DIY Floral Mobile

I am a huge lover of the website Etsy, I really like supporting small businesses and finding unique things. However, I sometimes can’t help but think ” I could totally make that myself”. Well, while I was looking for alternatives to the average baby mobile I came across a pretty floral one similar to what’s in the picture. I knew I could make one myself so I decided to take on the challenge. I’ll let you know right away that this was not a cheap project….. It definitely could be, but since I preferred to use a higher quality of faux flower, it added up quickly. I decided to buy the flowers in increments and took my time finishing this project.

Here’s what you’ll need if you’d like to make one too:

  • A 12″ foam floral wreath
  • Some type of ribbon or string
  • A hot glue gun & glue
  • Wire cutting scissors
  • LOTS and LOTS of flowers

 

Start by cutting the ribbon into three pieces of equal lengths, based on how far you want the mobile to hang down.

Mark three spots on the inner ring of the foam wreath of equal distance from each other.

Glue each piece of ribbon to the marked spots in the wreath.

Create a hoop at the top and glue or tie it securely.

Start cutting the flowers, leaving about a half inch of the stem to puncture into the foam.

Place the flowers in the foam where you think they will look best. Once you’ve got a good bunch, begin gluing them in so that they are secure.

Glue some leaves between the flowers for a more natural look.

And that’s it! It takes some time, patience and obviously money, but the satisfaction of doing it yourself is worth it!

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DIY Artificial Turf Installation

Since Blake has had some down time lately, we’ve been trying to tackle the mess that is our backyard. Luckily our house was remodeled on the interior when we bought it but we knew that we would need to do a lot to the front and back yards in order to make them look as good as the inside does!

We went back and forth for months trying to decide whether or not it would be worth it to install turf in our backyard. We have a lot of dirt back there but in particular there’s a smaller patch right outside the back door next to our patio that was such an eyesore. Once the rain came the dogs started tracking mud inside the house constantly and we knew we needed to do something about it.

We started by looking into all the different options, initially we thought turf until we realized how much it costs. We looked into slate and other options such as gravel but the slate ended but being just as expensive as turf (and more work) and gravel just sounded too “desert-y” for us. We even thought about installing real grass but with our luck it would just die (especially since I’m not the best waterer in the world). So after weighing our options and figuring out pricing, artificial turf seemed to be our best option. We chose it because it looks great, there’s no maintenance (lawn mowing) and it doesn’t need to be watered (lower water bill). So even though it was costly, we figured it would be worth it in the long-run especially since it would increase the overall value of our home.

Here are the steps we took to get our turf installed.

1- Measure the area where you plan on installing the turf. Getting an accurate square footage will help to figure out an accurate cost- remember though that you’ll probably be quoted for just the turf. There are other materials such as sand, nails and top filler to take into account but the turf will be the bulk of the overall price. Also remember that you’ll be paying a lot more if you’re hiring people to do the work for you. We did our research on how to install it properly and probably saved around $1000 by doing it on our own.

2- Call around for estimates at nearby turf sales places. Be sure to ask for an estimate of all the materials you will need, not just the turf itself. A good thing to know before calling is that they only sell the turf in widths of 15ft so you may end up having to pay a lot more than you want/need if the area you plan on covering is significantly smaller or just a little wider than 15ft. We lucked out because our space was less than 12ft wide and what would have been a wasted piece of cut turf ended up fitting perfectly down a little pathway just past our turfed area. (another reason that it was worth it for us to get turf rather than something else) Remember that there are different types of turf, some cheaper than others, some pet-friendly etc. Choose one that works best for your yard and lifestyle.

3- Start digging your area about 3-4 inches deep. Blake, his mom and I were out there for two and a half days digging dirt. Luckily there were other parts of our yard which were not level so we were able to use the dirt elsewhere. This is another cost to consider if you have no place for the dirt since you may have to pay to have it removed in a large trash container. Once we removed the dirt from the whole area, we tried to focus on leveling it as much as possible. Blake rented a leveler from home depot for the day and that helped a ton.

4- Order the materials to be sent after the dirt has been removed. You can do this while you’re in the process of digging, just schedule a day that works for you when everything should be delivered. Warning, your wallet may feel lighter after this purchase.

