Let the Home Improvements Begin

Have you ever gone looking at a model home and thought, “this looks amazing in here!”, “I love these floors!”, “I want that table…” etc…  I have!  All the time.  So what do you do about it?  Well, I take pictures of it all.  I have an entire folder of over a dozen different communities of model homes that I have found inspiring over the years.  Not that I want my house to look like a model home, because, let’s be honest, with people actually living in it that’s not very realistic, BUT, I do want it to be something I enjoy coming home to everyday.

When my husband and I bought our house two years ago, we knew there were several things we wanted to change in the near future.  Some of them are little, like cosmetic updates, whiles others are pretty involved (like the kitchen and master bathroom).  We never thought we’d be able to get started on changing out nearly all of our flooring as soon as we have, but we are!  We can’t wait to have new carpet put in next week.  For now, we are keeping the current tile we have, which thankfully goes well with my new paint color, Sherwin William’s Mindful Gray (I wanted to go ‘greige’ throughout the entire house).

One of my least favorite things in my house is the carpet in the dining room.  It’s always building up crumbs (for me, more play-dough than food), and the chairs get stuck on it when you try to scoot yourself out.  It’s completely annoying.  Knowing we were replacing the carpet everywhere but this room, I had to change it out somehow.  I was fortunate enough to find this awesome wood flooring at Home Depot while we were carpet shopping http://www.homedepot.com/p/TrafficMASTER-Lakeshore-Pecan-7-mm-Thick-x-7-2-3-in-Wide-x-50-5-8-in-Length-Laminate-Flooring-24-17-sq-ft-case-35947/205349795.  At 79¢ a square foot it was a total steal!  I wanted to go for a ‘French Oak’ kind of look; something light enough to blend the gray walls and beige tile.  Perfect!  I love it.

When it comes to projects I get very impatient.  I had to get started on this as soon as possible.  After I got home from work last Thursday I had some time to myself.  Once dinner was cleaned up and the kids were in bed I got started taking off the baseboards.

Then that went so smoothly I continued taking the carpet out…

Then the padding.  And then I scraped all the glue off the floor.

The best part was next: putting the actual wood down.  Of course I couldn’t wait so I kept going.  I got the underlayment down fairly quickly and was able to get about 1/3 of the flooring down before my sweet husband made me stop and get ready for bed.

The next day I continued on.  I put the remaining padding down and was able to finish with the wood in just a few hours (while trying to keep a fussy baby and toddler happy).  I had to trim down the baseboards about half an inch because the tile next to it was slightly higher.  This is when we (my mom came to help me with this part) found the wall texture where the baseboards used to be needed to be smoothed down.  Then we painted the wall an extra inch lower than where it was before.

Next I had to put the baseboards back on before putting the t-molds down between the wood and the tile.  I used my nail gun to reattach them, filled the holes with spackling and sanded it down.

It’s finished!  Finally I love the floors in my front room.  It was around $300 for materials and took about 11 hours to completely finish.  This was a super impactful and fairly inexpensive update to my house.  I am so glad it turned out so good.

Next week we will be getting new carpeting, which means before that goes in I need to paint my master bedroom in preparation for it’s makeover!  I am so excited for it.  Stay tuned for more home improvement projects coming VERY soon!

 

XoXo,

Erika

 

 

 

 

Mommy of Many Talents – Projects Over the Years

I wanted to start this blog to show the different things I’ve learned to do myself over the years.  I love being a mom.  It is by far the biggest blessing and best calling I will ever receive.  I want to teach my kids that they can accomplish the things they work hard for.  Working on projects allows me to challenge and express myself while learning and growing at the same time.  This is why I craft, why I love using my power tools, why I love to paint rooms, re-purpose furniture, make things more usable and beautiful.

These are some of the projects I’ve worked on over the past few years.  I wanted to show that this blog is all encompassing.  I really am trying to be a ‘mommy of many talents’.

Baby Taylee’s room:

Melanie’s nursery:

(I sewed her crib skirt and bumper pads.  These were my first ever sewing projects and amazingly they turned out really well!).

