Monday, June 30, 2014

~4th of July decorating and DIY ideas~ {our home}

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays.
Perhaps it's because my neighborhood turns into one big party and who doesn't love sunny weather, the lake, fireworks, bbq's, and friends?

Let's take a walk down memory lane shall we?

Back in 2010 our home was featured on The Old Painted Cottage, Cottage of the month for July.
Take a look here.

You can take a look at some patriotic decorating that happened in our home, right here.

And one of my favorite red white and blue decorating ideas can be found right here.

And lastly, in case you missed it, learn how to make a easy no sew inexpensive banner here, as well as see a few other great patriotic projects!

Here's to a great week!

Friday, June 27, 2014

~cuff giveaway winner~{& sugar detox update}

Congratulations {Kathornburgh}
to the winner of the cuff giveaway!
I hope you will love your beYOUtiful bracelet from the cuff chic!

I am on day 3 of the sugar detox.
It hasn't been horrible.
On day 2 I was super tired and basically had zero energy.
I haven't had too many sugar cravings but the no dairy and wheat is a tad hard.

I am down 6 pounds in 3 days.
That's a bonus but I am hoping my allergies will go away and hoping my energy levels will go up.
I don't feel super hungry, I attribute that to all the protein I've been eating.

I hear once you hit day 5 energy levels go up, I hope so! 


Thursday, June 26, 2014

~thrifty Thursday~{a ballard designs knockoff}

Do you want to see how I made this sign:

From this:

 I found this piece of a kids lemonade stand 
{I think} 
for $10 at a thrift store.

What I envisioned for this piece was 3 signs. 
A three for one if you will.

So, I brought it home and cut the sections apart on my chop saw.

Using the largest square section I set out to create a sign I saw in the Ballard Designs catalog. 
I recently was sent some of these cool appliqués to try out from Efex USA.

I had just enough to go around the frame of my piece. 
I really liked this material because it cuts with scissors and is totally bendable. 
I cut and then glued it down with liquid nails, clamped, and let dry.

After painting it all out, I added the lettering and sanded and waxed the whole piece.
I love how the appliqué creates an illusion of carved wood.

I also added a bit of liming wax to the cream paint
on the trim to give it an even more vintage look.

I will show you soon where I hung it in my house!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

~sugar detox~{day 1}

My name is Melaine, and I am a sugar addict.

A latte without vanilla? 
Unheard of.

Pancakes without pure maple syrup?
No thanks.

Sliced strawberries without sugar on top?

So I am curious. 
I am curious to see if my allergies will get better after no sugar, wheat, and dairy.
I am curious to see if I will have more energy.
I am curious to see if my "puffiness" will go away.

14 days.
I can do this, and hopeful I can keep it up longer.

I found this article helpful and you may too if you are interested in doing a sugar detox as well.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

~blueberry coffee cake~

Tomorrow I start a sugar detox for 2 weeks.
So, in preparation I have been eating so much sugar that I am probably almost a diabetic.
Makes no sense except for in my own little head I'm sure.
Anyway, yesterday I made a blueberry coffee cake that I thought was pretty amazing, so here is the recipe for you!

  • Streusel:
  • ½ cup (2.5 oz) all purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup packed (3/5 oz) light brown sugar
  • 2 Tb granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 Tb unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces and softened
  • Cake:
  • 1½ cups (7.5 oz) all purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 10 Tb unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup (4⅔ oz) granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 20 oz (4 cups) blueberries
  1. For the Streusel: Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, combine flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt on low speed until well combined and no large brown sugar clumps remain, about 45 seconds. Add butter; beat on low speed until mixture resembles wet sand and no large butter pieces remain, about 2½ minutes. Transfer to bowl; set aside.
  2. For the Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F and grease and flour a 9″ round cake pan.
  3. Whisk flour and baking powder together in bowl; set aside. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter, sugar, salt, and zest on med-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down bowl as necessary. Beat in vanilla until combined, about 30 seconds. With mixer on medium speed, add eggs 1 at a time; beat until partially incorporated, scrape down bowl, and continue to beat until fully incorporated (mixture will appear broken). With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat until flour is almost fully incorporated, about 20 seconds. Stir batter with rubber spatula, scraping bowl, until no flour pockets remain and batter is homogeneous; batter will be very heavy and thick. Gently fold in blueberries until evenly distributed.
  4. Transfer batter to pan. Spread batter evenly to pan edges and smooth surface. Squeeze portion of streusel in hand to form large cohesive clump; break up clump with fingers and sprinkle streusel evenly over batter. Repeat with remaining streusel.
  5. Bake until cake is deep golden brown and toothpick comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool.
recipe from here.


