Welcome Spring Door Hanging

Hi!  I hope this finds you enjoying some sweet Spring sunshine.  

Are you a wreath person?
Do you put a new wreath out for each season or holiday like clockwork?
Or maybe just at Christmas time?
(Hopefully you don't still have your Christmas wreath hanging.  Not that I would mind, it's your door!)

Do you make your own wreaths?
Out of grapevines and wire wreath forms and pool noodles?
I admire you if you do.  

Here I am...a 'so called' DIY Home Blogger with absolutely no wreath making skills. 
It's a little bit shameful...hanging head in embarrassment.  ;)


And Pinterest is no help.

About every 6th pin is another DIY wreath tutorial.  Ugh.  So many reminders that I'm failing in the wreath creating department.

But recently I was inspired by a couple of talented and creative bloggers:


Ann did an amazing wreath making tutorial that I am hoping will inspire me to dive in and make my very own wreath creation:

Ann is an amazing decorator...and not just wreaths.  
You should click through to her site and see the way she makes everything special!

And the sweet and creative Miss Chelsea fashioned a gorgeous Spring Door Hanging that made me forget my wreath envy: 

Just click photo to be taken to Chelsea's post!

Isn't it lovely!?  I am in love with Chelsea's blog.  Her creative perspective is so young and fresh.  I can't get enough of her projects!  You'll just have to go see for yourself.  :)

So, today I compromised and started creating a Spring door hanging using a plastic wall planter I bought at a yard sale last summer.

First I had to cover over that horrid green.  Hey, green is my favorite color but THIS green just isn't doing anything for me.  

A nice crisp white will be so much fresher, don't you think?

Add in some pretty pastel flowers with staying power (aka faux)

Pretty and fresh to welcome our guests!

And I love the fact that I can change out the flowers for Summer and other special occasions.  I even have a few dollar store Easter decorations I might poke in there for this weekend....Yeah!

Okay, I've now got a floral door hanging under my belt.  Thanks Chelsea, for the inspiration!  And Ann, I'm going to be tackling an actual wreath project next...using your wonderful tips as my guide!
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Painted End Table ~ a Makeover ~ 3rd Time's a Charm(er)

Here's our little roadside rescue end table.

It came home with us looking like this:

but it had so much potential...

I thought I would give it some color and try my hand at spray painting.  

So it became this:

And we loved the rich blue.  For a time.

Eventually I wanted to use it in another space and the blue just wouldn't work.

So I gave it a couple coats of white paint,

then added in some Maison Blanche in Cobblestone giving it an entirely new look...

A quick coating of wax with a bit of dark stain mixed in gave it a little bit of aged character:

It's neutral enough now to go in almost any room in my home. 
This is good because if you know me you know I love to move things around...a lot.  :)

For now it finishes off this space nicely.

It definitely needs some oil rubbed bronze on those little knobs for some contrast.  
I'm trying to decide if I want to give it a monogram on the door front.  
The white raised panel seems to be asking for something but I ran out of the Cobblestone color so I couldn't finish it with that even if I'd wanted.  
What do you think?  Gold on the edges of the door panel?  
A Monogrammed Letter for our last name?  Any other suggestions?  

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Guilt Free Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Being on a diet SUCKS!
You probably don't need me to tell you that.
That's why I'm not dieting.  :)  
I'm enjoying these amazing Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies today...totally Guilt Free too, I might add.

So, do I have your attention now?

I truly believe that it's time for us...(yes this is me speaking for an entire unnamed group of people)...anyhow ;)...It's time for US to quit 'dieting' to get to where we want to be with our weight and overall health.  We truly need to change our habits and lifestyles.  We can bury our heads in the sand and continue eating processed, modified, genetically altered foods because they are easy, convenient and inexpensive.  And we can continue to wonder why we are experiencing so many health and wellness problems and feeling a general decline in our energy.


We can change the way we look at food in general.  
We can choose all-natural foods whenever possible. 
We can limit our intake of processed carbs and sugars to an occasional treat.

And we don't have to feel guilty about having a treat now and then. We don't have to 'fall off the diet wagon' if we allow ourselves something good.  

If we just exercise some common sense and self~control when are making choices.

Anyway...I'm stepping down from my soap box now.  I have some cookies warm from the oven that are calling my name!

The best thing about these cookies is they are just a tiny blip on the radar of my allowed calorie intake for the day.  Oh yeah!

