Ok y’all, I’m going to try and do a little backtracking…So, let’s talk about teepees, and picnics, and cake smash…oh my! I know that I mentioned before that I love themes…you can see here in myprevious post about teacher appreciation week…So, you can imagine that I get a little crazy when it comes to my kids birthday parties. Only problem is that I usually can’t settle on one thing. I end up combining several random things together to get just what I want! So, when it came to planning my last baby’s 1st birthday party I really got a little spastic! I knew I was doing something with teepees and arrows, because that’s been “his theme” since he was born. His room his decorated around that and we used the same teepee that is in the pictures shown for all of his first year picture sessions. At the same time, seeing how his birthday is only a few days away from the 4th of July, I really wanted to do some kind of picnic theme also. Then there were colors…I love navy and mustard right now, so of course I had to throw in some sunflowers to bring in the yellow! And how could you leave out foxes with some splashes of orange here and there! Then there is the currently popular galvanized metal accessories that we must have…oh and antlers…and feathers, don’t forget the feathers!!! I always have a hard time finding exactly what I want, so I really just make it up as I go! My brain just goes all over the place and I know my time is limited before they want themes like…Garfield (and yes I’ve done that one too). With that said I’m sharing a few pictures from his cake smash session. I will try to post some from the party itself, but as I’ve mentioned before I’m not the best with picture quality and in usually cell phone fashion…my storage was full the day of his party. So, I’ve had to rely on pictures from friends. Am I the only one this happens too? Never fails…if it’s something I really want pictures of, my phone decides that the storage is full (insert face that says “I think my phone is lying”). So, I’m borrowing some of my photographers preview pictures. She’s always so good to put up with me and my 5 million ideas! Here is a link to my Pinterest inspiration, I just had to boy it up a little, haha!
Hey y’all…missed me yet? I know I’ve been slacking on writing on my blog, but they say that distance makes the heart grow fonder…did it work? In my defense, this summer has been busy with vacations, weddings, projects, and birthday parties! Seems the older I get, the harder it is to multi-task…Maybe I will get around to sharing some things from my summer with you soon. Until, then I thought I’d just do a little writing about “Things I used to do”. My friend tagged me the other day in a memory with this picture. Yep, I used to make cakes…for fun (insert tone of how was that ever possible). I tried making a cake for my middle son’s birthday a few months ago, only because it was too late to order one, and fun was not how I would describe it. Even when I was doing it for fun, I hated my work, it was never “perfect” enough. I didn’t charge nearly enough for the amount of time I put into them. Now, when I look back, I think they weren’t so bad. This particular cake was one of my favorites. I loved the inside layers with all the different colors! But, I also think…how did I ever do that? Do you do that? Look back on something you did and wonder how in the world you ever accomplished that? I guess it’s because we all go through different seasons in our lives. I suppose that’s the way life is supposed to go. I keep telling myself that I’m going to blink and the house will be empty and I’ll have time for all the hobbies I can stand. So, I try to savor the daily madness around here. It’s hard when you’re in the midst of it, I know! But, this season too shall pass. I’m sure I’ll look back at pictures one day and think “how in the world did I keep three kids dressed and fed” haha! Until, that day I’ll just keep on keeping on and try my best not to compare who I am to who others are…we all used to do some awesome things and we are all doing something awesome right now, we just need time to see it from a different perspective to be able to appreciate those things. So, even though I’m not able to do it all (even though I sometimes feel like everyone else around me is able to) I will know that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing at this time in my life…and so are you!
