Friday, September 28, 2012

Feng Shui Books

I've mentioned our Feng Shui-y ways before in this post. And I've mentioned how much I love reading in multiple posts throughout the years so it seemed like a natural pairing to put together a list of my favorite Feng Shui Books! :)
I could pretty much sum it up with this . . . Lillian Too!
Her books are concise and get the message across very clearly. She makes feng shui seem really approachable! 
A few of my favorites are:
  1.  Lillian Too's 168 Feng Shui Ways to Declutter Your Home
  2.  Lillian Too's 198 Feng Shui Ways to Transform Your Life
  3.  Total Feng Shui: Bring Health, Wealth, and Happiness into Your Life
  4.  Lillian Too's Easy-to-Use Feng Shui: 168 Ways to Success
If you're looking for a little reading this fall I would definitely suggest any of those 4 books!! :)
Hope you have a great weekend, be back Monday with a serious FALL season post.

(Full Disclosure: We were in NO WAY paid or perk'd for this post, I just really love Lillian Too's books and general approach to feng shui!)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

It's all is good in the Hood!

Fingers Crossed but it looks like we're virus free.  What I really wanted to say was Virus free since '93 but that wouldn't make any sense what so ever! Turns out it wasn't even us, it was a link on our sidebar! A big huge thank you to everyone who commented and emailed us and to a couple of computer savvy friends!!!

So what have we been up to since our surprise blogging hiatus this week? We'll have all of the details typed up and ready next week but here are some sneak peeks!

We stained some things!
We used the Chop saw!
We bought 7 things off criagslist! 

And we bought a door! Okay I just came right out and said that one!

I bought a new pair of earrings, they're purple and WAY outside of my usual jewelry choices!! But I LOVE them and am so glad that I moved away from my traditional white gold studs.
Lee's spent the last couple weeks rebuilding the engine on his muscle man car (that's my name for it, not his).
 Yup he's not only handy around the house, he's handy in the garage too!
My Mom handed down what might be our only family heirloom and it's a weird one at that. It's the little horsey in the background of this snap shot! More on him next week as well!
 And lastly, something came in the mail!!! Okay, a lot of things came in the mail!
I hope this isn't too much of a teaser post! I'll be back tomorrow with a reader request about our go to feng shui books. And we'll be around this weekend with a sponsor post as well!
Thanks for your patience with our bloggy issues this week!We really appreciated all of the comments, advice and emails we received!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

We've been hacked!

Something is going on with our site! Some of our readers have been reporting that their Antivirus program has been saying that our site contains a threat. I had no idea because it doesn't happen on either of our computers.
So I ran Secure Check to make sure that we aren't spreading something bad! And we're NOT. Our Status is Verified Clean! (I checked on 4 different site checkers and they all came back clean, phew!).
But something is definitely going on! All of the articles I've read, point towards being hacked. So we spent most of our weekend changing passwords and going through our "code". We didn't really find too much, but honestly I have NO idea what I'm doing in this realm.
Where am I going with this?

  • First: If anyone has dealt with this please tell me what you did or who you hired to fix it!

  • Second: I think, just to be extra safe, I won't be posting this week until we figure it out. In the off chance that we could spread a virus I don't want to take any chances.

I'm so sorry for the break in posting and for the pop up messages. And a BIG thank you to everyone who let us know! The good news is, is that if we are in fact "Hacked" it doesn't look like they got too far!

Be back as soon as possible!!! (hopefully by the end of this weekLots of Love

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fall Fashion on Friday

If you caught my Spring fashion shopping list you'll know what this is all about. If you missed it I'll explain a little bit.
At the start of the Spring and Fall seasons I make a little shopping list. Key pieces that I'm looking for. For me this is the BEST way to save money, add some great pieces to my wardrobe and save myself from poor quality impulse purchases.

