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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Creating a Beautiful Life on Less Home Tour with Holly

Creating a Beautiful Life on Less Home Tour with Holly
Welcome to Creating a Beautiful Life on Less, a special home tour series

Today we have a home tour by Holly. She's a cute mama to four adorable littles. She also happens to be my sisinlaw. I am so excited to have her here on the blog today!

She is here to share her tips and tricks for creating beautiful on less.

Let's get to it...
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 Hi! My name is Holly and I am Danielle's sister-in-law (we married twin brothers, cool right?)! No, our husbands are not identical! (We get asked that all the time.) My husband and I live in a small town with our 4 kids and we have a small farm in our backyard! We love our country lifestyle and I love decorating our home with homemade items and finding all sorts of ways to never waste and reuse all kinds of things. I am excited that Danielle asked me to be a part of her home tours!  

 Creating a Beautiful Life on Less Home Tour with Holly


Here you can see how you are greeted upon coming to our home! My husband recently poured a sidewalk leading to our front door that we were all able to put our hand prints in, which I love! At one time, we had 3 different swings in our tree like a big merry-go-round! The kids love playing in our front yard and I love to give the vibe that a family lives here :)

Creating a Beautiful Life on Less Home Tour with Holly
This is our entry when you come in our home. The large painting was done by my grandmother before she passed away and I so cherish it! The frame for it was made by my husband out of some old barn wood from a friends barn they tore down. We kept the original red paint on it because it looked so cool! My husband hung it so high because he is very paranoid that something will happen to it! Haha... But it gave me a spot for photos of the kids so that's okay :) Oh, and the shoe tree we bought at The Container Store (everyone asks me about this) and it is one of the best things we've ever bought!

Creating a Beautiful Life on Less Home Tour with Holly

This is the view from our entryway. It opens into a great room that we have divided up into our dining room and living room. The gray trellis wall along the whole back was lovingly hand painted by my sister when we first moved in (I was pregnant and she's very artistic). She was a trooper, it took her a few days to complete it! We get so many compliments on this wall, I love it!

Creating a Beautiful Life on Less Home Tour with Holly

As for this wall, I am working on this area still! I have some ideas but need some money to complete it, so for now it is occupied by this TV stand that was originally made by my husband shortly after we were married and painted red. He made it out of MDF board, which is great for painting and only cost us $20 at the time. But after we moved here, I decided to give it a more rustic look by repainting it an antique white and I cut up a pallet for the boards on top. I loved the color of the pallet already so I just sealed it with an orange oil sealer. The couch under the window we got for $30 from a yard sale and the china hutch my husband made as a wedding present to me. (He's very talented but he will never say so!)

Creating a Beautiful Life on Less Home Tour with Holly

This is my mantle that I am obsessed with! In Las Vegas (where we moved from) you rarely see fireplaces/mantles so I have really loved decorating this for each season! Plus, it's really the first thing people see when they walk in so I want it to always look nice and festive! My sister painted the horse portrait for me and I painted the frame turquoise. I crackle painted the mirror (used to be some weird ugly print) and that is a permanent fixture on the mantle. The topiary I decided to make myself because they are ridiculously priced (in my opinion) and easy to make. And the frame with the kids picture I painted with chalkboard paint so I can change up the pattern if I choose. 

Creating a Beautiful Life on Less Home Tour with Holly

To the right is the section we use for our dining room. This gorgeous table originally belonged to my husband's sister and, through a long story I won't bore you with, has ended up at our house! When it first arrived here, it had a big spot where nail polish remover had spilled on it. So I sanded it down and re-stained it. The bench is great for squishing lots of kids on!

