Monday, January 30, 2012

Keyboard Magnet Letters

I recently pinned this photo on pinterest. The caption simply says "keyboard magnets. rip keys off old keyboards, hot glue magnets on the back" I thought it looked cute and cheap, so I tried it myself! Here's how I did it:

Supplies: an old keyboard, hot glue gun, circle magnets

Jake had an old keyboard that he hasn't used in years, so he told me I could tear it up, but I have seen used keyboards at the Salvation Army Thrift Shop for $2 each.

Instructions: flip over the keyboard and take out all the screws

If you've ever wondered, here is what the inside of a keyboard looks like. Hmmm...I wonder what I could make out of that cool clear rubbery stuff...

Looking at the back of the top piece, start popping the keys out.

Put a large bead of hot glue on a circle magnet.

Immediately press a key into the glue.

It's really that easy!

The only part of my fridge that is magnetic is the side, and the side is black, so the keys won't show up well. Instead of displaying them on my fridge, I put them on an old screen door that I haven't found a purpose for yet. To hold them up, I put another magnet behind the screen.

Here you can see the magnet "sandwich" with the screen. Now I have a purpose for that screen window, so I think I'll repaint it cream and hang it in my craft room.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My favorite Apps

Jake and I were eligible for phone upgrades in December, so I took the plunge and got a smartphone. I really didn't think I needed a smartphone, and I honestly probably don't, but I am enjoying some of the apps.

Here are my favorite downloaded apps:

1. Pudding Camera (free version) - this app is a little better than the camera app that comes on the phone. You can change "lenses" to fun ones like fisheye, panorama, and motion (which makes 4 photos in one.) You can also change the colors to vintage, black & white, and vivid, as well as others. It's pretty fun!

2. Fuel Log (free version) - this app brings out the responsible adult in me. Each time I fill up the gas tank, I open the app and enter the milage on my car, amount of fuel, and cost of fuel. This app then tracks my mpg and what I have spent on gas, as well as how many days and miles have gone by since my last fill up. Pretty handy!

3. Open Sudoku (free) - Love this app! I'll admit, I have become addicted to Sudoku! There are three difficultly levels, so I can pick "easy" if I only have a few minutes to play, and "hard" if I want a long challenge.

4. Woman Log (free version) - this one is just for the ladies! This app will track your menstrual cycle if you set your start date and stop date and after a couple months of tracking, it predicts your next cycle as well as ovulation and fertile days. This is handy if you are trying to conceive or trying to avoid it :)

I also use a few of the apps that were already on the phone when I got it. These are my most used apps:

1. Calendar - I don't even carry around a planner anymore. As soon as I get an invite to an event, or set an appointment, I open my calendar on my phone and add it. No matter where I am or what I'm doing, I always have my phone with me, so when my friends want to plan something, I can whip out my phone and check my calendar. No more lugging around a giant planner in my purse!

2. Memo - I also used to carry around a notebook in my purse. I have a horrible memory and have learned to make lists and notes to myself, so now I can just open the memo app and type my notes. Such a simple app, but so handy and it gets used multiple times a day!

So, what are some of your favorite apps?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Advice needed for the Guest Bedroom

This was the before of the guest bedroom (almost forgot the take the picture before painting!) It was plain white with the original hardwood floors.

I took a chance and went with orange paint...I really like it! But...come to find is hard to decorate around.

Here is the current decor. I love the mirror that I found at Pier 1, and I have my antique library table and trunk which add character, but I don't love the feel of the room. Obviously, I need something on the walls. What can I do to pull this all together, or do you think I should start from scratch? Any advice is appreciated!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Living Room Redo

This is what the living room looked like when we moved in. Tan carpet, white walls, and hideous vertical blinds...blah...I don't like blinds! I did love the fan though!

 Here is what the living room currently looks like. I did double layer curtains. I've bought all of my curtains from Walmart and am very impressed by the quality for the cost!
I went with an americana theme with a country decor feel. We have a store in Great Falls called Real Deals and it has lots of cute "country" type decor for great prices. You have to go at least once a month though because they restock often.
 My mom made this beautiful quilt!
I still love the americana theme, but I want the living room to be more neutral for when we put the house on the market, so I plan to move all of the wall decor to the master bedroom. Then I will paint the walls a soft neutral tan color and add thicker trim in white.

I really like the wall color in this photo from one of my favorite blogs, Clarendon Lane. It's Barley by Eddie Bauer for Valspar. I also like the decor, I like to call it Modern Country Cottage.