5- Level the dirt as much as possible. We also threw down some weed killing granular to prevent growth under the turf since we opted out of using the black tarp that some use to keep the weeds from growing.

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ONCE THE MATERIALS HAVE ARRIVED

6- Add the layer of decomposed granite or whatever sand/crushed stone you decide to use, then level the area with a sturdy rake. Then come in with the leveling machine (the one you can rent from Home Depot) and level the area out as much as possible. We used a type of granite with larger rocks in it which is supposed to be better for drainage, since we have the kind of dogs that pee and poop we thought it was a good idea. lol

7- Lay your turf, some may want to lay the previously mentioned black tarp before laying the turf but that’s depending on your personal preference.

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8- Cut the turf with a razor blade in between seams to fit your space.

9- Pull the corners tight to keep from having any creases in the turf.

10- Start nailing the turf down along the perimeter every foot or so.

11- Add the topsoil layer of sand- this is what makes the fake blades of grass stand up to look more realistic. Use a broom to spread the sand around.

12- Enjoy your new turf and be proud of all your hard work!

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Bridal Shower Details

Hooray for event planning! I’ll admit that I didn’t really do much of the planning for this event but I did try to make sure that the details were Pinterest worthy! 🙂

Here are some of the little touches that I added to make the event memorable.

The Chalk Board


Writing on chalk boards can be difficult but with a little practice and a special reflections brand chalk stick, I’ve pretty much got it down pat. This was a great way to greet the guests as they approached the venue and also to reassure them that they were at the right place.

The Dessert Bar


I was going for a rustic garden look so I mixed wood with fresh flowers as well as many beautiful desserts and treats. And of course I had to sneak in a little rhyme, “love is sweet please take a treat”. 

The Bubbly Bar


 Since this venue is an old home, I thought it was a good idea to spruce it up with some more modern and fun decor, thus distracting from the dark vibes in certain areas. I mean, take away the balloons and the banner and this could be a set from American horror story. A little glitter can work wonders! 

Check out my last DIY blog to see how I made the banner!

So there you have it, focus on the details and it will be a picture perfect event! 

DIY Bridal Brunch Banner

My brothers fiancée had her bridal shower last Saturday and it was a lovely event. 

Event planning is one of my favorite things to do, I realized this as I was planning my own wedding. I love to get creative and add my own little touch to things. Since the theme for the shower was a bridal brunch and there were bottomless mimosas, it seemed appropriate to make a banner saying, “Drink up darling”.  

So that’s what I did. I bought the banner at Michaels, it was a pack of 11 (I believe) which came with the yarn to hang it. I loved this one because I had never seen anything like it. It had a rustic feel but was also elegant because of the shape. The letters were from the target dollar spot.  


The letters that spell out “darling” were originally white but I used a glue stick and some glitter (Martha Stewart brand, from Michaels)  to make them a little prettier.

I had to use a hot glue gun to make sure the letters stuck. Then I used a light pink tissue paper to make two flowers, one for each end of the banner. (I’ll make a tutorial for that some other time, as I forgot to take pictures this time) 


It was super easy to make aside from glittering some of the letters which was pretty messy. But I’m sure you could find letter that are already glittery at Michaels and skip that step. 


If you want to make the banner you’ll need:

  • The banner kit from Michaels
  • The letters from target
  • A hot glue gun
  • A glue stick
  • Glitter 
  • Pink tissue paper
  • Scissors

Home Packing Tips

Over the past week or so I have begun to pack our household belongings in order to move back to the west coast. Call me crazy but I am the type of person who loves to pack. I like to make sure that everything is done efficiently which is why I have done my research and figured out the best possible way to pack our things. I’ll share with you some of the tips that I’ve learned along the way, incase you are in need of some moving/packing help.

First step- Drop the dead weight

Get rid of anything you don’t want or need! It’s absolutely insane how much we have acquired since living here but that’s only because this was our first time living in our own place so there were a lot of little and big things that we needed. Thankfully I got rid of about half of my wardrobe and a ton of other stuff before we moved out here so I didn’t have a whole lot to get rid of this time around.

