Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Our Living Room

So it occurred to me that many of our friends probably haven't seen our living room before. We need to have people over more often. I also realized that even fewer people probably saw how the living room looked when we first moved in. So I thought I'd share with all of you our living space then and now. You're all invited to stop by sometime for real though :)

So here's the before picture:

This picture is from before we had moved ANYTHING in (can you tell? ha!). There was a wallpaper border, no curtains, and everything was beige. Still, it was nothing to complain about. We were now owners of a home and it was beautiful. It just needed a little work.

Here's another picture I found of Bryan in the living room. I can tell how old this picture is by looking at the chair he's sitting in. When we first moved in, pretty much all we had were a few hand-me-down chairs and a TV. I remember wondering how we would EVER be able to fill up this HUGE house, since we both had so little stuff. Well, trust me, we've filled it up since then.

So, some changes we've made since then:
  • Thanks to generous family and friends' furniture donations and funding, our living room is totally furnished. THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!
  • Bryan painted the walls
  • Bought some much-needed curtains
  • We personalized it with art and other funky pieces
Here are the "after" shots:

A few close-ups:
The record player console: We love this piece. We bought it from some really good friends of ours when they were moving. Bryan got the record player to work, so it is used for playing records, but it also serves as extra storage and as sort of an entertainment center!

Bryan's guitar: I LOVE my musical husband! He's so talented! I really like the way this looks in the room. It's a nice conversation piece! I also like that it's SAFE on the wall and that Bryan can grab it and play it easily, whenever he wants.

A Few Pictures of Art:
One of the 3 frames hanging above the TV. I bought 12x12 RED frames at Michael's and put in a few of my scrapbook pages. I love these because they're easy to change out. I also like that new guests can learn a lot about us in just a few seconds of looking.

The paintings (above): A few pictures I did in school. The top one is of our feet propped up on a seat at a diner (it was the Waffle House to be exact). I painted that while we were still dating! The second painting is of Judy Garland- love her!

This is hanging above our front door. So sweet and romantic. This, as well as many of the other things in the room, was a wedding gift. Again, thank you to EVERYONE! :D Your help and support have allowed us to do so much in our home. We love you!

I really like our living room. I think it feels cozy and comfortable, and I hope welcoming. Thanks for stopping by and looking at it!


Monday, June 27, 2011

Hawaii-Inspired Dessert


Today's post is inspired by one of my sisters and her boyfriend, who have been lucky enough to travel to Hawaii TWICE. They love it there- the beach, the fun, and the food!!!!

My sis is particularly obsessed with all things coconut. The two of them and their travels made me want to make a yummy Hawaiian-style dessert! This dessert is perfect for summer, because it is cold, refreshing, fruity, and you hardly have to turn on the oven to make it! But first, check out this AMAZING picture the two of them took on their first trip to Hawaii! Scroll all the way to the bottom of this post to see one from their 2nd trip:

Oh my goodness- SO PRETTY! So now that we're all in the Hawaiian state of mind, here is my recipe for:

(it means "crazy delicious" in Hawaiian. Lots of thanks to my sis for helping me learn some Hawaiian words to name it!)

You will need:
  • 1 package mini graham cracker crusts
For Filling:
  • 1 banana- cut into small pieces
  • 1 can pineapple chunks (8oz)
  • 1 container Yoplait yogurt- Pineapple Upside Down Cake flavor
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
For the Whipped Cream Topping:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • The zest and juice of one lime
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • about 1/2 cup macadamia nut pre-chopped baking pieces (you can adjust this number to taste since they will just be sprinkled on top afterwards)
1. Mix together banana, pineapple, yogurt, and coconut in a bowl. Fill all of your mini-pie crusts evenly. Here are the mini crusts I used if you've never seen them in stores before:

Put all of your cute little desserts on a plate and store them in the fridge while you finish the rest of the recipe!

Now is a good time to toast your macadamia nuts! This really will make them even more delicious! Toast them in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes. When you start to smell them in the air (yummmmm...), they're ready to come out!! Let them cool for 10 minutes.

The last step is to make your whipped cream. Have you had home made whipped cream before? It is seriously AMAZING! If you wanted to save time you could buy your whipped cream, but seriously give this a try. You will be so happy!!!

