Link UP Week: Delightfully Inspiring Thursday

link up week The 2nd of today's link up comes from a blog that I recently {and happily} stumbled upon called Delightful Order.

It's a pretty basic link up, with tons of 'delightfully inspiring' shared projects. The host, DaNita focuses on four key lifestyle tips: Simplify, Create, Organize, Decorate. Sounds great to me! Be sure you pay her a visit and join in the link party by sharing anything related to decorating, crafting, party planning, gift ideas, organizing, or recipes!

This is a quick little project I did a while back when we moved our office out of our bedroom and into the corner of our living room. I have very little space for all of my craft and Etsy materials so I needed to improvise and create storage where there wasn't any. I had just purchased a number of spools of ribbon and wanted an easy way to access them that wouldn't leave me with a big box of tangled tentacles. I decided to make a hanging 'spool spinner' on the inside of my cabinet door.

What you'll need:

  • ribbon {duh}
  • small dowel rods {or something sturdy that will fit through the center hole of your spool}
  • twine or rope {ribbon will also work but I didn't want to have a ribbon overload}
  • craft glue
  • adhesive-backed hooks

What I did:

I first decided how low I wanted the ribbon to hang by measuring out my twine - which will be the main support for the spinner. I then doubled it over and made a loop knot so that I could secure it onto the end of the dowel rod. Then tightened and secured with craft glue.


Once the glue dried I slid the ribbon onto the dowel, allowing the twine knot to act as a stopper. * I found it easier to make sure the ribbon is all facing the same direction, and hanging down from the front of the spool so it's easy to pull down and measure out.

I did end up having to shorten the dowel which was pretty easy. Just be sure {if you need to do the same} you sand off the ends so it's smooth. With the free end of the twine I made a simple bow on the opposite end of the dowel, closing in the ribbon. Be sure it's tight but don't secure this side with glue so it can be removed to change out ribbon in the future.


Your twine should make a triangle above the ribbon, from which you can easily hang wherever you need. I used adhesive-backed hooks on the interior of my cabinet doors.

Hang and you're done!


TA-DA. Simple and sweet. Just the way I like it!

Join the Delightfully Inspiring Thursday link up and be sure to hop around the other party participants to see some great new blogs and projects!

Until next time...

Link UP Week: Penny Pinching Party

link up week Last link up of the day everyone, this one is about saving a little cash and it comes to you from The Thrifty Home. She has so many great ideas {as do her fellow party attendees} on great ways to save cash without limiting yourself. Do yourself a favor and check out her blog if you haven't already. More specifically, check out the links that have been shared in her weekly Penny Pinching Party.

You may not know that I am currently reading the fantastic and terribly intimidating book, America's Cheapest Family Gets You Right On The Monday. Basically this rock star family of 7 has found a way to live off of $350/month in groceries. Yes, I'm flabbergasted. And nowhere near their success I might add. BUT, the few chapters I have read have definitely sparked the desire to find ways to be thrifty, one of which I'm super excited about and thought was worth sharing.

Backstory: when Z first went on the 17-day diet I started looking for new ways to get creative in the kitchen without breaking his dietary restrictions. One of our fall-back dinner choices was turkey patties but I didn't want them to be the same boring patty each time so I started experimenting with ingredients. Adding this, substituting that, you know the drill. It was then that I fell in love with sun-dried tomatoes. I put these little bites of heaven on EVERYTHING now! Homemade pizza, in meatloaf, in my spaghetti sauce, you name it. The funny thing is, I've never really been a tomato fan but these are like culinary crack! They are delish and I would eat them with every meal if I could. I would also be eating out of our car because I would have spent all our life's savings on buying the darn things! Holy mother are they pricey. The good kind at least. So I decided I had to find a way to keep my tastebuds happy without going over the grocery budget. ENTER PINTEREST AND YOUR GLORIOUS GLORY!

I stumbled upon a pin from Better Hens and Gardens for HOMEMADE sun-dried {oven-dried} tomatoes. Hallelujah.

Just grab some cherry tomatoes - cheap-o at any grocery store. Slice them in half and lay them face up on a baking sheet.


Put them in a 200 degree oven for 6-12 hours. YES, 6-12 hours. This is how easy this all is... slice em' and forget em'. The time it takes will depend on how large your tomatoes are. Mine were on the small side so it only took them around 6-7 hours. Leave them alone as long as you can and check on them at around 6 hours to see how they are doing.

Once they are done you can easily pop them in a zip lock back and straight into the freezer... Me on the other hand, I wanted to add some extra good ju ju so I separated the tomatoes into smaller freezer cups. {I used to use these for Keelin's homemade baby food, great buys at the dollar store}

Then I added a mixture of olive oil and my favorite spices - garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, oregano. THEN I popped them in the freezer.