I am very inspired by this photo also from Clarendon Lane.
I love the window, shutters, and wreath and have already rounded up an old window and shutters that need to be refinished. How cute would that look behind the sofa? I have grand plans in my head...we'll just see when I get the time to put it all together!

Master Bedroom Redo

Here is what the master bedroom looked like when we moved in. Original hardwood floors and white walls.

Last August, Jake went on a TDY so I took advantage of my time alone to redo the master bedroom. My friend Jamie came over to help and we finished it in one weekend! I painted the walls cream and the trim dark brown. I bought cream faux silk curtains and already had a dark brown faux silk duvet cover. I used an old hollow core door and painted it cream with a dark brown border and screwed it into the wall for a headboard. I saw a fun idea on pinterest and made our names into scrabble art. But my favorite part is the huge leaning mirror I found at Walmart for $40!

When Jake got home he was impressed by the redecorating, but said we really needed a new fan to match, so we found this fan at Home Depot. So much nicer that the brass and white one!

I have to admit, I'm not loving the master bedroom decor anymore. It's a hodgepodge of random stuff I liked, put together in a modern feel. I'm not a modern decor kinda person. Lately, I've been attracted to the country cottage decor. Jake will probably be going TDY again this year, so I have new plans for this room!

I'm thinking maybe a neutral light gray for the walls and back to white trim. For the wall color, maybe Olivewood by Glidden. This isn't a great photo, I'm just showing it for the wall color.
Then I want to move my americana decor from the living room to the bedroom. I plan to use the quilt my mom made as a hanging headboard and since I already own lots of americana decor, the only cost for the project will be paint...and maybe a new duvet cover...and some cute pillows...but really this will be a budget redo!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Winter has finally come to Great Falls

It did not get above zero degrees today. Yeah...negatives ALL day! But really, we have been SO lucky this winter. As far as I know, this is the first day we have dipped below zero so far this season. I really don't mind the cold...I like cuddling on the couch with a fleece blanket and hot cup of tea, but please keep the snow away! Again, we have been very lucky this winter that the few times it snowed, it warmed up and melted the next day It's a big difference from last year when Jake was deployed and I had to shovel our ridiculously long driveway almost everyday! Seriously...why did we buy a north facing house with the longest driveway on the block? Oh...that's right...because this house is so cute!

Anyway, I wanted to share a fun idea for a housewarming gift. I made these "New Address" cards for my grandma when she moved last year.
I made her 30 cards and included them with envelopes in a box. It's an easy way to notify friends and family of an address change.

Monday, January 16, 2012

My latest thrifty finds

I couldn't believe my luck when I found a rug at Ross that matches my craft room. A nice big Mohawk rug for only $25! My craft room is the only room in the house that I can go full on girly and this one is so cute! You can also see Diesel, one of my beautiful boxers.

Jake and I were both off work today for MLK day, so we went to the thrift stores around town. I thought I had already cleaned them all out of the vintage suitcases for my fabric covered suitcase projects but I found one more today for $3. It's the same light blue as the one I made my tutorial with, but it's the smallest one I've found cute! My last thrifty find was a yard of burlap for $1. I think I'll save it to make a tree skirt in case I go with the Country Christmas theme I'm planning for December.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fabric Covered Vintage Suitcases

I found this tutorial for a fabric covered suitcase, and knew that I wanted to try to make my own right away. I found a couple vintage suitcases at Goodwill for $1.95 each! I didn't follow that tutorial exactly, so here is my version:

Supplies needed:
- vintage suitcase (be sure it has a seam that overlaps so you can tuck the extra fabric in)
- enough fabric to cover both sides (this varies with how big the suitcase is, I think I used about 1/2 yard)
- fabric scissors
- spray adhesive
- butter knife

Directions: Place the fabric on the suitcase so it is centered and hangs over the edges at least 1/2 inch.

Fold back half of the fabric, making sure not to move the other half.

Spray adhesive directly on the suitcase.

Carefully roll back the fabric onto the adhesive. Smooth it down as you go.

Now fold back the opposite side and repeat.

Now the fabric is glued on, but not tucked yet.

Trim the edges so it hangs over just long enough to tuck in the overlapped seam, about 1/4 inch past the the overlap.

Working with one side at a time, spray adhesive on the curve.

Press down the fabric onto the adhesive.

Softly tuck the excess fabric into the overlap. Don't press too hard or you might pop the stitching.

Look how smooth it looks!

I think it turned out pretty cute! I think it would be nice to give as a gift. Who wants one?