Step 2- Start acquiring inexpensive packing supplies

We are currently living in a huge apartment complex and luckily for us, there are often multiple boxes piled up near the recycle bin. So I’ve been doing a bit of dumpster diving (not literally) and picking up free, used boxes. I wish I could say that I’m not proud of it- but I totally am.  If you don’t live in an apartment, try checking the free section of craigslist or check behind any large grocery stores to see if they have piles of boxes in the back, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind if you took a few.

I also bought some boxes from Home Depot to carry the larger/heavier items because they sell heavy duty boxes.

But before you head over to Home Depot for boxes or anything else, stop by the dollar tree.  I was able to buy packing tape, bubble wrap, tissue paper, large protective envelopes, and a pack of foam plates for a dollar each! The tape isn’t that big so I bought two and the bubble wrap comes in small rolls but it’s still a good deal. The tissue paper (like the kind for presents) came in a reasonably sized pack and I was able to use it to wrap delicate/breakable items. I used the protective envelopes for picture frames and canvases and the foam plates went in between my plates to keep them from breaking.

The dollar tree also sells sharpies, trash bags and other things that could be potentially useful for packing purposes.

Glad Press’n Seal is a great way to store necklaces without them turning into a huge tangled mess. I also used it for my cooking utensils since they wouldn’t fit in the larger ziplock bags.

   

  

  

I bought a roll of stretch wrap from home depot for my dresser and a mattress bag as well.

I also put the billions of plastic grocery bags that we had lying around to use and threw them into boxes as extra padding.

Step 3- Start packing

This timeline is based on the amount of belongings in my apartment, so I would suggest starting a couple of weeks earlier if you have a larger home or more people in your family.

Four weeks out

-Start collecting packing supplies and begin packing things that you won’t need on a daily basis.

I started with the kitchen because thats where we have the most stuff, a lot of which is not used regularly. I packed everything except my pots, pans, silverware, knives, cutting board, cooking utensils, baking sheets, oven mitt, microwave, coffee maker, a couple of coffee cups, some tupperware, a mixing bowl and my spices/cooking necessities.

TIP- when you do pack the rest of your kitchen, use your larger pots and slow cooker to store all of your spices.

-You can also begin to pack the things that are hanging on the walls. Any photographs, artwork, mirrors, chalk boards etc.. Label each box with which room it belongs in and even list what is in the box incase you need to find something specific during the chaotic process of moving in. I’ve heard of some people using a color system to do this by using a different color tape for each room. But for me, labeling the box with which room it belongs in (in large letters with a sharpie) was good enough.

I used the blankets from my living room to pack the picture frames and anything else from the walls that were breakable. I left one blanket out incase we needed it and used it later as padding for other breakable items.

Three weeks out

– Pack books, out of season clothing, linens, towels, office supplies, random decor, movies, and any personal items that you won’t be needing such as jewelry, nail polish and hats/accessories.

I will be flying home while the rest of our belongings are put in storage so I’ve started to plan what kinds of things I will need to set aside for my baggage. I’ll need to fit everything I possibly can into two medium luggage bags (to live off of for a month or more) so I have decided to set a box aside in order to send larger things such as my dogs’ bed, food bowls, some shoes and maybe clothes if they can fit.

Two weeks out

-Start packing up the clothes that you won’t need. If you’re flying like I am, make sure the clothes you leave out will all fit into your suitcase along with your toiletries, shoes and whatever else you will need.

-For clothes on hangers, you can leave them hanging and just cover them with a trash bag then use string or a zip tie to secure the top of the hangers so that they don’t fall throughout the bag. Some places sell wardrobe boxes which are basically just tall cardboard boxes with a pole through the top to hang clothes, a good option for people who don’t want their clothes to get wrinkled.

I got tall pink, scented trash bags from the dollar tree. I figured they would keep my clothes smelling fresh, but these particular bags are ultra thin and can tear very easily so I wouldn’t exactly recommend them. I used two bags for each bunch of clothes, one over the top and one underneath- tied to the top bag on each side. Although these weren’t the best quality, there are other brands of scented trash bags that are probably larger and much more sturdy, so just check at your local grocery store.

