Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wooden Quote Sign {and a little catch up!}

I'm baaaaaack :)

OK, so I'm not so stellar at 
writing incredibly frequent posts
on this little bloggy blog here,
but it's the thought that counts, right?

So I wanted to show you a little
sumthin' I made a few weeks back.
I made it for a gallery wall that
I'm working on in our master bedroom.
Unfortunately, this little gallery wall
project has been in the works for a few weeks now.
{Along with 27 4 other projects I'm working on.}

I want this gallery wall to be fun and meaningful.
It is the first wall you see as you 
walk into our bedroom.
So.... I saw this quote awhile back on my
sister's blog, and I loved it!
I knew it needed to hang on my wall.

There you have it.
Notice the many imperfections...
the crooked letters,
the not completely white letters...
I made them that way on purpose,
to symbolize the fact that Wes and I
are two imperfect human beings
but we love each other
Haha, got ya!
Those imperfections were
accidents, tehe.
And you thought I was really super deep.
Fooled you.

So, I didn't take step by step photos.
Again, not up for the top blogger award here.
But all I did was sand a square piece of plywood
(luckily for me I have a ton of square pieces
of plywood lying around that I snagged
at a garage sale 2 years ago).

Then I spray painted the board in an off-white color.

Next I used my Silhouette to cut out the letters
for the quote (I used cardstock).
I laid the letters on the board,
and spray painted black over them.
This is where my laziness caused
those imperfections I mentioned earlier.
I didn't adhere the letters to the board at all,
so a few of them thought they could escape
during the spray painting process.

Finally, I sanded the edges lightly to make 
the board look slightly worn.

There you have it.
Not too hard, huh?
Overall, I am happy with how the board
turned out and I think it will
be a fun addition to our bedroom!

I can't leave you without a picture pictures of
my kitten britches 
(my new fav nickname for Claire).

Our little dancing queen :)

I couldn't get enough pictures of kitten britches (or Meadow- Claire's hippy name for the day she wore this) in this adorable dress- thanks for Aunt Christy for it!

Claire loved her first boat ride!

"Choose your love. Love your choice."

Happy nesting!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summer Mantel + Garage Sale Find

Hey peeps.
Seeing as how it's summer and all,
I thought our house needed to reflect 
this glorious fact a little bit.
And so, without further ado,
this is how our "mantel" currently looks:

I left the main structures the same as they had been-
the spray painted frames and the wreath in the middle.
I got the plant at a garage sale (thanks mom!). 
The plate was a plain white plate 
that I added the bicycle vinyl
to using my handy dandy Silhouette machine.
I had everything else on hand.
I added the little pennant banners to the frames,
and you can't see it well in these pictures,
but each pennant has a letter on it,
spelling the words 
"summer breeze."
I'm still deciding if I think this arrangement
is too busy because I'm
really liking some of the more
simple mantel arrangements
I'm seeing.
But for now, I think I'll keep it around.

I also wanted to show you this little beauty:

{The dresser is the "little beauty" in case you 
weren't sure which item I was referring too :) }

I got her at a garage sale for 
the small price of $15!
Sadly, she was only marked for $10,
but I was deciding if I for sure
wanted her and when I went back
to buy her someone else was just
loading her into their truck.
Luckily, I knew the new owner,
and she said she would sell
this green beauty to me for $15,
so I jumped on it.
The knobs were plain white,
and I added vinyl numbers to them,
again using my wonderful Silhouette.

She has some marks and scuffs on her,
but I just think they add character.
Best of all, she provides some great,
much needed storage space for blankets,
games, coloring books, and 
who knows what else.
For now she's in our living room,
but I could see her migrating to
a child's bedroom someday.

What great garage sale finds have you gotten
this summer?

Besides garage sale-ing and manteling
(pretty sure I just invented a new word!)
here's a few pics of what we've been
up to this past week:

Out to dinner to celebrate summer birthdays with my side of the fam

Our little firecracker showing off her "seafood" :)

Wes and his dad working on Claire's new swing set

Claire snuggling with Ellie (aka squeezing the crap out of her neck)

Splash Pad fun

More splash pad fun, with Miss Haley

Blessing to you,
and happy nesting!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Craft Night! {Bird's Nest Necklaces}

Hi everyone!
Today was a picture perfect summer day
here in my neck of the woods. 
Claire and I celebrated the occasion
with a trip to the zoo with 
some friends!

Love this sweet little hat!

