April FREE Printable

Dress up your home with this perfect spring print!

Fiddle Leaf Fig

See how to style your fiddle leaf fig!

Coconut Lazy Day Cake

Try this fast and easy recipe this week!

DIY Chunky Knit Throw

Learn how to create this cozy throw for your home!

Mini Living Room Makeover

A makeover shopping your own home!

Jan 8, 2016

Mini Living Room Makeover

Happy New Year friends! Every year it seems I have the same ol' resolution to get fit and lose weight and it never happens. This year my resolution (or should I say "goal") is to get more organized and try to makeover a few areas in my home that are less than attractive. Another goal is to use more of the items I have around my home to decorate versus spending a ton of money on things I don't necessarily need. Well.... I've tackled my first project area and I have to say I am pleased with the results!

Warning...the first pic is pretty ugly! This is a space next to my sofa that seems to just collect junk, magazines, and anything else I can stuff in there. I knew it needed a serious makeover. Plus, that little end table has so much potential to really stand out. Right here it was just hidden next to the brown couch.

I started by taking everything out of the inside and off the top. I had a quart of MudPaint that I wanted to use in the color "Manor White". Since you can use MudPaint without having to sand beforehand, I simply just wiped down the piece with a wet rag, let dry, and began painting. 
(table before) 
 After I painted, I let the table dry and then went back and lightly sanded. I sanded in areas that would have the normal wear and tear from years of kids bumping into it or hitting the walls while moving so that it would look more natural. I was very pleased with the look of  MudPaint after I distressed it. 
My mother gave me an AMAZING old wooden ladder for Christmas. I've always loved the look of blanket ladders so I wanted to use it somehow in this space.

 I took the two pieces apart and used the skinnier piece. I love the old, original hardware at the top of the ladder!
After I had the ladder up and the table back in place, I began styling. I looked for items that I already had in my home. I hung a couple blankets and an old feed sack on the ladder for added texture and coziness.
I had this old little crock that was sitting on my entry way bench that really just needed to find a home. It fit perfectly here at the bottom on top of some old books.

The finished space is just so much more brighter and much tidier! I love the character the ladder adds as well. I added a special piece of driftwood at the bottom that my bestie Collette sent me during a swap we hosted on Instagram. SO fun! I plan to give this little lamp a makeover but that's a project for another day!

This year I plan on loving my home more and I am more than happy with how this little "mini-makeover" turned out! I have another space I just started working on that I can't wait to show you next! What do you think of this makeover? I would love to hear your thoughts! 

Jan 7, 2016

2016 One Word Resolution

I "met" my Instagram friend Sarah from East Plum last year when she invited me to showcase some of her amazing handmade pieces in our nursery reveal and I've just adored her ever since. Not only is she super down to earth and an amazing and passionate momma, but she's incredibly talented to boot. Her shop is brimming with the most unique and whimsical items. (You can shop her Etsy store here or follow her on Insta here.. And no, she didn't pay me or ask me to share her links. I just love her that much!) :)

Not long ago Sarah invited me to participate in the launch of her latest collection entitled One Little Word. A concept centered on selecting and highlighting one word to represent the upcoming year. Since I'm not one to make a long list of resolutions, this project was right up my alley! It has allowed me to truly reflect on the past year and my goals for our family in 2016. What an awesome project, right?! Sarah will be sharing more about this collection on her Instagram account and I encourage you to hop over and read more.

I wanted to document the word we chose and share our photo collection. It will be interesting to look back on this next year and see if it did indeed embody whatever 2016 encompasses for us. Here's to hoping!

Per·sist | verb: To continue firmly or obstinately in an opinion or a course of action in spite of difficulty, opposition, or failure.

