Blog Archives

make everyday earth day

April 17, 2014
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Although, the “official” celebration of Earth Day is on April 22, there are still lots of small things that we can do throughout the year to practice a little “green living”.  The whole idea behind many of these tips is that the items you need to use for them are things that you probably already have at home.green living tips

In the long run, this translates as less waste and fewer chemicals that can have a negative effect on our good green Earth. Here are a few nifty ideas to get you started…

Check out Alea’s tips for going green in the bathroom~ you’ll everything from homemade cleansers to recommended products on her blog, Premeditated Leftovers.

Learn all about the wonders of vinegar on Simply Rebekah.  Guest poster Stacy Karen names off the top ten ways you can use this non-toxic and inexpensive ingredient to sanitize, clean, and deodorize your home.

Just in time for the Easter Bunny…Carissa from Creative Green Living shares her secret on how to make this festive Easter Egg Candles. What a unique addition to your holiday dinner table!

We can’t wait for things to start turning green again, but that also means wonderful weeds will start coming to the party too.  DIY Natural shares some tips to keep them at bay the natural way.

Save your pennies while helping save the Earth. These Eco-Friendly Piggy Banks are made from empty salt and baking powder containers. We found this pretty project on the Family Sponge Blog.

You’ll be picking up a whole bag of lemons at your next grocery stop after hearing 30 different ways you can use these colorful citrus fruits from Go Green America.

green2

Whether you are a bride-to-be or helping someone plan the wedding of their dreams, you’ll find tons of tips for an Earth-friendly wedding on The Wedding Party Blog.  These Wishing Stones are a great alternative to the traditional guest book and the couple can permanently display them in their new home as a sentimental wedding keepsake.

Never spend another cent on dryer sheets. Make your own Wool Dryer Balls using the easy instructions over on Healthy Living How To. Not only are they re-usable, they are a non-toxic and chemical-free solution that’s easy to incorporate into a common household chore.

We all know that coffee grounds are great for composting but did you know all the other things you can do with them before they make it to their final destination?  The Earthy Mama shares her ten top picks.

Garden season will be here before you know it… and so will the bugs who like to nibble on your precious plants.  Scare them away the natural way with this solution from Weed ‘em and Reap that won’t harm your plants or the people eating them.

Like discovering helpful tips on the world wide web?  Simply subscribe to this blog and we’ll email you our brightest finds.

my office makeover

April 15, 2014
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Steve and I will have lived in our 1950′s cape cod for a total of 10 years this summer.  We have done some remodeling and moving things around a bit over that span of time but one room was always ignored… our office.  It had an old love seat (aka our basset hound’s bed), extra coffee table, Ikea saw horse desk and a small file cabinet.  It worked but it was over crowed and not so pretty.

home office ideas

I think it was a combination of our office organization blog post, a way too long winter and our Rochester store facelift that inspired me to change it up finally.

office makeoverFirst… the inspiration.  When I remodeled the shops recently I always began with a blank sheet of graph paper so I can see the space with fresh eyes.  Even though this is a much smaller project, this helped me figure out what my options were for desk & furniture placement.

I’ve had this funny Kathleen Taylor canvas in our office for a while and have always loved the color story.  It’s what made me paint the walls aqua and the desk top orange.

I like to collect other complimentary paint sample cards for accent color ideas.

And then there is my chair fabric.  I know traditional office chairs are probably far better for body posture but I opted for the cuteness factor instead with this sweet slipper chair from target online.  My friend chose something similar for her home office and after seeing it I knew I needed to say goodbye to my old office depot roller.

office color storyThe colors I went with were from Miss Martha and were called Feldspar and Butterscotch.  We wanted a double desk so we ended up buying two hollow doors and three filing cabinets to lay them on top of.  I also rolled  thin coat of poly acrylic over on the desk so it will wear a little better over time.

office makeoverI originally planned on spray painting the used file cabinets an olive green, however the place I found on craiglists actually had three matching Steelcase ones that were already a muted teal green so they worked.  (Please ignore the dirty window.  Storms are coming off  as soon as it stops snowing in April!  arghhhh)

diy tie up curtainSpeaking of windows… since the desk was flush against the one window I improvised by creating a my own ‘tie-up’ curtain.  I’ve found Cost Plus World Market to have the cutest curtain collection.  These were light weight so I  folded them in half & safety pinned the bottom to the top.

