Friday

Bee inspired mantel

7.17.15- 


Sometimes things happen that you weren't planning on & it just makes you giddy with excitement!  That's exactly what happened around here yesterday. I got a sudden burst of decorating inspiration, ran with it & then next thing I knew I couldn't stop staring at our newly decorated mantel.  
{My girls were getting annoyed with me a bit, with all my squeaks & squeals of delight} 
-It's been a long time since I've been this excited about something. I just has to share & shout from the rooftops about-   

I know it's not a new month but it certainly is a new mantel that deserves a shout out & will probably replace the red, white & blue next year, on the upstairs mantel at least, for the whole month of July because well, it's just that cute!   


I live in Utah & our state's birthday is kind of a big deal around these parts.  July 24th is a big celebration from the top of the state to the bottom every year.  It's the day that the 1st settlers arrived into the Salt Lake Valley.  I've lived in Utah my whole life & I love all the beauty that surrounds us & especially our state's nickname of the Beehive State.  I think that's where I get my appreciation of bee's & all the hard work they do for all of us.  There are symbols of bees & beehives all over our state & the motto of Industry is tied to a lot of things & rightfully so, bees are the perfect example of industry, working hard & the sweet rewards that come as a result. 

The whole idea for my Beehive inspired mantel started with the vintage state map of Utah that I bought from an Instagram shop a few months ago. I like anything old, cool & of coarse something that has meaning attached to it so when I saw it for sale I just had to snag it.  Glad it's in the center of the mantel, set up on a mustard colored bench & stack of books so it gets all the attention, as it should!  
-Beehives of all shapes & sizes were put on display including a  tiny clay beehive my daughter made for me when she was in the 1st grade, so sweet!- 
With that as the centerpiece & the theme of "bees"  in mind, I wanted everything to be yellow, brown, creme & gold in tones & hues.  My favorite way to decorate is to just look around, see what I already have  & use it! With the theme of celebrating the Beehive State it wasn't that difficult because, as you might know, I'm kind of smitten with everything bee related.  Books, bottles, honey jars, glass jars, lights, hexagons & such were pretty easy to find.  Collections are such a good investment!! They pay off over & over again, so I guess I'll keep antiquing, thrifting & shopping. 

 - I love to collect old candle sticks & vintage bobbins.  They are the perfect solution to add height, interest & create levels to any space. Be on the look out for them, they are out there!- 

 These hexagons are so fun!  I asked my friend, Michelle, to make some custom ones for me, using vintage rulers I had been collecting. I wanted to use as decor at The Hive
{The boutique I host in my home- next one in September}  
I love how this one shows off some specific towns in Utah that I grew up by & frequent often. Such a perfect little touch!  


- a stack of books with a nod to this state, bees & hives- 
-You know that I love & talk about how important levels are to anything you decorate & this stack is perfect to set the state map of Utah up on.  How awesome is this College yearbook of my Grandma Hall's, from Utah State University, titled the Buzzer.  When I saw it I just had to ask her if I could have it. - 
-A lot of things up here on display have been gifts given to my by family & friends.  That always makes things extra meaningful. This glass beehive is a beautiful jar & I stacked it up on top of a old heavy plastic coaster I picked out of a junk yard, thought it worked well with the color scheme I wanted-  

 Can't get enough of these hexagon shapes, I might need to have my friend make me up a bunch more! More is always better, right?! 


-This vintage pop bottle was an awesome find & the little salt shaker looks so sweet tucked right next too it. Of coarse to keep things balanced & looking proportional on the mantel the pepper shaker is on display on the other side- 

When I stepped back & got to admire the entire mantel I was in LOVE!  So many of things I honor, cherish & adore up on display.  It just made my honeybee heart oh mine want to burst out of my chest.  It's the little things in life, right?  Simple things that really makes us happy. I can't imagine taking it down in a few weeks, so I think it might stay up a little longer than July 31st. Simply too sweet to take down anytime soon. 


