Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dinosaur Birthday Party - Silas is 2!

Where has two years gone? Seriously, I'm not sure if I like my little boy getting older. I'm so thankful for a sweet, energetic and hilarious son - we are so blessed.  We celebrated Silas' second birthday over the weekend with our family and I have some of the party details to share with you.  Recently Silas has taken a liking to dinosaurs so I knew I wanted to do a theme sort of party for him featuring his new found friends.  Silas also has one of the best Roar's I have ever heard in my life so this was a great way to showcase that as well :).

So when it came on how to decorate I knew I wanted to do as much of it myself as possible - and that is just what I did.  This was not a giant party, it was low key but I wanted Silas to have fun and enjoy it so for me, it was all about him.

Today I will give you some of the details shots and then I will give you another post with a breakdown of all the specific projects I did and what it cost and all of that, you know for all of the dinosaur parties you are wanting to throw in the near future- this will be most helpful.

So here's some ideas to get you started...

Lots of diying going on here - mini chalkboards, burlap tablecloth, birthday banners and so on...

I found a lot of the supplies online at a precious little shop called Sweet Lulu here's a link to some of her awesome goodies: Striped Paper Straws

Ok, don't laugh at my dinosaur cake (well, you can it you want, just not to my face).  I totally needed more icing but just didn't have it.  Note to self: if attempting a dino cake in the future, plan for more icing than necessary.  Even though it didn't quite turn out magazine worthy Silas loved it and even knew it was a dinosaur so that's all that mattered to me.

I loved these plastic milk bottles - a great kid friendly (and wallet friendly) alternative to the fancy glass ones. 

Some of Silas' favorite foods, plus cute mini snack cups found at Sweet Lulu.

We served a variety of Silas foods and adult foods (most not pictured) so everyone had a chance to eat something they enjoyed.  We had such a great time celebrating together and watching Silas open his gifts and hear what he had to say or just watch his funny expressions.  It was a special time.  

As always, thanks for stopping by and Happy Wednesday!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pinterest Challenge: A Kitchen Chalkboard

It's that time of year again to take on one of our favorite pinterest projects that we have been dying to actually complete.  Thanks so much to Sherry, Katie and their co-hosts Sarah and Carmel for hosting this awesome and fun challenge for all of us bloggers out there!

So I have a little confession to make, I really like chalkboards, and I really love chalkboard paint - like really love.  I mean, how many awesome chalkboard pinterest projects are out there?  I could peruse pinterest for hours just checking out all of the creative things people have painted with chalkboard paint and I haven't seen one yet that I didn't love.  Since moving in I have really wanted to do a chalkboard for our kitchen and I came across a really beautiful diyed chalkboard from Sarah at Clover Lane that I absolutely loved. Check it out:

So pretty right?  She actually painted her chalkboard paint directly onto the wall and then framed it herself.  Love that.  

We have a pretty small kitchen plus a chair molding and different things going on so I couldn't quite figure out how I could do this.  Then, sometimes you just so happen to be cleaning out your overstuffed shed (for the third time) and remember that you had come across a great piece of framed wood that you were saving for a someday I will make this into something pretty project and it just clicks - this is like the perfect chalkboard waiting to happen, such a great score.

I have no idea what this was/is, it was just left here by the previous owners and I couldn't throw it away.

I decided to use the chalkboard paint in spray paint form (only because I already owned some) and then to spray paint the molding a teal (only because I had some of that too).

But, first it needed a good priming...

This was some old, dry wood and it took a mighty good helping of primer.  I ended up giving it two good coats and then some touch up with a third, I just felt like it needed a good base.  After that, I spray painted the trim teal and let it dry.  Next, I taped off the trim really well so I could spray the center with the chalkboard paint (each received two coats).  And then a few days later of spray painting in between fifteen other projects and naps, I had this!

I absolutely love it and Justin has declared to me that He loves a chalkboard in a kitchen so we are all about this chalkboard right now.

This guy did replace my little memo board I made a while back but don't weep for him because it got a new life once again and has found a new home...more on that soon.

My freebie chalkboard has already come into good use for our weekly Monday dinner nights with our friends.  They insisted that we use the board for our menu each week (we were hitting the carbs hard this week/we ate what we had left in our fridge and pantry/who am I kidding we eat carbs all the time like its going out of style)...

So, that's my little pinterest project!  Can't wait to check out everyone else's! Make sure you head on over to the link up and see all of the amazing projects!

Thanks for stopping by today!  Hope you have a fantastic day!

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bedroom Updates & A Faux Pillow Cover

We are taking a break from all things outdoors today (on the blog at least, in real life we are right in the thick of it) and taking a peek at a few updated things in our bedroom.  So just for fun lets look way back and take a quick walk down memory lane and remember the old master cave of yore...

We wasted no time and painted that paneling - trim was made white and walls a gray.  We added a new chandelier light, painted a couple of ikea side tables, added some drapes, a new rug and we were feeling good.

