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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

summer so far

It's been several weeks since we made our summer to do list. 
And we've had the best time checking so many fun things off the list!

This past weekend, we took a trip to the Nashville Zoo.

This elephant was totally playing and charged the group of us standing at the viewing area {there was a natural barrier, no worries}. But out of instinct, all of the adults took a few startled steps back.  Not Jake. He got the hugest grin on his face, started waving, and yelled "Hiii!!!"
I could help but laugh at my sweet and friendly boy.

The petting zoo was a big hit too!

I love family days with my favorite fellows!
And watching this sweet thing having such a fun time just melts my heart!

I hope you're having a fabulous summer too!
And swing by later this week for a chance to make it even better!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

friday fun {video edition}

Happy Friday, loves!!
Here's some short and sweet hilarity to help you celebrate the beginning of the weekend!

That time Jake made our walk-in into his own personal playground...

That time Jake found a shoe box and was content for hours.

That time Jake went to the kiddie carnival.

And finally, the time Jake became a monkey.

I realize that I'm biased, but this kiddo is the coolest ever. 
So thankful to be his Momma!!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

painted coir mat {tutorial}

As a part of my revamp on the front porch, I really wanted to replace my super tired doormat.
Isn't this new one so fresh and shiney?!

I pretty much force J.B. to take me to IKEA at least twice a year. 
{the closest one is four hours away! waaaah!}
And I grabbed a coir rug from IKEA on our last run. I love that its actually a little bigger than a regular size rug. My sorry porch concrete needs all the help it can get.


I started by drawing the design with a black paint pen.  For the borders, I used poster board as a straight edge. 

And for the "W" I used the same stencil I created for my moss letter hanger.
{just drawn on poster board and traced here}

And then I painted in the lines! 
Since this is going on my porch, I decided to use outdoor paint.

It's too pretty to step on!

Monday, July 22, 2013

front porch revamp

I spent some time this weekend touching up our front porch.

In the Alabama summer heat, it was a sweaty job, but I've discovered that I actually really enjoy yard work. Weird, right? I swear I'm 27 and not 72. But I guess there's just something mindless and therapeutic about it. And I'm a sucker for a pretty finished product.

After killing tons of pretty flowers on my super shady porch, I finally decided to plant some large spruces outside the door. 

The side tables each got something green too.

I spray painted {and lightly sanded} two Mason jars to hold the succulents.

And I swapped out my moss letter door hanger for this sweet wreath. 
{I've had this one for awhile, but it looks like Target still sells them}

 {Go here to read about how I painted my front door and added our house number}

 I'm really enjoying the fresh look!

Also, did you spot my plain coir rug? Go here to see how I've painted it!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

fruit pizza cups {recipe}


Has everyone heard of fruit pizza? Sugar cookie crust, cream cheese icing, then fruit. It's divine.

This is basically the same concept, only in an individual serving. I whipped these up for our Sunday School class last weekend. Finger foods are always the easiest with a big crowd.

: : Ingredients : :

  - sugar cookie dough {mixed according to box}
 - 1 tub of Cool Whip
 - 6 oz of cream cheese {softened}
 - 1/4 cup of powdered sugar
 - fruit topping of choice!

Start by preheating your oven to 350.

Then mix up your sugar cookie dough. Mine called for an egg and some vegetable oil. 

Grease a mini cupcake pan and load up with tablespoon size amounts of dough.

Bake for about 6-8 minutes {until they are done by not browned}.

In the meantime, mix together your cream cheese, sugar and Cool Whip. 

I poured my mixture into a gallon ziploc back and snipped off a corner. Using the bag for piping makes it a lot easier.

I  also like to shell out my cups. Make more room for the icing/fruit. Totally up to you.
{tip: a grapefruit spoon works wonderfully at this}

And lastly, top with your fruit! We're big about strawberries and blueberries in the summer. These delicious little things seem somewhat patriotic, no?


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

a backsplash at last

When we moved into this house a few years ago, I knew I wanted to vamp up the kitchen just a bit. It was already clean and simple {my favorite things!} but the room needed something to give it personality and a tiny spark.

A backsplash always seemed like a great place to start. 

But back splashes are tiled. Or papered. Or nailed up. All very permanent things.
It made this can't-seem-to-ever-officially-make-up-her-mind girl all too nervous.

It wasn't until I was late night Pinterest surfing a couple of weeks ago that I stumbled across the idea of a punched tin wallpaper. A small, textured, easy to put up and remove wallpaper. And most rolls were stain resistant and paintable! Before I knew it, I had skipped over to Amazon and ordered this roll for next to nothing {love you, Amazon}.

