Plans for A New Playroom

Plans For A New Playroom

Katie_Gallup

Posted by Katie Gambone

We are honored to have been asked to help with a very special design project by one of our very best friends – Tina Repice.  Many of you may already know Tina because she was a guest chef a few months ago.  You can learn more about Tina and also try out her delicious ChickenTaco Soup by clicking here.  Anyway, when Tina asked for help converting her dining room into a playroom for her fabulous girls, Tabitha and Marlena, we said “Absolutely!”

Here’s a quick shot of what the room currently looks like.

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I went over to the Repice homestead for a visit and “consultation” to hear what the girls wanted their playroom to look like.  Tabitha said she wanted it to be pretty and that she loved the chandelier and wanted to please keep it (all while she was trying to do a handstand).  Marlena told me she loves the color black.  A lot.  Eric, Tina and Tabitha confirmed this was true.  Tina, thinking a little more practically about the space, shared the following reflections/hopes in no particular order:

  • I want to contain their toys in this space.  Right now they play in here a lot anyway, but they have toys scattered throughout the house.
  • The girls play with their toys sometimes but mostly color and love creating artwork so they could use a dedicated space in the playroom to do that.  Right now, it usually happens on the floors or…the walls.
  • We need a new light fixture (sorry Tabitha).
  • I have my mom’s dining room furniture in this space but it just doesn’t fit.  The table and chairs will be sold. The china cabinet needs some repairs.  I’m not sure what to do with it.  Everything else can go.  We moved here a year ago and all of our “fine china” is still packed because we don’t use it very often.
  • We can paint the space if you want to.
  • I’m excited to see what you come up with.

So here are the idea boards.  I’m going to show them to you first and then explain.

inspiration-board-1

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Basics of how the room will function

We are going to paint the back wall of the room with chalkboard paint (paying tribute to Marlena’s favorite color – black.)  It will  also give the girls plenty of safe and dedicated space to create wall murals.

We will paint the rest of the walls in the space white so that it doesn’t feel like a cave.  The accent colors will be a fun teal color and some pinks and purples.  It will be a fun and colorful playroom but not so little kiddish that adults won’t enjoy being in the space too.

We are going to replace the light fixture with something a little more modern.  Tina picked this mason jar light fixture. Really, really cute.

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This will be centered over a new, round white table and four white chairs that will serve as the girls coloring spot and art center. We found this fantastic carpet to help anchor the table and add a splash of color.

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We will give the china cabinet a new life by painting it teal and wallpapering the inside with a bright pattern (see idea boards above).  This will serve as a great spot for storing away toys and art supplies at the end of the day and will also double as a display case for Tabitha and Marlena’s artworks.

On the wall opposite the china cabinet we will create a little canopy marketplace out of a fun fabric to pull together all of the girls kitchen and marketplace toys.

And lastly, to give each of the girls their own “special zones” in the playroom, we will create window bench seats under the two windows on the chalkboard wall.  The window bench seats will be based on a project Abby did earlier this year, which you can see here.  Each window bench will also have cute throw pillows that reflect the girls personality.   They will have a second dedicated space on the walls opposite the window bench seats, which will have shallow bookshelves for books.  Over each set of shelves, we will place a cute monogram so that they know which is which.

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And that’s it.  There’s plenty of projects to tackle.  Here is a shot of Tina sanding down the china cabinet for painting.  And I can report that the chalkboard wall is complete as well.

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We’ll keep you posted as the room progresses.  We’re excited to see how it comes together!

Registration Open for First Button Jar Webinar

Registration is now open for Button Jar’s very first webinar: Take Better Pictures With Your IPhone! Participants will hear from our friend and professional photographer Danette Pascarella.  You can learn more about Danette here.  You can learn more and register for the webinar here.  The date is October 20 at 2:00PM.  The cost is $10.00 to participate. We hope you can make it!

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You can make sure you get all of Button Jar’s posts by subscribing to our email list by clicking here, or by following us on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.  Also, sharing is caring!  If you like this post, please share it on your social media networks. Thanks!

