Saturday, October 31, 2009

mission accomplished

remember the post i showed you about the pottery barn shelves?

well, with some patience and some paint, i now have the shelves! 3 24 in. shelves for ... $18 total! that is what buying them unfinished and with coupons will accomplish. the finished 24 in. shelves at hobby lobby were $15 half price. for one. ouch.

so, i waited patiently for a 40% coupon and printed 3 of them to buy the shelves.

now, i need some cheap frames to put on the shelves.

it's halloween... time to start thinking about christmas

i am sorry. i can't help it. i love the season too much to resist.

november, i love you. i love you because you are the month that i start preparing for christmas. afterall, the preparing is the funnest part of the season!

so since i started thinking about christmas, i thought maybe you are too... here is something i found on a blog. i am thinking of doing my mantel this year in all greenery and mini- trees and moss topiaries.

anyone know a cheap place to get moss?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

winter "one"derland part 2: snowmen

oh. my. gravy.

bh&g today had an enormous amount of really cute food ideas for snowmen. perfect for a winter themed birthday party. i was so excited when i saw their email today. so excited. no. snow excited.

hopefully you like these ideas too. i plan to copy like... all of them.

i know the food at the party will primarily be sweets, but why not for my sweet little girl? i plan on filling some of my jars with white candy as part of my decor. but i loved these ideas too!

any ideas for glass bottles i can use for the snowmen? the ribbon and donut holes will be easy, but what about a kid friendly white drink that comes in a glass bottle?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

it's coming!

christmas will be here before you know it. have you thought about your christmas cards yet?

i contemplated making my own.

that idea came and went.

instead my sister told me to look on i am glad i did! i found a really cute designer. check her out!

spooky fireplace

here is what my sister did to decorate for halloween. so cute!

refresh your kitchen with bh&g

have i mentioned i am unoriginal? yep. guilty as charged.

today i received this article in my email from better homes and gardens. great ideas that i've read before and have tried to incorporate in my kitchen...

{article bh&g; pictures mine}

8 Quick Kitchen Updates

1. Add a splash of red in a white or neutral kitchen. Red stimulates the appetite, improves one's sense of smell, and sensitizes the taste buds.

2. Show off your dishes, glasses, and serving pieces with open shelves.

3. Create a family message center by painting kitchen pantry doors with chalkboard paint.

4. Add casters to a small shelving unit for a rolling cart that goes wherever it's needed.

ok, haven't done this one yet, but i am planning on it. looking though for something wood, like a kitchen table.

5. Add an eye-catching chandelier over the kitchen island for a touch of glamor.

nor, have i done this one, but am planning on it as well. first comes the island then comes the trip to ikea for a $34 chandelier.

6. Retrofit a silverware drawer with dividers and cabinets with stackable wire shelves.

7. Tile a backsplash. For low-cost customization, choose a simple 4x4 tile with just a few accent tiles to break it up.

8. Cut off the toe-kick on a cabinet and add a bun leg on each corner or end so it looks like a freestanding piece of furniture. Then paint or stain them to match the cabinets.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

the unconventional

as i've posted before, my daughter's room kind of has a nature theme to it: birds, sticks and butterflies.

so one day last week while looking at a corner in her room, i decided that she also needed a tree in that corner. hmmmm... how could i make a tree for cheap...

next morning i woke up and found a branch the perfect size on my deck. it had fallen during the night.

i know it is a bit unconventional for a nursery, but i love how it fills the space. i love how it continues the theme. i love how it was free. i am going to have to make some more of those birds now...

an inspirational blog

by now {if you're like me} you've probably checked out all the blogs i have listed on my site. if not, let me encourage you to check out this blog by nestor,

not only does nestor have great ideas for the home, she is also filled with encouragement. i am not sure what her husband does for a living but they are always moving into new homes or apartments, and she appears to do so very graciously and with an upbeat attitude.

i hope you are encouraged by her blog, whether it is encouraged about your home or about life. i know she was one of the people who really inspired me to blog as a creative outlet - and i've never even met her!

an encouraging word...

here is a little something i read this morning. as people who love making their house a home, i feel like you'd appreciate this verse. contentment is the root to a cozy, welcoming home.

"a heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones."
proverbs 14:30

let's be happy with what we have. we will experience more joy and peace when we choose to be content. you can do it! make the choice!

