Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wednesday Weekly Review #34

It has been awhile, but then it's difficult to put out weekly posts when you don't have internet at home! I wanted to put this post out today because I've lately taken an interest in new or recent mommy blogs. (Wonder why? lol.) Here are three blogs I've found recently and am currently enjoying reading! I hope you will enjoy looking through their posts as much as I have and do!!

Crafty Chelsea. This is a blog I'm really excited about because she has a little boy, like me! She also does a lot of really fun ideas she's put together for Little J and I find them quite inspiring! Check out her Quiet Book she put together for him. I am totally going to use some of these ideas as I am putting together LM's quiet book!


Domesticated Working Woman. Lins & I have been on almost the exact same pregnancy and baby journey for the past 6 months or so. I found her blog quite awhile ago and it has been encouraging to read her very real posts about the things she's going through or been through. Her mini-series: Things People Don't Tell You is wonderful! Check out the posts (from that series): PregnancyBreastfeeding, Back to Work After Baby, and Bringing Baby Home.


Happily Ever After. Amanda's little girl has some of the cutest outfits! I love looking through her pics just to see what she is wearing! And of course it kind of makes me want to have a little girl next time around! :) Some of the latest outfits can be seen here. Not only does she have a cute baby girl, but she also shares really yummy recipes too! I really want to attempt making these Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Bites (with almond butter of course!).

Monday, May 19, 2014

Cajun Chex Mix

I want to start off by saying that I've made three different chex mix recipes and this one is by far my favorite one! It is totally worth taking the time to bake chex mix! It tastes amazing and is much better than the microwaved versions I've done in the past. This recipe can be made at mildly spicy or very spicy depending on your spicyness level. The ingredients below will make it spicy enough to give you a good zing, but if you want really spicy I'd double up on the hot sauce! Everyone who ate this chex mix LOVED it! Even guys who weren't crazy about spicy food! (We took it with us to a baseball game with Autry's work friends.) This was an amazing recipe and one I plan to make up again here in the next week or so!

2 sticks butter
1 teaspoon hot sauce*
3 Tablespoons worchestershier sauce
2 Tablespoons cajun seasoning
10 cups chex cereal (corn, wheat, rice)
4 cups crackers (oyster, cheese it, etc.)
3 cups pretzle pieces**
3 cups nuts (optional)
Garlic Salt
Cajun Seasoning

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

2. In a small saucepan melt the butter and add in hot sauce, worchestershire sauce, and 2 Tablespoons of cajun seasoning.

3. In a large bowl, mix together your collection of cereals, crackers, pretzels and nuts. You'll want 20 cups of chrunchies total.

4. When the butter mix is melted and ready to use, pour a little of it over your large bowl mix. Don't pour it all at once or it will fall to the bottom and the mix there will be extra coated while the rest is missing flavor. Pour butter mix over the chex mix and then stir it. Pour more, stir more until the butter is all gone. Make sure to get the bottom cereal moved around so it doesn't become soggy.

5. Grease 2 9x13 baking pans. Divide the mix into both pans. Sprinkle both pans with garlic salt. Stir the mix in each pan and add more garlic salt. Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of cajun seasoning over each pan of mix (so 2 Tablespoons total). Stir.

6. Bake the mix in the oven for 1 hour, STIRRING EVERY 10 MINUTES!

7. Once the mix is baked, set it out to cool. When the mix is completely cooled, store in an airtight container or ziploc baggies.

*I use Tapatio Hot Sauce.
**I used pretzel sticks and broke them in half so they would be easier to grab and munch.

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Master Bed & Bath Makeover, Part 2

Scraping off the popcorn texture on the ceiling in both bed & bathroom were a huge task!

In March I posted about redoing the master bed & bath. {Read Part 1 here.} The previous post shows all the before photos of the two rooms. Now I will show you the 'during' of the main part of the makeover: painting! The painting part really didn't take too long to do. I tore out the old wall paper, got the popcorn ceilings scraped off, re-textured the walls and ceilings, and finally edged & painted.

This is what the floor in the bathroom looked like after the ceiling texture was removed.
It took lots of vacuuming to get it all clean again!

I moved everything out of the bathroom and the only things left in the bedroom were our dresser (which I moved around the room so I could texture and paint the ceiling easier) and the headboard & frame to our bed. I'm really glad I took everything else out since scraping popcorn ceiling off really gets awful dust everywhere! Not only that, but it's just tons easier to move around in an empty room!

This is what my hallway looked like for 4 days.

The painting part really went pretty fast. It took almost all of four days to tear out the wall paper, texture the walls, and then paint. I was SO glad when this project was finished because my whole house was torn apart! Not only was there one foot width of space in my hallway, but all of our stuff from the master bathroom was relocated to the front bathroom during those days too. That stuff ended up staying the the bathroom for several weeks, but the hallway returned to normal as soon as the painted had dried.

This is the during & after of scraping off the popcorn texture on the ceiling and painting the walls. I did add one photo of some of the decor I already have in place at the very end of this post. The rest of the decor is still coming together (and may take me a few months) so I thought I'd share a sneak peek of what I have going now.

