Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Groovy Giveaway: Digital Design Board

Hi, all! It's Wednesday!  We are half-way to the weekend so we are 
celebrating with a giveaway!  









How would you like a free Digital Design Board to help you decorate a room in your home?  Enter the giveaway to win! And don't forget to take advantage of special pricing on design boards now through March 15th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Favorite Healthy Recipes

Finding healthy recipes isn't that difficult, especially with the help of Pinterest.  Finding healthy recipes that actually taste good is a different ballgame.  I have tried some that were downright terrible! Today, I thought I'd share some healthy recipes that I have tested and are really delicious. I've listed the link to each recipe below the picture.

Breakfasts

Mexican Turkey Frittata

This frittata is delicious and is easy to vary according to taste. Sometimes I leave out the peppers and just add ground turkey sausage and cheddar cheese. This is an easy, make-ahead recipe that reheats well.
Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins
These muffins hit the spot if you want something sweet.  They are flourless, contain healthy ground flax, and are free of refined, white sugar.  They are sweetened with honey.  These are so yummy!  They make great snacks, too.


Sides

Best Broccoli of Your Life


This broccoli recipe is so easy to make and is very flavorful.  You won't believe it's not bad for you. 


Parmesan Roasted Green Beans
Fresh green beans, olive oil, and parmesan cheese? Yes, please. 

Main Dishes

Baked Turkey Meatballs with Spinach

These meatballs are so delicious!  I made mine into patties like a hamburger and served them with marinara sauce and mozarella cheese.  Kind of like a healthy version of a meatball sub.  I toasted a whole grain sandwich round, added the marinara and cheese, and ate with a side salad.  I had the leftovers later without any bread.  Be sure to click the link. There are other suggestions and variations of this recipe there. 
The Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot
What can I say about this yummy recipe?  It is super easy, and I have made it many times.  The seasoning is wonderful and cooking the chicken in the crock pot all day makes it so moist.  Sometimes, I add baby carrots to the bottom of the crock pot as well. Definitely a must-try for the busy mom. 


You can also check out my Healthful Pinterest Board for more healthy recipe ideas. 

*I am looking for some new smoothie recipes.  If you have one that you love, please share the recipe in the comments below.  I would love to try a few out and share my favorite ones with everyone soon.  

And just in case any of you missed it earlier this week, let me update you about Weigh-In Wednesdays.  I don't want my readers to bore of my weekly updates, so I decided to post once a month instead of weekly.  I will weigh in every first Wednesday of the month. (Which means next Wednesday will be the next weigh in.) Thank you all for continued support, encouragement, and prayers as I continue on the road to good health. 

One more thing!  Be sure to be on the lookout later today for a Giveaway post!  I'm not going to spoil the surprise of what the Giveaway is, but you won't want to miss it.



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Get Your Digital Design Board

Do have a room in your home that you want to redesign, but are on a limited budget? Do you want to work at your own pace to get the space done?  Let me design a Digital Design Board for you!  It will give you a visual of what the finished space could look like and save you the time of having to scour store after store, website after website to find all that you need for the space. 

Each Digital Design Board will include:
*A completed design board for the room of your choosing, completed with your budget in mind. 
*Paint colors for walls, furniture, etc.,
*A complete source list for each item featured on your board. See example here. (Source list will include item name, website/store that it is from, and price.) I'm virtually doing all the shopping for you ahead of time!









Take advantage and order your Digital Design Board by March 15th to receive the special price of $55.  That's a savings of $20!  Contact me at cultivatecreate@yahoo.com or on Facebook for more details. 



Monday, February 24, 2014

Why I love Target (and Checking In)

Living in my small hometown, it is a treat when I actually get to go to Target.  The nearest one is an hour away, and finding the time to go is tricky.  But, this past Friday, the stars aligned, the sun shone down from Heaven,  and the angels sang......I finally (after weeks of trying to find time) was able to go!  

It was a meant-to-be kind of day.  My girls' school dismissed at lunch, a dear friend had a new baby for us to visit (at a hospital that was on the way to Dothan, where Target is), and we needed to find cleats for softball tryouts. 

So, off to Dothan we went. We found cleats that met the requirements (For me--good price. For Katlyn---they had to have pink on them.) We found a twenty dollar bill in the parking lot of a store (which I turned in in case someone was looking for it.) I treated my girls with a cupcake from Gigi's and found exactly what I was looking for at Hobby Lobby and at Micheal's.  Our very last stop before going home was Target.   

