May 30, 2011

{Three Things} from the weekend

It's busy here these days, and I am craving sinking my teeth into a real project soon.  
This week is Boden's birthday, five years old is a big deal!  I'm busily planning and preparing for his party on Friday, and I'll be sure to take lots of pictures along the way to fill all of you in next week.  The party theme is "Treasure Hunter", Bo can hardly contain himself.

This weekend the kids and I made candy guessing jars for our church summer carnival.  I counted everything out and then let the kids fill the jars up.  They had a lot of fun, and there was even a couple of extra candies for them once their jars were all filled up.

Wouldn't you have nearly wet your pants if you'd have won one of these as a child?

Zach and some of his muscley friends moved a little garden shed out of our backyard this weekend.  Our yard has quite a bit going on, and we needed to simplify, clear out, and make room for a sandbox we'd like to put in, so the garden shed got voted off the island.  

Yes, that is my husband and a few of his friends sitting inside a garden shed, on a flatbed trailer, driving down the middle of the street...isn't that what you do on the weekend?  Is it just me or does my husbands neck look a little red sitting in there?

My parents went to an auction this weekend.  They bid on and got a few cool things for themselves, but when they pulled up to our house on Saturday afternoon with this great dresser and matching side tables, I was thrilled.  I can't wait to make this set over!  I'm thinking of going a little bolder than I normally would and choosing a bright, fresh color to liven up the set.  What do you think?  What color would you go with?

So there's three things from my weekend, what did you do with yours?

Be blessed,

May 27, 2011

I Heart Garage Sales

We're waist deep in birthday party planning here.  Bo's big day is one week from today and I'm trying to do as much ahead of time as possible so I'm not freaking out on his birthday.  I'm so excited for him, this will be his first birthday party with some of his friends over.  He's going to have so much fun!  I can't wait to show you all how the party went and to spill all the details of how we put it all together.

All winter long  I dream about garage sales.  Seriously, I love me some garage sale action.  I buy most of my kids clothes at garage sales, each season I stock up for the following years wardrobe.  It's genius really, I get great looking brand name clothing for a fraction of the price.  Plus I don't feel so terrible when my messy kids ruin a piece of clothing if I bought it for 50 cents verses 5 dollars.  

I've gotten to hit up a couple of garage sales over the last couple of days and I thought I'd share a couple of my bargains with you, my lovely readers.

Pay no attention to the picture in that 12 x 12" frame, that will be changed, pronto.  And those four decorative  brackets?  Those will be hit with a coat of paint in no time!  I also scored four rubber stamps for the kids to craft with, they'll love it I'm sure.  

The total?  $1.85

Not too shabby.

I also picked up a nice little wooden train set.  It's got a ton of track pieces to switch things up.  I'm not going to risk taking a picture though, I don't want the kids to see it'll probably be one of their Christmas gifts. The train set ran me $7.00

And lastly, I found a bunch of kids clothes for this coming fall/winter. I bought Addie three dresses, one tank top, one long sleeved winter shirt, one pair of shorts for next year, a pair of rubber boots and a pair of slip in flats.  Bo got a button up Sunday shirt as well as a long sleeved winter shirt, and Jud got a pair of play sweats.  I paid $5.25 for the whole shebang.  

I'm so excited about getting those decorative brackets made-over, I think they'll look great.  Don't worry, I'll share the end result with all of you!  I've got all kinds of fun tutorials and posts up my sleeve for the next couple of weeks, so be sure to check back on the action! 

Have a wonderful weekend!
Be blessed,

May 22, 2011

Printable Grocery List

I feel as though I've been stuck in a rut lately.  A blogging rut.
I was clipping along there for awhile, doing so well, and now I feel...stuck.  Things got busy, the kids got sick, Zach's been working some super long hours, and I'm plumb worn out.

Today I was looking through my craft supplies, hoping for inspiration to strike and to stumble across a really quick little project that I could whip together and share with y'all this week.

No such luck.

Just as I was about to give up, a little tiny poof of an idea popped into my head, and that little poof idea morphed into a bit of a better idea, and then I set to working on this little idea, left it and came back to it, and now I'm really excited about my neat-o idea!  I know that there are about a zillion of these out there, but this is my twist on it, and I'm really excited it use it for myself.  

So here it is, my nifty little printable grocery list:

Not to brag, but I think this is just darn cute!  And how handy to have a spot to jot down your menu for the week while you're writing out your grocery list...'cause you know it's so much easier to shop for groceries when you know what you're having for dinner, right?  And, I just gotta say, the little tree and butterfly doodles just make me smile, and I hope they make you smile too.

If you'd like to print off your own fun grocery lists, just click here and print off as many as you can use, go ahead and share them with a friend too!

May 21, 2011

Antibiotics, Planting, and Craziness

Hey Y'all!  

