Monday, December 22, 2014

wine & cheese party

Between work and my boys, I was in desperate need for a girls night. So I decided to host a holiday wine and cheese party. I asked all the girls to bring a bottle of wine to share for a wine tasting competition. We numbered brown paper bags and did a blind taste test, ranking each bottle on these little score cards I made. Winner got a surprise little gift from me. 

For food, I wanted to make it interactive. I'm of course obsessed with all things cheese, and with all the fun flavors I found at the grocery store, I wanted the girls to know exactly what they were tasting. I decided to make it easy and write it directly on the table (with craft paper)... cleanup was a breeze! 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

rustic bench

Our bedroom has been a work in progress and we still have quite a bit left to do. One of the first things I wanted to add (after the bed, of course) was a rustic bench. We have a pretty large master bedroom and the bench could really help fill the space...and of course provide a place to put on our shoes. I put my husband to work.

He picked out some pine wood with extra knots and created a simple, custom design of his own. Once we applied the cherry stain, the knots really added a lot of character. He finished it off with a couple coats of satin gloss.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

merry mail

Nothing puts me in the Christmas spirit quicker than receiving holiday cards from friends and family near and far. I just absolutely love them! Last year, I taped all of our cards to the refrigerator (since we didn't have enough magnets) and it ended up looking pretty cluttered. So this year, I wanted to hang them someplace I could enjoy them throughout the whole season.

James and I saw a "Merry Mail" sign made by a craft artist at a local antique shop and I almost purchased it... until I saw the $85 price tag. As usual, my husband did his typical "we could make this" look, so we put it back and headed straight to The Home Depot. 

We stained a piece of wood and I used a white and gold paint marker to create the letters. I found some gold ribbon and we stapled them to the back of the wood. I used mini clothes pins from Hobby Lobby and used them to secure the cards, and hung the sign from a wreath door hanger. It was super easy and it's been a perfect place to display everyone's cute cards!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

kitchen hutch

We have a strange layout in our kitchen. I love our kitchen, but it's strange. We have plenty of cabinet space, but we don't really have any drawers. We also have a pretty big empty wall in the middle of it. The previous owners had a tiny 2-person table and chairs, but it seemed like a waste of space given we have a bar top and stools.

James and I decided a hutch was the best solution - it could provide extra needed drawers, storage and really add some southern charm to our kitchen. We looked on Craigslist for an inexpensive one we could re-do. And when I say looked...I mean it. We searched everyday for about 3 months until we found the perfect size and style we wanted. And even better? It was only $80. 

We started by sanding it, which took quite a bit of time, then primed it. I brought one of our cabinet doors to Home Depot so they could match the paint color, and my husband painted it. I had bought some funky hardware at Hobby Lobby but ended up falling in love with the original against the eggshell.

It's been so fun changing out the decorations for each of the seasons!

Monday, October 20, 2014

halloween treats

With Halloween approaching, I wanted to give Joe's daycare teachers a little something special to show how much we appreciate them. I found these little Halloween dishes at Hobby Lobby, filled them with an assortment of candy and wrapped them in cellophane.

I then created a note from Joe on Halloween spider paper and attached it with Boo! ribbon.  His teachers loved them!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

to 30 years!

My best friend's 30th birthday is right around the corner and I want to send her something extra special in the mail. We've been friends since Kindergarten and lived together for 6 years, so it's crazy to think about how many great memories over the past 30 years have been spent together. Now that I live in Nashville and she's in Chicago, it's been tough not having her here for every little get-together or Saturday night cocktail...but obviously distance won't stop us from still being best friends!

One of our favorite shows of all-time is "Sex and the City." I remember when I got the DVD set in college and we spent many a Sundays hungover and watching episode after episode. I remember a quote from the movie (which we of course saw together) that sort of stuck with me over the years.

"Enjoy yourself. That's what your 20's are for. Your 30's are to learn the lessons. Your 40's are to pay for the drinks."

It was the perfect theme for her gift! I started by making tags for each of the 3 gifts...

20's: A photo collage "to remember how much we enjoyed ourselves."

 30's: A life lesson's book "to help learn the lessons."

