Three Ingredients and You Get a Cookie?

I don’t think that I need to mention yet again that I am not a baker. Cooking? Fine. However, baking will just never be in the cards for me. I think it’s the same as some people having a green thumb and others not being able to keep an air plant alive. Baking is my air plant. So, imagine my delight when I came across this pin, originally posted by The Burlap Bag– three entire ingredients and you have a cookie? For realsies?

3 ingredient_cookie close up

OK, first step- gather your ingredients, THREE of them- bananas, quick oats and chocolate chips. Check! Measure the oats into a bowl. Check! Mash bananas and mix with oats and chocolate chips. Check! Into the oven these guys went and I patiently waited 15 minutes to see if I’d have cookies magically bake from this mixture. So……..did I?

3 ingredient_Mixing cookies

Sort of. I wouldn’t exactly call these cookies but they were delicious! The texture was more like a soft, homemade protein bar (or what I think they would be like if I knew how to cook those) and since I made them just after Baby Pinspired ate breakfast, I enjoyed these for my breakfast. They are a great healthy snack and yes, you can indulge in chocolate chips here and there and still maintain a healthy diet. Says me, at least. I followed the recipe and ended up with about 8 fairly large “cookies.” Admittedly, I had two for breakfast and then put the others in the refrigerator for later. The edges of some of the oats were pretty crisp when they first came out of the oven but after a few hours in the fridge, they softened. These treats were a great snack to have on hand and with bananas and oats, they kept me filled up for way longer than I expected. Great for an on-the-go snack when you’re in a hurry!

3 ingredient cookies

I enjoyed these “cookies” so much that I actually make them all the time now. They are quick and super-easy. Baby Pinspired also LOVES them- I just omit the chocolate chips for him and make them a tad smaller. If you are going to give them to babies to snack on, keep in mind that the crisp oats may be hard for little eaters to swallow. I just pinch off the crispy ones, when they come straight from the oven, but this actually isn’t a problem after they have been refrigerated for a few hours. While I haven’t added anything else into these cookies yet, I think they are a great base for a variety of ingredients- currently, I’m thinking about adding fresh blueberries instead of chocolate chips but I also think that nuts (chopped walnuts sound tasty but really any kind) or dried cranberries would also taste great.

Oh, one tip- instead of greasing my baking sheet, I baked these on parchment paper. SUPER-easy clean up! Think you’ll try these out? I’d love to know what you think about these “cookies!”



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Before & After: Table Redo

Gray table_after

I’ve had our current kitchen table since I graduated from college, so about 5 years (I kid, I kid). Seriously, I’ve had this thing FOR-EVER. My old roommate and I snagged it from a neighbor when it was in its white and yellow-y oak 1990’s glory. Back then, we were at least smart enough to know that it needed a coat of paint to bring it into the early 2000’s. Not really sure why but apparently we thought that black accents would be the way to go. Never having painted furniture before but knowing that it at least needed to be sanded, we set out with a couple of pieces of sandpaper and gave it a good “sanding.” {I literally just laughed about that statement as I typed it.} It was more like we “dusted” it down, meaning that we used the sandpaper much in the way you would dust a piece of furniture.

As for painting, the legs and skirt were the easy part but apparently we didn’t think that taping the spindles on the chairs was necessary. I wish that I had a picture to show you this detail but your imagination is probably better than the real thing- and by that, I mean that it probably looks way better in your mind that in real life (yep, that bad). I’m sure that we had grand plans of going back over them and touching them up but alas it never seemed to happen and this dining set has since followed me into several homes. Oh yeah, and that is indeed a Blackberry in the picture- it’s Baby Pinspired’s (shhhh…he doesn’t know that it doesn’t work).

Fast forward to the year 2015- the Pinspired house is about to hit the market. I’m very proud of our house and think that we’ve done a pretty good job of decorating…except for this dratted kitchen table. Since the purchase of our new home was going pretty fast, we knew that we had to sell our current house in no time and I knew that this table wasn’t going to do it. Real Estate photogs are amazing but not even good pictures could do this piece justice. What to do, what to do? Spray paint to the rescue!