Demi, our cat, wondering what is going on and where all the stuff went!

The bathroom before we painted.

Another 'before' shot of the bathroom.

I decided to take the tank off the toilet.
That made it much easier for painting the wall behind it.

Walls and ceiling are painted!
Paint stuff is everywhere!
{That camo bucket is the trash can in LM's room!}

Getting the room cleaned up.

Unfortunately when I peeled off the tape, some areas messed up.
This had to be redone with a fine art brush.

Even though I put a sheet down over the floor I still got paint all over it! :(
Fortunately I do plan to eventually replace the flooring in here so it's not a completely lost cause.

The room seemed to take forever to texture and paint. I was nervous about doing the walls and ceiling all the same color but I was brave and went for it. Result: I LOVE IT! I'm SO glad I did it all the same color and it makes our wood trim/doors and dark wood furniture stand out really nice too!

Bedroom without most of the furniture and previous decor.

Wallpaper has been removed! Yay!!

Edges have been painted. This was quite a chore, especially around the window!

More shots of the edges being worked on. Do you like my brush stroke poka dots there on the left wall? Lol.

This is me being nervous about painting the ceiling the same color as the walls.
I ended up putting a sheet over the frame and headboard to keep paint from splattering as I used the roller brush.

Walls & Ceiling are painted, all the gear is cleaned up, and the floor is vaccumed! I was feeling quite accomplished.
Demi was enjoying the view out the window.

Demi chillin' in the chair while I clean everything up.

I decided to go ahead and paint over the light switches and electrical outlet covers.
I'm really glad I did this. It makes them not stand out from the wall.

With this being the second and third room in our Country Home Makeover I have come to a conclusion: it's much easier to retexture and paint than it is to decorate!! Decorating requires a) finding exactly what you are wanting/looking for and then b) being able to afford to buy it! Thrift stores & yard sales are still my favorite places to look, but some things (new curtains and a new comforter) don't always show up at those places. At least not usually in decent shape. I have bits of decor up in both the bathroom and bedroom, but much is still needed before I can reveal the finished rooms. In the mean time, here are two sneak peek photos of what I do have up!

Dried roses in three separate Kerr jars on the shelf over the toilet.

These yellow roses are very special to me. They are the first roses Autry ever gave me. I had them in a funky green vase I got at a yard sale back when we lived in the apartment. You can see the roses (and the vase) in all their glory in this post. I had them on the dresser in our bedroom at the apartment and one day I came home to find Emerald, our black cat, had knocked them over and 'played' with them. I was SO mad! I don't remember putting all the pieces in the vase, but last week when I went to attempt decorating I was delightfully surprised to find all the bits and pieces! I divided them up and now here they sit in fun jars!

Wedding photos are hung in antique gold frames on both sides of the dresser mirror.

As you can see, I am still working on the decor, but you already knew that from reading above. I did finally get photos for all the empty frames printed off and I have added candles to the dresser as well. I still have quite a bit left to do for the decor in the bedroom part since it involves more work and money than the small master bathroom. The photo arrangement on either side of the mirror was magazine inspired!

I will post 'after' pics as soon as I get everything pulled together. I might do those separately though since I have a feeling the bathroom will be finished long before I get the bedroom decor pulled together. We will see!

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

It's My Birthday! + Outfit Post

Today's my birthday! I'm having a little trouble feeling like I'm twenty-three, but I'm sure it will kick in eventually. I don't feel old, I don't feel young. I suppose that's a good thing though, right? Hubby got me a new Mossy Oak purse and wallet for my birthday (pictures to come!). I'm in love with both of them! (I got to open them early since he had to work today even though he had originally asked off and the request had been approved.)

Here is an outfit post too! I had these photos taken back in April, but I thought today would be an appropriate day to share them. Obviously it's too warm for cardigans in Missouri now that it's mid-May, but I still wanted to use the photos so here we go!

Aqua Blue Cardigan: Lane Bryant.
Black crop-sleeve shirt: Faded Glory by Walmart.
White Tank Top: So.
Aqua watch: gift from my sister!
Denim Skirt: Old Navy, made by me!
Sparkly Sandals: Mixit by JCPenny.

I really like this color! I think it looks good with my skin tone too.

I had some pretty wild curls that day, but I really like how they turned out in this updo!

Back view of this wild hairstyle.

And another look at the front of this style.

I hope you all have a fantastic day! :)

May 14th is. the. best!

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Change in LM's Posts

Due to a problem of having photos of my son saved off my blog and then shared publicly on Facebook pages of people who are not supposed to be doing that, I have taken down all the posts of Little Man that have photos involved in them. In addition, his name has been shared with these photos which is something that upsets me even more as I have worked extra hard to not have that plastered all over the place either. (Obviously on the blog he is known as Little Man or LM, and even my family members who share photos of him-with permission-don't use his real name). It makes me sad that this person cannot respect my privacy and wishes, but this is what I will have to do for now.

