Monday, December 23, 2013

DELICIOUS LAST MINUTE HOLIDAY TREATS

LAST MINUTE HOLIDAY TREATS

It's the LAST MINUTE (totally how we work here) and you need a treat to take to a holiday gathering or just need a small something to share. You debate going to the store to buy, but you would rather have a personal and homemade (of course) gift! Do not fret, Homegirl has these super quick recipes to save you (and saved me, too)!  

I go to Jo-Ann (or any craft supply store) and in their baking section buy clear, small cellophane bags that I keep on hand always and use cute yarn or ribbon, along with a cut out tag for presentation!  For the cut out tag, I LOVE this scalloped punch I got a Hobby Lobby (in their scrapbook section) made by The Paper Studio. It was the largest size you could buy of this design (3.5") and used a hole punch to make the tag.  The lace paper was found in the section where the individual papers are sold.  Love it!

Here are our two favorite QUICK recipes. 

Enjoy! Happy Making!
Homegirl

P.S. Brian and the girls did the baking, while I was out shopping :)!

EASIEST PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE

Ready In: 1HR 20MIN                                Servings: 15
Prep Time: 15MIN                                       Cook Time: 5MIN 

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter                                               3/4 cup peanut putter
2 1/4 cup brown sugar                                 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk                                                 3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Directions:
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and milk. Bring to a boil and boil for 2MIN, frequently stirring. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Pour over confectioners sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat until smooth; pour into an 8x8 inch dish. Chill until firm + cut into squares


PRETZEL PEANUT BARK

Ready In:   45MIN                                       Servings: 8 
Prep Time: 10MIN                                       Cook Time: 5MIN 

Ingredients:
18 (1 ounce) squares of white chocolate  
3 cups skinny pretzel sticks, broken into small pieces but not crushed, then measured
2 cups dry salted peanuts

Directions:
-line rimmed cookie sheet with wax paper
-melt chocolate in double boiler over simmering water until smooth
-stir in pretzel pieces + peanuts   
-spoon onto prepared cookie sheet, spreading mixture evenly  
-refigerate for 45MIN, until firm
-break bark into irregular pieces
-store in cookie tins




My awesome bakers!




Thursday, December 19, 2013


Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Family Photos





Even though it can be a little stressful to get family photos for the Christmas card, in the end it is so worth it!  It is the one time of year we actually all get pictures together and every year I get really emotional when the photos are being taken, especially the individual ones of the girls. I reflect on how fast time is really going and how much they have changed from the previous years.These were taken on our property and I love the background scenery.  Our photographer, Natalie Metzger of Matt & Nat photography is so talented and captures her subjects so well.  I feel so incredibly thankful for the blessings I have in my life and wish you all many blessings as well!

Friday, November 8, 2013

INSPIRE.



When I get letters like this, it truly inspires me.  I am so grateful that I have been able to turn my dreams into plans and encourage all of you to do the same.  This came from Arica of Alter'd Relics who with her mother have followed their passions and turned them into plans.  Check out their venture and the event they are having in November.  Follow the links below. 

Hello Gina!
I know this is a long shot because you are one busy lady. But I wanted to reach out to you because my mom & I have been to all of your shows & to the shops of peeps you mention on your blogs & feature at your shows. I love, love your work & following your blog. I first saw you in the Beacon Akron & my mom & I have been religiously coming to your shows since. You are an inspiration!

I wanted to share a link to a new venture my mom & I have in the works...it's a little therapeutic outlet. If you could check it out...follow along on the blog itself or facebook if you choose. Also if you think any of your fabulous friends & family would enjoy. We would greatly appreciate it!

But most of all we genuinely value your opinion if you could give me a tip or two on what inspires you? I would love it!!  It would certainly give us motivation along the way~

Thank you so much~
Arica




Monday, November 4, 2013

The "Game" of Life

 "The Game of Life"...  My children are now playing this game that I loved to play as a child and looking at the box and playing the game, made me metaphorically contemplate "The Game of Life".  What particularly struck me was the Safe Route and Risky Route Road Signs pictured on the box.  Through our own personal "games" how many times have we been at these crossroads? They say that only true growth occurs when we take a detour from the safe route and take risks.  This being said and understood though is completely different than the actual DOING!  Although, every time I am willing and able to push through the fear and discomfort that some thing better is on the other side, even if it is just a lesson.  My father always has said to me, "The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward!" and I have found this to be absolutely true.  On a funny note, Lila, my daughter after playing said, " I had 8 children, no job and only 100 dollars a week."   Lucky for her, she is still in the "playing" phase of  "the game".



