Saturday, June 29, 2013

Just in Case You Didn’t Know….Google Reader is Retiring Monday…Stay Connected With These

Hey there.  By now, most of you know that Google Reader is being retired this Monday, July 1st.  If that’s how you follow all of your favorite blogs, wanted to make sure you knew how to continue receiving a feed for all your favorites. 

When I heard the news, I transferred all of the blogs I follow over to Bloglovin’.  Bloglovin’ has made it easy for you to transfer of all your feeds just by the click of your mouse. 

A perk I’ve found by using Bloglovin’ is that I can search for any blog and follow it even if the blog doesn’t have a Bloglovin’ button on their sidebar.

If you need to make the switch from Google Reader, you can follow Plumberry Pie with…



Google Followers Connect {GFC} From what I’ve read, Google Friends Connect (GFC) is still live at this point.

Email Subscription


Linky Followers

It really does make my day that you stop by for a read!  Thanks so much for following along!  Have a wonderful rest of the weekend!

- Kim

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Graduation Party Decorations

Hi guys!  Just poppin in to share pictures from our babysitter’s graduation party this weekend.  I couldn’t resist hopping on the decorating bandwagon with her mom.  After a bit of brainstorming together, we came up with some simple and budget friendly ideas.


With seven tables, the cost of centerpieces can add up.  So we went for the charm and cost effective Mason jar.  Really can’t go wrong with a Mason jar.  And as it turned out, she had some on hand.  Bonus.  Even if you don’t own any Mason jars, a 12 pack is an inexpensive and easily accessible option. (available at Target, grocery stores, and hardware stores)

The Mason jars were filled with daisies from the grocery store and tied with a red ribbon. 



Each table had two photo cubes representing each year in school.  We used cardstock taped together into a cube.  On one side was a photo and the other a coordinating grade number.  I used black cardstock and a white paint pen to write the grade number and taped it on with some washi tape.

plumberry pie diy photo cube centerpiece

You could also make photo cubes with four frames, but we were looking to keep the costs down and the cardstock worked out perfectly.  The red snack bowls added a nice pop of color and something to munch on – form and function living in harmony.


The graduate was digging the idea of lanterns hanging in the tent, so we made a little cluster of them hanging at different levels as the centerpiece of the tent.


Photo Booth

Using black cardstock and a bamboo skewer, we created a sign for the photo booth and stuck it in a planter to give it some presence.


And did the same with the prop signs. 


We opted to use the trees as a natural backdrop to the photos, so all we needed to do was set out the bin of props.  Easy peasy. 


I got a kick out of watching everyone during their “photo shoots”. Good fun!

plumberry pie simple diy photo booth

I was thrilled to be a part of such a special day.  Crazy how time flies.  She was just in 5th grade when we moved here and now she’s a young lady.  Bizzaro world.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ripping Carpet off the Stairs!

I couldn’t take it anymore!  I was going to wait until I was done with the playroom floors, but I just started ripping and couldn’t stop.  Those stairs kept snickering at me every time I walked by and I couldn’t hold back any longer.

In my head, it was going to be a straight forward thing.  Remove carpet, padding, staples and tack strips.  Then I discovered the builders had bad aim when they nailed the stairs together.  Daggers hanging out from the stairs.  Awesome.


I was perplexed as to how to handle them, but the hubs was sure it was a simple case of reverse engineering.  I wasn’t convinced, but he was right.  A little tap-a-roo upwards until the top of the nail popped up giving enough leverage to pull it out with the hammer from above.  There are two left that we couldn’t quite get, so we’ll have to get creative.  We still need to replace the nails, hopefully with better aim than the builders.  Then I can start prepping them for paint.


It ain’t pretty now, but it will be worth it.  I can see it now.  Black steps with contrasting white risers.  Aww yeah!