Sorry for my semi-absence here this's been crazy here.  I feel like I've been running late all week long, and just so you know, I hate being late.  I've had two kids on antibiotics this week, one for a double ear infection and the other for some awful infection that I forget the name of.  Between the two of them I've had to administer three different kinds of medicine ten times each day.  Thankfully they're both on the mend now.

Our house is a constant work in progress, we've got so many projects we want to complete but they all take time and cash, and it seems when we have one we don't have the other.  One thing I've put off for the last couple of years is landscaping.  House projects always take priority over flowers and pretty things.  I'd love to put in a gorgeous perennial garden, reminiscent of those beautiful old cottage gardens.

  Unstructured and graceful, full of cheerful blossoms and winding pathways.

  And no, I'm not putting in this dream garden yet, but I did plant a couple of planters to add some color and show we care until we can do the big deal.  The planters need to fill in a little bit, but I like them just the same, it feels good to have one little thing done.

  The kids even got to come to the greenhouse and pick some flowers to plant in the pots they painted in winter.  They were thrilled.

I have been working on my picture ledges as promised, I just need to fill a few more frames!  I'll post the finished product next week...hopefully!  

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog, I really do appreciate it!  We are getting so close to the goal of 100 followers, I've got my giveaway all ready to go and I'm so excited to get to it, just a few more followers to go!  I hope you each have a wonderfully relaxing weekend,

Be blessed,

May 18, 2011

Family Name Plaque

One thing I've always wanted is one of those gorgeous family name plaques.  You know, the type with your last name and perhaps the date or year you were married.  I just love 'em.  

The only problem is that we just don't have a cool last name.  It's not elegant like Dashwood or Hollingsworth.  It's not generic like Smith or Jones.  The truth's the type of last name that a kid would get teased for in school.  It's a  Please don't misunderstand, I'm not in any way embarrassed to be a part of this family, and I certainly wouldn't ever choose to have married a different man.  Anyway, I've put off making a family name plaque because of the whole last name situation.  Instead of completely tossing out this lovely idea to have a family name plaque, I decided to altar it just a little bit to get the best of both worlds.  

This is what I came up with:
Sorry for the crummy picture, my natural light was all gone and I really wanted to finish the project off for the day!

I really like it!  It's simple and straight forward and still embodies the personal touch I like so much about family name plaques.  

To create my little family initial plaque, I whipped up this image using

 I printed out a few test runs, then once I had the initial and date just the way I wanted it, I printed it out on some pretty cardstock I had on hand. 

If you're curious about how to navigate Picnik to create something like this, Cheri over at I Am Momma, Hear Me Roar made this super tutorial that shows you the basics to Picnik printables.

 I trimmed my printout down to size, placed it in my frame and voila, a quick personal project completed!

I whipped up this baby in just a few minutes to complement a different project I've been working on that I hope to show you later this week.  Be sure you stay tuned for part two!

Be blessed,

May 16, 2011

A Different Kind of Taco Salad

Over the weekend my Mom hosted a fabulous bridal shower for my cousin and his fiancĂ©e who are getting married next month.  It was so nice to see family that I don't get to see just any old time, and we had a really great time showering the young bride.  Instead of serving a full blown meal my Mom opted to go with a buffet of salads.  She made a delicious chicken caesar salad, my sister-in-law brought an amazing layered fruit salad, and I brought a taco salad.  

The taco salad I brought is not your typical taco salad, hence the title of this post.  However, this is hands down one of my favorite salads to enjoy, it's got a really great flavor, is a nice accompaniment to a spring/summer meal, and it's simple to prepare.  I got this quirky recipe from my church cookbook.  You know, one of those cookbooks compiled of everyones favorite recipes?  

To make this salad you'll need:

1 red onion
1 green pepper
2 tomatoes
1-2 cups of cheddar cheese, cubed
1 can kidney beans, rinsed
1 bag barbecue or plain corn chips
1 cup Catalina dressing

Cut the red onion, green pepper, tomatoes, and cheese into small cubes and toss 'em in a bowl.  Open and rinse your kidney beans  .Drain them thoroughly and add to the mix of veggies.  About 5 minutes before you're ready to serve add the corn chips and dressing and toss it all together.  This twist on a taco salad is also super versatile.  You can mix and match different cheeses, peppers, onions and beans to diversify the flavor and make it easy on yourself if you don't have these exact ingredients in your cupboards.  

Serve and watch your guests devour this deliciously savory salad.

Simple as can be!

