Revisiting the stair walls (again).

The shelves around the fireplace are finished, painted and 1/3rd of the way filled!

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 I find myself gravitating more towards a minimalist look when it comes to my home, which this wall definitely was pre-shelves.  There’s enough junk-amalism that comes along with 4 boys that I need my decor not to add to the revolving mess.  Now that I have these shelves I’m trying to strike a balance between not junking them up with clutter vs. carefully curating them to look quiet, functional and interesting.  Make any sort of sense?

In other interior news, the walls going down our stairs are getting on my nerves (again).  Let me take you back through my journey of insanity…

4men1lady stairwell with logo At first the walls were stark white…too bland.
So then I went to the other extreme an added color. A bit too much color. This had Easter nightmare written all over it.
I then had to sand all the raised lips lines that the painted stripes created and repaint the wall. That was a lot of fun.
Next came the Birch Tree stencil in black. Wrong.
Alas, the Birch Tree stencil in gray appeased me…which is what it looks like today.

I’m always relieved when I see real life designers like Emily Henderson or Sarah Richardson have a vision, test it out, then realize it was a mistake.
This is apparently my “Test it out and that was a mistake” wall (for the 4th time now).
It was a fun fad but now I’m over it.
I want something fun there but not fad-ish.
A new banister would be nice too but for now, I think I’ll paint it and see what that does for me.

Here’s some inspiration that’s speaking to me from my Pinterest boards…

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 I have planked walls all over my house and I love them.
If you gravitate towards minimalism but don’t want stark and cold, planked walls give the perfect amount of visual interest.

Yep.
That’s what I’m leaning towards.
Done.
Now to break the news to the Mr.

Cookie party favors made with Cricut Explore.

10 years ago I learned just what chefs mean when they say, “The Presentation is as important as the meal itself.”
As brand new parents, just home from the hospital with our new babe, we were so blessed to have friends and church members bring us meals for about a week as we adjusting to life with a newborn.
Let me tell you, a meal to a family with a brand new baby just might-as-well be a winning lottery ticket.
The meals were gratefully received…but there was “that one meal.”
Honestly, it looked like Halloween on a plate.
Presentation was a serious fail.
“That one meal” has now become an inside joke that when said, with making invisible air quotes of course, we know exactly what month, year and meal is being referred to.
Folks it was not good.
Suffice it to say, Pizza Hut stepped in and saved the day.
The presentation really IS as important as the food itself.
Let me explain…stay with me…

As you know my fabulous Cricut team 7 and I are striving for World Cricut domination one project at a time…mwahahah!
(BTW, Don’t forget to enter our giveaway for a chance to win your own Cricut machine here).
This month our team voted on creating Halloween party themed paraphernalia.
Here’s what I came up with:

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It’s always a thoughtful idea to give your guests a little thank you-sumthan, sumthan for coming to your party as you’re sending them out the door.  But I’m always stumped as to what to give.
Then I asked myself, “Self, what would you like to receive as a parting gift”?
Heck, “A COOKIE”, by gollie!
Am I right?
Who doesn’t love a cookie?
Make a couple dozen cookies. Eat a dozen, give a dozen.
It may seem like a super cheap-o thank you gift (because it totally is) but when wrapped up and labeled it goes from cheap-o to yum-o to thank-o (I mean “you”).
The presentation is what makes it a hot commodity.

I started this favorite recipe of mine.

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Then bagged them on up.

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So here’s what I did:
I simply opened up the software called Design Space that available free online.  Then I just typed in “ENJOY”.
Hit “go” and my Cricut cut it out for me.
I backed it with orange for a Halloween flair, folded the card and stapled it together.
Easy-peasy!

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Plus, they’re not just party favor-thank you’s but a great centerpiece display as well.
Yeah, it’s just a cookie, but it’s all about the presentation people.

After eating 6 too many cookies I knew I had to get them hence away from my presence lest I eat every last one.
For real, no one is gonna balk at a paper plate of cookies but why not up the ante  and really make people marvel at your Martha Stewart greatness when you present them with this:

PicMonkey Collage

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I actually picked up one too many boxes at a salad bar (oops, wink) so I decided to use one as a cookie gift box and add some embellishment.  The Cricut Explore isn’t just for cutting.  Oh no, stick a pen in and watch it draw your design!

For a chance to win a Cricut Explore of your own enter our giveaway here.

Don’t want to wait for the results? You can purchase your own machine here.

*I received a Cricut Machine to review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Cricut Explore giveaway.

Hi friends! I’ve been sharing a bunch of fun projects over the last few months all using my new favorite craft machine. The new Cricut Explore that just launched this year. It really is a crafter’s dream. I’m thrilled to be able to give one away to one lucky reader!

If you are not yet familiar with all the neat things the Cricut Explore can do, you can read all about it in this post.

Cricut Explore giveaway

I’ve been working with a team of talented bloggers over the last few months as part of a competition Cricut is hosting called Design Space Star. We have an amazing group and each month we pick a theme for our projects for the competition. I’m excited to show my latest project for the competition tomorrow. Together we are giving away this awesome machine to one lucky reader!

Be sure to visit all of these talented bloggers of our team:

Design Space Star - team 7

Lori with A Cowboy’s Wife
Lindi with Love The Day
Michelle with 4 Men 1 Lady
Kami with NoBiggie
Amy with Pink Parlor Designs
Rebecca with The Crafted Sparrow
Kim with Today’s Creative Blog
Crystal with A Pumpkin and A Princess

Win a brand new Cricut Explore Machine!

Use the widget below to enter! Good Luck to you all!

Cricut Explore Giveaway