Category Archives: DIY

Inspiration Monday

Well….I may not have written any other posts since last Monday (the week didn’t exactly go as planned 😉 )…but here’s another installment of my “Inspiration Monday”…just a few things that are inspiring me this week:

Last week, my dad brought me a bunch of tree stumps that have been drying out for almost a year at his house…and I am just about beside myself with excitement over all the project possibilities sitting on my front porch right now!!  These pictures from Pinterest are inspiring me with some ideas (click on image to go to Pinterest pin):

This post by The Nester over at (in)courage
“If I want to be in community, if I want to have friends, I have no choice but to invite them in right where I am.”  
Community makes me nervous…inviting people into my life, right where I am, honestly scares me a little.  I tend to withdraw and keep to myself, waiting for others to invite me into their lives but rarely going out of my way to invite anyone into mine.  This post reminded me that if I want community, if I want real and genuine friendships, I need to do some inviting…let people in, invite people over, open the doors of my home and my heart.  I need to remember this.

 

This state map, which I found here on Pinterest.  I’m thinking I could make one of Georgia and use it to mark all the State Parks and places we visit and explore as a family.

This homemade Funfetti Candle {tutorial found here}.  This candle just looks fun…and it smells like a cupcake! I mean, how awesome is that?!

mason jar solar lightsMason Jar Solar Lights!  I actually made some of these last summer, but I want to make a few more…and I really like this simple tutorial I found here.  I already bought some $1 solar lights at Walmart a few weeks ago, and I have a ton of jars…so I see this project coming together very soon!

 

Spaghetti BoatsSpaghetti Boats – idea found on iheartnaptime.com – I’m thinking these will be the perfect way to use up leftover spaghetti!

peanut butter banana quesadillasPeanut Butter & Banana Quesadillas – saw this idea on Pinterest…thinking I’ll try them this week!

 

This second set of Jesus Project memory verses, from Ann Voskamp.  {You can download and print your free set of 24 verses at the bottom of Ann’s post HERE}

I can’t wait to commit all of these beautiful verses to memory:

 

That’s all I have for inspiration today!  What’s inspiring you lately?

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Inspiration Monday

It’s Monday.

Mondays always feel like they move in slow-motion as I try to snap out of the weekend mindset and get motivated to actually accomplish something productive with my week.  Usually I just need a little inspiration to jump-start my day and help me focus on the week ahead of me.  So I decided to start using Mondays as my “Inspiration Day” – a day to gather some ideas and thoughts that will help give me the little kick in the booty to get motivated each week.

So my plan is to use this little space here every Monday to share some of the things that are inspiring me (I’ve been so sporadic with my blog posts….we’ll see how well I can keep this going every week 😉 …but I’ll try!)

So here it goes!  My first Inspiration Monday:

 

This Book.  The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith.

I just finished reading it this weekend, but I will definitely be reading back through it again this week!  So much inspiration in these pages for creating an imperfectly beautiful home.  I could write a whole post just on this book…it is just so full of beautiful words, practical ideas, and page after page of inspiration.  Reading it made me so excited to really get creative in my home and try some things that I was waiting for because of limitations I thought I had within our small walls.  I seriously cannot recommend this book enough…if you’re looking for a little inspiration for your home, read this book!!

Here is one of my favorite quotes from the book: “You don’t have to get perfect to have a pretty house.  Most of us simply need to learn to see the beauty in the imperfect.  Because life is gloriously messy. We can find rest in our less than perfect circumstances when we figure out that no amount of striving can create the perfect life we think we are looking for.”

 

This post by Ruth Simons.  I only recently discovered this lady’s beautiful blog and quickly fell in love with her art and her way with words. And this post?…so much truth.  “No one’s life is truly easy. No one’s. …We simply can’t know another’s pain or another’s struggles by simply looking at how easy her life appears.”  Comparison is a dangerous game to play…we honestly do not know the depth of anyone’s struggles.  Instead of passing judgment or making comparisons, perhaps we should reach out a hand…bear one another’s burdens, knowing that no one is exempt from pain and struggles in this fallen and broken world.  You don’t know what struggles are lying beneath the surface of that person you think has it all together…we all need grace and love and extra compassion.

 

My girls are going to Children’s Camp with our church this week, so I plan on keeping myself busy around the house and maybe even try a Pinterest project or two.  Here are a couple that look fun to try:

Mason Jar Wheel

This cool light fixture thingy made from a wheel and mason jars looks so fun! I’m thinking of something similar for our back porch…not sure where to find a wheel like that, but this photo inspires me.