I won't necessarily buy every item on my list, but it gives me a direction.
1. I'm looking for this vest specifically, it's from Modcloth and I would love it, and wear it all the time . . . and never get sick of it, and always treat it nice . . . teehee. If you like it you can find it Here.
2. I love a striped sweater! Navy and white so classic, it's from Here.
3. A 3/4 sleeve striped Tee, look for it here (sorry just found out it's sold out).
4. I need a new everyday jacket. I Love toggle buttons and the warm grey color. Mostly I love how long it is, I like to have my winter jackets covering my bum :). It gets cold in the winter and no one likes a cold tushie! You can find the Jacket here, on sale for $79!!!
5. A great pair of skinny jeans. The ONLY reason I'm buying skinny jeans is because they are way easier to wear with boots . . . otherwise the shape does NOT flatter my figure! Skinny Jeans make me look like a walking triangle!
6. These Boots! Man oh Man these boots! I have been searching for brown leather flat boots for a year now. I have abnormally skinny ankles and calves so finding boots that fit is a bit difficult! But I'm determined this year is  #flatbootfindingyear! You can find them Here.
7.Yellow jeans, I'm sick of wearing plain old jeans all winter, a rustic yellow colored jean should break up the monotony. Here's the link.
8. Knitted Knee socks, to pop out of the top of my new boots!!! Here's the link.
9. Lastly, and most long awaited item on my list . . . a pair of hunter rain boots. I have always wanted a pair of Hunter Rain boots. I am so tired of buying things that wear out after a year or two. The last pair of cute rainboots only lasted me a year and a half before the heel ripped off. Waste of money. This is finally the year I'm going to get some hunter boots. But just like my Uggs I plan on buying them off craigslist! A lot of people get gifts they don't want and sell them for a discount on craigslist. My Ugg boots were a gift for someone who wasn't a size 7 so she sold them for about $50 less than I could buy them in the store!

Here are some of the ways I could pair up my finds with things already in my closet!!
Night Out: Pants, earrings(Sorry sold out), bracelet (sold out), clutch, shoe-bootie.
Fall Day: Jacket, Dress, Necklace, Ring, Hunter Boots. Okay so I'm probably not going to wear a dress and rain boots, but the idea was too cute not to include!
Fall Outing: Earrings (sorry sold out as well), Denim Shirt, Black Pants, Ring, Tote (sorry sold out).
Funny Fall: T-shirt, Tote, Scarf, Boot.
Rainy Fall: Umbrella, Earrings, Watch.

I think I broke the "Number of Links within one Blog Post" record! I hope you'll give making your own list a try, It really does save me money and keeps my closet full of well thought out clothes instead of a closet full of "Nothing to Wear"!

Now I'm dying to know, what pieces are your favorite!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Kitchen Art for Sale

You may have noticed the two small oil paintings in our library (if you haven't follow this link). I mentioned in that post that my sister got all of the artistic talent in our family, I can't draw a circle and she can paint anything and everything under the sun. You may be feeling bad for me, but don't worry I totally got all of the height in our family, my sister is a full 1/4 inch shorter than me!! ;)

She brought her latest painting over to show me, I loved it so much. She asked if I thought our Mini Manor readers would like it, of course I do, it's adorable!
Here's a little peek:
If you are looking for some super adorable new artwork for you kitchen It's for sale! Check out our SHOP section at the top, where we'll have the price and contact info.

Check back tomorrow for some Fashion on Friday . . . there's no better season for Fashion than Fall. I'll be sharing my Fall Fashion Shopping list like I did for the Spring!! I can't wait. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Centerpiece

You might have noticed on yesterdays post our dining room table centerpiece. It's a glass cloche with some wheat grass inside! Okay, so it might not be "real" wheat grass. It's actually a small plastic plant from Ikea! I know I swore I wouldn't have any plastic plants but I tried, I really did! I put a real live plant under there (a small fern), and it died! In fact not only did it die, it died in the grossest way.

How does a plant die gross you ask, well let me tell you:
-  First the leaves start turning brown instead of green
-  Next instead of clear beads of water on the glass there are brown beads of water
-  And lastly when you open the cloche to see what's wrong you are met with a smell I can only describe as an assult on your nose.

Sorry about all that yuck, now moving on to the pretty:
I replaced the fern with a yellow pot and some nice, albeit fake, grass.
 The cloche itself came from my mom. I totally raid her house every time we go and last time I found this beautiful cloche with a little dragon fly on it! If you are looking for something similar here's the link to one in our Amazon Store.
Make sure to pop back tomorrow we're featuring a painting my sister did, and bonus it's for sale!! :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Max loves Jute Rugs too!

I think he might just like the proximity to his food dish. He has a habit of rolling around on carpet after he eats, and sometimes he even likes to drag his kibble to the carpet and eat it there.
So the fact that there's a rug mere steps from his food dish makes Max a happy puppy!
It's also a bit of a toy grave yard. Apparently the wood floor is not a suitable spot for Max's toys, he ferries the toys from the living room rug, to the front hall rug, to the dining room rug and back.
So if you have a doggy who likes his toys, maybe you should buy him a jute rug too ;). haha 
SAY CHEESE:

