Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Halloween Bath and Body Works....

When I saw fellow stamper Erica Cerwin's Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel's from Bath and Body Works, I fell in love and knew I had to try it out for myself! How darn cute are these?

I simply followed her instructions and whipped one up last night in less than an hour. I still have a few more to make so stay tuned because you are bound to see those too!

Have a fabulous day!

PS - I'm linking to Scraps and Scribbles Halloween Spectacular....check it out today!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Making Your Home a Haven Fall 2010.....

I'm so excited! If you've been around this summer, you know that I participated in Courtney's Summer Marriage Challenge at Women Living Well. I'm happy to report that she's doing another one! This time it's called Making Your Home a Haven. How can you not join?!

Have a good Monday!

PS - Are you a regular reader who hasn't become a follower of Kaufman's Cottage yet? I have a special giveaway planned for when I reach 50 and I'd love it if you'd sign up today!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Guest Post: Where Beauty Meets Function!

Hi! My name is Erin and I write a blog called Where Beauty Meets Function. Melissa asked me to do a guest post last week and I gladly accepted!! And suggested we do a blog SWAP instead! So, Melissa is over on my blog today and I couldn’t be happier! :)

Besides the fact that we seem to love decorating with similar colors and have a similar decorating style and that she is super friendly and has an awesome blog…we both live in and love our small homes!

I started my blog to connect with other small home dwellers and help provide solutions and encouragement to others who live in small dwellings.

This is my home…all 950 square feet of it. :)

It was built in the 1980’s and was a foreclosure when I bought it last year. I’ve done a lot of work already to the outside, like replacing the windows and front door, replacing white rocks with mulch, actually fertilizing and taking care of the yard. ;)

Why a small home ?

Well, for starters, I have always been most comfortable in a smaller home. When I used to dream about owning my home, I dreamt small. I love to look at and tour model homes, but I always fall in love the ‘little’ one. I think it’s the coziness factor.

Sure, we don’t have much privacy since everything is pretty close quarters. But I have to be honest…I don’t want my child hiding out in parts of the house I can’t hear. Yes, even when she’s 16! Wait…ESPECIALLY when she’s 16!! LOL!

But seriously, families should be together! Parents should know what their children are doing at all times! How can we feel connected or spend time together if she’s on the second floor in her bedroom and I’m in the basement watching TV? How can I get to know her friends if they hide out in her bedroom far from the living spaces? We can’t! So, the fact that we only have ONE gathering room is a bonus in my opinion. It forces closeness!

But the most important reason I chose to purchase a small home is the financial benefit!!!

I’m a single mom. So, obviously I am a one income household...and a relatively small one at that. LOL! So, up front cost was important to me. I live in Indianapolis, where we are lucky enough to not have the over inflated home prices that hit so much of the country, so that really helps with my mortgage.

But something a lot of people don’t consider when they purchase a house is the cost of upkeep. That’s another HUGE advantage of living in a small home!! For instance, my coworker paid 5 times what I did for new windows in his house…and his price didn’t include labor…mine did! I plan to put bamboo floors in my main living areas next spring…would you rather pay to install them in my home or my coworkers 3500 square feet home? That’s what I thought. ;)

And then there are the utilities! Let’s not forget it costs a lot less to heat and cool 950 square feet than a larger home. (And the added benefit to the environment as well!)

You’ll save money by not buying as much stuff too, because you can only fit so much in a small house.

And it costs less to furnish one living room…than it would a formal living room, family room, AND bonus room/basement (which are all equivalent to a living room in my opinion). Here is the hub of my house...command central!

We watch movies, do crafts, visit with friends and neighbors, have sleepovers and eat popcorn, do homework, read…you name it, we do it in this room! And it functions for all of those things just fine.

My master bedroom…well, I can’t even consider having more than two nightstands and ONE dresser! No money need be spent on fancy bedroom suites and chairs to fill the ‘sitting room’ portion of my bedroom…’cause there isn’t one! :)

(Yes, I know I REALLY need a headboard…I’m working on it)

Sure, it can be inconvenient to share one tiny bathroom , I won’t lie.

But you know what IS convenient……

Having TIME!

My small home frees up time I would be spending cleaning!! I can clean the whole house in an hour! My small home frees up time spent on maintenance…because there’s a lot less to maintain! Frees up time and money I would spend decorating all those extra rooms I wouldn’t be using anyway!! While I love the financial benefits of a small home…I love the time if allows me to spend with my daughter !

Now, don’t get me wrong…there are definitely challenges to living in a small home. One I already mentioned, there’s not much privacy. We aren’t private people, so it’s fine for us most of the time. But occasionally you just want to get away from it all…and going outside is about the only option in a small house…or putting on headphones.

You have to be organized because just a couple of things out of place can make a small home feel like a disaster. You don’t have the luxury of spreading out your stuff.

