Friday, August 29, 2014

College Football Love

It's about to be September in the south and that can only mean one thing...time for college football!  I am always a little sad (OK, a lot sad) when summer comes to an end.  However, when I start thinking about all of the great things that fall brings, including football games and cheering on our beloved Dawgs, I get just as excited about the next season.  Jen and I are Georgia Bulldog girls at heart, but pretty much anyone you talk to would tell you that here in the south football means tailgating, sporting your teams colors, and celebrating the long standing (and mostly friendly) rivalries between teams.

Our kids love getting in on the football action and pretty much from day one they have been trained to yell "Go Dawgs!"  I love that they love the idea of cheering for our team and I'm hoping we can take them all to another game this season.  Just for fun, here is a little walk down memory lane with my 3 and their love for the Dawgs!



Can I just pause for a second and say that the two pictures below are how I still view my Goldilocks and Boo-Boo, although these pictures are a few years old.  I'm in denial that they are growing up, but that is a post for another day! 






I pretty much love any excuse to dress my kids and decorate my front porch to fit a theme so I was excited to work hard all week to get our house ready for the very first game of the season.  Just putting out all of this stuff made me giddy.


It must have had the same effect on the kids because every time we pull in the driveway and see all of our UGA stuff my little guy yells an enthusiastic "Go Dawgs!"  This evening I even had the girls singing Glory, Glory to Ole Georgia. Let me just tell you, that makes my heart smile!

One project I worked on this week were these burlap footballs for my front doors.


Look out for more about these next week.  I'm planning to share a tutorial about how to make some of your very own and they will also be added to our Etsy Shop at the first of next week if you don't want to try making them yourself.


I put out our UGA flag (that was a gift from a dear friend) and dressed it up a little with some fun red and black chevron ribbons.  I think adding ribbon, twine and burlap to just about anything can add a fun touch of detail.


I also made covers for some of my porch pillows out of old fabric I had stashed away.


And, I couldn't forget about the inside of the house.  I probably get more excited than I should about changing out my chalkboard message, but this was certainly a fun one.


Now all we have to do is contain our excitement for one more day until kick-off!  We'd love to hear who your favorite team is and how you will be celebrating the start of college football this weekend!  Even if you aren't wearing red and black, leave us a comment and let us know what your favorite football game traditions are.  And, be sure to check back next week after the holiday for a peek at how the Magnolia Mamas tailgate at home because there might just be some fun printables and a GIVEAWAY!!!  We wish everyone a happy and safe Labor Day Weekend!
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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Kitchen Confessions {Southern Living Crunchy Chicken}

I am a busy mom with a husband who has a chaotic unpredictable travel schedule. Making dinner is usually just a passing thought, and most nights dinner around here consists of Pb&j or cereal in a bowl.

When I want to get fancy I do some sort of meal in a crockpot (Those who know me well are probably vigorously shaking their heads yes. I might have made them a meal or two in my famous Crockpot.).

I thought I was doing good here providing delicious home made meals for my family until a recent party when we got on a discussion with other couples about dinner. We started talking about crockpot recipes when the normally easy going hubs spoke up. Instead of proclaiming his love for all things Crockpot he said, "Please, I can't! Not another broiled chicken in a crockpot dinner". Direct quote. I was shocked.

And Apparently he doesn't think Vans gluten free Cinnamon Heaven cereal is quite the culinary experience that I do either. It's a shame. He's really missing out.

So this summer I've tried to branch out. I dusted off some of those cookbooks that people so kindly gave me off my wedding registry years ago, and made it my mission to do a little better in the dinner department. I discovered I actually enjoy taking time to plan meals and found some recipes that seemed quick, easy and satisfying to everyone.

The crockpot and I will never break up (never ever), but at least when my husband throws down the cooking gauntlet, I have a few go to new family favorites.

One of our new favorites is
Southern Living's Crunchy Pan Fried Chicken. Hands down every time I make this my family gets so excited. Who knew chicken from a pan would get everyone way more excited? It is a simple delicious recipe and literally only took a few minutes to make. 



  • Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup self-rising cornmeal mix
  • 1/2 cup seasoned fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • skinned and boned chicken breasts 
  • large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil 

  • Prep:
  • Combine first 3 ingredients in a shallow dish. Dip chicken in egg, and dredge in cornmeal mixture.
  • Cook chicken in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until done.

  • Here is a easy printable one we made for you guys. It is sized as a 4x6 card. Just click on the image and print. Here is an online version of the recipe if you like to keep track of things electronically. 


We hope you enjoy this yummy meal as much as we did! Carrie Beth and I hope to share some more fun recipes in the future with you. Some will be shares of yummy easy dinners we find here and there and some will be our own creations.  

Who knows maybe for my next review you guys might get lucky and I will share one of my famous "boiled chicken in a crockpot" recipes. ;)
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If you would like to keep all of your random recipes that you find, or the ones we share here, nice and orderly, here is a matching recipe card we created for you to use in our Etsy shop.  


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Home Tour {Living Room}

I talked about my pillow transformations in my last post and gave y'all a sneak peak at the rest of the room.  Well, we got the curtains hung and now the room feels so much more complete...even though there is still some work to be done. It's amazing to me though how just by hanging the curtains the room instantly felt warmer and more cozy.  Now I'm excited to work on curtains for lots of other rooms in the house, too.  

This is the view looking into the living room from the kitchen.  I just LOVE the way the panels add that cozy touch to the room that felt so bare before.  The fabric I ended up choosing for the panels was not my first choice and not even what I had in my mind as something I wanted for this room.  But, when I saw it on the bolt I definitely gave it a second and then a third look and it started to grow on me.  And when saw the price (less than $10 a yard), I was sold!  



When we were building our house we walked through every model home we could find to get ideas.  The lanterns on the side of the TV was an idea we got from one of the model homes we toured.  I love that we did it in this room because the room stays darker and the lanterns help to brighten it up!  These are actually outdoor lanterns we decided to use on the inside of the house because it was the look we were going for.  We have these same lanterns outside our garage and our front doors, too!  That's how much we liked them. :-) 




The pair of seersucker chairs sits on the left side of the room and our sectional couch is on the right side, tucked back into the corner.



Originally I was going to get my two nursery gliders/ottomans recovered for this space.  Then I got quotes on how much that would cost and we could literally have bought two brand new glider/ottomans for the same price it would cost to redo them.  We scratched that idea and I sold one and kept one for a bedroom.  Then I began searching for new chairs and that is when I came across these lovely ones.


It was just a random search on Pinterest one day for "seersucker chair" and I kept seeing pictures of this same one.  Not only was it seersucker and in the colors I wanted, it also had nail heads and a gorgeous pale blue linen on the sides.  Surprisingly, they were from Pier One.  I was so excited because at the time they were on sale and I'd just received a 15% off coupon in the mail to be used there.  After checking them out in person, I took the hubs back to prove that they were quite comfortable (remember that is always his #1 requirement) and then we brought two of them home!



 

Now, here is where I need help. I have these two giant blank walls above our couch that I just don't know what to do with (ignore that ugly surround sound speaker!).


I have thought about doing some mirrors similar to THESE from Ballard Design on one wall, but then the other wall is still blank???

Photo credit - Ballard Designs 

I've also thought about some sort of paintings or watercolors, but they would just have to be really big and coordinate somehow.  I just don't know what to put there, but I do know I need HELP so I would love for y'all to leave comments with suggestions or tips on what you think would look good!  Help me fill those blank walls so I can call this room done and move onto the next one! 
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Monday, August 25, 2014

Reflections

 A few random thoughts to share. :)

Last week was a crazy, but fun week. We are finally settled into our back to school routine, but I am so glad we will have a little bit of Summer weather left to enjoy. If we weren't at school, we were at the pool. They love summer just as much as I do!