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Rosemary Grapefruit Sparkler

It’s Friday! Let’s Have A Cocktail: Rosemary Grapefruit Sparkler

Katie_Gallup

Posted by Katie Gambone

Hi everybody! I don’t know about you but here at the Gambone homestead it’s been kind of a long week.  Work was a little busier than normal.  My schedule seemed to get thrown up in the air almost every day.  And Matteo hasn’t been sleeping that awesome for about 3 weeks now.  I think it’s a combo growth spurt meets teething thing.  Growing up can be hard! We’re working through it.  He’s a trooper and I’m trying my best to be a trooper too even though I really, really love sleep.

Anyway, we made it to the weekend so I choose to celebrate!!  Whether you had an awesome week or just a so-so week like me, for today’s Recipe of The Week I propose that we all raise a glass with a fantastic adult beverage.  I have a lot of rosemary in my garden, which is why I picked this drink. If you don’t drink alcohol, this cocktail is just as delicious as a virgin/mocktail.

I’ve seen this drink called a Rosemary Grapefruit Sparkler and a Rosemary Greyhound.  I call it refreshing and delicious.

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Let’s get down to business.

Ingredients

Rosemary Simple Syrup

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
6 sprigs of rosemary

Cocktail

2 ounces vodka or gin
Seltzer water
2 – 3 tablespoons  rosemary simple syrup
4 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
sprig of rosemary for garnish

Mix it Up

Make the rosemary simple syrup first.  This will require to you to be a little patient.

In a small sauce pan over medium high heat, dissolve the sugar into the water for about 5 or 6 minutes.  Be sure that you don’t let the water boil.

Once the sugar is dissolved, pour the liquid into a glass container along with 5 or 6 rosemary sprigs.  Let sit for at least an hour.

I know it’s a little annoying to wait for this step, but the good news is once it’s done you can keep the rosemary simple syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week and then make one of these drinks at your leisure.

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To make the drink, fill a lovely glass with ice.

Combine the vodka or gin, rosemary simple syrup, and grapefruit juice.  Top with seltzer water.

Garnish with a sprig of rosemary like the amazing mixologist you are and bottoms up!

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(Sipping my beverage)…..Ah!  That’s good.  I hope you enjoy it too!  Have a great weekend friends!

Registration Open for First Button Jar Webinar

Registration is now open for Button Jar’s very first webinar: Take Better Pictures With Your IPhone! Participants will hear from our friend and professional photographer Danette Pascarella.  You can learn more about Danette here.  You can learn more and register for the webinar here.  The date is October 20 at 2:00PM.  The cost is $10.00 to participate. We hope you can make it!

SUBSCRIBE TO BUTTON JAR’S EMAIL LIST

You can make sure you get all of Button Jar’s posts by subscribing to our email list by clicking here, or by following us on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.  Also, sharing is caring!  If you like this post, please share it on your social media networks. Thanks!

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This post was shared on Link Party Palooza on I Heart Naptime, on Creative Collection Link Party on Crafted Sparrow, on Pin Junkie Pin Party on The Pin Junkie, on Craft Frenzy Friday on The Craft Dictator, on Best of the Blogosphere Link Party on Embellishments, on Making Merry Monday on My Pinventures, on Inspiration Monday on I Should Be Mopping The Floor, on the Over The Moon Link Party on My side Of Fifty, and on Dishing It And Digging It Link Party on Life with Linda.

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Rocking Chair Revival

Alicia_Sell

Posted by Alicia Sell

Plans are moving along nicely for our home renovation/expansion and we have just this week picked which contractor we are going to work with. Drawings are being finalized and I can’t wait to share them with you in full detail, but, for now I will share with you one element of the project that was critical to both Randall and me: a big front porch. The views from the house are just too pretty not to highlight, so we were really pleased when our architect said that the porches would be a major feature of the house.

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So, even though we have quite a while to wait for this porch to be constructed, I instantly decided that I needed to start thinking about how I would decorate the porch.  I am thinking it is going to need a porch swing and, most obviously, some rocking chairs.  When I said this to Randall, he was like “Okay Alicia, slow down here.  We don’t want to buy anything till we have the construction going, and we actually already have some rocking chairs.”  Which is true, we do.  But just like everything else that comes into our possession, we use the heck out of it until it is absolutely busted.  Our rocking chairs are no exception.

