our gallery wall

About a year ago, my sister in law was visiting and helped me put together this gallery wall.
I love it.
I was really overwhelmed with how to start one, and she gave the idea of finding one online that I liked and going from there.
We used that as a template and adapted it to the frames I had.
We laid it out on the floor first and moved things around until it looked just right.
After she visited...our house was actually painted and I had to take the whole thing down (boo). I took a picture to remind me and removed all the nails.
I had just discovered 3M picture hanging strips.
These are amazing.
When I redid the gallery wall, I used them and didn't have to pound nails into the wall.
It was SO easy....and if you're renting, like we are, it is especially nice not peppering your wall!
It's been a year and no picture has fallen...believe me, they have gotten knocked by pillows, ball and other flying objects. ;)
So...that's about it. That's how it happened :)



our home...again :)

I can't believe we've been in California for more than a year! Time flies when you're having fun, I guess ;) ha....
Okay, so for family who have asked...here are some pictures of the updated decor :)
I am banned (by myself) from changing anything else for awhile. I'm working on this thing called contentment ;)
I didn't take pictures of every room...Mason was sleeping and you've already seen Adelyn's room :) Nick's office hasn't changed....and the bathrooms aren't that interesting. :)
Anyway...here we go.....

We got a new duvet with the help of a Christmas gift from my father in law :)
I actually saw it on a blog a year ago and have been eyeing it...
I. Love. It.
Adelyn was following me around and wanted me to take a picture of her "funny face"
I made this chalkboard from an old cupboard door.
For little notes and memory bible verses...

I got some fun throw pillows all on clearance at one point or another....
and I looove the gallery wall...I have another post on that, so stay tuned ;)
I got this rose one for $3 on clearance and BBandB this last fall! woohoo :)
I have actually come to like this little alcove above the tv alcove.
I didn't know what to do with it at first...but now it's fun to switch things around (to my husband's chagrin)
{clock, flowers, box and "F", bird: HL..bird cage: Michael's..birch candles: etsy}
The mirror is one I got from my mom when we moved. It was going to be in Addy's room, but is too heavy to hang. I repainted it and popped it up there.
The "mural" on the wall is actually cork placemats that I hung with 3M picture strips. If you haven't discovered these, you need to. 99% of the things hung in our home are with this (including the gallery wall)...not a nail hole in site :)
I love owls. I don't know why. I just do.
This is the new center of the table since I first took these pictures
Just to prove that our house is not picked up all of the time...here is the toy room with 4 days worth of play:



homemade fruit roll up...flop

I found this recipe on pinterest last week and was all over it. We had a ton of strawberries in the deep freeze from last season and they needed to be used pronto.
We don't have a dehydrator (yet), so I went the oven route.
Unfortunately, I tried it twice and both times they were mushy in the middle and crisp on the edges. Classic signs of too high of a temperature.
The problem is, our gas oven won't allow a setting below 170F. Boo.
 I looked online...oven temps for food dehydrating should be around 140F. Double Boo.
I'll share the experience anyways because I took pictures with my new lens I got for christmas {I luuurve it...thanks, Mom!} and want to share because it was quite fun {and SO easy!}  :)

Step one::assemble ingredients: 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 2 cups strawberries {seriously...that's it...and we doubled it because we had plenty of berries}
Step two::enlist 3 year old to help out and dump ingredients into blender
Step three:: let said 3 year old work the blender...catch picture of her face the minute she presses down :)
blend until smooth
Step four::pour onto baking sheet lined with wax paper
Step five::let 3 year old spread with spatula to her hearts content :)
{make sure it's a little thicker at the edges since that tends to bake the quickest}
Step six::pause for "photo shoot"...someone discovered she can roll her tongue ;)
Step seven::put into preheated oven for 8-ish hours {until fruit is pliable and smooth}
Ours was more of a lovely crispness ;)
BTW, cinnamon strawberries is the most yummy aroma...our house smelled delicious for 2 days.
The great thing about this is that I'm sure you can use just about any fruit/veggie under the sun. I'm quite excited about this.
I'm definitely going to do this as soon as a dehydrator is in my possession :) I will let you know how it turns out!
If you try this and it works, let me know! I would love to hear about it :)



cake batter puppy chow::abby edition

Like the rest of the world, I love pinterest. I use it mostly for recipes...I can't remember the last time I cracked open a recipe book...no joke.
When I saw this recipe for cake batter puppy chow last week, I was salivating just thinking about it! I love all things cake batter. So good.
The recipe seemed simple enough, but due to my own preferences and our grocery stores lack of supplies, I went my own way.
 Below is what I did, the link above will take you to the original.