Be blessed,

Oops!  I almost forgot!  I'll be linking this recipe up to:

Comfy in the Kitchen

May 13, 2011

To-Do Lists

Whew!  I thought this post was lost forever!  I am SO GLAD this little number turned up again, I was so sad that it had disappeared for awhile.  Today has been possibly the worst day ever, filled with three sick kids (two of them are now on, a lot of whining, a few really big messes, and some big fights trying to get my oldest to take his vile tasting medicine (seriously, the stuff tastes awful, then it burns the whole way down).  So this post returning would be the highlight of my day for sure!  Anyway, I'll let you get on to the good stuff!

I love a clear list of to-do's, do you?
For example, on a cleaning day I sit down at the breakfast table with a pen and some paper and make a list of everything I'd like to accomplish.  Then I draw a little box beside each item on my list so I've got the perfect little spot to mark that task completed.  Oh. So. Satisfying.

So I thought I might share a few projects that are on my to-do list.

#1.  I really want to make a few pieces of this knock-off coral that I saw on The Stories of A 2 Z

Isn't it oh-so-pretty?  Yes, I can't wait to try my hand at this one!

#2.  I've got an old dresser that I bought at a garage sale last year.  I would love to do a makeover on it similar to this one I found on Better Homes & Gardens.   

I love the wallpaper drawer fronts, so lovely!

#3. My laundry room is a sad state of affairs, but it's got great potential.  I really, really would like to redo it to a fabulous laundry/craft room with great lighting, plenty of workspace, and a place for me to keep my sewing machine out and available 24/7.  Here are a few examples of rooms I'd love to emulate:

I think the little awnings above the windows are just oh-so-sweet, and all that counter space wouldn't hurt either!

I really like the mix of bold and bright colors here.  The open storage on the back wall looks really neat, too.

I melt a little bit looking at this one.  The colors, the airiness, the storage, and the counter space, what's not to like?!  

Well, that ought to keep me busy for awhile, don't you think?  What's next for you on your to-do list?

Have a fantastic weekend!

Be blessed,

May 11, 2011

Simple Gift Wrap Ideas

April showers bring May flowers, 
and with winter engagement rings come lovely weddings in the spring...and summer.
With wedding season bearing down upon us, I thought it would be fun to show a few simple gift wrap ideas, using things I had around the house to spruce up a basic package.  I have a bit of a crush with plain old brown craft paper.  

It's so versatile, and economical, and I like how heavy it is compared to many other gift wraps.  

Anyway, I decided to wrap up a box with plain craft paper, and doll it up using a few around the house items to make it look special and pretty.  

Box #1:

For box #1 I took some green plaid wrapping paper and cut a strip about 3" wide, making sure it was long enough to wrap around my box.  To add a little character to the wrapping paper I tore the edges instead of having a straight cut edge.  A really great way to have a "controlled tear" along the edge is to lay a ruler down about 1/4" away from the cut edge of your paper strip, then tear the paper while holding the ruler down, the paper will tear along the ruler in a nice straight line without getting too jagged and out of control.  

I then wrapped the strip of wrapping paper around my simple box and taped it at the bottom.  Then I wrapped a piece of twine around the package and tied it with a bow.

Box #2:

I like this one a lot!  Using the same brown paper package as in the first look, I added color and flair by making a napkin flower and tying it on with some colored twine I had in my craft stash.  To make the napkin flower I used Dana's tutorial, found here.  Dana from Made put together a great, straight-forward tutorial.  Man, has that girl got amazing style! 

Box #3:

This look is perhaps a little on the quirky side, but it's definitely my favorite of the three.  Using a 1/4" wooden dowel, I dipped the end in dark purple craft paint and used it to dot little circles in groups of three all over my wrapped box.  If I were to do this again, I'd definitely paint before wrapping, then I wouldn't have to worry about my dots running!  After the paint dried I grabbed a sweet yellow crocheted doily, folded the top corner in so it would fit my box better and tied it on guessed it...some yellow twine I had laying around.  

So there you have it!  Three quick and simple ideas to spruce up some plain craft paper and make your gift stand out from the rest.  Plus, it's always nice to put an extra little thought and care into a gift for someone you love, even if it's just a blender, toaster, or a gift card inside the box.  

Be blessed,

May 9, 2011

Children's Table Re-Do

Here's the repost of a guest post I did a couple of weeks ago on Mom Endeavors, enjoy!

A few months ago I came across this children's table and my local thrift store.  Seeing through the layers of caked on paint, the poorly laid "lattice" table top and the beat up wood, I saw a fantastic little table, perfect for tea parties, coloring, and crafts for my little ones.  And, for $3.00, what could go wrong?!

I started out by bringing it home and letting it sit in my basement for a few months.  Once that waiting period was over, I got right down to business.  I whipped out my circular sander and got to work sanding down that awful lattice pattern.  It's hard to tell in the pictures, but there was quite a ridge of dried paint along each of the crooked tape lines.  I sanded for a long time!  Once the table top, underside, and legs were all sanded down, I wiped them off with a clean rag.

