Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Babies Nursery: Will it be a Boy or a Girl?

My Brother and Sister-In-Law are having their second child!  I am so excited to be an Auntie again.  So, I bet you can guess who they asked to help design the new nursery...yep me!  I am so thrilled to be able to help out and better yet the design is going to be AMAZING!  My Sister-In-Law was inspired by a show on HGTv called Sarah 101.  What a great show!  If you haven't seen it you should check it out.

Don't you just love the non-tradional lighting she added!  And her use of multiple patterns is flawless.

Obviously her designs are inspiring!  I love that she's not afraid to use multiple patterns and bold colors.  We took our cue from her and chose a wonderful pattern for the wall.  My first approach was wall paper.  However, my SIL (Sister-In-Law) was a little scared when I mentioned the word "wall paper".  Naturally so, wall paper has a bad reputation for sticking around way too long and being hard to remove.  So I suggested we use a stencil and paint an all over design on a feature wall.  It's easy to do, easy to change, and has the same impact as wall paper.  

You are probably wondering what kind of pattern we chose for our stencil. My SIL decided she wanted a modern, yet subtle, safari themed room. Now, I'm not one for themed rooms, but I think if you choose the right patterns, textures, finishes and accessories it can be very classic. Besides, this is a child's room, so have a little FUN!  

We chose a zebra patterned stencil.  Stencils are great.  You can choose the colors you want and aren't stuck to patterns and colors in a wall paper book.  The sky is the limits with stenciling so reach for the stars.  I can't wait to show you how we chose to work our stencil colors!

They also have patterns like the ever so popular chevron stripes!

I had worked with stenciling before in a clients living room.  (I'll post a picture of that in the future when the room is complete)  Therefore, I went back to the same supplier because I was very happy with the quality of stencil, the affordability (much cheaper than wall paper) and they have tutorials on their website that are very easy to follow as a beginner.  Go to and check out all the amazing patterns, inspiration and tips on stencils.

That's my bit about stencils, continuing on with the nursery.   With the concept of Modern Safari, I set out looking for some great staple pieces to anchor our design and a place to pop color.  Furniture is a great place to bring in a bold color choice and incorporate the modern style we want to achieve.  We have been on the hunt for a dresser.  One that can double as a changing station by simply adding a changing pad and some baskets for storage.  The great thing about a dresser as a changing table is it grows with the child and you aren't stuck with a changing table to get rid of when the child is grown.  

I have come across a few options on Craig's List...

The thriftyness in me has not purchased them yet. I am still haggling the price down.  But, either of these are viable options because they have good bones, style and functionality.  It's important to remember, when you are buying something second hand or from a flea market, not to look at the color, finish or hardware, but pay attention to the basics: is it sturdy, does it meet the dimensions you need, is the style what you want and think of the possibilities of what it could be.  With these two options I know we will paint, change the hardware and maybe add some texture to the drawer fronts.  You don't have to buy items and use them literally.  Get creative and see what you come up with.  In addition, this dresser will provide excellent storage and is perfect from baby to child.  It's also the right height for a changing table.  

Our plan for the dresser is to paint it.  I bet you will never guess what color.  Go ahead take a wild guess!  We chose........KELLY GREEN!  Perfect for a girl or a boy and a hot new color trend.  It will give us a great pop of color and anchor the room.  We plan on painting the crib this color as well.  

Valspar- Field Time Green

Along with the green we have also chosen the wall color.  For the entire room we will paint the walls light, cool toned gray, Valspar's Tempered Gray.  On the feature wall, where we will pain the stencil, Tempered Gray will be our base color and the stencil color will be a pearlized white.  It is going to look fantastic!

That is it for now. Look for my next installment on the nursery.  We will have finished pictures of the painted furniture. Fabric samples for the crib bedding and hopefully the walls will be painted. Until then...

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Shredded Beef Tacos!

It's true there aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done! One way I make life easier on myself is to use the crock pot for dinners.  I want my nights to be free!  Free to either spend time with my family or take care of other tasks around the house.  Insert the crock pot into your life and you've found the perfect solution.  In this recipe I used the oven as my "crock pot".

The recipe was passed on to me by a friend.  She had made it one night for her family and I just happened to be there when it came out of the oven. The only thing I could say was "Wow!" It was so juicy and tender and it melted in your mouth.  So, I stole the recipe and planned the perfect night to use it...a Friday night!  I knew I wouldn't want to come home from work and cook, and with a busy weekend ahead I knew there would be left overs.

What a great idea I had, because my family ate four wonderful meals from one recipe!  That's five adults eating four meals...I know I couldn't believe it either.  Even better if you don't want to eat it for five days straight you can always freeze it and use it later!  Imagine if it was just you and your husband or you and your would probably turn into a taco from the amount of beef it makes.  The best part is you don't have to do just tacos...the options are endless!  Endless I tell ya...well at least it is for those who are creative with food.  That's where I struggle, but my husband is wonderful at it:)  Here's the recipe for tacos.

And this is how it looked on our dinner table!  I just love tacos...makes your plate so colorful!
That's right! see strawberries on the taco.  A delicious, sweet opposition the salty beef:)

My Wonderful Husband...Ladies don't swoon too fast!

As you can see the tacos are delicious and everyone enjoyed them.  I especially liked that they could feed a large family several meals or can be frozen.  We also made home made Beef Stroganoff with the leftovers.  Boil some noodles, gluten free for us, and steam some broccoli and you have another delicious meal.

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