Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Woodland Tree

The other night, I caught a glimpse of our beautiful woodland tree....

At the beginning of the season, I realized I was a bit tired of the woodland tree theme (you can see last year's version here), but I've collected so many ornaments throughout the years that there is just no going back.  In fact, I wasn't  planning on putting up our big tree this year, but my youngest just wouldn't budge, and she got out the 6' tree and put it up herself! Don't tell her, but now I'm glad she did, because it did turn out beautifully!
Now that the decorating is officially done, I'm off to start holiday baking and cooking, but before I go I just want to wish all of you and your families a happy holiday!  Merry Christmas !

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Christmas Kitchen

Christmas decorating is finally wrapping up here at Love and Life at Leadora.  Yesterday, I finished making a little Christmas banner to hang across the kitchen window....

The table is set...
And even the Welsh Terrier of the house is ready!


Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Christmas Dining Room

I am excited to share with you the dining room at Love and Life at Leadora!  Once again, I brought out all my pink and white china.  It's not necessarily "Christmasy", but I was lazy, and I didn't feel like hauling in the Spode!  I tried to make it work by putting teacups on the tree and using the piles of china as presents!
Once again, I filled my wooden box centerpiece with china, greenery, and a little burlap bow....
And, as always, the corner cabinet is decorated with more pink and white china along with my collection of silvers bells..... 
The dining room is done, so now it's time to move on to the rest of the house!  Hope that you are having a wonderful time decorating too!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Roller Shade 102

Well, I thought after having you stare at the last roller shade for the past four months, it was about time I replaced it with one I made for the holidays!  So sorry, I took a blog vacation which turned into more than a quick getaway.  Special thanks to my friends, Martha and Kim P., for pestering me to return with a new blog post.  Also, thanks to all of you who checked on me to make sure everything was okay.   Everyone here at Love and Life at Leadora is doing just fine.  I am looking forward to reading everyone else's blogs, and I hope to return to the land of blogging soon!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Roller Shades 101

The new kitchen is coming along.  I hadn't planned on making any window treatments, but the afternoon sun has been streaming through the back door, making it quite difficult to eat dinner at the kitchen table.  I wanted to make something fast and easy, and these roller shades are just that.  You can find the tutorial

Now when I say fast, I mean fast!  This roller shade took about a half hour to make, and most of my time was spent making sure I cut the fabric straight.  The best thing is if I get tired of this one, I can find new fabric and whip up another! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

An Old, But New Dining Room Table

Several months ago, I inherited this lovely dining room table from my grandmother.  I was fortunate enough to grow up next door to my grandparents, and I remember eating many family dinners at this table.  Over the years, the table had some wear and tear, so after it moved to my home, I gave it a pretty coat of paint.  I wish I had some before photos to show you, but unfortunately because of an upcoming  social occasion, I had to dress this gal up quick!  In addition, I reupholstered the seat cushions with a white and black check.

My mother told me that I had to take a close up of the centerpiece I made for my old, but new dining room table.  Since I always do what my mother says, here goes...

I did what so many bloggers are doing these days..."shopping" at home.  You've seen all of these items at one time or the other on this blog.  It's quite fun to reuse things in a new way!  Have you been "shopping" around your house lately?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A New Kitchen Backsplash!

Tom, our tile guy, literally finished our kitchen backsplash moments ago!  I was so excited to share the new tile with all of you, that I immediately grabbed the camera!....

And here's another shot....

I was originally going to put a piece of stainless steel behind the stove, but now I am so glad I didn't.  Although I love stainless, I think it would have broken up that space too much.   Hope you like it!  Stay comes the floor!! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Would you like succulents with your turkey?

I've fallen in love with succulents.  I have been especially inspired by the succulent arrangements my very talented mother from la vie quotidienne has created.  Look at this beautiful succulent arrangement she made....

  I have this little funky cabinet in my kitchen which I store canned goods.  I needed to primp it up a bit, and I immediately thought "succulents"!   Lucky for me, I have a free source for succulents (thank you, my dear mumsie!), so all I needed now was a container.  I told the kids, "I'm off to the GoodWill!". 

It happen to be  50% off day for red tags, so I only spent $1.50 on this gravy boat.  Here it sits prettily filled with succulents in my little funky kitchen cabinet...

For those of you wondering what's happening with the kitchen remodel, all I can say is that it's been a very long process!  MacGyver husband has done a lot, but we still need to install the tile backsplash and new floor.  I am hoping by the end of summer, we'll be done.  But in the meantime, here's a sneak peek!....

Friday, June 8, 2012

Hello!  I am sorry for my long absence.  I really have no excuse, other than I just lost my blogging mojo.  As you may have guessed by looking at the photo above,  I recently hosted bunco!  When my bunco friend Patti came, she told me I had to take a  photo of this cake.  So, in honor of Patti, I am sharing my Bunco flag cake with you! 

This is a fantastic chocolate cake recipe, and leftovers freeze wonderfully.    After Bunco, I sliced up the rest and put it in the freezer.  Several days later, my mother wanted to know where her piece of cake was, and so I defrosted some, and  I have to say it was quite delicious!  You can find the recipe here.  Enjoy!  Warning, you may have to run a few extra laps after eating, but extra exercise is truly worth it for a piece of this! 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

House Numbers

Well, hello!  It seems like forever since I've posted!  I'd like to say that I've been doing all sorts of wonderful, exciting things, but the truth is, everyday life at Love and Life at Leadora just got in the way!  Anyway, I did manage to come up with a new way to display our house numbers. 

