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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Front Porch Week {the door}

Another day of

I've been working on the front door for several days. Who knew that black paint took so many layers?? 
But its done! And I love it!

I used Valspar exterier semi-gloss paint.
Color is "Dark Kettle Black" {never thought about there being multiple shades of black ...}

Little tip: Use a brush, not a roller.

I picked out my favorite font and blew it up to the right size. Tape it to the dor and then trace over the outline. It'll leave a faint stencil on the door behind it. Then paint!

For some reason, I was incredibly nervous about doing this. 
Maybe because black feels so ... irreversible. {I don't know why? Its not.}
Or maybe because it's on display for the neighborhood {I doubt any of them care about my front door.}.
I don't know, but for some reason it was daunting.  

I think the black really makes the door pop. And the numbers are so fun. You think so too, right? If not, just humor me, ok? My ego is fragile. 
Can't wait to get those benches and plants out there!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Front Porch Week {the before}

Happy Monday!

This has been a long time coming, but I'm officially dubbing this week as

My front porch has needed some attention for a little while now. I've been tossing around a few ideas and I think its finally time to take action. 

First, the unveiling.  We have a cape cod style house with second story dormers. Its deeper than it is wide {like a row house, perhaps?} but there is still a nice little porch space out front.

{pardon my cloudy skies}

Not so bad. I love the khaki/black/white color combo. And since its newly remodeled, the exterior is already freshened up, which means no cleaning first {yay!}.
My potted hydrangea plants are by the door, which is still host to my linen spring wreath.

But that's about it. Boy how I love a blank slate!

My ideas:

porch furniture

Back in the early spring I was just certain that I'd start by getting some resin wicker furniture out there. But days came and went and we never got around to buying anything.
While visiting my mother in law in Florida, I stopped in at this fantastic vintage beach store. They had a gorgeous wire bench sitting out front that was just screaming my name {obviously not going to fit in the car for the six hour drive home}. From that point on, I've been hooked on benches. J.B. finally broke down and I bought a couple of benches online. 
They're being delivered today! Hurrah!

potted plants

I would like to add a few more potted plants into the mix. I've picked up a couple terracotta pots in the hope of repainted/restyling them. Still searching for just the right look, but I can't wait to go pick out some shade loving plants at Lowe's!

repainting the front door

I'm going to repaint the front door black. Been thinking this one through for awhile.
{honestly, ever since I read this horribly hilarious post on Thrifty Decor Chick a few weeks ago}
But gosh, I love this concept. I keeping seeing sleek black doors and oohing and ahhing. I'm doing it. Don't try to talk me out of it now folks!

Here's some of my inspiration. Stay tuned this week to see what happens!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Things I wouldn't want to live without.

I could be very stoic and start with my faith, my husband, family and friends, but that would just make this super dramatic. And while all of those things mean an immeasurable amount to me, I'm not really going for the cheese factor today {or any day}.

So..., simple things I wouldn't want to live without...

- my steam mop. Y'all, I've got two huge dogs that shed LIKE CRAZY. And J.B. and I are also what I like to refer to as "outside people" {ultimately that means we track in a lot of dirt}. The downstairs of my house has all wood floors. If it weren't for my Shark, I'd spend every spare second of my day mopping. Umm, what fun is that??

- our boat. I suppose it was last summer that JB and I figured out that we were "boat people". There really are few things I enjoy more than taking the boat down river, floating in the sunshine and lounging around. Sometimes we don't even speak for hours. Not for lack of interest or concern, but because we're both just completely content to float there, listening to music or reading a book. When we take friends with us, we love to go tubing and water skiing. However it's used, the boat is our little getaway.

- the local dog park. My pups are still young. They are usually full of more energy than little old me can handle. When we moved to Madison two years ago, we were super pumped to find out that they had just opened a local dog park. We've been hanging out there ever since! I love watching all the different types of dogs play together and seeing each of their personalities shine. And it's easy to bond with the other owners over common ground {and we've met some great friends!}. With our summer schedule, we don't get out there as much as I'd like, but it's such nice place to take Denver and Delilah.

-  my "inspirations". We are all are inspired by something. For me, it's designs. It's ideas. It's beauty. A lot of my inspirations are in the form of magazine clippings, creative blogs, and even pins on Pinterest. Taking in the creativity of others just seems to inspire me to be more creative myself.