You can do these in big batches and store them away in individual portions to use whenever you need them. For most recipes you don't even need to defrost them, just toss dump them into the saute' pan with the rest of the veggies and prepare for a party on your tastebuds. Plus, it's far cheaper than spending $4.00 on a single jar of the good stuff at the grocery store!

Join Jen and share your own Penny Pinching tips!

Until next time...

Link UP Week: Wow Me Wednesday

link up weekAnother Wednesday link up!Am I going overboard? Do I care? NO... I'm having too much fun!

This next link up is called Wow Me Wednesday and is coming to you from Ginger Snap Crafts. Here are the rules:

The “rules” are simple.
Please consider sharing this party on facebook, twitter, google+ or pinterest.
Link up to your post, not your main blog. Must be something made by YOU!
Visit other links, make new friends & most of all have fun! Check back every Thursday for features from the previous week’s party.
I shared a sneak peek of this project on instagram a while ago and am excited to share it with you now! I'd been wanting to make Keelin a set of alphabet magnets to play with on the frig while I'm cooking. With the help of my weekly JoAnn fabric coupons, I snagged a bag of wooden letters for super cheap! At first I considered painting them but then thought about her habits at this age {i.e. putting everything in her mouth} and decided I wanted to add color while still being safe IN CASE one of the letters happened to find itself between toddler teeth. My answer... food coloring!
After searching high and low for a reasonably priced set of primary colored food coloring {Seriously what's with all the pastels and neons. What happened to plain old red, yellow, and blue?} I finally grabbed a jumbo pack of Wilton gel colors and got down to business.
Here's what you'll need:
  • wooden alphabet letters {or shapes, whatever you are dying}
  • food coloring {I used gel but from what I've researched liquid should yield the same results}
  • white wine vinegar
  • boiling water
  • dying bowls/cups {I used solo cups so I wouldn't risk dying my dishes}
  • disposable gloves {your hands WILL turn all sorts of fun colors if you don't}
  • toothpick/fork/wooden skewer for mixing
  • adhesive magnets
  • paper towels
  • wax paper/parchment paper
Here's what to do:
I kept it simple with a repeating rainbow pattern by laying out the alphabet in front of their designated color like so:
To prep the wood you'll want to sand all sides - this will allow the color to adhere better.
As far as mixing the color, I disolved the gel color in boiling water and about a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar - which also helps the color bond to the wood.
*Note - be sure you test each color and whether or not the vinegar has an effect on it BEFORE you drop your letters. I learned that the vinegar turned my red a little too orange and my purple a little too blue. If you notice this happen, simply drop your sanded letters into a water/vinegar bath for a few seconds before dropping in the color. If you want to avoid the possibility of altering your colors all together you can keep the vinegar mix separate for all of your letters. Up to you!
Once your water is the desired color {I also recommend testing some small pieces of wood in each color to see if it's the shade you want. My pack of letters had a few extras of the vowels so I broke them up and tested them all before dropping the whole letter.} drop your letter and use a fork, skewer, toothpick, etc. to make sure it's fully coated. Don't let the letter sit for too long or it may get waterlogged. About 30 seconds for each should be fine.
Remove the letter and place on a paper towel, on top of wax paper {to keep the color from bleeding onto your table or countertop}
Do this with all of your letters and let dry.
If you find that some of the color isn't as bold as you'd like it, drop the letters again until you get the color you want!
I probably could have dropped some of them a few more times but I like the way they all turned out.
Once the letters are completely dry, attach adhesive magnets to the backs of each. I'd try one magnet toward the center of the letter, test it out on the frig to see where it could use more support and add as needed.
Please ignore my orange fingernail in the photo above. Proof that some kind of hand protection is wise.
Last but not least, tack them on the frig and watch your toddler swat them immediately on the floor. Hard work pays off, eh?
Don't mind my filthy, dented frig.
SO, there you have it. A fun, inexpensive, and easy way to make toddler-safe alphabet magnets. {Obviously don't let your kid play with them unsupervised because they are still made of wood and magnets which don't BELONG in slobbery soggy mouths. Just know that if you happen to catch a quick chomp, you don't need to worry about the hazards of ingesting paint.
Thanks to Ginger for hosting such a fun link up. Please join the party by adding one of your recent projects to the list!
Until next time...

The Keen Bean

I am so incredibly excited that I FINALLY checked this long overdue item off my TO DO list this weekend. You've heard me talk about it for a while now and I finally sat down {while the hubs was off having bachelor party adventures with a friend of ours} and got it done. I had a neat little station set up, put The Avengers on repeat, and got down to business. I did it! YAY ME! I FINALLY OPENED MY ETSY SHOP, theKeenBean

The Keen Bean Etsy


I have always talked about opening an Etsy shop because I like to be crafty whenever possible. But it wasn't until after learning I was having a girl that I started really CREATING. What started off as buying a small quilting swatch to turn into a hair piece has turned into something I've really become passionate about. Seriously, all I want to do {besides hang with the fam} is make sweet things for sweet ones.