I love to spray paint. I mean L-O-V-E. There are so many things in our house that have seen several iterations at this point plus I love that I can purchase the most benign thing and spruce it up with spray paint. The kitchen table and chairs should be no different, right? Off to Lowe’s for spray paint!

I found the best color gray (Valspar Color Radiance in Blindfold) and was super pumped since we have a lot of gray accents in our home. Then it rained. And rained. And rained. Our picture day was looming and I was getting worried. Literally the Saturday before the shoot, the clouds parted and I set out to paint. I started with the table top. I knew enough to lightly sand this time so a quick once-over with a fine grit sanding block and I was ready to go! {Don’t forget to clean your surface after sanding!} So one of the tricks with spray painting is to make sure that you do it on a calm day. Wind is your friend when sailing, not spray painting. There was a light breeze but I really had no choice so I sprayed. The other trick is to do light, even strokes, making sure you overlap your strokes. Despite this technique, the first coat went on a little uneven. It was a large surface so I chalked it up to that. I wasn’t terribly happy with the result but knew the second coat would take care of the “holes” and it would all be peachy-keen once finished. While the table dried, I moved on to the chairs- which I was too rushed to sand. My thought process was that as long as they were clean, they’d at least be fine for pictures.

After everything dried, I finished the table and chairs off with a couple of coats of spray polyurethane (semi-gloss) to make the paint job durable for every day use and prayed that no bugs landed on my furniture while it was drying.

gray table_after no title

What do you think? Looks great in the house, right? While the pictures look great, I’m only halfway in love with them. The kind of love where you know he’s not the right guy for you but you stay with him because he’s just SO NICE. Well, Mr. Nice Guy- I hate to tell you this but we are breaking up when we move into our new house but can we still be friends? Read on to see what I mean…

So what went wrong? Remember the nice spring breeze that I mentioned? While it was great for keeping me cool and refreshed, it was terrible for the chairs. No matter how still the air seemed to be, the seats of the chairs were still uneven due to the breeze and you could see the places where the spindles blocked some of the paint. I thought the polyurethane would “cover” it but it only sort of helped. The table top also showed every stroke of my painting despite my efforts to do nice, even strokes. Again, I thought that the polyurethane would help cover that as well but it actually seemed to enhance the poor paint job. Speaking of polyurethane, that was yet another problem. While the spray might be good for projects where the surface area is small, I don’t think it was a good idea for a large piece of furniture. I also used a semi-gloss and I think a high gloss would have covered more of the “imperfections.”

Despite all of this, I actually love the end result and it looked fantastic in our listing pictures (see below)! I love the color and it looks perfect in the room. Does this mean I’m breaking up with Mr. Nice (Table) Guy? We will definitely be taking this furniture to our new house and already have a home for it in the eat-in kitchen but we are going just as friends. After the move, I plan on giving the table top another coat of gray spray paint and then brushing a liquid poly on everything to see if that will help cover some of the stroke and paint imperfections. We shall see…!

What do you think of our revamped table and chairs? Would you attempt to spray paint furniture like this?


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4 Months, 3 Days

Yes folks, that’s how long it’s been since I last wrote a blog post. Baby Pinspired is officially crawling. Life with a crawler has been exciting- I get to see the world in a whole new light, from his perspective. It’s amazing watching him learn and discover and will always cherish these days with him. However, that also means that I’m on full alert, 24/7 (ok, well not technically 24 but I’d call it 13+ because mama has to sleep at some point!). So in the past 4 months and 3 days, I’ve been Pinteresting like a mad woman, mostly trying out new recipes- did I mention that our crawler is also a voracious eater? Mr. Pinspired and I are absolutely loving watching him eat and are thrilled that he devours anything we put in front of him. Red quinoa with fennel, anyone? Baby Pinspired says yes, please!