Dining Room Rug

I finally broke down and did it . . . I ordered a rug for the dining room.
It took us a long time to take the plunge, the first year we were here I wasn't sure we needed a rug in the dining room. The second year we were here I couldn't find one. Okay . . . . we couldn't find one in our price range.
Then the stars aligned and we found this fabulous round, jute rug on Overstock.com It is perfect! It fits the shape of the room, and the size of the table. Our table is BIG, so a 6 foot round rug wouldn't do . . . we needed an 8 foot round rug! But again we had a 6 foot budget!
I've been following this rug for a while . . . like a bit of a rug stalker! I saw it go from $249, down to $234 at which point I bought it (put it in my online cart and everything) but because they didn't accept paypal, I put it off. Then I saw it drop to $174 and freaked out!!!! We said when we got back (we were visiting my parents at the time) we would buy it. When we got home it had dropped in price again, down to $157. There was no waiting . . . it was on like Donkey Kong!
The icing on the cake was that overstock was also offering free shipping for first time customers. And when I saw the Promo Code box, I was on the HUNT! I found a coupon code for another discount of 12%! Total Cost . . . . $138.59!!!! Timing is EVERYTHING!
So what do you think?
 It fabulous right?? I Know! ;)
It's actually a lot softer than I thought it would be! I kind of expected it to be rough but it's not at all. 
I love the texture it adds! To me, it give the room some life!
I AM IN LOVE! It anchors the table, breaks up all the repetition of the wood floors and generally warms things up a bit!
I think what surprised me the most was how a few changes in the dining room have made such a huge difference! A new Barn Door, some new artwork and now a rug and it just seems so polished compared to how it looked a year ago!
 I hope you like it as much as we do! And if you're looking for the perfect piece to make your room come together don't worry . . . . maybe you'll fall ass backwards in to an awesome deal like I did. :) haha

Pop back later today and check out how much Max loves our new rug!  That's right it's a two post kind of day!!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Backyard Update

Sh*t's Grow'in back here!!!
Our impatiens on the back steps have EXPLODED!!! Here's how they looked in June:
Here's how they look NOW:
For Fall I wanted to change out the petunia beside the garage door. I didn't want to stare at an empty planter all winter so we picked up a cedar from home depot! It will be big bright and green all winter long!!! :)
Petunias:
Cedar:
Fall came so quickly, one day it was too hot to sit in the backyard, the next day I have the fireplace on! But I love fall it's my favorite time of year!!! Especially when I can get outside and do some fall planting!! Hope everyone has a great weekend!!!
On Monday we have some Dining Room changes to share!!! I'm so excited to show you!!! :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cupcake How To:

I receive a lot of emails about cupcakes! I've made thousands of cupcakes in my life time. If it's a holiday, or a birthday, or a wedding I've made cupcakes for all of them.
I wish I had some secret special trick I could let you in on but the way I ice them is fairly simple. My only piece of advice would be to use the LARGE star tip, not the small one. Then it's just a simple swirl:
Like I said nothing too spectacular or earth shattering! But I'm going to let you in on my one and only little cupcake secret . . . to make fancy fondant toppers use a silicone fondant mold!!! You can find the fondant molds on Etsy in every shape and almost any design you can think of. Personally I like the flower molds. Here's how they work: 
1) grab a small piece of fondant. 
2) Push fondant into mold and remove excess. 
3) Flex mold open.
4) Gently pull our fondant flower. 
You can get great detail using a mold! Detail that you could never get doing it by hand. 

The molds with cost you around $5 each, more for larger ones, less for smaller ones. I think that for $5 they are definitely worth it, they make your cupcakes look like they were professionally made, and everyone will be amazed that you made them by hand ;). wink wink
So that's my secret . . . I hope you find it useful!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hose Holder!

I searched long and hard for a funny title to this post and all I could find was "Up your nose with a rubber hose" which makes NO SENSE in this context. So instead I went the much more direct route and titled it "Hose Holder".

We have two hoses outside, one for the backyard and one for the front! After we installed the rain barrel and attached the hose it was just lying on the ground! So I saw this idea on Pinterest where they used a post to hang the hose on, and you could almost see the light bulb turn on above my head! That's exactly what we need! It's pretty and functional!
We found all the supplies at Home Depot and it cost us less than $20 all in!
 To save us from having to rent a tool to dig a big hole, not to mention a bag of cement to hold the post in place, we just picked up one of these post holder spikey things (sorry I have no idea what the actual name is).
The hose hook was a simple but necessary purchase ;). 
Lastly, we picked up the round topper with trim and added it to the top, I think that's my favorite part!
We sprayed it all white! The above picture is after 1 coat (we thought it only needed one coat but it turned out to need two). The picture below is 2 coats:
It was a really easy project, one trip to home depot and an hour later we had our Hose Stand! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Homemade Vegetarian Lasagna

In case you were wondering where the blog went yesterday??? GO DADDY went DOWN, and since we host our domain name with go daddy our site went down too!!! Boo-urns! 

