Posts Labeled: Projects
goodbye yellow
By • Filed In: Projects

Well that was a long break, wasn’t it!? Kal and I both got super busy with end of the year type stuff at work and just did not have much time left for blogging. I’m not kidding, the last two or three weeks were ca-razy. But we’re back!

So I have my favorite white t-shirts and tanks that I wear all the time. They are constantly in the wash. And after wearing them so much they get these nasty yellow armpit stains. Ewwwwww. I can’t stand them. And then when that happens I can only wear them under other shirts because I don’t want to be judged by my yellow pits. So after googling around I found an unlikely solution. I think google brought me to pinterist (of course, I should have just started there), and I think this is the link I used. But it worked so well that I thought I’d show you.

You just combine two parts hydrogen peroxide with one part Dawn dish washing liquid and then add just a bit of baking soda. I actually made two batches of this mixture, one with the baking soda and one without and they both worked the same. The only difference was that when you wash the clothing it foams up A LOT more when you use the baking soda. I actually got a bit nervous that the bubbles were going to ooze out of the machine, but they didn’t.

Once you have it all mixed up, take a scrubbing brush or one of those bristle dish washing brushes and scrub it into the stains. Then just launder as usual and wait for the magic to happen. It took my shirts from this:

To this:

The coloring in the two sets of pictures is different, but you can still tell that the yellow stains are no longer there. Seriously, the pics do not do it justice! The solution is super easy to make and it is completely worth it.

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Painted Barn Wood Wedding Signs
By • Filed In: Projects, Weddings

You all caught a glimpse of my wedding welcome hour here and here.  Today I’m sharing signs my friend Lauren and I created for the welcome hour, ceremony, and reception.  I had seen wooden signs in wedding magazines and wanted to create some of my own.  So with the help of Lauren, my mom, and her boyfriend… we did!

My mom and her boyfriend were driving to Wisconsin and had passed an old, worn down barn.  Knowing about my wooden sign vision, my mom and Mark walked up to the owner and asked if they could take some of the wood and the owner said yes!  How perfect to have real barn wood signs since my ceremony was taking place just outside an 1800’s original hay barn!

I wanted to keep a lot of the original barn wood coloring, so we just painted the wording in white paint and left the rest alone.  I love how they turned out.


I had the “to keep cool” sign near the ceremony site where guests found fanned programs and parasols (I bought them in bundles from oriental trading company), since my wedding was in the middle of humid heat central on July 3.

The signs also made a small appearance at the reception.  I had one for the escort card table and another for the guest book (I don’t have a pic of that one, sigh).

Again, all these awesome photos were taken by the amazing Kevin and Kelsey from Primavera Studios.

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Wonders of the Web, Easter Edition!
By • Filed In: Projects, Recipes, Sweet Tooth, Wonders of the Web

Easter is right around the corner, so recenlty I’ve been searching for some Easter inspiration.  Lucky for you, I’m sharing all my findings today.

We’re headed over to my mom’s for Easter brunch on Sunday.  If you’re the one hosting, here are some things you can use to “Easter-ize” your gathering.

I was looking for a new “eggish” recipe to bring as well as a dessert for people to nibble on.  Here’s what I’m going with:

Coconut Macaroon Nutella Nests

Aren’t those cute?  They look really easy to make, too.  You can find the recipe here.  If you like spending time in the kitchen and want to fancy it up a bit, make Cortney’s homemade Nutella rather than the store bought.





Italian Sausage Egg Muffins

These remind me of crustless quiches.  Again, they look really simple to make.  I’m going to make them using my mini muffin tin so they become bit sized.  This way I can serve them as an appetizer and people can just pop them in their mouths.  I’m also thinking of adding red bell pepper to bring in color.  If you’re not a broccoli lover, try using spinach or asparagus instead.  Here is the recipe.


I’m also making crock pot cheesy potatoes.  I’m going to use the same recipe I used at Kaitlyn’s bridal shower.   You can find the cheesy potato recipe about a quarter of the way down on that post.


Easter Carrot Silverware

I adore these!  Everyone needs silverware at a brunch, so why not make them a centerpiece.  Buy lime green silverware, wrap them in an orange napkin, and twist shut with green pipe cleaners.





Button Egg

Have a button collection?  Make a piece of art with them!







Easter Centerpieces


Check out these ones below.  You can use these beyond Easter and they strike the shabby chic look I love.