This room is a slow work in progress so after a year we were ready to start adding a few things here and there.  First we found this awesome duvet cover at Target for under $30.  I was sold when I saw the price and then absolutely loved the addition of the big bold stripes.

I also made a faux pillow cover for our little accent pillow above, here is what I did...

This is what I started with, there is nothing necessarily wrong with this pillow but it just didn't match anything we have so I decided to cover it with some fabric that we already had (actually, this is a tablecloth but it's perfect for this).

First I cut off all of the tassels, and then I cut out two squares of fabric that would fit around my pillow.  By the way, this is a pretty quick and non-professional way of doing this.  If you are like me and can't sew this is the way to go, it took me like 10 minutes max.

After I had my two squares I used fabric glue and created a "hem" along all of the sides of both squares. Then I put the pillow on top of one fabric square and then placed the remainder square on top of the pillow (creating a pillow sandwich with the fabric squares)  then I glued together the two squares with the fabric glue again.  The fabric is slightly folded over along the sides of the pillow so there is a seam on the opposite side that you can't see when it's sitting pretty on our bed.  It's ghetto, I know- but it worked.  You can't tell and it's just an accent pillow so it shouldn't get a lot of wear and tear.  

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog post about really exciting bedroom updates...So little by little I love the way our little bedroom is coming together (ghetto faux pillows and all).  We really need something on the walls, they are practically screaming at me to put something on them - so that's my next little project.  

After that I feel like I need to address the opposite side of this room, which we won't mention here in this post.  

And so the progress goes on.

Have an awesome day!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Walkway Progress

Who is so happy that this ugly walkway no longer exists in our front yard? Don't everyone shout at once, I'm sure I'm the most excited so just settle down....Our yard is getting a major overhaul, which we are so happy about and we have finished our exterior painting (which I will share with you soon) plus some other little things going on.  But, today we are talking about walkways.  So here is a little flashback of what our front walkway looked like when we first moved in and then continued to look like until about a week ago.

Things I didn't like about it - ugly, rotten wood, ugly, white gravel that was so worn down that the plastic was poking through, ugly - we can all agree that it was a mess.  So we decided it was finally time for this mess to go and we began the process of scraping and shoveling up all of that gravel.  (PS -This is where we left off last week).  If you are wondering what we did with all of the gravel we actually relocated it to our backyard, next to our shed where our lawnmower lives.  It's a perfect little spot for it to live and provide a much needed mud and weed free parking spot - so that was perfect.

We then ended up with a nice smooth surface, which I felt like was a vast improvement from the old yucky walkway.  We also received the gift of a million fallen leaves in our front yard.  I love our big tree but boy does it have a lot of leaves.  I've heard that raking is one of the best exercises you can do - I will have the buffest arms on our street after this fall.

Then we were left with what to do.  We pretty much have a blank slate in our front yard when it comes to the landscaping - which is both exciting and overwhelming.  Personally, I have no idea what to do when it comes to landscaping but, I do happen to be married to a former landscaper (little known facts) so Justin went into full on landscaping mode and began drawing out a plan. He used the water hose to envision a yard map and help give me an idea of what he was talking about.

We decided we wanted a stepping stone type walkway and found the perfect ones at Home Depot.  I love the cottage feel they have.  Justin also marked out the area that we are going to mulch this week.  We want a more natural looking walkway instead of concrete or gravel.  I just think it suits this house, this stone walkway was a match made in heaven or maybe a match made at Home Depot.

So that's pretty much the weekend walkway progress.  This week we plan on finishing the walkway, mulching and start adding some new plants - so I can't wait to share!  

Hope you guys had a wonderful fall weekend! Any outdoor projects going on??  Thanks for stopping by today!

Monday, October 15, 2012

So Many Weekend Projects

I'm not sure what happened this weekend but we went crazy, crazy in a good way.  We had the most beautiful weather here and we spent most of our time outdoors trying to conquer some of the projects we have been attempting to get to since last Spring.  Here's just a little glimpse at what was going on over here, a lot more details to come...

After getting my doors completely painted it propelled me towards wanting to completely finish all of the house painting (finally).  That included giving this little shed a major makeover - I love it so much now and can't wait to show you!

We finally finished painting all of our gutters And even got them back on the house.  Two thumbs up for this little project being complete.

With all the painting going on these guys got in on the action...I'll show you what I did with them soon.

I started working on a new little project with this antique sewing machine base that I have carried from house to house over the last 5 years.  I'm so excited that I am finally finding a new function for it.

And, our front yard was looking like this.  I'm pumped about this project because I simply can't stand our front yard.  We did finish removing all of those awful white rocks that made up our beat up walkway.  It was pure back breaking fun.  We actually kind of started this project on a whim this weekend.  We just did it and now we have to figure out what we are going to do in it's place.  More things coming on this.

We had so much fun working around the house this weekend.  Silas even helped a bunch/had the time of his life - he used his little plastic shovel to pick up ten rocks and drop eight.  He was proud and so were we.

Any other projects going on?  Share with us!!