The Curious Baby Pinspired

In the past 4 months and 3 days, Mr. Pinspired and I have also decided to put our house on the market and move to a slightly larger house. Yes, we are madpeople for buying AND selling a house with a crawling infant but as I see it, it’s just another canvas and fodder for this blog! I’ve also been hard at work reworking the Crafter Hours web site, although I’m not ready to publish it yet. Hopefully it will be ready by this summer. In the mean time, I’ve set up an Etsy shop where you can purchase decals to embellish just about anything. Our most popular item? Yoga mat decals! Check them out here. Second in line is our set of iphone/ipad charger wraps. Mr. Pinspired and I no longer play the “have-you-seen-my-charger” game, which really is more of an accusation that we swiped the other’s charger. Slowly but surely I’m adding party supplies and favors and can’t wait to debut our stationery and birthday party kits!

Etsy shop

So as you read this, I’m hard at work turning my outlines into posts and uploading pictures (but never editing- remember?) for future posts. Some teasers are shrimp and grits, teething biscuits, monogrammed scarves, embellished infant bodysuits and 3 ingredient cookies. We have had several winners but also definite losers. Crafter Hours is also partnering with Sugarplum Visions Bakery again and I can’t wait to share that with you as well. Stay tuned and hopefully I can crank out the next post for publishing by Monday!



No-sew Roman Shade…No Kidding!

Roman Shade title

I feel like I’ve had more Pinterest fails than successes lately so I’m happy to bring you this post. It’s going to be short and sweet but it could be a game-changer if you are looking for an inexpensive update to a room. Our house has a ton of natural light, which is totally amazing and it’s one of my favorite things about living here. The drawback to that is that this light can be blinding at certain times of the day, especially if you are at the kitchen sink. This had been something that bothered me but I shrugged off until we were forced to give Baby Pinspired a morning bath (you can probably figure out why…) and the poor little guy was blinded in his tub. With some quick thinking, Mr. Pinspired created a “curtain” for us by push pinning an old towel over the window. Lovely.

I’ve been mulling my window treatment options over and in hindsight, we should have had blinds installed when we did the rest of the house. Too late for that! Cafe curtains would have been easy but it’s a pretty long window and the light comes in from the top. I’m not a huge fan of valances so that was out too. Pinterest to the rescue!

A friend recommended these easy DIY roman shades, which I was set on making, until I realized that I didn’t really want to have to permanently mount something. As I continued to search, I found this gem from The Cerniks. So off to the fabric store I went! OK, not really. I had all intentions but it’s not really a convenient place. However, IKEA is and I found a nice canvas-y fabric that coordinated with my kitchen.

These shades were just as simple as the directions dictate. There is no sewing involved- you just hem a piece of fabric with glue, position the fabric over tension rods and you’re done! I actually used hem tape (Stitch Witchery is my favorite but IKEA actually sells some in their fabric department too) instead of the fabric glue, mostly because I seem to always have some around. I also only used two tension rods because I wanted a smaller area of my window covered. Another modification is that I cut my fabric just shorter than the window (the blog directions state to cut it 2x the length of the window) because I didn’t necessarily want the entire window covered. That’s it- it was really that easy and I love how it turned out!

I love this project because I’ll be able to change out the fabric if I ever come across something that I like more than the current fabric or if I just want a quick decor change. In addition, these “shades” are easy to let down, if needed, yet the fabric doesn’t take up so much real estate in the window that we lose the gorgeous natural light.

Is this a project that every single one of my readers can complete? Absolutely so go forth and decorate!





{P.S. – Don’t forget that I take real pictures with my iPhone and do not edit. Please excuse the quality of these guys!}

{White Cheddar & Cauliflower} Soup’s On!

Happy Halloween! Since you’ve probably been inundated with festive Halloween posts, recipes, commercials, etc. since about, oh, July, I didn’t want to bombard you with yet another spooky post. Instead, I’ve started testing out general “Fall” recipes since it’s officially soup/slow cooker season here in the South and boy, do I have some good ones to try out!

This week’s Pinterest recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe had all the makings of a delicious, warm soup- cauliflower, white cheddar cheese, pretzel bread croutons. Yum! The ingredients went on my weekly grocery list. I mean, how hard can soup be, right? Well, let’s just say that this recipe turned into a DISASTER.