I used a mixer, you could also use electric beaters. You could do this by hand with a whisk too, but it would hurt your arm!

So first, just combine your whipping cream and sugar. Mix until you start to have soft peaks  forming in your mixture, like this (mine took close to 10 minutes I think so don't worry if it takes a while, but keep your eye on it):
Next, put the zest and juice from your lime into the mixing bowl, and your shredded coconcut.
(Be careful when you zest your lime, it can be dangerous!!)
 Mix your whipped cream for just a few more seconds just so everything is combined.

Take the filled pie crusts out of the fridge. Top each with an equal amount of whipped cream. Sprinkle with toasted macadamia nuts! You're done!!!! :D Store in the fridge (or eat them immediately!!).

I hope you try and LOVE this recipe. It's really simple and perfect to take to a summer party! You could probably even double the recipe and serve it in a regular sized pie crust to feed more people!

I got the idea for the filling from a few different websites that I can't quite remember (sorry), but I personalized it with the pineapple upside-down cake yogurt and by serving it in a pie crust with lime-coconut whipped cream!!! My whipped cream was adapted from the basic whipped cream recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.

Thanks so much to my sis and her boyfriend for being such nice people, helping me write this post and for all your wonderful pictures! Oh, speaking of pictures here's the 2nd one I promised you!

So grab a little LOLO ONO and let's all pretend, just for a second, that we're there!!!

- The Sanders Family

Friday, June 24, 2011

Ollie's "New" Playground

Okay so our backyard isn't exactly "new". It's been here all along. We were very blessed to find a home with such a great, big backyard space. But Ollie hasn't really been able to play in it until now. Why you ask? Because I had this old, non-working car parked in the driveway, which prevented the fence from closing properly.

When Ollie was a puppy, we usually took him outside to the backyard without a leash on, and it was  no big deal. Until he learned how to run across the street. And don't let his current size (about 70lbs) fool you, this dog can run FAST. He thinks running across the street from us is funny. How do I know?

One time when Ollie ran away from the back yard, I couldn't find him! I was terrified. It was snowy out, and since he's a white dog, he was camouflaged! Then I found him. Peeking out from behind a parked car, like a child playing hide and seek, waiting to see if I could find him. And when I went toward him he ran further. Not funny Ollie!!!

(This picture is from Ollie's first day home. One of my faves. Also you can see the sad black car, blocking the fence)

So anyway, after lots of not-funny runaways, we realized that Ollie simply couldn't be outside without a leash anymore. It just wasn't safe. Even in the backyard he couldn't be safe because of my old car blocking the fence from closing.

So a couple of days ago someone came by the house asking Bryan about the car. Bryan told him all the things that were wrong with it, and how it wouldn't start, but told him if the man could get it out of the driveway he could have it. For free. The man took it the next day.

And now our fence closes! I'm so happy!!!! Even though it was a little sad to see Charlotte (the car) go.

So we've been out there with Ollie a few times since we got rid of the old car. These pics are from the 2nd time. The 2nd time since he's played freely outside without a leash since probably like a year ago.

At first he didn't know what to do. He just kind of stood there looking at me like "Whadda we do now?" See what I mean?

But then he started to have more fun.

 He ran. We chased each other.

He sniffed all over the yard.

He made ridiculous faces.

Yep it was good times!!! It was even more fun when Bryan got home from work today and we all went out and played together. I love my husband and I love our little family.<3

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Picture Frame Project

The project I'm sharing with you today is actually for our master bedroom :) I'm planning a gray, white and yellow color scheme with purple accents! My starting point for the color scheme was our comforter from Target.

Photo Source

Here are the picture frames I used for my project:

I found the black frame at the Goodwill outlet (where lots of things are 79 cents/lb- woohoo!) and the white frames were from the regular Goodwill. We got them for $4/each. The frame are actually really nice and made of wood. I've been wanting some decorative, vintage looking frames for-EVER and we finally found some! Yes!!!

I wanted to make all of the frames the same color (white). The large white frames needed a little touching up too, so I painted them all with white spray paint.

BTW, did you know you could buy a can of white spray paint at the hardware store for $1???? I sure didn't!