1 box of rice chex
2 pkgs white choc chips {yep, 2}
1-2 Tbspn milk
2 Tblspn butter melted
1/4 tspn almond flavor {I was out of vanilla}
1/4 cup sprinkles {I like sprinkles}
1 box yellow cake mix
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Melt chocolate chips according to directions on package {I used a glass bowl over simmering water, but you can microwave too in increments of 30-60 seconds}.
Stir in melted butter.
Add milk as needed to get the consistency you want so it will coat the cereal well.
Stir in sprinkles.
Pour cereal into bowl and stir in chocolate mixture.
Stir until well coated {it does get thick...white chocolate can be a pain to work with!}
Put into gallon plastic bag {I had to divide it between two bags because one wasn't big enough}
Pour in cake mix and powdered sugar.
Shake, shake, shake.
Pour out onto waxed paper or baking sheet and let it cool.


Just as yummy...if not better than....the original :)
Let me know if you have any questions...but this is a pretty forgiveable treat if you have to deviate from the original recipe like I did.



scooter and play

Adelyn got a Radioflyer scooter last week with her Christmas gift from Papa Ray :) She looooves it.
We are out there pretty much everday and she goes up and down the sidewalk and up into the neighbor's drive.
 I can't believe my baby girl can use a scooter!
Yes, I am watching Mason while I'm videoing this :) he did almost make it to the street at one point...but he listens pretty well for the most part (thankfully!) :)



happy valentine's day!



adelyn's {unintentional} room redo

I wasn't planning on doing Adelyn's room. It just sort of happened. A few thrift store finds here. A Craigslist find over there. A super clearanced duvet cover and a few gift cards later...and we were on a roll.
I liked her room before, but since we can't paint.....the white walls with the explosion of hot pink was a little overwhelming.
So here is a little tour of what it looks like now. I did include where I got things because I like it when other people do that :)
I had been eyeing a duvet cover at Pottery Barn Kids for a while, then saw this identical one on SUPER clearance at Target a few weeks ago.
{for some reason, the dark pink keeps translating really pinkish red in photos...it isn't  :) }
{all bedding and pillows from Target. Table: WalMart last year. Rug: Hobby Lobby 3 years ago}

I about died when I found this early 1900s farmhouse-ish iron (that sucker is heavy, people) bedframe on Craigslist. It was exactly what I had been looking for. It came with a footboard that we aren't going to use, but may make it into another headboard years down the road ;)
...and BONUS....
it was already sandblasted and ready to paint!
I found this lamp at a local thrift store. Painted the brass base a muted light gold ( Rustoleum's Champagne Mist) and got the lampshade at Target. I got it 50% off because it has a mark and a fray on the backside...goes to show that it never hurts to ask :) booyah :)
The quilt is my favorite....Mom made it for Addy when she was born. I wanted to display it somehow...and since I took the felt bottom off of the lamp base (germies)....I figured it would be a good use for it to protect the dresser.
{lamp: thrift store. Shade, bird and bookends: Target (bookends are 3 years old) Plate, cup, quilt and piggy bank: gifts}
Nick stripped, sanded and painted the chest of drawers, dresser, and mirror that we had bought on Craigslist before we left Des Moines last year. Don't they look awesome??
The pulls were a splurge for us {from Home Depot}, but they were so worth it :)
{fan:Target. Tray, jewlery box, vase: thrift store. Bird and flower: Hobby Lobby}

I made this message board to hold all of her fun birthday cards and pictures.
I got this table lamp and the shade at the thrift store. I love the zig zag print and thought it would be okay to sort of match it to the other lamp...
....click here for that little how-to.
So that's about it.
Oh, and just to make sure I'm not fooling you into thinking everything here is perfect...
yes, her bed is made in the morning (most of the time)...but after nap it generally stays like this:
Since I took these pictures, I found this piece of art hiding under our bed that I had found a while back...apparently it's from Target? I got it at a yard sale ;) I painted the frame white for some uniformity....
{her curtains are still translating redish on here....driving me nuts}



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