- the ability to constantly redecorate. There are those people that decorate their house and don't touch it for years. And then there are those people that are constantly tweaking and changing and rearranging. I am most definitely in the slightly more crazy, second camp. Thankful my husband {who would just as well be happy in the first camp} is very patient with my fickle design sense.

 - spell check. Two problems here, 1. I'm a terrible speller by nature {I have specifically horrible memories of both the 2nd and 8th grade spelling bees ... another day, perhaps} and 2. I'm kinda lazy sometimes. I know that you guys read these posts sometimes and think, "umm, pass fifth grade much?" Its just that usually when I've gone through the process of making the actual project, taking pictures, uploading pictures, editing them, uploading to the blog, and writing the blog post ... I'm usually ready to be done. I promise I'll try to do better.

- ice cream. I have quite the sweet tooth. Whether it's chocolate, vanilla or some crazy wild flavor in between, I love love ice cream.

- my iPhone/iPad. They really are my lifelines. I post, I tweet, I update. They keep me portable and connected. Without them, I feel naked.

Notice that I didn't call this post "things I can't live without". I'm a very blessed girl, but I can obviously live without all of this stuff.  Sometimes I just think it's nice to really appreciate some of your favorite non- necessities.

What wouldn't you want to live without?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stuffed Pizza Rolls - recipe


 - pizza crust
 - marinara sauce
 - mozzarella cheese
 - 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
 - 2 tablespoons of melted butter
 - 1 teaspoon of italian seasoning
 - garlic powder
 - your own pizza toppings! {pepperoni & mushroom for me}

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Lightly flour your surface and unroll the pizza dough.

Cut it into 24 squares. Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into 24 squares
 {here, I had to use my dough a few sections at a time. The whole thing wouldn't fit on my cutting board.}

Place cheese and toppings on each square {not the marinara sauce!}. 
You guys are smart, right? Just eyeball it.  Make sure you have enough space to close the dough.
{a tip for the pepperoni - tear it up into smaller pieces. it makes it much to close the dough around the toppings}

When you've got all your toppings on the dough, pull the edges up and around the middle. Pinch to make sure each ball is sealed shut and then place them seam side down in a lightly sprayed pie pan {or something similar, I used a spring-form cheesecake pan}.

Brush the tops of the dough balls with olive oil or melted butter and then sprinkle with the garlic and Italian seasoning and top with Parmesan cheese.

Cook them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

After letting the pan cool, the rolls should pull apart fairly easily.
Serve with marinara sauce for dipping!

These are great for parties, and are one of our favorites for movie nights!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

25 Things

I know that a lot of people that follow this blog are my beloved friends and family members. And they are so supportive that I'm pretty sure they'd follow this blog if I wrote about ping-pong balls every day {only a mild exaggeration}. They know me better than I know myself sometimes. I smile to think that when they read my posts, they're probably shaking their heads at what a sarcastic dork I am.

Sometimes I forgot that I don't actually know all of you. I'm constantly humbled at the number of people from  different parts of the world that check in here. I love how we can all get together over things like fabric flowers and soup recipes. So I think of us as friends. And sometimes my friends from places France, Australia, and Canada like to send me notes asking more about myself and my life. 

So here are a few random things about me.

#1. You probably can't tell this from many pictures, but I'm short. Really short actually, at 5'1". I wouldn't have even qualified to be on the "short girls" season of America's Next Top Model  {starting height was 5'3"}. Sans all the short jokes growing up and the fact that I can't reach anything on the top shelf of my kitchen cabinets, I've never really minded it. And since J.B. is 5'11", I'm not expecting our future kids to be NBA stars.

#2. I'm a Christian. Its one of the most important things in my life.

#3. I'm kind of a prime time TV junkie. We have {no joke} four DVRs in our house. My favorites are Criminal Minds, House, Project Runway and So You Think You Can Dance.

#4. I love Pinterest. Really love. Every time I look at the boards, I feel as though my head is going to burst with ideas. Its such a fantastic feeling.

#5. Albums that I've been playing constantly... "21" by Adele, "Kaleidoscope Heart" by Sara Bareilles, and "Doo-Wops and Hooligans" by Bruno Mars. I usually don't care for a lot of Top 40 music, but I've been so pleasantly surprised by these albums! They really are must-haves!