Take a close look at the lemon and egg ones.  What a smart idea to put a slender vase inside another vase or a pitcher to hold the flowers!  People are so darn creative!  Of course, all these images are from Pinterest :)

I wish you a happy Easter ya’ll (can you tell I miss Nashville?)!

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By • Filed In: Projects

I’m baaaack! As Kal said yesterday, we took a week off to enjoy our spring breaks. We sound like college students heading off for a week-long party when we say spring break but being a teacher means that we still get one glorious week off during the month of March. It just doesn’t included a bunch of college students, cheap beer, and a really crowded hotel room. Or maybe it does? Hmm. Jeff and I didn’t head anywhere, but we did have a great week. I’ll get to more about what my whirlwind of a week was like on another day, but for now lets talk Easter.

Remember my post on a spring mantel? I mentioned these cute little egg.

They look like normal Easter eggs that have been colored. But nope. They aren’t your typical egg. Pick them up and flip them over and and you’ll find a little patch of tissue paper where there used to be shell. Then crack the egg open and instead of a white and yolk, you’ll find fun and colorful confetti.

Sorry for the crazy bad lighting in the pic on the right. Call me lazy, but I just didn’t feel like taking another pic. What? Don’t judge. Isn’t honesty supposed to be a good thing? Anyway, I had mentioned that I was going to add these fun gems to my jar filled with moss and I finally got on that.

I should have taken a pic of the other side too because there are some fun yellow and red ones over there. It definitely makes it more Easter-ish than spring-ish. But that is actually the extent of my Easter decorating. I have a few cute an fun things I could have put up around the house, but time got away from me. I figured my mantel gave the Easter feel without being too over-the-top Easter-ish.

What Easter decorations or crafts have you guys done this year?

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Trying to Sell in a Buyers Market…
By • Filed In: Paint, Projects

The time has come for Brian and I to venture away from our condo unit.  The past two months we’ve been hard at work preparing our place for the market.  I wish I had photos of the place when Brian purchased it in 2007.  Just imagine floral wallpaper, blue carpet, and plastic blinds.  Through the past few years we came across unfortunate events that forced us to purchase a hot water heater, an AC unit, a furnace, and a washer and dryer… not things that necessarily look pretty to attract buyers.  So, we recently spent a lot of time painting every room, installing wood floors, and adding little touches.  I’ll be sharing what I think you can each use yourselves: paint color.  However, if you see something else you’re wondering about, feel free to ask!  All the paint is Benjamin Moore.  I used Aura paint for every room.  It’s the most expensive, but I only had to do one coat and zero priming.  It’s well worth the extra couple bucks!

Master Bedroom: Portland gray 2109-60

Guest Bedroom: Camouflage 2143-40


Living/dining Room: Bleeker beige HC-80

Hallway: Classic gray OC-24

Kitchen and office: Pismo dunes AC-32

We now realize it’s more likely the Cubs win the world series than we sell our place.  So wish us luck on being landlords!  Yikes!

Spring Has Sprung
By • Filed In: Etsy, Projects

Ok so it feels more like summer has come. But honestly, I’ll take either. Anything but the gloom of the winter. When I think of spring, I think of bright colors and flowers. So when it came time to fancying up my mantel for spring, that’s what I went with. It’s nothing extravagant, but it’s still brighter and more colorful than it was before.

It was pretty simple, and I used a lot of things that I already had on hand. The print I bought off ETSY from the vendor Silso. It’s ironically titled “Spring Garden” and so clearly it was a good choice for my spring themed mantel. I love that it adds so much color without being too overwhelming.

I’ve had those glittery birds for ages. I think I actually got them at Michaels one year around Christmas time. I also used them this year for my Christmas mantel and other decorations. But they’re birds, and birds also are springy, so they’ve made a second appearance. I love me some glitter, so maybe that’s why I just can’t bring myself to put them away. And yes, that is an upside down ramekin under the candle stick. I needed some height variation, and so that was my solution. You can’t really see it when not standing at a weird angle to take pics.

The only things I bought specifically for the mantel were the daffodil bulbs and the moss. I planted the bulbs in two different sized white pots and got the moss at Michaels in the flower section. I do not have a green thumb at all, so who knows how long the daffodils will last, but I swear I’m going to try! I actually wanted wheat grass in a long and shallow rectangular pot for the middle of the mantel instead of flowers, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. If I end up killing the daffodils that’s what I’ll do. Because let’s be honest, grass is way harder to kill than flowers.