Cutie pies

Riding the "choo choo"

Now, on to the topic of discussion:
craft night!

Last week I had these super wonderful
friends over to make some
sweet little bird's nest necklaces.

Here's the one that I ended up with:

Love :)

Here are some that the other girls created:

Everyone did a great job!
And the possibilities with these little nests
are endless!
One of my friends had the idea
of making a ring out of her nest,
and another friend suggested
making earrings.

Unfortunately I didn't take step by step pictures,
but if you want to make one of
these sweet little necklaces for yourself,
you can find tutorials 
here and here.

Now go, shoo... be inspired!
Go make something cute,
and when you do, 
share it with me so I can make it too :)

Happy nesting!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

{Summer Summer, Summer Time}

Feeling just a tad, OK maybe a LOT excited about 
the fact that my summer vacation is here!

Already, Claire has completed two weeks of
swimming lessons and we have
gone on a short family
vacation to Tennessee!
(Pics to come)
I have also gotten some sweet
garage sale deals which are now proudly
displayed in my home.
(Again, pics to come)
Today I made 6 containers of
strawberry freezer jam.
Summer, how I love thee.

As I think about plans for the rest of my summer vacation,
my mind is brimming with ideas
of things to create, to help improve the look and function
of our home.

Here is a quick list of some items on my summer to-do list so far:

{1} Organize our basement storage space.
(No, this will not be fun. But I think I feel much better about life when it is finished.)

{2} Clean out the garage.
(Again, no fun! But my car has been leaking oil all winter and our garage floor needs some
serious help.)

{3} Re-think our mudroom/laundry room.
Right now it is cluttered and disorganized. It sort of stresses me out every time I see it.
Something must be done.

{4} Build Claire's swing set.
This is really more of a project for Wes. You're welcome dear :)

{5} Hang my sweet vintage chandelier above our stairway.
I found this chandelier a few months back at an antique mall and we've been
too busy to get it hung. Again, this will be more up Wes's alley. I love you husband. :)

{6} Create a "family rules" wall art.
Sort of like the one shown here. Love it!

{7} Install a board and batton wall treatment to our entryway (maybe).

I will probably be adding to this list, especially once I'm able to get these other things
knocked off the list.
Of course, these projects come second to my little munchkin, and will 
probably happen mainly during naptimes.

Because I have a whole different list of the fun things I plan for our family to do this summer!

{1} Go to the zoo.
{2} Go to the dunes.
{3} Take swimming lessons. 
{4} Go to the park.
{5} Go on lots of family walks.
{6} Ride our bikes on the Pumpkinvine Trail.
{7} See fireworks.
{8} Have family and friends over for cookouts.
{9} Family vacation to Tennessee.
{10} Fingerpaint.
{11} Visit the library.
{12} Go to our local flea market.
{13} Ride the carousel at a local mercantile.
(Items crossed out have already been completed)

I will leave you with one of my favorite summertime recipes:

Texas Caviar

This bowl of deliciousness is best served with some tortilla chips,
eaten like a salsa. I take it to practically
every gathering I go to in the summer,
and always get asked for the recipe.

Here's how to make my version:

Combine the following in a large bowl-
2 cans black beans, drained
1 can yellow corn, drained
1 can white corn, drained
1 chopped green pepper
1 chopped red pepper
1 chopped red onion
1 bunch cilantro, chopped

In a small saucepan, bring the following to a boil-
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 t. garlic powder

Cool liquid mixture, and then poor over vegetables.


You know you can't escape without
a quick photo update of our little pickle :)

She pretty much insists on self-feeding everything now,
and it is EXTREMELY messy!
But alas, since I don't really want to have to
spoon feed her for the rest of her life,
I must relinquish my controlling nature
and give her the spoon. :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

No Dads Allowed {What I Made for Father's Day}

If you are my dad, my husband, or my father-in law, stop reading.


OK, now that that's taken care of, here is one of the Father's Day buckets that 
I concocted for each of the dad's in my life.

I bought 3 buckets at Michael's for $1 each and used my handy dandy Silhouette
to print the "World's Best Dad" sticker out of vinyl.

Here's a closer look at some of the ingredients inside the bucket:

I tried to create a theme relating to dads:
"pop chips"- I found these at Meijer
Pop Rocks
Life Savers
Mr. Goodbar
Sugar Babies- this one I'm only putting in Wes's bucket,
along with a label that says
"Thanks for helping to create such a sweet baby."
Cheesy? Maybe.
True? Yes.