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe (Weight Watchers Online recipe modified)

If you have a family you may want to double this recipe because you are going to need the extras!
These taste just like regular chocolate chip cookies and if your family likes chocolate chip cookies they will devour them.  


2 Tbsp salted butter, softened
2 tsp vegetable oil or canola oil
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 large egg white
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter, brown sugar and oil.  Add vanilla and egg whites; mix thoroughly.

In another small bowl combine flour and baking soda; stir into batter.  Add chocolate chips and stir to distribute evenly.

Drop dough by half teaspoons onto two large nonstick cookie sheets leaving a small space between each cookie. 

I like to cover my pans with parchment paper...thank Martha Stewart for this tip!

Bake until golden brown on the edges, about 5 minutes; cool on wire rack. 

1 cookie per serving
1 WW point per cookie
Approximately 25 calories each! (3g carbs, 1.35g fat)

Seriously, grab a few and enjoy.  

They are absolutely delicious and they won't ruin your whole day of eating healthy ~ if you stick to just a few.  :)

They go great with a glass of ice cold skim milk.

I'm just so happy that I can eat healthy and still enjoy some of the treats that I love.

I don't even have to add a bunch of extra Cardio into my routine to offset these little puppies...Yeah!!!


I'm not the only one baking up some cookie goodness in the kitchen today.  My friend Julie made these Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies over at Redhead Can Decorate

Julie and I must be on the same anti-diet wave length today...after all...why should we be forced to give up cookies!?  Eat responsibly people!!!

But baking isn't all that Julie's been up to lately...check out this bedroom!!!  I haven't laid a hand on my bedroom decor in 8 years.  She's really inspiring me to get in there and make it beautiful again.


Go see how she transformed this room from an earthy green that wasn't growing on anybody to a fresh and tranquil white retreat.  White just has a way of opening a room up, doesn't it?

Hey, have you linked up to the BEAT THE BULGE link party yet?  We would love for you to share any light and healthy recipes, or fitness tips.  Success stories would be great too.  Did you lose weight or start an exercise program that changed your life?  Have you overcome food allergies and health issues by changing your diet?  Share those stories here to encourage others that are trying to make healthy changes!

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My 5 Healthy Eating Tips and Tricks

6 pounds !!!

Okay, I've just passed the two week mark since we started the Beat the Bulge link party and Facebook Support Group (Come Join Us Here)...I'm down 6 pounds, I completed another 5k run, and I'm fitting into jeans I haven't been able to wear in MONTHS!  I feel really good about my progress so far.  I've had a few over~indulgences that may have slowed my progress a bit (like eating almost the whole package of mini rice cakes instead of a single serving) but I'm not going to dwell on them.  It feels good to finally see my numbers going DOWN on the scale.

Six pounds doesn't sound like any BIG THANG, but my commitment to healthy eating combined with strength training sessions and running are definitely showing some awesome results in the way I look and feel.  That is the main goal so WOOHOO!!!  Celebrate each success!  ~ Just not with fattening food! ~

Here are some of my tips for staying on course with a healthy diet.  Take 'em or leave 'em.  :)  We each have to do what works best for our individual lifestyles, preferences and health needs.

1.  KEEP SOME CONVENIENT VEGGIE AND FRUIT SNACKS FRONT AND CENTER IN THE FRIDGE so you won't get stuck searching for the first yummy thing you can find when hunger strikes.  If you work outside the home prep a few individual sized baggies or snap top containers with fresh fruits and veggies at the beginning of the week so you can just grab and go each morning.  

2.  INVEST IN AN OIL MISTER FOR COOKING...You can fill it with healthy olive oil and forgo the not-so-healthy oils or the fat free cooking spray that doesn't seem so healthy once you know what's in it.   We need the good fats found in olive oil anyway, and this kind of mister will help keep you from going overboard on calories.  

3.  KEEP YOUR FREEZER STOCKED WITH FROZEN FRUITS FOR SMOOTHIES.  When that sweet tooth starts screaming for some indulgence, you can satisfy the craving with a delicious and nutrient rich smoothie.  We freeze fresh fruit (fresh strawberries, local blueberries, and discounted ripe bananas) and toss them into a blender with a splash of pineapple juice and some nonfat milk for a satisfying sweet treat.  You can add low-fat yogurt or even some concentrated orange juice to up the flavor factor.  Just keep track of the calories going in.  It's easy to go overboard if you aren't paying attention.  
Hey, throw in some spinach and nuts too if the urge strikes...it's all good!