Complete sidenote: see that crazy nasty boob light that’s reflected in the mirror. That is one of the many things I would change if I owned this place. Boob lights are the worst!

I actually also bought these confetti filled eggs. They are real egg shells that are filled with the colorful confetti and then closed up again with tissue paper. I think as it gets closer to Easter, I’ll remove a bit of the moss and add some of the eggs. They look just like real Easter eggs, but they won’t spoil!

Anyone else do some spring sprucing and decorating?

Up for the Challenge: DIY Wall Art
By • Filed In: Projects

I heart Pinterest. If you haven’t heard of it by now, you must be living under a rock. Seriously it’s the bee’s knees. It’s like the Holy Grail for DIYers and art lovers and foodies and just general internet browsers. I can literally get sucked in for hours at a time. So when some of my favorite fellow bloggers declared a Pinterest Challenge, I was all in. I first read about it here and here.

Basically they were sick of pinning things to their boards and not actually following through with the project. So they decided to challenge themselves, and anyone else who wants to join the partaaay to create one thing inspired from their Pinterest boards. The only rule is that you can’t straight up copy it, you must add your own spin to the project.

Perfect. Done and done. Consider me challenged. But lets first meet those who are heading this whole thing up.

Katie from Bower Power is the genius who dreamed up this amazing idea, Sherry is from Young House Love, Erin is from The Great Indoors, and Cassie is from Hi Sugarplum. Aren’t they all just so darn pretty?! I can’t wait to see what they come up with.

So do you want to see what my inspiration pin was? Well it doesn’t really matter what your answer is, because I’m going to show it anyway. Here it is:

You can find it under my Adorable Art pinboard, but the original source comes from Laura over at The Embellished Nest. Isn’t it fun? We reallllly needed some art in our bedroom. There was seriously nothing up on the walls. And we actually just switched around our dresses….yes, to better accommodate Jeff and his nightly TV watching from the bed. He’s a tall guy and so when the TV was on the shorter dresser he said he felt like he was craning his neck to watch it. Uncomfortable, yes. And so even though it was not nearly as esthetically pleasing, I’m the best girlfriend ever and said it was ok to switch them around. That is a long story just to say that once we switched them our walls looked even more bare than they did before, so hanging art was imperative. Since we are currently renting, I did not want to spend a lot of money on art for fear that it might not work well in a future space of ours. So creating some myself was the answer. But I can’t paint a figure or landscape to save my life. Seriously. If you told me to draw a dog, it would end up looking like a big pile o’ icky stuff. So I decided to go the abstract route, and that’s why this DIY painting by Laura was my inspiration.

I trotted on over to Michaels and picked up three 20×20 canvases for about $9 each (thanks to a 40% off coupon). I already had a bunch of Liquitex acrylic paints on hand, so I didn’t need to buy any of those, but I did also pick up some circle shaped labels like the ones you see with prices on them at garage sales. I loved the idea of using tape or stickers to tape off the portion that you don’t want to paint, but instead of straight lines, I wanted some curves. So I laid one canvas out on a drop cloth and started adding the circle stickers to it so they were dense in the middle and dissipating towards the edges. Ignore the crazy lighting/coloring, I took these pics at night.

It looks like a fun mess of confetti! But I didn’t stop there. Next I wanted to paint the entire thing blue and then add streaks of other colors.

Once I added all the color brush strokes I used a toothpick to get under the edge of the dots and take them off. It was for sure colorful, but I didn’t like it like I thought I would. It was too dark for what I wanted. I needed something that would brighten up the space, not darken it. Fail! So I decided to repaint it. I couldn’t wait to change it, so much so that I completely forgot to take a picture beforehand. So on the next attempt I decided to just go with gold. It’s more of a deeper brushed gold than a bright gold. This time it was kinda tricky to paint since the dots were no longer there so I just carefully painted around the circles. And this time I was really happy with how it turned out!

I purposefully left a teeny tiny bit of the blue around the circles. I think it gives it a bit more texture and somewhat defines the white circles mores. I’m loving gold accessories lately, both in fashion and in the home. Once I finished this one, I moved on to the other two canvases. I knew I wanted them to be the same to create some symmetry. I thought some sort of symbol might be kinda fun, but I wasn’t really having luck finding something that I liked and wasn’t super intricate and difficult. Then out of nowhere I thought of the symbol for infinity. A sideways figure eight of sorts. It was simple, and I really liked what it symbolized. So I googled an image of it, printed it out, and cut out a stencil using adhesive stencil film. When starting this whole painting project, I had the intention to make the infinity canvases all gold and then leaving the stenciled part white. But when I repainted the first canvas all gold I had to change my game plan. It would have been way too much gold. So instead I carefully traced the stencil once it was on the canvas and then pulled it off leaving an outline. Then I just filled in my outline so the symbol was all gold and the rest of the canvas was white.

