Five minute wreath

Okay, I have a problem with wreaths. I love them too much. I have (probably) about 12-13 wreaths in my craft room closet at any given time. They are easy, relatively inexpensive, and make a big impact. What’s not to love?

My sister and I decided that this type of wreath should be called the “5 minute wreath” because it takes, well, about 5 minutes to put together.

Materials needed:

Straw wreath

Fabric cut into strips (I make mine about 3″ wide – 1 yard is more than enough. For a 12″ wreath, I used about 1/2 yard)

Flowers/embellishments/what have you

Hot glue/glue gun

Okay, so you are going to wrap the fabric around the wreath. I usually start by overlapping so I don’t need to use hot glue on the plastic-wrapped wreath. Overlap the fabric a little bit, and when you come to the end of it, put a strip of hot glue and attach the next piece of fabric. Keep going until the wreath is covered completely. (For a 12″ wreath, I used 4 strips of fabric)

Place an extra piece of fabric across the back on the top part of the wreath for hanging. I use a Command hook to hang my wreaths on my front door.

Glue your flowers/embellishments on wherever you choose. I prefer to do mine on one side near the bottom, but that’s just my personal preference.

That’s it! These are so easy to whip out for gifts,  and inexpensive too.

Cross-posted at RCHOTX
Linked up at Serenity Now Weekend Bloggy Reading!
Weekend Bloggy Reading


Queen of Unfinished Projects/Keepin’ It Real

Y’all, my craft room is a hot mess. It looks like an episode of Hoarders in real life. Maybe there should be a show called Craft Hoarders? Now that I have my new badass curtains up, I need to get motivated and finish this junk that is taking up valuable real estate so I can move on to more junk. What better way to motivate than to put it all out there for the whole internet to see, a la my friend Dianthe? Don’t judge me.

On to the {scary} tour…

My awesome curtains form a lovely background for my very messy craft table/desk. This table was completely clean until Sunday, when I decided that it was time to switch out the old curtains for the new ones. Obviously, I am a child and cannot put things back when I am finished with them. Old curtain rods? Still hanging out on the table. Dowel rods from my stupid decision to try to DIY rig some cute curtain rods? Still chillin’, waiting to be returned to Home Depot. Mr. Lazy Wife wants to keep them and make something with them. I say no. He is not a project-type guy, and they will continue to sit on the table and collect dust, so off they go to the land of orange and sawdust. Also on the table is a Scout bag that I ordered on a whim called “Stand and Delivah“. It is very important, that is why it has been sitting there unopened. A real must-have, that bag. Someday. Seriously, though, I do love Scout bags. They are pretty awesome.

Awww yeah, the ultimate mess collector. My craft table/desk/bookshelves. What you see here is a bunch of sweet tea cups, a stainless bowl with popcorn kernels in it because I don’t know how to pop microwave popcorn, a buttload of pens and Sharpies, Post-It Notes, and ink cartridges that need to be recycled.  This is where I spend 90% of my time when I am at home, like a nerd. The Post-It on my laptop is a recipe that I wrote down in December. Yes, December. I do love having a table this large for projects, but it is a dining room table and I do most of my crafting while standing. I would love to have an actual craft table that is higher off the ground. First world problems.

Hi, messy printer desk. I bought this desk at Room Service Home back when they had a warehouse in Dallas. My sister and I each got one for $99, and I love it. I have 4 curtain panels folded up (those are my first curtains), things that people have given me that I just haven’t put on the wall yet, extra printer paper, crap I cut out on the Silhouette that I didn’t want to get bent, our router and modem, and my cool wireless printer. I like to keep the cords crazy, it makes it look artistic {not really}. I should bundle those or something. Also, that Scentsy warmer 1) doesn’t work, and 2) is fug. I need to chunk it. It does me no good.

 This beautiful piece of art is a crappy $12.99 lamp from Wal-mart that was bought in a mad frenzy because my craft room is dark, y’all. It holds 3 bulbs, but only has 1 in it now because Mr. Lazy Wife just takes them out and uses them in other lamps as he pleases. We can afford new lightbulbs, he just chooses not to. It also serves as a clothes hanger, as you can see. I’m gonna spray paint this beast hot pink.

This is an empty frame. It’s been empty since June 2011. See, the plan was for me to cut out the letters of our last name on my Silhouette and place them inside the frame to hang in the living room. My BFF even put burlap on the back so it would be all cute. As you can see, I have not done my part, but dammit, I HAD to have that frame because it was on clearance at the Hobby Lobby.