Monday, October 26, 2009

winter "one"derland part 1: the idea

since december 21, 2008 i've been thinking about december 21, 2009.


my beautiful daughter's first birthday. i know for many moms it is enough to put a cupcake in front of their child and sing them a quick "happy birthday". the kid will never know the difference so the gesture is more than adequate.

not for me.

i am a doer. that is how i love. i love to do things for people. even though isabel will never remember the effort i put into her first birthday party, i will. i want to love her with 110% of all my love. for me, that is doing something special for her - even when she will never remember it. to know that i showed her my love in my own way.

so. on december 21, 2008 when i held my beautiful baby girl for the first time, my mind started to conceive all of these ideas of things i could do for her to show her my love. one of those many ideas was the beautiful parties i was going to throw for her. the first being an important one. for her and for me. i knew i wanted to have a winter themed birthday party. my sister suggested a theme to me.

"winter one-derland".


over the past 10 months i've been creating a file of ideas that i can use for her party. {well, that sounds like a lot of work, but really it is just copying and pasting pictures i like into word documents or saving webpages in my bookmarks when i come across a picture i like. not that much work. really.}

so slowly over the month of october i've been gathering a few supplies here and there. today the half price snowflake stamp to make the invitations. a few weeks ago it was some snowflake ornaments on sale at hobby lobby. before that some plates on clearance at target.

now over the next few weeks it will be making things for her party. invitations. snowflakes. decorations. finding recipes.

i know. how silly of me. how could i think that me covering my house with snowflakes could make her feel loved. somehow and someday i hope it does.

i'm back!

life sure gets busy, doesn't it?

here at the copy cat cottage i've been busy working on painting. trim, trim and more trim. doors. trim around the doors. cabinets. trim around the cabinets... well. you get the idea. this month i've been painting the trim in our entryway and in our upstairs hallway. a nice creamy white. such a refreshing change from the old yucky brown. way more cottage-y.

the yucky before...

the semi-finished after...

i've struggled with that green. i planned on painting the entire cabinet green. i've seen green cabinets in a lot of pictures of cottages. went to home depot to buy the paint and decided to go with a brighter green {after all, it is a hallway with out natural light!} got the paint home. started painting. hmmmmm....bright. plan b. paint only the inside of the cabinet. i'm also going to use cork as a "back splash". i also considered paint. chalkboard paint. maybe fabric. thought about paper. even pondered using some sort of metal. decided on cork as another way to incorporate pictures and as a new texture. also goes well with the frame i hung in the hallway. i also think that every room needs a touch of wood. cork is wood, so this worked out well to warm up the space.

i have been working on several projects too. i've been dabbling in some photography lately and would love a place to showcase some of my pictures. so, i've decided to make my upstairs hallway into a "gallery" so to speak. here is a sneak peek of one way i will be displaying pictures. {i will do a how to post in the future.}

remember this photo?

well, i've taken the first step today in completing this project in my hallway gallery. i bought one of the 3 shelves. why only one? well, they only let you use one 40% off coupon at a time at hobby lobby. so, what was once $9.99 cost me $6. only two more to go!

november is our first big project of our new house. we are tearing out our front closet to replace it with a bench and hooks. lots of beadboard and hopefully more character will be added.

hopefully this....

will become this by the end of the month...

and these two have kept me busy too...

so maybe you thought the copy cat was done with her home renovation. nope. never been busier and i'm just getting started! stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

a new idea for a wreath

sorry the posts have been slow lately. life has been a bit busy with all the painting projects i have going on in my house. you'll see them once they are completed.


this is a fun wreath from hostess with the mostess. so simple and i love new uses for paper.

Friday, October 16, 2009

tea party invites

have i mentioned how i love to throw parties?

well, i do. if it is possible, i think it might be my love language. maybe my spiritual gift? ok, maybe not.

anyways, i have a great one coming up. a tea party baby shower.

first step, of course, is getting the word out for the shower. i needed ideas, so i started searching the internet. {remember, i am a copy cat.} found this idea:

this was my inspiration. close to what i wanted, but not it completely. i wanted something where you had to pull the teabag out of the teapot.

so with a little bit of originality, this is what i came up with:

like it? go ahead! try it!

supply list:
- teapot pattern {printed from internet. i did a google images search and found it}

- scrapbook paper {got mine on sale at hobby lobby for 30 cents a sheet}

- white cardstock {about the same price as scrapbook paper}

- white ribbon {again, half price at hobby lobby for $1}

- glue or modge podge {maybe $3 a bottle? i've had mine a long time, so i don't remember...}

- needle

how to:
1.) on half of the paper trace the teapot face up.