Check out my Painted Subfloor Pinterest board for some prettier pictures than this.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Tips for Homemade Laundry Detergent Making

While it is super-duper, stupid, easy to make this homemade laundry detergent, I confess I didn’t make another batch until yesterday.  It’s been 11 months since I ran out.  The thing that really deterred me from taking time to make another batch was the grating of the Fels-Naptha soap.   Total pain.  However, I did mention in my original post that it would be quicker to blend in a blender.  Now that I have a new blender, I used my old blender for this tedious job.  Booya!

Just wanted to share a couple tips that helped this go around.

  • freeze the bar soap before you grate, chop or blend it.  This way it doesn’t get sticky, it’s more brittle and chippy which makes it much easier to chop and blend.  My first bar chipped away into shavings when I chopped it, probably didn’t need to blend it.


  • I did a rougher chop with the second bar to see how well it would blend.  Worked like a charm in the blender and less chopping.  Yeah, dog, that’s what I’m talking about!


  • If you have a blender and feel okay about blending soap in it, then DO IT.   Holy moly, it’s so.much.easier.  It actually turned the soap into a powder. (disclaimer:  It didn’t hurt my blender one bit, but I can’t guarantee results with your blender.  Blend at your own risk. Smile)



  • When you add your ingredients, stick your hand in the garbage bag with the box of each ingredient, then hold the bag tight around your hand so when you dump it out of the box, you don’t get an upheaval of powder in your face.
  • After you’ve combined all the ingredients and you’re ready to put it in its pretty container, try this little tip.  Rather than dump the mix out of the top of your garbage bag, hold it over your container and cut a hole in the corner of the bag (like a frosting bag).  This way you can funnel it into your container much easier and less powder puff in your face.
  • This time around, I’m adding a few drops of lemongrass oil to each load.  I like the added scent.  My friend adds Purex crystals to her entire batch of homemade detergent.

Those are my tips from this time around.  For a detailed step-by-step and ingredient list, go to the original post here.  As I mentioned in my last follow up post, it lasted me about 7 months.  Looking forward to not running out for a while because I have been cranking through the laundry like mad lately.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Front Porch Reveal

I finally added stripes to the other pot and I’m calling this front porch done!




I didn’t take a before picture so I dug up this Halloween one.  But you can see we’ve got the bench on the left of the door, leaving the far left end of the porch empty.  Not horrible, but so much wasted space in front of the window.


So after some rearranging and overthinking, we’ve got ourselves a new little hang out.



There’s not a stitch of turquoise in the pillows, but somehow this rug pulled everything together for me and anchors the confetti dot table nicely.


I painted the edge of the chalkboard to add another pop of turquoise and tie it into to the rug.  I also added gold trim on the front of the chalkboard to connect with the gold on the table.




Having this seating arrangement has invited so much more use out of this space than before.  It’s become one of our favorite hang outs.


A perfect place to sip coffee, lemonade or a glass of wine…and just be.



Front Porch Projects

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

{playroom update} stain or paint?

I still haven’t painted my pot all striped and wonky, so I thought I’d share my progress on the playroom floor situation.  In all honesty, I write this post because I’m avoiding all the stuff that I’m suppose to be doing right now.  So let’s talk about floors instead, shall we?

Look!  Progress!  It really doesn’t take long to get the carpet out.  It’s those staples and tack strips that do you in.  I have one strip of carpet left, but it has furniture on it that I can’t move by myself.


So as I'm pulling up this carpet, I’m second guessing my decision to paint and thinking once again about staining.  As strange as it sounds, our subfloor is pretty.  At least I think so.  I know some of my friends think I’m a nut.


I thought I made my final decision about a month ago.  The plan: gray and white stripes.


But now, I’m thinking of a medium tone stain.


I do love the charm of a painted floor though.  What to do?  What to do?

And so, we are at a standstill once again.  Sometimes I annoy myself with all my indecision.  UGH!

I know some of you said paint on my last floor update.

Stick with paint?  Stain instead?

Cast your votes now!

