Tag Archives: diy

Two Scoops are Better Than One.

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If you’ve ever read this blog in your life, you know that I am constantly surrounded by pregnant women.  My girlfriends are now at the point of considering babies, not preventing babies, or frantically preparing for the arrival of their babies.  And when it comes to work, there isn’t but one male on our entire list of employees.  But there’s a whole host of fertile Mrytles walking around up there on my unit, that’s for sure.  And even if you’re like me, shaking your head fiercely back and forth and making a stank face when someone points to you and makes the ‘you’re next’ comment, you can’t help but get excited for all these little blessings about to enter the world.  I’m definitely excited to meet all these babies and happy for all the expectant parents too.

And when you’re happy, you must party.  You just have to.  But throwing showers for five girls can be hard.  But if your mothers-to-be are two peas in a pod, take that opportunity to honor them together. And if it’s North Carolina hot (and it is) then have an ice cream social.  And call it “Two Scoops are Better than One” since you’ve got two babes to celebrate and run with it!

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So there’s a picture of our spread.  We found those cute ice cream cones online for $4 each on Amazon (steal!)  And we made a simple paper doily banner with pink and blue letters that spelled out the name of our theme. 

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What’s an ice cream sundae without toppings galore?  We used mason jars to store them all, and put them in an old beverage crate to keep them contained.  And just so there’s no confusion, we made little tags to identify them ;).

DSC_0995One of the coolest things  we found for this party were these awesome printables online.  It had pinks and blues and some more unisex colors and they were absolutely perfect for this party.  And they were free!

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We had a great beverage bar too, complete with sweet tea, Orange Fizz Punch, Cheerwine Punch and water.  And of course, the ever popular stripey straws.  Of course I believe a good spread and good decorations are necessary, but that takes a real backseat to the good company.  And these girls always bring their A-Game.

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 Congratulations Mamas!

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You had me at “Bacon”

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I don’t know about you, but I don’t venture out much when it comes to cooking.  There’s a safe place between chocolate chip cookies and baked chicken.  Branching out isn’t easy, and it most often means you don’t even know where to start to find what you need.  It is a little unnerving to wander through the grocery store looking angrily (let’s be honest) for an ingredient I cannot find because I’ve never used it before.  And maybe this seems a little simple to you guys because this ingredient isn’t uncommon, but I could not find pitted dates for the life of me this week.  And I was so frustrated I wore a blister on my foot stomping around two different stores, true story.

Why dates, you ask?  Only for a recipe that rocked my socks.  Bacon-wrapped dates, exactly.  I had them recently at a cookout and it practically changed my entire outlook on the world.  You know how it is, when you go to a potluck event and you make something delicious and sure to please?  It’s nice to be the one that brings the most delicious thing, the thing that people have to have the recipe for.  But it’s also nice to be the one that discovers the most delicious thing and get the recipe for yourself.  So thank you, Christine, where ever you are and in whatever way we are connected through mutual friends, thank you for the game changer.  Yeah, did you hear me? 

 

Bacon.  Wrapped.  Dates.

 

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 Simple enough.  Buy a bag of Sun-Maid pitted dates and your favorite bacon.  Cut each bacon piece into thirds (width wise) and wrap around the date, secure with a toothpick.  Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 for 35 minutes.  Eat it!

A shower that doesn’t bite.

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I don’t know about you, but a Sunday afternoon baby shower 1-3pm floating just is not my kind of thing.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that necessarily, but I just don’t get down with those kinds of affairs.  I like to throw my showers at night, and on a weekend day.  I think it allows people to feel a little less buttoned up and free to party.  Baby showers don’t have to be totally proper!

And as cheesy as it might feel when you’re planning, people DO love to play shower games.  They don’t have to be fancy either; I’ve played many games of bingo at showers I’ve thrown and attended and I’m always excited to be involved in some activity.  But even more than being involved, people like the opportunity to win a prize.  A prize will drive people do crazy things, and that makes for a lively party.  At the last shower, we played bingo while our mother-to-be opened gifts but that’s only meant for one part of the shower.  I like to have games meant to be played while people mingle.  I think I found one of my new favorites.

