Have S'MORE Fun This Halloween

I thought I would do a quick post in between finishing up Halloween costumes and craft faire projects. Yikes! I am feeling a long night ahead of me. We like to make some extra special treats for our friends. We are big fans of s'mores and when I spotted the fun orange pumpkin marshmallows I knew I needed to do something with them. A few years ago we made Spooky S'mores and I thought I would update it with a fun monster topper to go with the orange marshmallow. To download the toppers click here.

To make the Monster S'more Treats you need:
 - Monster Bag Topper
- miniature Hershey Bars
- Large Marshmallow or a fun Holiday Peep
-Graham crackers
-clear craft bags
Hope you all have a safe and fun Halloween!

Witches Brew

It's Halloween week, and while the warm temperatures might make it a little harder to get into the fall spirit, we decided to celebrate the season with a little science project.  Auntie Erin invited us over to mix up some witches brew and everyone, including my little dude loved it.  My little dude loved it so much, he was licking the vinegar right off the spoon...whatever floats your boat.  I am always game for a project that is organized by another mama at her house, it doesn't get much easier than that! There wasn't any real measuring to the activity, we just gave each kiddo a bowl and let them have at it.


Mixing bowls
plastic creepy crawlers- we used spiders
food coloring
wooden spoons or spatulas to mix with
baking soda

We counted out our creepy crawlers, dropped them into our bowls, sprinkled (actually more like dumped) a few heaping tablespoons of baking soda on top and, added a few drops of food coloring, and then poured in the vinegar.  The kiddos loved watching it bubble and when the bubbling stopped, they mixed it up and added more baking soda.  It was a perfect way to spend a very un"fall"ishly warm day just a few days before Halloween!

Blog MakeOver

We hope you're loving our blog makeover as much as we do!  We worked with the fabulous team over at Smitten Blog Designs and they helped us figure out exactly what we wanted and then made it come to life on the web.  If you are looking to revamp your blog, we highly recommend you check them out!  Be sure to let us know about your blog, we'd love to follow along!

My Living Room Makeover

So I have been working on my living room since we moved in...six years ago.  It has gone from formal kid free living room, to housing a couch that doubled as a trampoline, to a giant empty room waiting to be decorated.  I wish I had photos of every stage, but I never thought to take room photos as I went about my day...live and learn.  I finally decided I was done living with an unfinished front room and decided on a fresh new color palette of coral, navy, white, and gold and ran with it.  My accent wall was painted a fabulous shade of coral and my amazing father helped us create white built in bookshelves and then the room sat...and sat.

We realized at this point that we should have extended the laminate flooring we had done throughout the whole downstairs just last year when we remodeled the kitchen, so in classic Tiffani fashion, I had the flooring finished in a second, more labor intensive phase...and I couldn't be happier!

Now with the bookshelves in place and the floors all finished, I knew how I wanted the room to feel- airy and cozy at the same time, put together and welcoming, a place of tranquility that would make me smile when I stood there.  I didn't want to jump into decorating and regret something I had done just a few months ago, so I tried to be okay with the lengthy design process.  I knew I wanted a window seat- I have this romanticized vision of my boys resting on over sized pillows, reading novels with sunbeams sprinkling their faces....I know I know, it will most likely be a jumping platform for wrestling matches, but you never know.  I decided to hire out for my window seat cushions ( I am a HUGE fan of hiring out for things that people can do to help my life be a little less crazy!) and then I knew I needed more....I tackled my gallery wall next.  I channeled my dad and spent hours, literally, drawing, measuring, and marking before I hung the 16 frames.  As a former "hammer it up and then check if it's level enough" kind of girl, I am pretty proud of this wall.

I then found a black statement mirror at Home Goods and repainted it with Glitterblast in gold- if you haven't discovered Glitterblast yet, go right now...stop reading and find something, anything, you need to make sparkle.  This stuff is AMAZEballs- shout out to my sister for introducing this into my life.  My husband should be a little worried- if I can paint it, it may just end up glittered!

On a whim I found two darling navy and white chairs ON SALE at Target, SCORE!, and the softest rug you have ever felt from Costco.  Seriously soft, like my toddler goes and just lays down while drinking his morning smoothie, doing nothing but resting on this rug, soft.