Hold the phone!  {cue in record scratching noise}  I was about to get a link from my blog for this post, when I see this post from Emily Clark in my feed.  SERIOUSLY!!!!!  Are you kidding me?  Gray and white striped floors!  How wack-a-doodle, nutso is that?!  Maybe I’ll take that as a sign to go for the stripes.  CA-RAZY COINCIDENCE, Batman! 

You must go over to Emily Clark’s blog to see these awesome floors.  Go, go, go.  Come back and tell me what you think!  I love them!  I may just be done hemmin and hawin.

Besides, when we finally do get hardwoods, I can have my medium toned floors then.

If you’ve made it through this entire post…thanks for sticking with my big, fat rambling in my attempt to avoid my to do list.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Simple Golf Themed Birthday Cake + Decor

I’m on the brink of having a teenager, folks.  One more year.  We just celebrated my son’s 12th birthday this weekend.  Sticking with my quest to simplify, I used stuff right from our house to decorate.

A bucket of balls and bamboo skewer with a paper flag became a simple centerpiece on the kitchen table.


They were flanked by these donut hole “golf ball” bouquets.  I was going to stick them in real grass, but decided to go with what I had and cut up some green paper for the grass.


My other plan was to use the green apple licorice as the grass with the donut holes, but they were too short.  So we had green apple “grass” in a smaller Ball jar instead.


We used under eye sport stickers like football players use as our cup labels.  Another clever idea from my sister.



For the cake, I used a golf tee, a golf ball dabbed with a bit of frosting so it didn’t roll off the tee (cause it did at first), and a bamboo skewer with a paper flag marked with a 12 for his age.  Oh, and be careful of that paper flag…ours caught on fire for a second when my son blew out his candles.


And I tried to get fancy with my frosting skills.  Ha.  Cannot frost a cake to save my life.


Secret…those powdered donut bouquets are the same two that were on the kitchen table.  I just moved them for their photo-shoot debut. 


Originally, we were going to go with food that was inspired by golf lingo like “club” sandwiches, “chips”, watermelon “wedge” or “slice”, Arnold Palmer drinks.  So many fun play on words you could do.  But in the end, my son wanted pizza from a pizza joint that we rarely go to.  In fact, he asked for it every day that week, but we vetoed that idea.

We kept our little party nice and simple.  The kids hit some golf balls in the backyard and just messed around with the Pocket Hose we gave our son.  Yes, he asked for the infomercial Pocket Hose.

If you want more golf inspired ideas, I gathered up some inspiration on my Golf Party Pinterest board.  There are tons of fabulous ideas out there to fit your party needs.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Up Next…Dad’s Day

Yep, I’m still catching up with all my messes, so I thought I’d share a post from the past until I get my act together.

Father’s Day is coming up quick.  I can’t share what I’m doing for my husband this year cause that would just spoil the surprise.  So here’s a flashback of last year’s gift.

A Snack Tray for the Office



Check out the full post from last year for more details.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

real life…

Well, hello there!

I was hoping to share the full view of the front porch by now, but I’m a bit behind on my laundry… EEK!  More often than not, my laundry room seems to look like this.  A far cry from the photos I’ve shared here, here and here.


I finally got my mojo to rip out the rest of the carpet in the playroom, but couldn’t find my exacto, so that hasn’t happened yet.  But I did get as far as moving the couch out of the way to find all kinds of fun underneath.  Nice.


And there’s a mess outside that needs to be cleaned up…


We, or I should say my mother-in-law (God bless her!), cut the branches on our spruce so we can actually see across the street.   Ahhhhhh, soooooo much better!  By the way…my mother-in-law loves chopping branches, so this was not forced labor Smile.


One thing I did manage was to give a gold outline to the chalkboard.  It was looking too blah against the brick.  Although, I’m not sure the gold is working.  I might go over it in white or blue.  And my black pot still needs to get dressed up in some wonky stripes.  But first things first.  THE LAUNDRY.


End of school year chaos is in full force!  Hope to be back soon with something a bit prettier than my dirty laundry!

Have a good one…

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