 

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So how do you play?  Literally all you have to do is pick up an ice cube and drop it in your drink and let the games begin.  When the ice cube melts, your plastic baby  will eventually float free.  At that point, you’ve won…and all you have to do is yell “My water broke!!”  At this party it was a mad dash to the finish line with a little cheating involved from some but everyone seemed to enjoy it.

I bought the plastic babies from Party City and they were super cheap.  I did try the whole “boil your water first to make clear ice cubes” thing that I saw on Pinterest.  As you can see from the image above, that was not a successful endeavor.  Save yourself the step.  I did come up with this little poem and used a frame I had at home to make it look cute:

“Take an ice cube and drop it in your drink,

Faster than you know and before you can blink,

Your baby will be out right before your eyes,

Be sure to yell, “My Water Broke” to win your prize!”

 

Happy partying yall!

 

Fondue it Yourself

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Hope you all had a great weekend!  Mine was jam-packed just like last weekend but it was excellent.  I get my weekends so full sometimes that I actually look forward to the work week thinking I’ll only have one thing to focus on.  Is that bad?  The hospital gods will probably see to it that I bite my tongue for that one.  Anyway, I’ve had some time to recollect my thoughts post-party weekend and decided to share a recipe and a DIY project.

A few months ago I inherited a fondue pot and it’s been on like Donkey Kong ever since.  I never realized how easy it was to make fondue or how much people liked it.  I made my own concoction by haphazardly dumping ingredients in trying to get something delectable.  And lucky for me, it was delicious as hell and I got to pretend like it was all due to careful selection of ingredients and strategic proportioning.  It ain’t, it’s a dump job and it works like a charm every time.  But people keep asking me for my “recipe” so I decided to quantify some stuff and make it legit.

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Ingredients:

2 bags of Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips (11.5 oz bags)

8 oz. Hershey’s caramel sauce (found in a 16 oz. jar with the ice cream toppings)

Fisher’s Nut Topping (found in a 6 oz can with the ice cream toppings)

8 oz. Heavy Whipping cream

Directions:

In a pot on medium heat or in your fondue pot, pour chocolate chips in with heavy whipping cream and stir continuously to prevent scorching.  When chocolate and heavy cream have mixed thoroughly, add peanuts and caramel.  It’s just that easy, and serve warm..duh!  Try this chocolate fondue with bananas, apple slices, marshmallows, rice krispie treat pieces, pound cake pieces, and strawberries.

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This little paper rosette bunting is cute as a button and while time consuming, was totally worth it to bring this little vignette to life.  To start, pick scrapbook papers that you love in various colors to fit the need of your project.  If you choose patterned papers just make sure the pattern is small, otherwise, you won’t really be able to appreciate it once the rosettes are complete.  If you use a regular 12×12 piece of paper, you should be able to get four rosettes from the sheet.

Draw a spiral shape on the backside of the paper and cut it out on the lines.

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Start wrapping the spiral on itself making sure that the pattern you wish to have displayed is on the inside as you wrap.

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When you come to the end of the spiral, you’ll have a small flat piece.  Put some Tacky Glue on this flat area and press to the bottom of the spiral to give the rosette some stability.

Once you have all rosettes made, flip them over and glue them to your string to create the bunting.  I used raffia ribbon because it might be visible in some areas and it needs to be pretty.  Plus raffia is flat and gives more surface area for gluing, therefore, more strength.  I used two pieces of raffia ribbon on each rosette versus one piece in the center.  I thought that would make it sturdier and less likely to flip over once it was tied in place on the window frame.

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I tied the two strands into a knot at the end and hooked them around a Command hook I had placed on the window frame.  I then tied a pretty bow to hide my handiwork.  Beautiful!

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Hope you find time this week to make something you love.  Bye y’all!

 

April Showers!

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Happy Monday!!  I can hear you grumbling all the way over here.  Cut it out!  I’m making a return to this blog after a long hiatus due to multiple party planning endeavors.  Don’t sweat it though, I’ve returned with some awesome DIY projects and ideas 🙂  I don’t think it shocks anyone to find out that I love to throw a party.  And more importantly than that, a good party.  It’s pretty easy for me, all I have to worry about is making it beautiful and providing good food, my friends provide the excellent company.  Lucky me. 