Above are the labels that I added to a few of the items,
tying them into the father's day theme.
Again, cheesy, I know.
What can I say? I like a little cheese. :)

I was hoping to find "Dad's Rootbeer"
but since I couldn't find that brand,
I found these labels and just covered the root beer bottles
with them.

The travel mugs that I am putting in the buckets
are the kind with inserts that you can decorate.
Here are the photo collages I made that will
decorate the mugs:

Now I just need to figure out the best way
to print them since they are an odd size (4 x 8).
Any suggestions?

Happy nesting,
and happy father's day to any dads out there
(though I don't suspect there are too many of you
reading this)!

P.S. Sorry for the poor quality of some of the pictures!
My camera got thrown into the shower
by my little walking tornado :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Entertaining Angels?

"Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers,
for some who have done this have entertained angels
without realizing it!"
Hebrews 13:2

It was a typical Saturday for Claire and I.
Wes was working all day at the hospital,
and so Claire and I headed out to run the typical Saturday errands.
A quick stop at the bank, some light Father's Day shopping at Target,
and finally grocery shopping at Meijer.

Back in my pre-motherhood days, these errands would have been a fun and enjoyable way to spend a Saturday afternoon. But with a busy toddler, these errands become a game of
"how quick can mommy grab what she needs and go?" while Claire plays "how fast can I try to stand up and jump out of my cart while mommy looks away?" along with several rousing rounds of  "how many packages can I grab out of our cart and bite through?" I'm telling you, Claire is QUICK and BUSY! If you ever see me out shopping with Claire, you will literally probably see me singing and dancing just to try and keep her entertained enough to keep her seated in her cart so I can get my shopping done. It is exhausting! {Please tell me I'm not the only parent who experiences this!}

After successfully completing our stop at the bank and Target, we were finishing up at Meijer. Claire had managed to chew up a package of cheese, as well as throw a container of blueberries onto the floor where they  spilled everywhere. Remember, blueberries are round... so they roll. {The sad part is I picked as many of them up off the floor as I could and put them back into my container to purchase. I needed those blueberries!} Needless to say, I was a bit... frazzled and worn out by this point.

As I was scanning for the shortest checkout line, an older gentleman, probably nearing 80 at least, walked up to Claire and I. He stopped and said a few words to Claire... I can't remember exactly what.
He had a British accent; something you don't hear around our parts very often. I didn't think too much of this encounter until the man started to walk away and then turned back and looked me in the eyes and said "Bless you." Nothing profound, nothing I've never heard before. But there was something about the way he said it; it was like he very sincerely meant it.

Have you ever met someone who, because you know that they care about you, it confirms to you that God cares about you too? This is how this man made me feel. It was truly as if God was speaking directly through him to me. Was he an angel? There's no way of knowing, at least not this side of heaven. Maybe he was simply a human with a godly heart.  Or, maybe he was an angel. But whatever the case, he made an impression on me that I hope to never forget.

There are two things I took away from this man:

A sweet reminder of God's personal, gentle love for me. A reminder
that he sees every detail of my day and cares about every one.

A reminder to be intentional about really SEEING the people that are around me. It is so easy to hustle and bustle my way through my to-do lists all the time, forgetting to slow down and focus on what is truly important: loving the people around me. This even includes those I don't know. Everyone has as story. Everyone has a soul that was created by God. Everyone is important, and everyone needs to feel cared for. Even a smile and a friendly hello can mean volumes, reminding people that they are not alone in this big, often scary world. 

Lord, help me to slow down, and use me to show your love to the people you place in my path. Thank you for using the man at Meijer as a messenger of your love and care for me. Amen. 

Thanks for reading.... and may God bless YOU!

Happy Nesting!

{Now that I'm on summer break, stay tuned for some new projects!
It's time to get crafty!}

Monday, May 23, 2011

Preachy time... and a little catch up

Hi bloggy friends!
And so we meet again... finally!
Let's just say my creative juices haven't really been flowing the past few weeks.
Mostly just my school counseling and motherhood juices have been flowing,
and I guess I haven't had much creative energy left at the end of the day.
I'm hoping that this will be a different story in just a few short weeks,
thanks to a little something known as
Whoo hooo!
Just a tad excited.