One week out

-Pretty much start to pack everything else leaving out anything that you know you will need to use up until the actual moving day. For instance, I will probably leave my coffee maker out (because packing is no fun without caffeine) till the last day with our mattress and pillows as well as whatever I will be taking on the plane with me

Make sure you leave space in your mode of transportation for your mattress and any other household items that remain inside.

-Pack a box full of things that you will need right away once you get to your new home. For example: some cleaning supplies, toilet paper, paper towels, screw drivers and other basic tools, dish/hand soap, clorox wipes (they’re the best), and maybe a portable speaker for some move-in day jams. Label this the box of necessities.

Step 4- Load it up

-Whether you’re using a moving truck, a Uhaul or a POD like we are, if you’re moving the boxes on your own you’ll want to make sure they are secure. Having a moving dolly is super helpful for larger items, but as long as you have enough people helping it should go pretty quickly. I plan on asking all of Blake’s friends to help out but I’ll be sure to provide lot’s of pizza and beer in return for their manual labor.

We haven’t gotten to this part of the process yet but I will definitely want to make sure that our breakable items are stored in a way that will keep them safe. I think of it as a game of tetris, each box should fit securely alongside all of the other boxes.

-Make sure you load the box full of necessities last so that it’s easy to get to.

OH AND make sure that the inside of whatever you’re using to move is clean!!! The Uhaul that we used to move out here was so filthy that my white dresser was a mess by the time we got here. Looking back I should have wiped it down before we loaded it up.

 

Good Luck and Safe Travels!

Easter “Bird’s Nest” Treats

These are super easy to make and really cute. 

I’ll admit that I think I kind of messed up because my cocoa krispie treats were not holding together very well. But I think it’s because I added some coconut oil along with the butter. 

  
So basically just follow the directions on how to make regular Rice Krispie treats (except use cocoa krispies instead) and then pull a handful out at a time and lay them on a sheet of wax paper. Make sure they’re in a messy circle shape (the messier the better), then wile they’re still warm stick 3 robins eggs in the center of each clump.

  
I kept mine in the fridge because they were sticking together a lot. By the time I got them to the party they had become one huge clump. But like I said, I didn’t follow the original Rice Krispie treat recipe so that’s probably why. 

  
Happy almost Easter 🐰❤️

DIY Easter Banner 

Anyone who shops at target knows just how enticing “the dollar spot” can be. It’s conveniently located right at the front of the store to get you to look for things you don’t need before you even get a chance to start looking for anything on your list. 

I usually always get stuck in that section and most of the time I find something to buy even though I had no intention of getting it in the first place. 

But it’s only a dollar so who cares! Although they have more recently added items that cost up to $3 but still! 

So I once again found myself stuck in this section during my last trip to target. No surprise there. 

But I thought I would share what I found because I think it was a pretty good deal.

  
I found this little banner for $3 and a pack of stick-on letters also for $3. (Half were gold glitter and the other half were white) 

I decided I would use them to make an Easter banner, but they could be used to spell out pretty much anything! As long as it’s within 12 letters. 

I figured it was cheaper than buying construction paper, string and sticker letters from a craft store and it was also a lot less work. 

The only negative thing was that the stickers were not sticky enough to stay on the banner so I ended up having to use my hot glue gun. 

The other side of the banner is white and I figure I can write something different on that side and use it for multiple occasions. 

  
And this was the final product! Sweet and simple. (Although black probably isn’t the best Easter color but it was all they had)

DIY Rustic Refinished Tables

When Blake and I moved to North Carolina, we were not planning on buying a bunch of furniture since we will have to move it all back in a few short months. Unfortunately, when our roommate left us he took his couch and TV leaving our living room completely empty.
So I started looking on craigslist for inexpensive couches- at least just to fill the living room for the rest of our time here, and I stumbled upon craigslist gold! I found a sectional couch that came with a lazy boy style chair for only $300!!

A young couple was selling the furniture after only having had it for a year so that they could upgrade to something nicer. They had no pets, didn’t smoke, and according to them.. they had only sat on one side of the sectional… SCORE! And the cherry on top was the fact that they threw in a coffee table and a matching side table for free! I almost told them that I loved them for being so generous… but I held back to keep myself from sounding like a creeper.