Well y’all…I was thinking the other day as I was trying to go through the stuff that got moved upstairs to my sunroom during my recent basement flooding (did I mention my basement flooded three times in three weeks, twice from the bottom and once from the top). I am still trying to downsize from our move back in January and now that I know that there’s a chance that the stuff downstairs might get wet, I’m really having to downsize and come up with creative ideas on how to store stuff (there will be more on that in the future probably). But, as I was trying to decide what to add to the garage sale pile, I drifted off into deep thought about how we tend to not see the potential in things that we see all the time. Some of the things that I added to my garage sale pile are things I would totally pick up at someone else’s garage sale. I think maybe it’s the world we live in now. Everything is disposable and the trends change so fast! Ironically, as this was on my mind for a few days, my aunt contacted me for advice on her shelves. Now, do you remember me talking about my visit to their “small southern plantation” house in my post about gluten free mac and cheese? Well, she has these beautiful dark wood built-ins around her fireplace that she…wait for it…HATES! She has a mental block towards them and can’t even deal with decorating them. Now, I can’t judge because shelves can be cause for decorators block even for the best of ’em and I have those same kind of places in my house. I’m willing to bet you do too! Since we see it all the time, we have a hard time seeing the potential in it that other people see, so we just don’t deal with them. Well, first of all, I told her that I thought they were beautiful! Everybody has different tastes, and I’m sure they will change them up before everything is said and done, but in the meantime it can help to know that other people don’t think they are hideous. Secondly, I said take everything off and start over. Sometimes we get started on something and it’s not working for us, so it helps to step away for awhile, wipe the slate clean and try again. Lastly, I recommended using things that she loves. Nobody wants to stare at things that they don’t really like in the first place. I am a firm believe in not holding on to things that don’t bring you joy. I read a book by MARIE KONDOabout this, that is really helping me to accept this as a way of life. I’m not near where she is, nor do I think I will ever be able to be as organized as her (pretty sure she doesn’t live with kids, but I don’t know that for a fact, haha), but I have learned to let go of things that don’t bring me joy. It has been a fun journey and no regrets so far on anything that I’ve let go of! I also personally feel like, if we hold on to things for sentimental value that there must be a way to incorporate it into our everyday lives. I alluded to that in my post on using glass boxes for heirloom items. Now, once you have that done you may need fillers. Everyone’s taste is different, but I suggest for cheap “filler” décor, check out the thrift stores for old books, bottles and/or glass containers, wooden boxes, and old plates that match your décor. Be creative, but make sure it’s stuff that you love. If you pick it up and have to ask yourself if you like it… then you probably don’t like it. Beloved family pictures are also a good filler, just be sure to use coordinating frames. Now, with all that said…my own shelves are a hot mess. I’ve just kind of shoved things up there to get things out of boxes and it’s semi ok, but they could definitely be a lot better! Mine are also built-ins on both sides of the fireplace like my aunt’s and that makes them extra hard because you have to have balance not only on the shelves, but also on each side! And they are floor to ceiling, that is a lot of shelves to fill!!! So, let’s see if I can walk the walk as well as talk the talk!
I’m starting with a few pictures of what my shelves looked like. I made some effort to arrange stuff halfway decent when I originally put things on them, but they really needed some sprucing up.
So, you see that they were a tad bit hodge podge, and no they definitely don’t look like something from Pinterest because we actually use our shelves and live in our house. Now, with that said I want to tell y’all how hard this particular post has been for me. If you’ve read any of my blog then you probably know of my love-hate relationship with Pinterest. I love it for its ideas, yet I hate it for pointing out my inadequacies. So, of course, I used it to look up shelf décor inspiration! You can look at my DECORATINGBOARD to see all my shelf inspirations. This is where it gets hairy for me. Can I create shelves that look like the ones on Pinterest? The answer is…without a doubt! I can go out and buy all new stuff and arrange them to look just like shelves in a store, but how is that realistic? Where would I put all my stuff that I love, my family pictures, my heirlooms, my DVD player and Wii U?!? How much would I spend doing that just to have beautiful, but generic shelves? How, would that help my readers out who just want to make their shelves look nice without spending a fortune and losing their precious mementos? So, I decided to ditch the idea of making Pinterest worthy shelves and just be real! And, this goes for a lot more than just my shelves, really it is me trying to find my place in this world of blogging. Maybe I’m not meant to be the person who shows you how to make everything “perfect”. Maybe I’m just meant to be the person that shows you how to make things better for you and help you to realize that you’re not the only one out there trying to be “Pintastical” and not achieving it! I’ve decided my place in this blogging world is to just be me and hope that in the process I help or inspire someone else out. It is perfectly fine with me if I never achieve a Pinterest worthy life and I hope that I learn to let go of my insecurities and stop comparing myself to unachievable ideas. So, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s get back to my shelves…
Because I have a lot of pictures, I decided to try out my idea about coordinating picture frames. I wasn’t sure how I was going to achieve this without spending a fortune. I just happened upon a box full of those old gold frames (you know the ones with our childhood pictures in them and the ones that we get rid of as soon as we inherit them from family members). I probably just got rid of a few of those myself not too terrible long ago. But, really, done right, they can look really good. So, I thought I would give it a shot…especially since they were marked half price.