Please note: the failure of this recipe was entirely my fault. Read on for the reasons why…

First, I gathered all my ingredients and started cutting up the cauliflower. Step 1 says to toss the cauliflower with the garlic and some olive oil and spread on a baking sheet for roasting. Done. At  this point, I *should* have read the rest of the recipe in its entirety and perhaps this soup would have been a success. If you have learned one thing from reading my posts, it’s that I like to wing recipes and take short cuts. This is also why I can never give accurate directions for anything that I cook. I pulled the cauliflower out of the oven and read over the rest of the directions. Oops- Mistake #1? Using the pre-chopped garlic from a jar. I’ll admit, this is my go-to in any recipe that includes garlic so this one was no different. It didn’t seem to me that this would make a difference so I carried on! It was at this point that I decided to scan over the rest of the steps in the recipe and learned that not only would I be using my blender (which I emphatically HATE) but that this soup wasn’t going to be as easy as just-toss-all-the-ingredients-in-a-pot-and-let-simmer. I regrouped and decided that I could modify the steps to fit my timeline, which happened to be in the speed category of “I’m super hungry and also have to get the baby fed, bathed and off to bed.” Mistake #2.

Here’s how I decided to modify this recipe (aka How NOT To Make This Recipe): since time was of the essence at this point, I decided to throw all of the ingredients, minus the cauliflower, into the pot to simmer. I will say that it smelled AMAZING and my hopes were riding high. While everything else simmered, I tossed the cauliflower into the blender and poured a little extra chicken broth in with it to make it into a puree. Even with the liquid added, my cauliflower would not puree, which was actually OK since Mr. Pinspired and I decided that we wanted a chunky soup anyway. I got the mixture down to about as smooth as it was going to be, thanks to the worst blender in the world, and added it to the simmering broth. Forget toasting the bread to make croutons at this point, we were both getting hangry (well, I was since I was frustrated with this soup- Mr. Pinspired rarely loses his cool, if ever).

I stirred and stirred but failed to ever make this soup look like the picture. Since that’s frequently the case for many recipes on Pinterest, we decided to taste test to see if it tasted better than it looked. The flavor was pretty good but the soup was just not the consistency that we wanted nor was it as hearty as we expected it to be. At this point, I was all-I-can-think-about-now-is-a-hamburger-and-french-fries hungry so unfortunately this entire pot of soup went into the trash.

So why no pictures of my failure in this post? It literally was a pot full of white. Plus, remember- hangry.

After trying to make this soup, I asked myself if it would have been better had I read ALL the directions before I started or is this a recipe that just looks delicious in pictures? I’m not sure. I know that it still sounds delicious but if I attempt it again, I’ll definitely still make some modifications. Here’s what I’d do: first, I’d buy the cauliflower already cut up. I know it’s more expensive but the cost difference makes up for my time. I’d also probably just buy cream soup starter, which I know is not as healthy as this recipe’s ingredients. Since I’ve always been a slow cooker kind of gal, I might find a way to make these flavors work in a slow cooker. Oh, and I’m also getting a new blender…

Happy Fall!


2nd Annual Crafty Football Blog Hop: Bleach Pen Tee

Oh yes, you heard me correctly- bleach pen. But I’ll get to that…

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 10.17.52 AM

If you were with me last year, you’ll know that I participate in a Fantasy Football league that consists of all crafters. That’s right- pigskin and projects. Last year, we decided to pull together a blog hop consisting of tutorials that showcased our favorite team’s colors and it was a huge success! Since we had so much fun doing it, we decided to bring it to you again this season. So, “Here We Go…” {can you figure out my team based on that last sentence?}

I’ve been wanting to try using a bleach pen to “dye” t-shirts and Pinterest is teeming with pins that show you how to do it. This pin was my inspiration. While most posts and tutorials offer the same general directions, each one seems to have a bit of advice here and a tip there. I poured over what seemed like 1,001 pins and decided to give this project a go.

