Thursday, June 23, 2016

Craft "Room"

Before we moved to our new home, we had redone this little closet in our previous house as a designated office/craft space. I LOVED it, but it had it's limitations. Namely, space. I had to be careful on what and how much I purchased when it came to craft supplies (first world problems). It was also quite difficult to locate specific items because everything was pretty jumbled together.

When we moved, I hoped to have a designated craft space eventually. When we redid our office, we didn't really install much in the way of storage. Plus, since it's one of the first rooms you see when you walk into our home, I didn't really want people to instantly have a view of my craft supplies strewn about.

So, everything was just crammed into the closet without much in the way of organization. It got out of control fast...

So a few months ago, I finally talked the handy hubby into helping me with a few "honey do's." He built a few shelves, hung a few pegboards, and the result is amazing. Sure, it's in the back of a closet so it's a little dark and space is still tight, but everything has a place now. I freshened it with a bit of paint, some peel and stick flooring, shelf paper, and buckets. Check it out...
The existing shelves in the closet were kept and utilized as storage for supplies. Peel and stick flooring was installed for easy mess clean-up.

We found a good spot for the mail and file cabinet, installed pegboard, and a chalk board for fun.

Painted pegboard, hooks, and mini buckets from target helped to organize supplies like ribbon, markers, and tulle.

An additional pegboard was installed to hold wrapping paper. The handy hubby made a paper organizer, and buckets were hung from the clothing racks to hold items like glue and popsicle sticks. 

The supports were kept from a previous shelf, and a different board was inserted as a desktop workspace.

Baby food jar lids were screwed to the underside of the shelf to hold knick knack items like paperclips and rubber bands.

Monday, May 30, 2016

The Weekend Pergola

Our weekend pergola project may be one of my favorite projects to date (of course I say that every time.) So here's the details...(scroll to the end for final pictures)

This was our backyard before:

Our backyard faced the setting sun. See that big table the hubby built? Yeah, love eating at it, but we never get to enjoy it because Oklahoma is HOT ya'll...

So we decided that a pergola was the most cost-effective solution. We would extend a pergola off the back of the house out to the end of the patio slab. Then we would add shades to the ends that pull down and block the sun.

So here is what we used (pretty much everything purchased at Lowes):

  • 2 8x6ft sun shades
  • stain and sanding materials
  • Quarter Round and trim (for edging the top and bottom of the post boxes)
  • String Lights
  • Bolts and washers
  • Screws
  • Nails and Trim Nailer
  • 7, 2x4x8's
  • 3 4x4x8's
  • 4 2x6x12's
  • 3 2x6x8's

I started with staining the wood before it was put up, which I highly recommend. It made things soooo much easier. I love the Canyon Brown color by Olympic Stain.

We basically started with the 3 main posts. We drilled brackets into the concrete slab, placed posts, leveled, and screwed in. Then we did 2 of the 2x6x12's across the top. We placed the cross posts and pocket screwed them to the house roof. Then we installed the shades. Followed by putting up the remaining 2x6x12's on the other side (so the blinds were sandwiched and not visible when rolled up). Finally, we finished up with some trim work.

Add a cute outdoor rug from Target, and some string lights from Lowes (along with re-staining the table to a matching color), and voila! Finished Product. All around $550 or so, and done in one 3-day weekend! :-)
Here is the final Product:
Inside with Screens Down:

Outside with Screens Down:

Inside with Screens Up:

Outside with Screens Up:

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Farmhouse Kitchen Table

Here's the deal, our "eat in" kitchen space is limited. I have a giant table in the dining room, but when
it's just the 3 of us, it just seems like too much work to eat in there. For the past year, we have been eating on a wooden folding table in our kitchen while we decided what sort of table we wanted to build. As you already know, I hate spending crazy amounts of money on furniture, so building was definitely the way to go...

Many years ago, before we met, my hubby came across a large turnbuckle left on his property, presumably left there by an oil company from the past. He thought it was neat, so he dragged it back to his mom's house and stashed it away. Fast forward, and my mother-in-law held onto it all these years and recently came across it again while going through her shed. We decided it would make the perfect centerpiece for our "industrial farm house" table.

The table is  mostly made from cedar planks, sanded to oblivion.