I got all these for $5.00!
I decided the best idea was to mix some of the gold frames and black frames that I already had with these to make it all look more coherent. The next thing I did was clear out the shelves. I didn’t take my own advice and take everything completely off. I should have because even though I thought I was going to leave the books where they were, I didn’t…
So, basically all I did was clean up some…rearrange to make things look neater, change out some frames, buy maybe $20 worth of new accessories (two gold spheres and some greenery), and add some of my vintage bottles that I realized I had not unpacked yet. Now, this wasn’t all done in a day. This process probably took me a few days and that was the hardest part with three kids running around. I had to try and keep them from messing with all the stuff I had laying around, haha! But, I eventually got it done and was fairly pleased with the outcome. I achieved my goal of cheaply decorating my shelves and arranging them where they were even on both sides of the fireplace. I don’t have anything on them that I don’t like except for necessary items. I used a stack of books to try and camouflage the DVD player and Wii U. I still use my brass pot by my desk to hold papers that need to be filed (because like I said earlier, we actually live here). If you have things on your shelves like DVD’s and CD’s then check out my poston using binders to hide them on your shelves. So, it’s important to remember there are ways to hide things that are useful, but not necessarily beautiful. So, here’s what I ended up with…
Not a huge change, but everything does look a little neater and more cohesive. I will apologize for the poor quality of pictures. I don’t plan to try and achieve perfection, but I do hope to one day get a better camera and do better with my images! All, in time though!
So here is a recap:
-Find the potential in what you already have.
-Wipe the slate clean and start over.
-Keep the meaningful items and place items of sentimental value out in a way that you can actually enjoy them.
-Get rid of the things that are not bringing you peace and add fillers that you actually love.
-Remember that you’re unique and your surroundings should reflect that (no cookie cutter décor here).
-Look to others for inspirations not comparison.
Oh…wait a minute…was I writing advice about decorating shelves or life…(insert shy smile)
Yesterday I had ants in my mailbox…I know that in itself isn’t very interesting, but stay with me I do have a point. Ever have one of those really ironic moments where the only option is to just laugh out loud like a mad person? I did that yesterday…just burst out into insane laughter because of ants in my mailbox. Ok y’all, I’m kidding, there’s more to it than that. This is how the story goes. I walked out to the mailbox to put a letter in for the mailman to pick up and when I opened the mailbox it was infested with tons of ants and ant eggs (I think that’s what they were carrying anyway). It shocked me, but not too much because I’m noticing a pattern where this happens occasionally after a good rain. So, anyway, I sent my husband out to exterminate them as quickly as possible so I could put my letter in the mail before the mailman came by. You know, I wouldn’t want to have to drive in my air conditioned, over sized, fully loaded SUV to the post office (insert hint of sarcasm). Well, anyway, he did the deed for me and cleaned them out and put my letter in the box…all was finished! But then, maybe about an hour or so after, my oldest comes to me with his unopened ant farm he had received for Christmas. Since, we moved in January we haven’t had time to get to it. I was really busy yesterday and had already told him no to several things, so I felt compelled to indulge him with this request. I open it up, find the coupon, order him some ants, and spend $5 on shipping for ANTS! Well, I didn’t let the cheapskate in me get too upset because had it in my mind that it was probably special ants, breed specifically for ant farms, you know. I was feeling pretty accomplished to at least get one thing done that he had asked me to do that day, while he was over there sulking because he read where it might take 2-5 weeks to get them. When I picked it up to read I was surprised to see instructions on how to use ones from your own yard! So, here I am waiting 2-5 weeks for $5 ants to come in my mailbox when I had a whole mailbox full of free ants already in there that morning (here is where you insert insane laughter)! You know sometimes we are already provided with the things that we are going to need for that day, but we don’t have the patience to wait and see how we are going to need it or be able to use it. It’s kind of like that whole making lemonade out of lemons thing…If I had just taken the time to think about it, I probably would’ve remembered the unopened ant farm and could’ve killed two birds with one stone, as they say. So, I share this only to let you know that you’re not the only one with ironic moments and maybe when you come across a problem you can think back on the ants in my mailbox and see if there is a way to use your dis”ant”vantage (sorry, I couldn’t resist the urge to be corny) to your advantage!
