DIY Home Decor

Weekend Projects: Tips on Decorating “Farmhouse Style” on a Budget

There’s something about taking a Sunday and spending it on home projects, especially when it has to do with home decor. That’s exactly what I did while the boys went fishing! 🙂 I’m a big fan of the ever so popular “farmhouse style” and I have been trying to add bits of this inspiration into my kitchen. These days we’ve been on a strict budget, and while I realize there are so many stores you can purchase this style from, I have to really watch my pennies…which leads me to…

Dollar Tree

Did you know that you can purchase a few items here that will give your kitchen that “farmhouse swag” during the fall season?

Here’s the thing about decorating…most of the time many knick knack items only last for a couple years because for 1. they go “out of style” and 2. you may just simply get bored of them. That’s why I love how there is  a place that offers decor items on a budget (sometimes you need to spruce it up a bit by adding spray paint to it, but that’s totally okay and it’s still cheaper in the end.)

We all have our things that make us happy or gives us relief from the stress of life, along with acting as a “form of therapy”. Well, decorating is definitely mine. I use to think that the actual house itself is what makes the place feel like a home, but that’s not the case…it’s the personal touches and specified spaces that each individual gives their personal touch to. We build, mold, and form our home with characteristics of who we are through the items that we display.

“There is a big difference between a “house” and a “home”. A house is some sort of shelter, but a HOME is where you display the personality of your family and characteristics of your life, a representation of your style.

I find so much joy from making my own decor and styling the arrangements throughout my home. Everyday I find myself starring at them and smiling, knowing that this is where my little family is making memories with sprinklings of my own touches.

Do you ever look at a wall, or space within your home and say “This needs updating”. I said that to myself while starring at my kitchen walls. It seemed a bit dark and some of the colors just didn’t go with the look I wanted, so I took the initiative and made some changes. With a fun trip to the Dollar Tree and a car ride around my neighborhood looking for “free wood”, I was able to transform a wall in my kitchen from “blah… to farmhouse swag” and all for under $10.

How to Decorate “Farmhouse Style” on a Budget


Here’s a few tips when decorating “Farmhouse Style”

  • Mixing the old with the new
  • add fresh crisp bright colors
  • find unique knick knacks, such as a lantern, ceramic mug, and of course mason jars
  • Add a few wood pieces to the mix (especially lettered signs)
  • mix in some distressed pieces

Let’s start with how I achieved my own wood sign!

I found this piece of wood on the side of the road, so this project was FREE for me because I already had the white paint as well! I used a stencil to apply the letters, then using sand paper I lightly sanded the letters to make it look “distressed”. I love the end result..SIMPLE, but makes such a statement.

Next, updating boxed shelves….

I had these shelves forever, but I did not like how dark they made the kitchen look, and currently “dark wood” is not the style anymore. So, I decided to spray paint them with a light and bright color. I actually mixed bright white paint with another color called “butterfly wings”just to soften the look up. Don’t be afraid to mix your own paint with colors you already have! 🙂

Fun Knick Knacks! 

The only items that weren’t purchased from the Dollar Tree were the pumpkins and corn. These items add such a statement without being overwhelming. The key is to make it look simple.

End Result! 

P.S. If you want to see how I made my own upcycled wood frame, click here to view my tutorial! I also have a tutorial for a chalkboard menu made out of a clipboard. Click here to view it!

What’s your kitchen style?

Wishing you well,

~Amanda

DIY Seasonal Decor, Upcycled DIY

DIY Friday~Distressed Pumpkins Made From Mason Jar Lids

Many people have asked me: Where do you get your inspiration from? I have three answers..

1. Pinterest

2. Craft Stores

 3. Magazines

But let’s face it…Pinterest being the absolute #1!

Even as a DIY blogger I “pin” items to boards and dream about all the creativity that is within this wonderful world of Pinterest. (I mean come on, people plan their weddings from it…so it has to be great!) I’ve come to the realization that I actually do have a “creative side” in me, but the reality is sometimes even creative people need some inspiration. I love trying fun (and easy) DIY projects that I come across. While the world of bloggers is very wide and vastly growing I always want to give credit to ones that have inspired me. I have linked below some blogs I came across that inspired me to create this beautiful mason jar lid pumpkin! The great thing about blogging is we all put our own twist to things, which I came up with a few added details myself to make the process a little easier.

