Friday, March 28, 2014

Home Tour - Progress So Far

I shared a little home tour as part of Life Made Lovely's Home Made Lovely series a few weeks ago, so I thought I'd go ahead and share the post here so that ya'll can see some of the progress we've made with our home so far.

We bought our first house in South Carolina this past August... a 1970's brick ranch. Instantly, we fell in love with the wooden floors and giant front windows, and we were eager to take on the challenge of creating a space that reflected our style and felt like home. Both my husband and I like to keep things very simple, not too cluttered, and we are working on making our spaces as useful as possible. Usually we are drawn to neutral and clean colors for the bigger aspects like walls and furniture, but our love of interesting patterns, shapes, and textures comes out more in the decorating.

Come on in!

The first room you step into is my favorite- the living room.

This room sold the house to us. Those big, south-facing windows. The natural light that streams inside. {love}. I've tried to keep this room simple and just let it be a light, clean space to enjoy.

It's a place for quiet jazz and relaxing reading. My 2-year-old daughter also thinks of it as her dance floor. So many happy memories are being made in this room.

The two tufted chairs in the window were passed on to me as a project. My husband sanded and painted the frames, and I reupholstered and tufted the seats. Almost all of the rest of the furniture in the room was acquired either for free or very inexpensively from Craigslist. Those hexagons on the wall were a gift from a dear friend for Christmas, and they are my favorite!
[triangle pillow cover | book initial]

The living room flows into the dining room, which has recently become a multifunctional space. I enjoy being in this room so much that I asked my husband if I could take it over with my workspace. So now this is where I print and package my Etsy orders, paint, sew, and create when I have the time.

This china was my husband's grandmother's wedding china... one of the loveliest things I have ever been gifted. I could never have dreamed up a more perfect pattern and color for me, and I love that it's an heirloom as well. The hutch was also a Craigslist find that we fixed up and painted a few summers ago.

The table stays a small circle to work at most of the time, but it can expand to be a more legit dining table if we need it to when guests come over.

The old South Carolina map on the wall was a public domain image that I found in a google search. I tweaked the colors a little bit, resized it, and had it printed as an engineering print at Staples for a few dollars.

After a serious purge, I managed to get almost all of my craft supplies organized into this bookshelf. Having kiddos and the messes that they bring has caused me to let go of some of my obsessive organizational tendencies... but occasionally, I still just can't resist the urge to arrange things by color order for as long as they will stay that way. :)

Tucked behind the tan chair is my desk. It holds my computer, some more supplies, and my two giant beasts of printers.

I am so happy about our decision to make the dining space more useful for us! Having my work area right in the middle of the house where I can be with and keep and eye on the kids instead of tucked back in our guest room is definitely working well for us right now.

Most of the bedrooms are still works in progress, but my son's room is coming together.

Again, mostly thrifted furniture and diy projects in here. The chevron rug is actually a quilt that I made for him before he was born. A friend of mine has that saying hanging in her nursery: "The days are long, but the years are short." Such a great reminder, and I wanted it up on my son's wall too, so I created a design and had it made into an engineering print at Staples. [Printable here].
On the back side of the house is our cozier family room area.

I've started a collage wall in this room with some art that is special to us. A vintage 5 for the number of people in our family, a trumpet/violin duet that was written for us as a wedding present, a watercolor that my daughter painted, a lovely and simple painting of the word "love", a favorite quote of mine, a camera printable that I found online, a drawing of my husband and I that my sister made for us for Christmas one year, a special love note that my husband doodled for me years ago ... Sweet, sweet gifts, memories, and reminders that I love to walk by every day.

The family room flows into the kitchen. My husband built the farm table for me almost two years ago. He's handy like that. ;) The chairs were bought through Craigslist and we painted them robin's egg blue. The curtains were one of those awesome Target finds where someone bought them online, didn't like them, returned them to the store, and then I got to pick them up for 70% off! We got the light fixture here. And the striped wall is actually back in our laundry room, and it adds the extra little pop of "crazy" that I felt this space needed.

You've seen a good chunk of our home all put together, but in all honesty, it rarely looks this manicured. By ten o'clock most days, the floors are strewn with toys, there are chunks of half-chewed banana sticking to the couch, and all of the books are off the shelves. And I daily have to remind myself to look for beauty in the mess too; because I don't think real beauty in a home is necessarily found in the way the things are arranged, but in the bonds of the people who call that place their home. How thankful I am to share this "home" with these sweet ones that I love.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Judah's Room & a Free Nursery Printable!

