Thursday, March 5, 2015

Bathroom Makeover With Carpet One

Carpet One has inspired me to think about a bathroom makeover. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias Inc and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #InspiredHome #CollectiveBias

A few years ago my husband and I bought our first home in a brand new neighborhood. We were lucky enough to purchase a home built from scratch, but at that time, every last penny went towards our down payment. (I'm sure many homeowners can relate) So, we had to forget about any fun upgrades, like granite counter tops, hardwood floors, and tile in the bathrooms, and just go with all the basics.

We love our home, but a while after moving in, we were eager to make it our own with a few small upgrades. We started with hardwood floors in the kitchen and main living areas and we've never regretted it. So naturally, the next thing on my mind was our bathrooms. They came standard with basic linoleum, and I've always wanted to upgrade to tile. 

Since a bathroom makeover is always in the back of my mind, I decided to stop into my local Carpet One Floor & Home store while I was out and about (without the kids!) last week. I had never been in a Carpet One before, so I didn't really know what to expect. The showroom was beautiful, and I was sort of surprised to see that they actually have a decent selection of tile. 

I found tile I liked right away, and knowing that I always tend to pick the most expensive option, I figured I better get an estimate before presenting yet another expensive decorating project to my poor, unsuspecting husband.  

The associates at Carpet One were really knowledgable. When I asked for an estimate, they offered to come out and measure my bathroom the very next day for no charge. They also let me take home a large sample of the tile I liked best.

Diana arrived first thing in the morning and she measured not only the floor in my master bathroom, but the guest bathroom as well. I don't think she expected to get a two and half year old assistant (still in her pajamas), but she was extremely sweet about it, and very accepting of the help. Diana left me with a sample card for grout colors, and by the end of the day, I had my quote via email.

These projects always take time, but upgrading the floors seems like a good start to a master bathroom makeover. Of course, I couldn't resist laying a few of my bathroom accessories out with my favorite tile...just to get an idea of how everything might come together in the end.

And if you know me, then you know a great inspiration board is the way I start every design project! 

I'm all for a DIY when it comes to Christmas ornaments and Valentine's Day cards, but when it comes to flooring installation, I'd rather let an expert handle the job. If you are contemplating new flooring for your home, don't forget to check out Carpet One. They offer a wide range of options including carpet, hardwood, vinyl, laminate, and of course, tile. And if you're looking to get started right away, Carpet One is having their "Don't Do It Yourself Flooring Sale" which runs March 6th through April 19th 2015. During the sale you will find 50% off select Lee's carpets and up to $500 in instant rebates on select hardwood, tile, laminate and LVT flooring. 

Oh, and if your in the mood for a little laugh, check out this "Don't Do It Yourself" video montage put together by Carpet One. These things are funny. Until they happen to you!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Affordable Ways To Dress Up The Sink For Spring

I am sharing affordable ways to freshen up the sink for spring as part of a sponsored post. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FoamSensations #CollectiveBias 

I'm not sure if it's the 80 degree weather we've been having, or the fact that we just finished booking our summer vacation, but I'm completely ready to step into spring! That said, I have to admit I've been a little (okay a lot) slow to get our house back in order after the holidays. I'm embarrassed to say that it was only two weeks ago that I actually took down the last of our Christmas decor, and immediately afterwards, I felt the need to freshen things up for spring.

So on a recent trip to Walmart, it's no wonder I was inspired by the new line of Softsoap foaming hand soaps. The price was extremely affordable given the cuteness factor of the bottles. Hand soap for the kitchen was on my list anyway, so I went ahead and picked up the Kitchen Citrus Bliss along with the other two scents, and decided that all the sinks around our house could use a little freshening up for spring. 

While I was out, I picked a few other inexpensive items so that I could go home and do what I love...arrange things! Here is what I did.

The Kitchen

Fresh Lemons
I picked up a bunch of fresh lemons. I have been using lemons to freshen up my garbage disposal for a long time. I simply slice them up and put them down the drain with the disposal on and the water running. In addition, if you add a few squirts of Kitchen Citrus Bliss, your sink will smell like spring in no time!

New Sponges
There was no point freshening up my garbage disposal just to leave a stinky sponge by the sink. So, I also picked up a pack of new sponges, and of course, I was careful to find something that looked nice with my new Softsoap bottle. 

The Guest Bath

Fresh Flowers
Nothing feels more like spring to me than fresh flowers and roses are one of my favorites. Lately, I'm particularly into floating flowers. It's really easy and it looks so pretty and special. Simply get a small bowl or even fill the sink with water. Cut a few flowers off right at the bud and let them float around in the water. It gives a calming, spa-like effect to the bathroom!

New Hand Towels
Lots of stores are now selling small bundles of inexpensive hand towels. I picked up a neutral colored bundle for the guest bathroom and a bright yellow bundle for my own bathroom. 

The Master Bath

Citrus Candle
A little citrus goes a long way in the bathroom as well as the kitchen. In my bathroom I like to use the Glade Hawaiian candle because it makes me think of summer. 

Discount Accessories
Whenever I'm looking to freshen things up around the house I always check the discount home goods section. Most stores have one these days and I can usually find something for $5 or less. This week it was a little turquoise vase for the guest bathroom. Turquoise is a really popular color right now and for some reason, it always reminds me of spring.