Lordy y’all…I was stressed out yesterday. No, it’s not because I’ve been working on a particularly tedious post about decorating my shelves on a budget (stayed tuned). Or, because I just found out that I finally got a booth in a local flea market (I’ve only been on the waiting list for three years and I just recently let go of a lot of things I could’ve used in it). Or, because I’m trying to balance those things on top of playing with the family this summer all while maintaining somewhat of a normal routine of housekeeping, cooking, bill paying, etc. No, it’s none of these things. It’s because of sunscreen y’all! Yes…sunscreen is the topic of great contemplation in my world right now. It’s funny how sometimes you can hear or think about something and then all of the sudden it’s everywhere! Well, right now mine is about sunscreen. It all started the other day when I read something on Facebook about how bad spray on sunscreen is for you…Now, all I could think was “great…now that I just bought a double pack for our upcoming beach vacation (insert eye roll)”. Somehow, every time I think I’m doing good something comes along to tell me I’m not. I mean really, now sunscreen is killing us? The alternative is no sunscreen, which they say is killing us also (insert double eye roll). So, I decided to shrug it off for this summer and just go with it. After all, I could just focus on the fact that I got a pretty good deal on a double pack with two extra little bottles. That would at least satisfy the voices in my head that tell me I must bargain shop and get everything as cheaply as I can in order to be a good homemaker, right? But, I can’t lie, it still nagged at me a little bit as I carried on with my next few days. So, then yesterday a Facebook friend posted this awesome post by a mom about, what else…sunscreen! Basically, she says if you don’t already have anxiety you’re probably going to if you keep listening to all the “advice” we are bombarded with everyday on social media. She hit the nail on the head! I have got to stop letting everything get in my head. I am too much of perfectionist for this! If you tell me I’m not doing one thing right, I’ll freak out and not do anything right. Yep, it’s true, I’m an all or nothing kind of gal. If I think my sunscreen is killing my kids, then I might as well start serving ice cream for supper everyday. I’m already killing them off with the sunscreen anyway, might as well fix ’em their last meal just incase, right? I decided to try and forget about it, because she was right. You can’t focus on everything without going crazy so just do what you can and enjoy your family! But, hold on, because right after I was done reading this, one of my good friends asked on Facebook if anybody knew where the post was about toxic sunscreen! I was like…it’s everywhere, it’s everywhere!!! So, I politely mentioned that I had seen one about the spray on kind and then went about my day. I unintentionally ignored my phone for awhile, because I was out shopping for stuff for my booth-now that I had already gotten rid of everything I was saving for it (insert eye roll again). When I looked down, at my phone (ironically while in the same discount store where I had purchased my toxic death spray) I see it is exploding with notifications about people responding to her about…wait for it…SUNSCREEN! I mean really…you people truly are way better than me and I don’t say that sarcastically! I wish I had the ability to stay on top of all these little details. But, for now, I can’t. That’s the place that I’m at in my life right now, and maybe you are too. Just know that it’s ok and you are definitely not the only one! With all this seriousness let me leave you with a little funny…My oldest and I have been watching clips of Tim Hawkins. One of my favorite is about his childhood and surviving the “bug truck“. He says his came by once a week, ours came by every evening during the summer! I’m just believing that if we survived the bug truck then my kids surely can survive a summer of Neutrogena spray on sunscreen! With all this said, I hope you have a great summer, and if you need me we’ll be the ones sitting over in the shade!
