Super Quick Fall Vingette

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I scored the iron pumpkin last year at Hobby Lobby for about $3. I threw a gold painted bud vase with some faux lavender inside. And a little white pumpkin on the side.

I plan to layer on some more things but my husband has been out of town since last Friday so my attention is elsewhere.

I’ll share the finished look next week. Have a great weekend!!!

The Secret to Crunchy & Delicious Pumpkin Seeds

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You can’t carve a pumpkin without roasting up a few pumpkin seeds. This is my favorite part of all when it comes to carving a pumpkin. Just give me the guts and I’m a happy lady.

I remember as a kid — my mom used to make us roasted pumpkin seeds. The nutty smell of them roasting in the oven just does something to spark the nostalgia of my younger days.

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Watching my mom all those years — I learned a trick or two about how to roast the perfect pumpkin seed.

This is the secret: boil the pumpkin seed for about 10 minutes in salted water before roasting. 

I called my mom to ask why she did this since most recipes have them going straight into the oven. I looked at a few recipes beforehand — since this was the first time making them as an adult — and she said that it will prevent the inside from burning before the outside has gotten the chance to turn a crispy, golden brown.

So that’s what I did. After washing all the pumpkin guts off — I found the best way to do this was to use a colander. Next I poured about a teaspoon of olive oil and stirred together with a teaspoon of salt. The ratios will depend on how many seeds your pumpkin yields.

Next pour onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Give them a stir at 10 minutes in so they don’t burn on one side.

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They came out so crunchy and delicious. My girls pretty much gobbled them up in one sitting. Pumpkin seeds are definitely one of those foods that take me right back to my childhood. And I love it!

Are you a pumpkin seed fan? Got any secrets on how to make the perfect pumpkin seed? 

Fall Around the House

Fall in Houston is so pleasant. I’ve been wanting to spend every day outside. As I’ve said before I don’t usually decorate for the fall holidays much but I thought that this year I’d add a little something.

I picked up a bag of $3 mini pumpkins and tossed them around the house just to remind myself that fall is actually among us. Not to mention — the girls get so excited every time I add something season related to the house.

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Halloween on the Front Porch

I’m not a huge Halloween fan. I usually never decorate — but this year the girls convinced me to do a little something. wpid-img_20141020_180001.jpg wpid-img_20141021_094604.jpg

I threw up a wreath I used indoors for Christmas last year and added some spider web and a few spiders. Instant (and cheap) Halloween wreath. And once I remove the spiders and the web — it goes back in the Christmas bin.

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Believe it or not — I severely neglected our yard in the last year. These beauties bloomed on their own from a pot of what I thought were dead flowers. I didn’t even provide water. Nature is amazing.

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And I even carved a pumpkin for the first time. There’s some other decorations lurking around that I didn’t photograph but this is pretty much it.

So do you do the Halloween decorating thing? 


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How to Bleach Pine Cones

I’m re-posting this post from last November because it’s about that time to bring out the fall decorations and for a lot of people — pine cones are a mainstay.

Of course you can buy a bag of pine cones but if you happen to have a tree that produces them in your backyard — here’s how I bleached some pine cones.


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Tis the season for bleached pine cones.

I’ve seen image after image of the ubiquitous seasonal decoration being bleached and amping up it’s style.

I loved it so much that I even tried my hand at it.

We were in the park last weekend, enjoying the gorgeous Houston weather and the girls and I picked up a few pine cones.

The process is easy enough. Though, it’s totally not one of those instant gratification projects. More like 24 hour gratification.

I followed a few tutorials that I saw, using a 1:1 ratio of bleach to water. I submerged my pine cones and placed a bowl on top so that they would stay in the solution.

They sat for about 24 hours and then I rinsed them. If you’re impatient, like me, pop those babies in the oven on 200 for a couple of hours until they’re totally dry. They took a surprisingly long time to dry.

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They didn’t get as light as I’d hoped, but I didn’t want to risk another go round and have them disintegrate on me. They’re pretty and will transition perfectly from Thanksgiving to Christmastime.


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The Purpose of Home

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As much as I want my home to be beautiful and functional — I want the purpose that it serves my family to be what I focus on the most. I love pretty things, but if my girls can’t kick up their feet or have a race from the front door to the back door or have a Barbie party right on the living room floor — the prettiness means nothing. Their memories shouldn’t be that they couldn’t touch this or that but of how warm it felt to be home.

And when someone walks through my front door, I want them to know that it’s okay to get comfy in the chairs and have a drink or two.