Oh, and husband and I just got back from a 4 day weekend in Nashville, TN!
Wes attended a worship songwriting conference all day on Friday,
but then we had all day Saturday to do whatever we wanted.
We had a lovely time exploring the area,
eating lots of good food, checking out the music scene a little bit,
and just taking a break from the responsibilities of life.
It was nice. I highly recommend it. 
Claire stayed at her grandma and grandpa's...
she had a blast too, so I'm choosing to shoo away the guilt of leaving
my baby for 4 days.
Besides, it was good for the marriage, and in the end,
it benefits Claire too.
At least that's the way I look at it :)
Here are all 4 pics I took while we were gone.
{I know. I'm a picture-taking reject.}

{Taylor Swift tour trucks}

So the other reason I wanted to post tonight, aside from a quick catch up of my life,
is to share this interesting little passage I came across today
in my daily Bible reading.

"The Lord, the God of Israel, says some of you are keeping things he commanded
you to destroy. You will never defeat your enemies until you throw away those things."
~ Joshua 7:13

What are the enemies in your life?
Financial troubles?
Relationship problems?
Dissatisfaction with your life?

Mine right now?
Probably insecurity would be my biggest enemy at the moment.
Just being real folks.

Now, could it be that I am "keeping" something
that God commands me to destroy?
Maybe a thought or belief?
Maybe an addiction?
Maybe a comfort source that is taking God's spot in your heart?

'Oh, you mean that nagging thought says something like, "I'm good enough."?'
Yeah, that's what I mean.
{Yes, I just had a conversation with myself.}
So what do I do?
Dump that thought in the trash!

I just love this verse right now, because it reminds me that,
even though God already won the ultimate battle over Satan,
I still have some responsibility in the here and now battle.
Satan still wants to take us out... each and every one of us.
But no way, not this girl!
No siree!
And I pray not you either. 
It's so easy to forget that we are in a battle.
Most of the time, it's completely out of my realm of thought.
But the Truth is, we have an enemy, whether we believe it or not,
throwing his ugly, mean little darts at us all. the. time.
But the good news is, we don't have to take the bait!
We have God's Truth to stand on!
I hope this encourages you to take a stand in your battle,
and throw away the things that God is asking you to throw away.
He loves you and  knows you better than anyone,
and He only wants good for us!

Preach is sista!
{Once again, a conversation with myself.}

Night night all!
And happy nesting, of course :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day! {Silhouette necklace project}

Happy Mother's Day
to all of you special, beautiful moms who might be reading this!
I hope you get a chance to kick your feet up and 
maybe even get a little bit pampered today
because I'm SURE you deserve it...
after all, you are a mom!

A special happy Mother's Day to my own amazing mom!

{Photo taken at last year's Mother's Day family get together. A four generation picture!}

Mom- I don't know how you did all that you did
(teacher, coach, athletic director, kept our home immaculate, spent time with Erin and I,
kept up with the laundry, got dinner on the table, showed up to all of our
events, took us to church faithfully, the list could go on and on...),
but you did it all with excellence and I couldn't have asked for
a better mom!
Thank you for EVERYTHING! You are amazing!

Also- happy Mother's Day to my dear mom-in-law Linda!
Your warmth and love to us are very appreciated,
and you too are an excellent example of what a mother should be!

{Claire with her Grandma Linda}

Now, if either of you are reading this before I have given you your gifts,
please do not proceed any further.
{unless you want a preview of part of your gift!}


Ta da!
Silhouette necklaces of my little Claire's face!
I made one for each of her grandmas.

I saw the idea for these silhouette necklaces @
Julie gives pretty thorough instructions in her post,
and since I'm not patient enough to take
pictures of every step along the way when I make something,
I'll let you read her tutorial if you want to find out how to 
make these guys.
And I'm pretty sure you'll want to make some.

The only thing I did differently than she did,
was color in the silhouettes with a black sharpie after I cut them out.
Otherwise, they weren't completely black.
Also, I couldn't find any chains at Hobby Lobby that I liked with the
charm pieces I picked out (or whatever their technical names are;
I'm not so hot with technical terms)
so I bought a necklace cord kit in black to use instead.
However, I couldn't understand how to afix the clasp pieces
that came with the cord onto the cord, so alas,
I strung some ribbon through the charms as a last resort.
I don't think the result is all that bad though!

I had to make one for myself too, of course!
I'm so excited to take this sweet little face with me wherever I go now :)

So there you have it.
I think these little guys would make sweet gifts for just about any occasion.
Plus, they are quick and easy!
{They will be even easier once my Silhouette SD machine arrives!}


Thursday, May 5, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things...