 Now, just to keep it real like I said earlier when inspiration hits you have to go with it & if everything gets cleared off the mantel in a hurry. Clean up had to wait a bit yesterday until I stopped staring long enough at the mantel to put it all away, happy to say it all is now.


Hope you have a beautiful day!  Thanks for stopping by the blog & taking a peek inside our home here on Lilac Lane.  

{M} 

Birthday bedroom makeover reveal

6.22.15- 
 
Wanted to share the details about the super secret surprise that has been in the works for quite some time. My hubby & I worked on our twin girls room remodel for their 13th birthday this month. 
-This little guy was just as happy to get this room done.  He was ready to get back to sleeping with his master on her new bed. He kept an eye on the whole project & would like to come in & see what the hubby & I were up to all the time.-
They have talked, dreamed & wanted to change their room up for awhile now. But as you can imagine with twin girls there were A LOT of ideas, colors & thoughts of what the room should be.  It was just too much!  It got to the point that we were never going to decide on anything to do & the whole project just kept getting pushed back because we {the 2 of them & I} could ever decide on anything.  Then a light bulb moment happened a few months ago when we were in D.C. It was such a game changer that I even wrote about it.   

I just decided if we were ever going to change their room I needed a plan!  I recruited the best helper I knew, my hubby, & together we gave ourselves a time limit {their B-Day} certain responsibilities each of us would be in charge of, a theme & went for it.  I'll be honest in my head I thought we could do it all over a weekend & surprise the girls, ahhh- NO!  It was way bigger project than I thought so I'm glad we gave ourselves plenty of time. 

I collected quite a few inspirational pics from Instagram to start me on my way.  One of the first things I saw that I KNEW had to be incorporated into the room were these pillows from Hello Apparel.  
-So Audrey, our night owl!-
Hello...... these covers describe my girls exactly!  They've always been this way ever since they were teeny tiny. We have one night owl & one early bird. This was just the beginning point of the room & the first things bought that made me giddy about redoing their room.  
-So Emily, except the teenage years are changing her a bit. She's liking late nights more & more-
I also found some cute black & white star sheets at Target & early on & ordered sheets & the duvet cover from Pottery Barn Kids.  I soon realized I had a theme for the room going on without even knowing it.  
-Follow your heart & reach for the stars-  


Before I could make up the beds though the first step was paint the room!  Paint & I have a love/hate relationship, which might sound weird since I paint stuff all the time but the thought of getting a gallon of paint to cover a large space just seems to paralyze me for some reason.  The first idea I proposed to my husband he shot down. I wanted to paint the whole room white.  Ceiling, molding, trim, doors everything stark white.  The whole concept I had for the room was a crisp, clean modern space so I thought white was an obvious backdrop & a great blank canvas.  When he didn't buy into it & I know I wanted something very light to compliment the other colors that were going into the room {black, grey, brown, & white} We stopped by the Home Depot, on our way to something else, stood in front of the big wall of samples, looked at a few colors, decided on one & walked out.  I could have NEVER done that on my own. I would have gotten 6 samples, went home to test, think about, look at, think some more before I settled on one.  Nope, not this time we saw Campfire Ash{Behr Brand} liked it & went with it. 

 After the paint was done we called our awesome friend who just happens to be an electrician & asked for some help installing this light up wooden arrow. He installed it up above the closet, hid the wires & connected it to their closet light switch.  Wa-lah!! Makes for a great low light for the girls & easy to turn off & on. 
-Olly likes the new light display too!-
The girls didn't have bed frames so I knew that was the next big purchase. I looked & looked for ones I wanted & luckily saw a picture of the beds I've been looking for on Instagram & searched Target online & ordered them.  



They are called the Tilden Metal Bed.  Love the simplicity, vintage yet modern feel they have.  PERFECT!