Paper Feather Wreath

This Paper Feather Wreath.  Love this.  I’m on a bit of a feather kick lately…I don’t know why.  But I think I need to try making this wreath.

Watercolor Flowers

And these beautiful Watercolor Flowers from lovegrowswild.com would look perfect in a little vase on a bookshelf or beside my bed!

 

This AMAZING Blueberry Pound Cake Recipe.

Alton-Browns-Blueberry-Pound-Cake(Image and Recipe from altonbrown.com)

My sister, Joy, made this last weekend when we went to her house to visit.  I fell in love.  I told her I want her to make it for me for my birthday.  It is SOOOO good!!!  But I can’t wait until December for a slice of this yumminess, so I will have to try to make it myself.  I’m going to give it a shot this week and see if I can make it even halfway as good as she does. 🙂

 

I spent a good bit of the weekend pulling out the calendar and planning out some fun for the summer. We finally filled in our Summer Bucket List and I filled up our calendar for the next two months with lots of “stay-cation” family fun.  This Saturday we’re planning on going to a park and having a picnic. The girls wanted to “fly a kite” this summer, so I’m thinking we’ll try our hand at making our own kites to take with us to the park.  I’ve found a few ideas on Pinterest, so I’m thinking that when they get back from camp later this week we’ll have a family night full of kite-making fun!

HowToBuildAKite(image from Pinterest pin here)

And look at this really cool Tetrahedral Kite:

TetrahedralKite

I’m printing out this verse to inspire me this week to slow down and wait quietly before God.

Psalm 62:5{ 5×7 Printable – Click HERE to download }

Well, that’s it for today’s “Inspiration Monday”!  I hope you have a wonderful, beautiful, inspired, grace-filled week!!!

A Frozen Birthday

My oldest daughter, Emma, just turned 11.  Eleven!!  I am still wrapping my brain around that.  I just can’t believe how fast 11 years has flown by.  Makes me want to grab onto each day a little tighter and not waste a single moment.  Before I know it she will be all grown up and out in this crazy world living out her own amazing story.  Sigh… It’s enough to overwhelm this mama’s heart with all sorts of emotions as I think about how fast my baby is growing up.

In between all those crazy emotions last week, I somehow managed to plan a fun party to celebrate her special day.  Emma picked the party theme: Frozen!  Big surprise there…it’s only like the newest favorite movie around here.  And we’ve only listened to the soundtrack, oh, probably at least a hundred times…the girls have all the lyrics memorized. (Ok, so maybe Mark and I have them memorized too 😉 ).

I was actually excited when she picked this theme, because there are so many great ideas out there right now, and I knew that I could pull it off without it costing a lot of money.  Because Emma is getting older, I wanted to give the party a more grown-up girl feel (less “character” heavy, and more focused on just the snowy/wintery look and feel).  And even though it ended up raining all day long on party day, I think we pulled it all together and it ended up being a fun (albeit very loud 😉 ) night with a house full of pre-teens.

I love planning parties for my girls – it’s one of my favorite things.  I enjoy making homemade decorations and adding extra details to make the celebration extra special.  I think it might be some kind of disease or something, but I just can’t help it…when I’m planning a party, I tend to get a little carried away in the details.  But it is so much fun to me.

I put quite a bit of time into gathering ideas and creating graphics so that I could create the look that I had envisioned.  And I wanted to share these ideas and graphics here, in case any of you moms out there could use a little help in pulling together a party like this.  But there are TONS of ideas out there…there are so many people who have done this theme way better than me.  So I encourage you to search Pinterest or Google, and put together your favorite ideas to create your own “perfect” party.  But maybe some of these ideas will help you along the way:

Frozen Party Tablescape

One great idea when planning a party is to consider focusing your decorations into one main area. (This helps keep decorating costs low, and saves time when setting up.)  I decided to focus my decorating attention on the food table area.  I put together this table very inexpensively.  Most of my supplies were things like plastic tablecloths, tissue paper, cotton balls, streamers, and coffee filters (cheap, cheap supplies!)  Here’s what I did:

  • For the backdrop, I taped up two (super cheap, $1 ea) white plastic tablecloths.  Then I cut strips up the length of each one, and then cut little slits all down each strip (the idea was to kinda give it the look of “icicles”…I don’t know if it really did that, but I do like the texture that it added to the backdrop).
  • Then, I cut white crepe paper streamers into long lengths and hung them in front of the tablecloths. (I used one roll of streamers, $1)
  • Then, I layered on a few strips of sparkly tulle. I got this at Hobby Lobby (it was actually wide tulle ribbon, it comes on a big roll), it was 50% off when I bought it so I only paid $2.50 per roll. (I used two rolls. But you could easily not use the tulle and just add some extra streamers and still get a very similar look for even less).