This was a super easy project which only required a trip to the BadWon't (aka GoodWill) and a visit to the blog, Jones Design Company.   First, I found the frame for $3.99 at the BadWon't.   After  popping out the glass, I glued black cardstock on the cardboard backing that came with the 8x 10 frame.  Next, I  transferred the numbers from Jones Design Company onto the black cardstock and then colored them in with my chalkboard paint pen.  Finally, I hung the frame with wide white ribbon purchased at Joann's with a 40% off coupon.    In the end, my house numbers cost less than $10.  This is my kind of and cheap!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spring Placemats

Well, my kids have started calling me "that crazy placemat lady".  Yes, I  made more placemats

During a trip to JoAnn's, I saw this gray and yellow cotton fabric.  As many of you know, gray is one of my favorite colors, and the yellow shapes reminded me of daffodils.  I thought to myself, "What can I make with this?".  Well, placemats, of course!

 Now I just couldn't show you a bare placemat without a little special treat, and a piece of glazed lemon cake looks fabulous on it!  But then, I realized a cup of my favorite iced coffee would be delicious too...

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to eat!..
followed by a trip on the treadmill!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Peat Pots

It's the day before Easter, and candy filled peat pots are waiting to decorate the Easter table here at Love and Life at Leadora...

You can see last year's Easter peat pots here.  I enjoy making these because they are easy and inexpensive.  I've even made decorated peat pots for Halloween bunco favors.

I am hoping all my little peat pots will look even prettier sitting next to a plate of Easter ham!

Have a wonderful Easter!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Blackberry Cobbler

Yesterday, while shopping at the market,  I came across these beautiful blackberries.  They yelled at me, "Make us into a cobbler!", and so I did!

Fruit cobblers are so very easy to make!  If you're like me, you probably want an official recipe, which you can find here.

Now, for the rest of you, get a stick of butter and melt it in a 8x8 pyrex dish.  I use the microwave to melt the butter in the pyrex dish.  While that's going, mix 1 cup of all purpose flour, 1 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder and 2/3 cup of milk.

Now, it's very important that after you take that pyrex dish of wonderful, melted butter out of the microwave, you simply plop on the batter.  Do not mix.  Do not stir.  Plop that batter onto the melted butter, and then throw those beautiful berries on top.

Bake this delicious goodness at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool slightly, and then top with a scoop of vanilla icecream....mmmm

Oh, and here's a little baker's those corners of the pan for you.  That's where all the butter is at, and after baking it turns into a delicious, buttery, and chewy treat!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring Decorating

Spring has sprung here at Love and Life at Leadora.  I realized yesterday that I'd better get decorating, because if I didn't finish soon, the Easter bunny was going to come and go!  Anyway, it wouldn't be a holiday without my corner cabinet being decorated, so that's where I started...

And then, of course, I had to put out my Costco Mr. and Mrs. Bunny....

Finally, I finished with a spring quote on the chalkboard...

The one good thing about waiting so late to decorate is that I won't get too tired of the decorations.  Plus, they won't get dusty either!  What about you?  Are you decorating for spring or will the  Easter bunny be skipping your house? 

Dear Lillie's Easter Link Party

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

15 Ways to Tie a Scarf

If you've been reading this little blog for awhile, you know by now that I enjoy baking, decorating, and crafting.  I bet that you didn't now that I love wearing scarves!

Wearing a scarf makes dressing so much easier.   A scarf, cardigan, t shirt and jeans is my go to outfit. I always feel put together when I wrap that scarf around.  In fact, a scarf is kind of like a cherry on top of a sundae!

One of the best things about scarves is that you can tie them all different ways.  Not sure how to tie a scarf?  Check out this great this great website, 15 Chic and Creative Ways to Tie Scarves

What's your favorite way to wear a scarf?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Chalkboard Art

I remember when I first started reading blogs, chalkboards were all the rage.  MacGyver husband made me several, and I still love them (and him!).   Recently, I came across a true chalkboard artist, Dana Tanamachi.  Check out this great video!

I never like the way my own writing looks on chalkboards.  I think this falls in the same category as you never like your own hair either!   Anyway, Dana Tanamachi inspired me to try once again...

This chalkboard hangs in my dining room at Love and Life at Leadora.  I chose to write an Irish proverb for March.   The best part of all this?  When it starts to bug me, I can just erase it!  Now go write something whimsical on your chalkboard!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Placemats and Kitchen Towels

Well, I finally finished that set of placemats for dinner.  I made the mistake of adding ruffles, which took forever!...

I needed a little bridal shower gift, and I used some of my placemat scraps to make these...

Want to make some of your own?  Find the tutorial at  Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss.  These cake towels are fun to make and awfully cute, don't you think?

Here they are all wrapped up and ready to go in a red casserole dish along with some red measuring spoons.  In case you're wondering, we were supposed to choose our gift according to one of our favorite sayings about marriage....I sure hope the bride-to-be enjoys this!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Another Stencil Project

Welcome!  Don't worry, my Airedale, Simba, won't bite!  He just wants to show off the front door window that I  just stenciled.   Here's another look at the window...

I saw this stenciling idea in blogland awhile ago, but, unfortunately, I don't remember where.  Anyway, I used my bedroom stencil, some white acrylic paint and a sponge stencil brush.  This was a super easy project.  The acrylic paint is quite forgiving and can be easily wiped away in case you make a mistake!  I was hoping for more privacy, but I will be hanging a shade on the inside to pull down when it gets dark.  Perhaps you have a window to stencil?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Valentine Banner

One day, while hopping around Pinterest, I found the cutest banner here.  So, I was inspired to make this...

To hang on my Valentine's Day corner cabinet...