Lowe's no longer carries my favorite stain (boo!) so I had no choice but to go with the only one available in stores. I really dislike Minwax products, but I have to say that I do love this color (Bombay Mahogany). I'm currently looking for a replacement, however, because this doesn't go on as smooth as I need it too.

We added some piping to hold the turnbuckle in place. I love the industrial element it adds to the table!

 Finally, we paired the table with these great chairs we ordered from Amazon. I love them!!

Here is the final product!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Age 3

We have made it to year 3! What a great year! This year we have gone to Ireland (Zoe spent an entire WEEK at her grandma's!), said goodbye to my sister and her family (and then hello again on two trips to Florida!), moved to a new home that we LOVE, made LOTS of new friends, learned Zoe will be getting a new cousin in 2016, made plans to visit NYC in a few weeks, and of course, taken lots and LOTS of pictures!

Sometimes I look back and I'm stunned at how blissfully normal, and peaceful our life is. We are truly blessed and I'm so thankful for this life and time with friends and family I love and cherish. I hope Zoe one day recognizes how lucky we really are. Here's a look back:

Zoe with her cousins in Florida
First Pedicure. This is in Florida with her cousin!
In March and August, we visited my sister in Florida. She moved just outside of Orlando, not far from Cocoa Beach. Not that we needed an excuse to visit, but white sandy beaches are a nice bonus! Zoe absolutely loved visiting the beach and playing in the sand, but time with her cousins was really what she wanted!

When we got back from Florida in March, Andrew had converted Zoe's crib to a toddler bed since she had been climbing out. He built the toddler rail, since we never purchased the one that goes with her bed. Not long after this, we also broke the binky habit! It required a lot of persuasion and a little magic from a "binky fairy" but we were successful! We also started potty training around this time, and while Zoe is still not "night trained," she is completely potty trained during the day. Yay for not buying diapers!

We made several trips to Bartlesville to visit my family. Including this lovely lady's birthday party in March. It's always so wonderful to visit with family. We live a bit closer now, so hopefully can stop by more often!

Zoe got her first "pets" this year. Small turtles named Myrtle and Henry. She enjoys feeding them worms!

We had a ton of fun this summer. We have a pool in our neighborhood now, so Z swam almost every day. We also went to the splash pad at Myriad garden's with my mom a few times. I won a giveaway at a local photographer's page, and Z took some adorable "Princess and the Pea" photo's. We also attended the annual summer party with the company Andrew works for. This year, they chose to do a baseball game. I think Zoe may have enjoyed wearing the baseball hat a bit more than actually watching baseball.

Fall brought Halloween and a special announcement. We dressed up as a "pumpkin patch" to go trick-or-treat around our neighborhood (and Zoe's school). Basically, Andrew and I just wore orange and stuck some green leaves to our head, but Zoe wore a really cute orange tutu. We held a green vine (rope), which helped keep Zoe from wandering off! Z loved trick or treat. Not  necessarily because of the candy, but because she enjoyed going up houses and yelling "trick or treat!"

And the special announcement? Alana and Jacob (Andrew's sister) stopped by one random Monday evening with a surprise announcement, that are were expecting. We can't wait for baby L to get here! Zoe is convinced she's getting a girl cousin. Hopefully we will find out soon!

We had a delicious and relaxing Thanksgiving this year, that was followed by
a HUGE ice storm. We got more than they predicted and ended up losing power and trees. We moved Zoe's birthday party to Thanksgiving weekend this year, so it put a bit of a wrench in the works. Despite all of that, we still ended up throwing Zoe's birthday party even though most of our guests couldn't make it. It was lovely, and Zoe had a wonderful time regardless. See more Here. With winter, comes my favorite time of year. I love the holiday's for a lot of reasons, and am looking forward to the coming month. Several months ago, we booked a Christmas trip to NYC to do all of the "traditional" things. We are really looking forward to it! Z wants to see all the "big buildings," and we have promised to take her to see santa while we're there!