It was a meant-to-be kind of day, I tell you. While browsing the home section, I stumbled across many great deals on things that coordinate well with my home. 


These items came home with me:
*Navy and white pillows $5.08 each
*Teal cable knit pillow $7.48
*Navy and Gray striped body pillow covers $2.98 each
*Black table lamp $5.98

I got 5% off for using my Target RedCard, so the total with tax was $30.63! For 3 pillows, 2 large pillow covers, and a lamp.  I love finding good deals on things that I will actually use.  The pillows are now at home on my couch in my living room, and the lamp is currently in my girls's new shared bedroom.  I also scored a $5 Target gift card for my next purchase from promotions on some of the other items I bought. I love finding quality items at a great price!  

In other random, non-Target-related news, I have been keeping super busy with a couple design projects. Thus, not posting much the last couple of weeks. 
Working on a kitchen design plan.....my ottoman spread with countertop, paint, and hardware samples. 

As a general rule, I try to have my posts lined up ahead of time so that even when I am busy I can post on a regular basis.  After the past couple of weeks I've had, it just caught up with me.  I even missed Weigh-In-Wednesday last week. 

Yucky and sweaty post workout last week.

I am still trucking along with healthy living, working out and eating right.  I have been really frustrated the past couple weeks because the scale hasn't budged much.  But my clothes are fitting looser, so I am losing inches.  I was able to try on a shirt three size smaller this past week and it fit!

I've been thinking a lot about Weigh-In-Wednesdays.  I've been posting  once weekly for a little over three months now, and I really don't want it to get mundane or boring.  I mean, there really is nothing glamorous about trying to lose weight. It's hard work and it takes a really long time.  

So here is what I have decided.  Instead doing Weigh-In-Wednesday weekly, I am going to post it monthly.  Every first Wednesday of the month, I will check in.  That doesn't mean I won't ever post more than that about it.  I just don't want my readers to get bored of the same stuff.  And losing weight is a lot of the same stuff over and over. If I hit a milestone, find a great healthy recipe, or learn some valuable lesson, then I will definitely chime in and share.  But as a general rule, I will share on Weigh-In-Wednesday the first Wednesday of each month. 

I hope you all have a marvelous week!  I have made a little progress in my girls' shared bedroom, so check back for room updates this week!



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Aubergine Orchid Digital Design Board

While I'm in the middle of finishing up my girls' shared bedroom space, I have been dreaming of making our master bedroom an inviting place. It seems that it is always the last to get done, and I am looking forward to making our room a retreat.  

I started by going to my local hardware store and picking out paint colors. I knew that the "purple" range was where I was headed.  I have been drooling over ZGallerie's "Aubergine" accessories and decor for a year or two now. Not to mention that "Radiant Orchid" is Pantone's 2014 color of the year.  

I seem to always be drawn to these hues, whether in clothing, makeup, or home decor.  Here are two palettes that I came up with. These are all Valspar colors. 


Looking at these two sets of colors, I am drawn more to the one on the left.  It looks a little more grown up to me and not so pastel.  I'm not going to be painting the walls these colors, but my master bath may get a splash of some color. I'm not sure yet. I will probably use these colors for a DIY art piece, and used them as a basis for finding fabric. 

Here is the Digital Design Board I created for our master bedroom.  It gives me a better idea at how it will all come together when I'm done. I'm not planning on buying a new bed. I used the one shown just for the purpose of creating the board.  You will find a link below for each item on the board. 


1. P. Kaufmann Hip Berry Fabric  I love this beautiful fabric.  The combination of the gray, purples and pops of green aren't too feminine, but still have the romantic quality I'm going for. I'm thinking of using this one for drapes and a throw pillow. $22/yard

2. P. Kaufmann Slick Amethyst Fabric This fabric coordinates well with the Hip Berry fabric.  I love bringing in a geometric print with a floral one.  This fabric will be used to recover a chair seat as well as throw pillows. (That awesome thrift store chair find is about to get made over.)  $12/yard

3. Land of Nod "H" throw pillow  I won't necessarily use all of the pillows on this board, but I added a few to have options. This one is only $19.

4. Target Fergano pillow $26.99

5. Surya Plum Pillow from Lamps Plus  $25.99

6. Warp Speed Art from ZGallerie This art piece is pretty pricey but beautiful. I may DIY some art for the area above the bed. 