Shout Out to These Blogs! 

thecountrycook.com

craftsbyamanda.com (great name too! 😉 )

Now, onto all things pumpkin! 🙂

Distressed Mason Jar Lid Pumpkin


First off, let’s talk about how easy it is to make anything related to pumpkins! The good news about these beauties is that not one of them looks the same! Every pumpkin has it’s own unique shape, lines, and distinct characteristics (hence why you probably see so many things made into pumpkins!) Mason jar lids are perfect because they have that round shape, along with allowing that “distressed”  feature to stand out. You all know how much I love the shabby chic/distressed look, so this was a perfect opportunity to go ahead and attempt just that! Plus, I found a new love of spray paint color! (Antique Gold is my new fav!)

{Supplies} 

  • 15-20 mason jar lids (the outer ring part)
  • 1 center part of the mason jar lid
  • hot glue gun
  • lace, ribbon, or string (your preference)
  • Antique Rose Gold spray paint
  • sand paper
  • two wine corks
  • optional (decorative leaves)

{Steps}

1. Start off by spray painting all the mason jar lids with the Antique Gold finish!

2. Wait about 15 minutes to let it dry and use sand paper to lightly sand off the edges to reveal the “two tone” look.

3. Grab your lace, string, or yarn and thred all the lids through

*****NOTE: Make sure all mason jar lids are aligned the same way.*****

4. Pull tight and tie a double knot.

5. Take 1 wine cork  and place it into the middle so that the lids are sitting upright.

6. Use the center part and hot glue it to the bottom so that it acts as a base.

7. Once the base is dried, flip it over and hot glue the 2nd wine cork in the middle, which will act as the “stem”.

8. Either cut the excess string/lace off OR use it as a decoration on top.

9. OPTIONAL: Add decorative leaves on top to give it a pop of color!

Here’s another video I did with a tutorial of all the steps! 

How cute are these?! You can use them all over your home AND they can easily transition into your Thankgiving decor, maybe even as a table centerpiece! I hope you all enjoyed this fun project and it inspires you to get your creative juices flowing!

Cheers to the weekend!

Wishing you well, 

~Amanda

Reviews of Products & Places, Uncategorized

Long Term Experience with Goldfish Swim School

When you think of swim lessons (especially in Florida) your mind immediately goes to summer! Well, that season is in the past and we’re moving onto the shorter days, less traveling, and hopefully a little cooler weather. Although, at Goldfish Swim School swim season is all year long!

We’ve been swimming away with Goldfish Swim School for a few months now and as a parent I can see so many benefits from the long term sessions. Most swim lessons are offered for a short span of time, unlike Goldfish Swim School where their season runs all year round! Little Johnny has developed a great rapport with the instructors and classmates! It’s part of his weekly activities, which we all know kids thrive on consistency and routine!

(This is a sponsored post, but as always all my opinions stated are my own.)

You know that saying where “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it”. Well, that definitely applies to younger children in their skill sets. As a family we love the opportunity of having a long term experience with swim lessons, especially since we don’t have a pool at home. The opportunity for Little Johnny to practice his newly learned swim skills every week has benefited him with retaining more and enabling him to learn in well paced out sessions.

The Benefits of Long Term Learning


“When developing a new skill, it’s quick to fade when our level of performance is not used in a valuable way.”

Just like with cramming to study for tests in school, if we don’t consistently use the newly developed skills over a period of time (and in a consistent manner), it won’t stick with us throughout our lives. This type of learning is called surface learning, which can easily be erased. In relation to swimming, the level of performance is a huge factor in weather or not the the skill sets will decrease over a period of time. There are many things that a new swimmer learns, which focusing on mastering just a few over a span of time benefits children by helping them to retain the skills/information within their long term memory.

This is why we love the idea of Goldfish Swim School providing us with a year round experience with swim lessons! Their level of performance within the lessons increases children’s chances of developing a long lasting experience that they can use throughout their life. I created a video to give you a closer look at the setup of our swim lessons!


Little Johnny is still in mini 2 lessons, but he has definitely become quite the kicker lately. He’s also getting better at floating on his back along with going under water, climbing out of the pool, and holding onto the edge with very little support.