I am curious to know if anyone knows how to make photos on a blog to where they cannot be 'right clicked and saved' to a computer? I've seen blogs where you cannot save their photos this way and would like to be able to set that up on my blog as well. Any info or tutorials would be great! Thank you!

Monday, May 12, 2014

DIY Monogrammed Spring Wreath

Let me first start by saying...I have discovered a new love: the love of making wreaths! The first wreath I did was this past year for Christmas and now I have two under my belt. {See that first one here.} This wreath is one I've wanted to make for quite some time, but didn't get around to until mid-April. I love the final wreath though and am glad I got it made!

Gather your supplies!

You Will Need
a wreath
hot glue gun
fake flowers
a sharpie and scissors

Lets start with the monogram!

1. Before you work on cutting out the monogram, plug in your hot glue gun and make sure it's got glue in it ready to go. It might also be a good idea to put something under the glue gun, as it will drip as the glue melts and gets ready to use (for those of you who haven't used a glue gun yet).

2. Using the sharpie, draw out the letter you wish to display on the cardboard. As you can see, I did mine free-hand so it wasn't perfect on paper, but that doesn't effect the finished letter.

3. Use the scissors to cut out your letter. This part can be tricky. Big scissors work best here I think. Also, shape up your letter anywhere you need to once you've got it cut out. The sharpie letter is just to assist you in cutting it out.

4. Flip the letter over and give it a few quick swipes with the hot glue gun. Start the twine wrapping on the back of the letter. Make sure to put the twine just over the edge so it will cover the end.

5. Using the glue gun, work small spaces at a time. First run some hot glue (only needed on the top side of the letter) and then wrap the twine around the cardboard and secure in the hot glue. Careful as the glue can burn fingertips before it's completely dried! Continue gluing & wrapping until the letter is finished.

6. Here is my finished 'S' monogram letter. I was quite pleased with how well this part of the project turned out!

Flower time!

7. In the 'gathering supplies' photo you saw two different flowers. When I started making this wreath I wasn't sure which flowers I was going to use, obviously I went with the pink peony's. Take apart each flower. The stem should pull right out of the base of the flower so no wire cutters needed here!

8. Now attach the 'leaves' to the base of each flower with a little hot glue. Arrange the flowers on your wreath and then glue in place. Arrange first though in case you end up not liking the way it looks the first time (I did mine 3 times before I ended up with the placement I have in the final photos). Glue the flowers down, glue the monogram down (that will take TONS of glue by the way).

9. Display your new wreath on a pretty hook for all the world (or just your neighbors) to see!

More photos of the wreath!

I think the twine blends in a little too much with the wreath, but I'm still happy with how it turned out.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Homemaking 101 | Photo Wall Makeover

I've had a photo wall in both our apartment, and in our new country home. I like having  photos of family and friends hanging in our house, especially now that Little Man is here. I will take him over to the wall and point out different people he has met and say things like, "there is grandmommy" or "there is Aunt Mal". Right now he might be still a little young to recognize their photos, but he will eventually catch on.

When I did our Master Bed & Bath Makeover I took most of the wedding photos I had hanging on our photo wall and moved them into our bedroom. I wish I had thought to take a photo of the wall with it's blank spots where the wedding photos used to hang. It was quite hideous and stayed that way for about a month. Finally, just before Easter I decided I needed to pull the wall together before all the family came out for the holiday. I had the new photos already printed off and I had made several trips to Goodwill to find different frames so I just needed to match everything up and get it hung.

There is awful lighting in our hallway so I couldn't get a good photo of the wall unless I had the camera flash off.

This makeover process took me several days. I didn't expect that at first, but once I got through the first three steps I realized the mismatched frames looked awful on the wall and needed paint  (I think I originally planned to paint them, but had forgotten about that). Once the paint was added I had a nice-looking black & gold frame theme and I think it looks fantastic!

Here are a few photos of the makeover process:

I was in the middle of several projects the week before Easter.

First I gathered all the frames and photos. I matched the photo with a frame, got the glass cleaned and put the photo in it.

As I matched up a photo with it's frame I would lay it out on the living room floor.
I ended up rearranging the pattern three times by the time I got all the frames filled.

Here is the last version of how I had the photos arranged for the wall. Even then I had to do a little rearranging once I started hanging the photos because they didn't match up the same as they did on the ground.

I got all the photos up on the wall and decided that, yes, paint was a necessity! All the different color frames looked terrible together.

I pulled down the frames I wanted to paint, removed their photos & glass and went to the front porch to get them painted.

Notice the lamp from my Fail | Painted Lamp post? I worked on it this day too.

Once I got a frame painted I put it out on the large sheet of plastic so it could dry. By the time I got done with the last frame the first one was dry enough for it's second coat. This process took quite a bit of time and was messy, but the finished product was well worth the work.

I'm quite pleased with how well the finished wall turned out. I have more photos to add to the left side, but no frames to put them in. I guess it will be back to Goodwill for me! This project is similar to my Add A Little Paint project from last year.