First stop: Target, for a bleach pen and tee. I found a great selection of Mossimo long-sleeved t-shirts with the cutest cuffs. I loved that the cuffs give the tee a sportier look and best of all, they were on sale for only $8! I picked up a Steelers gold one (and a gray one for another design, just in case this project actually worked). Next, off to the cleaning products aisle! I searched for what seemed to be days for a simple bleach pen- which were not to be found in the detergent aisle nor the cleaning supplies aisle nor the hardware area. Apparently, my Target has everything- except bleach pens. The disappointment was almost enough to negate my excitement over the tees being on sale. Almost. {For the record, your local grocery store should carry them, along with your local Target- mine just does not.}

So, let’s {carefully} play with some bleach! Bleach pens are just that- they are pre-filled with a gel bleach and have a tip on each end- one small, finer point that you can write with and a large one that’s technically used for scrubbing. There are tons of uses, like cleaning the grout in your bathroom but the coolest use is crafting.

bleach tee supplies

The first thing you will want to do is gather your supplies- a tee and bleach pen at a minimum. I also used a stencil for my team’s logo. This is a great project for a freehand design but since I wanted the Steeler’s logo to be exact, I printed one onto a piece of cardstock. Your stencil is really just a template and does not have to be perfect- you’ll see why in minute. Lastly, I covered a scrap piece of cardboard with aluminum foil to place in between the front and back of your shirt to avoid having the bleach seep through and bleach the back of the shirt. Several of the tutorials mentioned using a cutting board to prevent this but I found that foil and cardboard were easy and disposable. I would NOT use a cutting board since you are working with bleach and do not want to use it on a surface for preparing food.

CAUTION: Before we move on, please remember that you are about to do a project using bleach, which can, well, bleach. Do not wear anything that you wouldn’t mind ruining and please wash your hands immediately should you end up with some of the gel on you. Use extreme caution when using this pen.

Next, place your foil-covered cardboard in between the layers of your tee. If you are using a stencil, you will want to lay that out now and start tracing. You can also try to tape it down or use contact paper as a sticky stencil but I found that cardstock worked perfectly fine. You can also freehand a design. After you have your design traced, carefully pull up the cardstock and dispose (keep in mind that it will have bleach on it). Then, start filling your design in using slow, careful strokes. Once you have your design “painted on,” rinse the bleach gel completely off your tee and launder before wearing.

Here are my thoughts on this project- was it easy and straightforward like the pins promise? For the most part, yes. The bleach gel can bleed so if you want something that is perfect, you’ll need to find another project. While the pen has a “fine” tip, it’s not super-fine. I found this handy little gadget for making fine lines though from Approachable Art. I also learned that the longer you leave the gel on, the more color it takes out of the fabric. This is why you see the logo “outlined” with a lighter shade on my tee since I outlined the template before I filled the rest of the logo in. I didn’t really think about it at the time but it makes perfect sense. Since I am a perfectionist crafter, this really bothered me at first. I’m also in the process of making Halloween costumes and a thousand other things so I had to let this one go. After I washed it and put it on, I liked the outline a little more. I may go back and fill in the rest to have a consistent color but we’ll see. You’ll also notice that I used a gold tee and not black. I didn’t even consider that bleach doesn’t just lighten the color but can also turn colors- for instance, I read that black can bleach out to an orangey color and I didn’t want that. I actually crossed my fingers that the gold would bleach nicely and it did! You can test your color by dabbing a tiny spot of bleach from the fine tip onto the inside hem of yours.

Steelers bleach tee

What do you think? All-in-all, this project turned out MUCH better than the Steelers’ season is going this year and I’m very happy with it. It’s kind of a cool, vintage look. Mr. Pinspired liked it so much that he wants one with his alma mater’s logo and I’m still deciding what to put on the gray shirt. I’ll post an update when I do.

As I mentioned at the top of this post, this was one stop on the 2014 Crafty Football Blog Hop. Please visit these other crafters for some cute and creative ways to sport your teams favorite colors!

*Just a note about this post, especially for my new readers: the purpose of my blog is not to provide yet another tutorial that can be found among the zillions of great blogs that are already out there. My blog is about taking ideas from Pinterest and giving you real life advice on how to complete a project or proceed with a recipe (check out this post for details), with an occasional tutorial for a unique project here and there. That being said, this project pulls from several pins and is a very loose “tutorial.”*



Easy Peasy Stromboli (or was it…?)