Here is this year's update:

Favorite Thing to Do: We recently got Science Museum Passes. She LOVES going, and especially loves it when Otto the robot is out and about!
Favorite Food: Pizza. Typical kid, right? She really loves it when we order a pizza and sit in the living room floor on a blanket, and watch a movie while we eat!
New This Year: Zoe has made a lot of new friends this year. After my sister moved, we found that Zoe needed the social interaction since she was no longer able to play with her cousins on a weekly/daily basis. We have found some new groups and things to do that have allowed her to make some new friends. In addition, Zoe has been attending a children's day out program once per week that she LOVES. She begs me to go to "school" everyday!
Growth: Zoe has grown so much this year. She is now a little girl, rather than a toddler. She seems to grow and change each and every day. Just last month, she shot up at least 2-3 inches within a 3 week period. We jumped from 24month clothing right into 3T!
Sleep: After switching her to a toddler bed in March, she started getting up 8-10 times in the evening before finally going to sleep. She sleeps though the night without issue (thank goodness), but our evenings were consumed with putting her back to bed multiple times. We finally came up with a solution that is really working for us!! Now if we could only get her to potty train at night...
Speaking: I knew she was a verbal child when she first started speaking. I was right. She speaks really well for her age. She knows and says things that surprise her daddy and me all the time. Just the other day she pointed to a flag banner and started naming the colors of each flag, then told us it was a pattern! It's so wonderful to watch her learn!
Movement: She is surprisingly good at soccer for such a little thing. I love watching her play. She loses interest pretty fast, but can dribble and kick the ball better than I can!
Behavior: Zoe has always been sassy and nothing has really changed. She has an attitude that I have no choice but to admit comes directly from me. That said, she also knows how to turn on the charm, and can be really sweet when she wants to be!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Vintage Wonderland Unbirthday Tea: Zoe Turns 3!

Vintage Wonderland Unbirthday Tea to celebrate Z turning 3! I loved this theme and it was perfect for a 3 year old little girl. I wanted it to be girly and fun with some sophisticated garden touches. It was a big hit, and turned out beautiful. Here's what I did:


First things, first...the invitation to the party! I was so happy with these "message in a bottle" invitations." See the full invitation details here: Vintage Wonderland Un-Birthday Tea : The Invitation


I wanted a (mostly) traditional tea menu for the party. I wanted it to be something of a light lunch. I stuck with traditional items like tea sandwiches and deviled eggs. I pre-portioned the food as much as possible to make it easier to grab in a buffet-style set up.

Here is what was served:
Mad Hatter Menu
Eat Me:

Tweedle Egg
(Deviled Eggs)
White Rabbit Veggies
(Assorted Vegetables with Ranch)
Dormouse Cheese
(Assorted Cheese, Meats, Nuts, and Olives)
Bread and Butterflies
   (Assorted Tea Sandwiches)
Cheshire Chocolate
(Chocolate Fondue with Assorted dippers)
The Queen’s Toast
(Un-Birthday Cake)

Drink Me:
Flamingo Water
 (Spa Water with Fresh Fruit)
Caterpillar Tea
(Sweet Tea with Lemon)

Scroll to the bottom for specifics on food/recipes. 

I made the menu's using the kraft paper luggage tags you can find at most craft stores, and some gold paper. I tied them with some twine. I placed this menu in with each gold silverware set. I folded the napkins using this tutorial. It allowed for the cutlery to be an easy grab, along with a spot for the menu's. I placed these in a wicker basket next to the plates on a separate table as pictured. 

P.S. the cutlery and plates came from Target. LOVE!


I had a baby shower for a friend last year that I was able to save several items from, as the shower was gold, black, and white. I wanted to transform the dining room into a tea garden. Not sure that it necessarily looked like a garden, but we definitely achieved that fancy, girly, sparkly magic!

"Room Decorations": My daughter is obsessed with balloons so we HAD to have as many as possible. I purchased a helium tank from the party section of Walmart, and several bags of gold balloons. They hovered over the table tied with curly gold ribbon. I bought these floral fans. I also used some black one's I purchased from Hobby Lobby awhile ago. I hung them around the room and in the large dining room window. I purchased a glittery "Happy Birthday" banner from Hobby Lobby, along with the wobbly clock, and hung them on the wall with command
hooks. Finally, my husband built an A-frame sidewalk chalkboard sign a few weeks ago for a photo session, so I re-used it for the front to help "direct" our guests. 