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Kind of gross, right?

The paint has chipped due to over exposure to the sun and some grease dripped on them from the grill that sits just overhead so they were really sticky (ewe!).  Most people would probably just throw them in a dumpster and buy new ones, but not me!  Oh no.  I would go right in that dumpster and pull them out because the truth is that fixing them up is incredibly easy and only takes a pressure washer, a little elbow grease, plastic tarp and some spray paint.

So, of course, I decided this was a  priority project.  My extremely patient husband was kind enough to help (aka basically do) this project for me.  Here is how we freshened up our rocking chairs.

Use  a pressure washer to thoroughly clean the chairs off, removing any excess paint chips and (in our case) the grease.

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If there is some remaining stickiness, wash the chairs thoroughly with a strong cleaning agent.  Allow the chair to dry completely.

Lay out a sheet or tarp for the chair to sit on in a well ventilated area.

For the spray paint, I am happy to report that there are endless options available.  They have every kind of color, finish, etc. that you can possibly imagine.  There is spray paint specifically designed for outdoor use, so we stuck to that section, but really the possibilities are endless.  Right now I am a huge fan of black as an accent color.  It is clean, goes well with everything and doesn’t show dirt as easily as the white chairs did.  It’s a no brainer.

The trick to a good spray paint job is not putting it on too thick.  Two layers is better than one, but allow to dry completely between coats.  Our project required two cans of spray paint, which came to about $20 total.  Not too bad and a huge savings over what we would have paid to buy new ones.

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So here they are in all their glory looking just right for the fall season.

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They will look great on our porch in about…oh 6 or 7 months (that is being optimistic).  But for now, we can just rock away and enjoy our current view!

Registration Open for First Button Jar Webinar

Before I let you go, I wanted to remind you that we are very excited to announce that registration is now open for Button Jar’s very first webinar: Take Better Pictures With Your IPhone!  It is going to be so fantastic, and the topic is relevant to so many of us.  Participants will hear from our friend and professional photographer Danette Pascarella.  You can learn more about Danette here.  You can learn more and register for the webinar here.  The date is October 20 at 2:00PM.  The cost is $10.00 to participate. We hope you can make it!

SUBSCRIBE TO BUTTON JAR’S EMAIL LIST

You can make sure you get all of Button Jar’s posts by subscribing to our email list by clicking here, or by following us on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.  Also, sharing is caring!  If you like this post, please share it on your social media networks. Thanks!

Link Parties

This post was shared on Link Party Palooza on I Heart Naptime, on Creative Collection Link Party on Crafted Sparrow, on Pin Junkie Pin Party on The Pin Junkie and on Craft Frenzy Friday, on The Craft Dictator, on Best of the Blogosphere Link Party on Embellishments, on Making Merry Monday on My Pinventures, on That DIY Party on DIY Showoff, on Inspiration Monday on I Should Be Mopping The Floor, on the Over The Moon Link Party on My side Of Fifty, and on Dishing It And Digging It Link Party on Life with Linda.

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10 DIY Fall Wreaths To Decorate Your Front Door

10 DIY FALL WREATHS TO DECORATE YOUR FRONT DOOR

Abby_bubble1

Posted by Abby Branham

I’m really excited to start decorating for Fall, but I would describe myself as a minimalist holiday decorator. It’s not that I don’t like things or trinkets. I just like them to have a clean, simple look, and for it to be easily cleaned up after the holiday.

One thing I do always decorate is my front door. What would a season or holiday be without a welcoming wreath on your front door, am I right?  Sadly, our front door has been barren since Spring. I have been reusing the same wreaths over and over for quite a few years now, and they are weather worn and faded.  I have been looking for the perfect new wreath, but wreathes can be expensive and, well, I tend to be a little type A.  Pinterest to the rescue.  I found 10 DIY FALL wreathes that I really love!  I haven’t made one yet, but I’m energized, inspired, and these wreathes all fit my style and budget!  I’m eager for the weekend ahead because I’ll be trying one of these DIY Fall Wreath tutorials.  More to come on my success. In the meantime, I hope these wreathes inspire you too!