"2015 was a long year of pushing through week to week. We’ve been living with ripped out kitchens and bathrooms and entire sections of our home. My husband averaging only a few nights home each week. Little money and little time hasn’t allowed for much progress on many fronts – if any. But, amidst the chaos we’ve tried our best to remain steadfast in our goals for our home and for our family. We are incredibly grateful for the home we’ve been blessed with. We’re incredibly grateful for our jobs. We’re incredible grateful for the challenges we’ve faced because without them we would lack the wisdom and perspective gained by the experiences. Here’s to hoping that 2016 will continue to be a year of persistence. That know matter what, we will continue to move forward and make positive changes in our home, in our relationships and in our family!"

Happy New Year! - Lauren
**Blog post courtesy of Lauren at Little White House Blog

Jan 6, 2016

Fiddle Leaf Fig

Just a few months ago, I had never heard of a fiddle-leaf fig.  Then I met Rachel (my BFF I call her), and was exposed to the wonderful world of Instagram.  Then over and over I saw this plant!  I made it my goal for 2016.

But finding one wasn’t as easy as I had hoped.  I was half tempted to order one from Amazon… what doesn’t Amazon have for sale?!

Finally, I found a small selection at Home Depot.  This beauty ran me $8.88, Score!

I then headed to Target for a basket.  I love the texture the basket adds to the plant, and it must have been my lucky day because the dollar spot wasn’t totally picked over yet (That never happens at my target). Oh annndd this basket was $10 on clearance! :)

The basket is deep and funny shaped being skinny at the top and wide at the bottom. The plants sat in it too low, so I stuck a metal cake plate I had in the bottom.  It gave it the perfect height so all of the leaves stick out for sun light.  Of course you can use anything, a box would probably work just fine (Rachel Butcher gets all the credit for that idea) ;)

Care for these beauties might you wonder?  When I brought it home the leaves where dirty and dusty. I took a paper towel and dabbed milk on it.  I read somewhere that the protein in milk is great for plants and helps make them stronger.  It also gives the leaves a beautiful shine.  I have heard many people say they do best in a room with lots of natural light or in front of a window.  They do well in climate 60-90 degrees, fertilize monthly, and water to maintain moderately moist soil.

And here are just a few more photos because I love it soo much!

Thank you so much for stopping by and hope you have a wonderful day :)

**Blog post courtesy of Morgan at The White Farmhouse Blog. Head over to her blog for more inspiration! 

Jan 4, 2016

DIY Chunky Knit Throw and Rug


My mom and I were browsing the mall during a holiday shopping trip before Christmas and I saw a perfectly chunky knit throw.  It was full of texture, cozy and dreamy for the cold winter months.


I quickly picked up the throw (as it has been on my wish list for a while) and then turned over the price tag.  I think my mouth may have dropped open.  I quickly put the blanket back down and when my sweet mom asked why I wasn’t getting it, I explained that hundreds of dollars was out of our price range… ha!  True story.


A couple weeks ago and I saw a talented Instagram friend, Kim at RHOUSE share a picture of an arm knit version and I was instantly inspired! I searched Pinterest and found a fantastic tutorial by Maggie over at Simply Maggie here.


 For about 50 dollars of some saved Christmas money, I was able to make an affordable version of something that looks chic and timeless… It just goes to show that you really can make beautiful things for your home – that may even cost hundreds of dollars elsewhere, but for a lot less.


Copper Tray from Paint Fox (link in sidebar)
In addition, I played around with the knits and used some table legs to see if I could make a tighter knit blanket version.


I liked this style but felt it was better fit for a rug.  The arm knitting style had larger stitches and gave the blanket a loftier look.


Below is more of a description of what I did to make the tighter knit kitchen rug versus a tutorial, but here is the yarn I used for both projects. I found mine at Michaels on sale and they had some other fun colors.


I cast the yarn on the large table legs as normal and then knit similarly to the arm knitting.


Here is the finished product (by using table legs) displayed in our kitchen.


That adorable cutting board was gifted from my sweet friend Ashley over at House of Five and was purchased from Our Board Boutique.


And here is the arm knit version using Simply Maggie’s tutorial

Deer Pillow from So Vintage Chic and Little Houses pillow from Bows and Burlap Designs
Hope you feel encouraged to enjoy some of the nicer things even when you are on a budget and I appreciate you being here.  Happy Monday!

