Thursday, January 28, 2010

Keeping Me on My Toes

My children informed me that I had missed an important holiday. They did not like or appreciate my premature spring decor that I was so proud of. And I have to agree with them. So I got to work thinking of some fun new ways to decorate for Valentine's Day this year. I like to keep it simple because V-Day decor can get cartoonish real quick. I only have a small handful of things for this holiday and when I pulled them out, I was not impressed. So, my trusty Cricut came to the rescue.

I cut out these cute labels and the word "love" for my red candles using vinyl, so that I could apply them like stickers and peel them off when the holiday is over. It looks like I wrote it directly onto the label...I only wish my handwriting was that pretty!

The red heart on the chalkboard is also vinyl.

These candles turned out really nice. I might even add a piece of ribbon to go underneath the label for a little extra detail.

And I completely changed out all the decor on my buffet in the kitchen. No new ground breaking ideas here, just my trusty standbys. Y'all have got to be sick to death of me and my paper wrapped candles. Have I completely run this idea into the ground?? I, myself, never tire of it. It's an oldie...... but a goody! The frame on the left side holds a simple greeting card from Target's dollar spot. I didn't spend one penny decorating for this holiday. I used what I already had and just tweaked it a bit. Super simple, very inexpensive, and the kiddos are happy. What more could I ask for at the end of the day than my kids be happy??? Not much I tell ya, not much.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dreaming of Spring

We are having some beautiful spring like weather around here. And it is making me long for spring cleaning, spring flowers, spring decor, and YARD SALES. I am pumped for the yard sale season to start back up. I need a fix of second hand frugal bad! Since it's not quite time for that, I had to go digging in my closets and drawers for things to repurpose. I love that feeling of finding something you'd forgotten about and pretending like I just went shopping for something new!

These neutral candles were packed away in a drawer waiting to be cutesified with some scrapbook paper scraps. My kitchen is drowning in beige right now and needed some rich bold color to save it. I love this combination of aqua blue, apple green, chocolate brown, and red. But that's not what sold me on this paper. Look at that adorable little bird up there...isn't he precious?

I made another monogrammed frame for our family with the extra paper. I LOVE this paper! I applied the vinyl lettering directly onto the glass so that when I get tired of this paper I can switch it out for another pattern or even a scrap of fabric. This one is busy, but I like it for now. I needed some pizazz in here!

Add in a chippy white iron bird, some red pears, a little nest, and you've got the perfect touch of spring.

Everything looks better by lamp does a great job hiding flaws on people and decor.

And just because I think this adorable...I had to share my 4 year old's centerpiece she insists on putting out. Last week I was working on science projects with my boys and she got into my closet full of home accessories. She put together this white candlestick with a giant pink gerbera daisy on top. When I first saw it I thought...awwwww, how cute. Then I put it back in the closet. Next thing I know it's popping up all over the house. Every time I turn around it's in a different spot. It's become quite comical and something I look forward to finding everyday! But, the Legos in the corner of the picture...not so much. They are seriously taking over my whole house. They're everywhere I look. We need a room just for them. Here's hoping and dreaming of a massive playroom addition in my near future!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Covered Mailbox Tutorial

Last year I posted a tutorial on how to make these cute little mod podged mailboxes for Valentine's Day. So when I saw that Target had them again this year, I thought I'd repost my mailbox tutorial for anyone who missed it. They make really great happies stuffed with chocolate for V-Day!

I used white ones, but they also have red, pink, and silver.

Here goes......

Cut a strip of paper measuring 4"x 12". These dimensions are specifically for the $1 mailboxes from Target. If you have a different one, you may need a different size piece of paper.

Hold your paper up against the mailbox so that one of the ends is about halfway across the bottom. Now smoosh it really good up against the base of the flag to make an impression.
(Hello, I have man hands!)

Now flip your paper over and you will see that the smooshing (my directions are amazing in their technicality) left an impression of the base of the flag. It will be a little circle. See where I so lovingly penciled it in and drew an arrow to it?

Punch out the circle and cut a slit from the edge of the paper into the hole.

Trace the lid twice with a fine tip pencil. These will be the front and back covers to both lids. Only one lid actually comes off. Don't try and pry the other lid off. It may result in the whole mailbox falling apart...not that I did that or anything. Just a random thought.

When you cut out your lids, be sure and cut them a little smaller than the tracing...right inside the line. This will prevent paper from hanging over the edges.