And that's where we stood- the room still needed something...so I bought some fabric and decided to cover every old throw pillow in my house, 14 to be exact.

I sewed and sewed and sewed and then wasn't sure how I wanted to finish the pillows.  This is why I hate throw pillows, they always have the closure that is hand stitched on top and gives away your custom pillow as an amateur homemade DIY project.  I decided to sew zippers into every case ( I know, I was having a crazy moment) and you-tubed "how to sew zippers".  When the how to video is 15 minutes long, I am out.  Thank goodness for recommended links- I found Dana and this link and I was sold.  Maybe I have been living under a pillow sewing rock my whole life, but in case you were chilling under that rock with me, watch the link, it will change your life...seriously!  I used to HATE the idea of sewing a throw pillow, now I can't decide what to do next.  Between my new found sewing technique and my learned usage of dry wall anchors (seriously you tube that too), I feel like I can redecorate just about any room in my house!  Now all that's left is to continue styling my shelves- I feel like this is a daily chore.  Just as I was settling on a few pieces, the fall season rolled around and the autumn decor came out.  I have two low lying shelves that I know better than to style since my boys' favorite past time is destroying anything that is not meant to be destroyed.  I am loving the pieces I have so far and hope to be able to keep the decor clutter free, simple yet complete...I'll keep you posted!

I am in love with the new space, it makes me smile every morning I come downstairs.  My annual photo books have a new home and all of our homemade quilts and throws are on display in wire baskets.  The window seat's drawers are the perfect place to store extra pillows and bedding for overnight guests (our window seat is slightly larger than a twin mattress so it's perfect place for a good night's sleep!) and any extra supplies (can we say folding step stools?).  I hope you enjoyed the "tour" through my new living room space.  What home areas have you been making over lately??

Summer Tomatoes

I have a confession... I have become a total tomato snob. I have been spoiled all Summer and now into Fall with the most delicious tomatoes in our garden. The other day I met a friend at a popular chain restaurant for lunch and it took all I had to choke down the awful hot house produced tomato. I'm already dreading what I will do when my tomatoes are done this season.
I thought I would quickly share one of my favorite salads that I ate at least twice a week with our garden tomatoes. It is super easy and so delicious.
This salad has spring greens (baby spinach could also be delicious), fresh garden tomatoes sliced, fresh mozzarella sliced, torn basil leaves, balsamic dressing, and homemade croutons.
Homemade croutons are so easy to make and I think make all the difference. After eating fresh homemade croutons, it is almost impossible to eat store bought croutons. To make croutons I don't do anything fancy. I slice up a loaf of sourdough or french bread into cubes.  I drizzle the bread cubes with olive oil and a few tablespoons of melted butter. Into the bowl with bread cubes I sprinkle garlic (fresh or dried), basil, and parsley. I give it a good toss and put them on a lined cookie sheet. I put the pan in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes. At about 10 minutes I give them  a stir. Super easy and super delish!

I am looking forward to enjoying the next few weeks of my garden tomatoes, but I'm curious what fall vegetables will you be putting in your salad?

Barn Diving

It's back to reality and the California heat!!! I spent an amazing couple days in beautiful Iowa. I went with family to visit the family farm and I was in love.
I had forgotten how beautiful, calm, and quiet (will besides the million crickets) it was there. We spent a couple days diving and picking through the barn. I'm pretty sure my Great Uncle thought we were crazy when we jumped with glee over the pile of old farmhouse windows and canning jars.
I was in heaven. After spending a few days on the farm I left inspired. I think I am secretly suppose to be a farm girl. Until I can live on a farm I will just work on adding old farmhouse touches to my house. I can't wait to show you all some of the things I am working on with some of my new treasures.

Craft Faire Extravaganza

We're excited to be hosting a local artisan craft faire this year to help our friends and family get a jump start on holiday shopping!  If you're interested in more details and want to come check out all the fun, drop us an email and we'll keep you posted with all the details as the day approaches!  For now, mark your calendar for Sunday, November 2nd, starting at 10am, we hope to see you all there!