August 31, 2011


Things have been a bit busy around these parts this summer.  New baby, new business, home projects ... you name it - when our family decides to get busy, we can certainly pile it on.  One of my latest projects has been to prep a playroom for Baby B.  I know, I know ... what in the world does a 6 week old need a playroom for???  I'd agree, but when all of the toys started piling up even before his arrival; it was decided that a playroom was in order to keep everything orderly and ready for fun.  Sure, Baby B won't use it for a while, but for not it makes a great place for fun when our friends come to visit!

Since the usefulness of this room could be debated by some (especially Dear Hubs), I wanted to be sure to do this on the cheap.  I'm not talking Pottery Barn outlet "cheap" ... I'm talking like give new life to what you have and make it cute cheap!  Outside of a few $1 finds at Target, a few pieces of art that couldn't be passed up and some inexpensive throw pillows ... we conquered the challenge!  Here's a few sneak peak pics of the funnest room in the house (if you are Baby B)!

An old armoire given new life with a little chalkboard paint!  I painted the inserts with the left over  paint from this project.  The owl painting was done by moi and the Playroom sign is compliments of GoJumpInTheLake on etsy!

A chalkboard eisel makes the perfect place for friends to leave Baby B a sweet note.  The marionette was a gift from Bestie C from an adorable toy store in NYC!

More sweet art from GoJumpInTheLake.  Fabric from Forsyth Fabrics and pillows from Target.

Window treatments featuring so cute dogs in multicolor sweaters and coordinating dot valences.  

~charmed, b

Get excited ... this post is partying over at TCBI Heart Naptime, Thirty Handmade Days and Sun Scholars

August 30, 2011

Colorful Creative

I'm a magazine junky.  Well, that's putting it mildly ... every month volume upon volume of my fave periodicals roll into my mailbox.  I save these little gems away for the afternoon that happens every once and a while when Baby B sleeps long enough for me to drool over all of the pics, ideas and get some creative inspiration. 

If you are like me and treasure your time enthrawled in print, you have probably come across those darling Sherwin Williams advertisements.  They can't be missed in Better Homes and Gardens, Southern Living and the likes.  You know the ones ... where the creative minds at SW have taken paint swatches and craft something adorable like a cake or a house out of the fabulous colors.  These ad geniuses inspired my gift wrapping for Dear Ole' Dad's birthday gift back in June.  So, imagine my surprise when I opened the pages of Southern Living this month to find that Sherwin Williams had an ad that was very similar to my crafty goodness!  Maybe I should get a job working in advertising, great minds must think alike! :)

DOD is the toughest person on Earth to shop for ... he never desires any gift in particular and when asked "WHAT can we possibly get you for your birthday?" His reply is always the same, "I don't need anything".  Well ... in a family where everyone else always has a little heart's desire that could make the perfect gift ... DOD is the one hold out that never, ever wants a thing.  And for southerners who love giving gifts ... that's a tough pill to swallow.

This time, when asked the million dollar question "WHAT would you like for your birthday?" he finally offered up that he wouldn't mind some supplies for his current basement renovation.  Zsa Zsa and DOD were hard at work painting, recarpeting, tiling and such their basement rooms and these projects were certainly consuming everything at the moment.  While it wasn't the most exciting request, hey ... we will take it!  And so with that, I set out to come up with a creative way to give him the requested Home Depot gift card or cash he wanted for the project. 

Long story aside ... that is what led me to my little colorful creative.  I marched myself (so preggo I could bust I must add) to Home Depot to secure supplies for my gift wrapping and whipped up a real life version of the Sherwin Williams whimsy and some project cash especially for DOD.  This way he could select his own paint suplies just as his heart desires (well, and Zsa Zsa too).   

To craft your very own ... it's so simple! 

The Dish (what you need):
  • Paint swatches (free at home supply store)
  • Paint stir sticks (free at home supply store)
  • Scissors
  • A paint bucket / can (available at home supply store)
  • Tissue Paper
  • Craft foam
  • Hole punch

  Craft in a Flash (what you do):
1. Create a template for your petals. Each flower will need 5-6 petals, cut out the petals on the paint color swatches.

