Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Front Door Decor - Burlap Bubble Wreath

The door to my apartment was lacking love. All it had was a colorful mat to wipe your feet on. So, I decided it was time to try my hand at wreath making. My friend Megan has a wreath business on Etsy called Burlap Belle and I actually had her make a wreath for my mom's Christmas present last year...which turned out awesome. Through her inspiration, I decided to give it a shot myself this time. I enjoy a good craft on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

To start this project you will need:

  • 1-2 yards of burlap
  • a styrofoam wreath ring
  • scissors
  • seamstress pins

The first step is to start cutting your burlap into squares. You want each square to be about 2-3 inches by 2-3 inches. The smaller the square, the smaller the burlap bubble. You get the picture. Then you take a square and put all four corners together and pin it to the wreath, so it looks like a bubble. You repeat this with each square until your entire wreath is covered, except for the back. You just pin, pin, pin the burlap bubbles right up next to each other to cover up the styrofoam.  

I actually cut the burlap as I go, so I don't get to the end and have tons of burlap squares leftover that are useless. I cut several squares, then I pin them to the wreath until I run out. Repeating the process until the whole wreath is covered.

For this wreath, I wanted something simple that I could add to for each season. So I chose a natural burlap instead of a color. For now, I have added a green burlap bow with some decor behind the bow. I already have my additions for fall. So come September, I will be changing up the decor on the wreath. I'll keep you updated on it's seasonal changes!

Here are some pictures of the process and finished product.

Lonely door.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Surprise Weekend Arrival

Friday on my way up to visit my sister, I received a call from my dad. He said that my sister-in-law was in labor. Two weeks early. So, I quickly turned my car around and headed right back to Columbia to get to the hospital. At 12:15 a.m. on Saturday morning, Tegan Olivia arrived. Happy and healthy weighing in at 6 pounds 2 ounces and 18.5 inches long. We all got to see her for the first time in the newborn nursery windows as my brother was with her. He saw us standing there, picked up his little brand new girl, and headed over to introduce us to her through the glass. I've never seen him smile so big.

From that moment on, we were all completely smitten for this tiny little baby girl. She is absolutely beautiful and has so many people that love her already. It's hard to remember life without her even though she's only been here a few days.

Meet my beautiful niece, Tegan Olivia...our newest addition.

Sweet baby girl.
Dad and Grandpa.
Family of five. 
Grandpa and Niece.
Proud aunts. 
In love with her already.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I actually wrote this post several weeks ago and came across it today. Something I needed. A reminder of the great life I have and have had so far during This Life.

I've been thinking lately about just how blessed I am and I wanted to capture that feeling before it up and left me. You know, I'm pretty blessed. I have....

...fantastic, will do anything for you parents.
...siblings who are basically my best friends, who married people who are basically my best friends.
...two nephews, a niece, and two nieces on the way who I can't describe how much I love/adore/have the best time with.
...friends who are like family.
...friends who I can go months without seeing and it feels like not a day has gone by when I finally get to see/talk to them.
...two grandmothers who I have had the privilege of getting to know for 24 years now.
...a granddaddy who treated me like a princess.
...a great-grandmother (my nanny) who I was able to know, love, and adore.
...doggies who I love and who keep me company.
...a warm place to sleep at night.

Sometimes, when I get the shambles - a saying my friend came up with to describe a state of feeling down, lonely, sad, etc. - I need to remind myself of all of these things and the simple fact that I'm pretty blessed.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sunshine on My Table

I have been searching Craigslist and thrift stores for a cheap kitchen table that I could re-do myself for over 3 months while the table area in my apartment sits empty. Well, not quite empty. You may remember my kitchen chairs that I got through Craigslist a couple months ago. They have just been hanging out all alone in that area of my apartment. Just waiting for a table they could be pulled up to. Well, I finally found the perfect (and cheap) table I had been searching for a couple of weeks ago and I have since been working on sanding, priming, painting, and sealing it to create the perfect table for my home. 

The process began when I found the table on Craigslist. It originally came with 4 chairs and had an asking price of over $100. Of course, I didn't want the chairs as I already had 6 of them that I got for $45. So, I got the owner to agree to $40 for just the table. Once I got the table into my apartment I put a big tarp under it and put the table up on wooden blocks so I could paint the legs easily without getting paint all over the tarp. I went to Lowe's and got all my supplies...

