Thursday, April 26, 2012

All Things Cinco de Mayo on Featured Finds Friday

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I place Cinco de Mayo in the same category as St. Patrick's Day.  It's just another reason to eat and drink.  And really, what's wrong with that?  I could sip a margarita and snack on a bag of chips with guacamole any day of the week. To honor this popular celebration, I've put together a list of the basics for you.


guacamole dip




easy margarita



individual seven layer dip




zesty chicken enchiladas




DIY topiary decor


Eat, Drink, and be Merry!


xo, 
Jen

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Trials and Tribulations of Moving Your Family

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You've probably heard me mention it before, but we're moving.

Yay and ugh!

We're excited to be moving closer to our family, friends, and familiar territory, but we're also stressed over everything that's involved in a move.  I actually Googled "stress from moving" and over 32 million hits popped up on the screen.  Apparently, we're not alone.

It's very easy for me to get overwhelmed from it all {if you looked up worry wort in the dictionary, you'd see my picture}.  And, this move in particular is especially challenging because we own our current home and we have a toddler.  Hello meltdown!

The funny thing about moving is that it's been done before by millions of people and they all survived.  Look at military families and missionaries - they move all the time.  I just need to keep reminding myself of that.  And right after reminding myself of that, I need to pray.

You might be thinking how our moving process is coming along.  Well, for starters you'd never know that a move was about to take place.  Why you ask?  Well, to date I've packed one plus negative one boxes {that would be zero}.  We don't have a signed lease agreement for our home yet.  Oh, and the new place we're about to call home...it doesn't exist yet.  To say there are a lot of loose ends right now would be the understatement of the year.

A nervous breakdown could possibly be on the docket for me this month, but then again maybe not, because a funny thing happened to me the other day.  It just so happens that I heard the silliest little story from a sweet 82 year-old-lady about moving her family from New Jersey to Florida back in the sixties.  It involved a caravan of nine people {two grandparents, two parents, and five kids}, five dogs, three goldfish, one chicken, and one bunny rabbit.  Let's just say the movers never showed up, the goldfish spilled over in the front seat and had to live in Coca Cola until water was available, one of their five four-legged fur babies bit the chicken, and A/C didn't exist. Whoa!  It will probably go down as one of the best moving stories I've ever heard.

This chaotic but humorous story reminded me of one thing.  There will definitely be hiccups along the way, but things will most likely work out for the best.  It's a good little mantra to live by, not just for moving, but for life in general.

I really love hearing from you, so feel free to share your moving story - funny or not!

Jen
xo 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

spring dress + thoughts on reading a dress pattern

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Making a dress from a store bought pattern is so easy!  For other people.  

My first attempt at making my daughter a dress was a disaster.  In fact, the dress ended up being a shirt because I ran out of fabric.  Bing Bong!  You can read about it here and here. I also tried using a pattern on this little gem here but it too was a complete chop job.

So here we are, three dresses in, and while I still don't understand all the verbiage on pattern directions (I used Simplicity 2825), I am pretty excited with how this one turned out.  It's a size too big for my little gal, but she can grow into it.  I'll actually be posting it as a guest tutorial in May, so keep an eye out for it. 








Friday, April 13, 2012

Earth Day Wreaths: Great Upcycle Projects on Featured Finds Friday

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It's Earth Day this month and what better way to celebrate than by turning some trash into treasure?  My inspiration for this post came from the window display you see below.  Look at the plastic spoon wreaths.  How great is that?




Recycle your old plastic bags by making this little gem.
via here


Brown paper bags turned into a beautiful butterfly wreath.
via here


Old ties repurposed as a wreath!  Even the bow is a tie too.  Love it!
via here


I love these little flower rosettes made from magazine pages.
via here



This recycled project gets extra points because I bet it smells good too.
via here



For a more rustic look, make a wreath from old canning lids.
via here


If you drink milk, here's a freebie wreath made from milk carton lids.
via here


Happy Friday!  
Be good to Mother Earth.

xo,
Jen

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mad Men Inspired Ironing Board Cover: A Tutorial

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I couldn't resist...




It was finally time to get rid of my very first ironing board.  Well, not the whole thing, just the cover.  I'm not sure if groovy flowers were in at the time, but it just so happens that I made the purchase before entering my first year of college.  Fast forward five, ten, twelve {it pains me to say that} years later and well, you can see it was finally time.




Place your ironing board on top of the wrong side of your fabric.


When you overlap the fabric, be sure to give yourself enough room to sew them together {about 1''}.


It should look something like this, but minus the stained carpet ;)



Always press open your seams.


 Measure a 2" - 3" space at the bottom of your ironing board cover.  Be sure to leave this spot open.  This is where you'll insert your cording or elastic.

Press down a 1/2" seam around the entire ironing board cover.  It will get a little tricky on the corners, but don't worry about this.  Once it's finished, it will be hidden under the ironing board.






Continue pinning all the way around.




Take a safety pin and poke it through your elastic or cording {I recycled the original cording from the ironing board cover and used it}.  Now slip it through the opening you created and thread it all the way around your ironing board cover.


Place it on top of the ironing board and pull on both ends of your cording or elastic until you have it nice and tight.  