Ah, the Christmas light bulbs. Hundreds of them. I went to three Hobby Lobby stores after Christmas because I NEEDED bulbs for wreaths. I really need to just put them in a box until I’m ready to make the wreaths, but that would be much too easy and organized, wouldn’t it? I’d much rather have bags of them on the floor so they could be crushed at any moment.

This is my poor little chest of drawers. I am pretty sure this was in my nursery when I was born, that’s how old this is. Right now, it holds my scrapbook paper and supplies. The basket on top {that is covered by today’s work clothes} holds my many glue guns and mod podge and glue sticks. The two cute signs hanging from the handles were purchased on clearance a few months ago in a fit of random creativity. See, the plan was to make “welcome” signs out of them. I got as far as painting the wood white and printing out the word “welcome” twice on the Silhouette, but as you can see it was just way too much trouble to actually mod podge the words onto the plaques. That’s just kind of embarrassing. Five minutes is all it would take. Sheesh. Also, I really need to move my shoes because my dog will eat them.

Look! Two projects in one, and I didn’t even realize it until I put the picture up! That wreath will take MAYBE 10 minutes to put together. Have I done it? Nope. That little bench? We painted and covered that before I got married. I need to recover it with extra curtain fabric and repaint the legs in a bright color, but I haven’t bothered to do it. I think I actually have another bench just like this at my dad’s house. Hmmm…

Dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnn.This corner scares me. See, I try to organize things, and the rubbermaid shoeboxes do help, but what if stuff doesn’t fit in them? Then what? Then you get a mess like you see here. What I really need are Gadget Arms so I could utilize the top shelf properly, but that’s not gonna happen. The big rubbermaid tubs at the bottom are full of fabric, frames, pictures, yarn, felt, and other crap. I’ve obviously spent a lot of time at the mistint sections of Home Depot, Lowes, and Wal-Mart because you just never know when you are going to need purple, hot pink, or black glossy paint. I keep many cans of my favorite spray paint color because you just never know when they are going to discontinue it, or at least that’s what I tell myself. That white USPS box has letters in it that spell “WHATEVER” that my BFF sent me. Have I painted or covered those to hang up? Nope. Two stepstools from IKEA that haven’t been put together or painted? Yep. One of the kids that should be getting one is probably going to be in college before he actually gets it. An old wine crate? WTF am I going to do with that?

Well, there you have it. That’s my creative space. If I had money money money, I would organize the crap out of it with stuff, but I don’t, so I post it on the internet for you to make fun of instead. You are so freaking welcome.

PS: To my observant friend that pointed out the Genie Bra box – I do not recommend the Genie Bra. They are of the devil and will steal your soul while they smash your boobs.


No words.

OK, I lied. I do have words. I freaking LOVE my new craft room curtains! I want to paint all of my furniture in bright, obnoxious colors now.


Totally phoning it in tonight… oh, and Annie Sloan. I love her.

I’m sick sick SICK and too lazy (hence the name) to write a blog post, so I’m just going to link to my sister’s post from today! We painted an old fashioned – well, not TOO old fashioned, that’s the kind of desk I used when I was in school! – school desk with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. We sealed it with Minwax wax and Annie Sloan Dark Wax.  The color we used today was Louis Blue – turned out prettier than we thought it would! It ended up being a nice, light grayish-blue color.

Win!

Here’s the link to Whitney’s blog. 

I’ll be back soon – I have some major cleaning to do in my craft room!


Haven 2012 recap – with not too many pictures!

I had absolutely no idea what to expect for my first (not last!) blogging and DIY conference when I signed up for it last August. Let’s be real, I know next to nothing about DIY or blogging, and I was going to throw myself into a hotel full of both? I guess I never really got nervous about going, and I’m going to blame my antibiotics on the issues that came up when we got to the hotel 🙂 Yes, I got a full blown sinus/upper respiratory infection less than a week before we left. I finished up my course of {very strong} antibiotics on day 2 of Haven, so obviously I wasn’t feeling my best but I tried to make the best of it. I had been waiting for this trip for almost a year, I wasn’t going to let a little mucus/wheezing/nasty cough stop me! It may have stopped others from talking to me, but hey, whatever. I went to Haven with five other girls – Tarah, Christie, my sister Whitney, Brittaney, and my Aunt Toni. I snored, I wheezed, I coughed, and they all made sure to give me crap about it. I would expect nothing less!

