Thursday, June 28, 2012

Giveaway: Ful of Grace

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO ENTERED*

Today's giveaway has been sponsored by Kelly from Ful of Grace.
 I was so excited to see her cute EAT signs. After cougar town I've had a serious soft spot for EAT signs. Like the one we DIY'd for our kitchen last year.

Kelly asked if we would host a giveaway, and when I saw her super cute EAT signs I knew you would love them as much as I do.
Kelly matches her prints so well, I especially loved this set with the yellow and the orange.
So, a big, HUGE thank you to Kelly from Ful of Grace for sponsoring today's giveaway. Our winner will Win their very own Cougar Town inspired EAT sign.

Here's the Details:

To Enter: Comment Below "EAT"
Bonus Entry:  Pop over to Ful of Grace and come back and let us know your favorite product, she has a bunch of really sweet home accessories! 

Prize: One EAT sign, from Ful of Grace. Prize valued at $28.00

Open To: Residents of Canada and the USA.

Contest Closes: Tuesday, July 3rd  2012 @ 11:59 pm PST.

GOOD LUCK!!!!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

This little light of mine . . .

I'm gonna let it shine . . . while I read . . . in bed.
I saw this light at Target last week (I can't find the link to Target but you can find it here also) and I couldn't resist! It was the definition of an impulse purchase, I saw it, I loved it, I had to have it!
I've mentioned before how I love to read in bed and if I didn't already, this light would make me love it now!
The flower also comes in PINK, White and Green, but I thought Yellow would match the green in the pillows, without being too matchy matchy.  I especially loved that it simply clipped on so we didn't have to drill any holes in the wall.
And thankfully the cord tucks neatly behind the bed post!
 Let it shine, Let it Shine, Let it Shine!!! ;)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Piped Pillow Tutorial

Last week during our Green, Green and More Green post, about our new bedroom pillows. I promised I would write a how to post. I had never sewed a pillow cover with piping before, so the first one was a bit of a struggle, but by the third one I had it down to a science.
If you've followed our envelope pillow case tutorials before, then your set. If you haven't you'll need to start HERE, then comeback.
So once you've cut your fabric, here's what you do:
1) Lay your front piece right side up.
2) Sew your piping (just wrap your thin strip of fabric around your cord and sew as close to the cord as possible).
3) Lay your cord on top of your fabric. Making sure the cut end is facing out.
4) Add your two top piece right side down (making sure there's an overlap) and pin in place! 
 5) Sew all piece together, making sure your stitches are as close to the cord as possible.
That's it! It's actually really easy! I hope that helps anyone who was looking to make a couple of piped pillows of their own! ;).
Lots of Love.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Super Cute Dog Bed for a Super Cute Dog!

 This weekend at Homesense we picked up a super cute dog bed for our super cute dog. I seriously couldn't resist. Max's favorite space to hang out is in front of the fireplace, so a big overstuffed bed was too good to resist.  <*If you love the fabric as much as we do you can find it on Fabric.com, here's the link>
I loved the BIG yellow flowers, and I love the teal and blue colors. I love the teal and blue so much that I'm going to try and work in a blue accent or two in the living room!!
We might have the first living room in the world that took it's inspiration and jumping off point from a dog bed! ;)
And lastly,
I guess the most important part would be how does Max like it?
He's in LOVE! and I have video documentation to prove it ;). This is Max post bath, attempting to use his new bed as a towel, while dancing to the Bee Gees . . .    

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Most Beautiful Bouquet . . . ever!

I might have stretched the truth slightly with the title of this post, but I think this is the most beautiful bouquet I've ever had in my house!!!
I've said it before, and I'll say it again . . . Peonies are amazing!
I grabbed this 10 bloom bouquet from the grocery store for $9.99 (I love peony season).
 The buds were all closed up so as far as I knew we were getting purple-y pink peonies . . . one hour later they had opened up and I got my first glimpse of the amazing Yellow interior (the Stamens).
 I was so pleasantly surprised, until another hour passed and the smell came . . . these particular peony's don't have a 'pleasant' smell. But they are so beautiful I put them beside an open window and admired them from afar!
This is where blogging really has it's advantages . . . you can see them . . . but you can't smell them. haha

Hope you have a great weekend! We're on the hunt for patio furniture this weekend, and fabric . . . I'm a perpetual fabric hunter!! ;).

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Green, Green and more Green

It seems we've done a complete bed overhaul. It started with our new duvet and duvet cover, we added our organic cotton sheets from Target, next came our natural latex mattress topper and now our new green pillows.
 We're BED people (see definition below):
Bed People: The type of people who like to hang out in bed watching movies, reading books and surfing the Internet. 

