My new favorite Pumpkin Bread Recipe

I occasionally like to cook things…and eat them. My children are picky eaters these days so to cook something extravagant and beautiful sometimes seems like a wasted effort (except to improve my lack of culinary skills). I really do like making food and the process of adding ingredients together to result in something delicious. Oh, there have been plenty of times when the result was not so delicious!

This past February, my thoughtful husband splurged and got me a Kitchen Aid Mixer. It’s aqua and I love it. I love the way it says to me, “Now you can mix anything your heart desires at lightning speed!” I love the way it sits on the counter looking so aqua-y. It is definitely a sweet machine!

Well, since he did buy me such a thoughtful gift, I try to use it weekly. The kids love helping me make things in the kitchen so when they see me scooting the mixer out on the counter, they go straight for the step-stool. Then they struggle over who will get to stand closer to me.  And sometimes we push the mixer right back under the cabinet altogether! It’s always a learning experience for everyone!

Some of my favorite things to mix up and bake are breads and cakes. Today I tried out this recipe I found over at somethingswanky.com. It is a “healthy” version of my favorite bread/loaf from Starbucks. New favorite!

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  Well maybe not too healthy!

But very delicious!

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Until next time!

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Stenciled Storage Box DiY

I always keep an eye out for cute storage bins. Whenever my husband and I decide to clean out anything: toys, clothes, etc. we always joke about bins, he’ll say, “We need some bins,” every time! Well, one of those times, in a desperate attempt to remove the clutter of the random toy collection growing out of control, he ended up bringing home MASSIVE, UGLY plastic bins from Wally World. I mean, you could fit all three of our children inside one of these things (which they loved)! And he bought two of them! In went the toys, away went the clutter and we haven’t opened the thing since (it’s been nestled in the closet taking up space for the past 6 months)! The other is going to be a donate/yard sale bin. Very sad that we had so much stuff and don’t even miss it. What’s a momma to do?

Anyway, on to the DiY! Just about everywhere you look in stores today you can probably find a variety of cute, adorable, multipurpose bins. A while back, I had my eye on these cute dishes from anthropologie. I thought they would be so cute to use to display and photograph my jewelry. I was perusing the local TJMaxx and found some so similar, I forgot all about the other ones! They were perfect, a set of four, for nearly the price of one at anthro. And they were packaged in this cute little wooden box!IMG_7562-2It’s a soft wood box, roughly 6 x 9 inches and could be used for storing all sorts of goodies! I thought I would give it a little design-love.

IMG_7560-2Here’s what I used for this DiY:

~ stencil pack

~ white acrylic paint

~ painter’s tape

~ foam circle brush

~ my BOX!

I decided where I wanted the stencil to go and taped it to the box securely.

IMG_7564-2 IMG_7565-2Then I dabbed a little paint on my foam brush and started to “pounce” the paint on to the wood, just lightly enough to cover the wood.

IMG_7567-2 IMG_7568-2 IMG_7570-2I peeled back the tape and carefully removed the stencil to reveal a very cute design for my box!

IMG_7572-2 IMG_7573-2IMG_7571-2Woo Hoo!

IMG_7575-2Cute, Cute, Cute!

Then I continued to place, tape and paint the remaining sides and let it dry! I only painted one set of hexagons around the box because I really do love the beauty of the wood!

Here are some of the possible uses for my new and improved storage box in all its glory.

IMG_7580-2Napkin Holder

IMG_7584-2Book Storage in Living Room (my little helper liked this idea)

IMG_7585-2A Nifty Wipes Box

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Although I already use this cool chevron fabric bin found here as my wipes holder : )

IMG_7591-2In the Craft Room holding my spools of velvet ribbon (notice here are some of the CUTE bowls that came in the box!)

IMG_7594-2Book Holder on the Side table in master bedroom (yes, I know, this room is needing some design TLC!)

So where would you put the box? I’m letting it live in the bedroom for now. We’ll see where it ends up. I really like its new retro look. Maybe this will inspire a bedroom makeover! It all started with a box!

Until next time!

Pretty Pantry Labels

We’ve lived in our house nearly a year and a half now and it seems like every time I open the pantry door it looks a little dull. It started as a bare little closet and my dear husband installed awesome wire shelves to fill up with all our food… so that’s what I did. I filled it with all sorts of things, and it was NOT very orderly! Throughout the past year I’ve done a couple of clean outs but every time it would still become a jumbled mess.  Sigh.

So I thought I would at least try a little harder this go-around. I decided to make some cute little labels! And I was even able to use items I already had on hand! Here’s what I used:Image

~ scrapbook paper (I already had some laminated)

~scissors

~brown craft labels

~chalkboard labels

~chalk marker

~sharpie

~poster putty

I measured the wire ledge and cut my laminated paper to fit. Then I put a craft label on each piece.Image

I thought about the different foods I store in the pantry and made a list of general categories. Then I wrote them on the labels with a black sharpie.

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I put a couple of globs of putty on the backs of each label and stuck them to the wire shelf, simple as that! The putty holds great and I was able to rearrange them easily when I found I needed more room for certain categories.

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I was able to put all my pantry items back into a specific space so it should make unloading groceries much easier! I know this is a VERY simple organizational step for the pantry but I think it’s gonna make a big difference.

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Now, to conquer the bag monster living and growing on the pantry floor! AHHHHHHH!

ImageAnyone else have any pantry organizational ideas? I know you do! Oh, I forgot to mention my cute little candy box! I used the awesome chalkboard labels and chalk marker (some of my faves at the moment)! I will stash my chocolate up there, away from curious hands! Fortunately, my kiddos can’t read yet so the candy is ALL MINE!

Until next time!