4.  DRINK PLENTY OF WATER!   Yep, I bet you've heard this one before.  Well, I can attest that drinking my fair share of water seems to make a huge difference in my overall success rate AND the way I feel.  I like to throw some fresh lemon in to give it a punch.  I won't preach all the health AND weight loss benefits to you because you've probably heard it all before.  I have included a couple of links below for anyone interested in reading more about the benefits of keeping hydrated.  

5.  SALADS DON'T HAVE TO BE BORING.  JAZZ UP YOUR SALADS with some tasty ingredients that will take them beyond your average tossed veggies into the realm of gourmet all-in-one meals.  

Here are a couple of my favorite salad masterpieces of late:

Greek inspired goodness!
Start with a bed of Spring Mix,
Layer with a few marinated artichoke hearts,
Low fat feta cheese sprinkles,
Chopped Tomato
Chopped Cucumber
95% Fat Free Turkey slices
Green Olives (not pictured)
Greek Style Vinaigrette
*This salad would be great with a few slices of sweet red onion thrown in too

Tangy Sweet Asian
Start with a bed of fresh Spring Mix.
Layer with chopped fresh tomatoes,
Mandarins (no sugar added),
A handful of walnuts (almond slivers would be good also),
A sprinkle of Feta cheese (low-fat or fat free preferable),
2~3 ounces thin sliced grilled steak
A spoonful of Craisins on top
A side of Sweet Pea Pods and Lime
Top with some store bought Asian dressing or create your own.
{I created my own dressing blending the juice from the mandarin can with some peanut sauce, red pepper flakes and a smidge of Cherry Pomagranate Habanero Sauce...yum!}

For more great salad ideas check out this beautiful Pinterest Board of SALADS:

I have to say I'm really enjoying this 'healthy eating' a lot more than I thought I would be.  

Our Beat the Bulge link party is still going strong.  Don't forget to link up!

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Quick~change magnetic desktop photo display

Do you crave change?

Do you move your furniture around often just to give yourself a fresh perspective?

Do you like to switch out the decor and items displayed in your home often?

 I do.
I've been referred to as a chronic re-arranger.  Yep, that's me.  And proud of it.

Plus you never know what you might find behind that tv cabinet (think arsenal of nerf darts at my house)...or under the couch (enough money for an ice cream bar ~ if you're not on a diet!)

I've moved some pretty hefty furniture by myself too.  Scott has come home on occasion and questioned who may have helped me.  No secret furniture moving boyfriends around here though.  Promise ;)
I think I get 'super furniture rearranging powers' when the desire overtakes me.  Maybe.

But on to the desk frame  :)

This wooden piece is what remains of an inexpensive desk clock after I robbed it of it's clock-works.
(You can see what I did with all those clocks HERE.)
I couldn't bear the thought of chucking these little wooden frames.  There had to be something useful for them.  A few ideas have come to mind, so expect to see more of these cuties later...

This one has become a quick~change magnetic desk frame

I painted it with acrylic craft paint using a dry brush technique, which left some of the wood peaking through.

I bought this metal plate for .79 cents at the hardware store.  My plan was to wrap it with this fabric and attach it to the front of the frame.  I cut a piece of the fabric...

Folded it around the metal plate and taped the corners and edges down.
When I put it on the front of the wooden base it looked kinda like a quilt square...
not the look I was going for.  Scratch that.  I didn't even leave it there long enough to take a picture.  Sorry.

I ended up painting the metal with a coat of white acrylic paint and glueing it to the front of the wooden base with E6000.

A couple strips of ribbon were then glued to the top and bottom of the metal.

I glued a scrapbook flower to a small round magnet with E6000 also.
This holds the photos in place.

Now all those darling photos can be swapped out regularly...giving all our lovely friends and family their day in the limelight.

Right where we can see them!

And if I want to go beachy I just swap out the flower for this starfish magnet.  :)
(Isn't that Farmers' Market Basket cute?  You can find that HERE too.)

Okay, that's one wooden clock base down and only...hmm...11 more to go!

What would you use these wooden bases for?   I would love to hear your ideas.

And thanks for stopping by today.
Loved having you here!

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