 2.  Attach the petals to the paint stir stick with hot glue.

3.  Cover the center point with a few oversized hold punches from your scraps.

4.  Put the floral foam in the paint bucket and insert the flowers.  Cover foam with tissue paper.
For my gift, I added dollar bill "grass" around the base of the flowers. 
Needless to say, DOD thought the gift was very creative, appreciated and perhaps a little more colorful than the "Bleaker Beige" they selected for the walls :).
~charmed, b

August 24, 2011

June Cleaver Would Be Proud

It's been a nice change of pace being home on maternity leave for the past few weeks and in taking a page from June Cleaver's domestic diva manual ... having hot dinner on the table at 6pm is something I set out to accomplish this week. 

This meal has all of the wow of a meal that took hours to prepare; but with the help of your trusty slow cooker, it can be ready with minimal fuss!

Chicken Scallopini with Slow Cooker Veggies

  •  2 1/2 cups frozen seasoned diced potatoes
  • 2 cups frozen sliced carrots
  • 2 cups frozen early harvest peas
  • 2 cups frozen haricots verts
  • 2 pounds thin-sliced chicken breast fillets
  • 1 packet Knorr veggie soup dry mix 
  • 1 can condensed cream of asparagus soup
  •  1/2 cup white wine 
  • Vegetable oil
  • Flour, for dredging
  • Seasoning - Mrs. Dash and garlic powder


1.  In a slow cooker, combine all veggies.
2.  Whisk togetherr 2/3 of the dry soup mix, condensed soup and wine.  Add to the slow cooker and mix with veggies.  Set slow cooker on low for approx. 4 hours.
3.  Heat oil in a large skillet.
4.  Combine flour, remaining dry soup mix, seasoning and a dash of salt in a shallow plate or dish.  Dredge chicken in mixture. 
5.  Cook chicken in skillet for approx. 2-3 min per side.
6.  Serve chicken over the veggies.

Voila!  Domestic diva meal in a flash!

August 23, 2011

Are You Ready for Some Football?

Football season is about to kick it up into high gear and fans everywhere rejoice!  I just love this time of year for so many reasons; and football is one of the top 5.  Dear Hubs played football in college and I've been a fan since the early cheerleading days of my youth.  To start the season off right, here's a sneak peak at the too cute wreathes that will be gracing my front doors come this football season. 

Sure, Mack Brown at the great University of Texas (go Longhorns!) may get the first phone call from this crazed mama offering first recruiting dibs on all 2 feet (yes ... at 6 weeks he's already 24 inches) of Baby B for the class of 2029, but my heart belongs to my alma mater, Georgia Tech.

After making these wreathes for myself, I've made them for countless others and last year caved and crafted a UGA one for the Quiet Heroes benefit. For a good cause, I can put my pride aside and make one in red!

So get excited, football season is about to kick into high gear and this fan couldn't be more ready!

Oh.... and To Hell With Georgia!  Go Jackets!

~charmed, b

This post is partying over at TCP and Thirty Handmade Days, CSI

August 22, 2011

Perfect Photo Props

I bet ya'll thought I forgot ... as promised, I thought I'd share the ever so simple steps to create your own perfectly funny photo props.  We used these at our Little Man gathering for Baby B and they were just a hoot!  I must confess, these simple props made picture taking so much more fun and definitely broke up the oh so ordinary sorority squat pictures that we usually all take.

The Dish (what you need):
thin sheets of foam with adhesive back in brown or black (available at craft store)
craft sticks
scissors or exacto knife

Craft in a Flash (what you do):
1.  Enlarge and print the moustache template.  You can either use the picture below, google "handlebar moustache" to find your own or follow this link.

2.  Cut out template and trace onto foam.  Cut out foam 'staches.

3.  Take two foam 'staches and face sticky sides together. 
4.  Insert a craft stick between them and remove the backing from foam.
5.  Secure with additional glue if desired.


Get creative - wouldn't an old timey pipe be funny?  What about different moustaches .... oh, the endless possibilities!

Say Cheese!

~charmed, b

This post is partying over at I Heart Naptime

August 16, 2011

But Wait ... There's More!

For shame ... in my posting about my front door decor just a few days back I realized I neglected to give any celebrity to the giant stork that graced my front yard for our first week home. It was just cute as pie!  If you are in the metro Atlanta area and in need of an adorable stork to welcome home a new baby, you absolutely must call Storks Over Atlanta.  Terri w SOA will do a great job to hustle over and have the stork waiting when you arrive home from the hospital.

SOA also provides other cute services for birthdays and celebrations.  Check out their website!

August 15, 2011

Star Provisions

It's no secret I love a good restaurant.  I'm southern ... I work with restaurants ... and a fab meal is like a mini vacation in my book!  Now, while most of my fave list is classified as a finer or fancier establishment ... Star Provisions takes one of the top spots and continues to impress! 