Not only do the new Softsoap bottles look pretty, but the scents are amazing, and they don't leave your hands feeling dry. Also, compared to other brands, the pumps on Softsoap bottles never break and I have no trouble getting that last bit of soap out at the end. If you're interested in picking up one of these great new scents, don't forget to look in the hand soap section of your local store. Even if you don't need soap right now, It's a great way to jump start that spring sink!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Vintage Home Decor: Ideas & Inspiration

I’ve always had a love for vintage home d├ęcor, but recently I’ve been especially immersed in it. (More to come on that later) Last night I was up late, searching the internet for design inspiration, and ideas on how I can use some of my own vintage pieces around the house.

I like the idea of incorporating my vintage items, while keeping the room feeling fresh and contemporary, like in the photo above.

I'm also not one for a stuffy, cluttered look, so I really like the simplicity of this casual living room. 

One of the things in my house that I'm dying to change is our dining room chairs. I know I want to go with something vintage, and I hope when the time comes, I'm brave enough to do something like this.

Or this.

I'm also planning a "Big Girl" makeover for Olivia's room sometime this year, and I have my heart set on a vintage iron bed, like this one.


And while I'm not at all a "Knick knacky" type person, I do love the display of a beautiful collection, like these vintage suitcases.

Or these retro cameras.

And how about this collection of copper pots!

I'm also a big fan of vintage items that have been repurposed for new uses. Like these old ladders.

And I'm simply in love with this old Singer sewing machine, turned console table.

Isn't it beautiful?

I recently attended a blogging conference and, among other things, I was inspired to get back to my roots (so to speak), and start writing more about the topics I really love and know, which for me, is interior design. I have some big changes planned for my blog in the coming weeks. While I won't be abandoning my family related posts altogether, I plan to share a lot more of my love for vintage home decor, and my adventures in decorating my own home.  I'm super excited about the new direction of my blog, and I hope you stay tuned.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Valentine's Day Breakfast Recipe - Fruity Snack Skewers

Olivia and I used to be on the go all the time, but since Jake was born (6 months ago now!), our schedules have slowed down quite a bit. It's been a nice change of pace, but things are about to pick back up very soon. This week Olivia starts her swimming lessons, and I have plans to enroll her in a couple other classes this spring as well. Needless to say, our busy schedule will soon be in full swing again, and since Valentine's Day is coming up, I wanted to think of a quick and easy breakfast that could really be made any time of year. Introducing, Cupid's Arrow Breakfast Skewers! A fruity and fun snack for kids...and adults!

These Valentine's Day breakfast skewers were so easy to make! For each one I used one fresh strawberry, three raspberries, and one piece of watermelon. I also used a handful of Fruit Loops cereal and, in order to make my skewers look more festive, I was careful to only pick the pink and purple ones. 

I started with the strawberry by cutting off the top, and then cutting a little V in the center. I think it makes the strawberry look like the back end of an arrow.

It was the first to go on the skewer.

Valentines Day snack recipe

Next, I loaded on three raspberries and a whole bunch of Fruit Loops. 

how to make fruit skewers

Finally, I added a piece of watermelon that I had pre-cut into little triangles. 

Cupid's Arrow Fruit Skewers

That's it. So easy! And they taste awesome dipped in a little vanilla yogurt. I actually made these last Sunday, and they ended up being a great addition to our Super Bowl spread. Thanks for reading, and Happy Valentine's Day to you! 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Twice Baked Potato Recipe - This One Is Sweet & Savory

I am a bit of a picky eater. And, as much as I promised myself that I wasn't going to raise a picky eater, Olivia is turning out to be quite particular when it comes to food. This year I've decided that it's time to expose her (and maybe the rest of us) to new foods that she's never tried, but just might end up liking. 

Two things that Olivia definitely loves are potatoes and cheese. So when it's time to introduce a new food, I always aim to combine it with one or both of those foods. Last weekend I made these sweet and savory twice baked potatoes for lunch. They were delicious, and little did my family know they were packed with nutrients and vitamins.

When it comes to twice baked potatoes, I tend to use whatever I have on hand. For each potato I used 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, 1 tablespoon of soft butter, 1 tablespoon of sour cream, and 2 tablespoons of milk. I also had 1/4 cup bacon bits, 1/4 cup shredded cheese, 1/4 cup of diced green onion, and 1/4 cup of Sunsweet Plum Amaz!ns. On this day the Amaz!ns were the "new to Olivia food." Dried prunes are packed with fiber and potassium, not to mention great flavor. 

Lately, I've been loving a handful of these babies once or twice throughout the day, so I figured why not add some to our lunch and make our savory potatoes a little sweeter! 

To make twice baked potatoes, start by piercing the potatoes with a fork and baking them in the oven at 350 degrees until they are tender. It usually takes mine about an hour and a half. 
Once soft, remove them from the oven and slice them in half.  Be careful handling, because they will be hot! Scoop out all the potato into a big bowl, leaving the skin intact. 

I always add the salt and pepper, butter, sour cream, and milk first. Then, mash it all up. The ingredients seem to mix into the potatoes better if they are room temperature. 

Next, add all the goodies and mix. 

Using a big spoon, fill the empty skins with the mashed potato mixture. Top each one with shredded cheese and a few green onions for garnish. 

Finally put them back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until they are warmed through and the cheese is melted.

It's always nice to try something different in the kitchen. And it's especially nice when you can introduce your family to a new food in a fun way. If you haven't had Sunsweet Amaz!ns yet, you might want to give them a try. I know a lot of us are trying to eat healthier this year and prunes are known to promote healthy bones and improve the digestive system. Plus, these little dried fruit snacks are only 100 calories per serving so I don't have to feel guilty about nibbling during the day!

Thanks for reading!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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