I cut two 5 foot ribbons and looped them over the top.

make your own tie curtainI accordion folded the curtain from the bottom a few times, clipped it in place then tied the ribbons to the desired length.  I slipped a 1/2 inch dowel through to give it a little weight and voila ~ a cheap and easy tie shade with no sewing involved.

office makeoverIt was fun mixing up the patterns with complimenting colors.  It just makes the office feel happy.  The turquoise dresser was a flea market find and came naturally distressed painted that fabulous color.  The rug and dog pad came from Home Goods.  Steve’s office chair came from my mom’s basement (which could double for a flea market/antique shop)

diy home office decorI couldn’t say goodbye to my old (Martha inspired) ribbon bulletin board I made in college so I snuck it in behind the door that is usually open all the time.  I did add three colorful clipboards I got at our shop to display some quotes that currently speak to me.  I like how easy they are to change out and update from time to time.

Gus has finally adjusted to being downgraded to a dog bed since he lost his couch.  (He’s quite comfortable with his masculinity so he’s ok that with his pad being a little girly)

diy window frame

Since we removed all the old windows from our Rochester store during the facelift, I took some of them home to create large frames.  This one was perfect for showcasing our four shops.  The sculpted ceramic heart in the middle reads, catching fireflies and was made by my talented friend, Karen Fincannon.

diy window frameAll I did was put a couple picture hanging hooks on the back of the window.  I sized & printed photos to fit the panes and taped them to the backside of the window with scotch tape.  For aesthetics I covered the scotch tape by adhering washi tape on the front of the window so it appears that it’s holding the photo in place… even though the image is really behind the glass.

office decorI’m sorta on a Ikea photo ledge kick lately.  I like stacking a variety of frames, art and objects together in an organized, yet artful way.  Steve commissioned this lovely painting of our two shops in Berkley by Kandy Myny of Bit O Whimsey for me a few years ago.  It fits perfectly in our new office paired with with some vintage and new a.i. paper design wares.

This low cost makeover did take some energy and effort, but it has completely changed the feeling of the room.  I spend quite a bit of time in this space and don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner.  You should love where you spend your time.  Sometimes all it takes is a gallon of paint, a few thrift store finds and a trip to Ikea to give your nest a new look…. well that and maybe a few fun treasures at catching fireflies too. ;-)

Like to see where I spend my time away from catching fireflies?  Then sign up to receive blog posts like these in your email inbox HERE

easter basket bounty

April 12, 2014
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The bunny rabbit will be stopping by next week.  Are you ready?  Here’s a peek at some goodies in his treasure chest of treats.

easter basket gifts1.  This magical sand trumps anything you’ll find at the beach or in a sandbox.  It feels so amazing, we even can’t stop playing with it.   $24.95                         

2. Tis’ the season for spending time outside so put down the ipad and have some fun with these classic sidewalk games  $8.95

3.  Fold your way into creating festive suncatchers with this clever kit  $9.95

4.  Rainy days don’t have to be gray with these great gel crayons.  Color up your windows and mirrors with sunny sayings and drawings  $13.95

5.  Add a little flair to your ride with some sweet spoke decorations $9.95

6.  Mix up your manicure with these cute zoo decals $5.95

7.  Transform into a beautiful butterfly with these mavelous masks $11.99

8.  Or better yet, slip on a pair of these whimsical fairy wings  $18.95

9.  Join in nature’s song with this classic bird warbler $1.25

10.  Find a way to fit in this classic fruit stripe gum among all the eggs and jellybeans  $1.95

11.  This zipper bracelet looks pretty on your wrist and is also fun to play with  $3.95

12.  Overdosed on bunnies, chicks and lambs?  How about this super cute guinea pig instead? $12.95

13.  If you can imagine it, you can build it with this clever Danish building toy  $10.95 – $36.95

14.  Create puppets just using your fingers with some help from these silly googly eyes  $1.95

Shop for even more EASTER BASKET FINDS

Do you like finding goodies that will bring big grins? We’re happy to share some of our sweet gift ideas.  Simply sign up to receive these blog posts in your email and you’ll be in the loop & get our latest scoop.

sweet treats for easter

April 9, 2014
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There’s so much to love about the Easter season–beautiful pastel colors, fresh flowers, warmer weather, and delicious desserts! Why not try your hand at making some homemade sweet goodies this year?

easter treats

Check out these easy recipes that we found for you to serve at your Easter brunch or help out the Easter Bunny and sneak one of these sugary sweets into a  basket for someone special…

 What’s better than a Cadbury creme egg? Cadbury Brownie Bites, of course! Just imagine the gooey sweet surprise you’ll get when you bite into these delicious brownies.  Head over to Deliciously Sprinkled to see Jennifer’s recipe.