Fresh Sage Wreath

This Fresh Sage Wreath by Handmade in the Heartland is clean and simple!  I love sage, and I have to imagine that this smells divine!

diy-fresh-sage-wreath

Wheat sheave WREATH

This Wheat Sheave Wreath by Julie Blanner is, again, clean, simple and classic. Julie’s tutorial looks fairly easy and not terribly time consuming.  Effortless beauty, love it.

wheat-sheave

Simple diy boxwood wreath

I am in love with Boxwood, and I love the simplicity of this Simple DIY Boxwood Wreath by My Fabuless Life.  You could get a lot of seasonal mileage out of it, and you can change it up very simply with a different colored ribbon.  You could also create varying sizes (2 or 3) of this wreath, and tie them together vertically to hang on your front door or in your home.

make-a-boxwood-wreath

diy boxwood square wreath

Did I mention that I LOVE Boxwood?  For whatever reason my preference for a fuller Boxwood Wreath is a square one.  I have seen a few tutorials for Square Boxwood Wreathes, but I love this DIY Boxwood Square Wreath by The remodeled Life because she uses a cardboard frame, making it even more affordable.

how-to-boxwood-wreath

fall decor cabinet door repurpose

Another of my favorites is chalkboard anything right now.  It’s trendy and versatile.  This Fall Decor Cabinet Door Repurpose by Lilacs and Longhorns is a great DIY project that could be used on your front door or anywhere throughout your home. I love that you can easily change the message to match the season.

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Felt leaf Wreath

Another of my favorites – felt!  I thought this Felt Leaf Wreath for Fall by Lia Griffith was pretty, simple, and I loved the bright fall colors.

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Dollar Store Fall Wreath

A Dollar Store Fall Wreath by Thrifty Decor Chick is affordable and easy.  The square shape is interesting, and the bright fall colors are well chosen.

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Fashion forward fall felt flower wreath

The Fashion Forward Fall Felt Flower Wreath by Nest of Posies is non-traditional and I love it!  It is still very clean and simple, but crafty and fun.  I can see myself using this more to decorate the inside of my house.

feltflowerwreath

easy diy fall wreath

The traditional, muted fall colors in this Easy DIY Fall Wreath by A Night Owl can’t be beat.  Whimsical and simple.

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diy fall grAPEVINE WREATH

The DIY Fall Grapevine Wreath by Ann Drake from Life…On Sutton Place is a bolder wreath, that echoes fall and harvest to me.  I think it is really beautiful.

diy-fall-woodland-wreath

Wondering which DIY wreath I’ll make for my front door?  Stay tuned.  For now, I hope these ideas have your creative juices flowing as you think about your own Fall decorations. I know they have inspired me!

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This post was shared on Link Party Palooza on I Heart Naptime, on Creative Collection Link Party on Crafted Sparrow, on Pin Junkie Pin Party on The Pin Junkie, on Craft Frenzy Friday on The Craft Dictator, on Making Merry Monday on My Pinventures, and on Inspiration Monday on I Should Be Mopping The Floor.

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Textbook S'mores by Olivia Sell

Guest Chef: Textbook S’mores by Olivia Sell

 

Alicia_Sell

Posted by Alicia Sell

Today we have a very special guest chef, Olivia Sell.

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Olivia is my youngest child and is probably one of the cutest chefs in the world, if I do say so myself.  She loves horses, soccer, babysitting her little cousins (because they are INFATUATED with her) and baking.  In her spare time, she loves to watch baking video blogs (“vlogs” for those in the know, which I apparently wasn’t ).  Today we are sharing the Textbook S’mores recipe from the Nerdy Nummies Cookbook that Olivia got for Christmas.  (Nerdy Nummies, hosted by Rosanna “Ro” Pansino is also Olivia’s favorite vlog.)  She loved this recipe because it seemed appropriate for the back-to-school season and she loves marshmallows.  I thought it was perfect because I am a Librarian and making food into books is so clever.  A win-win for everyone.