Blog post courtesy of Zevy Joy. Head over to her blog for more amazing DIY's and inspiration!

Slow Cooker Ham and Potato Soup

Ham and Potato Soup


I have to say that we’ve been pretty lucky in the Buffalo area this winter. We’ve hardly had a winter at all..in fact, I think that we set some sort of record for the warmest December since sometime in the 1800’s!
And…having said all that, I woke up this morning to the harsh slap in the face of the cold reality of lake effect snow and bitter cold. And while I was clearing the snow off of my car, the wind whipped the snow back into my face..and then when I turned the other way, the snow still flew into my face, taking my breath away (and not in the romantic way) , and my freshly curled hair was wet and wilted by the time I was finished…I was thinking that it would be really nice to have something delicious simmering in the slow cooker all day..A stick to your ribs, warm you to the core, meal. Something like this ham and potato soup.
Yeah..most definitely a hot bowl of soup.
Imagine. Curling up under a blanket with a bowl of this piping hot soup.
Ham and potato soup is definitely a comforting meal that can be thrown in the slow cooker in just a few minutes in the morning…and ready for when you get home at night! The aroma of ham and bacon tickles your senses the moment you walk in the door… and continues with every spoonful, while the potatoes and cabbage add a butteriness to the soup that makes you keep wanting to take “just one more bite” …

Blog post courtesy of Prudy at Butter, Basil, & Breadcrumbs.  Head over to her blog for more delicious recipes!

The Ultimate DIY at the Rose Bowl Parade


Happy New Year, I am writing you from Pasadena California where the New Year’s Celebrations have been in full swing for a few days now.  Many of you reading this are just as in love with DIY projects as I am, so when my Dad said we needed to plan a trip to the Rose Bowl Parade I was all in! Watching the parade on T.V. is already incredible as these floats are all too beautiful, but let me be the first to say that the behind the scenes and making of these ginormous beauties is even more mind blowing than the floats themselves!

Not only did we come to watch the parade, but we came to volunteer our time in making the Lutheran Hour float. This year’s theme was #findyouradventure (and this is exactly what we did.) As we were led into the building my previous thoughts and ideas of what would be waiting inside were… small… to say the least!  I assumed that in this huge building there would be one float and all the volunteers would be placing flowers and fluffing baby’s breath. Turning the corner my father and I were immediately asked if we were ok with climbing scaffolding, as 10 floats came into view. Hundreds of volunteers surrounded floats doing anything from dry painting with glues, rice, and petals, cutting flowers and placing them into vials, grouping baby’s breath, daisies, and carnations on toothpicks to be stuck in the foam like structure.  We immediately jumped right in with others from all over the country....after we gawked a little bit and took a few hundred photos.

Our first project was making beautiful arrangements on boat/side waves and it didn’t stop there. By the time our shift was over my dad was helping instruct our side straight from the float leader, bringing in flats of flowers, fixing, tweaking, climbing, sticking, fluffing, and on and on. Lisa the leader of the float has one awesome job and probably one of the most stressful ones on the last night before declaring the completion of the float.  (8:30 a.m. on the 31st is the last moment you can be working.)

As amazing as this room was, my Dad, who had been going off to get more flats of flowers pulled me away saying, “you have to see this.” He led me out into a different area of the building and as soon as I saw what was in front of my eyes my face lit up (I probably looked like one of the kids being led into Willie Wonka’s candy chocolate river room.) The Flowers went on and on even after thousands had been placed on their floats.

The size, the beauty, the team work, love, and planning that goes into this parade has us moving this item from our bucket list to things we would love to do again!

 If this looks like something you would love to do there are many organizations you can volunteer through.  You can learn more about those soon on our blog. This is defiantly an adventure worth taking! Thanks for reading and Happy New Year.
                                                                                           Stay Sweet,
                                                                                                  Amanda Lauren 

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