I was crazy excited to get it a few days later. But to be honest, I was in over my head. I had never wallpapered anything before. Let alone used a thick textured paper that I had put up sideways and have every. single. edge. trimmed.

Such a rookie.

The first strip took me two and half hours to put up...
I KNOW. I was mad too. 

But I kept working and figured out a few tricks as I went. I finished the whole back splash in about four hours. 
And boy, am I ever glad that I stuck with it.

I love that its so subtle. Understated even. But it adds a certain ... expensive look? to the room. Maybe I'm making that up...
Anyway, I like it. A lot. 

It was totally worth the trouble.

Friday, July 12, 2013

nutella crunch ice cream cake {recipe}

Doesn't the name just tell it all? I mean geeeeez.

For the 4th of July, I was in charge of dessert. The day before I stumbled across this sort of halfway recipe idea on Pinterest and decided to see if it worked out.  Big win!!

{pardon my ugly-bad-lighting-stormy-day pictures}

: :  Ingredients  : :

1 gallon of vanilla ice cream
6 cups of rice crispies
2 cups of Nutella

First stick a springform pan and a large mixing bowl in the freezer to chill. 

Then mix your rice krispies and nutella over low heat. 

It should basically look like gooey rice krisipies. Yum!

Spread the mixture out over a wax paper covered cookie sheet and stick it in the freezer to chill.

In the meantime, move the ice cream over to the fridge so it softens a little {not runny, just able to stir it}. Give them both about 30 minutes.

When your rice krispies are firm, pull them out of the freezer and cut into bite size pieces. I used a pizza cutter to do it quickly.

Grab your chilled bowl out of the freezer and mix 2/3 of the rice krispies into the gallon of ice cream.

Pour into your chilled spring form pan. Make sure there aren't any air pockets.

Then top it with the remaining rice krispie crumbles.
Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 4-6 hours. 

Just take it out of the freezer about 25 minutes before you're ready to eat it.

All I can say is YUM!!!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

pardon the progress

Pardon our progess... Do people even say that anymore?

Well, pardon mine, anyway.  I'm doing a bit of sprucing here with the format of the blog. I haven't decided if I like this new look yet {y'all know how fickle I am}.
And I can't seem to stop shifting this or messing with that. The perfectionist in me is ridiculously maddening sometimes. 

Browse around. What do you think?

And swing back by tomorrow for a delicious nutella ice cream cake recipe.
{yup, it's amazing}

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

a weekend of building

Man, I love long weekends. We get so much done. And this past weekend, we were in a kick to catch up on all of our "building projects".
{i.e. the ones I need my carpenter/husband and his power tools for}

Like this gate we built for the deck. 

I was a nervous wreck, constantly catching Jake trying to run off the porch. 
I just knew he was going to beat me to the edge one day and falling down the stairs!

 So we built this swinging barn door style gate and attached it directly onto the porch.
 Basically, it's made exactly how you see it here. No tricks of the trade.

Ugly baby gates are the pits. I really love that this gate is functional and not hideous.
Sorry dude...

{apparently, it also works for dogs... great photo bomb Denver!}

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Secondly, I finally finished this wooden pallet piece for the living room.

My sweet carpenter/husband build the pallet out of thin lumber and I went to town with the antiqued design. 
This verse is such a great staple to have displayed in our home.

I love it!!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

independance day

We're soaking up the day with family, friends, food, and fireworks.

I hope all of you are enjoying this festive holiday!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

washi tape bookmarks {tutorial}

Do any of you guys still read "real" books?
I have an iPad which utilizes the Kindle system. And while it's super convenient for traveling and sharing books, when I use it sometimes I find myself really longing for the real thing. 
J.B. and I are big readers {check out my lists here} and there's just something both of us like about having that must-read paperback on our nightstands. I don't think we'll be tossing out our real books anytime soon. 

And as long as we still have the books, we're going to need some bookmarks...

: :  Materials  : :

decorative tape
sticky magnets

First, I cut my cardstock to a 3 inch width. You can make it longer or shorter if you like. The length of the bookmark will be half the amount that you choose. So my 3" paper will make 1 1/2" bookmarks.

Place your tape along the edge. 

Flip over. Fold over the ends of the top on the backside.

Cover the back with tape as well.

Cut taped area off.

Stick small magnet pieces over the seams on the back.

Fold in half and get to reading!

I love how customizable these are. 
And they'd make a great gift for any fellow reader friends you have!