We obviously bought this furniture because the price was unbeatable! Even though the couch is nice, it is still not the kind of couch I would buy if I were to pick something that I really loved. It is a great starter couch for us, but the furniture was much too dark for my liking.



As you can see from the picture, the tables were stained a very dark brown color. In my opinion, the dark stain made them look cheap and I personally dislike dark furniture -the lighter the better! Light furniture really opens a space up and makes the room seem bigger and brighter. So I figured I would make a project of it and sand these babies down to get a more natural look out of them. What did I have to lose if the tables were free and I didn’t like them to begin with, right?

It took a few days and a lot of elbow grease but I finally refinished the tables. There’s no way I could have done it without Felicia and Thomas’s electric sander. Which is a good message for those of you who are thinking of re-staining a piece of your own furniture… Don’t try to do it by hand unless you want it to take a month haha.

Here’s what it looked like once I sanded it down.


Here is a picture of the type of wood stain that I used:

I used a painting sponge to apply a thin coat of the stain, allowed that to dry and then applied a coat of wax to seal it. I probably only used about half of the can on both of these tables, so a little bit goes a long way!


And the finished product!!

 

Before and After! 

DIY Shabby Chic Dresser

Felicia and I have been tackling tons of furniture projects lately. After that little side table turned out so great we decided that we are now pros and have moved on to bigger things! 

This was the beat up old dresser that we started out with.

 
It’s hard to tell from the picture but this dresser looked like it had definitely seen better days. The paint was sort of an ugly yellowish color and it gave off a dirty vibe. We painted this piece with white chalk paint to give it a new fresh look, then we distressed it to make sure those beautiful original details were accentuated.

  Thanks to eBay, Felicia was able to find the exact hardware that was original to the piece which was great since a few were missing. 
As you can see from the bottom left handle, the originals were painted over and we had to figure out how to make them all match. 

We used the chalk paint and an old rag to create the distressed look for the handless. Simply painted the handles then placed them in an unpainted drawer and used the old rag to wipe excess paint off. 

  
We decided to paint the inside and outside of the drawers since Felicia plans to line the drawers with a really pretty paper later on.

   
 We then took everything outside to sand and distress the edges.

  
And this was the outcome of all our hard work!! Just missing one handle..but it is now 1000 times prettier than it was to begin with.

  

One setback that we had was due to the original paint on the dresser. That shiny yellowish color was showing through while we were trying to distress it which is why we could only do a small amount. 

I would reccomend sanding the piece before you apply the chalk paint if your piece had been painted a funky color in the past. 

DIY Shabby Chic Side Table! 

Today my friend Felicia and I tackled a fun DIY furniture project! 

Fun fact about Felicia… we’re basically second cousins through marriage (or something) but we didn’t meet until this year when we both moved to North Carolina within 20 minutes from each other! Small world right? I think it’s pretty awesome.

Anyway, we totally click because we’re both crafty and we enjoy a lot of the same things, so when she came to me about helping her paint a side table I was all about it!  We weren’t really sure what we were doing or how it would turn out but it ended up being a success.

Like all good projects, it started with a drink! Two margaritas and we were on our way to transforming this piece of furniture. 

 
Here is what we started with:

  
 

A clearly outdated and worn piece of furniture. But Felicia saw the potential 🙂

Our first step was obviously to remove those bulky knobs. 

We decided to replace them with these cute little crystal-like knobs 

  

Then we began painting..

 

This chalk paint is awesome! I seriously couldn’t even smell it and it dried amazingly fast!
  I believe this picture was taken after the second coat was applied. 

  I didn’t get any photos of the distressing process because I was getting way too into it but we basically just used square sandpaper blocks to sand down all of the corners as well as some larger spots.

We were also worried (before distressing) that the brush creases were making it look funny but we found out that we were able to sand it down and smooth the look of the paint. It totally worked out! 

  
To finish, we lathered the top of the table with this furniture polish which also smelled very nice.

  
And this was our finished product! It looked so good next to her grey couch. 

  
What a huge difference! And it didn’t take long at all! 

Shout out to Felicia for suggesting that I turn this into a blog topic and for that margarita 😉