Using plain old craft paint, I painted the legs and underside of the table a vibrant leaf green.

Once the legs were dry, I flipped the table over and painted the table top yellow.  Then my husband came home from work and asked why I was painting the kids table in John Deere colors.  Then I lightly sanded the yellow paint and painted it again, this time using a taupe-grey color that I had in the basement from a previous project.  Much better!

I have fond memories of listening to vinyl records at my Grandpa & Grandma's house as a child, one of my favorite songs being, "The More We Get Together".  This is a song I've taught my children and enjoy singing it with their little voices raising up with my own.  So, to personalize this table to our little family, I decided to paint, "Oh the more we get together the happier we'll be" on the tabletop.

Using some craft paper, I created a template for the table top.  I folded my paper into quarters, and cut it into an oval shape.  I secured the paper in the center of my tabletop using a little bit of painter's tape.

Following my paper oval as a guideline, I lightly penciled the words onto the tabletop.  You could easily use a stencil if you're planning on doing a similar project, or a Silhouette if you're so lucky as to have one of your own.

But, I had neither a stencil or a Silhouette on hand, so it was down to me and my handy pencil.  Once I'd gotten everything drawn on the way I wanted I used a little bit of the leaf green craft paint diluted with just a tiny bit of water and filled in the letters with a small paint brush.  I let the lettering dry, then did a second coat to add a little more contrast.

Once the lettering was dry, I felt the tabletop looked a little sparse, so I filled in a few areas with some freehanded green bubbles, clustering them together in groups.

After letting the table fully dry, I took some coarse sand paper and scuffed up my artwork and wiped the tabletop down with a clean, dry rag.

I felt like the tabletop still lacked dimension, so I dry brushed it with some watered down white paint.

To dry brush, you simply dip your paint brush in the paint, then on a clean piece of scrap paper or cardboard, brush off most of the paint.  Then you paint in long even strokes over whatever you're wanting to dry brush, giving it a weathered and worn appearance.

Then I highlighted my lettering just a little bit with the same green paint I used earlier, let it dry, and sprayed  the whole table with a layer of clear coat to protect all my hard work!

"he" is before highlighting, "ha" is after highlighting.  I added just enough paint to allow the lettering to pop through the dry brushing.

We had these little chairs given to us by some friends of ours.  Who can say no to a great freebie?!

To spruce them up I did one coat of watered down white paint, to give them a white washed appearance, and painted a few little green bubbles on the chair backs to finish them off.  A quick spray of clear coat and they were done in no time!

Phew!  Sorry if this all seems really complicated!  All in all the project didn't take too long, there were just lots of little steps.  My kids love sitting at their newly refurbished table, singing Oh the more we get together over cheese and crackers.

Be blessed,

I'll be linking up to:

Made with love Monday at Sew Chatty
Tutorials & Tips Tuesdays at The Stories of a 2 z
Wednesday Link up at Tea Rose Home
Penny Pinching Party at Thrifty Home
Friday Flair at Whipperberry
Friday Favorites at Inspiring Creations
Linky Party Sundays at Petite Hermine

May 5, 2011

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

This week I'll be putting up a *bonus* post!  I've been cruising around, looking at blogs today and seeing some really great ideas out there, so I figured I'd put together a little list of great Mother's Day gift ideas that you can put together in a jiffy!

1.  Gardener's Hand Scrub

Does your Mom enjoy working in the garden?  This would be a really simple, quick, and thoughtful gift to put together for her.  The Gardener's Hand Scrub from Northern Cottage looks like it would be a real treat for soil worn hands.

2. Picture Frame Terrarium

The "Boutique" Girls blew my mind with this project.  How gorgeous is this?  Wow, I want to make one of these a.s.a.p!  I think this would make a wonderful gift to any Mom.  Click on the link to see their great tutorial and for more angles of this beautiful project.

3. Twix Candybars

Maybe your Mom has everything she needs, so you honor her with a special meal as a family.  If that's the case for you, consider these delectable looking homemade Twix candybars from Come on Ilene!  These look phenomenal!  What Mother wouldn't be impressed?

4. All-In-One Picnic Blanket Tote

With summer just around the corner, perhaps your Mom could use a waterproof picnic blanket.  The ladies over at Craft Buds came up with a great tutorial to whip up a beautiful blanket in time for Mother's Day.

5. Spray Painted Jars

What Mother doesn't love fresh cut flowers?  You could easily step it up a notch by delivering some beautiful blossoms in one of these lovely spray painted jars from A Pumpkin and a Princess.  The bold color and the touch of twine would add a nice pop of personality to a classic bouquet of flowers.

Hopefully this little idea round-up has provided as much inspiration for each of you as it did for me!  See you again on Friday!

Be blessed,

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