The hubby & I then took a trip down to IKEA, because I had a $20 gift card burning a hole in my pocket hmmmm.... that didn't last long {it never does right?} but we got a lot of good stuff.  Both their dressers, photo gallery wall stuff, pillows & a few other accessories. Putting together the beds & dressers was quite a task but one that we enjoyed doing together. Nice to have to do two of everything though because we would take a bit putting together the first one but knock out the second in no time! 



  He also cut up some wooden triangles to set on top of the dresser for the girls to use to organize & show off their jewelry.  What a guy!  This was an idea that really inspired me in the Urban Outfitters in D.C. & got the juices flowing on the room redesign project. Easy, clean & simple idea! Just used scraps of wood we already had in the garage.

I'm sure the gallery of photos will be filled up in no time. These girls love to take pictures & have fun with family & friends so I'm sure their will be a pic of every fun Summer activity. 
Above the dressers I hung up some butterfly fabric in a frame that we saved from their old room, a darling 8x10 picture of my girls & this beautiful handmade art work from my friend, Jamieson. You can find her on Instagram at @hellpsunshineshop  I love the saying, such a good reminder & I hope one that will great my girls each day as they get ready. 

I enjoyed filling up the top of their dressers with this & that & soon learned that one girl is much more of a collector than the other, we need to work on that.  It was a bit of a stretch to find stuff to put on one of their dressers but w did. 


-Succulents & sand collection can't go wrong with that.  Glad the girls savor & treasure their trips to the sea-
-My little nature lover!  She is always finding & appreciating all that is around her. She finds beauty in the outdoors, I love that about her.  Oh, & she has a bearded dragon named Golden Boy so this spray painted lizard was perfect for her. -
While he was finishing up on a few of the details in the room I wanted to repurpose a few of the items that they had had in their room forever.  I saved the black frames that hung over their beds, A&E red letters & their fun red lamp.  I bought some black spray paint {Which I'll admit have never really used before but oh boy, now I'm a believer!!}  & changed the look of the letters & lamp in no time.  To give the lamp a little bit of an edge, I simply ripped off the lamp shade, just kept the bare bones of it & bought a vintage looking bulb to jazz things up a bit.  Looks really cool if you ask me & was done for little to nothing.  

Oops... I almost forgot to mention their awesome display boards above their bed.  They are pegboards that we got from Lowe's that were already painted white, bonus, & had them cut to size at the store.  Brought them home put them up above their beds.

{Be sure to remember to leave space behind the pegboard.  Attach 2 inch boards, to the top & bottom of the pegboard so you can accommodate the peg hooks} 


The newly painted letters got put into place using awesome & time saving 3M velcro strips  
{If you have not used these before to hang up stuff in your home RUN & get some- life changer!!}  
& some peg hooks to hold medals & a vintage wood hanger to show off each girl over her bed.  I bought these hangers from an Instagram shop as well @smokeandsage. 


I didn't want to totally fill up this space with stuff right off the bat, I wanted the girls to be able to display & show off what they would like too.  We'll see what makes it's way up there, I'm sure it won't take long.     

I hope this will be a happy place for my girls to come relax in, chill out & grow into for the next couple of years.  By the looks on my girls faces when they opened the door on their birthday we accomplished just that.  



Excited to see what project the hubby & I want to tackle next. We sure had a great time & make a pretty good team if you ask me. 

{M}

Thursday

Summertime decor ideas

 5.21.15-

It's that time again, starting to think about how to change up the decor around the house & welcome in all things that seem to scream SuMMER! 
 {I don't decorate for the 4th of July quite yet, Summer needs to be celebrated & the birthday month comes first!}

When I was thinking of decorating for Summertime three words come to mind- COLOR, FUN & PLAYFUL. I have really enjoyed decorating for this special time of year in our home over the past few years.  It is just so much FuN, no stress just want ever goes- if it's colorful & there's lots of it, it will work.  Trust me!  Plus, you can leave it up ALL SUMMER LONG!
{To see more ideas click HERE

I wanted to share a few places around the house that make me happy & I'll give some helpful decorating tips along the way too. My first tip- *never put up decor the same way year after year. Mix it around, have some fun, change it up! 
{You might see me use a few same things in a space but it's NEVER identical to what's been done before. Makes for refreshing decor}

This time around I began the whole Summertime decorating process with the TaDa Home Decor's "Signs of Summer" collection.  It was a great place to start!  All these great things come together in one box. Makes decorating a snap. 