You have to be more selective about what you keep and bring into your home. The analogy I used recently to make this point is…it’s like trying to stuff my size 16 rear end into size 8 jeans! If by some cosmic power I actually did get into them, they would be bursting at the seams! It wouldn’t be pretty, I wouldn’t be able to breath, and I’d be downright grouchy!! It’s the same way in a small home! Even if by chance you make it all fit, it won’t be pretty or comfortable. So, it’s essential to keep your stuff pared down and organized.

Obviously, I’m passionate about small homes. :) But want to know what else I’m passionate about?

CRAFTS!! Especially CHEAP crafts!!! :)

My favorite craft store is, are you ready for this…the Dollar Tree! Yep! Why? Well, I’m cheap for one. And if it turns out bad…I didn’t waste much money. Plus, I just like the challenge of making something ugly, beautiful! Here are few of my Dollar Tree projects:

I turned these…

Into this:

And, this Dollar Tree frame from ugly to beautiful:

Gift Bags into Art Work:

And cheap-o flowers into a topiary:

And that’s about it! I love small homes, the challenges and joy living large in a small home brings and most things crafty!!

Thank you for letting me be a part of your day and thank you Melissa for letting me be a part of Kaufman’s Cottage today!! :)

Until next time…

Monday, September 20, 2010

Where I Create....

Good Monday morning!

I spent some time this weekend taking some never seen before shots of our house for an upcoming guest post I'm doing and thought I'd give you a sneak peek today.

As I'm sure you already know, most of the colors in my home tend to be on the earthy side. I love the way chocolate brown looks with cranberry red and it doesn't matter what time of year it is! But it's in the studio that I let my love for pink shine!

Here is the before photo....

And here is the after.....

I love it! I'm constantly on the look out for more pink, black and white stuff for my side of the room. Although truth be told, if I had opened the doors to our desk you would have noticed that some of it is starting to creep over into that area as well! Hey, a girl can't help it if she prefers everything to match!

I hope you have a good day and that you return on Wednesday for the guest post from a very talented blogging friend!

PS - Congratulations to Barbie Swihart for winning the card and gift card from the Being Refined As Silver Giveaway!

Friday, September 17, 2010

My Favorite Fall Things....

Hi everyone!

In celebration of the changing weather, I thought I'd list some of my favorite things for this time of year....
1. Creamy Pumpkin products from Bath and Body still my heart! I want it all!

2. Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks

3. Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer from CoffeeMate

4. The Autumn in the Country Cookbook from Gooseberry Patch. I will be making several things from the cookbook over the next month or so and will be sure to share them here.....

5. Cooler weather....enough said!

6. Anticipation of Holiday Bazaars

7. Soups.....anyone have a fantastic recipe they'd like to share?

That's enough for now. What are your favorite Fall things?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


When was the last time you took a risk?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Being Refined As Silver Blogiversary....

Good morning everyone!

There's a celebration going on over at Being Refined As Silver and you are invited!

I created the gift card holder above and have a $5.00 Starbucks gift card inside just waiting to be sent to you. What do you have to do to enter?

1. Head over to Being Refined As Silver.

2. Sign up to be a follower of Theresa's blog.

3. Leave a comment there telling everyone what you would get with your gift card.

4. Leave a comment here letting me know that you've stopped by!

And that's it! Congratulations on your 1 year Blogiversary Theresa....I wish you many, many more!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mom's Birthday Card...

I am SO ready for the weekend. While I have a lot of creating to do, I hope to get a good night's sleep instead of the awful ones I've had this week!

We celebrated my mom's birthday last night and this is the card I made....her favorite colors are purple and red so how could I go wrong with Rich Razzleberry? :) I suspect it would be just as lovely in red though. Perhaps I'll try that too!

Before I go, I wanted to mention that I have a giveaway planned for when I reach 50 followers. It's a pretty good one if I do say so myself so if you are a lurker, I ask that you come out of the shadows! Sign up to be a follower today!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Autumn Blessings.....

Ah....the changing of seasons is definitely upon us!

I'm hoping to get the rest of my Autumn/Fall decor out some time this week but even if I don't, I smile every time I walk passed this little blessings sign. I love how it blends nicely with my existing decor and even more importantly how it reminds me of all that I've been blessed with. Have you stopped and looked around at your home lately? Really truly looked? We are SO blessed!

And in celebration of the season, I happily made a darker toned birthday card for my father in law's birthday. I hope you don't mind celebrating this particular season with me because there's a lot more to come!

Have a good day!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Latte.....

Image from Starbucks....

Welcome back my sweet friend....I have missed you!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Autumn Spice....

I promise that I haven't dropped off the face of the's just been a really busy time for us!

Today is Stamp Club day and I made a project using the brand new Autumn Spice Designer Paper. It is beautiful! And because it's one of the specialty papers from Stampin' Up!, it's thick and has a texture to it that just says Fall is on the way!

Am I the only one who is ready for it?

My photo
Wife, sister, daughter and friend....God is good! Welcome!

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