2.) on the other half, trace the invite face down. this is so you can glue the two pieces together to have a front and a back. {i learned this lesson the hard way..}

3.) cut out the teapots and glue them together. glue only on the white side of the paper towards the borders on the bottom half only. you want to create a pocket with the invitations so don't glue them together completely and don't glue towards the top. i stopped gluing at the "lid" of the teapot.

4.) i decided to embellish the teapot. i printed "tea for two" on cardstock and also cut out some red paper to glue on the front to show where the lid of the teapot would be. i decided tea for two meaning mama and baby!

5.) next is the "tea bag". I printed all the information for the shower on cardstock and cut them out so they'd look like a teabag. I used the needle to put the string on the "teabag".

6.) stick the "tea bag" inside of the teapot and your invitations are ready to send!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

nutella ravioli

saw this recipe on someone's blog and just knew i had to try it. chocolate-hazelnut ravioli. seriously easy and seriously yummy. just need a jar of nutella, wonton wrappers, egg, oil and powdered sugar.

click here to try it!

Monday, October 12, 2009

inspirational party blog

here is another party blog that i found tonight as i searched for more ideas for the upcoming shower. wow. this is the motherload of party ideas. hopefully there is something on it that you could use one day. i know i was inspired and plan to copy many of the ideas.

here are a couple cute pictures from the party perfect blog. enjoy!

isn't this invite adorable for a rocket or space themed birthday party?

inspirational blog

if you are a party planner like myself, check out this blog:

she has an amazing amount of DIY ideas that she has found from other blogs. this picture really inspired me from her site with my birds and bees shower:

the bad news is that she hasn't posted for a month. i think she moved and got married. good enough reasons to not blog...i guess... :)

place cards

so my day has started like normal. before i sit down to read the word, i do all of the activities that "distract" me first. unload the dishwasher. throw some laundry in the wash. make my coffee and check out blogs.

i am hosting a tea shower in a month so i went to martha stewert's site to see how to make these:

then i got distracted. i started finding some great ideas for place cards. i don't know about you, but when i have a large group over for a formal meal, i hate the awkwardness of people not knowing where to sit.

place cards take care of that awkwardness.

so let my morning distraction be your morning inspiration!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

beautiful butterflies

i saw this cute idea on one pretty thing. maybe i will try to sew some up myself! seems easy enough. you could make a butterfly mobile. you could attach them to a canvas. you could sew them to a shirt. how cute! click here to find out how to make these beautiful butterflies!

Friday, October 9, 2009

birds & bees shower*

*NOT the birds & the bees. just some birds. and some bees.

last spring i threw a baby shower for my friend jenn. i searched online for some cute but classy shower themes. i found a site that had some great ideas for a shower decorated with birds and bees. i thought it was adorable. perfect for the iowa farmgirl i was throwing the shower for.

first, the bees. this idea i got from martha stewert, only she took a chinese latern and put butterflies all over it. i found these realistic looking bees at hobby lobby for $1.99.

i took some more realistic looking bees and put them near the food and on some of the flowers. i would have loved to do more with the bees, but ran out of funds.

next the birds.

to start i bought some unfinished birdhouses on sale at hobby lobby. i painted the houses to go with the color scheme of my shower and used paper for the roofs. these doubled as centerpieces and they were the prizes for the shower games. the extras now decorate my daughters bedroom. i used dried grapevine for "nests". i used a grapevine wreath to hold the paper plates to keep the theme going.

i used the same paper that i used on the birdhouses to make letters for the different tables at the party {food, cake, gifts}. to continue the natural feel of the shower, i used sticks to display the letters. if i would have known at the time how to sew a fabric bird, i would have also done that and attached it to the sticks.

the cake. this was my first attempt at a cake, so it needed to be really simple. i made a white cake and put raspberry pie filling in the middle of the two layers. i also added almond flavoring to store bought white frosting. the cake turned out pretty yummy! for the top, i made a birds nest out of chow mein noodles, melted chocolate and jelly bellies for eggs.

so there you have it. birds. bees. it worked well and was fairly inexpensive. in a month i am planning another baby shower for a friend. this theme is a tea party. invites are being made tomorrow, so stay tuned!