Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summertime Snacking

What's summer without a little watermelon on the deck? We can't get enough of this summer staple. I think I might start keeping track of how many we buy this season. I'm thinking it will be double digits. Any favorite summer treats at your house?

Happy Anniversary!

Today marks two years of being married to my best friend. He is the guy who not only helps me parent our little one and supports me in everything, but is also my biggest cheering section and a voice of reason in those "rare" moments when I lose it....just a little. I'm happy to be married to this one--he's a keeper.

We are keeping our celebration simple this year, and taking it easy on gifts as well. I couldn't resist this print from Define Design 11, though. She makes custom special occasion prints that are personalized in such a quirky, sweet way. Here's the one we'll hang in our home:

The picture doesn't do it justice...it's way cuter than it appears here. But you get the concept. I love that the heart pinpoints our wedding location.

All my best,

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sew Your Own Bibs

We have more than twenty bibs, and with the amount of drool going on around here, we still don't ever seem to have a clean one. So, instead of doing my required coursework or tending to my house duties during nap time, I whipped up a few little robot bibs. I am glad I did. How cute are they?

This is a simple project for people like me who aren't so comfortable at the sewing machine, but want to give it a go anyway. If you're a master stitcher, this is gonna be child's play for you...maybe skip to the picture of the cute kid. For the rest of us, here's a short tutorial on how to make a bib.

My mom found this fabric at Hobby Lobby. There are more than 6 different robot guys on the fabric to choose from. To finish the bib, I machine stitched around the edge of the entire bib. This gives it a more polished look and rids the need for hand stitching the hole closed. For the closure, I am going to try a snap, but didn't have any of those on hand. We like velcro too and if the snaps don't work out we'll do that.

All my best,

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Flower Power to the Rocker

Technically, it's "Good Food Friday." Technically, I've been a terrible blogger. So, rather than share a recipe with you (I have one, just made it this week, and it's awesome), I thought I'd do my best to impress you with a righteous rocker redo I've been working on. Technically not a redo, but a little makeover, if you will.

It started out as shown in the picture above. The rich brown shade is one of my favorites, but after living with it for a while, I started to realize how many neutrals, especially brown, I had going on around this chair. Here's a visual:
Like the random objects placed haphazardly on the piano? It's called "anything breakable gets set on the nearest high object." Too much brown, though. You agree?

I found this decorator fabric at Hobby Lobby and fell in love. I knew it would spruce up the glider. It's been in my drawer for months-- the pattern and colors....yum! To make it, I didn't do anything technical. I basically laid the cushions down and pinned the fabric to fit snugly around them. After machine sewing around three sides, I hand stitched one side and could adjust the fit that way too. I am pleased with the visual interest it adds to the space, and this motivates me to get more house projects done!

All my best,

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Off the Wall Objects On the Wall

I have an eclectic taste. Sometimes I try unusual objects as knick knacks or wall hangings. But never have I attempted to mount a wagon, bumper, or chair on my wall. Not saying these are bad ideas. When they're put all together it looks kinda "junky cool." This photo proves that with wall decor, especially outdoors, anything goes.

What object would you hang up as decor?

All my best,

Monday, June 13, 2011

ABCs Rock

My kid is obsessed with rocks. He loves to pick them up, throw them, smash them together, drop them....you get the idea. So when I found alphabet rocks at this etsy shop I knew I had to make them. Hers are cute too, so if you'd rather not DIY, check out the shop. Here are the simple steps I followed to create alphabet rock magnets:

1. Find or buy "river rocks" or other fun stones.
2. Using acrylic paint, vary colors and paint one side of each stone. Once dry, outline with a permanent marker.
3. Coat with a spray on lacquer to seal paint and keep from chipping.
4. Adhere small round magnets to the back of each rock using a strong adhesive, such as E6000.

I made a couple extra letters so we could spell out the names of people we love. They could be used for lots of letter/word/color activities or just kept on the fridge for grown-ups to use. We aren't quite over the "put everything in your mouth" stage so we will play rock magnets supervised for now.