Replacing our floors:

Painted accent walls:

(I also made the headboard and valances on the left)

Various Craft Projects:

Old master bedroom closet renovation.  This was awesome and turned out so good, we loved it and it sparked our fire for building things together.

The before (eek!!!):

The after (still needing paint but basically done):

Bathroom accent walls:

Furniture renovating:

I’ll updated the dressers with more recent pictures of the completely finished products because they turned out so so good!

Bench/furniture upholstery and refinishing:

I love doing these.  I currently have 2 more tables in my garage waiting for their makeovers!

Melanie’s Big Girl Room:

Scrap-booking:

Sewing and custom clothing:

These are carseat swaddles that I love sewing for my friends who are having babies.  They’re awesome because the straps go through it, so you just put your baby in and secure them, then bundle them up.

Landscaping and Gardening work:

Wood Signs:

I have at least a dozen more wood signs that I’ve recently made and will add to this collection soon.

More recent miscellaneous crafts:

There have been many other projects that I’ve done that I wasn’t able to find pictures of to share.  I truly have such a passion for creating things – all kinds of things.  I just love working with my hands.  I love challenging myself to learn a new skill and figure something out on my own.  I’m definitely going to continue growing my repertoire of ‘talents’ and hope to be able to share these things with my kids along the way.

I hope you’ve found something you like on here, maybe it will even inspire you to try your own projects.  And of course, if you have any questions on anything, or would like to see a tutorial done on it, please let me know.  I would love to help you accomplish your goals!

What type of projects do you enjoy working on?  Please share some things you’ve done, I would love to see them!

XoXo, Erika

 

Felt Flower Wall Decor

Felt Wall Flower Canvas

Yesterday my sweet little girl was running a pretty good fever, so I stayed home from work with her.  Because she was so sleepy and miraculously so was my 9 month old, I got some serious housework done.  It was wonderful (not my daughter being sick, of course, but getting ahead of the housework for once).  So today, being my regular day off and my kids both feeling great for the first time in what seems like forever, I was able to focus a little bit more on fun projects again!

I’ve had some sheets of felt rolled up in a basket in my room for months now.  I have been wanting to make a few things with them but couldn’t ever find the time to do it.  I also always have random canvas on hand hiding under my bed (I promise when I get my craft room up and running in my house these things won’t be in all sorts of places in my bedroom anymore).

Last year I converted my toddler’s room into her ‘big girl’ room. She’s 3 and has a queen size bed in there.  I know, it’s a little overkill, but now I don’t have to worry about upgrading her again in a few years.  Plus, the bed is from Ikea and has a ton of extra storage in it, which I’m all about.  Anyways, when I redesigned her room I also created a lot of the decorations for it.  One of the things I made were these super cute almost 3-dimensional felt flowers.  Today I’m going to walk through how I made these.  I absolutely love how much they can brighten up a space.  They’re fun for the kids and you can make them to match any decor in your house.

You’ll want to make sure you have all of your materials first.  Here’s what I used to make the flower:

  • 6 sheets of felt fabric
  • Ruler
  • Fabric Scissors
  • 12×12 canvas
  • 12×12 scrapbook paper
  • Scrapbook glue
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Clothespins
  • Buttons or small decor for the center

 

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Before getting started on the felt petals, glue your scrapbook paper to the canvas and let it dry.  This way you won’t have any down time when you are finally ready to start gluing things down.

Choose the colors you want to use for the flower.  I typically pick 3 different colors to use, but you can keep it all one color or use up to four.  My daughter helped me with this part.

After you decide which colors you want to use arrange them in the order you want them on your flower – the larger petals will be in the back.  For the largest size petals you’ll need two sheets of the same color felt.  Cut them in half long-ways (shown below), and then cut them into 3 sections, four inches wide each.

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The next size petal you will need will be cut in half again, but measured to be 3-inches in width.  Each petal size gets slightly smaller.  For the 3rd row of petals cut the felt into 3 long pieces and measure them to be 3-inches wide also.  Finally, cut 2×2-inch pieces for the last row that will be on the top of the entire flower.  If that seemed a little confusing here’s a picture of what your pieces should look like:

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After all of your squares are cut out trim the tips of them to make a point like shown above.