Easy Peasy Stromboli

So I thought the infant stage of childhood development would be the easiest. Naps all day long, a baby who was content to just play when he was up, those adorable baby giggles, etc. I actually plotted all of my blog posts and wrote several outlines. Um, not so much. While, I’m totally appreciative of our guy sleeping through the night already, he is also incredibly social and potentially hates naps (jury’s out on this one just yet). Don’t get me wrong, I love this little kid more than I ever thought possible; I just didn’t realize that I’d need to take this long of a blogging hiatus.

Alas, here I am and I’m happy to announce that the League of Crafty Women blog hop has started again this fall! Check out last year’s post here and get ready for another Steelers-themed project. My post goes live next week- was it a Pinterest success or fail…?

So on to my latest Pinterest recipe! A while back, I found a recipe for some easy-peasy Stromboli. Apparently I wanted to make this so bad that I actually pinned it twice. Good thing because one pin didn’t actually have the recipe, just pictures. Shame on me for not linking to the original pin! The pictures alone look self-explanatory so I thought that this would be the easiest thing in the world to make- pizza dough, banana peppers- YUM! I knew right off the bat that I wasn’t going to make the dough from scratch so I picked up pre-made dough from the Publix bakery. Everything else seemed simple enough- roll out the dough, layer the cheese and banana peppers, roll up and bake, right? Well, if you just go by the pictures, then yes.


Here is where I stumbled: first, I failed to use flour when I rolled out the dough. This was evident to me as soon as I started rolling the dough and was a pretty quick fix so I sprinkled a little bit of flour on the dough and also on my work surface. I also didn’t realize how difficult it is to work with fresh dough. Moving on, I brushed the dough with a bit of olive oil and sprinkled Italian seasoning on it (I improvised this part). The rest of this recipe was easy. I layered, rolled and baked. Taste-wise, this Stromboli was AH-MAZING! Mr. Pinspired asked if it could go on the regular rotation and I have to agree that it was delicious and easy enough to throw together on any given night. However, it looked like a hot mess! We’re talking like someone popped a Stromboli balloon. The dough was a delicious shade of golden brown and the cheese was extra melty so why the deflated look (see title pic)? Where did I go wrong?


Well, let me be the first to tell you that I cannot bake. I’m talking can’t-make-slice-and-bake-cookies-without-burning-them kind of not being able to bake. I realize now that using dough, pre-made or not, is baking. My mistake was not reading the directions to the recipe in their entirety before I started. I got halfway through and thought that it was easy enough to wing it. Enter my poor baking skills. I had no idea that you have to let dough “rest.” I let it sit out for an hour prior to baking, just as directed on the package but failed to let it rest after I rolled all of the ingredients and before it went into the oven.

Despite the awkward appearance of a deflated Italian delight, this Stromboli tasted delicious and was really easy to prepare. Will I let it “rest” again before I put it in the oven the next time we make it? Maybe, maybe not- I guess it will depend on how much time I have and if I can plan my cooking time appropriately. The appearance was not enough of a deterrent to rush home just to rest my Stromboli so if I can plan ahead, great.

As with pizza, there are endless combinations of flavors that you can put into your Stromboli- what ingredients will you put into yours?



DIY Decor: Painted Pillows

A Life Pinspired: DIY Decor Painted Pillows (

One thing that I wish that I could do better is decorate. Sure, I watch HGTV and constantly think, “yeah, I can totally do that.” Yet my kitchen still needs a back splash (I can totally do that), our living room needs a new rug (I can totally make one from a painter’s drop cloth) and I have a zillion pictures that need to be framed and hung up on our staircase wall (yep, can totally do that too…eventually). I also like to think that I have some sense of style but I feel like most of the rooms in our house are unfinished. Um, and has anyone mentioned how much damage decorating does to your budget?? The one thing that we will never be for want in the Pinspired household though is pillows. To me, pillows just complete a space. They pop color where color is needed and are an inexpensive fix to the decorating bug.