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Owl Pumpkin by A Modern Dame

WOW!!!!  That is all I can say to this!  I love it!  My sister in law passed it on to me and now I am passing it on to you!  AWESOME!  Go to www.amoderndame.blogspot.com for the directions.  She rocked it!

A Modern Dame: My very 1st DIY: Decorative Owl Pumpkin:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Children's Rooms

This is Edie my 10 year old.  This is her bedroom.  I have been wanting to do a post on her room for a while, but it was very challenging to capture the room when it is actually neat.  Organization is not as much a priority for her as is changing outfits, so most of the time clothes are everywhere!  Did I mention she  is only 10?  The other day, when I asked her to clean her room, she packed a whole suitcase of rolled up clothes and put it in her closet, only for me to discover it weeks later!  When I confronted her about it, she said, "You told me to put my clothes away!"  Seriously, I must admit, I laughed a little, because that would be another form of her creative mind.  She never does things conventionally.

OK - so as far as decor for children's bedrooms, I have found that many people feel really comfortable decorating children's rooms as opposed to other rooms in their house because they don't feel like they have to "follow the rules" as much as they think they do in the "adult" rooms in the house.  People allow themselves to be more "playful" when doing a child's room because they don't feel it is as much a reflection on them as in other rooms.  Although the subject matter of a child's room naturally allows us to have fun with our decorating, I do think the same rules can apply to other rooms of our houses.  The key to decorating any room is staying relaxed and open to color and unexpected accessories. 

I really feel strongly that is important to involve your child in the decorating of their bedrooms as soon as they are able to express their opinions.  You do not have to take all suggestions and certainly can edit, but still honor color choices or subject matter.  I try to capture the child's personality and their talents and highlight THEM in the space.  I am a big believer in establishing a healthy self esteem for children and if their room is a celebration of them, they will feel really good about themselves and feel they have ownership in a room in your home.  Just like they change, their decor should change with them.  Due to my personal nature and theirs, we like to change a lot!  I kept the large pieces safe and for us personally, the walls neutral.  

The furniture and the polka dot bedding are all from IKEA.  Their prices are affordable and I LOVE the designs.  IKEA also seems to blend really well with vintage because they are so different in nature.  The pricing on the duvet covers has allowed us to change often without a huge investment.  If you are looking for an IKEA in the Cleveland, OH area, the closest is Pittsburgh.  It is worth the trip.





The knitted Kitty doll was .50 cents!





Edie's artwork.  Always changing, but these are our favorites.  Have your children decorate their rooms with their own creations!




This wooden gnome doll is seriously one of my favorites! 



White pillows on the beds are made from t-shirts.



The cutout art is from a children's coloring book we love.  Get creative with what goes on the walls.




Check out the bowling pin someone painted a penguin. So funny!




Wednesday, October 9, 2013

NO FALL SALE


Hey guys!  Thank YOU SO MUCH for asking... BUT NO FALL SALE this year for me.  I am working on other BIG projects and could not pull it together.  I may have a holiday 2013 sale after Thanksgiving/early December so keep checking here or like Homegirl on Facebook to keep up to date on event schedule.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Hello Fall...

I just could not find the "right" thing for my door this fall and since I loved my rag wreath from the summer, I decided to do a fall version using burlap and fun fall colors.  It was really easy.  I got the burlap wreath at Jo-Ann which is pretty just by itself too if you prefer and when I am in a quick need for fabric I buy the fabric quilting quarters there as well.  I also picked up some burlap on a roll in the floral section and used it to enhance the wreath.  The strips of fabric, I cut thick because I really did not want to give killer time to this.  Just simply tie a knot around the wreath using the strips and there you have it.  I was loving the colors of the plants I planted around my house so I went with that color scheme.  I just love this time of year!






Wednesday, October 2, 2013

In the Details - part II

More pics of things I love around my own home.  I really hope you have special things placed around your home that make you smile too.  If not, get something small today, even if it is just treating yourself to flowers.

Edie's bedroom


Edie's Bedroom


Dining Room - the throw kills me!

In Kitchen - of course!


Bathroom window


Dining Room


Bathroom


Shelf in Dining Room

Friday, September 13, 2013

In the details... part 1

 I wanted to share with you some of my favorite (again they are all my favorite) accessories I have around  my house.  I especially love when there are little collections of things in one space.  I play a lot with what lives together and change it frequently as my moods change. When I look at them, they each have that "secret smile" component for me that makes me happy.


Every girl should have this sign. :)

I want to live in one of these little houses!

This bird is a gourd.  It is the sweetest.

So true for me.

A reminder to BE.

Tin maple leaf switch cover. A small detail with a big impact for me.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Camera Obsession...