Lately, there’s something in the water at work and there are five, count ’em, FIVE pregnant women.  I’m happy to report I drink Mountain Dew and I’m not one of the five just yet.  We set out to throw a sweet shower for our very southern friend, Bobbi, and her little girl we’re dying to meet.   And since it’s well documented that I hate the blue-brown, pale pink color restrictions of the traditional baby shower, we went with an “April Showers bring May Flowers” theme.  We used lots of purple, wildflowers from the local Farmer’s market, and plenty of vintage, Southern-inspired items. 

When you decorate for a party I think it’s important to create moments, or areas of interest throughout your home to draw people in.  I always start with this perfectly situated area of my front porch, out of the way of people trying to get in the house but very noticeable for all party guests.

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I desperately wanted clouds and raindrops somewhere, but my internet search for ideas wasn’t terribly fruitful.  There was a light bulb moment eventually, and this was the result.  I’m so happy with how this version turned out.  I used patterned scrapbook paper to make raindrops to hang by purple baker’s twine from these popular tissue paper poofs.  I’ll tell you right out, I used to make these poofs on my own, start to finish.  But it’s absolutely not worth the headache.  Party City makes kits with three poofs per package for $10 and its not much cheaper to make on your own.  Buy the kit and save yourself some trouble.  I suspended the poofs from Command hooks and added some flowers beneath to maximize on the theme.  My friend had the idea of adding rain boots filled with flowers and I must say, it was brilliant!

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We added another vignette in the foyer with some vintage finds.  The old window frame needed a little TLC but not so much that its charm would be lost.  We adorned it with a handmade paper rosette garland secured with raffia ribbon.  It’s always nice, too, to show off the invitation somewhere.  More often than not, it’ll be the first time it’s seen by the guest of honor…so it’s special.  Wood slices, lace trim, a few live flowers, and a sweet bird’s nest complete this nook.

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It’s important for there to be some form of repetition throughout so your theme is realized.  I also used some wood slices, a birdhouse, and more live flowers to create a small scene atop a vintage stool from my grandfather.  Its sweet!

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Like I said, I like to create moments for the guests, and I want them to find something each time they look a new direction.  There’s a perfect spot in my kitchen for another tall display, so we created more clouds and raindrops.  It’s also pretty smart to ground your decorations in some way if it is hanging from the ceiling like this.  We chose a vintage tin and mason jar to house more wildflowers and a pretty crate to close the gap between the counter and ceiling displays.

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With all parties, it’s always nice to leave with a little something in hand, and I ain’t talking about a plate of leftovers covered in tin foil.  We made treat bags for all the guests and repeated the purple, raffia and lace effect for each, storing them in a milk crate until our guests were ready to depart.

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We also used this sweet pink parasol and mason jar full of flowers to create another vignette, inviting guests to sit and eat in the living room.

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While these “moments” are special, what’s really key is the spread.  The food table can be a statement all its own, and it should be.  A lot of our food kept with the Southern theme too: coconut cake, sweet tea, lemonade, punch, cucumber sandwiches, pimento cheese sandwiches, banana pudding, and ham biscuits for example.  Food and decorations, people will remember…make them remember in a good way.

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Let’s take a closer look.  We added more wood slices to elevate important items, and hid some flowers and nature-inspired things along the way.  Never miss the opportunity to add a little whimsy, and tuck it into some unanticipated places to get the most mileage out of your decorations.  Give your guests something interesting to look at!  I prefer classic white dishes most of the time, but in this case its nice to throw in some other colors and patterns on your dishes to give it that collected, vintage look.

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I also like to place items strategically so there is no front or back of the table and there’s no one area where all the best things are concentrated.  I like things to be pretty all the way around!  I used vintage wooden crates to give the table more visual appeal and different levels of interest for the eye.  One box housed the mason jars we used for drinking glasses.  Now that’s as down South as it gets!  And since one of the shower games had to do with drinking, it only made sense to give it a space on the table.

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 Weird?  Yes.  Fun?  Also yes!

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So as you can see, I froze plastic babies in ice cubes and each guest was allowed one cube to float in their drink.  If your ice cube melted first, you yelled “My water broke!” and claimed your prize.  Which leads me to the beverage bar.  I absolutely love it.

DSC_0741 I wrapped a purple and white chevron ribbon around each dispenser, completing it with a chalkboard disc with the name of the drink transcribed, hanging from a raffia bow.  Simple and pretty!