Thanks for stopping by today!  Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Share Your Story: Audrey

We are blessed with another story today from a wonderful young woman.  I have had the privilege of seeing Audrey mature from a teenager that's part of our youth group to a strong, confident and beautiful woman of God.  She is truly a great example of pursuing a Godly walk and I'm so excited she is sharing with us today!    

Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Audrey. I’m 24 years old and live and work in Raleigh. I graduated from Carolina two years ago and have since worked at a public relations firm in the area. My parents and three younger siblings all live in the area and I love being able to see them on a regular basis. I also love writing, running, spending time with friends and exploring Raleigh (restaurants, flea markets, etc.). 

How did you become a christian? 
I became a Christian as a six-year-old. My parents are the ones who shared the gospel with me and I still remember specific parts of the conversation I had with them that led to my understanding that Christ was Savior and my decision to turn my life over to Him. 
Because I was so young when I first came to know the Lord, my understanding of what it looked like to be a Christian slowly developed as I grew and matured. However, the things that I understood that day at age six – that Jesus died to take the punishment I deserved for my sins, that as a result I could know God and have a real relationship with Him by repenting of my sin and accepting Jesus as the savior, and that doing this would mean giving my life over to God and allowing Him to be the “boss of my life” – are the core truths that my faith rests on today.

Tell us about a tough time/decision that you have faced - Did you feel close to God or far away during this time?
A couple of valleys from recent years come to mind. One was graduating from college with no idea what came next. I remember sitting on my parents’ couch the night after I graduated crying and saying I didn’t know what was going to happen next in my life but I didn’t see how it could possibly be as good as the past four years of my life had been.  
Recent months have also brought confusion as some of the circumstances and well-laid plans in my life came undone. It’s been painful and left me with big questions both for the now and for the future.
When these “valley moments” first hit I think the initial feeling is loneliness and maybe feeling a little farther from God. As soon as I turn a difficult situation over to Him it’s always a game-changer, though. He makes His presence very apparent to me and leaves me feeling closer to Himself than I did when everything in life was good. 

How did God move through this situation?
My faith was definitely short-sighted at the time of graduation, but God used the months that followed to show me that he is in control. Over those months as I got a job, moved out on my own and got connected to a church and new friendships in Raleigh, I saw God’s faithfulness at each step. He provided for every need and walked beside me through the tough days. Now looking back I know it was silly of me to expect so little of God.  
While the more recent days of uncertainty have been more painful, I can see how the lessons he taught me two years ago are important reminders to me now. He has used the hard days to strengthen my faith and help me hold onto my plans with a loose grip, knowing that His plan for me is better than what I envision for myself. He has also shown me through pain what I don’t think I would have ever been able to see through times of happiness, that my need for God is the deepest, most important need in my life and that true satisfaction and joy comes from Christ alone and is completely unrelated to life’s circumstances. 
Do you have any advice for someone going through a similar situation/circumstance?
Pray that God will help you trust Him. You don’t have to understand what’s going on in your life, why it’s happening or what comes next to trust that God is in control and is working for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28; Jer. 29:11). 
Spend time with people who are an encouragement to you and point you toward growth and healing in the hard times. There are so many people who say shallow things to try and make you feel better or who feed the discouraged feelings that come so easily when you’re in a valley – those aren’t the people you need to be spending time with. When you’re in a vulnerable place seek out your friends who are walking with the Lord and who have a track record of speaking truth and seeing life with the right perspective. 

Tell us about a favorite memory or moment. 
One summer while I was in college I had the opportunity to spend six weeks in Asia on a mission trip with a group from my school. It was a blessing in my life in so many ways. It pushed me so far outside of my comfort zone that it required a whole new level of trust in the Lord and God used it to develop in me an incredible love for a people and nation that I had hardly thought about prior to that summer. 
How did God move through this event in your life? 
It was definitely a perspective-shifting time in my life. I went over wanting to make a difference in other people’s lives; and while we certainly saw that come from the trip, I also experienced such a deep sense of purpose, satisfaction and joy in my own life that summer. I think it was the first time that I saw with absolute clarity that not only was I supposed to love God and make Him known, but that loving Him and make Him know is also what makes my life truly satisfying and joyful. 

What would be the one piece of advice you would give other young women?
Believe what the Bible says and let its truth be the foundation you build your life on. I think often the first step toward drifting from relationship with the Lord – and to be blunt, wasting our lives on trivial things – is ignoring God’s Word or allowing ourselves to pick and choose what portions of it are true and applicable to their lives. If you believe that the Bible is God’s Word, then it’s important to trust what it says is true, timeless, for our good and has authority to steer our decisions.

What are some of your favorite pieces of scripture and why?
Isaiah 26:3 – “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”
  • I love the reminder this verse provides. If we fix our minds on Christ and place our trust in Him, we are kept in perfect peace. That’s so the way I want to live my life. 
Philippians 3:8 – “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ” 
  • I so easily get caught up in other pursuits, but this verse reminds me that every other thing in life is a waste in comparison to knowing Christ. To put it simply, Christ is better. 
 Thanks so much Audrey for sharing your story today!  Check back next Wednesday for another story!