Over the last few weeks the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been taking over social media by storm, and last week was my turn to be challenged. The Hubs was out of town during my 24hrs, and while I have no doubt that dumping ice cold water  everywhere is right in the Cutes wheel house, I knew getting their effort on camera would be tough. So, we happily donated. :) 
I will say I was shocked to see a few negative comments about the challenge. Personally, I think in a world filled with negativity (especially on social media) it was refreshing to see something positive. Awareness is being raised, donations are being made, children are learning multiple lessons, so what's not to like? Dump away my friends! 

I am in week three of the C25K running program. I've been stuck on this training week for awhile. It's been hard to stay motivated and find consistent training time. Occasionally, we have been getting taste of the cooler Fall air headed our way. It has been nice because I can run outside with the Cutes without us all dying of heat exhaustion. I am hoping Fall will bring my motivation along with it's cooler temps.


And this, my friends, might or might not be the reason I need to kick it up a notch in my C25K program. The Hubs and I recently discovered the Talenti gelato at the grocery store as a splurge purchase, and oh my! Every night after we put the Cutes to bed we race down the stairs to indulge in this icecreamy goodness. One night, while we were reading just how many calories we would have to burn off from our new addiction, we realized it was produced in Marietta, GA (basically our backyard). How fun! (You hear that Mr. Talenti taste test coordinator? I am right here. Close by. Just saying.) 


Speaking of indulgences...last week was the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale. I might have done a little damage. And when I was done with my damage, I called my besties and my sisters and made sure they were in on the fun. I love it. It's like my summer Christmas. :) I was so excited to see by the weekend some of my purchases already started to arrive. Yay!


Thank you for sticking with me through all my random thoughts! :)

Hope everyone has a great week, and check back soon...Carrie Beth and I have some fun things planned over the next few weeks!

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Drab to Fab - Pillow Transformations

We recently moved into the home we spent almost a year building and now that the kids are back in school and I have just a bit more time to concentrate on the house.  My living room has been calling my name.  We bought a new sectional couch just before we moved in so we would have somewhere to sit in that room, but that is about where we stopped.  I knew I wanted to make curtains, pillows and get all the "extras" that really make the room come together, but I just hadn't had the time to do it...until now!  I will be sharing the transformation of this room all next week, but for today the talk is all about pillows.  

When selecting our couch, the hubs wanted something comfortable for watching TV and I wanted something neutral that would hide spills and messes that come with 3 little kids (and hopefully a soon-to-be pet).  We searched high and low and finally settled on one that fit the bill. It was a good neutral color, it was really comfortable, and it was really inexpensive compared to a lot of the others we looked at.  And, best of all it came with these lovely Aztec printed pillows.


Kidding!!!!  They might go well with some people's homes, but they were not really fitting into the vision I had for my living room.  My husband thought they were great because they were comfortable (are you noticing a trend here) and he even argued that they were the right colors for the room and everything.  I could hardly stand to look at these so I hid them in the closet as soon as I could and that is where the lived for 3 months.

I had found a gorgeous sea breeze blue buffalo check fabric that I contemplated using for curtains or to recover a chair, but I ended up using that fabric to cover up the stock pillows.  And, I am in love with the result.  I literally just made a slip cover for the pillows that came with the couch and no one would ever know.  And, the best part is that I can easily remove the covers to wash if when needed.  The other pillows sitting on my couch were a fun Target find.



I have a few other pillows I have made and/or transformed recently, too, but my favorite ones I am so excited to share with y'all are these beauties.


I found them at one of my stores - Hobby Lobby - for only $3.50 each.  Yes, you read that right!  They are normally $7 and the week I stumbled across them they were 50% off.  Get out of town!  I was so excited that I immediately threw them in my cart and knew they would work perfectly on the love seat in our keeping room.  For $3.50 you don't get the whole pillow...they are a zippered slip cover and you have to either buy a pillow form for or fill with poly-fil (the fluffy stuff inside of pillows), but still they are super affordable and affordable home decorating after you have just built a house and bought lots of new furniture is just what I needed.  Another cheap option is just to stuff an old, outdated throw pillow into the cover and that was my plan since it meant I wouldn't have to spend money on anything else.  However, mine ended up being too large, but that didn't stop me.  Because I didn't want to go back to the store and because I really wanted to get these pillows done, I literally cut open two old throw pillows and used the stuffing from those to fill the new ones.  It worked like a charm!