Next, I took the polka dot frame mats, some spray adhesive, and a  pretty bedsheet I had laying around (from Goodwill, where else?) and I attached pieces from the sheet directly onto the matting pieces, folding and gluing in the back to keep any extra hidden.

After that, I printed out B&W pics of Bryan and me onto cardstock (all photos were 5x7) and attached them with spray adhesive as well. Then I put all the pictures in the frames! All done!

Thanks for looking!
-The Sanders Family

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Laundry Room

So in our last post I showed you  the curtain I made for a mysterious room in our house. Well, it was for the laundry room! :)

A few months ago, I saw this picture online (this is NOT our laundry room):

(Sources: Design Sponge, Cameras and Chaos)

I really loved the look of this laundry room! From the bright, cheery blue on the walls to the sparkle on the chandelier. SO PRETTY! This laundry room also has a very similar setup to ours, so it was easy to envison our space looking this way! Bryan liked the idea too, so off to Lowe's we went for some paint!

I don't have a picture of our laundry room before, but I'll try and describe it a little bit. Basically the walls were white, there were no decorations in there yet, except for an old dark green curtain that was hanging when we moved in. That's basically the description. Not that it was bad it was just.....a laundry room.

Here's how our laundry room looks now....

So our room isn't a replica of the first room, but that's ok! I really love what we did with it. Here's how we made a room *inspired* by the first room.

1. Paint color This one is pretty close to the original. I loved it, and I think it makes the laundry room look much happier!

2. Some sparkle! The original room used a chandelier, but I didn't have one of those lying around, and we really wanted to keep our budget REALLY low for the laundry room. Also, I LOVE chandeliers, but if I had one it wouldn't be in the laundry room! No one would ever see it really. So I used this painting I made in high school (below). My art teacher at the time helped me cut out some wooden masks to attach to my painting to give it a cool 3D effect. To the masks I attached TONS of sequins.  I think this painting brought the same amount of sparkle as the chandelier, and it was something I had around the house!

3. Fun, Patterned Curtains
They used a pretty blue paisley print in the inspiration room but I made mine from a skirt from Goodwill. It just so happened to match the room really well! So once again, keeping costs DOWN! Use what you have!! If you didn't see the last post, here's the curtain again (below):

4. Art
I don't think that a laundry room (especially a small one like ours) requires a TON of artwork, but I do think it's nice to put a little something in there to personalize the room. In the inspiration room, they used a picture frame with some artsy photographs in it. In our room we used the sequin painting and this:

The picture frame is from the clearace section at Wal-Mart. Then I just printed off a picture from one of my FAVORITE movies of all time- Singin' In the Rain. I thought somehow that was appropriate for the place we wash our landry!

We also had a few piggy banks that went with the color scheme, so Bryan suggested we put some in here. He pointed out it would be a good place to take the change out of your pockets before you wash your clothes! Genius!!!

We actually put the princess piggy on our wedding registry as kind of a joke, but I'm not going to lie, I was pretty excited when a family friend got it for us! Plus I think they give the room a little more personality!

I feel like the overall mood of the room is happiness. The art is funny and carefree and the colors are nice and bright! We really like the laundry room now! Not doing laundry maybe, but the laundry room!

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


        So I had this skirt from Goodwill. It was cute and sweet and covered in polka dots. But it fluffed out really big when I put it on and made me feel a little like a cupcake, so I never wore it.
Here it is:

Forgive me for wearing the skirt over my jeans. I just wanted everyone to get the jist. Notice our adorable puppy dog trying to figure out what I was doing :)

And then there was a room in our house in need of new curtains. The curtains it had did not match the new decor we were planning. There's only one window in this room, so it wouldn't take much...

Then I saw the skirt....

And thought about how I probably hadn't worn it since the dressing room at Goodwill...

I cut out the zipper, and this left some ragged raw edges....

So then I hemmed up the edges (sort of) and left the banding open on the top of the skirt to hang it on the curtain rod we already had...

I bet you could do this with a lot of old aprons too , since they often have pretty ruffles and a wide band across the top. This project was super easy to do. Trust me, I literally failed a sewing class once. On Monday, I will show you what room of the house this is in, and what we did to the rest of it :) See you then! Have a great holiday weekend!
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