Y’all…I always have child safety on my mind with this bunch of mine and I love my children, but the decorator in me is not so in love with all the child safety apparatuses. They are not a decorators dream by any means! However, child safety is necessary and only needed for a short time (since they grow up so quick)…therefore, we deal with all the ugly contraptions, am I right? For some reason it’s just in me to try and come up with ways to make everything prettier. Even in organizing as you can see in my post about organizing dvd’s. So, I’m excited to share this little idea with you. It actually was a happy accident. My “threenager” thinks he needs to touch EVERYTHING especially if I’m trying to get dressed! He needs his hair fixed and chap stick on and a little of Daddy’s cologne, etc. It was cute at first, but now it’s just a little annoying. So, I’m always worried when I pull out my hot hair appliances that he’s going to grab them. Just putting it as far back on the counter as I can doesn’t seem like a good enough solution to me. This is because I know he is legendary for his ability to get to things that don’t even seem possible. I mean, if this child had been around when they were building the Tower of Babel, it would have been completeted…in about 4.5 seconds while our backs were turned and he’d have been climbing into the heavens before we could have stopped him! I know there are some parents out there that KNOW what I’m talking about, haha! So, anyway, I just did this one day while fixing my hair and thought it not only was a good tip, but also it kind of helps out with my need for everything to be pretty. Win, win, right? So, what do you need to do this? Just find a Ceramic or other heat safe vase type piece of décor for your bathroom counter and stick your hot hair appliances down in them while they are warming up and cooling off, viola!
*Disclaimer: I am in no way a child safety expert. I am only a mother to three crazy boys. I am only offering this as a mom tip not an expert’s advice. ALWAYS watch your children around hot items!!! I also can’t promise it won’t harm your hair appliances in anyway, so just use common sense on anything you do and we will all be ok!
This is what mine looks like…
So, tell me…do you have any little child safety tips that you just love? Share them with me if you do!!!
So, here it is y’all…the post that took me two weeks to finish! Yep, this is it…not too fancy now is it? But, as I’ve mentioned it’s been a chicken burritos for supper and Nutella for lunch kind of two weeks. Anyway, I started this blog to share things that I love and one of the things that I love is decorating with vintage (aka old) things. Vintage décor can be tricky. Sometimes you end up with stuff that you don’t necessarily love, but it comes handed down from loved ones and reminds you of them so, therefore, you do “love” it, haha! Know what can make it better though? A clever way to decorate with it, so that it becomes a beautiful piece of vintage décor! One where you can see and enjoy it all the time rather than stuffing it away in a drawer somewhere. Now, I also love to decorate on the cheap, so all of my boxes came from hand me downs, thrift stores, and garage sales. I even found one at a garage sale for 10 cents! If you aren’t that patient then check your craft stores and gift shops. I’ve noticed that these are popular right now. I fill them with things that I wouldn’t normally have sitting out, but most of them are keepsakes. I’ll show you what I’ve done with mine to give you a better idea…
So, here is the first set I’m going to show you…I use this in my bathroom for décor. I love this because it is manly and feminine at the same time. My husband approves and it’s a good mix of his razor collection and some of my bottle collection. Here is some closer detail…
Here is another example of keepsakes from loved ones. My Memom and Pop (yes…that’s what I called my grandparents) are passed on now, but I keep a few sentimental items in glass boxes next to a picture of them from their younger days. I also made one with some stuff from my dad who has passed on now too. A few things like his baby shoes and gold ring and also some old pocket watches I found at his house. I have recently found some more stuff that I’d like to add, old stamps and such.
Now, this last one really isn’t finished…I haven’t found enough stuff to fill it with yet, but I wanted to show you how I use it to display mine and my husbands high school rings. Also, this was my most expensive box, found at a thrift store for a whooping $8.00! It hangs on the wall in our bathroom and has a mirror behind it, which made it extra hard to take a picture of! Sorry it’s hard to see…remember I’m working on my photography “skills”.
I hope you enjoyed reading about one of my decorating ideas! I’m always trying to come up with new ways to use old stuff and make it current. I hate walking into a house that looks like an antique store, but at the same time I have an affinity for old things! It’s quite the conundrum, haha!
Pig wants you to know that some days you feel like you’re going to fly and some days you eat Nutella for lunch…and that’s ok! Tomorrow is another day, so give yourself a break, take a deep breath, get a little rest and wake up ready to fly!