Creating a Beautiful Life on Less Home Tour with Holly

This piano area was one of the first areas I focused on when we moved in. I had a sit-down with the kiddos and they helped me come up with the rules for our house (I may have helped them a bit, they came up with some interesting ones!). I cut up another pallet and used stencils to paint the letters on. I then distressed it with a palm sander and sealed it with the orange oil sealer again. The piano I painted with homemade chalk paint using baking soda. The hubs told me it looked like it might glow in the dark before I put the antiquing glaze on! Haha... I decorated the black keys with patterned washi tape. It's so much funner to play a colorful piano! Trust me!

Creating a Beautiful Life on Less Home Tour with Holly

This is my boys room. Pretty simple right now. My oldest tells me I care about decorating and organizing because I'm a girl and boys don't care about that stuff. So, there ya go. The bunk bed we got for free and it was pretty beat up looking with stickers on it! But I lightly sanded it and used homemade chalk paint again. I love how the dark wood shows through after I distressed it! The boys also have a roommate named Spikey. He is a young sulcata tortoise that will move to the yard once he outgrows his tank. 

Creating a Beautiful Life on Less Home Tour with Holly

This is my oldest daughter's room that she will share with her sister once the baby is sleeping better. I taped off the chevron pattern when we first moved in. I love this wall! And it only took a quart of paint with some left over since it is basically half a wall. Also, if you have textured/orange peel walls like us, I learned a helpful tip! To get a straight line, smear caulking over the tape edges before painting and you will get super clean edges!

Creating a Beautiful Life on Less Home Tour with Holly

Creating a Beautiful Life on Less Home Tour with Holly

This is our master bedroom that we share with our little princess for now! I made the headboard out of an old door I bought at a yard sale. I painted it and added table legs bought from Home Depot. It is for sure one of my favorite yard sale finds! I love having homemade things in our room that mean something to us. The frame on my husbands nightstand was the first Father's Day gift our oldest gave him. The painting on the upper left was painted by a friend as a wedding present. The pot on the shelf was made by my husband's oldest sister and the candle next to it given to us by my dad. And my hubby's tie organizer was another Father's Day present from the kids a couple years ago.


Creating a Beautiful Life on Less Home Tour with Holly

Before heading outside, here is a peek at our basement. Not much decorating has happened down here yet, but the kids love to play down here. And I love it too because it doesn't mess up our main living area! When we were putting an offer on our house, we asked if they would leave the table tennis and the projector down here. My husband did NOT want to ask this, he thought I was being a little crazy! But they said YES! So those were things we did not have to buy and made it easy on the wallet to fill these rooms with fun things for the kids (and us).
Creating a Beautiful Life on Less Home Tour with Holly

And now, if you're not sick of reading my ramblings, we will take you outside! Here you will meet our furry friends, Patrick and Carmel, the horses, Chex, the pony, and Bacon, the pig! This structure is typically called a "mare motel" (although all our animals are boys). It was put in by my husband and brother when we first moved in. We got the roofing tin for cheap from a neighbor! Thank goodness for my handy husband, huh?

Creating a Beautiful Life on Less Home Tour with Holly
This is our chicken coop (and 3 of our little chicks posing in front of it). I again will brag about my talented hubby because he built the hen house out of scrap wood we already had lying around without using any plans or anything! So, it cost us very little to make. And our chickens we raised from babies, at which time they only cost us $0.99 each. Chickens will eat pretty much anything, so we give them leftovers, yard clippings and they scratch around for bugs! And we are now using a neighbors incubator to hatch our own new batch of chicks as our flock has dwindled down due to various conditions.

Creating a Beautiful Life on Less Home Tour with Holly

This is our most recent DIY project. We finally have our splash pad up and running! Living in the hot desert, it is a necessity to have water to play in during the summer if you want to experience the outdoors! This project was the biggest undertaking we have done together, but it has come together so well! And we saved a TON of money doing it ourselves. This is an unfinished picture because we still have to install the slide we got for this area and stain and seal the concrete. But we are greatly enjoying this new addition in our backyard!