40's: Wine coasters "for all the drinks to come."

I wrapped each of the gifts and tagged them, then added the quote to the top of the box. Happy 30th birthday, Jenny! 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

kisses from joe

With 2 sets of first-time grandparents, I wanted to make them feel extra special on their very first Grandparent's Day. And yes, there is such a thing as Grandparent's Day. It's always the first Sunday after Labor Day, and I didn't really hear about it until I met my husband.

Both of Joe's grandparents are out of town, so it made sense to make something that could be easily shippable. I found these red jars at Hobby Lobby (you could also spray paint jars yourself) and filled them with Hershey kisses.

He's only little once so why not capture those cute little footprints forever? Make sure you use non-toxic white paint and if you have a squirmy baby like me, wait for them to fall asleep to get a good print. I attached attached a little wooden sign (also found at Hobby Lobby) with twine. On one side I wrote "Kisses from Joe" and the other side "Grandparent's Day 2014" so they could keep the jars for years to come. They were a big hit. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

picnic themed family pictures

I can't believe 6 months has already passed. Wow, did that fly. We decided to do professional pictures with an outdoor summer picnic theme, using a family quilt and some of my old childhood books. Our photographer, Sarah-Marie Photography, did an awesome job capturing all of his different faces!

picnic pictures

summer picnic pictures

picnic themed 6 months oldpicnic pictures vintage book

vintage book family photos

6 months old summer pictures

6 month old on vintage quiltpicnic quilt

picnic pictures with quilt

picnic themed pictures for 6 month old boy6 month old portraits on vintage quilt

baby reading on quilt

outdoor summer portraits

Saturday, May 24, 2014

diy herb garden

I finally have the space to garden! It's exciting and scary all at the same time. I don't have a ton of knowledge other than what I know from helping my parents when I was younger. So I'll have to be patient with myself and learn as I go.

I really wanted to start an herb garden first because it's not only cute to look at, but practical too. Earlier this month, I came across an antique store showing off some of their items on a shelf made from a ladder and 2x4. They were using it because they didn't have enough shelf space...but I thought it was the perfect way to showcase a patio herb garden!

We found a small ladder on Craigslist for $10. I liked the weathered look so I kept it as-is. My husband bought some cheap plywood and painted it bright red to add some color. It was fun picking different vegetables and herbs to grow. We'll see what makes the cut for next year's garden!

I spray painted wide popsicle sticks black and used a white paint marker to label the plants.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

polka dot nursery

I wanted to make our nursery comfortable and inviting because I knew I was going to be spending a lot of time in there over the next year. James and I decided early on that we wanted our first born's gender to be a surprise the day of delivery. But decorating a gender neutral nursery proved to be harder than I thought. Everything I ended up finding tended to lean boy or girl, so I decided to do a more generic sky theme and really play up patterns.

I wanted to hang something soft over the crib for safety reasons so I created these clouds from 2 pieces of fleece. Make sure you create them much bigger than you want because they shrink quite a bit once you stuff them. I did a large hand stitch with yarn around the edge and tied it off in back, then hung them with plastic ring hooks.

To add some color to the walls, I created these hot air balloons using patterned scrapbook paper, burlap and string. I used the burlap from the runners at our wedding, so it meant even more to incorporate it into the room. I framed and hung them between an old dresser that we repainted gray and white. The knobs are from Antropologie.

The rocking chair is a family heirloom that I painted white, and my mom custom-made the cushion. It was inspired by a cushion I found online (found here) but it unfortunately didn't fit our sized rocker. The lamp was a $10 Craigslist find that we painted white. We then bought a new lampshade and hot glued ribbon to the edging. 


The shelves were from Target, but it was a little low for our wall so we decided to add legs. I found short wooden legs from The Home Depot and painted them white and my husband secured them to the shelf. The B-A-B-Y letters were hand made by my sister for my baby shower. 

The last wall was completed after our little man was born. I wanted to personalize it with his baby photos and found this cute little chalkboard sign from Hobby Lobby. We couldn't be happier with how this room turned out and I can certainly say I've loved every minute spent in it (even at 3 am!)