Have you ever made those haystack candies from chow mein noodles? Here’s the Easter version–Chocolate Peanut Butter Nests.  Meredith from Unoriginal Mom adds that you can fill them with whatever you like.

Does it get any cuter than this? Find out how to make these incredibly adorable Oreo Bunny Truffles over on the Key Lime Blog. These confections are perfect for tucking into your little one’s Easter basket!

Pick up a bag of Robin Eggs at the store and you will be able to whip up these Robin Egg Magic Bars before the Easter Bunny arrives. This delectable dessert features layers and layers of gooey goodness.

Pop a few Peeps on a  straw, dowel, or lollipop stick and you’ve got a Peep Ka-Bob.  Simply Party even has a printable tag that you can attach with a festive ribbon.

We think your Easter Brunch guests will love sinking their teeth into this creamy Coconut Custard Pie (it’s all dressed up for the occasion!).  Ready to make one for yourself? Get all the details on the Kitchen Magpie Blog.

To many of us, food means memories.  Laura from Tutti Dolci  describes how her grandmother always made Orange Rolls on Easter. She said they were the highlight of the menu for her.  Start your own family tradition and serve these up this year. You’ll find all the instructions here.

Like sweet recipes that taste get wows?  We love sharing our finds. Don’t want miss out on our future features… simply sign up to receive these blog posts in your email in box.

flower power

April 6, 2014
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We know you need April showers before May flowers, but due to this never-ending Michigan winter we have decided to break the rules.  So here are some pretty posy picks to brighten up your gray day.

Gifts For Flower Lovers

1.  Plant this fun fuchsia flower on your wall and use the magnetic leaves to display some lovely photos, notes or cards  $45.50                

2. Is there somebody in your life that could use a cheerful note from you?  We’d love to get one of these fanciful flower notes in our mailbox $9.99

3.  When is it nice to have a bouquet of flowers in your home?  All the time of course!  $59.95

4.  Celebrate the season by adding this cute leather bracelet to your stack  $12.95

5.  Stay stylish and in touch with this hand crafted posy dry erase board  $32.50

6.  Keep your food fresh and looking fabulous with sweet sunflower silicone lid  $12.95

7.  This small frosted vase is a perfect place to showcase flowers picked by your little ones.  The paper flower reads, “A weed is a flower in disguise when picked by someone with loving eyes” $6.95

8.  Slip this simple necklace in a card and send it to a friend who may need a recharge of hope  $13.95

9.  Paperwork is never pleasant but at least this happy flower pen may make it more bearable  $5.95

Do you like finding goodies that will bring big grins? We’re happy to share some of our sweet gift ideas.  Simply sign up to receive these blog posts in your email and you’ll be in the loop & get our latest scoop.

celebrate spring with beautiful blossoms

April 1, 2014
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Are you a big fan of flowers? As we enter into the season of budding bulbs and fragrant blooms, we’d like to share some of the coolest flower crafts that we found on the web.flower crafts

These clever bloggers reveal how to make everything from a dreamy floral crown to the perfect pom-pom posey…

Caitlin from The Merry Thought crafted this DIY Floral Crown using a vine wreath from the Dollar Store–such an enchanting accessory for your favorite woodland fairy!

Brighten up a boring desktop with some Daisy Flower Paper Clips–they’re also great way to use up some fabric scraps you’ve got laying around the house. Get all the details on A Pumpkin and a Princess.

Craft your very own bouquet that’s guaranteed not to wilt. Crepe Paper Flowers make the perfect surprise for Mother’s Day and are easy enough for kids to make.  Rebecca from The Art of Simple shares her  tips and tricks for creating your own unique bunch of blossoms.

Gather up some fabric scraps, a few random beads or sequins and you’ve got some super sweet flower hair pins.  Visit CraftStylish for step by step instructions.

These fluffy Pom Pom Flowers look like they came straight out of a Dr. Seuss book! Sarah from Dill Pickle Design created these for her wedding centerpieces and has now incorporated them into her home decor. They’re uniquely modern and whimsical.