I chose to mod podge mine because I wanted them to be more durable. I didn't take pictures of wrapping the mailbox, but you definitely want to do that first. Start with the little hole and slit and just work it around the base of the flag. I put that on first and then brushed on the glue in sections, working my way from the the flag... over the top...and to the other side of the bottom.

When your paper is good and dry and adhered to the mailbox, then you can slap on a really good coat of mod podge to seal the outside. A second coat won't hurt either.

When the outside dries you can sass up the flag with some cute ribbon. Have I ever mentioned before how much I HEART ribbon? No... I didn't think so. I added a rub-on letter to the top of the flag to personalize it. I am giving these as gifts to the teachers for Valentine's Day stuffed full of yummy chocolatey goodness!

Good luck!
Let me know if you try one...I'd love to see it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How to Plan a 6 Week Wedding...and Stay Sane!

Really....what do you do when your only daughter gives you six weeks notice on a wedding (with Christmas looming) and also vows not to visit a bridal store??? Why of course you panic. (insert panic stricken face here). This is part of our story.......this is what I learned......

To Thine Own Self Be True

"I only want one have the reception at the Library," said Hannah. Sadly the Library is booked every weekend of 2010 thru October. The building has mahogany wood floors, mahogany trim around the windows, arched columns, soaring twenty foot ceilings, a fancy staircase, beautiful old-fashioned lights and charm galore! It is beautiful, affordable and obviously in demand. The lady laughed when I called in December to book a January date. We were bummed....... Lightbulb!!! What about another week night..maybe a Thursday? Good news--available!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, we booked the Library for a Thursday night reception. Friday wedding. Yes, you read that right--we did it backwards and it SO worked. Be flexible to get what you want.

(guest book entry table)

(looking through the front doors into the library)

Think Outside the Box

My daughter has her own sense of style. While looking for a dress for her senior prom Hannah announced that she would never buy a wedding dress from a bridal store. She is not a ruffly frilly girl and found the process of trying on dresses painful (she is such her mother's daughter in this sense). So--she ordered her dress online from a lady in China.......can you taste the panic here?? I think you can. Anyway, for a mere fraction of the cost of a custom dress, nimble Chinese fingers created her dream dress. She sent her measurements.....a photo of a dress.....altered the dress with sleeves.....said a prayer, said another prayer and waited.........the dress arrived Dec 24th folded in a small black envelope. Merry Christmas!! Be grateful for honest people on the Internet.

Employ Friends with Skills

This is the Girl Power section!! I have wonderful friends & family with awesome talents. I made a list of friends/family and talents and began calling.......for example I have worked closely at church with a woman who cooks like a dream......I offered her a job doing the food. I told her that I am going to pay someone--I would rather pay someone I know. She agreed. One friend made bows in her car on the way out of town. Another was starting a photography owns a wholesale friend knew a lady who made cakes.....I called the lady and she quickly became a new friend. Sisters cut out labels, monograms, put dresses on hold for me (remember, Hannah and I have an aversion to trying on dresses. Thank you Amanda), ran my errands, loaned me earrings, passed out cute wedding tissues and served lunch. I will always be grateful for the help---it would be horrible to plan a wedding in 6 weeks alone--it was enjoyable with my sisters and friends cheering me on! Thank you, Amanda, Beth, Cindy, Emily, Kim, Sarah, Ali, Addison, Dave, Katie, Miriam, Ross, Jennifer, Mary Anne, Tammy, Kristi, Janice, Dee, Kathleen, Leonard, Lindsey, Lauren, Dani, Crystal, Becca, Jen, Jeannie, Janese, Dana, Lorenzo, Mom, Dad, and my dear hubby Mr M. There really is strength in numbers!

(food tables based on their travels in Europe with chalkboard labels of the country represented)

(beautiful flowers)

(amazing cake)

Splurge & Simplify

The most beautiful wedding site I've found is Style Me Pretty. I scoured that site for inspiration and beauty. I learned that the simple letter M can be a beautiful sight. Even better when you repeat it over and over and over--which we did. I had plans for elaborate decorations but one night I heard the words--"Don't overdo...focus on the personal touches." I obeyed. Flowers, beautiful linens, good food, and happy guests were the best decorations. That simplification allowed us to have the funds to hire a wonderful trio from a local church band. Hannah posted our need on Facebook and within 2 hours a friend of a friend linked us up with 3 wonderful musicians--they played the saxophone, the bass and a guitar. Can you say mellow--BIG BAND sounds?? Can you say AMAZING! Live music is nothing short of magical. Music is the language of love.