This post is more in the variety of a “Pass or Fail” type of recipe because in all honesty I wasn’t quite sure how this was really going to turn out.  At first glance I thought this would be easy to do, but as is always the case, it was more complicated than expected. It took a lot of planning, a little bit of frustration, and a whole lot of mess but I can say they turned out really great. They were a huge hit with Randall and the boys.  She even brought some in to her teachers  and grandparents and they loved them too!

Here is how the Textbook S’mores look in the Nerdy Nummies cookbook.  Pretty impressive (read to the bottom to see how Olivia’s turned out!)

nerdie_nummies_textbook_smores

I would say this recipe is definitely worth the try and is an easy one for kids to try with some adult supervision.  You may want to lay out rules and restrictions about what is an appropriate level of messiness for such a project.

This is how we looked after making the marshmallows.

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Just kidding.  Kind of.

So without further ado, here is the Nerdy Nummies’s Textbook S’mores recipe tested out by Olivia Sell.  There is a link to the vlog recipe post and the printable recipe on Nerdy Nummies in case you want to give it a go.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

(3) Cups Sugar
(4) 1/4 oz. Packets Gelatin
(1) Pinch Salt
(1) Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
(1-1/4) Cup Light Corn Syrup
(3/4) Cup Water x 2
(2) Cups Powdered Sugar
(1) Box Graham Crackers
(12) Ounces Milk Chocolate
(6) Ounces White Chocolate

Instructions

Brush two 9 x 13inch metal baking pans with oil and line with parchment paper, leaving  a 2 inch overhang on the narrower sides. Brush the parchment paper with the oil.

In medium saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 4/4 cup water over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring mixture constantly.

Place a candy thermometer in the pan and continue cooking until the sugar mixture reaches 238 degrees F.

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Meanwhile, pour 3⁄4 cup cold water into bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let soften for 5 minutes.

Once the sugar mixture reaches 238 degrees F, pour it into the gelatin mixture and beat with an electric mixer on low speed. Gradually increase the speed to high, beating until the mixture is very stiff, about 12 minutes. Beat in vanilla.

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Pour the mixture into the two lined pans and smooth the tops with a spatula. Let marshmallows sit uncovered until completely firm, about 3 hours.

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Sift a layer of powdered sugar on top of the marshmallows and a work surface.

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Remove the marshmallows from the pans and flip over onto the prepared work surface, then remove the parchment paper. Sift a layer of powdered sugar on the top of the marshmallows so all sides are covered.

Use the square cookie cutter or a sharp knife to cut about 24 marshmallow squares. Dip the cookie cutter or knife into powdered sugar between each use to keep the marshmallow from sticking.

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What is my weird finger doing in this picture?  Sorry, I digress.

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Break 24 graham cracker sheets in half into squares-these will be the front and back covers of your books. Break 6 graham cracker sheets into quarters-these will be the spines of your books.

In the microwave or a double boiler, melt the milk chocolate and scoop it into a decoration bag fitted with a #2 tip. Using the melted chocolate as adhesive, attach the graham crackers to the marshmallow to create your books.

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Pipe on cover and side details with the milk chocolate.

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Melt the white chocolate and scoop into a decorating bag fitted with a #1 tip. Pipe on the book titles with the white chocolate.

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Viola!  that is it.  So as a reminder, here is how the Textbook S’mores that Ro at Nerdy Nummies made.  Pretty professional.

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And here is how Olivia’s turned out.  Pretty close to perfect, if you ask me.  And, in addition to being adorable, they taste delicious.  I am POSITIVE we will be making homemade marshmallows for hot cocoa season!

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You can make sure you get all of Button Jar’s posts by subscribing to our email list by clicking here, or by following us on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.  Also, sharing is caring!  If you like this post, please share it on your social media networks. Thanks!

This post was shared on Link Party Palooza on I Heart Naptime, on The Creative Collection Link Party on The Crafted Sparrow, on Craft Frenzy Friday on The Craft Dictator, and on The Pin Junkie Link Party on The Pin Junkie.

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