It's true we do like to hang out in bed, I blame best selling novels and netflix!

With our newly remodeled bed we've been spending even more time snuggled in. I chose to make three pillows for the back of the bed because leaning up against a metal bed frame isn't the most comfortable thing in the world, I'd imagine it was something similar to leaning up against Kate Moss. ;)
I'm so happy with the way that our new pillows turned out. I love that the color green is the exact color found in our duvet.
I love the way that the feather pillow inserts fluff up!

I especially love the contrast of the white piping around the pillows against the green. Although I didn't love sewing the piping on (tutorial to come).
There was also a happy accident that happened on the back. Using my trusty Envelope Pillow cover technique, I started cutting the fabric for the pillows. I accidentally (aka. Terrible Measuring and Mathematical skills) cut one of the back pieces way to small. I remedied this by sewing on a piece of white fabric to make the back piece longer. The little pop of white on the back is one of my favorite parts of the pillows!

I hope you love 'em as much as we do!
I'm working on a how to post for next week. Sewing the piping on the first pillow was a bit difficult due to my lack of sewing skills. But the second pillow was easier and by the time I made it to the third pillow I had worked all the kinks out and was able to whip it up in 5 minutes flat! I'll share my tips and tricks with you in the how to post!
Lots of Love !

Monday, June 18, 2012

I take my artsy with a little fartsy!

I hope everyone had a great weekend with the wonderful Fathers in their lives! Both of our dads live far away from us so we spent some time on the phone yesterday!

For Father's Day celebrations we went on the hunt for Patio Furniture for the backyard. Our hunt was a bust we found nothing (I should clarify . . . we found nothing in our price range). However, we did find some artwork for the guest room.
We've been trying to add a lot of color to our guest room and when I saw this flowery collage print for $9.99  I knew we had to have it. I based my decision half on the fact that the red from the roses matched the red in the curtains perfectly.

 And half because I'm having a bit of a love affair with collages right now!
I hope you like it too!!
And It's not lost on me that we picked out the girliest possible artwork on what should be a very manly day :).

p.s. The print is from JYSK. There are stores across Canada and Europe.

Healthy Homemaking Winner

Thank you to everyone who entered out Healthy Homemaking Ebook Giveaway!
Our winner is Shirlee June!!! Please send us an email Shirlee (ashli@minimanorblog.com) and we'll get your new ebook sent right out!
 And for everyone who didn't win, we have an amazing deal for you . . . right now you can save 50% off the package price of all three of Stephanie's books!


Or if you'd only like to purchase 1 use the code:  Challenge25 and receive 25% off the price of any one book!
Thank you again to everyone who entered! 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Ceramic Husband

Those Young House Love kids (I say kids although they're both older then me) might have monopolized the White Ceramic Animal market. But do they have a ceramic husband ? ? ? I think NOT! :) hehe

You read that right, I went ahead and got myself a ceramic husband . . . head!
I write a lot about how I love homes filled with whimsy, and what's more whimsical then a white ceramic bust of your husband?
I couldn't resist, I saw this handsome little devil at Urban Barn on sale. As soon as I saw him I knew we had to have him, he looks just like Lee.
I knew the perfect spot for him to live would be in our library, turned office.
He makes me laugh every time I walk through the front door. What else can I say . . . I'm a sucker for a handsome face with a bald head!! ;)

p.s. Check back this weekend to see if you won our Healthy Homemaking Giveaway . . . and a coupon code for 25% off in case you didn't win. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bee-utiful Bee Home

         I received an email from a reader asking how our Mason Bees from last year are doing . . . well they're all dead! But that's a good thing. They've completed their life cycle . . . laid tons of eggs and died!! I had you going though didn't I?

         Our Mason Bees did an amazing job this year! We have a huge amount of apples and more then our fair share of pears. I'm giving full credit to our hard working Mason Bees, they took our fruit trees from flowers, to fruit:
         It was really cool to watch them work, I would spend a few minutes everyday on the back porch watching them fly in and fly out. Lee was so curious one day he popped a ladder up there to get a closer look! Mason Bees are solitary so they don't protect their hive and are commonly referred to as the "gentle bee". They do have the ability to sting but rarely do, Lee was right in front of their hive pulling tubes out and replacing them with new ones and he wasn't even close to stung! They just few right by him and into their home.