Update your outfit with a snazzy Fabric Flower Hair Clip.  We found the easy directions for this project on the Capitol Romance Blog (photo by Gabe Aceves).

Breathe new life into barren branches by converting them into a vase full of  flourishing flowers.  Haeley from Design Improvised will show you how easy it is to create these Paper Flowers and bring a little Spring into your home right now.

Like to get a little crafty every now & then?  Simply subscribe to this blog and we’ll email you our latest creative endeavors.

quick trip to the tropics

March 31, 2014
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Since the forecast called for yet another cold Saturday in March, we decided to head west to a warmer climate.  There’s no need to fly down to Costa Rica to get your tropical fix… you can just mingle with a few hundred of butterflies for an hour or two at Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids instead.

frederik meijer gardensIn addition to the greenhouses, there are loads of sculptures all around the park.  Iitu and I did not venture off to see many of them since it was a bit chilly but you can’t miss this marvelous marching band parallel to the parking lots.

arid gardenBefore you make your way to the tropics, you travel though a desert area filled with cool catci that look like they belong on a different planet.

meijer gardensThere are many great places to take photos.  We both took our fancy cameras and brushed up on our photo skills.  There were lots of those big beautiful blue butterflies pictured on the sign in the gardens but boy-oh-boy they are hard to capture with a camera so this is the only photo you will see of them.

butterfly exhibit

It’s fascinating to see all stages of these stunning creatures.  The annual Butterflies Are Blooming exhibition is the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibition in the nation. For the months of March and April you can experience tropical butterflies from around the world flying freely in these gardens.

butterfly exhibit meijer gardens

There’s beauty packed from head to toe in this place… the flowers, trees, plants and of course the star of the show ~ the beautiful butterflies.  Plus did I mention that it’s a balmy 85 degrees in this sweet smelling conservatory?

meijer gardens

If you’re going on the weekends, I would recommend getting there earlier in the day.  The gardens open at 9am.  We arrived around 10am and by 11am it was already getting pretty crowded.  There are lots of spots you can just stand or sit to soak everything in.

butterflies are blooming meijer gardensAnd I do recommend just hanging around… you never know when a butterfly wants to stop by and say hello ~ like it did on this gentleman’s hat.

Like to see where I spend my time away from catching fireflies?  Then sign up to receive blog posts like these in your email inbox HERE

six ways to update your home for spring

March 26, 2014
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Last week we were counting down the days until Spring, and here we are a week later counting down the days until it actually FEELS like Spring here! It’s coming–butterflies, warmer temps, and beautiful blossoms. Also, for many, time for a little spring cleaning and freshening up things around the house.

diy spring wreaths

Check out these easy and creative DIY spring wreaths that you can assemble in an afternoon to add a little punch to your front door or wall…

dahliaYou can make this colorful Dahlia Paper Wreath  for under $10.  Just head over to Mommy of Two Little Monkeys and Amanda will walk you through the easy process.

Abbey from The Cards We Drew took a few sheets of scrapbook paper and a straw wreath form to make this cute and colorful Spring Pinwheel Wreath. We love the possibilities of endless color combinations on this one!

Burlap isn’t just for fall. Laura from Top This Top That  not only shows us how to use it to make this cheery Springtime Wreath with it–she also includes ideas on how to change the base wreath from season to season.

Take a simple grapevine wreath to the next level with the addition of blossoms and a bow. Melissa from Polka Dot Chair shows you how easy it is to whip up this Tulip Wreath here.

Chelsea from the Making Home Base Blog used an old wall planter to assemble this lovely Spring Floral Door Hanging. Take a look in the basement or garage to see what treasures you could transform in the same way.

A Peeps Wreath! Again, the possibilities here are endless as far as color…mix and match your faves or stick with one shade, it’s your call! Take a trip over to Tried and True where Vanessa will show you how to convert these confections into a new way to decorate your home.