We also love the flexibility they offer rather than being “locked in” to a certain time frame. Goldfish Swim School works around your busy schedule and enables a perfect solution to increase your child’s swim skills. It’s called their  unique Perpetual Lessons model! Here’s a great article explaining a little bit more about this method…

Perpetual Lessons 

Every week we continue to look forward to our swim days and each time I am seeing improvements! It puts a bright spot in our weekly routine! If you live within the Orlando area, I highly recommend signing your child up! You can follow the link below for more information.

>>> Sign Up today with Goldfish Swim School<<<

Visit my previous posts below to learn more details about our experience! 


‘Splish, Splash’ Goldfish Swim School is Opening in Florida!

We’re Splishin’ and Splashin’ at Goldfish Swim School (Our 1st Swim Lesson Experience)

5 Reasons Why We LOVE Goldfish Swim School

Also, make sure to click the links below and visit their social media accounts! Show some love by following them for updates as well! 🙂 

facebook

instagram

twitter

Wishing you well,

~Amanda

DIY Home Decor, DIY Seasonal Decor

“Budget Friendly” Fall Inspired Coffee Table Centerpiece

Have you ever hear the statement-“When you build up your spices in the kitchen cabinet, cooking becomes easier and more cost-efficient.” Well, we can apply this same idea to crafting/DIYing! Although, it’s more like fabric pieces, gems, hot glue gun, ribbons, and the list goes one… I have built up solid “basics” of craft supplies and I thought it would be fun to use what I have and create a “fall inspired” centerpiece for my coffee table.

The Florida Morehouse family had a stay at home kind of weekend. Little Johnny came down with a cold, which he needed rest days to recuperate (although, he had all the energy in the world, just with snot hanging down his nose! haha) This led me to getting a few fun projects done around the house. (Especially all things pumpkin related!) October is my all time favorite month (it may have something to do with it being my birthday month, just saying…) To me it marks the time of year where the “seasonal activities” are embarking. 

There’s quite a bit to offer in this post, and I should probably break it up into two parts, but here’s the honest truth…I’ve tried doing that before which it’s quite hard for me to come back to it later. My motto is get it done all at once, mainly because I tend to be scattered brained where my mind gets off track to other projects. Although, it’s a great post that allows you to pick and choose different decorating techniques to incorporate in your home, especially since they’re easy and budget friendly!

You may think I’m a bit crazy with decorating while there are little hands and toys spread out around our home, but I’m a mama that like to decorate and while I realize our little guy may rearrange things, I’m totally okay with that. It’s these small decorating moments that give me that boost of excitement in life! (Along with  $2.99 mums at Aldi!)

“I have pretty areas in my home that I admire, but I also have toys spread across the floor along with a trail of snack crumbs…and I’m okay with that. It’s a season of my life that I will one day miss, but that’s not stopping me from fulfilling my love of decorating!”

Anyways, grab a hot cup of coffee and get cozy (or in our case, turn up the air conditioning and “pretend” it’s fall weather) and follow me as I take you through this tour of my “Budget Friendly” Fall Inspired Coffee Table Centerpiece.

Below you’ll find the pictures with links and detailed descriptions on how I managed to create the staging of my coffee table centerpiece.

This is an upcycled project! Here I have a tiki torch where I took out the tin and replaced it with a mason jar along with artificial flowers and a foam ball to give it more height! I love the frame of the torch and the height it gives.

Any guesses as to where I purchase this artificial plant? YES, the one and only Ikea! I have had this plant for about 4 years (and probably the only one I will ever keep “alive” this long…haha!) Here’s a great tip if you’re seeking budget friendly advice…use just a few pieces from the plant and disburse throughout your house. Seriously, no one will ever know! This picture was taken after I pulled off the pieced I needed…can you tell?! (I didn’t think so…) 😉

The above picture is a “no-sew” pumpkin that I created within 15 minutes. It was so easy and it adds great detail along with adding different textures immersed in the display. (I’m a big fan of decorating with textures if you haven’t noticed…haha) Click the link below to watch a youtube tutorial that helped me!

>>>No-Sew Pumpkin Tutorial<<<

This pumpkin is another upcycled project using mason jar lids! Stay tuned for a DIY Friday post where I’ll take you through the steps!

love decorating with books or magazines! Here’s a trick…checkout hardcover magazines from the library depending on the season you are in! It adds more color along with height to your display.

