Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! 

I know its been a while since my last post, but I just wanted to thank everyone for your ongoing support and wish you all a very merry Christmas! 

Expect some new, exciting posts in the weeks to come. 

~Megan  xoxo

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Recipe Time: 
Pumpkin Black Bean Turkey Chili

This is one of my favorite fall recipes! It's perfect on a cold day with a fresh loaf of bread. There are many different versions of this recipe, but this is my own personal take. 

I got a little excited when cooking this recipe and ate it before I took a picture. So I am using a picture from "Fix-It and Forget-It", but mine looked something like that. 

1 Pound of Ground Turkey (or Chicken)
1 Red Pepper
1 Yellow Pepper
1/2 Yellow Onion
1 Small Zucchini
1 Can of Diced Tomatoes
1 Can of Black Beans (Drained and Rinsed)
1 Can of Yellow Corn
1 Can of Pumpkin Puree
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 tsp of Cumin
2 tsp of Chili Powder
1 tsp of Parsley 
1 tsp of Oregano
Chicken Broth

1. Chop Zucchini, Peppers, Onions, and Garlic into small cubes. 
2. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add ground turkey, onion, peppers, and zucchini. Cook for a few minutes, until veggies are tender and turkey is browned. 
3. Add garlic and cook for another minute. 
4. Add diced tomatoes, black beans, yellow corn, pumpkin puree, and spices. 
5. Add enough chicken broth to loosen everything up a bit. 
6. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. 
7. Optional: Serve with shredded cheese and sour cream. 

This is a quick and easy recipe everyone will enjoy. Make a big batch because it makes for great leftovers! 

Happy Eating! :)
~meg xoxo

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

DIY Project:

The "Almost" Free Paint Chip Artwork

For the last month I have been in a crafty mood. I have been obsessed with decorating my newly designed basement, which I will be showing everyone very soon. I wanted the decor in the basement to reflect my creativity and passion for design. I thought this artwork would be perfect! It can be easily changed and can work with any color scheme.

I saw this idea on Young House of Love and thought it was great. I changed mine slightly by arranging the paint chips in gradients rather then a random pattern.

The other thing worth mentioning is how cost-effective this artwork is... IT'S FREE! However, due to a few complications (i.e. my lack of patience), mine turned out to cost a small amount of money. 

Picture Frame - any size and shape
Paint Chips
Double-Sided Tape.... I didn't have any so I used good old fashioned scotch tape.

1. Decide what colors you would like to incorporate in your artwork. I picked colors that worked well with my basement color scheme. The great thing about this piece is you can change it according to the seasons, or modify it to work with a new color scheme. 
2. Decide on the pattern and begin laying out your paint chips. I decided to use six different colors and display the gradient for each color, going from light to dark. When cutting out your paint chips make sure to measure the width and height of the frame, and divide the paint chips equally. All the paint chips should be exactly the same size. 

3. Tape the paint chips to the frame insert. Make sure to align the paint chips perfectly. 
4. Carefully lay picture frame glass overtop of the paint chips. Make sure everything is lined up correctly. 
5. Patiently insert the glass into the frame... this is where my "free" artwork turned out to be expensive... I got a little too excited and tried to rush this step, and cracked the glass. 
Being upset and a little annoyed, my wonderful boyfriend offered to assist me in a late night Ikea trip to pick up a new frame :) How sweet is he!

6. Once I picked up another picture frame, I was able to assemble the picture and hang my beautiful new artwork!

I was very happy with the way this project turned out. I am excited to continually change this artwork to complement my ever-changing color schemes... because we all know I change my color schemes on a fairly regular basis :) 

Make sure to check out Young House of Love for their version of the Paint Chip Artwork. 

Happy Crafting!

~meg xoxo

Friday, September 30, 2011

DIY: Paint Stick Sunburst Mirror

Over the last year, sunburst mirrors have become a hot topic on the DIY - design blogs. I have seen so many unique variations to this mirror. One of my favorite blogs, 'Centsational Girl', featured her own paint stick sunburst mirror. After seeing so many, this one really caught my eye. I thought it was such a "crafty" idea, so I decided I would give it a shot. I know I should have came up with my own "innovative" design, but the creative juices weren't flowing that day and I just loved this idea too much!