7. Threshold Round Tiled Mirror $29.99

8. Polished table lamp from Target  $49.99 I love the shape and finish of this lamp.  

9. Layla Grace Nightstand At $579, this nightstand is a bit out of my price range, especially having to buy two.  I think I can buy an inexpensive one from IKEA and paint it to look similar to this gray one. 

10. Oblong Lilac Pillow At $15.99 this velvet beauty is a steal!

11. Tufted Ottoman  At Target.com for $52.49.  A great price for a big impact. 

12.  ZGallerie Tangier Rug

13. Sam Moore Laney Exposed Armchair  $859

14. Surya Ruffled Pillow from Lamps Plus $45.99

15. Geometric Area Rug  $149.99 from Target

16. ZGallerie Idochine Rug  $299.95 I obviously won't buy three rugs, but I gave myself options to see how they look and a variance of price depending on budget.  This rug is very plush and would be wonderful in a bedroom.  The more inexpensive one from Target is lower pile. 

I think if our room comes out anything like the one on the Digital Design Board, we will be really happy with it!








Monday, February 17, 2014

Sweet Gum Bottom B&B Redesign Part 2

Happy Monday!  I'm back today with Part 2 of the Sweet Gum Bottom B&B Redesign.  If you missed Part 1, you can see it here

Let me start off by telling you that a couple weekends ago, my husband and I celebrated our ninth anniversary.  We stayed at Sweet Gum Bottom to celebrate.  It was our very first stay at any B&B and we didn't really know what to expect, but we loved how relaxing it is.  The owners, Ricky and Laura Oswald went above and beyond to make our stay a great one.  (This is not a paid endorsement, just my own opinion.)

When we arrived, I was greeted with a dozen red roses that my husband had sent ahead of time.  I was so surprised!


Later that evening, we had an amazing steak dinner.  Ya'll, it was so good.  It rivaled any steak house!  Mr. Ricky and Mrs. Laura sure do know how to cook. 



Okay, so back to the Redesign.  I just had to brag for a second on how wonderful our stay and the food was. (We also had a scrumptious breakfast, but more on that in a minute.)


Here is the Dining Room Before:
It was beautiful, had lots of traditional and antique decor elements. In the new design, we mixed the old with the new, adding some contemporary accents to her antique pieces. 


After:


A fun plate wall wraps around the corner of the room.  Mrs. Laura already had most, if not all of the these plates. 


In the opposite corner, this interesting arrangement hangs.  Some friends of mine were refinishing their grandparents' furniture and these panels were on the fronts of all the matching pieces.  They were that seventies green color and were a bit too ornate to be on the front of every piece.  So, my friends popped them off and asked if I wanted them and of course I said yes.  Jared and I glued them onto some thin wood, spray painted them white, and now they are an art installment that pops. 


This fresh vignette sits atop an antique armoire.  We used the books and vase to add some color.  I like that this is versatile.  Mrs. Laura can add filler to the large apothecary jar according to the season if she wants.  And if she wants to display the menu or any notices to her guests, it can be pinned on the decorative cork board on the left. 


When I took the photos for this post, we had just finished our amazing breakfast.  We got to meet and visit with another young couple that we ended up having some things in common with. I guess you never know who you will meet at a B&B.  Great experience. 


And did I mention that the food was amazing?  Our breakfast started with baked mango. Then, we had the traditional bacon and eggs with french toast.  But it was unlike any other french toast I'd ever had.  The flavor and texture were unique and delicious!


Sun Porch Before:


After:
Mrs. Laura had the table and four chairs in storage and was able to place it in the far corner of the enclosed porch.  


This is where we at our steak dinner and it was quite cozy!


This porch overlooks the most beautiful courtyard.  I tried to include pictures that showed off the view.



Simple mantle; white frames and fresh flowers. 




Mrs. Laura also recovered her swing in a bold yellow print to help tie in with the rest of the common spaces. 



Can't you imagine swinging here, sipping a cup of coffee, enjoying that beautiful courtyard?  


I couldn't wrap this post up without showing you Mr. Duck.  Mrs. Laura and I found him at flea market and both thought he would make for an interesting decor item.  We left him there that day and she ended going back to get him.  He ended up on the porch.  Great place for an unexpected item, right?  And I hear he's a great listener. 

The only thing left to do is paint the sun porch floor. I think I have Mrs. Laura talked into stripes, but we shall see.  When it's done, I'll share and update.  