  • paint
  • primer
  • brushes
  • stirrers
  • sandpaper
  • sanding block
  • polyurethane

Once I had everything my mom helped me to start the process. I had to sand and clean off the stain the previous owner had put on the table. He had failed in an attempt to re-stain the table which resulted in a sticky table top with uneven dark stain coloring. I cleaned it several times with Lysol spray and a rag. I then sanded the table with sand paper and a sanding block. This step also helped to get the sticky stain off of the table. Once I was done sanding, I wiped down the table one last time making sure all the reminiscence was gone leaving a clean table to start from.

Next, I took out my primer and primed the table. This was an easy step because you just want a thin coat of the primer and clearly your painting skills are not vital here as you will be painting over this layer. After 1 coat of primer I was ready to add my color paint. Looking back, I should have done 2 coats of the primer since my table was so dark to start. Priming is an easy step and dries quickly easily eliminating extra coats of paint. Lesson learned for next time!

Time to paint! I started the first coat of  paint a few hours after I put my primer on the table. My primer was completely dry and ready to go. For several nights I painted 1 coat on the table per night...I ended up doing 4 coats total. I wanted to make sure my coverage was perfect. After all 4 coats of paint I added 2 coats of polyurethane to seal the table. Since it is a kitchen table I wanted to be sure that if a drink is put down on it or food spills it can be easily cleaned up. I waited about 4 days before I pushed the table back together and considered it complete. I wanted to give the polyurethane plenty of time to dry.

So, after cleaning and sanding, 1 coat of primer, 4 coats of paint, 2 coats of polyurethane, and several days...I finally have a completed kitchen table. I'm so happy with the outcome...especially the color. Who would have thought a yellow kitchen table would look so great and really brighten up my apartment while flowing with the rest of the decor perfectly. It so great to see your vision come to life...after lots of hard work of course!

Here is the table from the beginning, through all 4 coats of paint, 2 coats of polyurethane, and complete with chairs and decor. What do you think? I'm in love.

The table before.
Close up before.
Coat 1.
Coat 2.
Coat 3.
Coat 4.
Close up of the table after coat 4.
All complete.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Showering Baby Tegan

This past weekend my sister and I threw a shower for our brother and sister-in-law who are having a baby GIRL. We made lots of food and decorations in hopes of helping them prepare for their little girl that is due in September. 

I made centerpieces using mason jars that were decorated using purple and green burlap, purple twine, and a piece of circle paper with Tegan's initials. Then we filled the mason jars with purple hydrandeas and babies breath for a simple look. All of the mason jars were decorated differently which kept things interesting.

I also took paper and folded it in half, added owl stickers and wrote Tegan's name and initials on them to set up with the mason jars. An owl was on the invitation so that was a great way to keep the owls appearing throughout the shower. 

For more decorations I made a pennant banner with purple and green burlap, a "Baby Tegan" banner using twine and scrapbook paper, and a banner with her initials "TMO" using tulle and scrapbook paper. 

Overall, the shower went great and looked great. My brother and sister-in-law got a lot of gifts to help them welcome Tegan in a few short weeks. We all can't wait to meet her and to see my brother hold his sweet baby girl in his arms. At times like these, you can't help but realize how blessed you truly are in life.

Here are some pictures from the shower of the decor, food, and fun. Enjoy!

"Baby Tegan" banner and burlap pennant banner.
Mason jar centerpieces. 
Food and table decor.
"Some girls are just born with a little glitter in their veins."
Dessert table with initial banner. 
Food table. 
More decor. 
Presents galore.
Soon to be parents to a baby girl. 
McCurry ladies.
Two baby girls on the way.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Happy Birthday America

I had a great 4th of July. Very low key, but still fun. My sister moved into a new house about two weeks ago, so over the 4th was the first time I got a chance to see her new digs. We had a nice long weekend just hanging out at her house, going to her neighborhood pool, and eating lots of food. Here are some pictures from the weekend. Hope you had a great 4th!

Me and my sweet girl.

After the fountain fun.

Needless to say...she had fun. The girl loves to splash.

The Wall family. Check out that cute baby girl #2!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fruit Pizza

I don't think I've had a fruit pizza since I was about....10 years old maybe. I completely forgot how great it is! Tonight I made my version of a recipe I found on one of my favorite blogs How Sweet It Is. You can find her recipe here

When I say "my version" of the recipe, I basically mean that How Sweet It Is' recipe calls for some extra ingredients that I didn't have nor felt like I went with what I had. It still turned out delicious and it got several compliments from my friends who enjoyed it with me. 