Brittaney and I arrived at the Atlanta airport around 12:00. The others wouldn’t be there until 2:00 or so. We had to throw down with the rental car guy (btw, there is no way that a TAHOE will hold 8 people + 5 bags. We had to demonstrate for him. Insane.) and ended up with a freaking minivan. I always make fun of minivan drivers, but damn, I kind of liked driving it. Is it weird that I have no kids but I kind of want a minivan? Anyway, after some raised voices, the rental car guy relented and we got the minivan without having to pay extra. Sheesh. Brittaney spotted a Dairy Queen, so of course after our fight with Advantage Rent A Car we needed a cool-down Blizzard. How fitting that our first stop in Atlanta is the Texas Stop Sign. We picked up the rest of the girls and headed for The Varsity near downtown! We are pretty sure we saw a group of Haven girls there at the same time because 1) they were dressed cute, and 2) there was a big group of them. We were too chicken to ask, so we ate our healthy food and left.

We headed to the hotel, checked in, and relaxed for a few minutes before checking in to the actual conference. We had two rooms that were adjoining (yay Crowne Plaza for getting it right!) so it was like one big hotel room with 4 beds and 2 bathrooms. It worked out well for us!

The party on the first night, sponsored by Frog Tape and Oreck, was decorated so nicely! It was very crowded, and I wasn’t feeling well, so we stayed for a short time and retired to the hotel room. I wish I had been feeling better so I could have been a little more social, but I just couldn’t handle it. From what I heard, it was a blast and lasted for quite a while! We ended up ordering a pizza and picking it up around 9:30.

The next morning was an early one! Breakfast started at 7:30 and the opening session was at 8:30, so we hauled butt downstairs and ate/got our seats. It was so crowded in that room! I get a little, shall we say, panicky when in tight quarters, so it was a challenge for me. John & Sherry of Young House Love did a GREAT job opening up the conference (fart, cheese pie) and got it off to a fun start. I would totally hang out with them. They’re my kind of people.

After that, I branched out alone and went to my first session – Beginning Paint & Stain. I have no illusions about my painting ability (or should I say DISability) but after that session, I felt like I could paint or stain anything and everything! It was led by Kate from Centsational Girl and Chris from Just A Girl. They were patient and didn’t make you feel dumb for asking questions, which was awesome. I took TONS of notes in that session!

Then it was lunchtime. I took a chance and sat at a table with a bunch of girls I had never met before. Turns out, 4 of them were from Texas. Go figure! One of them was Altar’d – I will have to look through the business cards I collected to see who the rest were. It was a little stressful at first, eating with a bunch of strangers, but it turned out to be really fun!

My second session (also alone) was Advanced Paint & Stain – you know, because I am so advanced now that I’ve taken the beginning paint class. It was led by Marion of Miss Mustard Seed. She focused mainly on Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (I am in love) and Milk Paint (I will have to try it). I left that class wanting to paint everything in sight. My mind was racing with thoughts of painting furniture I already own! I also met Francine of SkyBluPink Creations – what an awesome lady! She lives in the D/FW metroplex, so I’m sure I will run into her again. I already have plans to check out her booths at the Frisco Mercantile – because guess what? She sells Annie Sloan paint!  She is going to get sick of me asking questions. I also met Beth of Unskinny Boppy and Dusty of All Things G&D. I wish I could have hung out with them, but it just wasn’t in the cards I guess.

The next session I went to (joined by everyone but Tarah) was the slipcovering and upholstery session. I learned a lot and had some good laughs with Angie, the Slipcover Diva (cha-ching!). I LOVELOVELOVED her. I wanted to take her home with me so we could hang out. For some reason, she just cracked me up. We may or may not have invited her to my aunt’s lakehouse near Dallas for a week of slipcovering lessons, eating, drinking, sleeping, whatever. She was down for whatever! The session went waaaaaaay over but it was totally worth it. This session is where I also met Traci from Beneath My Heart. What a sweet, sweet person. I loved her immediately. I told her about how my mom had passed (since hers has as well) and how I was close to my sister and aunt, and she just got tears in her eyes. It was so nice to meet her and give her a hug. The nicest person at the conference, for sure. Love you, Traci!

That night, we went to Figo Pasta in Alpharetta. Why so far? Because I got free meals for all 6 of us due to a grand re-opening that just happened to coincide with one of the nights we needed dinner. Once we got the food, it was to die for. I wish we had Figo in Texas! We did have to wait over an hour for our food, which was annoying, but I think our ticket got “lost”. We didn’t get an apology from the manager or the waiter, which I thought was a little strange, but it was okay. Can’t complain too much for free food! I had the chicken marsala and mushroom ravioli with mushroom sauce. Holy crap, that was good.