Smooth it out and you're done!

I think after staring at these ladies all day, I want to go buy a pair of white gloves.  So sophisticated, dahhling.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Hand Painted Wallpaper on Featured Finds Friday

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Today on featured finds Friday: tutorials for hand painted wallpaper.  I know what you're thinking...too much work!  But since wallpaper has made a semi-comeback, I thought I'd share this new way to integrate wallpaper without actually using wallpaper.  It's kinda like a fake tatoo.  You get a similar look without the commitment ;-)



via here


via here



via here


via here


via here


via here


Have a beautiful Easter weekend!

xo,
jen


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Have you ever walked through your childhood home?

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I have.  I had my husband pull the car over so I could stop to knock on the door.

Let me back track a bit...

My husband and I grew up in the same little beach town, so when we go back "home", it really is home to both of us.  His parents still live there and my dad still lives there.  Our friends' parents still live there too.  It's a town where usually everyone knows your name...kinda like Cheers, but not a bar.

Just about every time we make that trip over to the beach, I almost always ask my husband if we can go by my old home.  So we do.  It's the same every trip, I narrate who used to live where {usually close neighbors and kids from grade school or HS} and then just as we get to my house, I ask him to slow down.  And then I say, "I really wish I could see what it looks like inside."

The only difference between this story and all the others is that I actually did ask to go inside.  When my husband pulled the car over, I hopped out and asked him if he wanted to come.  He had zero interest in going inside and not because I don't think he would have appreciated it, I think he was just weirded out by it.  Heart pounding and flying solo, I walked up to the front door and knocked.

Okay, wait, let me just stop here.  I was totally unsure of what I was asking.  I mean, it is a little weird to ask someone you don't know to walk into their house and look around.  I get it.  Plus, I could've been a crazy escapee from the local jail.

When a woman answered the door, I hesitated for a second, then told her my story.  She smiled at me and then opened the door up for me to come inside.  It was definitely strange being in the house because everything was different.  Walls were knocked down, spaces enclosed, and carpeting ripped out.  But, even with everything looking so different, it still kind of felt the same.

The family was very kind and open to small chit-chat.  We talked about all their remodeling and some of our old neighbors.  I asked to look outside and everything looked the same...the pool, the yard, the canal, the houses on the other side of the canal.  That was the only time I got a little choked up.  I think just because so many birthday parties, pool parties, and conversations about boys took place out there.  Good memories.

I didn't ask to tour the whole house because I felt that was a little too intrusive.  So after about fifteen minutes I thanked them and said good-bye.

I don't think I stopped talking about it the whole car ride back to my husband's parent's house.  I was a total chatterbox.  It really was a neat experience laced with a little emotion.  It's one of those moments in life where you cherish every second, then store it away somewhere to remember for a long time.



So how about you?  Have you ever wished you could see your old childhood home?  Have you ever walked through it?  I'd love to hear your stories too.

xo,
jen

Monday, April 2, 2012

A month in review

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Hi there!  Our house has been a busy one the past couple of weeks in anticipation for our move.  I feel like we've almost reached the top of our mile long to-do list.  Queue up the round of applause please.  While we've been busy, lot's of wonderful little things have also taken place this past month.  There's no rhyme or reason to any of my ramblings but I hope you enjoy them nonetheless.

My mom
This past week I got a package in the mail from my mom and inside were the prettiest, little crocheted flowers.  I was so proud of her!  Some of the yarn my mom had used came from a collection that was my great Aunt Fay's before she passed away.  Not only are they lovely, but there is some sentimental value attached to them as well.  Thanks mom!

{crochet patterns came from here}


Baby E
Remember the baby shower a couple of months ago {oh baby, a baby} for my good friend, Wendy?  Well, she delivered a happy and healthy baby girl.  Today I received the cutest picture of her - it's baby E in the dress I made for her!!!  Isn't she beautiful?    

{dress pattern found here}


The sixties
Here's something I'm working on this week.  I've been eyeing this at the fabric store for a million years now.  My neighbor actually surprised me with it and bought it for me while I was working on some kitchen curtains for her {thank you Lauren}.  I have BIG plans for these lovely ladies.  Tutorial coming soon!!!



Home
This is my childhood home.  I spent most of my school years growing up in this little three bedroom, two bath home.  It sits on a canal not far from the ocean.  I have so many memories here!

I actually got the guts to walk up to the front door and ask if I could come in....stay tuned because I have more on this story coming up this week.



Beach hair
Okay, so this picture is totally lame.  I only took it because I loved how my hair had that, "I just spent the day on the beach" look to it.  Salty, wavy, crunchy, blonde.  I'm not normally a friend of my hair, but on this particular afternoon, I was.





My friend
One of my best friends from college just announced that she was pregnant with their second baby.  Don't you love this idea for telling your friends and family?  You can find this great idea over here.

  



Bow tie
I've been making a lot of bows lately, so when my friend {the same one mentioned above} asked me to make a couple of bow ties for her son, I jumped at the opportunity.  I have never made anything for boys, so I'm proud to say I can check that off my list.  And after making a couple, I decided I would need to make a bunch more...maybe for more friends or maybe a craft fair down the road.



hope you're having a superb day!
xo,
jen
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