I spotted these pillow covers at IKEA for $4 and knew that they would make the perfect canvas (hehe- pun intended). I had no idea what I would do with them but at that price, I had to snap a couple of them up. Pinterest to the rescue! I wasn’t necessarily trolling Pinterest specifically for “painted pillow” ideas but more for designs that would be east to replicate. I love patterns- ikat, chevron, trellis, herringbone, you name it. I know that I could have very easily whipped out a stencil for this project but (1.) I’m terrible at stenciling and (2.) I wanted to try something new. I came across this pin from Censational Girl and chevron seemed easy enough so I gathered my paint and painters tape and started to tape up my pattern. Since I had two pillow cases, I also taped up an easy-peasy square pattern as well.

I have to say that the directions from the post are pretty straightforward so there is not much that I would suggest for this project. I did use painter’s tape in lieu of the Martha Stewart stencil tape so my white lines ended up being a tad wider. And then I went into labor…

OK, I didn’t actually go into labor as I was taping up the patterns. I did get my patterns taped out and laid the pillow covers out to be painted within the next few days. Baby Pinspired (BP) apparently had other plans so off to the hospital we went! This project sat on my craft table for 8 weeks as Mr. Pinspired and I acclimated to life with BP. I was able to pick it up again recently so once again, I gathered my supplies and set out to paint. I’m not sure that a pouncer was specifically mentioned in the original blog post (it was pictured) but I would highly recommend using one instead of just a regular sponge brush. The pouncer just makes it easier to tamp around the edges, resulting in those nice, crisp lines that you want to see. While I didn’t have to re-tape my patterns, I did make sure that the tape was pretty secure to ensure that the paint didn’t bleed under, resulting in jagged lines. Depending on the brand and color of paint that you select, you may or may not need to do two coats. I used Martha Stewart craft paints and only needed one coat with the lighter colors but ironically needed two colors with the darker ones. I also peeled up the tape as soon as I was done painting rather than waiting for it to dry. I think it’s a “six and one-half dozen” situation and either method will work.

There is one thing specifically mentioned in the directions of the original post that I failed to do- mix the paint with fabric medium. Something about giving birth and taking care of a newborn made me miss this step (*sarcasm font*) but I really wish that I would have re-read the post before painting. While the pillows look great, I have no idea how I’m going to clean them, especially as BP grows into an adorable, messy boy. I’ve thought about spraying them with Scotch Guard but at $4 a pop for the pillow cases (+ a gallon of wine to deal with navigating IKEA), I might just paint two new ones. In my spare time. Right.

A Life Pinspired: DIY Decor Painted Pillows (

All said and done, I was beyond pleased with these pillows when I pulled the tape up and could barely wait for the paint to dry because I wanted them on our sofa so badly. I love love love how they turned out and how they look with our decor. I’ve had this sofa for years and it gets tired so easily but I think that these beauties were just the thing to spruce up our living room!

Easy enough for you to take on? I say yes! I’d love to hear if you decide to take on this simple project and please post pictures if you do.



Before & After: Shine On!

Lamp After

So lovely readers, where do I begin to apologize for my absence (again)? If you recall my last post, I was struggling with what I termed FTF (click here for explanation). I was also knee-deep in preschool lesson plans, which are actually going to make some great posts! Between actually being pregnant, teaching/lesson planning and just getting my life ready to take care of another human, I had to let this blog go. However, I was also afforded the time to actually craft and try out some pins so I’m excited that I have tons of projects to share with you.

In the mean time, let’s start with something simple, a Before & After. When I got the anticipated + sign, my thoughts quickly turned to decorating a nursery. Time seemed to crawl waiting for the right time to find out the gender of our little one but we were blessed to find out that we were having a boy. Time to spring into decorating action! Mr. Pinspired brought a plethora of random lamps into our marriage and when we combined households, these lamps were definitely some of the things I wanted to keep. We’ve had a little brushed nickel number in our guest room closet for several months and after choosing a color palette, it was on of the first things that I knew I could transform. This Before & After is one of the easiest projects that anyone can complete. All it requires is some spray paint and a new lamp shade.