7" Round Mirror
7" Wooden Crochet Circle
55 Paint Stir Sticks.
Wooden Base - I used a wooden square frame that was on sale at Michael's.... for $1 :)
Craft Paint
Small Paint Brush
Metal Picture Hook
Hot Glue Gun
Xacto Knife

1. Attach the picture hook to the back of your wooden base.
2. Paint the wooden circle and all the paint sticks. I recommend painting the sticks two different colors, this will give some variation and depth to your frame.... I learned this after I painted mine with only one color.... :(
3. Paint two coats and let dry overnight.
4. Glue mirror to wooden base.
5. Once dry, glue wooden circle to mirror.
6. Glue paint sticks to mirror as shown. If your doing two different colors / tones, make sure to do one color as your first layer and the other color as your second layer. This way the colors will alternate.

7. Once completed, remove excess glue with Xacto knife and make any necessary touch ups.

As you can see I had a few paint touch ups to do....

My recommendations would be to paint the sticks two different colors. Even if they are the same color, I recommend at least using two different shades. I painted all my sticks the same color - antique gold, which is a beautiful color, although it would be much nicer if it were two different shades of gold.

This was a fun and easy project, and one of the best parts is... it only cost $12!!!

Paint - $2
Paint Sticks - Free - thanks to Sherwin Williams
Wooden Hoop - $3
Picture Hook - $3
Mirror - $3
Wooden Base - $1

I plan on making another sunburst mirror soon. I think it would be fun to try using twigs, bamboo sticks, or even chop sticks, so I will let you all know how that goes!

Check out 'Centsational Girl' for her version of the paint stick sunburst mirror.

I hope everyone has a day full of SUNSHINE!

~meg xoxox

Monday, September 19, 2011

All Decked Out!

Over the summer we conquered a few home renovations. One of them was updating the deck and creating more privacy in our backyard.

Our house is sandwiched between a tall apartment building and an old, unpleasant-looking house. We never spent much time in our backyard because we felt watched by people in the apartment building, it was awkward because the apartment door is literally 5 feet away from our deck, and the next door neighbors backyard is in slight disrepair... (i.e. weeds, rotten patio furniture, garbage bags, etc.).

Well, you can't move the apartment building or force your neighbors to take care of their yard - so what did we do?.... we BLOCKED them out! We removed all the railings on the deck, and a set of steps on the side of the deck. We built two tall privacy walls on each side and updated the hand railings. Finally, we replaced some rotten boards on the deck floor and gave it a fresh coat of paint.

Special thanks to my wonderful father for building all the railings and privacy fences, making this pretty simple renovation (for me). :)

Wait a second, I almost forgot... While updating the deck, we thought it was a great opportunity to replace a few rotten boards on the front porch and give it a new coat of paint. Just painting the front porch really cleaned up the house and made it look young again. To help with the curb appeal, we removed some dead branches from the neighbors tree that were creeping onto our yard, and power washed the front walkway. This is our beautiful dollhouse we call HOME!

As usual, there is always more you can do to make it perfect. Here is my updated Exterior To Do List:

1. Paint the front door... not sure what color yet but I am thinking a red/burgundy to match the accents on the house.
2. Plant some more flowers in the front yard.... this year I was a terrible gardner... as you can see.
3. Plant a clematis near the new privacy walls. This way in a few years the walls will be covered with beautiful flowers.
4. Buy a moveable fire pit for the backyard. Just because I love fire pits :)
5. Install a clear mesh on the garage for my baby clematis to continue to grow.
6. Buy an outdoor storage bench for all my gardening tools and patio furniture.
7. Install a concrete pad next to the garage for additional parking.
8. Paint the fence white.
9. Replace the side gate.

You're probably saying to yourself, "Wow you must be crazy - that's a lot of stuff to do!". Well, you're probably right - but with some blood, sweat, and LOVE it will get done!

~meg xoxo

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mood Board

“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” 
                                                             -Marilyn Monroe

I got inspiration for this design from a good friend's new spare bedroom.  :)


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I’m baaack.....

I just want to start off by saying sorry it’s been so long! I don’t have a good excuse, but it’s been very busy with work, conferences, holidays (not complaining), and home renovations. My summer has been awesome and I am very excited to get back into action and share my summer projects with everyone.

So, over the next month or so you can expect to hear about: the World Interior Design Fair in Chicago, basement renovations, Austin, Texas, my life blogging for ONPA, and other summer adventures.

Hope everyone had an amazing summer!