All my best,

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lamp Love: A Redo

Friday seems as good a day as any to share with you my latest and greatest project. This replaces Good Food Friday today, as there hasn't been much good food around these parts. I've taken a brief sabbatical from cooking and have focused my attention in a hundred other places. One of them, decking out our little home. This lamp redo was inspired by one over at Crafting in the Rain. Hers was so cute I had to do one for our living room. Here is how it went down:
1. I purchased this lamp at a garage sale for $1. Not hideous, but not fabulous either.

2. I purchased a yard of white polka dot fabric. My inspiration shade was white, so I thought it was a good idea. It wasn't. Halfway through, I realized it was looking like it belonged in a young girl's bedroom. But I have pictures of the next step in white anyway: cut into four inch strips. Fold the strip in half and iron it on the fold.

3. Every few inches, fold the fabric over to form a pleat and pin into place. Once you have the length of your fabric pinned, sew across the top (near raw edge) of fabric, making the bottom of the pleat a finished, folded edge. You may need to put two strips together if your shade is large. Iron the pleats down.

4. Hot glue the pleated strips on to the lamp shade, joining at the back and overlapping slightly. I used 2 prints...One I had on hand, the other I found on clearance to replace the white. While this was happening, my husband was graciously spray painting the base for me with paint left over from our silverware hanging.

5. I finished the top by gluing on some white bias tape I had on hand and then adding a little rick rack. It turned out a little whimsical/vintage and fits in with our eclectic decor.

I finished the project in about two hours and for less than five bucks.

All my best,

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tech Tip: This involves reading

Hey friends! Notice my helter-skelter blogging style these days? We are a little off our routine on these warm summer days. I thought I'd have all kinds of time and energy to craft and blog with my summer vacay in full swing, but it turns out there are distractions around every corner. Number one culprit: an energetic 15 month old that I can't take my eyes off; both because he is so freakin cute and because if I do, there is potential he may cause a small bit of damage.
I won't get into the other reasons why, I'll just say that for the rest of the summer, I'll be cranking out some cool stuff, probably at a inconsistent rate, and I will do my best to keep you interested :).

We took a trip to the zoo this weekend and I can't wait to look through our pictures. I think they're all of animals though. What parent forgets to photograph their child on his first official vacation???

And now here is your tech tip:
paperbackswap.com is a website where you can sign up and swap books. I just joined so am no expert, but will give you the gist.
  • You become a member for free. Once you sign up, you can list 10 books and receive 2 credits. (You don't have to list 10, this is just to get you started with credits.)
  • When someone requests one of your books, you mail it to them at your expense. Once they confirm that the book has been delivered, you receive additional credits.
  • With your earned credits, you can request other people's books, and they will mail them to you at their expense.
  • You can also purchase texts or use a combination of money and credits.
I hope this is not crazy confusing. It's kinda like Amazon, except without actually paying for the book. It's a great way to get rid of the extra books you've already read and try some different ones.

All my best,

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Good Food Friday: Good for you too

Green Beans with Pecans and Maple Vinaigrette


  • 3/4 cup pecans (I used almonds too...what I had on hand)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 pounds trimmed green beans
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup


  1. Heat oven to 400ยบ F. Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, tossing once, until toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool, then roughly chop.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the green beans and cook until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add the green beans and pecans and toss to combine.
Recipe from Real Simple

A Gift Frame

Barb is here today with a personalized baby gift. These are great because they are different from the other twelve frames a new mom usually receives--these are personalized with baby's name and made to match the nursery theme. They are sweet. Here she is:

For some reason I enjoy making baby gifts. Must be all the cute papers and embellishments that catch my eye. I first started making these frames when I found one at a garage sale. I loved how it turned out and now I buy them at Michael's (with a coupon of course). They are less than $3 if you print off a 40% coupon at michaels.com.

To decorate, I like to use two coordinating papers and a ribbon to divide them. I first cut the paper to size and then use Mod Podge to glue it on. Then I add the ribbon using craft glue or tape. Last, I embellish with stickers and the child's name. This could also be used for a graduation or wedding gift, using the school colors or pick to match the decor.