How Mason Bees help and why we need them:
         Mason Bees pollinate at an amazing rate thanks to their fuzzy bellies. Regular Honey Bees operate at a 10% efficiency rate of spreading pollen . . . Mason Bees efficiency rate of pollination is over 90%! A single female can land on 2000 blossoms a day!
Our tiny little apple tree is overloaded with apples and our pear tree (which produced no pears last year) has well over 30 this year!
        Mason bees have become more important in recent years due to many factors, the main one being something called "Colony Collapse Disorder" a phenomenon in which worker bees from a bee hive or bee colony abruptly disappear. CCD had a dramatic increase in 2006 and has been attributed to everything from mites to pesticides. Without bees to pollinate our crops we'll see a dramatic decrease in food being harvested. For example, Bees are the main pollinator of Almond crops in California.  In 2000 the crop value was at 15 billion, in 2006 (after CCD) the crop value dropped to 1.5 billion.
We Need Bees! 

         Mason Bees are seriously easy to take care of, really they're no work at all . . . once a year you replace the old cardboard tubes with new ones! No bee suits, no smoke! You don't even need the cardboard tubes. You could just drill holes in wood and they can use that, we choose to use inexpensive cardboard tubes ($10 lasts us 3 years) we just replace them each year. Keeping the hive a bit cleaner then a hive with no cardboard tubes.
You get 4-6 weeks of bee activity starting about half way through March and ending around the beginning of May. Then they die and their eggs hatch and come out next spring!
Mason bees are definitely increasing in popularity, in fact they do the best in Suburban communities where there are lots of flowers and fruit trees!

My hope is that one day you'll see mason bee homes 

in yards as frequently as you see bird feeders! 

 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cupcake Wedding


First off THANK YOU for all the Blog-iversary love. It was a very busy but very exciting week. We've decided to add a few more elements to the blog, clearly we need more Max posts!! hehe and we'll Definitely be adding more Video posts! Thank you so much for letting us know what you'd like to see more of!!!

Following our busy week, we had a VERY busy weekend baking cupcakes for a wedding!!
We hit some speed bumps along the way . . . the ovens at the hall weren't working correctly and the pink fondant didn't set as hard as I would have liked but they all got made . . . all 300 of them! 
I was so lucky that Lee was there with me. We were planning on baking the cupcakes at the hall but the ovens weren't working properly, they would heat up to 350, then drop to 200, then shoot up to 500, so Lee took all the ingredients home and baked the remaining 200 at home while I helped the girls decorate the hall.  Then later that evening Lee brought them all back to the hall and I iced and topped them. And let me tell you . . . that man of mine can bake a cupcake!!!! And build a cupcake stand, check out that bad boy! Dan (the groom) and Lee built the cupcake stand out of plywood, wood dowels and plastic piping. It was beautiful. At the Brides request we lined each tier with pink satin ribbon and I think it's my favorite part!
There were 150 Cherry Chip (the brides favorite) and 150 Chocolate with a reece peanut butter cup at the bottom. Buttercream Frosting with a fondant polka dot on the top.

I might have carpal tunnel from icing 300 cupcakes but the bride and groom were happy which made me very happy. 
Phew . . .

Friday, June 8, 2012

A day in the life of Max

My name's Max this is my life: 
6:30 am Lee takes Max out for a pee. He literally has to pick him up, carry him outside and put him down in the grass or Max won't go.
Max runs full tilt back into the house and up the stairs, barks at the bed until I wake up and put him back in the bed.

8:30am Max jumps up at the first sign that I might be thinking about getting up. I usually pull him under the covers with me and we'll close our eyes for another 30 minutes.

9:00am Max eats a little food, takes another little pee, then curls up on my lap while I work on blog posts.

11:00 am I kick Max off my lap so I can do some chores, if it's cold out he will immediately find the fire place,.
 If it's warm he'll spend the rest of his morning following me around room to room while I clean. Sometimes I'll pop down a piece of dehydrated chicken for him to chew on . . . errrr . . . he only has 3 teeth but he still likes to suck on it . . . so I should say a piece to gum on! :)
 12:00 pm My sister and her dog stop by for Lunch so Max gets a good play in with his cousin Luna.
2:00 pm He'll give me the saddest puppy dog eyes when I leave to run errands. But he's already tired from his morning and will probably nap while I'm gone.
4:00 pm Lee's home so it's time to grab a toy and PLAY!!!
 4:30 pm I'm taking photos so that's Max's cue to stick his cute little face in front of the camera! He's ruined countless amounts of photos by popping his head up just as the camera goes off. 
5:00 pm Max eats while we're eating . . . we started feeding him at the same time we eat so that he doesn't beg for food. Sometimes it works . . . sometimes he still begs and then eats his own food when we're done.