This was the “loser” room at 11:00. Our room? We stayed up until FOUR A.M. We could not go to sleep no matter what. It was like high school again.

The next day we didn’t have to start quite so early. We missed breakfast (big mistake, I was starving) and went straight to our sessions. I did the Power Tools with Ryobi session. I built a freaking wine rack! I had never used a drill before (told you I had no business being at a DIY conference) but now I’ve got the itch. I want to build stuff. I wanted to win one of the tools so dang bad, but it wasn’t in the cards. Hey, Ryobi, if you’re listening – I’d be happy to take some of those tools off your hands! Particularly the drill, the saw, and the paint sprayer! Thanks!

Then I took the Carpentry class with Ana White (and Christie). She is so cute and little and compact, but damn it if that woman can’t build anything! They were building a locker/cubby/mudroom thing made out of Purebond. They were in the finishing stages (I guess they built the majority of it the day before in the session) so we got to play with power tools. I used a miter saw! What! I also met The Bearded Iris, who provided me with the highlight of the whole conference. I love that woman. I had no shame at this conference and it paid off big time. Christie would KILL me if I posted about what happened, but I will just say that I apparently grew a big set of balls on this trip and was not afraid to talk to anyone about anything!Ask me in private and I’ll give you the scoop. THANK YOU, Leslie, for providing us with tears of laughter for years to come. Christie is just now climbing up from sinking in to the floor.

Three of us were bad and skipped the last session to go drive around and look at big houses in Buckhead. So worth it!

The cocktail party that night was also crowded, and I feel bad saying that we skipped it, but I just wasn’t feeling great and the girls I was with decided we’d just forgo it. I hope that next year I’m feeling better and can take full advantage of the parties – yes, I said next year. I am SO going back.

We ate at Greenwood’s in Roswell. I think it was my favorite meal of the whole trip! It was in a cute old house with a HUGE flower garden. The food was excellent and everyone was so nice there! I will definitely go back next year when I come back for Haven. The pie = heaven. The fried chicken = heaven. Ahhhhhh.

Then we headed to Value Village. Apparently Mr. Goodwill Hunting sang praises about VV, so we had to go. The employees said that due to this conference, their sales were up 50% for the day! Holy crap. We were about 20 minutes from the hotel, and I’m guessing there are more Value Villages around there, so people were driving and shopping, apparently!

Once we got back to the hotel, we crashed. The closing session was awesome, except for one girl who kept criticizing (not constructive, mind you) the conference. I kind of wanted to pop her in the face, but I refrained. The organizers did a WONDERFUL job, and I cannot even begin to imagine how much work went into this conference! I can’t wait for next year.

Oh yeah, I won a bunch of stuff. Along with the bag o’ swag from Haven,  I won some Annie Sloan paintbrushes, a Moen Twist showerhead, Annie Sloan wax, Annie Sloan apron… it was insane. I had to mail a 26 pound box home of stuff from Haven. THAT was awesome. I more than made back the price of the ticket to the conference, which was a huge bonus.

In short (ha), I had a blast at Haven. I loved every minute of it, and the only thing I would change about it? Make it longer. I could have stayed for a week. 🙂 LOVE to the organizers.

I keep forgetting things! Being at Haven inspired us to start a group blog – even the ones who had never blogged before. We’ve purchased a domain name already, and are working out schedules/design/etc. Watch for it! It’s going to be fun 🙂


Dad

 

My poor dad has really been through it. When my mom died in 1990, she left behind a husband with 3 young kids – I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it must have been for him to lose his wife, AND realizing that he was going to have to raise 3 kids without her. I like to think that we were somewhat easy to deal with, but I am sure we weren’t all peaches and cream.

I remember dad dropping me and my sister off at the grocery store to do the shopping (before I could drive). He would come back in an hour to pay for it and pick us up. We would always pick a magazine or something fun as our “pay” for doing the shopping – I’m sure dad knew about it but he never said anything.

I remember my dad being the “cool dad” in my group of friends. He was never really strict with us – as long as he knew where we were, who we were with, and approximately when we would be back it, it was pretty much okay with him. Within reason. I didn’t have a curfew, whereas all of my other friends did. Of course, I never abused the fact that I didn’t have a curfew – maybe that was why!

Dad has raised all three of us on music. Constant music. He often says that we need to “broaden our musical horizons”. Well, I used to HATE it, but now I appreciate it. I hear so many songs that remind me of my childhood and growing up, and I have dad to thank for that. He is still very much into music (but God forbid someone actually be on the radio – that automatically qualifies them as a sellout, according to dad), and lucky for him, so are his son-in-laws! I am glad that music is something they all have in common.