Judah's room has been my project this last week. There are still a few more touches that I'm working on, but so far it's coming together nicely. It all started with a phrase that I really wanted to get hung on the wall: "The days are long, but the years are short." And somehow creating a print for the wall became an entire room makeover. Typical, huh? Here's what Judah's room looked like when we moved in:

I am not opposed to blue walls, but this color blue was incredibly vibrant. And blue. Haha, maybe I am opposed to blue walls. ;) I knew it had to go. For some reason, I also became fixated with the idea of a striped accent wall in his room. In hindsight, it really makes sense. Judah's room is the smallest one, and the horizontal stripes actually help to make it seem larger than it really is.

Here's a picture of the stripe painting process, for anyone who's interested. There are so many great stripe painting tutorials online, so I'm not going into detail. But I will attest to what worked for me: I used a level to draw the lines for where I was going to tape. And once the tapes were on, I painted over the edge of them with the base color... that sealed the tape so that there was no bleeding when I painted the stripes. I was skeptical and thought I would probably be peeling off tape to find a wobbly, messy disaster, but the lines are perfect! The whole room is painted with Olympic's Whispering Wind, and the stripes are Valspar's Ultra White.

David and I both really like simple, clean rooms... not a lot of clutter. There are a few things hanging above Judah's crib, and the rug is a quilt that I made for him before he was born.

There's a free printable version of the poster at the end of this post. Underneath, a simple bookshelf with books and toys, and the rocking chair in which we spend those restless nights cuddling. And, of course, his drum. He loves his drum. :)

I like to have this picture of him when he was just a few weeks old hanging on the wall too... also helps me remember how quickly the time is passing and soak up every minute with him.

If you'd love the reminder of this sweet quote on your wall too, I have included a printable below. I had mine printed at Staples as a 24" x 36" engineer print. It looks good on the wall, but there are some slight imperfections in the quality up close, so I have not included the file here to download. I would be happy to email the larger file to you, though, if you want to use it. Just email me at Mandy(at)Mandipidy(dot)com and let me know that you want the large file.

This printable is 8x10 and ready to be printed on standard 8.5" x 11" paper. You can download below. Enjoy!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Calendars, Christmas Printables, and Surprises - Oh My!

Wow, can you believe it's December already?! I am in denial. And I'm seriously behind on my Christmas shopping. But I am giddy with excitement about decorating our new house for Christmas for the first time! I've made some Christmas designs, and I'm sharing them with you... feel free to use the images below for decorating or sharing with friends (scroll down to get to this month's calendar)!

Also, here's our turkey day news that we finally shared with friends:

Baby three! If you had told me we'd be having three kiddos two and under (for a few months) a year ago, I'd have told you you were nutty. But we are so excited about meeting a new little babe next summer!

One final thing... if you are Christmas shopping at Mandipidy, here are my Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Happy shopping!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Cake Ball Recipe

First of all, Happy Fall! This is my favorite time of the year, and I have eagerly been anticipating the cooler weather, joyous family time, and (of course) baking! We're starting off the season at the England house with Pumpkin Spice Cake Balls... Yum!

They are super easy to make, but it's a little bit of a process. I recommend planning to make them over two days.
It begins with baking a pumpkin spice cake...

In a large bowl, blend the left column of ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and cloves):

In another large bowl, cream together sugar, oil, and applesauce:

Add pumpkin and vanilla:

Add eggs and whisk well for about a minute:

Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, making sure to blend them well as you do.

Pour into a greased 12x18 pan and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes, or until you can stick a toothpick in the center and pull it out clean.

When it's done baking, set cake out and let it cool completely and fill your house with that amazing pumpkin spice aroma.

If you aren't into cake balls, you could stop here and frost the cake. It would be perfectly delicious just like this.
Or... it's time for pumpkin cake balls!!

Once the cake has completely cooled, crumble it up into very fine crumbs in a large bowl:

Add about 1/3 of the vanilla frosting (and some extra cinnamon or other spices if you'd like to taste more over the overbearing chocolate we're about to coat them in):

Roll the cake/frosting into about 1 inch balls, and set in a pan. Place them in the fridge overnight.

Place 1/3 of the orange candies in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave for about a minute, then stir. Keep microwaving in 30 second intervals and stirring until candies are melted. Add a tsp of Crisco to the melted candy to help keep it smooth.

Take just a handful of cake balls out of the fridge (don't take them all out, because you don't want them to get too warm while you work), and prepare the pumpkin "stems" and "leaves." I cut off about 1/4 of an inch of pretzel sticks to use for the stems, and a little sprinkle of green sugar for the hint of some leaves.

One at a time, place the cake balls in the melted candy, and roll them around until they are coated.

Place the cake ball into a cupcake liner, gently stick the pretzel into the top, and sprinkle some green sugar around the base of the pretzel:

Continue the process until you've made little pumpkins out of all of the cake balls.

Keep refrigerated, and enjoy!