After living with them for a few weeks I decided I would dress them up a little bit with a monogram and now I am officially obsessed with how great they look and how easy it was to take inexpensive pillows and give them a custom look!


Here is a little peek at one other set of pillows I just made.  These pale blue ones share the same monogram as my Hobby Lobby pillows and they sit on my favorite pair of seersucker chairs. More on that part of the living room later.


And for one more sneak peek...here are my curtains for the living room just waiting to be hung! 


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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Birth Of A Backpack Wall

With back to school in full force, I snapped into super organization clean out mode. Some people get this urge in the Spring, but I get this way at least once a month. Being just a tad bit Type A (well, maybe more than a tad bit) clutter makes me anxious. Living with a busy three and a half year old who's daily mission is to seek and destroy, a busy nine month old who thinks the kitchen cabinets are her playground, and a husband who has slight hoarding tendencies, let's just say that the house makes me anxious a lot. 

One of my huge issues became how our island and our doorknobs were starting to become catchalls for all of our bags. School bag, cooler, lunch box, purse, laptop bag, diaper bags...it was getting out of control! So I decided we needed to remedy that ASAP.

I began to scour the internet for ideas. 

My husband got the nervous twitch he gets when I start to scour the internet for ideas.

After much debate, I finally landed on something that I liked on Pinterest. I showed the hubs my plan and after much persuasion that this project was life changing and will look fabulous when I was done, he begrudgingly happily headed off to Home Depot to get me supplies. 

Here's the space I chose for our project. This is the hall that enters from our garage and contains our pantry, coat closet, and laundry room entries. It's a fairly long sized plain wall, and it was hidden from the main area of our house. I thought it would be perfect. As you can see, even in my before shot we have few bags hanging on doorknobs. Boo!


After measuring and drawing up a plan, we tore off our baseboard and began framing out our wall. The original plans we had to tweak a bit as we decided to not move our light switch. The whole height of the framing is about five and a half feet. (I was nervous this would be a little high, but with ten foot ceilings and testing out that my son would still be able to reach the height of the hook, it worked out fine). 


Next up, chalkboard inserts. We bought a sheet of chalkboard, cut it to size with our Dremel, secured each one in place, and surrounded the edges with black caulk. Some people like to use chalkboard paint here, but this seemed a little easier to me and one less thing to paint. 


Next step was the caulking and sanding portion of the project.

Once we knew everything was nice and smooth, I strolled over to our local Sherwin Williams to pick up some paint to match our existing trim. Our project ran into a little snag when the associate told me that they no longer make the paint our trim is done in. I let that sink in for a few moments (we have A LOT of trim work in our house), then decided to just come to terms with the fact that I would have to paint all the trim in that area to match and had the nice associate whip up something he assured me would be similar to the rest of our house.

While he frolicked away to mix up my order, I had a moment of inspiration and decided if I was going to have to be painting more than I thought I would I might as well go all in. I checked out a few chips off of the color wheel I had with me, chose a neutral beige for the remaining wall space left to paint, and hoped it coordinated with everything else.

Next, I headed home with my almost doubled paint order to start on my now much larger paint job. It's all good though...I was about to be in clutter-free island heaven!


The trim took about three coats of paint before it looked perfect. And you don't need to have me bore you with a million painting pictures.

Now onto the fun part...hardware! The project is almost done. I know you're just as excited as I am! 



We installed the hardware, re-hung our peg board and our gallery of wall photos, and voila! Our project was officially complete! Wahoo!!


 I loved how it turned out. I love how everyone now has their own little spot for their bags. I love how a formerly plain looking useless space in my house now looks a little more complete. And most of all I love that I can now actually use my doorknobs for their intended purpose. 




















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