Dad had to deal with things a dad should never have to deal with since he has two daughters. Do I even need to elaborate? Feminine issues, boys, broken hearts, broken friendships, girl drama… all I can say about that is that it takes a very strong man to do what he had to do for us girls. I know it couldn’t have been easy.

Dad is a pretty awesome grandpa – or as we call him now, T-Luv. It makes me so sad to hear stories about these grandfathers who don’t make time to spend with their grandkids, or are not in their lives for one reason or another. Seeing dad with Logan makes my day. Logan loves his “T-Luv Money Man” so much, and it makes me smile. He’s such a cool grandpa – was he a cool dad? Looking back, I guess so!

Dad taught me to never take the highway because it’s boring. This philosophy led to many, many adventures – getting lost in Colorado (more than once), going on a “2 hour trip to see this bridge” (turned out to be a full day), driving around until we (almost) run out of gas in Hamilton, Texas to name a few. This also means that I can (and have) called dad from the road and said, “I’m taking exit 427 because traffic sucks – where do I go from here/what’s good to eat in this podunk town/how far am I from…” I don’t know many dads that can do that. I am my father’s daughter in this regard, but I don’t think my brother and sister caught that gene.

I am so thankful for my dad. He’s had to go above and beyond in his role as dad, and although not by choice, he never made us feel like it was a chore. When my mom died, we were forced to become a closer family, and if there is one good thing that could ever come of our mom dying, it is just that. I don’t know what I would do without my dad, and I know I don’t tell him that enough. We’ve had our rough patches, but it always works out in the end.

Happy Father’s Day, T-Luv. We all love you so much and thank you for everything you have done for us!

 


Freezer cooking – 14 meals in 2 hours!

Well, we finally did it. My sister and I did some freezer cooking today! We used to go to a place called Dinner Station, and while it was nice because everything was done for us (like chopping onions and stupid celery and touching raw chicken), it is also about 45 minutes away from both of us. We briefly discussed going back there because the prices seemed pretty fair/comparable and we liked the food, but in the end it just isn’t worth the drive.

We each picked three recipes (one beef, one chicken, and one sausage/pork) and made our lists. We did all of our shopping at Market Street (can I just say that they may have just won me as a shopper for life? Everyone there was SO nice, AND they have thin cut chicken breasts with absolutely NO fat on them – awesome!) and were impressed with the prices and quality. I’ve never done full on grocery shopping there, but I will definitely be doing it again! We had our recipes printed out and ready to go.

It just so happened that all three of my recipes used Ziploc freezer bags (gallon size). All three of Whitney’s used 8×8 foil pans. All three of hers were casseroles (that were meant for a 9×13 – she split each recipe into 2 8×8 pans since we both have small families). I brought my trusty Sharpie. Any Sharpie of mine is far superior to any Sharpie that Whitney might have (yes, we did have that discussion. I won.)

We each worked on our own recipes. That worked well since it was just two of us. If we do it again with more people, I think it would be easier to have one person in charge of chopping veggies, one person in charge of stovetop stuff, one in charge of sauces, etc. Not exactly sure how it would be easiest, but that might work.

Here are the recipes we made – Whitney has previously made the sausage/pepper penne and the chicken broccoli rice casserole. I haven’t made any of the ones I chose, so hopefully they all turn out great! We’re already talking about next time and maybe adding two more people in – have each person bring one beef/one chicken/one pork-turkey-sausage recipe, and one surprise recipe. That way there is a nice variety. If we expand it to 4 people, that would be 16 meals! Not too shabby.

Anyway, on with the recipes:

IKEA Swedish meatballs – no picture for this one!

Hawaiian Kielbasa

Cranberry BBQ Chicken

Unstuffed Shells

Spicy Sausage and Pepper Penne

Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

Yes, that last one does contain cream of crap. Next time, we plan on making our own cream of crap that’s not so crappy – we just wanted to get it finished today.

I’m so excited to have 7 meals in my freezer (I made 4 smaller bags of IKEA Swedish meatballs – 15 meatballs each – instead of 2 large meals. 2-3 people do NOT need 30 meatballs in one sitting) after about $100 and 2 hours total! Here’s our combined haul – doesn’t look like much, but not bad for about 12 hours between saying “let’s do this” and actually doing it!

Here are some links to our Pinterest boards that we use for freezer meals.

http://pinterest.com/whitneypaige7/freezer-cooking/

http://pinterest.com/kissmytiara/frozen-meals/