I had a wonderful time planning this wedding. But more importantly I had a wonderful time living in the moment. It was an amazing, happy, spiritual time in my life--and a gift to my daughter and new son-in-law. They are happy as larks. What more could you ask than for your daughter to be in love with a good man and for him to be in love with her? I may very well be the luckiest woman alive! Thanks for letting me live, relive, think, and dream about the past few weeks. They have been magical for me and I am so grateful for that!

Just to add my two cents, I have to also include that this wedding came in $500 under budget! That is including my sister's travel to Utah for the groom's reception...seriously a major accomplishment. We read somewhere that the average US wedding costs $19,000. She was nowhere even remotely close to that. This wedding was done on a real budget and done very well, at that.

Jen...thank you so much for being a guest blogger today. I am so lucky to have you as my sister and one of my very best friends. I am truly blessed. It was a beautiful wedding and reception. Immecably done...with style, and grace, and humility. Couldn't have been better or sweeter! And at the end of the day, the most important thing came down to this day right here (in the above picture). We were all together as a family...celebrating each other, true love, and forever families. What a gift. Jen, I love you so much. Thanks again for being our guest was an honor to have you!

This post linked to :
Melissa's Inspiring Finds @ The Inspired Room
Strut Your Stuff @ Somewhat Simple
Funky Junk Interior's Saturday Nite Special

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Reduce-Reuse-Recycle Project

{Linked to Reinvented's Trash to Treasure Tuesday!}

In all fairness, I must admit that this post is not really about recycling. I just needed a catchy title. Although, I did recycle these cereal and snack boxes for my little project...that was not my main focus here. Ok, let me set the stage for you. Each week I take my 4 kids to church, a 3 hour block of church, mind you. I have really good intentions. I also have really high expectations (somewhat unrealistic). These two things do not mix well with church and rowdy kids. I'm just gonna be honest here and tell you that we make a spectacle of ourselves each and every Sunday! Try as I might to convince, coerce, bribe, and threaten good rarely happens. I end up chasing a two year old around who seems to be allergic to church or shushing a four year old who cannot stand to be quiet, much less NOT talk. All the while, my boys are making matters worse by tickling, teasing, and terrorizing the little girls. I end up twisting ears and making empty threats of personal injury. It's not pretty. So, what exactly does any of this have to do with these cut up cereal boxes you might ask???

It all comes back to trying to make my kids behave like civilized human beings at church. I will try just about anything...well, not anything...but close. Coloring seems to have lost it's luster, so I needed to amp it up a bit.

I used my Cricut to cut shapes out of those used boxes.

My hope is that these stencils will become one of our new quiet church activity. And we can cut new ones each week so they don't get bored. I'll let them decide what they want to draw and we can cut them out together. Hopefully getting them involved in the process will help them be more excited about it.

I put them on a big clip ring so we can keep track of them and make clean up a bit easier. Please pray that this will work. I really want my family to stop being a three ring circus at church!!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Country Living Furniture at K-Mart???

While enjoying my new issue of Country Living magazine this month I spotted an ad for a beautiful new line of furniture and accessories by CL. I was slightly (and by slightly I mean enormously) surprised to see that it was carried at K-Mart, of all places. I actually have an aversion to this particular store. When they closed their doors in our town several years ago, I did a little happy dance. I would venture to say they had the worst customer service of any store I've ever been to. So, I was reluctant to even give this a second glance. But...sadly, Country Living had me at hello and I could not resist their charms. Tonight I decided to check out this new line and I have to is lovely. And not to mention, extremely affordable. The whole line of furniture and accessories is on sale right now. I thought I'd share with you just a few of my favorite items
This desk/vanity would be beautiful with a beveled mirror above it and a cute crystal lamp on top. Perfect in my bedroom.
I love extra storage space, especially when it's pretty. Love that nailhead trim. Again...perfect for my bedroom.

This chair makes me swoon. I wish I could trust my family to have chairs like this at our dining table. Big fat chance of that! By the way, this chair is only $ amazing deal for such a beautiful chair. Maybe I could fit it into my bedroom somehow....hmmmmm?

This little side table is absolutely adorable. Can you see that shelf with the caning detail? I think it needs to come live in my bedroom as a nightstand. Do we see a theme here people?

I WILL have some of these distressed mirrored frames. Love, love, love them.