What’s your favorite “fall inspired” decor item?

Let’s get to decorating!

Wishing you well, 

~Amanda

DIY Home Decor, DIY Seasonal Decor

DIY Friday~ $1 Home Decor Cotton Stems

Well, fall is officially here! Maybe not so much in the weather for us, since it’s still 90 degrees outside, BUT definitely in the home decor! Here’s a big secret from a DIY mama…some days Little Johnny and I go into my favorite craft store and just walk around while I search for inspiration. As an added bonus, did you know that craft stores are a great place for kids to explore their senses?! We currently love the huge flowers at Hobby Lobby, it’s Little Johnny’s fav…and probably how I convince him to go. 🙂

What’s a fall trend that you have been seeing lately? (Even Magnolia Market sells them.)

Cotton Stems!

(or cotton flowers)

Have you ever gone into a home decor store and thought to yourself…”this looks like something I could make?” I say that to myself quite often and this time I took it to the next level by actually creating my own! YOU ALL! This project was so easy, and very cost-efficient. You probably have $1 right now in your wallet, (which is how much it cost to make this).

DIY Cotton Stems 


{Supplies}

  • 2 pine cones
  • 2 branches
  • 12 cotton balls
  • hot glue gun

The only item I purchased were the cotton balls, hence the $1 (although you may already have some stashed away in your closet). The rest of the supplies came from the outdoors.

{Steps}

I created another video where I share with you all the details. Make sure to click below to watch and feel free to leave a comment, or even subscribe. It’s always scary taking a leap as a blogger, but I felt it was time to move to the next level with my DIY projects (plus, we all know everyone loves watching videos.)

What fall decor item is your favorite this season? 

Here’s to pumpkin spiced everything, bonfires, fresh baked pies, and cozy sweater weather! 🙂 Maybe you can try this for a weekend project?!

Wishing you well, 

~Amanda

Family Adventures, Recipes, Uncategorized

Seeking to Live Those Simple Days & My Favorite Apple Crumble Recipe

I have this vision that life is supposed to play out a certain way. I focus hard on wanting it to be something that may not be in the works at the moment. I’m guilty of envisioning the life where we have days that are “free” from work and we’re able to sit on our front porch with our favorite drinks, while just enjoying each other as we breathe in the fresh air and leave all the stress behind.

Really, it’s the s i m p l e days I’m seeking now that I’m in my life stage of m o t h e r h o o d.

(Funny how things change.)

We all have our “dreams” in mind of what we want our life to “look” like, but the hardest part is attaining it. There are so many obstacles that get in the way and sometimes we can loose sight or feel like just giving that vision up. I’m totally guilty of having a difficult time “foreseeing” how our hard work will play out in the future. I guess in reality I’m having a hard time trusting things will work with how they are meant to.

This past weekend I read a page from “Grace for the Moment” By Max Lucado, these are short daily devotionals that are easy to read, but brings so much insight into your day. The day marked “September 23rd” was exactly what I needed to read. It helped me to redirect my mindset so that I can continue to “swim along” through the daily grind.

Trust God with the Future 

Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me. -John 14:1

I sat there for a few moments and pondered this verse. I knew my heart has been troubled lately, mainly due with the stress of financial decisions we have made, along with at this very moment trying to build our future while also raising our little boy. Everyday I seek for wisdom along with clarity that things will start to work out, and while some days are better than others… knowing that my family’s future is already taken care of is bringing me more peace.

Our family will continue to have long days ahead of us as we are build our future, but knowing that we have Him guiding us is giving me more moments where I can let out those “sighs of relief”.  Doesn’t it feel good to know that you can release the control into His hands?

It may be that you too are in a similar situation, where the stress of life is really starting to build up and you’re seeking those “s i m p l e days”.

Here’s what I want you to know…

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.” -Exodus 14:14

Keep doing what your doing, trust in the Lord, be kind, humble, and gracious…your time will soon come.

