Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Baked Donuts!

Donut pan

We bought a donut pan several months ago and have had so much fun creating baked donuts with it! Why would you want to make baked donuts? Sure they don't taste like their deep fried counterparts, but they are delicious and they are a lot healthier too!

We have enjoyed sharing them with our friends, and seeing their surprise when we show up with them. They look like they would have taken a lot of time and effort to make, but it's just as easy as making a cupcake!

We used the recipe that came on the pan, but you can also use any cake recipe (and even cake mix if they aren't the "moist" kind), and of course dessert breads work well in the pan too. We can't wait to continue our experiments with them.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Let's talk about something no one likes to talk about, shall we? Sometimes our bathrooms smell, and we all know why. Have you ever wanted to do something about it, before the fact? No.2 from Poo~Pourri is just what you need. It hides odors that come from the loo. As it says on their website:

Spray the Loo Before No. 2 and No One Will Ever Have a Clue!

The spray, which you use in the bowl before you need to, well, you know, has a wonderful scent of Mandarin, Bergamot and Orange. It smells very good, and looks really great too. I have to admit, I fell in love with their packaging, which comes complete with crown charms around the bottle top. The gift set is absolutely adorable, and would make a fun (and funny) housewarming gift.

And yes, I know it's early to be thinking of Christmas already, but if you are looking for something unique for that person who has everything, Poo~Pourri offers gifts for Christmas, their Santa Poo line!

We were lucky enough to get samples and have been very happy with the results. Poo~Pourri also has a lot of other funny "before you go" sprays with hilarious names and packaging. Be sure to check out the Poo~Pourri website when you have a chance.

Also, you can feel great knowing that Poo~Pourri donates 20% of all proceeds of No.2 4oz sprays to breast cancer research! 

Monday, August 29, 2011

For the love of Mario!

Confession time. We love video games. The husband and I are what you could call tech geeks, and we are pretty darn proud of our geekiness. One of our favorite things to play with recently is the Nintendo 3DS I got for my birthday this year. It is beyond fun, and in true Nintendo fashion we had to have someplace awesome to store it when we weren't playing it!

Hello Mario!

Enter the Mario 3DS holder from Not only is it super cute, it's also very functional. Plus, I love seeing one of my favorite video game characters everyday when I walk into my office. Too cute for words! BIG thank you to Think Geek for sending this our way.

What about in your household, do you love playing video games? Do you have creative ways to store your gaming gear when it's not being used?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Inspiration from Pinterest

Are you on Pinterest yet? Oh it is a fun and addicting way to keep track of all the things you love. Not to mention a great way to find new things to love too! Here are a few of my current favorites from Pinterest.

Source: via Aimee on Pinterest

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Living room itch.

Lately I have been having an itch to redo a room in our house. The room in my radar? The living room. Nothing is particularly wrong with the room, it's comfortable, but maybe a bit blah. With unlimited budget we would put in hardwood floors, but for now the carpet stays.

The room needs a little "oomph"! Right now there are paint chips about the room, I am trying to look at different colors at different times of the day. This is the first room people see if they come to our home, so it needs to feel welcoming.

I have even been dreaming of a big, comfy, ottoman for the middle of the room. In fact, I saw a couch set that came with one and was very tempted to go all out and REALLY redo the space. Darn that little budget!

Gratefully, the couches are holding up really well and still have many years of life left in them. The metal and glass tables are great at making the space look larger than it really is too. Really it will all just be about the paint, and maybe some art rearrangement. This itch must be scratched!

Monday, August 22, 2011


While I often daydream of traveling to many far away places, I am at my core, a homebody. There is nothing quiet as lovely as being at home. And not just at home, as in being in our house and garden, but there are some truly wonderful things right outside my doorstep! Who needs to travel very far when there are unique and wonderful things to do in your own hometown?

Lately I have been thinking a lot about home, not just the physical dwelling, but the outer area where the home is. Community, natural wonders, small businesses and those things that can only be found where you live.

In my home state we have some very unique features, including a land locked Great Salt Lake, which as it's name suggests is a salt water lake and a nice sized fresh water lake as well. My home state is full of natural wonders. For example, even though I adore visiting zoos and aquariums to see things we don't have here, we even have a fish, the June Sucker, that is found no where else in the world but Utah Lake! It's endangered right now, but people are working to help remedy that.

In our garden planning for spring, I want to learn more about native plants and their uses, and grow more of them. Or rather, let them grow naturally without my interference, as I can already see some that do VERY well (usually known by the name of "weed").

What is unique to your hometown? Are you a homebody, or are you more of a wanderer?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Front Porch Fun

front porch bunny

Don't you love this front porch arrangement? I love the bike, the bunny, the turtle pot holders, and the entire arrangement. To me this front porch sends a message of fun, while at the same time looking totally put together.

Other things I love about this front porch? The wall behind the plants, the stones under foot, and from what I can see of it, a welcoming bench. Just gorgeous!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Summer means salads!

Summer is so perfect for salads, isn't it? Lately we have been experimenting with all kinds of different salad combinations. First up, a simple Greek salad.

Mixed Romaine lettuce leaves topped with Feta cheese, tomato slices, cucumbers, and balsamic vinaigrette. Not shown, the added grilled chicken on top for my meat loving husband.