Like to get a little crafty every now & then?  Simply subscribe to this blog and we’ll email you our latest creative endeavors.

our best baby gift picks

March 25, 2014
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Whether you’re shopping for an upcoming baby shower or need a cute birthday gift for a toddler, we have a few favorites that will bring a smile to mom, dad and their new little one.

twinkles night light baby gift

I love this new adorable night light! I know I had a night light as a child that I constantly used when I was afraid of the dark and it always made me feel better. This is a great gift for any kid because not only does it bring a little light for comfort but it is also an adorable smiling octopus! $19.95

playful kids plate set

We all know that many kids like to put up a fight when it comes to eating. This plate gives eating a fun twist for kids and will make them want to clear their plates! There are also utensils that match it! $15.95

fun kids utensils

These are the perfect birthday gift for my almost 5 year old niece! She has recently become obsessed with all things fairy and loves helping her mom garden! I know she will get a kick out of using the “shovel” to eat her food! $21.95

swaddle blanket baby gift

Don’t know what to buy that mommy-to-be? This is the perfect gift for her, and you know it will actually get used. A mother can never have enough swaddle blankets! And the pattern of this blanket set is adorable! $34.95

brag board for your little artist

This is great for my daughter who has a new favorite thing to draw every week. Now we can pick her favorite drawing and hang it in the house for everyone to see. I love how easy it is to change the picture hanging, she can even do it herself. $25.95

pet tails book by eboo

I always make sure to include this fun book in my collection of baby shower or first birthday gifts to the little ones in my life. They love tugging at the tails, feeling all the different textures and hearing the crinkle noises the pages make. $15.95

 

huggalug leggings cute baby gift

How cute are these lollipop leg warmers? I absolutely love them for baby girls and the best part about them is that they can fit your princess until around age 6. They can be used to keep warm or to add a little pop to an outfit. $12.95

msu baby board book

It’s never too early to start grooming your little ones to be future Spartans! This adorable board book is a must have for any Michigan State alumnae hoping to pass on their love of green and white. You’ll have them singing the fight song in no time! $10.95

mysterio onesie baby gift

Not the most practical baby gift…but I am way tempted to get this for someone! Because who doesn’t wonder what their baby’s future holds? Now we can find out ;)  $14.95

cute bunny blanket

This super soft security blanket is a winner! The perfect size to stick in your purse so your little one is ready to go on a moments notice, but he can still fall asleep with his little friend close at hand. Has all of the makings of a great security blanket: soft, silky, and with a cute little plush head! Makes a great baby gift! $8.95

little miracle sonogram frame

This is a great way to surprise loved ones with your impending arrival! We’ve had so many people announce the great news by giving these sonogram frames. They just make the moment that much sweeter! $29.50

fisher price camera

I bought this for my nephew for his 2nd Christmas. My brother was so surprised to see the same toy we had as kids! Our grandfather is a photographer, so cameras have always been a big part of our family. When my nephew got his hands on this toy camera, he immediately zeroed in on his favorite thing – hitting buttons! When he is a little older, he can enjoy the picture disks that come with it. For now, he loves the button and the spinning “flash.” And I am happy to pass on our family’s tradition. $19.95

look what I did brag board

There’s nothing more precious than that of a child’s drawing. They are quick to share it with you and this adorable brag board allows you to proudly display their creativity. It can go anywhere in the house and make that little one of yours feel extra special! $25.95

Do you like finding goodies that will bring big grins? We’re happy to share some of our sweet gift ideas.  Simply sign up to receive these blog posts in your email and you’ll be in the loop & get our latest scoop.

elevate

March 24, 2014
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It’s no surprise I’ve ‘shazamed’ this song twice recently and the band’s name happens to be St. Lucia.  Even my ears are longing for warmer days!

st lucia band

Set your mind in a sunny mode by hitting play and you won’t be disappointed.

review reads, “Native South African pop singer Jean-Philip Grobler’s band name evokes the exotic imagery of an extinct volcano, tropical forests, mountainous terrain, and all the sandy beaches that comprise the island of St. Lucia in the Eastern Caribbean Sea.

The album deftly balances a fine line between unabashed indie pop and a more conventional synth pop sound.  Intros and outros are often tied together through swirling synthesizer passages that evoke the soundtracks to ‘80s fantasy films, images of hand gliding through clouds or hazy island sunsets.” – Ryan Lathan

Like discovering sunny tunes that you can sing to?  Simply subscribe to this blog and we’ll email you our latest and greatest music finds.

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hello there

April McCrumb

I'm April McCrumb ~ a creative gal from Michigan that loves to share clever gift ideas, simple recipes, my favorite tunes & all things crafty.  Thanks for stopping by my whimsical world. I hope you enjoy your visit.

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