The ingredients that I didn't use were bananas and coconut rum. I also didn't add the glaze to the top of the pizza. I wanted a more muted fruit pizza without the citrus kick. Check out the recipe and try it for yourself. It's an easy and refreshing dessert for a weeknight. I prepped everything last night and just assembled it before dinner tonight. Enjoy!

My friend Brooks enjoying the fruit pizza.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

And...We Have Kitchen Chairs

Slowly but surely I am furnishing my apartment. The one big piece of furniture I am still missing is a kitchen table and chairs. Recently I found some great kitchen chairs for sale on Craigslist. After I talked the seller down $15, i met her to pick up the chairs (with a friend and in a public place of course). I'm pretty excited about the chairs for several reasons...
  1. The interesting style of them. They are definitely not your traditional chair, but that's what I like most about them. White rod iron with fabric covered seats.
  2. The fabric that came on the seats actually goes with my decor very well. 
  3. I got 6 chairs...for only $45!
  4. All of them are the same except for one. One has arms which means I can easily use it elsewhere if I decide it doesn't fit with the table I get.
Now all I need is a table. I have my heart set on a cheap table that I can paint yellow!

An up close of the chair.

All 6 of the chairs.

A Sweet Reminder

I was recently rummaging around my apartment and found some birthday cards from 2 years ago. I have saved my birthday cards since I was a little girl.

The cards I found recently were extra special and just the reminder I needed. You see, these birthday cards were from when I turned 23 and lived in New York City. I was missing my family and apparently, as the cards read, they were missing me too.

The card below struck me though. Sometimes it's just nice to know someone loves you that much..."a heap". 

I wouldn't take back the time I had in NYC for anything. I grew up a lot and got to know more of my family that lives there, but I also know that I'm exactly where I'm suppose to be right now. Close to my siblings and their families. A short drive from home. Near all of my friends that I've had for years. It's a sweet reminder to remember why you are where you are. Sometimes we just need a reminder.

My 23rd birthday card from my Grandma.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lego Land Florida

This past weekend I went with my brother, sister-in-law, and two nephews to Lego Land Florida where we spent two full days at the amusement park. We had a great time! Just imagine a theme and water park where everything looks like legos...and you have Lego Land.

We rode roller coasters, let the boys drive us around in lego boats, and enjoyed cooling off on the water park's slides. Remember those water slides that you go down without a tube and they literally just drop you down the slide? I remember them being fun. Not anymore. I went down one where you are in an enclosed slide for the first 30 seconds and then it drops you out. Needless to say I was slightly freaking out the entire time I was going down the enclosed part. Okay, I was completely freaking out.

Besides the scary slides, we had such a good time. It was so much fun getting to see the boys take it all in. Here are some pictures from our I'm in desperate need of a beach vacation with a drink in my hand.


Friday, June 14, 2013

A Patio...Finally

When I moved in to my apartment a couple months ago I instantly set up my patio, as I have been anxiously awaiting the day when I would have one again. When I lived in NYC I barely had an apartment, so a patio was just not happening. Not to mention that outdoor space in Manhattan is not something that people have, unless they are super rich...which I unfortunately am not.

I purchased a few plants, my mom gave me a few plants, and I put together the patio set I bought over a year ago (when I didn't even have a patio). The patio set had been hanging out in storage, but I just knew that one day I would have a place for it! Then a couple of weeks ago, my mom helped me plant tons of herbs in pots she had lying around. I now have a patio complete with:
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic Chives
  • Oregano
  • Spider Plant
  • Gerber Daisy (my favorite!)
  • Flower Basket - flowers, ivy, sweet potato plant, etc.
  • Lights
I just love outdoor spaces and am so happy with how mine turned out. Now I just have to keep everything alive...the thyme is already fading on me!

My patio.
Updates with herbs, lights, ribbon.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Apartment Updates

I've been thrift shopping the past couple of weekends...purchasing, painting, and recovering old furniture for my apartment. I am determined not to spend a lot of money on the furniture I need. Recently I have purchased:
  • an end table for my guestroom - $10
  • a chair for my guestroom desk - $10
  • an end table for my living room - $10
  • 2 nightstands for my bedroom - $25/each
Check out the before and afters of these projects...



End table.

In total since I started buying furniture for my place, I have purchased 7 pieces of furniture for a total of $120!

Also, here is a chair my friend Megan sanded, stained and recovered...doesn't it look awesome!