Creating a Beautiful Life on Less Home Tour with Holly
 Lastly, here is all the various seating we have put in our backyard. The wicker chairs I painted and reupholstered a few years ago. The pallet sectional is the newest addition. Let me tell you, it was so easy to make! After the hubs used his circular saw to cut them in half for me, I went to the hardware store for some L-brackets and went to town! My sister helped me by sanding it down. I was going to sew the cushions myself, but after finding a sweet sale at World Market plus a coupon I had, it ended up being cheaper to buy them (no complaints here!). And my wonderful brother put in this awesome fire pit for us! Hooray for s'mores and dutch oven dinners!

I hope you enjoyed touring our home!

-Holly 


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Isn't her home too cute?!
I love all the fun little touches throughout Holly's home. 
My favorite is the mantle....Oh and the pallet seating outside. I heart it!
Keep up with Holly on Pinterest!


If you have a home to share shoot me an email:
blissful_and_domestic@yahoo.com or contact me via Facebook.

Find more tours HERE
Have a fantastic day lovelies!
XO Danielle

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How Freshly Frozen Foods Will Keep Your Family Out of The Drive-Thru

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of American Frozen Foods Institute and the Frozen Food Roundtable. All opinions are 100% mine.

Frozen: How Fresh Stays Fresh

Good morning Lovelies! I am super excited for today's post. It is one that I have had in the works for a bit. The idea for this post happened after I received numerous emails from readers asking how you could save your family money, when cooking, time, and you being in the kitchen didn't always go together. We are busy ladies and gents, who want to do right by our family...especially those little nuggets we call children. We all want to serve our family the best meal possible and hopefully keep ourselves within our budgets as we do so. I am just like you. I want to do the exact same thing.

Your emails got me thinking...and I thought a lot about how I still save, serve my family yummy meals, and keep my family out of the drive thru when days get hectic. I knew I had to share my tips and tricks for just that.

I know that not everyone has a love for cooking. For some us, being in a hot kitchen is the last place you want to find yourself at the end of the day. I get it. Seriously I do. I know that my "instagram life" may show perfectly made pizzas and rolls, but I am like any other busy Mom...sometimes days get busy and I am not able to make a complete meal from scratch. When this happens I always have some backups to keep myself and my family out of the drive-thru.
Having backups are key to saving your family money. Life happens and sometimes our best thought out plans go awry. Having a few saving graces in your freezer will help you stay within budget and again not succumb to the golden arches. 

fresh vs frozen -Freezing naturally pauses delicious recipes made with fresh, quality ingredients and suspends them there until the moment you’re ready to enjoy them, locking in freshness, flavor and nutrients. Whether we make our frozen meals from scratch or we purchase them from the store, we can all stock our freezers with goodies that will help make our lives a bit easier.

Frozen: How Fresh Stays Fresh

There are so many benefits of frozen foods. Freezing is simply nature’s pause button, nothing more, nothing less. Having foods Frozen. How Fresh Stays Fresh. Freezing is a natural way to lock in the freshness and nutrition of your favorite foods. People’s tastes may vary, but we can all agree that fresh is fantastic. We will all have our favorite saving graces stocked in our freezers. 
Today I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you. These are my go to when the day gets away from me....you know when life happens and the children run a muck and you need to fill tummies fast. We've all been there right?

Some of our favorite go to frozen meals are in these pictures. Some days, especially lately as I log in late night hours on this blog and book, I tend to hit the snooze button a few more times then usual. When this happens I wake up to hungry red heads, who need breakfast before we start our morning of lessons (FYI we homeschool year round). When I this happens, and I am out of homemade frozen pancakes, I turn to Toaster Strudel and Eggo Waffles. These are such a treat for my kiddos. They love being able to make these themselves and this Momma loves getting a yummy breakfast made by little hands as well. We love to top ours with fresh strawberries and homemade syrup :) I buy these when they are on sale and I can combine a coupon. When I am able to do that, the savings make it a no brainer.