Star Provisions is a little gem nestled into the West Midtown / Waterworks area of the good ol' ATL.  It's one of those spots you would probably miss at first glance because it is surrounded by other culinary delights like Bacchanalia, Abattoir and JCT Kitchen; but once you visit ... you are hooked.

Part restaurant, part gourmet culinary creations and part gift shop; I could just spend days at this spot!  Everything on the menu could classify as my favorite.  I just love the shrimp po boy sandwich and it doesn't get any better than the homemade peanut butter and marshmellow creme sand!  They are just to die for!  Another little trick I've picked up is to buy their delish salads to go so I have something to take home and savor later.  My favorites include the black eyed pea salad and the marinated cucumbers.  Oh ... and if this all doesn't sound tasty enough, you can't leave without tryin the homemade smores!  They are absolutely FAB!  Yes, it's true ... I have a fave dish in every category! 

While Star isn't exactly in my backyard, I do try and stop down every few weeks for my fix.  Bestie M and I spent lunch there with our littles just two weeks ago and to our surprise the littles were perfect little angels!  M's sweet Jay Bird busied himself admiring the lovely items in the gift shop (a trait his momma clearly passed onto him through many tireless shopping trips!) and Baby B actually slept right through our visit.  The best part, it is within walking distance of a few adorable shops - so since they were so well behaved, we decided to press our luck and add a little shopping onto our day.  So far so good ... we will be back!

~charmed, b    

August 13, 2011

Big Creek Arts Show

Charmed Life Kids has stepped out of the virtual world and is making our debute in person at the Big Creek Arts and Crafts Festival today.  The festival is at First Redeemer Church in Cumming, GA from 9 am - 4pm.  So if you are in the area - drop by and say hello! 

While I work full time in the fast paced world of information technology and deal with big corporations day in and day out; CLK has tested my business accumen and expanded my business saviness into tons of directions I never would have imagined.  From learning tax laws and importing regulations to sales and virtual marketing ... this has been a great experience and we are definitely learning as we go.  (Who knew there were so many options for shipping???)  I feel blessed every day to be able to work on something as fun as CLK and am just pleased as punch to join the festival today!

If you haven't already joined us ... hop on over to like us on facebook!    

~charmed, b

August 10, 2011

Little Man

Wow, ya'll ... I sure have been MIA this week.  It's just gotten past me and when I finally looked up, I realized that it's already the middle of the week!  I guess this is how this wild ride of motherhood goes and some weeks just fly by.  Speaking of ... Baby B just celebrated his very first month birthday this week and we just continue to be amazed by how fantastic life is with him here.

It's hard to believe our little man is one month.  And, just like this week has flown by ... this month has passed like the blink of an eye!  And as expected, this first time mom had to make this moment a cause for celebration.

In addition to cake and a lovely dinner prepared by Zsa Zsa and La La, I threw in my own little touches to celebrate the little man.  What's more "little man" than a big handlebar mustache?  And so ... we had a little fun "little man" style!

These cupcakes have a sweet chocolate mustache pop on top.  To make, you just simply use molding chocolate (available at craft stores) and find a cute mold that works for your theme.  This mold was purchased on Amazon.  The pops are made in just a jiffy and made plain cupcakes that much more sweet!

This cute sign was made compliments of one of my etsy faves, GoJumpInTheLake.  I've had them make a few signs for me and they are all just too cute.  This one will go in Baby B's playroom as a funny reminder that he will always be our little man!

And the most fun part ... picture props!  The "how to" for this is so darn simple, you must try (more on that later this week - promise).  I know these will be recreated for other party photo ops in the future!  At first, everyone's reaction was simply confused wondering what on Earth I had in mind with these things ... but then when we started taking a few pics, the laughs just wouldn't stop!

And so, with laughter and love ... we wish our little Baby B a Happy One Month Birthday!

~charmed, b

This post is partying over at 733

August 04, 2011

Deals of the Week

 It's very possible I'm suffering from retail withdrawl, but I found some great deals this past weekend and I'm just pleased as punch at how cute these finds are that I must share!  Where oh where did these amazing deals come from?  Of all the random places, Lowes!  While on a seek and discover mission with Dear Hubs for yard supplies and flooring (more on that chaos later), I found the most darling lamp shade and lanterns for a steal of a price!