Ok y’all…so this post is really more about life than it is chicken burritos, but I thought I’d give you a twofer. I love beautiful things, and Pinterest is great, I love all the ideas, but let’s face it…life is mostly not “pin” iful. Supper is not always rosemary steaks and cauliflower “mashed potatoes”. Most of the time it’s, well…chicken burritos. The other day in my post about my flying pig I was all motivated, but this week has really gotten to me with this whole blogging thing. I am by no means a photographer, which is almost a requirement. And my life, is by no means very “pin”iful (I mean really, I’m not even sure I remembered to brush my teeth this morning). I was getting wrapped up in all the glamour of Pinterest, and hoping I could be as awesome as everybody else. I want my pins to look as glamourous as everyone else’s. I was feeling motivated. I was practicing my camera skills, and I use that term loosely because all I have is my camera on my phone. If I had a good camera I’m sure it would get broken around here anyway. I was going to attempt a beautiful post with “pin”iful pictures and then…my basement took on a little water. I had to move everything upstairs as quickly as possible. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am very thankful that I happened upon the water coming in, in time to get my important stuff out and safe, but it had me feeling defeated. How can I blog, how can I work and learn, how can I have a “pin”iful life when I’m living a real life? But, this morning I woke up, I decided to adjust my attitude, and I decided to just be real. Maybe one day I can have beautiful posts and awesome pictures to share on Pinterest, but for now I am just going to share with you my real life…and my real life is chicken burritos.
“Pin”iful Chicken Burritos (This is going to be pretty simple):
-Some chicken (I used 2 chicken breasts because it’s just me and the two boys eating tonight and one doesn’t really eat anyway)
-Taco Seasoning (I make my own homemade version, but honestly if I hadn’t had any already made up then this would have turned into grilled chicken bites)
-Salt to taste
-Toppings of your choice (I had sour cream, cheese (pre-shredded tonight), taco sauce and an avocado
Directions: Chop up your chicken into bite size pieces throw in your skillet with a little oil, toss in taco seasoning and salt to taste, toss around on medium to medium low until fully cooked. I always pick the thickest piece of chicken and cut it in half to check and make sure it is cooked through. I’m guessing you can figure out the rest, but just incase…warm up your tortillas, add chicken and toppings of your choice, fold and eat. Be sure to snap a couple of pictures on your phone (notice no picture of the actually burrito because that’s about the time things got a little crazy trying to feed everybody and I forgot…so just use your imagination please). Then throw the pictures together in a collage, add some fancy writing and viola…”pin”iful chicken burritos. By the way the oldest loved them more than most things I spend hours on and of course, the middle didn’t touch it.
So, now, I want to hear from you…What are your go to, quick and easy, super “pin”iful supper ideas???
Y’all…I love themes! When you give me some sort of event to do my first thing to do is to go to Pinterest and find a theme! With May coming up in few short days I thought I would share with you what we did for our teachers this year. No…it’s not the magic of the internet…our school board changed our teacher appreciation week to March. So, that works out great for you because I can share with you the wonderful ideas we came up with!
First, we had a schedule:
…Monday was a campfire breakfast where we cooked everything up in the kitchen and then rolled it all on a cart to serve the teachers breakfast in their room.
…Tuesday was a catered BBQ lunch that everyone said was delicious.
…Wednesday was a picnic, an actual picnic outside with hot dogs on a “grill”. This was my favorite day!
…Thursday we always watch the kids while the teachers go out to eat lunch.
…Friday we had a self serve trail mix bar.
Now that we had our schedule figured out we needed some décor! Luckily we have some very talented and creative parents that helped out and we decorated with things people already had so that didn’t cost us much at all!
Please enjoy the pictures and use them for ideas for your own teacher appreciation week. I wish I had taken more, but I had to drag my two youngest children up there with me every time I went and let’s just say they weren’t so fond of it (especially the 3 year old). But be sure to check out the printable at the end with the schedule for the teachers.
FYI…all the teachers said that they LOVED the theme!
Here is an example of the schedule we gave out to our teachers so that they would know what to be looking forward to. Feel free to print out for your use.
We Need Smore Teachers Like You:
Teacher Appreciation Week
Campfire Breakfast: Please look for the breakfast cart to be coming around to your room that morning to serve you breakfast at your desk!
BBQ Lunch: Please join us in the teachers lounge during your lunch time for a BBQ lunch!
Picnic: We would like you to join us outside for a picnic lunch (inside for inclement weather)!
An Adventure Out: We will be providing all our teachers with money for a lunch off campus while we watch the kids!
Trail Mix Treats: Please stop by the teachers lounge at your convenience to make yourself a bag of trail mix!
PTA will be placing a basket in your room for the students to place presents in through out the week. We ask that you do not peek until they are presented to you on Friday. Hope you enjoy TAW!!!!!