“I will also give to each one who wins the victory a white stone with a new name written on it.” Revelation 2:17

Do you remember the story of Joseph and how diligent he was in “waiting”? He went through so many obstacles, from being betrayed by his brothers, to being in a dungeon (not a prison, but a dungeon!) for a crime he never did, and so many other battles he encountered throughout his life. But, you know what?! He never gave up in believing that one day “his time will come”. And it sure did!

Time is something that we either want to slow down or speed up. (we’re so indecisive as humans, aren’t we?) It all depends on our situation. As for me, I would like time to speed up, but we all know that won’t happen. So for now, I’m focusing on those simple moments and releasing my thoughts to knowing that someone else is in control and He definitely has a plan for my family.

I believe that’s called having F A I T H.

You know what else helps with the waiting period? Yummy food, especially treats! 🙂

I’ll stop here and share with you a delicious apple crumble that I made this past Sunday, because it’s these simple moments that I’m truly starting to treasure.  Now, I wish I could say I came up with the recipe, but that’s definitely not the case. I went to one of my favorite online “cookbooks”! 🙂 Pinterest recipes and allrecipes.com are my top favorites! 🙂

The Apple Crumble Recipe came from allrecipes.com. All 3 of us enjoyed it (even Little Johnny). It’s a simple recipe too!

Click the link below to be directed to our favorite apple crumble recipe!

>>>Apple Crumble<<<

We also came to a conclusion that this would taste really good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! 🙂

Here’s to a great week ahead!

Wishing you well,

~Amanda

Upcycled DIY

DIY Friday~ Upcycled Wood Frame

Not sure if it’s the release of Hearth & Hand by Magnolia that will be coming to Target soon, OR just the simple fact that I love upcycling items. (especially when they’re free) Recently I created my now favorite upcycled DIY project. Much of the inspiration came from Joanna Gaines. (gosh, I love this lady, anyone else?) I needed to find out how I could make my own wood frame wreath decor, but at a low cost (because have you gone to the store lately and seen the prices?!)

My inspiration

(source: https://www.etsy.com/market/birch_bark)

I have been on the search for rustic wooden frames (or old wood window frames), but I haven’t had any luck (mainly because I’m looking for them to either be free or at a very budget friendly cost!) A few weeks ago I was at Ace Hardware picking up primer and I spotted the paint stir sticks sitting in the corner. Here’s the great thing about stir sticks….

1. They’re FREE

2. They’re WOOD

I had this notion that somehow I could turn these into a decor project for my small home. So…I asked the cashier if I could take as many as I wanted and her response was “Of course, they’re free aren’t they!” (My kind of cashier!) 😉 I honestly didn’t know what type of project I was going to create at the moment, but I knew something great could be made out of these simple stir sticks. I saw the p o t e n t i a l.

It was the week after Hurricane Irma when our power was still out and I was getting restless. Little Johnny was napping, my house was dirty, and starting to smell, but it was impossible to clean in the FL heat…so, I decided I needed to release my tension by getting my creative juices flowing. I went outside and stared at these stir sticks for a while, then it hit me (probably because I’ve been watching Fixer Upper lately…) these sticks can be used as a frame! I pulled out my stain, wood glue, paint brush, and away I went in creating a wooden frame!

So much joy I found the moment I brought this frame inside of my house where it hung perfectly in my kitchen. I honestly felt the release of some stress flow away from me…We all have our “things” that help us to feel better and I finally have found mine. I focus so hard on these DIY projects, which for those moments, the fear, anxiety, and overall life problems seem to just drift away…

seriously gloat over this beautiful frame every morning when I drink my coffee and remind myself of that “stress free” moment I had when creating it. (I know, “it’s just a frame”, but to me it was the actual experience in making it.) If you’ve been wondering about the name of my blog (capturing life’s gifts) much of it has to do with the fact that I have finally “captured” my own personal gifts that life has to offer…one of them is pulling out my inner creativity…

Upcycled Wood Frame: Using Stir Sticks 


{Supplies}

  • 4 wood stir sticks
  • wood glue (or a hot glue gun)
  • stain
  • very accent paint color (I went with a slate blue)
  • paint brush

{Steps} 

This time I created a video that includes the steps, since it was such an easy project. If you like the video, let me know so I can plan on doing more videos on easy DIY Home Decor projects!

Thanks for following along and I hope this inspired your creativity!

Happy DIYing!

Wishing you well,

~Amanda