We've been trying to eat vegetarian meals more often, so I devised a plan to adapt a recipe I'd seen on Pinterest HERE and make it vegetarian. Rolling up the lasagna noodles makes this so much better and I have no idea why!!! I tried so hard to think of a way to explain it but I can't, it just makes it better!!!

You'll need: 
1 large egg
1 (15oz) container of Ricotta Cheese
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 cup fresh parsley (optional)
1 box of lasagna noodles (approx a dozen noodles)

1 onion, diced
1 medium Zucchini or 2 small, diced
1 red pepper, diced
5 small button mushrooms, sliced

1 cup Mozzarella Cheese (or more if you'd like), grated
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

Marinara Sauce: You can either make your own using the following recipe, or use a store bought sauce (Trader Joes sells a really good marinara sauce). You'll need 2 jars of sauce if you like your lasagna saucy!!! We've made it both ways, with homemade sauce and with trader joes marinara sauce and it was really great either way!

Here's my recipe for marinara sauce:
1/4  cup Olive oil
2  large garlic cloves
2 teaspoons dried oregano   
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2  teaspoon  Salt
1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper 
2  tablespoons fresh parsley
1 tsp chili pepper flakes 
1 teaspoon dried basil

Step 1: Boil water and cook lasagna noodles until they are flexible remove them from the water and lay out on some parchment paper (see here for a picture).  
Step 2: In a bowl combine ricotta cheese and egg with salt and pepper. Spread over lasagna noodles evenly. 
Step 3: Roll up lasagna noodles! 
Step 4: Start Marinara, Dice up all vegetable, and fry in pan until softened. Add ingredients for marinara sauce or jarred marinara sauce. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes! 
Step 5: Scoop two big spoonfuls into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Place rolled up lasagna noodles side by side in the pan. 
Step 6: Pour the rest of the sauce over the noodles and top with 1 cup (or more if you like) mozzarella cheese and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. 

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes!!! 

This recipe makes a HUGE batch of delicious lasagna and I promise you won't even miss the meat!!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Wish list: I'm in love with a fruit basket

I found this on Etsy a couple weeks ago and I cannot get it out of my mind!
The pottery is handmade and glazed so each piece is different than the next!
I am seriously in love with it. This has to be, hands down, the best looking hanging fruit basket I've ever seen!
*I was in NO WAY paid or perk'd for this post. I just loved it and wanted to share it with our fabulous readers!!

I hope everyone has a great weekend.  Pop back on Monday to check out our latest DIY triumph.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I really do Heart Oraganizing

It's my turn, and I'm Nervous!
It's my turn as a contributor on I Heart Organizing! I knew exactly what project I wanted to tackle! A BIG pot drawer with TONS of wasted space.
To get all the details and the HOW TO, come visit me over on I HEART ORGANIZING!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hang your Pants, Save the Plants!

 That's right, I just started a slogan . . . feel free to share it with your friends!!! ;)

I wish I had done this when we first moved in, but I was convinced that I needed a big yard . . . and we definitely don't have a Big Yard (frankly we barely have a yard).
I had filed away the dream for a laundry line along with my dream of a BIG vegetable garden, a flock of chicken and a goat.
While I would need a bigger yard for my dream vegetable garden and the goat (the jury is still out on backyard chickens), I could definitely work a laundry line into our little homestead.

I found a retractable clothesline on Amazon. It was perfect because of it's swivel, it can swivel back and forth so that you can fold it away when you're not using it!

Why Install a Clothesline:

  1. Your dryer accounts for almost 10% of your electricity use each year. 
  2. A simple shirt, during all of its years of use, can send up to 9 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere!
  3. Drying your clothes on the line saves you money! 
  4. It saves your clothes. Dryers are rough on your clothes. 
  5. NO ironing!!! Last weekend I hung a bunch of Lee's dress shirts from the work week, I didn't have to iron a single one! 
  6. Everything smells amazing after it's been drying in the breeze!  
 

Tips and Tricks:

  1. Hang your t-shirts upside down so that the clip marks are on the bottom of the shirts and not at the top where they are more noticeable. 
  2. Smooth out your clothes before you hang them and you'll save yourself having to iron them. 
  3. Use more than two pins for heavier items. 
  4. Fold the top of your towels and sheets over the the line to make sure they don't blow away in the wind! 
  5. If you're worried about the sun fading your clothes turn your clothes inside out before you hang them on the line. 
  6. Keep an eye on the pollen count! If the pollen count is high, and someone in your family has allergies, skip the line and use the dryer. 
I am LOVING the view from our back door:
 But most of all I am LOVING these little Birdy Clothespins!!!! LOV'EM!

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