Well helloooo!
Did you miss me?
I thought so.
Life has been busy!
And... the weather is FINALLY warming up,
so the sunshine has been calling me
away from computer time.

Plus, my creating has been on hold because...
I ordered a Silhouette SD and it hasn't come in the mail yet and now why
would I want to make anything without it???
Yay! I'm so excited!
Those hard earned mileage checks I get from my school
for transporting from one school to the other
are finally paying off :)

But in the meantime,
I thought maybe I'd pass along of a few things that
I currently love:

Gallery walls.
So fun, so personalizeable, such a great way to fill a blank wall space.
I happen to love all things birds in my decorating
(hence, "Nesting Time,")
so here's a lovely example:

Bird themed Gallery Wall
Our Humble A{Bowe}ed

Cute summery bags/totes.
Who doesn't need more of these?
This little bag I found is sweet enough
to make me want to dust off my sewing machine,
untangle the thread that is lodged inside of it,
and hone my sewing skills!

Ruffle Tote @ Loves All Things Vintage

Silhouette Art
I love the vintage-y feel of silhouettes,
and the fact that they can really
personalize your space too.
(Apparently I'm into personalizing)
Check out this example and many other's at
Paper Clips and Playpens

love. love. love.

Claire's new skills.
I know, this one isn't a craft,
but I want a record of some of the amazing talents
of Claire at her ripe old age of 13 months.
Recently, she has started saying "octopus,"
"meow," and "messy."
She also now laughs LOUDLY
as if she heard the most hysterical thing ever,
whenever people around her start laughing.
She loves to hug and kiss,
and she likes to pretend to feed her babies.
She loves being sung to, and she sometimes sings along.
She especially loves "This Little Light of Mine"
and she likes to "shine her light."
She is at such a fun stage and if I let myself,
I can get pretty emotional thinking about the fact that she won't
be this age for long.
So I guess I can't take this time for granted, and soak in
all the special moments each day that I have with her.

That's all I got for tonight, so happy nesting!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I want this book... for free!

So this is a super quick post to 
tell you about a little ebook I just came across,
and I happen to want it.
And it happens to be FREE today only,
if I merely blog about it.

and I'm not very good at it.
Hopefully, this book will help
and my house will be sparkling clean and beautiful
in just 31 days :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spray paint + Entryway + Easter

Hello friends!

Do you remember when I showed you 
our drab entryway?
Well it looking a little something like this:


Well, I'm glad to say our entryway looks a LITTLE
bit better now than it did back then.

But first, I have to show you a treasure that
I found at a local antique mall.
I forgot to take a true "before" shot,
so you will see it mid-transformation.
Check this out:

Do you think this is as great as I do?
Well just wait... it's about to get much better!

Wah-lah! Our not perfect, but much better than before entryway!
I still need to find some branches or something of some kind
for the tall red vase under the mirror,
but I would LOVE to eventually do a board and batten
treatment to the wall in this area.
But, for now, this will have to do!
I added a basket under the bench, handy for storing Claire's shoes.
I added a framed photo under the hook thingy (forget what those are called),
and I put a bonsai plant, or whatever that is, next to the bench.
I got the plant from my parents' house a long time ago.
The pillow has our last initial on it made from buttons hot-glued onto it.
Here's a closer look:

And, one more look at my fun new mirror!

What are some fun thrifty things you have found lately?

I thought I'd end this post with a few shots from 
Easter Sunday.
This year, the true meaning behind Easter seemed especially
significant to me.
As a new parent, I've found myself wrestling lately
with the idea of death- thinking about what would happen if I or Wes 
were to die and what that would mean for Claire.
Morbid, I know.
But, death is part of life and something we all have to deal
with at some time or another.
Wes, as a nurse, is faced with death regularly and so
hearing stories from him also reminds me of how
fragile our life on earth truly is.
Anyway, all this is to say that this Easter,
it really hit home to me knowing that I can rest
assured that Jesus conquered the grave, and death is not the end,
but really only the beginning for those who are in Christ!
And for those of us left behind when a loved one dies,
we have the great Comforter here who knows our pain
and can offer us peace that passes understanding.
This is truly something to celebrate, and to live our lives for!

Check out this song by Matt Maher...
I hope the lyrics touch your spirit as they have mine.

Here are some pics of our Easter Sunday!

{I think this one is my fav!}

Have a great week, and happy nesting!