Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dining Room Mini-Makeover

Like many newlyweds, much of the furniture that we started out with was hand-me-downs from various family members. We are very slowly swapping out the pieces we don't love for ones we do, but this takes time and more importantly money.

Our dining room set was given to us by John's aunt and uncle. I like that the table has two leaves, but other than that, I'm not really a fan. It's well-built, but just not my style. The worst part for me was the rattan backs on the chairs. They looked especially dated and weren't standing up to use by our young family. So, I decided to invest in some dining room slipcovers. I used a simple pattern from Fabric-by-Fabric One Yard Wonders and fabric that I got at 60% off. Each slip cover only cost me $10 and I'm happy with the change.


Some day I may make fun, colorful ones that I can swap out, but for now I wanted something neutral that would work year-round.

I'm linking up to the Creative HomeAcre Blog Hop. Stop over and check out what other creative things people are doing around their homes.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Peanut Butter Snacks

Peanut butter doesn't last long in our house. So this week when I tried two new snack recipes that featured peanut butter, and they weren't around for long either. Each recipe was simple and quick, as well as being fairly healthy. These make a great snack or a little sweet treat. And the bonus at our house is when they are both kid-approved and adult-approved.

Peanut Butter Granola (from Peanut Butter Fingers blog)
Makes four 1/4 C. servings

2 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C. oats

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Combine peanut butter and honey in a bowl and microwave until peanut butter melts (approximately 20 seconds). Stir until smooth then stir in cinnamon and vanilla. Add oats and stir until oats are completely covered in peanut butter mixture. Spread oats out evenly onto prepared cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until granola is slightly browned. Let cool until granola is crunchy. Store in airtight container.

Peanut Butter Puffs (featured in Parenting magazine-June 2011 from Lisa Atwood's Cookbook for Kids)
Makes approximately 20 1.5-inch balls

1/4 C. honey (or agave nectar)
2 Tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 C. creamy peanut butter (or any nut butter)
1 3/4 C. puffed rice cereal

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine honey and brown sugar. Heat, stirring, until the mixture begins to boil and brown sugar dissolves, 2 to 3 min. Remove from heat. Add peanut butter and stir until smooth. Add rice cereal and stir until evenly coated. Set the mixture aside to cool enough to handle, about 5 min. Scoop up a rounded Tbsp. of the mixture and use damp hands to form into 1.5 inch balls. Place on greased, rimmed baking sheet. Chill in the refrigerator until set, 5 to 10 min. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Urban Farmgirl

A few weeks ago, I finally was able to visit Urban Farmgirl, a new shop in Rockford. As soon as I heard about her opening a shop, I knew I had to make a trip there. My two previous attempts didn't work out, but I finally made it.

Urban Farmgirl has been a popular vendor at the Kane County flea market, as well as selling her creations at barn sales and in other shops. She has quite the following on Pinterest, too. Her shop was everything I expected and more. Had the kids and my mom not been waiting in the car, I could have spent all afternoon there. The shop features beautifully painted furniture, antiques, repurposed items, and fun new creations. There was plenty of bright bunting throughout the shop, as well as, small items that would be perfect for gifts and for use in your own vintage creations and decor.

The shop is open two weekends a month and the items are always changing. If you want the pick of all she has to offer, get there early. I will definitely be making more trips to Urban Farmgirl. It is the perfect mix of vintage and new, and sure to give you plenty of inspiration.

Next Sale Dates:
  Thursday, April 18th 10-6
  Friday, April 19th 10-4
  Saturday, April 20th 10-4

Urban Farmgirl
1101 Rural St.
Rockford, IL

Follow Her Blog
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You can also see Urban Farmgirl's items at Na-Da Farm Barn Sale on May 17th and 18th.