Dogsled Races

I am starting to get a little paranoid that my faithful readers think I hole up in the house all weekend and work on home improvements...I wish;)

This weekend we caught some of the John Beargrease Dogsled Races right in the heart of Duluth. It's an amazing sport packed full of the local culture.
Henry even captured a short video to share.
The dogs have amazing focus and I love watching them run by with their tongues flapping around, like they are really enjoying themselves. If the dogs could talk, this is what I think they would say..."Man, I could really use some jerky" and "It would be great if we could just stop for a second so I can wipe the snot off my cheek" and "Can I please be in front for a while? It stinks back here."


Room Layout

Perhaps some people use computer software to figure out the layout of a room and record measurements. I, on the other hand use a tape measurer, clip board, calculator, construction paper, scissor and a pencil. Good old fashion paper-doll style! The scale, 25"=1"

I have obsessively been shopping around for a couple of new pieces of furniture for our living room. The room is looong with two focal points: TV and Fireplace. So, the plan is to make two living zones: TV Zone and Fireplace Zone (clever names:) The distinguishing factors: rugs and arrangement. Right now, it makes sense in my head...time will tell.

In the mean time, I am committed to sell our Salsa couch. It is 89" wide, 40" deep and microfiber.  

Sorry about the sunshine. 
It does not get cozier than this!

and our 20'x8' rug. The rug is custom made for hardwood, so doesn't need a pad underneath.
If you are interested email me here and we can chat about the deets.


The Lovely's Lovely Fireplace Mantel

 I am linkin' up to another blogger's Valentine's Day Mantel Link Party. I love parties!

Materials, I say use what you got:
Candle Sticks and candles- from our wedding
Glass Candle Jars- from our wedding
White puffs of love- coffee filters
Red puffs of love- tissue paper
Hearts and Circles- scrapbook paper
Ribbon- Red Gingham pulled from my ribbon collection
Frames- I gave a couple of our frames a quick coat of spray paint
Glittered Love- Believe it, I had the letters
Boa- yep, owned that too
Inside the frames are scrapbook paper and a card that already owned

Candy and I wish I would have bought more:)

Check out more mantels here:


It's not polite to stair

Since the moment we moved in, I have been itching to take the carpet off of the stairs. Sure, Stella loves the comfort of the carpet, assuring she makes it up and down without slipping. However, this is something I was not willing to compromise on, it had to go.

I wasn't sitting around drinking cocoa while Henry was slaving away on our new cabinet.
These stairs were finally getting a chance to show what they are made of.
Can you believe there is finished hardwood under that carpet?
From the hundreds of holes and green paint under the carpet, it became clear that the center of these stairs have been hiding their whole life. Sad.
A glimpse of beauty
and tada!

The result is lighter and brighter and I love it! 


Media Cabinet Monday!

The media cabinet is dunzzo, finished, complete!

Henry finished this big bad piece of furniture like a champion. He measured and cut and nailed and sanded and cut and sanded and screwed and painted and stained his heart out! The result is flawless!

The Photographed Story...

The details:
Pottery Barn's Media Cabinet: $1147.63 on sale (including shipping and taxes)
The Lovely's Media Cabinet: $257.00
Wood- 146.00
2 Hinges for Center Doors- 11.74
Screws- 9.00
Wood Glue- 6.00
16 Knobs (confession: my knobs turned out ug!)- 32.00
Stain for the top- 11.00
Wheels: 13.76 (we added wheels so we could move it against the wall...or anywhere we want:)
Plus Tax!

Thanks to ana-white.com!

We are so pleased with the results and the price...."Pottery Barn eat your heart out!"


Homemade Snack Bars

Don't close your browser, this is the Lovely's Blog!

I am dedicating this post to Heather Henry Kraabel! You and your family were on my mind while I was making these Snack Bars. I think your girls are the perfect ages to help make their own granola bars!

Heather has 4 adorable kiddos that certainly need snacks in their lunches, and what better snack than one they create for themselves? (no pressure Heather, but it's for real a good idea:)

The bars are easy to make, healthy and cheap! Disclaimer: I do buy boxes of granola bars on occasion. They are 4.99 a box or 1.00/bar and although I try to buy healthy options, they are still loaded with preservatives and ingredients I cannot pronounce.

The following is my recipe that I feel I have perfected to my taste. Of course, I eyeball my recipes like I eyeball hanging pictures, but I think this one is worth sharing. I also want to mention that we are mindful of the difference between snacks and treats in our house...thanks to Henry's healthy habits:)

Homemade Snack Bars (I say go ahead and put these bad boys in the snack category!)

makes 10 bars (or you can split the recipe so each of your girls can make their own pan)

1 3/4 cups rolled oats (not the instant kind)
1/2 bran
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
2 egg whites (just use 2 egg whites if you half the recipe)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs. honey
Optional 2 Tablespoons: chocolate (a must in my book), raisins, craisins, nuts, spoonful of peanut butter, coconut

Pre Heat oven to 350 F
Combine all ingredients and mix well
Spray 2 bread pans with non-stick spray
Spread batter in pans evenly and flatten
Bake for 12-15
Allow to cool before cutting

Make sure you let them get toasty around the edges before you take them out of the oven.
 Letting them cool before you tip them out of the pan is a must!

While all the other kids at school are scarfing down their Kudos and Nature Valley Bars your kids are going to be snacking in style!

Don't forget to report back:)


Sir Mix A Lot

Yet another post about our media cabinet, alas still no media cabinet. Certainly, you would want us to paint it before the big reveal. We considered it a treat that the previous owners left a shelf full of paint in the basement. We love saving our pennies wherever possible, so I found a two colors I liked and did a little mixing to create the perfect color.

You will have to wait for the big reveal to see the final concoction-but I like to call it Sea Salt.


Media Center Knobs

Who's getting excited to see the media center? We certainly did not foresee the amount of time it would take to build our new media center, but you heard it here...it is almost done. While Henry kept busy...

Now in our living room, because the media center would no longer make it up the basement stairs if it was fully put together. Stella's job was to supervise and my job was to get the knobs-16 knobs to be exact.

Knobs can be spendy...
Have I made it clear how I feel about the hardware in our kitchen?
I dislike it so much that I would rather live without it.
and spray paint is only 3.99  a can...
I used skewers to prop them up and stuck them in a cardboard box. 16 glossy white knobs coming up!