Another simple salad using grilled chicken, mixed Romaine leaves, and Rasberry vinaigrette. So simple, and yet so full of flavor with the vinaigrette. Also, since we have been eating a lot of salads and other fresh fruits and veggies, we have been having some oddities. Behold the inside of this pepper!

What a surprise to see this inside! Two peppers that followed this one also had some oddities. Adventure always abounds in the kitchen!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Winding Down

Summer is slowly winding down, days are getting shorter, and soon fall will be upon us. Not much has been happening at the nest. In fact, we are finally having summer weather, and as such we feel like doing nothing more than just laying around trying to keep cool. There are ideas brewing in my head as the weather turns my thoughts inward.

This space has me inspired! If only our room were this lovely.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

An amazing living room!

Can you imagine having such a space? We live near the mountains and have always wanted to have a cabin. There are some truly amazing cabins around here, multi-million dollar style cabins. This space would be right at home in one of them, with all of those windows to showcase the views! Perfectly dreamy.

Monday, August 8, 2011

My house stinks!

Confession time: our house stinks. Smells, reeks, whatever you would like to call it. It's embarrassing, but there it is. Our house is funky.

We have come to the conclusion that a lot of it has to do with our odd house plan, and the fact that air circulation is virtually nonexistent. Our top level doesn't have an air return vent, and there is nowhere to add one on. Add to that the way everything is spread between four smaller levels and our house doesn't exactly get the air currents flowing.

So I am always on the look out for ways to make our house smell good. I would hate to have people thinking it's actually US that smells funky, or that we don't keep our home clean or something! Fall and spring are awesome because I can throw open the windows and let in fresh air. Other things that I love? Wax melting things (do they have a proper name?), our Greenleaf diffuser, and the smell right after we bake something delicious.

We have racked our brains for a more permanent solution to the issue, but haven't come up with anything as of yet. Thank goodness for all the products out there that can help hide odors. 

What are your favorite ways to keep your house smelling fresh?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Library Inspiration

Today I went through my books to donate to the local library. It is one thing that I have a hard time letting go of because I love to revisit books even after I have read them. Sadly we just don't have much bookshelf space in our home right now, and because of that I often have to go through and clear out. At least I know that I can always check them out again if I ever really wanted to read them. Do you hold onto books too?

In our dream home of the future we will have a library space. It's something we have both wanted, and today I found one great example of a dream library/office space (are you on Pintrest? let's be friends). I love that there is a daybed built in, perfect for lounging with a book. It's nice that there is also space for a desk, because sometimes a desk would come in real handy while reading. Beautiful, isn't it?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Do you live with a hoarder?

Have you ever watched the show Hoarders? Scary, isn't it? Sad too. This post is not meant to make light of those who have serious hoarding issues. My paternal grandfather was a hoarder, so I know the enormity of the issue, especially for those who have to clean up the mess. Turns out my husband's paternal grandfather was also a hoarder. It makes me wonder if it was something generational, maybe something also to do with the area they grew up in? Whatever the cause, it's a sad problem.

So of course in my home I have always been careful to not have too much, but always to have what is just right. It's the way I grew up, being taught from my parents to always let go of the things you are no longer using and no longer love. Send them along to charity so they can be used and loved by someone who really needs it. It's a great way to look at things, and I am glad that I learned to live that way.

In my 30 in 30 challenge I'm finding it to be hard to find enough to fill a bag! There are still areas to be tackled though, and I am sure I will reach my goal, but I am happy to say that for the most part we live a fairly clutter free lifestyle. If you want to read an excellent book on the subject pick up It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff by Peter Walsh. He is excellent at showing why it's important to let go, and gives wonderful tips on how to do it.

Hopefully none of you live with an actual hoarder, but what do you do if your partner keeps a lot more stuff than what you think is good? What about keeping more than your home can actually hold (it amazes me how many people pay money each month for storage units for things they probably never even think twice about)? Are you the one in your home that holds onto things? Or are you the one that is more prone to let things go?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

From overheated to frozen!

Our home's layout presents it's own unique set of challenges. Truth be told, we would never buy this type of home again, even though we do love our home, it's just not the best layout for many reasons. Number one reason? Heating and cooling!

Since our home is a 4 level split, we don't get the great airflow that you get in two level homes. Walk into our home in the summer and chances are you might catch cold in our family room, while sweating like a piglet in our upper rooms like the bedroom. The reverse is true in the winter, with our upper level being quiet cold, our middle level being just right, and the family room level still being super cold. There is just no way to get the temperatures right across so many small levels.

We have been trying to figure out a good way to fix the problem, but as of yet have been stumped. There is not a way to add an air return on our upper floor, so I don't think we can do much to fix the issue. Luckily we did install ceiling fans in the two rooms (except the one our bird lives in of course, that would be downright dangerous)!

I know that ceiling fans often get a bad rap on HGTV, but for so many of us they are completely functional and a must have! Our master bedroom came with a ceiling fan that is not our taste, but we are glad to have it (and it has a remote). I would love to replace it with a look more like this, but with a light not just a fan:

What about your home? Do you have challenges that are unique to the style and layout of the home you live in?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cookware Organization

I saw this organized cookware on Pintrest and swooned!Organizing pots and pans (and their tops) has long been a problem in our house. We don't have a lot of cabinet space, and everything gets jumbled up. Isn't this just perfect? Doing something like it is on my house wishlist for sure!

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