My home is lived in. So when Pinterest tells me my home isn’t pretty enough or big enough or special enough — I have my three girls and my husband to remind me what the purpose of home really is.


 

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Contrast

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This is not the best quality photo. Try viewing a model home with three kids all while trying to snap pictures.

I wanted some quick bedroom inspiration because mine just doesn’t feel right just yet. And Pinterest wasn’t cutting it. I needed real life.

This bedroom was one that struck me because it had great contrast. And I loved the mirrors over the bed.

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I’ve been itching to change some things in the bedroom because I’m bored with the neutral and tonal thing I have going on.

So if anyone has great bedroom inspiration — send it my way.


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Smells Like Fall

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Super quick post today because I just wanted to pop in and tell you about my favorite fragrance for the season.

House fragrance that is. It’s called Leaves from Bath and Body Works. I have the plug-ins scattered around the house and they smell exactly like fall!

Its also available in a candle.

So what’s your favorite smell of the season?

How to Use Thrift Store Finds In Your Home

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Quite awhile ago I wrote about a few things I found while thrifting and I realized that I never showed what I ended up using the items for.

I promise I’m not a hoarder who collects things from the thrift store and then throws them into some random pile. For me, the point of going to the thrift store is to find unique things that I can use or repurpose in my home. I want the things I buy to function. And look pretty while doing so.

I like to keep things pretty simple when it comes to what I choose to buy at thrift stores. I think of function first (how I can use the item in my home) and if I really need it. Searching for treaures is fun, but not if it turns into an old dusty collection of stuff other people didn’t want.

The best way I’ve found to not have the finds end back up in the thrift store is to figure out it’s use before I even take it to the counter to pay for it.

The first thing I bought was this chartreuse (my favorite color, btw) bowl. I had no idea what I wanted to do with it but I loved the color and it matched a lamp I had recently painted.

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Well first, it made an awesome vase for some pretty little grocery store flowers.

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Now it’s home to an umbrella tree that I planted last spring.

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I found this white wire basket at Goodwill and I thought it would add some great character to a shelf or something.

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So I spray painted it oil rubbed bronze and threw in some bottles. For some reason it reminded me of what the milkman used to leave milk on the back porch in.

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It stayed that way for awhile and then I found an even more functional use for it. Holding toilet paper on the back of the toilet.

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These small bowls I found on a trip to Goodwill when we lived in Tampa.

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They function as jewelry holders on my bedside table. I love having a place to toss my earrings and bracelets at night.

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I’m always looking for jars because I can never have too many places to stash things. So this white jar with a lid — that I’m sure was meant to hold cookies or something — came home with me.

And it happens to be where I store the dishwasher tabs.

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So tell me — what’s your favorite thing from the thrift store and how do you use it? 


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The Best Budget Friendly Home Decor Stores

Making my home beautiful is important to me. But my budget right now dictates how I shop for my home. I would love to shop at specialty boutique stores with one of a kind items — and I’m sure tons of other people would as well. But that’t just not my reality right now — so if you’re in the same boat as me, I’m sharing my favorite budget friendly home decor stores.

Target

This one is an obvious choice. Target is a fabulous place to pick up a few home related items (and those diapers that are your list too). I love Target because their clearance is a beast. Keep your eyes open and you can usually find an awesome deal. My heart flutters a little when I see those orange stickers.

Tuesday Morning

I had never even been into a Tuesday Morning until we moved here and I got curious. When I finally walked through those doors I was seriously surprised at all the low priced decor items they had. They also have a pretty boss clearance section as well.

Garden Ridge — (Now called At Home)

This is my hands down FAVORITE place to go and get lost. The one near us is a massive warehouse and if I went down every single aisle I could probably spend a full day in there. They have awesome prices and if you can imagine it, they probably have it. They have everything from furniture to mirrors to rugs.

Hobby Lobby

I like Hobby Lobby because it’s a mix between a craft store and a home decor store. They have a really unique selection of items and they regularly have 50% of a certain kind of item (i.e., mirrors, drawer knobs, pillows, etc.).

H&M

This is one I love when I’m in the mood to shop online. I could venture to the mall with a 3 year-old. But that would be crazy. They have a ton of really trendy home decor and the price is right.

Ikea

And of course this list wouldn’t be complete with out Ikea. A long time ago I made the declaration that we couldn’t move anywhere that didn’t have an Ikea. And so far, everywhere we’ve lived has had an Ikea near by. What I love about Ikea besides the fabulously priced and stylish home decor, is the fact that I can LEAVE MY KIDS while I shop. #dreamcometrue

I know I’m leaving a ton of great stores off this list. What are some of your favorite home decor stores?


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