Another one we love are the Stouffer's French Bread Pizza. When the night has snuck up on you fast and you need a meal in a flash, try out these pizzas. They are under $4 a box and are ready in under 10 minutes. You can have a yummy, quick meal ready for your family quicker then it takes to drive down to get fast food. Plus it taste so much better! I love to pair this one with a fresh salad or cooked vegetables. Super simple, but oh so yummy!

Frozen: How Fresh Stays Fresh

We also love Morning Star products. These are perfect for when you want to go meatless. My littles will gobble up the Spicy Black Bean Veggie Burgers. They haven't figured out it isn't real meat yet. Two points for Mom. Woot Woot! We serve them with fresh veggies or fruit salad and some Ore-Ida Steak Fries. Sprinkle with some Lawrys Seasoning Salt before baking, and you have restaurant quality fries for a fraction of the cost!

Oh and don't think I forgot about dessert. I am a baker at heart and love to whip things up in my kitchen, but in the summer I can't bare to turn that oven on. That's when I turn to ice box treats, like Edward's Chocolate Cream Pie. Oh my heck ladies! This is ridiculously good..it is heavenly. I love the singles, since it offers this momma portion control. If not, I'd be eating the whole dang thing! haha!

So give yourself a little bit of slack and stock your freezer with a few frozen goodies, to help keep your family fed. Many Frozen food companies are creating quality meals, without preservatives....foods that are frozen quickly for optimum freshness. They are easy to prep, so anybody can make these for their families, stay within budget, and create a healthy meal. Find these on sale, combine coupons, and save!

So whether you are a "from scratch cook" or a momma who needs a bit more help, you can do it! I know you can!

What are your go to frozen foods when the day gets tough?

XO Danielle

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Getting The Look For Less: Makeup Dupes

Getting the Look for Less: Makeup Dupes on Blissful and Domestic

This is a guest post by Catlyn Hoepner

One of my biggest areas where I struggle to save money is makeup. I see so many commercials, ads, and reviews for the most amazing looking products..that also cost about a weeks worth of groceries. Thank goodness that drugstore products have evolved over the years to rival those more expensive beauty goodies. Here are some items that are pretty similar to their pricey counterparts. Try a few out at your local drugstore and see if you aren't sold!

NAKED2 Eyeshadow vs. Hard Candy NUDE Palette
Getting the Look for Less: Makeup Dupes on Blissful and DomesticGetting the Look for Less: Makeup Dupes on Blissful and Domestic

This is the one beauty item I have almost spent too much money on. The shades are just so gorgeous! I found this Physicians Formula palette and completely forgot about NAKED2. The shades are comparable and this is sooo long-lasting. This NUDE palette will cost you about $10.

Benefit "They're Real" Mascara vs. L'oreal Lash Extension Mascara
Getting the Look for Less: Makeup Dupes on Blissful and DomesticGetting the Look for Less: Makeup Dupes on Blissful and Domestic

The thing that makes L'Oreal a dupe to Benefit is the two step process for doing your lashes. L'Oreal offers a primer with this mascara that creates"tubes" on your lashes. Layering the colored mascara over the tubes is what gives you the same falsie look that Benefit does. I always get asked if I am wearing false lashes when I wear this. This mascara was $10 at my drugstore.

Makeup Forever HD Blush vs. E.L.F HD Blush
Getting the Look for Less: Makeup Dupes on Blissful and DomesticGetting the Look for Less: Makeup Dupes on Blissful and Domestic

If your looking for a long lasting, strongly pigmented blush..this is it. Look at how close these shades are to each other! E.L.F's blush is only $3 to top it all off. A little goes a long ways, so that $3 is of a great value to you!

Beauty Blender vs. Real Techniques Sponge
Getting the Look for Less: Makeup Dupes on Blissful and Domestic Getting the Look for Less: Makeup Dupes on Blissful and Domestic

The Beauty Blender is one of the most talked about makeup application tools in awhile. I recently purchased the Real Techniques sponge from Walgreens for $6 and I LOVE it. I see no difference in the two products,except that the cheaper option has more angles. Which in the end is better for me anyways.