I am just so impressed with the latest creative endeavor of my little shutter bug, Lila that I had to share.  She has always been obsessed with cameras and any and all aspects of filming but the latest has taken her to a  whole new level. She recently asked me to take her to buy green poster board and duct tape so she could make her own green screen and two hours later, completely on her own constructed a green wall in her bedroom that along with an app she bought on her i-pad transported her, her sister and her friends to various scenes and places that made them look like they were really there.   They made music videos, and a morning talk show complete with a weather girl in front of a map and my favorite, a reporter covering a story about "Edie" the giant walking through a park with people scattering away.  

Lila has always had an interest in being behind the camera (and in front - I should say too) and sets up a studio in her room frequently.  The sign on her bedroom door says, "L Studios" (filming in progress).  I just love it!  The photos below are just a few examples of her work and editing too. She has also used a white sheet covering a book case complete with good lighting which she uses to photograph her sister (her biggest muse) and friends.  I decided to do this post today because on my phone - which she also uses to take photos, I found this picture of a camera cake that Edie informed me is Lila's "dream" cake.  Imagine that?  


                                        






Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The beginning and end of my day is here...

The beginning of my day and the end of my day - for 3 seasons that is, always take place in one room of my house... my sun-porch.  It really is my most favorite room of my home (although I say that about every room)!  I watch the sun rise and go down here and the room has such a cozy, happy feel you really just cant help not wanting to leave it.  












I set myself up today to work here because it is raining and it is just so awesome to be in this room when it rains. Being thankful to be in my warm, dry house, I was inspired to photograph it and share it with all of you who just cant come over and hang.   This is such a personally decorated room for me- which are all of my rooms, what am I talking about? but for this room truly.  With this post I would like to share the story behind all of the makings of this room.  Each piece helps tell the story of me and my family.  

Common activities of this room include:
1.Meditation - before anyone else is up. 
2. My morning coffee date with Brian - my favorite part of the day!
3 Snuggling with the girls (and cats) all piled on couch when they wake up. 
4. Eating Lunch.
6. Napping.
7. Napping.
8. Napping.
9. Working - lightly... :)
10. Reading.
11. Napping.
12. Talking on the phone.
13. I-Pad time.
14. Hanging with family and friends.
15. LOUNGING - with a little napping!
16. Reflecting on the days activities.
17. "Camping" on the porch.

The cornerstone of this room is the cozy, comfy couch that is 18 years old.  It was our first big purchase for me and Brian in the first apartment we shared together.  I remember calling my mom and asking her if it was a "good deal" - (it is a pull out and came with a love seat) and I was a nervous wreck having to make my first big charge purchase. But I have to say, it was worth every penny.  The slip covers have seen their finer days and with all of the coffee stains, it is essential that I have a quilt thrown over it.  The quilt is another story.  OH, I just have never seen anything like it.  The vintage fabrics and the loops that are on the border just kill me.  It really is instant happy all in of itself!  

The patchwork chairs just joined the room after my last sale and I really did buy them for me and secretly hoped they would not sell so I had an excuse to Brian to "HAVE" to put them in our house.  Bummer.  I got my wish and now they live here and make me smile when I see them through my kitchen window.  Dos (our white kitty) sits on the chair in the window and he could not be any cuter or more perfect in that room.  

The pillows that currently live there are also from my last sale and are all handmade.  The deer pillow was made by our babysitter and she knows I love deer antlers!  The pillows often change with my mood and with the season and it is a lot of fun for me to change them up.

The artwork in the room all have stories as well.  The tree of life was given to me by my sister and I placed it here because I can see it out my kitchen window when we are dining.  I have such an affinity for it.  It is one of the least expensive things I own and also one of my most valuable possessions.  

The "3 Things" paper and wax collage is done by a friend of mine and one of my personal favorite artists, which reminds us to be thankful for 3 things a day.  The carnival "love birds" wire and wood cutout is just adorable and of course represents me and Brian.  

The macrame owl I die over, not only because it is an owl, but because it has lime green eyes and was $2 at a thrift store.  One of my blog readers gave me a tip when she spotted it while thrifting.

The wooden shoes sitting on the console table are also a long standing obsession with me.  I never can pass up buying a pair when I see them and I have them in all sizes, designs and colors!

The round weaved stool in front of the patchwork chairs was a find that I have yet to ever see again, and was supposed to go into a sale at some point but did not dare leave my house.

The lamp on the console is from Target and is the brand "Threshold".  I love that brand there.  It's red checked gingham inside the shade just is the sweetest.

Lastly is the found art clock "man" which I got from another artist I love.  It is made from upcycled materials and I own three of her clocks.

Thank you for letting me share this room with all of you!  I hope it inspires you to create that one special , personal spot for you that begins and ends your happy days!