More ducks

Those who followed my blog two years ago, will probably remember when I made this duck for my new niece. Well, my sister had twins last year, so I made matching ducks for the twins for their 1st birthday.

These ducks are easy to make and do not require a sewing machine. I followed this tutorial, which includes a free printable pattern.

Friday, January 13, 2012


I'd like to take a moment to introduce my new best friend, Poppy.

Haha...yes she's a dress form...but I love her! For my birthday last fall, Jake gave me money to buy myself a dress form. I did a lot of research and got some good advice from my mama, and ended up going with a Uniquely You pinnable dressform. This thing is awesome! The form is foam, so you can fit the cover to your body, then zip it onto the dress form and it will mold to the cover, to make a perfect match to your body! And if you gain or lose weight, just alter the cover. And you can pin straight into this form, unlike the hard plastic forms.

I haven't had much free time to play with Poppy, but I did make my halloween costume on her, and she is currently wearing a little black dress that needs to be hemed.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


As I feared when I REstarted this blog, I had nothing exciting in my life today to blog about, so I'll just brag about the fact that I live in Montana.

I have to say, so many military wives here in Great Falls do nothing but complain about the lack of shopping, cold weather, abundance of snow, and that there is never anything fun to do. I say, any place you go is only as good as you make it. I'll admit, the shopping isn't as good as a big city...but there is a small mall, some bigger stores like Old Navy and Target, and lots of fun little boutiques downtown. Anyway...doesn't everyone shop on amazon these days? Yes it gets cold and snows take up snowboarding! And as for the comments that there is never anything fun to do...that is just false! There are lots of museums, beautiful parks, car races at the Speedway, a large Farmer's Market every weekend in summer, fun community events downtown, the River's Edge Trail along the Missouri River, always shows, plays, or concerts, and the Montana State Fair is hosted here every August!

And...tons and tons of these...

Now accepting visitors!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Book Club

A group of my friends started a book club last February. We call it "Who Picked This Book!" and meet once a month to discuss the previous book and to choose the next book. We really do spend most of the time talking about the book, but it's a bunch of girls so we also have a little girl talk. Here is a list of the books we have read so far:

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff
The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist
The Chosen Soul by Heather Killough-Walden
Perfect by Ellen Hopkins
Busted Bronco by Joe O'Brien
Blindness by Jose Saramago
& currently reading Wife by Wednesday by Catherine Bybee

I won't bore you will a review of each book, but I will tell you that I highly recommend:
the entire Hunger Games series (I promise it's not just for teens)
One for the Money and the rest of the Stephanie Plum series for a great laugh
and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet if you are into history

Monday, January 9, 2012

The last 2 years in photos

Wine & Food Festival February 27, 2010

Malmstrom Spouses Club Wine Social March 4, 2010

Erin's 24th Birthday May 8, 2010

Eclipse Release Party June 29, 2010

Gormley's Housewarming July 31, 2010

Washington Road Trip September 26, 2010

Glacier Hiking Trip for my 26th Birthday October 3, 2010

Corn Maze October 16, 2010

Thriller Performance October 23, 2010

Jamie's 80's Halloween Party October 29, 2010

Harvest Howl Rotary Fundraiser November 5, 2010

Harry Potter Release Party November 20, 2010

Thanksgiving with the Crandall's November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving with the girls November 27, 2010

60's Murder Mystery Party December 5, 2010

Families of the Deployed Troops Party December 18, 2010

My 1st Annual Christmas Cookie Exchange December 12, 2010

Christmas with the girls December 23, 2010

Christmas morning December 25, 2010

Pin-up Photo Shoot January 10, 2011

Jamie's Sock Hop Birthday Party February 5, 2011
Deployment Homecoming April 6, 2011

Brandi's Rock Princess Birthday Party April 23, 2011

Easter Hat Party April 24, 2011

Erin's Cupcakes & Cocktails Birthday Party April 30, 2011

Janie's Bridal Shower May 26, 2011

Janie's Bachelorette Party May 28, 2011

Our 2nd Anniversary July 4, 2011

Brandi's Baby Shower September 25, 2011

Jamie's Toga Halloween Party October 28, 2011

Going out Halloween October 29, 2011

Malmstrom Spouses Club Volleyball Team November 2, 2011

Brandi's baby (Anna Marie) November 3, 2011

Jake got a deer November 6, 2011

Nutcracker with the girls November 30, 2011

Erin's Murder Mystery Party December 2, 2011 (I was a lifeguard, Jake was an animal rights activist..ha!)

My 2nd Annual Christmas Cookie Exchange December 18, 2011

Christmas with the girls December 21, 2011