Frozen Birthday Banner

  • I designed and printed my own “Happy Birthday” banner and strung it up with some twine. (You can download the printable at the bottom of this post).  Then I added some tissue paper garland ($1.50 from Hobby Lobby), and some white beaded garland (from the wedding section in Hobby Lobby, it was 50% off).

Frozen Table_Birthday Sign

  • For the table, I just put a cheap white tablecloth on the table. Then I used cotton balls and leftover fake snow from Christmas to sprinkle on the cotton balls.  I also punched a few paper snowflakes out of cardstock and used it as confetti on the table. (I used a snowflake punch I already had, but you can get one at a craft store).

Frozen Party_snowflakes and lights

  • To finish off the whole look, I hung some large plastic snowflakes from the ceiling, and strung up some twinkle lights.  I also cut a bunch of snowflakes out of coffee filters and hung them from the ceiling as well.  In fact, I could have just done the coffee filter snowflakes and not worried about the plastic ones…but I already had them, so I used them.  But just a bunch of coffee filter snowflakes would do the trick (and talk about cheap! They are only like $1 a pack and you can make a TON of snowflakes from them!!).

Food is always a part of any party around here.  I went with fairly easy foods for this party, and just themed them out using fun “Frozen” names (I must admit, I found my inspiration for all of these foods after scouring Pinterest for ideas.  There are lots of ideas out there…these are just the ones we chose):

  • Sven’s Antlers – pretzel sticks

Frozen themed food - Sven's Antlers

  • Eternal Winter Mix – Muddy Buddy Chex Mix and marshmallows

Frozen themed food - Eternal Winter Mix

  • Olaf Noses – carrot sticks

Frozen themed food - Olaf Noses

  • Snowballs – white cheese balls

Frozen themed food - Snowballs

  • “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” – mini powdered donuts, orange M&Ms, and chocolate chips (kids made a “snowman” using these supplies)

Frozen themed food - Do You Want To Build A Snowman?

  • Beverages: Melted Ice (water) and Arendelle Punch (equal parts Blue Hawaiian Punch and Sprite)

Frozen themed beverages - "Melted Ice" and "Arendelle Punch"

  • The Cake – a simple white cake (colored in shades of blue) and homemade buttercream icing. I decorated it with white sprinkles and iced-on snowflakes.  The kids said it looked like a wedding cake, but that wasn’t really the intention.  I just wanted it to look pretty and white…a more “fancy” cake for my growing-up girl.

Frozen themed food - the cake

  • Our one big splurge was this: we rented a Sno-Cone machine!  And I’m SO glad we did! This was definitely the most favorite thing at the party…the kids LOVED it!!

Frozen themed food - Sno-Cone machine

We had originally planned for the party to be an “Outdoor Movie Night” party.  We were going to show the movie Frozen outside on a big screen in the backyard under the stars.  But then it rained. All day long.  So we had to quickly come up with a back-up plan.

Indoor movie under the twinkle light stars

We had the party at my parents’ house, and so we converted their den into a “winter wonderland” by hanging up a bunch of snowflakes and twinkle lights from the ceiling, and we watched the movie in there on the big TV. (By the way, I have the most AMAZING parents in the world.  They allowed us and almost 20 pre-teens to invade their home for this party…and they let me tape up lights and snowflakes all over their ceilings.  They are awesome.  Just awesome.)  It ended up looking pretty cool, even though it wasn’t the original plan.  The kids loved it, and Emma had a BLAST…so I’d say the party was a success.

When the kids all went home, we sent them with a little homemade party favor:

Frozen Party Favor

We made Rice Krispy Treats shaped into “snowballs”, and put them in a half-pint Mason jar.  Then we added two pretzel sticks and a chocolate “carrot” (found these at Target in the Easter candies, $1 for 10).  (So they basically had all the pieces of a “snowman”).  I added a label to the top of each jar and then tied on some white yarn to finish it off.  They are very simple favors, and ended up costing less than $2 each…but I really like the way they turned out.