This lamp shade replaced a cream silk one in my family room.  The lovely cream silk just didn't fit the lamp that perfectly and it had a small snag in it.  You know the kind ... not big enough to warrant replacing right away, but for the right deal - it's worthy of a replacement.

My most prized find are these lanterns.  I've been on the hunt for something like these for a few weeks now and finding them has been permanently placed on my "to buy" list.  These are 24 inches tall and will be just perfect on my front porch flanking the dogs and planters!  I know they will be just perfect on the front porch come this fall.  And the best part ... the price.  These were on sale for $15 each!  WOW!

I may just have to start shopping here more often - look out Dear Hubs!

~charmed, b

August 02, 2011

Front Door Festivities

Ya'll know by now that I'm just a sucker for front door festivities.  Whether it's wreathes, flags or some other fun accents to make my front porch more hospitable ... I'm all about it.  To welcome home Baby B (and yes, I realize every post seems to be consumed with crafts and such related to the babe, but when in Rome ... well. just go with it), I pre-planned a little front door decor suitable to bring home the guest of honor. 

The nice part of these crafts is that (1) I reused a quick fix crafty wreath from earlier this summer and (2) the other pieces are versatile and can be used for other things in the future.

First, the wreathes were made using the easy to follow outline on a previous post.  Check it out for instructions for this so easy and inexpensive summer wreath.  Then, for the monogrammed additions to the wreathes and the "baby" signs for the planters, I simply purchased pre-cut wooden letters from the craft store.  These are readily available and most stores have some super cute, fun fonts now in addition to the basic fonts.  Using my trusty glue gun, I attached the letters to one another to make them into a plaque of sorts.  Once dried completely, to the "baby" signs, I added two wooden dowels to the back of the letters to support it.  The entire thing was then spray painted a cheery blue and voila ... adorable decor is complete!

Today, I realized that these sweet front door decorations must come down at some point and the monograms have new life already planned for their future careers.  A quick coat of gold or red spray paint and these monograms will be ready for Christmas!  As for the "baby" sign, well ... it may need to wait for it's second coming with baby #2 (no ... no date set at this point thank you very much!) but nonetheless I promise I will make it useful again! 

And, new idea ... how cute would this sign idea be for Halloween?  Hmmm.... I think I see a new craft in my future!

~charmed, b

This post is partying over at 733

August 01, 2011

Savory Herb Monkey Bread

It's been a wonderful few weeks at home with Baby B.  One of the lovely blessings we have had the opportunity to experience is the gift of hospitality and food.  Many friends have spoiled us just rotten by dropping dinner by so that we can adjust to our new baby routine without the fuss of having to prepare dinner.  While I absolutely love the chance to taste some of my wonderful friends' home cookin ... I've missed having the time and energy to cook and such myself. 

And so ... yesterday in the midst of a home renovation project (more on that later this week), I asked the fam to come over for a visit and dinner with Baby B.  Of course, you don't have to ask my lovely fam twice to spend time with Baby B, so they were over lickity split!  It felt so good to get back in the kitchen and we dined on flat iron steak and chicken, corn on the cob and a summer veggie saute.  It was all delish, but the menu item that had the fam swooning was the savory monkey bread.  It was a new recipe take on an old sweet favorite and it was a HIT!  The recipe came straight from my favorite lady, Paula Deen, and appeared on her show (which I love catching up on while I'm home!). 

Herb Monkey Bread

1 stick butter melted, plus 1/4 cup melted butter, plus more for pan
1 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for sprinkling
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
2 packages biscuits

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 12-cup Bundt pan; set aside.
2.  In a small bowl, combine cheese and Italian seasoning.
3.  Roll each individual biscuit into a ball. Dip each piece in the 1 stick of melted butter, then coat with the cheese mixture.
4.  Place dough into prepared pan; overlapping will occur. Bake bread, 30 to 35 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil during the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning, if needed.
5.  Let cool in pan, 10 minutes; invert bread onto a serving plate. Drizzle remaining 1/4 cup melted butter on top and sprinkle with grated Parmesan.

I actually used 4 cans of the 7.5 oz size biscuits and pinched each biscuit in half to make more pieces in my bread.  You may also want to use more of the good stuff; cheese, butter and herbs, to make it even more tasty!  We all agreed that this not only makes a nice complimentary dish for dinner, but could make a great appetizer if served warm with marinara (pizza bread, ya'll!).

So as an app or with your meal, ya'll be sure to give this one a whirl!