I hope you all enjoyed seeing that transformation as much as I enjoyed being a part of it!  Be sure to go visit Sweet Gum Bottom B&B on their website to see what all they have to offer. 




Friday, February 14, 2014

DIY Digital Valentines

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!  It was a mad rush to get off to school this morning with brownies, Rice Krispy treats, and valentines for classmates in tow.  Although I do like to plan ahead, sometimes things sneak up on me. Especially when I am crazy busy like I have been this week.  And as far as getting any cards in the mail for out of town relatives, that just didn't happen. 

I decided to make digital valentine's for my out-of-town family.  You know, just to let them know that we love them and they are definitely not "out of sight, out of mind."  

Here's how I did it:

1. Start by taking photos in front of a backdrop. I used wrapping paper my mom left at my house. I think it came from Target. I also used paper doily hearts from the Dollar Tree as a prop. Be sure to take a picture of the backdrop by itself. You will need it later. 




2. Using PicMonkey, edit photos if needed. Save and click on the collage tab on the home page. 


3. Design your collage.  Choose the layout that best suits how many photos you are using.  Once you have your photos in place, and the collage to your liking, you are ready for the next step.

4. Add text and overlays to finalize digital Valentine. Above the collage, there is an "edit" tab.  Clicking on that will allow you to add whatever text, overlays, and effects you want.  

All done! So easy.  This would be great for any occasion; holidays, birthdays, or just because.  Email your digital valentines or tag on Facebook.  

Have an amazing Valentine's Day! Hope to see you all back here Monday for Part 2 of Sweet Gum Bottom redesign. 



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sweet Gum Bottom B & B Redesign Tour Part 1

Rustic Contemporary B&B

Last month, Laura Oswald of Sweet Gum Bottom Bed and Breakfast, contacted me about helping her redecorate the common spaces of her charming inn. If you remember back in December, I had the privilege of decorating there for Christmas.  I was very excited to help her transition her space!  

Today, I am sharing the main hall and will be back Monday with Part 2 of the transformation.  

Before of the entrance hall: 
It housed an antique organ on the left as you entered, and straight ahead was antique piano.  You know the cool kind that can play music on its own.  The hallway also had a couple other small tables and a couple more antiques, as well. 

After:

We decided on a cool gray for above the beadboard and added pops of yellow throughout. I love the juxtaposition of this space, laden with rustic and modern accents.  It was funny when Mrs. Laura and I went shopping because she would be really drawn to rustic or industrial pieces, but then she would go shopping and come back with lots of very modern accessories.  The opposites really work together in this space nicely.  It has an eclectic blend that is unexpected and refreshing. 


A preserved boxwood wreath hangs on an old screen door.  I love the metal swirls on it, giving it so much character.  




As you continue on, a rustic table with contemporary accessories houses a lamp and books. We found the large mirror at a local flea market, and other accessories came from Z Gallerie, Burke's, or Mrs. Laura already had them.  I was able to find books a thrift store. 


Here are a couple of hints when finding accessories for you space:

1.  Shop for accessories at stores like Burke's, TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, or thrift stores.  Mrs. Laura saw first hand that some of the high end stores carried the exact same accessories as these "bargain" stores did, right down to the label and sticker on the product.  You are paying all of those extra dollars just for the name. I will say, though, you can find items at the higher priced stores for a great bargain if you are vigilant about checking prices and shopping sales. 
2. Spray paint is your friend. If you have items that you like the shape of, but not the color, just paint it.  (Like the yellow vase pictured above. It was bronze and a couple of coats of spray paint enabled us to use it in the space to add a needed pop of color.)  I do this all the time, whether it is something I currently own or find for a bargain.  Don't be put off by the color. You can easily change that. 
3. Layer varying heights and textures. Accessorizing this way is pleasing to the eye and creates interest and contrast.  (For example in the above picture, the contrast of the tall, patterned lantern,  textured plant in front, the candle and holder on books in back, and the sleek vase make an interesting grouping. It is tied together by the white of the candle holder and  lantern, and the yellow of the candle, vase, and bottom of the plant.)




On the opposite wall, an asymmetrical grouping of frames carries the eye up to the very high ceilings.   It is hard to tell from the picture, but this is a grand statement in this large hallway.  

So, that's it for Part 1 of our Redesign Tour.  Check back next Monday for Part 2.  If you want to learn more about Sweet Gum Bottom, go check out their website or follow on Facebook. I'm sure Mrs. Laura would love to hear from you!



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