You can set it up exactly as it is or as I'm going to show you, use piece by piece & incorporate into decor you already have.
{You can order one for yourself too, comes shipped right to your door. Go HERE to purchase.} 

 I wanted to break up the collection & spread the sunshine all throughout our house instead of having it all up in one spot.  So fun, to put a few things here & there, mix it in & tie into other decor items you already have.  

- I mean, how HaPPY is this?!-
The mantel is always my go to spot to decorate first, probably because it takes up the most space.  This mustard mantel as the backdrop was just begging for pops of red, splashes of turquoises & the rest of the rainbow to come out & play.  When I got everything put into place & stepped back to see it all I think I might have squealed. 
{Oh, who am I kidding I totally did!} 

Just look at all that fun rolled up into one display.  Baseball, Tennis, sunshine, pictures of vacations & outdoor BBQ's, a ferris wheel & smores what up there doesn't say SuMMER.  So FuN!! 
-Tennis anyone?  You can find lots of sports equipment at antique stores & flea markets.  Instant charm & whimsy to any decor. 
Another decorating tip- *be open to inspiration, you never know when it might hit. Play around with the size & scale, move things around, add height until everything fits just right!

Garlands, garlands & more garlands.  I always say, the more the better!  Things always look better in 3's so use that as your guideline for using garlands & banners. One garland just never is enough, two looks too sparse but 3, wah-lah!  The perfect amount.  These all go well together because they are all made from different things but color is what ties them all together.  I LoVE!!  I dare you not to be smiling as you look at this, just so happy & cheerful. 
*decorating tip use scotch tape to hang up lightweight garlands & keep them in place.  

-Somewhere over the rainbow!! Smitten with all the color that's up on the mantel this month-
Don't forget to check out many more inspiring decorated mantels as well as share off your own by searching the hashtag #newmonthnewmantel 

The kitchen always gets a splash of decor when the seasons change to.  It was perfect to put the lemonade sign, from the TaDa box, up in the kitchen along with the cute ball jar sign that was also included in the collection.  




I grabbed some vintage glass canning jars, {this probably won't surprise you but I have a collection of these} a thermos {I collect those too } & some retro colored drinking glasses I bought this Spring at an antique shop to put up with the signs.  All I need now is some fresh lemons to squeeze, sugar & sunshine to sit outside in & enjoy the summer days & nights.  
-Simply cheerful & delicious to look at!-
Again, garlands can go anywhere in the house.  
There's always a reason to put up a garland. - Melissa Quigley 
Even the thought of sipping lemonade is reason to celebrate.  

This little camper sign that came in the TaDa box is just the cutest thing ever.  At first I didn't know what to do with it but then I glanced over & saw my vintage red truck & a light bulb went off inside my head.  


I simply "hitched" it up behind the truck & it's ready to hit the open road.  It looked so cute that I decided to fill up the back with some postcards we've collected on our travels during the Summer months in the past.  Good memories of favorite vacation spots & a charming display & conversation piece too.  Love when decor does that.  

Hope these have given you lots of ideas as you consider decorating your home for the Summer months ahead.  I like to think "outside the box" when I decorate & try to put new spins on displays & set up.  Makes it so much more enjoyable that way & spontaneous- make it your own & work with what you have.  The only thing I bought was the TaDa Summer Collection. Well worth the money to get all those great pieces {7 signs & 2 garlands to be exact} from amazing talented artisans.  

Bring on Summer- we're ready in this house! 