Currently the shop consists of one-of-a-kind hair accessories for little girls, and little girls at heart. I don't have a basic design that I make on repeat, each item is 100% unique and made with love. But hair accessories is not all you will find at theKeenBean, I have more ideas than I can fit in my brain {literally I have to write them all down each time a new one pops up so I don't forget it} and will be adding on SOON! Expect the expansion to include baby clothes {boys and girls}, home accents and decor, and plenty of do-dads for nursing moms. This is a big deal people! I'm going full speed ahead!

So, how bout that name?

When I decided that I was going to open an Etsy shop I knew I had to come up with a name that was cute, easy to remember, and gave a spotlight to my inspiration. Ergo, theKeenBean. I love it. It feels fun, happy, stylish, quirky, and everything else my own little love is to me. I would love for you to take a look around and tell me what you think! Since I'm new to the Etsy world I would love some feedback as well. You all are such wonderful loving readers and I really respect your opinions so I'm officially drawing a target on my head and saying bring it on! You like the pieces. You hate the pieces. You'd totally buy something. You think the name is stupid. You think I'm an absolute genius. You think I should adjust my pricing. Whatever it is... hit me with it!

Also... if you're on Etsy or have experience on Etsy, I'd love some tips on how to get noticed {and join my circle! I'll be happy to do the same}. How do you establish a solid selling relationship? What advice would you give me just starting out? Am I totally in over my head? Again... bring it on!

I'll be adding a new page to the blog featuring newly listed items and specials so be on the look out for that as well! FYI, I'm currently running a GRAND OPENING special for the month of October {Breast Cancer Awareness Month}that includes a free Breast Cancer Ribbon clip with every purchase. {they are also for sale as individual purchases}

breast cancer ribbon hair clip


So, I couldn't resist sharing this news with all of you, since I've been talking about it for long enough, and I hope you all visit, explore {buy things}, be happy and tell me what you think!

P.S. Some of my one-of-a-kind creations will be included in an upcoming giveaway. I know I've talked about this a lot too... but it is happening! Getting some final loose ends tied, because it has to be awesome, and then it's go time!

Until next time...

First Year Memories via Fabric and Thread

Happy Friday ya'll! As you are all well aware I have a bit of a fabric collection left over from Keelin's weekly onesie pictures. And it's not even complete yet! After counting out my current stock in comparison to the number of weeks left until her 1st birthday {holy crap it's so close} I only need to purchase 4 more yards! I still need to get something for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the big 1 year...leaving me with one more that simply screams BUY ME! I do have a number of options that you haven't seen yet in the weekly poll, but most of those have specific intentions. As you are also probably hopefully aware, I'm planning on making a masterpiece-of-sorts with said fabric collection to celebrate The Bean's first year in the world.

I've been throwing a few different ideas around and of course pulling from my original inspiration {way better than my photos}, John and Sherry of Young House Love. But in the end I decided I wanted to make something that Keelin will be able to keep with her forever and ever amen. So lets see...

Could be some kind of clothing, but that would be one busy blazer if I tried to fit all 52 weeks worth into one piece. Could be some kind of decoration, but that's still an awful lot of color to be displayed in her room all the time, especially when she gets older and actually has an opinion about the design of her room. Could make a blanket of sorts, representing each week of the first year with a swatch of fabric... THAT'S IT!

Decision made! A blanket/quilt it is!

I've already plotted it out and this is the mock up so far:



I took a screenshot of the fabric from each weekly photoshoot so I could get an idea of what it would look like. I haven't decided what color/pattern I'll use for the corners and outside border but I'm totally in love with it so far. I was worried at first that I wasn't going to like it without a defined pattern {because I'm OCD like that} but I realized the pattern wasn't the most important thing, it's the record of her first year. I love how each fabric is in order of what week it was used. The only problem is that a few of the weeks I used fabrics that I can't exactly cut up {i.e. week 4 is our bedspread, week 12 is already a blanket, and week 30 is my mother's flip flop beach towel}. I'm thinking about printing the actual picture of Keelin on the fabric for those weeks but I might have to add a few more in to make it a little balanced. Basically what I'm trying to say is that it's a work in progress but I'm really excited about it!

If you have experience quilting/sewing I'd love some tips on how to make this go smoothly! And if you have any suggestions for the colors on the corners and outside border, I'm all ears.

I'll keep you posted on updates to the idea but for now, what do you think? Good idea or am I totally nuts?

Until next time...