.

2. Eat Yourself Skinny

There are some mini broccoli and cheese casseroles I want to try soon.

3. Eat Better America

This is where I got the 100 calorie Chocolate Whoopie pies recipe from. I also really like the chicken pot pie recipe because so many pot pie recipes are so high in calories or the low calorie ones taste too bland.

4. Real Simple 

Not everything is healthy but they do have some great healthy recipes. The Honey Chicken Skewers and Grilled Corn Salad are yummy and make me yearn for summer.This is also a fantastic magazine.. I've been a subscriber for many years.

5. FitnessMagazine

They brought the Crock pot Cajun Shrimp recipe into my life.

I would really like to hear where you get healthy recipes from! Comment and share your knowledge!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pottery Barn Knock Off Lamp Tutorial

This post is brought to you by my mom who has been tackling many renovation projects by redoing various rooms in their home. This is one project she is very proud of.

Last year I came across this blog about making a floor lamp similar to one from Pottery Barn.  It's not in their current catalog so it may be discontinued.  The PB lamp was $150 but it was perfect for our study. I originally planned to make my copycat lamp like the one from the blog. 

I started looking for a table lamp with a wooden base.  Then I was going to buy a mailbox post for the bottom part.  I found my first lamp in Goodwill for $6.  I also bought a smaller one for $4.  A few days later I found another lamp at GW for $6 and a fourth one at a thrift store for $4.  The last one was a rectangular shape and would be perfect for the bottom of the floor lamp, so I scrapped the idea of using a mailbox post and decided to just stack all the lamps to make my  lamp.  The first thing I did was take all the lamps apart. 

I only used the wooden parts (some of the bases were that "plasticky" brass).  One lamp was painted white and the other three were stained various shades of brown.  I sanded all the lamps and a couple of extra small blocks of wood I needed to get the height I needed .  Then the hubby and I went to Lowe's to get a long metal cord rod, extra cord, and a new lamp socket kit.  Since all the parts came from existing lamps, they already had holes drilled down the center.  I used wood glue to put the pieces together, and then hubby added the rod and other hardware.  Then I stained everything a dark brown.  The stain I used was Minwax Provencal.  I knew I wanted to distress the lamp after painting it and I wanted the same brown color to show through.

After the stain dried, I painted the lamp a pale ecru color.  I used a mixture of white and tan craft paint. 

After painting, I distressed with sandpaper.

I added a lampshade from Walmart and VOILA, I had my "pottery barn" floor lamp for less than $50!  I love the finished product and it's perfect in the room.

So how PB-ish is that lamp?! Hope you enjoyed the tutorial! If you have questions/comments leave 'em and I'll get my mom to help answer. Hopefully I can feature more of her renovations soon.

Linking up at these fun parties

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

LaForce Likes #3

I really like all the patterned chairs that are out there. I saw these on pinterest last week and it really got me thinking about patterned chairs and where one would fit well in our house.


We have been needing a chair in our master bedroom. I started thinking I could get one of the many target patterned chairs even thought they probably aren't the most comfortable and are a tad on the small side.... but I was tired of waiting.


I had been holding out since a lot of what we saw was too large/puffy or not comfortable or didn't fit with the colors and style.... until I randomly suggested begged we go to Homegoods when we had some time to kill last Friday night before dinner with friends. We stumbled upon this absolutely perfect chair! It was tan and white with a great pattern and our master colors are tans, blues, and white.

So of course I get my mom on the phone while in the store (after sending her a picture) to discuss if she thinks it will look good. I always like her opinion because she has good sense when it comes to decor and fabrics that go well together in room. I tell her it's by Lane and she says "oh that's who made our 2 nice reclining chairs". I mouth this to hubby who was sitting in the chair in the middle of Homegoods and he leans back and SURPRISE! It also reclines!!

Well if I wasn't already convinced, I am now :)  Somehow we missed this sign... to be fair it was behind the Lane logo sign. 

It was a great price and looks great in the room. Homegoods for the win! To see a pic of the other side of our master bedroom go here.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Healthy Chicken Enchilada Soup

We made a crock pot recipe from one of my favorite healthy recipe sites, Skinny Taste. We made just a minor adjustment and the Chicken Enchilada Soup was wonderful!

Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup
from skinnytaste, serves 6, 261 calories for 1 1/2 cups and cheese

2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups low sodium fat-free chicken broth
8 oz can tomato sauce
1-2 tsp chipotle chili in adobo sauce (or more to taste)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (plus more for garnish)
15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (original recipe used black beans instead)
14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes - I got the no salt added
2 cups frozen corn
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
16 oz skinless chicken breasts
For topping 
1/4 cup chopped scallions
3/4 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
fat free sour cream

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft, 3-4 minutes. Slowly add the chicken broth, tomato sauce and chipotle adobo sauce and bring to a boil. Add cilantro and remove from heat. Pour into crock pot.

In crockpot, add drained beans, diced tomatoes, corn, cumin, oregano and stir. Add the chicken breasts; cover and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours.

Remove chicken and shred with two forks. Add chicken back into the soup, adjust salt and cumin to taste. Serve in bowls and top with sour cream, cheese, scallions and cilantro or whatever other toppings you wish!

You know I love me some sour cream and cheese! This was delicious and has a little smokiness to it from the adobe chilies but not too spicy (of course you could add many more if you want it spicy). Try this one out before the really warm weather hits!

Linking up at these fun parties

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

LaForce Likes #2

The 2nd edition of LaForce Likes features the very popular purse trend or should I say non-purse trend of...


We are attempting to make a clutch at craft day this weekend so this fits right in. Here are some of my faves from around blogland.

Gathered clutch

Scrappy clutch
From an igloo

Bow clutch
homemade by jill

Ruffled clutch
Fashioned by Meg

Envelope clutch
Ninth Street Notions

What are some of your favorite clutches??

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Burlap Napkin Rings

I realized I never posted about one of the crafts Katie and I did awhile back at a crafting day and it would be a perfect winter/spring project to try! I found the idea years ago on Tatertots and Jello and favorited it until I had time to try it out.

burlap - 1/4 yard would be enough, not the burlap garland
napkin rings or pvc pipe in the size of napkin rings - found super cheap plain napkin rings at a thrift store
embellishments or buttons
hot glue

You cut the burlap into a strip big enough so that you can cover the napkin ring while tucking the burlap on the inside of the ring and hot gluing it there. The inside of the rings won't look really pretty but that won't be seen when you put them on napkins :) Then repeat this process for all your napkin rings. I did 8 of 'em.

Once they dry you can add ribbon and your embellishments using hot glue or tacky glue. I got mine at the hob-lob.

This is how Katie's turned out with using gray felt and buttons. I think they would work in any kitchen.

I went with a sheer dark purple ribbon since that went with our eggplant and bright green living room and kitchen pallet.I suppose I could have ironed the napkins first... just keepin it real for yall. I despise ironing.

I love that these dress up the table just enough!

Give this a try!

Linking up at these fun parties:
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