Knife Block Redo

I haven’t had much time lately to tackle the big DIY projects at my house. I have furniture, pallets, burlap, paint and all kinds of other goodies in our garage just waiting to become some wonderful DIY creation. I keep reminding my hubby that I DO have a plan for that pallet and those scraps of wood - and that huge old junky looking window I convinced him I needed.

I’ve finally accepted the fact that I just don’t have time for those big projects right now. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still keeping all those amazing supplies. I just have to be more realistic with my DIY projects at the moment. So this week, instead of stressing about finishing of my big furniture projects, I decided to check some smaller, more realistic projects off the list.

After initially seeing this idea on Pinterest and a host of other blogs, I decided to redo my knife block. It’s one of those boring wood knife blocks that wasn’t really much to look at. I wanted that functional block to become a fun pop of color my kitchen desperately needed.

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An Inspiring Home

An inspiring environment breeds creativity.  I realized this for the first time fresh out of high school when I decided to redo my bedroom.  Picking out paint colors, carpet textures, a bed set and some new furniture was so exciting.  Once the room came together I felt so cozy and motivated to create.  I started to draw more, I started to get into crafting more - my life just felt more organized and productive.  Ever since then, it’s been my goal to curate an inspiring space wherever I live.

We made these shelves from apple crates that we ironed with vintage logos and stained to finish!

My tastes definitely drift and change at times, but I’d say my overall style is clean, bright, rustic, vintage and natural.  I love the rough textures and warm tones of reclaimed wood paired with whitewashed walls and brightly painted pottery.  I love chipped and worn wrought iron chairs with a ruffled floral vintage apron draped over the back.  I love quirky little gadgets like misfit toys that have found a home on my shelf.

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Hearty & Healthy Chili

There’s nothing better than a big bowl of chili and some corn bread.  A few weeks ago I started having chili cravings, so I vowed to find a really great recipe and get crackin.  I hadn’t found a good one yet when we were invited to dinner at our friends’ house - and guess what?  They made chili!  It was an old recipe from a close family friend and it made its way home with me.

When I was making the chili grocery list, I decided I was going to try reducing the fat and salt to make it a tad more heart healthy without losing any of that amazing original flavor.  I substituted ground turkey and ground chicken for 2/3 of the ground beef, sprung for low sodium diced tomatoes and sauce, and drained the beans.  The chili turned out AMAZING.  It didn’t have as much kick straight out of the pot, but the next day after the meats had absorbed all the flavors and spices, it was to die for!

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Vanilla Spice Applesauce

We went apple picking yesterday!  This is one of my favorite fall traditions.  Dave and I have been going apple picking once a year since we got married, so this is our third year.  It’s really exciting to be settling into a yearly tradition in my still fairly new family.

Orchards in fall are some of the prettiest places you can visit.  The beautiful rows of trees ripe with juicy apples, the families all bundled up and roaming the grassy lanes, the kettle corn and apple cider stands with lines of kids waiting to taste all the yummy fall-time treats - it’s definitely something you don’t want to miss.

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Fall Baking & The Perfect Brownie

By the time mid-August hits, I’m officially in fall mode. I love summer, but there’s something about fall that just inspires me. The fashion, the new candle scents from Bath & Body Works, the planning of our annual apple-picking trip, and last but not least, the baking.

The fall-time baking itch hit pretty hard the last few weeks, so I dove into my cookbooks, Food Network magazines and favorite baking blogs in search of the perfect dessert to kick off my favorite season. It wasn’t long before I found a recipe from Ina (in the latest FN magazine) for brownies! It originally called for a caramel drizzle and a sprinkle of sea salt, but I decided to skip the toppings in honor of my chocolate obsession.

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