Benefits Sun Beam Highlighter vs. E.L.F Facial Whip
Getting the Look for Less: Makeup Dupes on Blissful and DomesticGetting the Look for Less: Makeup Dupes on Blissful and Domestic

I received a sample of Benefits Sun Beam Highlighter awhile ago, and ever since I've been trying to find a dupe. E.L.F $3 find to the rescue once again! This shimmer stick has the same glow as my high end favorite.

Urban Decay Eyeliner vs. Maybelline Eyeliner
Getting the Look for Less: Makeup Dupes on Blissful and DomesticGetting the Look for Less: Makeup Dupes on Blissful and Domestic

Urban Decay's Eyeliner has been raved about for so long in the beauty eworld. Reviewers have said how long it stays on, how pretty the color is, etc. Urban Decay may have met its match in Maybelline. This eyeliner is the perfect combination of smudge and precision, has gorgeous pigmentation, and lasts all day. At just $7, it is a steal.

Smashbox Photo Primer vs. N.Y.C Primer
Getting the Look for Less: Makeup Dupes on Blissful and DomesticGetting the Look for Less: Makeup Dupes on Blissful and Domestic

Whether makeup primer is a must have is still pretty debatable, but I personally find that it makes my makeup stay much longer. Perfect for those hot summer days. The primer from Smashbox is a popular product on the high end side. I use NYC's Smooth Skin primer and have found that it keeps my skin matte all day. At $3 it's worth experimenting with.

Urban Decay Potion Primer vs. Maybelline Color Tattoo
Getting the Look for Less: Makeup Dupes on Blissful and DomesticGetting the Look for Less: Makeup Dupes on Blissful and Domestic
This primer from Urban Decay is especially for eye shadow. It helps it to go on smoothly and stay on. It has a light shimmery color that really adds to any eye look. This dupe is probably a little unheard of..but I use Maybelline's Color Tattoo eye shadow in "Barely Branded" as my primer. The color is a very light shimmery nude that will help your eye shadow to stay in place! This was about $5 at my drugstore.

Kat Von D Tattoo Concealer vs. Hard Candy Glamoflauge
Getting the Look for Less: Makeup Dupes on Blissful and DomesticGetting the Look for Less: Makeup Dupes on Blissful and Domestic

The Kat Von D Tattoo Concealer comes with some pretty big claims.. Obviously, if it says it can cover tattoos! This is another product I almost forgot my thriftiness for. Almost. Then, I saw this concealer from Hard Candy for $6 and had to get it. This has become one of my all time favorite concealers. You use the teeniest dab to cover ANYTHING.

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure vs. Wet N'Wild 
Getting the Look for Less: Makeup Dupes on Blissful and DomesticGetting the Look for Less: Makeup Dupes on Blissful and Domestic

Megalast Nail polish is an area where I want high quality with low prices. I honestly don't like paying more than $3 a bottle. I broke down and bought the Sally Hansen product on the left and loved it. But regretted the price tag. I tried the Wet N' Wild Polish on the right on a whim and was hooked. The brush is big, the colors are strong, and my nails are chip free. At just under $2 it's a total score.

These dupes can be found at any mass retailer (such as Wal-mart or Target) or drugstore. Prices vary from region to region, but the savings will still be worthwhile! See if you can't replace an expensive standby with one of these products!

 -Cate

I'm Cate! I am a Wife to Nathon and a new Mommy to Micaiah. I blog over at www.thefabulesswife.com, where you can find inspiration to live a fabulous life frugally! I hope you enjoyed reading about my favorite inexpensive beauty dupes!

Have a great day!

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Thank you so much Catlyn for your awesome tips! I know so many will be able to save more on their makeup now, knowing all the little tips and tricks you shared. Don't forget to check out Catlyn on her blog, here!
XO Danielle
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