{M}

Tuesday

Homemade brownies- recipe

 5.19.15- 

Sharing a family favorite recipe today.  I'm so glad I married into such a wonderful family for many, many reasons but having this recipe & getting to enjoy it at almost every family get together is another reason why I'm happy to be a Quigley.


These not only are the yummiest, cakeiest {is that even a word?} brownies but they are also the easiest to make & bake.  Maybe that's why they are made so often in our family & around our house.  They are the go to, quick dessert, take along & share sweet treat.  

I think the thing that sends them over the top is the dusting of powdered sugar that the brownies get as a finishing touch. 


Homemade Chocolate Brownies 

2 cubes butter{melt in pot on the stove, once melted add remaining ingredients in & mix until smooth} 
2 cups Sugar 
2 tsp. Vanilla 
3 TBSP Cocoa 

Remove from heat stir often, let mixture cool.  Then add: 
4 eggs, one at a time 
1 1/2 cup Flour 

Grease and four pan {9x13}  Bake at 350 degress for 35-40 minutes.  When brownies are completely cool dust them with powdered sugar, cut & serve.  Mmmmmmm!! 

These are great to munch on as is but they make great brownies for ice cream sundaes too. 
Hope you try & hope you like. 

{M}



Friday

National Chocolate Chip Day!

5.15.15- 

Happy Day! It's not everyday that it's a day to celebrate chocolate chips so I thought I'd bring back a post from a year ago to share with you on this special day! These recipes have a little EXTRA stuff thrown into the basic chocolate chip cookie recipe.  A vintage H&H post that deserves to be shared again.  
Enjoy- 

This is one of those recipes that is so good, you just might end up eating all of the dough before it even makes it to the oven.  In fact, I've made this recipe before & just taken the dough {in containers}  to the neighbors for them to enjoy by the spoonful.  It really is that good! Sometimes the dough is better than the cookie but in this case both are just as tasty. 


I have a long history with this cookie recipe.  I made up a batch of these when I was in the 4th grade & taking 4-H cooking classes in the summer.  I won a Blue Ribbon at the County Fair & then a Red Ribbon at the Utah State Fair with this recipe.  The name New Jersey Cookies comes from my Mom growing up in New Jersey.  She entered this recipe {of her Mom's} into a contest & needed a cute name to go along with them. Doesn't it sound much better than just saying Oatmeal Choc. Chip Cookies?  
New Jersey sounds much more exiting don't you think ;) 
-Notice on the recipe card I have my Mom wrote, Don't Triple!  That's because my little brother & his friends got the bright idea to triple this recipe one day.  I'm pretty sure they ate most of them by themselves before the rest of the family got home. Teenagers!- 
New Jersey Cookies 
1 C. Butter {softened} 
1 C. Sugar 
1 C.  Brown Sugar 
2 Eggs 
1 1/2 C. Flour 
1 tsp. Vanilla 
1tsp. Soda 
1tsp. Salt 
3 C. Oatmeal 
1 pkg. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips 

   Cream butter & sugars together then add eggs. Add soda, salt, flour, oatmeal & vanilla to the sugar mixture and mix together well. Add chocolate chips in at the end & give it a good mix. When everything is combined set in the fridge to chill for 1 hour. {Hard to wait, I know but it will be worth it!} 
 Drop rounded dough balls onto a un- greased cookie sheet & bake for 8 minutes in 350 degree oven.
* Don't skip the chill in the fridge part, I think that is the key.  Try not to eat all the dough either!
-Enjoy!!-

So, so good!  Hope you enjoy them as much as we do.  If you're looking for something a little gluten free try these FLOURLESS Choc. Chip, PB, Oatmeal Cookies they are de.lish!  You can get the recipe for them HERE
Bake up a batch, pin them if you want & bring some smiles to your kids, neighbors & friends today.  I love baking & sharing.  Makes my heart happy! 
*Don't be shy, I'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment & let's become friends. 

{M}