Frozen Party Favor

 

So our Frozen party was a success, although it was probably the loudest party we’ve ever had, simply because of the natural volume level of 20 pre-teens. Oh my word.  They were sweet kids, and we really had a great time with them.  But I looked at Mark at one point and just shook my head…we really have no idea what we are doing as we enter this stage of parenting.  We have a pre-teen, an almost middle-schooler…and it’s a whole new world, that’s for sure.  My baby is no longer a baby…I see her growing and changing every day.  She is becoming the young lady that God made her to be…and I just want to be the kind of mom that will take her, in all her pre-teen hormonal emotional awkwardness, and love her and guide her through it all.  So I am just going to embrace this new stage and continue to trust God as He leads us all along this incredible journey.

Frozen Themed Party - Ideas & Printables

Are you planning a Frozen-themed party?  If you’d like to save yourself a little time and use some of the graphics that I created for your own party, please feel free to download the files below.  These are free for personal use (all I ask is that you please don’t take them and then sell them as your own…thanks!!).

By the way…these ideas would also work for a fun Family Movie Night!  So even if you don’t have a birthday coming up, you can still plan a night of Frozen fun with with the ones you love!

Frozen Party Printables – CLICK HERE

This file includes:

  • Frozen “Happy Birthday” Banner
  • “Do You Want To Build a Snowman” Sign
  • “Happy Birthday” Sign
  • Food Label Cards
  • Water Bottle Labels
  • Favor Labels

If you would like to personalize your own favor labels by adding a name to the bottom, here is the jpeg image (click on the image, then just right click and save it) – then just use Word or Photoshop or whatever program you have to add a text on top of the image.  If you are putting this label on half-pint jars, you will need to make sure you print the image at 2 inches wide.  (You can print it larger for larger lids)

Favor Jar Labels_blank

 

 

Have fun planning your own Frozen fun!!

Mini Mailbox Makeover

DIY Mini Mailbox Makeover {for Valentine's Day}

I’m making some final preparations for our Family Valentine’s Day Dinner tomorrow {read all the details about our Valentine’s Day family tradition, and snag that “Love One Another” printable, in this post from the other day}.

One of my favorite things we do for this family night is our Love Note Exchange.  We’ve been using these little metal mailboxes every year to deliver our notes to one another:

I found them for just $1 each at Target in that little dollar spot area.  (Tip: if you want to grab some, try going after Valentine’s Day…they usually mark them 50% off, so you can snag some mailboxes for super cheap!)

This year I wanted to give our little mailboxes a little update.  This little DIY was super easy…and I love how they turned out.  Here’s what I did:

First, I had a budget of, oh, $0….so I rummaged through all of my old, leftover craft supplies to see if I had anything I could use to give the mailboxes a little height.  I found these:

I had previously used these little wooden pieces as little cupcake stands for Emma’s birthday party a couple of years ago:

They worked great as little cupcake stands, but I figured if I flipped them around and painted them, they’d make great little mailbox stands 🙂

So I painted them blue, and glued them together like this:

Then I decided to paint the little flag on the mailbox to match the stand:

Because I used regular acrylic craft paint (because it’s what I had), I had to add a layer of mod podge on top of the paint so that it wouldn’t scratch off easily (you can use any kind of acrylic sealer…or a paint that is intended to work on plastic 😉 ).

Then I just hot glued the little mailboxes on top of the little wooden stands:

Next, I drilled some holes in the “door” of the mailbox so I could add a little pull to make the mailboxes easier to open.

Notice how amazingly lined up my holes are…lol 😉  I am terrible about just eyeballing things and not taking the time to measure or make things level…my eyeballs were very uneven on this one 😉  (It didn’t really end up mattering…you can’t tell once I added the fabric strips)

Next I cut some little strips of fabric from some scrap fabric I had.

(I used this same fabric when I made the “LOVE” bunting/banner for the living room – you can see it HERE).

Then I just pulled the fabric strips (4 strips total, 2 of each pattern) through the holes that I drilled in the mailbox doors:

Then I just tied them in a simple knot and put the doors on the mailboxes.

DIY Mini Mailbox Makeover {for Valentine's Day}

After painting our names on the sides of the mailboxes, they were done!

I love our little mailboxes…they are going to look super cute on our table for our Family Valentine’s Day Dinner tomorrow!  Now to get busy filling them with notes and treats for one another!

DIY Mini Mailbox Makeover {for Valentine's Day}

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