Monday, June 23, 2014

~BeYOUtiful cuff giveaway~{thecuffchic}

How would you like to win this BeYOUtiful cuff? 

All you have to do to be entered to win is one of the following:

Like and share on Facebook
Follow thecuffchic on instagram

All of their followers will receive  $10 off their first purchase. Just leave code:
at checkout.

I will pick a winner on Friday and announce back here.
Remember, you do not need a blog to enter. 
But PLEASE leave me your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner!


Saturday, June 21, 2014

~old fashioned scones~

I like mine with a ton of dripping melted butter, raspberry jam, or honey.


Friday, June 20, 2014

~cabana stripe planter box~{DIY}

I need a bumper sticker that says,
"Stops for free junk"

Because I do.
I see a free sign and my foot hits that brake so fast.
Remember this table I got for free?

Well, this time it was a pile of wood boxes in all sorts of lengths. 
They had faux grass in them.
{which I scooped up for another project}

Here is what they look like:

I thought this had a good shape for a planter box but wanted to do something besides paint it.
So, I striped it, with duct tape.
Going for the "cabana stripe" look, I alternated black and white tape, up one side, over the top, and down the 3rd side.

About every 4 pieces, I cut down the center and tucked the extra down on the inside.

Here it is all covered in the tape. 

And here it is on our outdoor table all planted up with white geraniums and trailing flowers. 

 Such a simple project.
Now I have about 5 more boxes to go…..


Thursday, June 19, 2014

~how to make a patriotic headband out of pipe cleaners~

Today's thrifty Thursday project is soooo simple and extremely inexpensive.
All you need is pipe cleaners and scissors and a star cookie cutter

Here is how to make this simple sparkling star headband in under 5 minutes:

Start with pipe cleaners.
I used silver because I had them on hand.
I've seen these at the dollar store.

If you have a star shaped cookie cutter it is very helpful, but you can always eyeball it too.

Mold each pipe cleaner around the cookie cutter to form the shape and twist ends together to secure. 
My cookie cutter is approx. 3" diameter, and my headband took 6 stars.

Then cut little pieces and use these to connect the stars together to form a circle.

Just pinch them together and twist.

Go stand in front of a flag and get your picture taken. :)


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

~4th of July DIY~{blog hop!}

I am so excited to be hosting my first ever blog hop!
I have picked 7 bloggers, myself included, to share with you 
some fabulous do it yourself ideas for your 4th of July.

I am first up and am going to show you how to make this inexpensive no sew flag banner!

Here is what you will need:

Fabric glue
bias tape {or ribbon} in your choice of color
flags from the dollar store
blue painters tape

You will need to slip off the flags from the plastic poles.
You can toss these as you will not be needing them.

On a long work surface lay out your flags.
Since I did this outside, I weighed mine down with pots so they wouldn't fly away on me.

Next you want to glue the bias tape {or ribbon} to the top of the flags.
The bias tape I used had a double fold, so I had to glue the fold shut as well.
To secure it while it dries, use pieces of painters tape.

The instructions on the glue says to let dry for approx. 4 hours. 
I waited about 7, as mine was still wet after 4.

Once dry you can remove the tape and hang anywhere you like!

This is a super simple project that will make a big impact for your 4th of July decor!

To see what my friend Karianne is up to, head on over to her blog at


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

~baked banana donut holes~{with fresh fruit skewers}

These are a tiny bit healthier than donut holes, and when served with fresh fruit on skewers, they make a quick and colorful breakfast or snack.


3 cups white flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup butter, room temp.
4 eggs room temp.
2 cups white sugar
4 large ripe bananas
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk

cinnamon+sugar for coating.


In a large mixer bowl mash bananas. Add butter and sugar and still until combined. 
Add eggs and vanilla, then milk.
{you can substitute whole for nonfat or 2%} 

Slowly add in the flour and baking soda.
Mix until combined.

Grease a cake pop cake pan. 
Bake according to the instructions.
I baked mine at 325 for approx. 12-14 minutes. 

While they are still hot from the oven, roll in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon.

If you'd like, you can string them up on skewers with strawberries and blueberries, or the fruit of your choice! 



Monday, June 16, 2014

~our fathers day camping trip~[in photos}

Every fathers day weekend we go with 4 or 5 other families on a camping trip in the mountains.
Let me tell you, there is never a dull moment.
It's a fantastic group of friends and this year we had a total of 14 children!

Here are a few photos from the weekend:

I hope your weekend was a fun one as well!