6:00 pm WALK TIME!!! When 6 pm hits you can find Max by the front door waiting to be taken for his walk. Up the block, down 3 blocks then back home.
7:00 pm Tired from his walk,  he might hang out on the couch with Lee and help him do some work on the computer.

8:00 pm Falls asleep on the couch, beside Lee.
And just for fun I thought I would add in Max playing his favorite game with his favorite toy!!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

New Layout for better navigation

Thank you so much for the moodboard love this morning! We're so excited to be able to offer our first ever Moodboard service!!!

Speaking of Big Changes . . .  what do you think of our new Look.
For our 2 year blog-iversary I wanted to change up the look a bit. You'll see two new headers this one:
 and this one:
Something about a photo collage that makes me happy! I think that the photo headers give new comers a better idea of what we're all about . . . Simplified, Organized, Green Living.

We've had the new navigation bar up for a while but I wanted to make sure that everyone knew it was a drop down menu! We've categorized all of our recipes under Cook. So if you're looking for a vegetarian recipe, or a recipe with chicken it's easier to find now!!
Since I think organization is so important I categorized all of our organization posts by room! So now if you're working on organizing your kitchen you can pull up all of our kitchen organization posts in one place.
Our Garden label also drops down in to 3 categories, Garden (flowers), Vegetable Gardening and Lawn Care and Holiday drops down into specific holidays, now if it's Christmas and you're looking to find Christmas posts they're right here!
and Lastly, if you're looking for room specific posts, we have new buttons on our sidebar for just that purpose! Room by Room:
Phew . . . that was a lot of changes in one week! We'll still be adding a footer and some other widgets but for the most part . . . operation blog renovation is DONE.


Check back with us tomorrow for our end of the celebration posts. We have a Frequently asked questions posts, questions like "what does Lee do for work?", " Do you want blogging to be a full time blogger?"  " future bloggy plans?" things like that. 
And since we tackled a day in my life post, I thought we'd throw in a fun . . . A Day in Max's life post! 
Hope to see you tomorrow!!!

Mini Manor Moodboard Services

I hope you've been enjoying our Blog-iversary celebrations! I've had a lot of fun writing up the posts this week!
We still have a bunch of posts for you. First up today is some exciting news for us . . . and hopefully for you . . .
In the last year I've received many requests for help from our amazing Mini Manor readers . . . everything from how high should I hang my chandelier . . . to  please design my room. :)

My starting point when I decorate rooms for myself is always a Moodboard. You've seen me use them here, here, and most recently here. I think moodboards are a great jumping off point . . . almost a shopping list of sorts. It's my way of making sure I stay on track, because once I'm in the store I turn into a crow ("oh, something shiny").  It keeps me focused and helps me keep my room coordinated! Here's our guest room Plan:
Here's where we are in the plan . . . still some things to buy, like a light fixture for above the bed and a quilt to make up . . . but so far we've stuck pretty close to the plan. The curtains are the same and, the bed frame and side tables are the exact ones from the board.
When family and friends started asking for my help . . . we always started with a moodboard. Some people (like my mom) keeps a print out of hers in her purse, so she can always pull it out and reference it when she's ready to buy something. And when she does buy something . . . she cross's it off the picture . . . like a picture shopping list! My mom recently scored 14 yards of green fabric off of me, (it was $1 a yard at Jo-Ann Fabrics). She wanted to make curtains out of them, but didn't want just a green and white room, so we added navy to the mix! I Love the way it's turning out!
One for Kris, She wanted to accessorize herself and just wanted the basic bones of the room. Her hubby is tall like mine and she wanted a chaise for him. Their living room was tiny so we added two cubes instead of a coffee table to offer more versatility. And when their nephew's come over they can move the cubes and give them some extra room to play.
This one was for my sister who has, a dog, cats, fish at one point a rabbit. She's an animal lover and a lover of natural woods. Here's the moodboard I put together for her . . . A little bit funky just like her.
 We're now offering custom moodboards for $25!
This is something I've wanted to offer for a while . . . and honestly we've been doing this for about 6 months now for readers who've emailed and requested design advice.
Here's how it works:
~Send me a photo of your room.
~A general design direction . . . or colors you like.
~And what your looking to use the room for . . . for example if you have kids . . . . or pets or like to entertain a lot.
~Any Questions or requests you have are more then welcome also.
 Within a week I'll email you a JPEG of your finished moodboard just like the ones above.

I'm so excited to have launched our Moodboard Services! It took me a long time to feel comfortable enough to offer a service through Mini Manor, but it feels so good to make it available to everyone!

If you're interested please send me an email at:

DESIGN@MINIMANORBLOG.COM

*payments are accepted through paypal.

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