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And of course, the plates and napkins must be themed too!

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But the key thing you need to remember when you throw a party:  make sure you have people to make it happen,

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make sure you shower the mother-to-be with gifts from the heart,

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and make sure you celebrate a new life with your friends!

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Hope you all have a great week! Stay tuned for future posts with DIY tutorials for the things you see in this blog!

Guest Bedroom Paintings Pt. 2

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I think I mentioned on many different occasions that I started a guest bedroom overhaul.  And I was mentally prepared to share it until I spent a day repainting that room, only to later discover that I hated what I had done.  I mentioned stalling out and hitting a road block.  But I’m really only stalling out because I can’t stand the thought of repainting that room a more pleasing color, and I’m lazy.

Probably like most of you, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends so finding the time to paint feels daunting.  I’ve focused a good bit of my creative attention on smaller projects I can knock out in an afternoon (or less).  You might have seen Guest Bedroom Paintings or maybe you didn’t, I dunno.  Anyway, I’ve done another little painting project to gussy up the bedside table on the other side.

I love a good mix of prints and I always have so any chance to exploit that is fine by me.  I had another small canvas to use and I was digging on some stripes at that time. I painted the entire canvas in a stark white paint.  And if you’re asking yourself why I painted a white canvas in white paint it is because no matter how white the canvas is at first glance…you’re going to find tons of smudges and other imperfections.  Just paint the damn thing and keep it moving.  Then, I covered the canvas in strips of a wide painter’s tape.

DSC_0670After that I removed every other strip of tape to expose the canvas that would be painted in black.  It’s a lot easier than getting out the pencil and ruler.  Hello, I ain’t gonna measure this.  I know some other girls that wouldn’t measure it either.

DSC_0671So I painted the exposed canvas in black paint and made sure to paint a thick coat and removed the painter’s tape as soon as I could.  It keeps the acrylic paint from drying and as a result, cracking and chipping, when you remove the tape.  And if you’ve been on Pinterest at all lately, you know state art has become pretty trendy.  I did an image search online and resized the image for my needs and traced it onto some cute scrapbook paper.  And since I love North Carolina, that’s that!

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Guest Bedroom Paintings

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I need a lot of projects in this little life of mine but sometimes I think I come up with new projects just to distract me from the more daunting projects I need to complete.  Does that make sense?  Sometimes you’re all gung ho with grand plans in the beginning but then you quickly discover maybe it requires more than you’re capable of?

I started my guest bedroom overhaul more than a year ago but I have stalled out since.  I found the bedding, sheets, curtains and all those decorative pretty things but when it comes to actually doing work I haven’t found much motivation.  The projects I aim to complete take a lot of skill and I’m not sure I’m ready.  For example, I got this awesome wingback chair and this incredible fabric that just spoke to my doggone soul.  I enlisted the help of a friend and we spent more hours than I’m willing to admit pulling out upholstery staples.  And that’s pretty much where I am right now.  I’ve got a naked wingback taking up space and this expensive fabric I’m too afraid to cut for fear of messing it up.  Then I bought a beautiful emerald green quilt with the hopes of making an upholstered headboard with nailhead trim.  And that’s pretty much where I am right now, with a quilt and nothing more.

My motivation has also suffered because when I have put forth effort, it didn’t turn out like I wanted.  I wanted dark gray walls and it turned out wrong.  I wanted colorful lampshades but they’re competing with my colorful bedding and they’ve turned out wrong too.  Ugh.  So that will have to be corrected.  I found a blog that gave some really pretty examples of bedside table styling though, I went to work on a “distraction project.”  I have finished one of the art pieces, and I think I’m happy with it.

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I found a picture of a rose I liked and had D draw it for me on this canvas.  I found the most perfect set of watercolors and started painting.

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I haven’t painted in a month of Sundays and I think you can tell.  I also think you can tell I did it at 4AM when I wasn’t able to sleep but, whatever.  I’m not unhappy with it for a first time effort.  Inspired by Pinterest, I used puff paint to cover the pencil marks and make it look a little different.  And here’s how it turned out:

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Happy Homemaking to you, and keep your fingers crossed that I can find the motivation to keep it moving!