I really liked how they looked on the dresser leaning against the wall. But I made them specifically to fill up the empty space on the wall, so that’s where I ended up putting them.

We have art!!! Finally! Here are a couple of close ups for ya.

So all in all I think it was a success. Mission completed! Thanks for all the motivation fellow bloggers and pinners! I’m excited to see what everyone else has come up with!

Have any of you guys created some custom art? Spill it!

Just Made Another Just Married
By • Filed In: Projects, Weddings

I LOVE making banners.  Mostly because they look so cute in pictures, like here.

Photos by Primavera Studios

My principal at work is getting married in May and loved the banners I made for my wedding.  So I offered to make her some of her own.  Her wedding colors are navy blue, raspberry pink and light pink.  So I went to Michaels and grabbed some navy card stock along with a 12×12 card stock pattern set (don’t use regular scrap book paper.  It’s flimsy, can tear easily, and curls up when you glue the letters on).  Here is the card stock pattern set I used:

Since that paper is 12×12 I cut each page into 6×6 squares.  I die cut the letters and glued them on.  Then I hole punched each corner and wove a white ribbon through.  This is how it came out:

I think the colors turned out cute with the pops of orange.  I took this picture on my phone so it’s actually lighter in person.  Can you tell I made this at school? :)

Please give me more excuses to make banners!

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Month In Photos
By • Filed In: Photography, Projects

We seem to be on the theme of memories this week.  So when I was thinking of what to write today, I thought of Rebecca Coopers Month in Photos.

It’s no secret I love taking pictures.  The problem is taking the time to print off the pictures I take.  For the last couple of years I’ve taken time every January to create a shutterfly book with all the photos I’ve taking over the year before.  I love how I don’t have to order prints and put them into albums and that all my photos are in once place in sequential order.  Anal enough?  Yes.  But now I’ve found myself procrastinating.  I have yet to begin a book for 2011.  Then I came across Rebecca Coopers blog, fell in love, and now I am a follower.

Rebecca takes a short moment at the end of each month, rather than at the end of each year, to put a monthly collage together.  She prints them off onto 12×12 pages so they can fit perfectly in a scrapbook.  She even gives away her templates if you’re a follower.

I’m thinking of doing this and rather than putting them into a scarpbook right away, put them in a few frames for a collage wall in my house.  Then I can change out a frame each month.  Now all I have to do is… well, make them!  Cort and I are taking our second photography class in early March, then my next goal is to take a photoshop class this summer.  Hopefully then I’ll feel confident enough to put frame worthy photos up in my house and good enough to share with all of you!  In the  meantime, you can enjoy Rebecca’s photos from January:

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Day Zero Project
By • Filed In: Projects, Wonders of the Web

My friend Lauren emailed me a link to this website the other day thinking I’d be interested.  She was right.  It’s called Day Zero Project.

It’s a place where you can set and achieve your personal goals in life.  That sounds really nerdy.  But after looking around the website, it is really neat.  You create 101 goals and you have 1,001 days to complete them.

You can create goals on your own, or search ones that people have already made.  Here’s the list for their top 101 goals.

Your goals can be anything small like go barefoot all day or take a dance class, to something more intense like travel to Italy (that’s at the top of my list :)) You can even search topic tags (photography, romance, money, travel, etc).

I figured I’d better start small and simple (minus the Italy trip.  I need to save lots ‘o $ first!).  Here’s 10 things I’m promising myself to achieve.  The remaining 91… well, they’ll come eventually.  I do have  2.75 years after all.

1. Travel to Italy (Rome, Florence, Tuscany, Almafi Coast… other suggestions?).

2. Enjoy drinks and listen to live country music at several honky tonks in Nashville.

3. Take a photo of a place in all 4 seasons.

4. Complete a 365 day photo challenge.

5. Ask 10 friends to suggest a book and read them all.

6. Go on a picnic.

7. Visit the Adler Planetarium.

8. Volunteer somewhere.

9. Learn to wear my hair more than two ways.

10. Design a tattoo.  If I actually go through with it is a maybe…

Any other ideas?  Please share!