"Table Top Decor": I used the main dining table, a wooden "card table," and our island for all the
food, drinks, and desserts. I covered each with some chalkboard wrapping paper to protect the surface. I was originally going to write on it, but thought decided it really didn't need any more "clutter" so I left it blank.  I spray painted several food cans and a few liquor bottles gold, and filled them with fake flowers and little chalkboard signs that I wrote things like "eat me" or "drink me" on. I put these all around the room and on the food surfaces as center pieces and decoration. I also collected some pine cones a few weeks ago that I spray painted gold and placed around the room. They held the playing cards well, which helped tie it in to Alice in Wonderland. I put them on beds of fake moss purchased from dollar tree to "green things up." I purchased two little chalkboard signs that I wrote some sayings from the book on. Finally, I made little food tags for each item using an avery product purchased from the craft store, and I tied them with twine. 


"Tweedle Egg": Simple deviled eggs. I kept them simple and kept out the relish. I used mayo, mustard, butter, and salt. Then I piped them into the eggs using a ziplock bag. Also, if you don't have an egg-cooker, everyone needs one. Such a life-saver when it comes to getting hard boiled eggs perfectly cooked (and easy to peel!).

"White Rabbit Veggies": Carrot, Cucumber, Red and Yellow bell pepper in shot glasses with ranch, So easy and I love the color it added to the table (and my plate!).

"Dormouse Cheese": We used a basket for the crackers and a cheese plate for an assortment of cheese and meat. We just picked two of our favorite blocks from the local grocery and pre-cut everything to make it easy to grab. I actually meant to label the cheese plate with the description of each item, but forgot! 

1 & 2
"Bread and Butterflies": An assortment of tea sandwiches. I used cookie cutters shaped like a teapot and tea cup, as well as just cutting them in quarters. I kind of followed my own recipes with these, but here's generally what I offered- 1. Salmon: Smoked salmon, cream cheese, and capers on pumpernickel bread. 2. Cucumber: THIN sliced cucumbers, whipped salted cream butter with small chopped chives on white bread.
3. Chicken Salad: I cheated and purchased gourmet from the specialty grocery down the street from us. It was delish, and included poppyseed, chicken, mayo, grapes and pecans. I was originally going to put these on mini croissants, but we had leftover butter rolls from Thanksgiving, so voila!
4. Sweet: These were my FAV! My Mother-in-law makes a peach butter from scratch every summer, and cans enough for the whole year. I put some on cinnamon swirl bread and spread with cream cheese. Oh so good!

Helpful tips- whipped butter and whipped cream cheese spread so much easier for sandwiches. Also, thin sliced bread helps keep everything in proportion. Too much bread takes away from the flavor!

"Cheshire Chocolate": I used this Pinterest Recipe in my fondue pot. I cut up green apples, grapes, and strawberries. It was SO GOOD! I included little mini forks so everyone didn't need to keep up with their own skewer. 

"The Queen's Toast": The birthday cake was the best part. My husband build a topsy-turvy cake stand very similar to this Pinterest tutorial.  I used white cake mix and whipped butter cream frosting. I
decorated with strawberries, blackberries, and cranberries. I also bought some organic flowers at the specialty grocery store (and cleaned them REALLY well). I added the flowers just before the party to make sure they didn't wilt, as they only live on a cake like this for 12 hours or so. 

"Flamingo Water": I purchased white plastic "tea cups" for the beverage service. My daughter was thrilled to drink from her tea cup! The flamingo water was just Spa Water in a glass beverage server. I put in sliced strawberries, cranberries, and mint leaf.

"Caterpillar Tea": Simply a jug of sweet tea poured over ice in a glass pitcher. My daughter didn't care for it, but all the adults loved it! And you have to have tea at a tea party, right?!


This year I wanted everyone to have a little something to take home with them. I found really cute gold foil gift bags, and filled them with Milano cookies, a deck of cards (purchased at dollar tree 2 for $1), and some Rolo's (because they are wrapped in gold).

I also had "party hats" for everyone to wear. I purchased little snowman hats from the Christmas section of Hobby lobby that are made out of felt. They look like little top hats and already had a red ribbon on them. I took stretchy gold string and stapled them to the hat to make a chin strap.


I wanted to create and outfit for Z that embodied the theme of her party. I didn't want her to look exactly like Alice in Wonderland,
but rather a steam-punk sparkly version that looked like she belonged at a Mad Hatter Tea. I purchased this dress, and these stockings. The dress was SUPER short, so I made a tutu with gold tulle. I created a head band from one of the top hats, a flower, and some feathers. It turned out perfect!

That is pretty much the party in a nutshell. There were too many details and elements to list every little thing! I'd love to hear your comments, so feel free to leave one! <3