The first thing that you need to do is remove everything from the lamp base- shade, harp, bulb, etc. Once removed, tape the bulb socket and on/off switch plus the cord. You’ll also want to tape any part of the base that you don’t want painted. Next, spray away! I’ve had a can of oil rubbed bronze spray paint that I’ve used for several projects and I just love the finish. I knew that it would look great with a our dark espresso nursery furniture and navy and yellow color scheme. You’ll want to spray at least two coats to ensure an even finish and be sure to follow all directions on the paint can.

Lamp before w text

The next step is easy- choose a coordinating lamp shade! Depending on the style of shade that you choose, you may need to spray paint the harp as well. {Not sure where the harp is on your lamp? It’s the arched piece that goes over the socket and screws to the shade. Most shades just fit into the side pieces of the socket so you may not need the harp at all.} I found a geometric patterned shade in the perfect colors at Target. Just be sure that you try your shade on a lamp in the store that is the same size. Too large or too small and your finished lamp will look wonky.

And, voila- let there be light! A simple and easy way to update a home accessory that you already have to transform a room. Do you have a lamp that you’ll be updating?

Lamp After w text

Well, I’m excited to start the drafts for the other projects that I’ve been working on (teaser: Alphabet Wall, O is for Ostrich). I’m also eager to try out some new recipes now that I have the time and energy to cook again. As always, let me know if there is something that you’ve been dying to cook, create, etc. and I’ happy to try it out!



And…I’m Back (bearing a delish recipe too)!

Yes, my friends, I realize that my last post was at Thanksgiving. I had the best of intentions for this blog. I had an outline of posts, some great projects lined up, and recipes to try out. Then Christmas rolled around. Then New Year’s. Now we’re at Valentine’s Day. So where have I been all this time? Well, I have a little secret (that’s not so secret anymore)…right before the holidays hit us, I found out that I was pregnant. Yipee!! Mr. Pinspired and I were so excited to get the news, although it was a very hard secret to keep! What kept me away from blogging was this thing called First Trimester Fatigue (FTF)- and let me tell you, it is NO JOKE! So, as I said, my intentions were good but I literally slept through the last half of 2013.

That being said, I did have time to host one little get-together over the holidays and was able to try out some great new appetizer recipes. The one appetizer that I just had to try looked amazing in pictures- a pomegranate cheese ball from the blog How Sweet It Is. So off to the grocer to collect the ingredients…

pomegranate cheese ball

This thing was one of the most delicious things I’ve tasted in a very long time! It was also a hit with my girlfriends. Seriously, I got an email the very next day asking for the recipe. It was the perfect mix of sweet and salty and cheesy and decadent without being too heavy.

While this cheese ball was delightful, I do have a few modifications/suggestions: First, I used dried sage. I would have loved to use fresh but FTF was in full force and it was enough for me to actually make some apps for this party instead of buying them. I think it tasted just fine vs. using fresh sage. Next, I omitted the butter entirely. While I’m sure the butter tasted divine in the original recipe, I’m not a butter-when-it’s-not-entirely-necessary kind of gal (much to Mr. Pinspired’s chagrin). I did have a little trouble rolling the cheese ball in the pomegranate arils and I’m not sure if that’s because they were still too wet or that I didn’t leave the ball out to be sticky enough. I tend to think it’s more the former so I would suggest that you dry the arils as much as possible. I ended up having to actually pat my cheese ball dry a few times with a paper towel. My last bit of advice is to cut the recipe in half, assuming you are not feeding the masses. The original recipe makes a ginormous cheese ball so for 5 girls, including two who were pregnant (so that really means 7, right?), this cheese ball was just too much. If you are having a large party, say 20 or more guests, I think you’re on the right track for proportions.

Seriously, you need to check out “How Sweet It Is” and see the drool-worthy post. My picture does not do this thing justice. It was AH-MAZING!!

On a final note, I promise not to stay away so long next time! Baby Pinspired is due at the beginning of July so no promises then though. ;o)