This is huge. I just happened to stumble onto these CL lanterns in the clearance section. They are 75% off, which makes them 12.49 and 8.74...originally $50 and $35. I have been wanting something similar to this for forever, but wasn't willing to pay Pottery Barn with my first born child. Have you priced these? A bit pricey, thankyouverymuch! So, if you're in the market for some cute lanterns for wicked cheap, head on over to the K-Mart. And check out Country Living's new line while you're there.

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's All In The Details!

As with any event, it's the small details with a personal touch that make it so special. I think my sister did a fabulous job in adding those personal touches to her daughter's wedding. Because of the time constraints (6 weeks) she was limited in the things she could do. But if you had been at the reception, you would never have known it! I am seriously amazed at all that she accomplished and was able to pull off, with seeming ease, in that amount of time. Today I will share with you a few of my favorites. And I'm thrilled to announce that she will be here as a guest blogger within the next few days. She will share with us some tips and insight into how she pulled off a beautiful wedding in just 6 short weeks, and lived to tell about it. Please stay tuned and check will be worth it!

The bride and her mom made these adorable favors for the wedding luncheon. They put together some of the couple's favorite love songs and burned CD's for the guests. They made the sleeves out of scrapbook paper, included a playlist of the songs inside, and tied it up with twine and a cute metal charm. What a great favor! Easy, inexpensive, personal, and too stinkin caauuute!

This familiar saying was made into a vinyl transfer and applied to the wall behind the cake table.

My sister wrote this cute little poem about how the two met, summing up their sweet love story. She had a friend cut the vinyl and we put it behind the food table.

I cut the vinyl monograms for the 4 glass front doors. It was a simple touch, but very striking. The bride and groom weren't too shabby either!

Just when you thought you couldn't take any more monograms...we made monogrammed luminaries. Are you sick of this "M" yet? I, personally, do not think you can overdo a monogram, especially at a wedding.

We used them to light the front sidewalk and up the stairs to the front doors. As well as up the stairs inside leading to the kid's table.

Speaking of the kid's was the cutest thing ever! My sister bought galvanized buckets in various sizes to hold the different foods...goldfish, gummi bears, chicken fingers, juice boxes, and mini cupcakes. Each one was tied with a cute ribbon, and labeled with a darling tag. We re-used the cupcake stand from the shower and made a banner strung with twine for the front of the table that read "Yum Yums".

And no wedding would be complete without a fabulous photographer. A friend of ours did the photos and she did a bang up job. This picture was my absolute favorite...artsy with a vintage vibe...perfect! Most of the photos in this post (the good ones anyway) came courtesy of Miriam Arroyo Photography. If you'd like to see more of her work, here's the link to her blog.

Don't forget to check back and welcome my sister as our guest blogger for the day!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The CUTEST Ruffle Pillows on the Planet!

EDITED to add:
Thank you Sunny for your comment! I could not for the life of me remember where I had seen those ruffle pillows originally. I've had that picture in my inspiration file for ages. The second picture in this post are pillows from V&Co . I hate to not give credit where credit is due. And she definitely deserves credit for these beautiful pillows! Please excuse my oversight...and thanks again Sunny for the info.

I think I've died and gone to pillow heaven! Look what came in the mail for me yesterday??? The most adorable, perfectly ruffled and pleated pillows for my bedroom redo.

Remember this inspiration pic I showed a while back (courtesy V&Co). I have been looking high and low for some pillows like these. I got on etsy and searched for ruffle pillows and this search led me to my new pillow lady, Jill. She has the cutest etsy shop called Jilly Bean Things.

I showed her a picture of what I wanted, sent the dimensions and poof...she made the most perfect pillows ever! This lady has got some serious skills. Have I mentioned how in love I am with these pillows???

The room redo is far from finished, but it is well on it's way. I couldn't wait to get up this morning and make my bed. That is huge for me people...HUGE. I usually only make my bed when I know company's coming over. Yes...I realize how shameful that is. I'm just keepin it real!

I found myself walking into the hallway just so I could peek in my room and admire my bed and the new pillows.

The detail on them is AMAZING. I still cannot get over how perfect they are, and exactly what I'd envisioned!

I asked for a big black flower on the pleated pillow and she delivered. Every single thing I asked for...she made it happen. Jill was a dream to work with. She does excellent work and she is very affordable...especially for very detailed custom pillows! I could not be more pleased. Be sure and hop on over to her cute shop and check out more of her creations.

I am really starting to love my room again. It's been a long time since I could say that. I don't dread going in there anymore. And I can leave the door open with confidence when people come over! Now if I could only finish painting that stinkin bathroom. My to do list never ends!

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