Next you are going to start hot gluing the felt pieces to form petals.

I like folding them in half and gluing the center together near the base, and then folding the sides down and gluing them in place.  This helps keep the petals a little more even looking.

This is where the clothespins come into play.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve burnt my fingers holding these together while waiting for the glue to dry.

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Continue gluing all of your petals together.  Once you’re done with this you’ll lay them out on the canvas like a clock.  Place and glue down four of your petals in the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions.

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Fill in the space with the remaining eight petals.  When your first layer is done it should look something like this:

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Continue gluing on your next row of petals.  I try to space them in between the other petals so it fills in the space nicely.

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Now the third row…

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And finally the fourth row of petals…

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After all of your petals are glued on, put a decoration in the center to pull it all together.  I usually just use a button.  Because I had a little more room to cover I used a knitted flower that I had left over from some headbands we made at my baby shower, with a button on top of it.

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That’s it!  You’re ready to decorate your house with some awesome artwork you made in just a short amount of time.  I hope you love it!

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I love these flowers.  I think they bring so much fun, beauty and color into a room.  I’d love to see how yours turn out!  Happy crafting!

 

XoXo, Erika

Spicy stuffed mushrooms

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With Superbowl Sunday this weekend, it’s time to start thinking about what kind of food you’ll be serving at your party (if you’re hosting).  I have a great appetizer suggestion for you that is guaranteed to please!  Spicy stuffed mushrooms.

Not a huge mushroom fan?  Neither was my husband, until he tried these babies.  They are so delicious and fairly simple to make that I find myself making them at least once or twice a month now.  I would honestly just eat these as a meal if I had a choice, but my toddler won’t eat spicy things, so that wouldn’t go over too well at home.

Alright, ready to learn how to make these bad boys?  Let’s get started!

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Things you need:

  •  About 3 dozen medium-large white mushrooms
  • 1 package hot Italian sausage
  • 1 package mild or sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup crushed red pepper
  • 5-6 cloves garlic

 

To get started, thoroughly wash the mushrooms and separate the stems from the caps.  Keep the stems in a separate container and put them to the side for now (you will be chopping these up to add into the mix later).

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In a large skillet cook together the hot and mild Italian sausage.  Once it’s cooked down a bit and you have some grease in the bottom of the pan crush the garlic and add it to the sausage.

Chop the mushroom stems and add them into the mixture.  You can use as many or as little of these as you’d like.  I typically use at least 3/4 of the mushroom stems in my mix.  After this is almost all cooked down drain the grease, then add the crushed red pepper into the sausage mix.  If you like your food really spicy use more crushed red pepper.  I am a moderately-spicy type of gal, so I don’t use as much as some might.  I find that about 1/3 cup is sufficient for my taste buds.

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Once your sausage mixture is cooked down set it aside to cool.  During this time I shred all of the cheese.  You can buy pre-shredded cheese, but I find that it doesn’t melt down the same way that the deli cheese does.  I use a block of mozzarella and a block of Parmesan and grate it myself.

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After the cheese is shredded add it to the sausage mixture.

Finally, add your breadcrumbs.  Your mix is ready!  Now we need to prep the mushrooms.

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I use a small knife to trim the outer edge of the mushroom.  Then, I use a spoon to scrape out the insides until it’s fairly clean.  This is the most time consuming process, but once it’s done you’re ready to stuff!  Stuffing your mushrooms doesn’t take very long, so now would be a good time to preheat your oven to 350°F.

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View More: http://christinaerdmanphotography.pass.us/mushroomsView More: http://christinaerdmanphotography.pass.us/mushrooms

Spread your mushrooms out on a cooking pan.  Take your mix (I use my hands to stuff them) and fill them up.  I pack the mix in fairly heavily.  Bake your mushrooms in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

That’s it!  Once the mushrooms have cooked down a little and the cheese is nice and gooey you are ready to take them out.  Let them cool for about 5 minutes, then feast!

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These suckers are seriously delicious.  Enjoy the fruit of your labors!

Let me know what you think!  How did your mushrooms turn out?  When will you be serving them next?  Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!

Delicious Spicy Stuffed Mushrooms (1)

 

Xoxo,

Erika