#6. The camera I use here is a Canon Rebel XTi. I wish I wasn't completely clueless about photography, but its nice to have a camera that takes pretty pictures.

#7. Due to several visits to my mother-in-law's beach house and many many trips out on the lake, I'm actually sporting an excellent tan this summer. That never happens! I'm usually quite blindingly white in the summer {and fall and spring and winter}.

#8.  Yes, I do have two super adorable dogs. They are my babies, my children {for now}. Denver is a chocolate lab. He's two and has the sweetest, happiest personality of any dog I've ever seen. Delilah is a Great Pyrenees. She's one and is both incredibly lazy and smart. Both weigh in around 90 pounds.

#9. I really don't know much about sewing. I think because I attempt to use a sewing machine for blog projects, I might give off the impression that I know what I'm doing. Let me be clear now, ... I don't. My mom is fantastic with all things sewing and quilting. I'm lucky to be able to call her constantly for advice. I sew with a relatively cheap Singer machine. Maybe when I get a better grip on what I'm doing I'll be able to convince J.B. that I need a big girl machine.

#10. Speaking of my mom, who's good at everything, she's also a Master Gardner. I can't really tell you the specifics about that. But I know it involves lots of training and knowledge about all things green. If I'm not calling her about how I've jammed up my sewing machine, I'm calling to ask her why my plants are dying. She's so handy!

#11. Right now, I'm sitting in my office at work. I was totally planning on going home 30 minutes ago, but then the bottom fell out.  The power is out actually. So I'm waiting on the rain to let up, running on laptop battery power and listening to Pandora on my iPad. Ever since the tornadoes in April, I'm pretty wimpy about bad weather.

#12. I have two brothers {I'm in the middle}. They're both fantastic. My parents must be pretty smug.

 {Daniel, David, J.B. - 2008}
{I promise they really aren't idiots... }

#13. I love getting snail mail.

#14. I also love notes from you about the projects you're working on. You guys have the best ideas.

#15. My favorite things: suspense movies, flowers, neutral colors, board games, and bubble baths.

#16. I'm completely baffled at how to decorate the tall walls in my stairwell. Any suggestions?

#17. This morning, I booked a trip to Disney World. Yes, again. I know that J.B. and I just went last year, but we had such a fun time. It makes me feel kind of like a vacation dork to go back to the same place, and that that place is mostly for people under age 12. But when J.B. and I vacation, we like to be active. I'm sure there will come a time when all we want to do for a week is lay on the beach and unwind, but not yet. We're still spry! :)

#18. I'm not very graceful. I wish I could tell you that I was a ballerina or a prom queen or something poised and pristine, but I'm not. I trip over my own feet like a 13 year old boy.

#19. I almost always have a bowl of ice cream before bed.

#20. This week we're fostering an extra pup. He came from a bad home and is being taken in by some friends of mine on Friday. Until then, Lucky is crashing at our place. He's half bulldog, half shi tzuh, and 100% darling.

#21. I don't recycle. Isn't that horrible of me?! I'm posting this here with the hopes that you guys will encourage me to be a better earthling.

#22. I'm aching to go on a canoe run. Several years ago we camped out alongside the river {it stormed like crazy that night and we slept in the car}, then rented canoes for the 12 mile journey downstream the next day. It was exhausting, but lots of fun.

#23. We, here at the Wilder household, are big Harry Potter fans. Have loved the books from the beginning. Enjoying the movies as well. We've already bought our tickets to see the final Deathly Hallows movie on opening weekend. Only three more weeks until the very end!

#24. I love camping. So does J.B. In fact, he proposed to me in a tent ...

#25. I love having this blog as an outlet for my crazy creative ideas. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

I hope you all are having a great day appreciating your dads!

But we can end any "greatest dad" competitions here. My Pops is the kindest, smartest dad in the land. And if I could just stop him from wearing suspenders all the time, he'd also be the coolest. 
But I suppose I could be a little biased. We do go way back...

{ 1987 }

I also have a pretty fantastic father-in-law too. A lot of the qualities that I love about my husband, I see in him. And I'm so thankful that he raised J.B. to be the kind of man that he is.

{ 2009 }

Happy Father's Day to all of you great dads out there!

Friday, June 17, 2011

ruffle bottom onesie {tutorial}

Here's the final outfit that I added to the package for my niece. 
The ruffled onesies are everywhere these days. They're selling for $30-$40 on Etsy. But with something this simple, why not design your own?  


 - onesie
 - jersey knit fabric
 - scissors
 - sewing machine*

*You can do this without a sewing machine. 
And I like to use the jersey knit material because it doesn't ever unravel.
Cut out 8 strips of the jersey knit fabric. These should be about 1 1/2 - 2 inches wide and 24 inches long.

Set your sewing machine to its longest stitch setting. Sew down the middle of the strip, making sure to leave a long thread at the beginning {and not backstitching to start}

Then pull the bobbin thread {or which ever one seems easiest to pull} and ruffle the fabric.

Continue with all of the strips until you have a delightful pile of ruffles.

Now pin the first ruffle to the onesie. {I'm putting ruffles on this onesie from the waist down, front and back. Some people like to do just the back. Do whatever suits your fancy.}

Sew right down the ruffle to attach it to the onesie. Make sure to use a little backstitch at the beginning and end to secure.

Keep adding ruffles. Some will need to be trimmed and you can use the extra ruffle for the smaller spaces.

Once you're done with the front, move on the the back. 

If your onesie looks anything like mine, there will be a lot of threads to trim when you're finished. Make sure to clean it up a bit.

Front and back

This would be a great time for me to show you a super cute kiddo in one of these:

And I love love the colors in this one!

Can't wait to see my little niece in this one!

Happy Friday, friends!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Aunt Sarah

It's no surprise to any of you that I'm the #1 fan of my sweet niece Olivia. If they made those big foam fingers for a niece, I'd have one ... probably with her name monogrammed on it, because I'm that silly.

A lot of you checked out  { t h i s   p o s t } of David and Melissa's first family portrait with Olivia. It was the day David first met Olivia - which gives me happy chills. I just adore it. They're gorgeous... and in Hawaii. Double points.

I'm finally sending Melissa some of the goodies I've been making this year. Hope she likes them!

For baby...

Onesies galore!!

Argyle Onesie  - { t u t o r i a l   h e r e }
Ruffle Onesie  -  { t u t o r i a l  h e r e }
Flower Corsage Onesie  - { t u t o r i a l   h e r e }

These would look so much better on a sweet kiddo than laying on this table. Melissa has promised that Olivia would model for us when she tries them on.

Some new burp cloths in sweet pink and yellow patterns  { t u t o r i a l   h e r e }
And a funky cateye glasses bib  { t u t o r i a l   h e r e }

For Momma ...

David will hopefully be officially home in San Diego in another five to six weeks. And I think at that point Melissa just might get to put her feet up and relax a little. I can't imagine how crazy it is to be a "single parent" while your husband is on the other side of the world. Anyway, when that day comes she'll have a great book to read and a mug with some hot chocolate and hot tea. {Isn't that mug the cutest? It's Anthropologie.}

She also asked me to make her some birth announcements for Olivia. Obviously it took a lot of convincing to get me on board ... {you know better}.

Melissa and Olivia are enjoying their last night in Hawaii and I'm hoping that they get to spend some sweet time with David. I think its been a pretty blissful visit so far.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

banana bread {recipe}

No point in burying the lead here. This stuff is delicious. 
{I've only had three slices already today ...}


 - 2 1/4 cups of flour
 - 3 very ripe bananas
 - 1 cup of sugar
 - 1/2 cup of melted butter
 - 1/3 cup of vanilla yogurt
 - 1 teaspoon of baking soda
 - 1/2 teaspoon of salt
 - 2 eggs
 - 2/3 cup of chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour your 5x9 baking pan.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, salt, baking soda and sugar. Basically everything that's white and powdery...

In a larger bowl, mush up the bananas. 

Add melted butter, eggs, yogurt. Mix thoroughly.

Begin adding the flour mixture little by little.
{too much at one time and you'll have white powder all over your kitchen}

Next add your chocolate chips.
{you can also substitute walnuts}

And pour into the baking pan.

Bake for an hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Once you take the bread out of the oven, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing it.

And now stuff your face!