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Friday, June 27, 2014

my blue chair {and an intro to chalk paint}

I know that chalk paint is all the rage these days. And heck, why wouldn't it be? No sanding, no priming, dries in 30 minutes - c'mon, its the dream!

My first experience with chalk paint happened when I redid a rolltop desk for our home office earlier this year. I was operating on a strict budget for the room and opted to make my own chalk paint instead of buying the somewhat pricey {and every popular} Annie Sloan brand.


I priced my paint and furniture wax with Annie Sloan and it was going to run me around $60-$70. In making my own, I only spent about $30 and had a significant amount left over for future projects.
Feel free to search Pinterest for some recipes on making your own. Basically its a combination of wall paint, plaster of paris and water. Plus I wasn't limited the Annie Sloan color line. If you make your own paint, you can have any color that the home improvement shop can mix up!

Chalk paint is addicting! It's so easy to redo any old piece! 
I've had several friends ask me about the process. Today I'll share a simple chalk paint project with you from start to finish.

So I had the itch to fill an empty corner space with something.
My thought was to refinish a simple wooden chair that I found at a local antique shop.

Just as I was thinking of what a small amount of paint I need for this chair, I stumbled upon the Americana brand in small containers at Michael's. Win! This jar below was only $10! Well worth not having to mix my own up this time.

After wiping the chair down, I simply applied the paint... 

What a difference a fresh color makes!

Next, I sanded for a slightly distressed look. I think people get more nervous about this part than they should. You'll just want to follow the lines of a chair as if it had been worn away on its on. Go for the edges especially. Just keep in mind that there's no science to it. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen anyone mess it up. 

Some people like a heavily distressed look and which means a lot more sanding. Personally, I like the sanding in moderation for a lightly worn look.

And last, apply your wax. Again, I skip the pricer options and buy my wax from Lowe's. This can from Minwax will run you around $10 and last for.ev.er.  Seriously.

Simply buff in the wax. It's clear so you can't really mess this up either as long as you are apply it with a little bit of muscle. The more wax layers you apply, the more protected the furniture is.

And then enjoy!!

So there's your intro to chalk paint!
I did this chair from start to finish in less than two hours. 
{Love how that chalk paint dries so quickly!}

And I'm glad that this little corner space got a happy chair!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

our summer essentials

Oh my goodness! Summer! 

Since school gets out (and returns) so early in South, we've been in full on summer mode for almost a month now. And even though Jake isn't really in school yet, once the big kids are out of class all the real summer activities begin. I love how busy we are!

Playing at the park, story time at the library, trips to the museum, swimming in the pool - it's always something!
And here are a few of our summer essentials while we prance around from dawn til dust.

summer sundress - You always need a few good sundresses. They can often be cooler and more comfy that shorts and a top. Not to mention cuter!  /  reusable mason jar cup - I have several versions of these washable cups. Not only are they great to tote around town, but I love to fill one up with a cool drink while I sit on the porch and watch Jake play in the yard.  /  sandals - I basically transition from boots to sandals sometime in the spring. There's no turning back until the fall!  sunglasses - Y'all, its bright out...  hair ties - The summer heat and humidity are not a girl's best friend when it comes to hair. Just pull it up!  /  camera - Because I have to document every adorable moment my child has! #mommarrazi   /  polish - Gotta keep those toes looking good in your sandals. Loving this Essie color!  /  tote - The beach, the park, the museum - whatever the outing, a great tote is a summer must-have!

wagon - For a walk around the block, a trip to the Botanical Gardens, or just to load up toys and he-man them all over the yard, Jake loves his wagon!  /  sunscreen - Luckily my fair skinned munchkin has yet to get a sunburn, but we apply religiously.  /  popsicle mold - I love to pour orange juice into popsicle molds {and freeze} for a great afternoon snack. A definite favorite around here!  /  sidewalk chalk - "Momma! Draw a train!" A phrase uttered on a daily basis as we litter our driveway and porch with artwork.  /  face wipes - I love these! In fact, I keep a pack in Jake's bag year round. They have a super clean scent and are great for a quick face or hand wipe down.  /  swim float - Jake is a super awesome swimmer this year thanks to his little Puddle Jumper. He's completely solo with this bad boy on!  /  swimsuit - Grab a few if you have an outside kiddo. We use at least one a day around here.  /  water shoes - I grabbed a like-new pair of these Nike water shoes last year at a consignment sale and we loved them! This summer I gladly paid full price for a larger pair for Jake. Fantastic for playing in the water, or just great muddy outdoor shoes. They clean up with a quick rinse and dry in a few minutes.  /  sunglasses - Because when you're cool, the sun shines 24 hours a day.

Time to get back in the pool!
Keep cool, friends!

Friday, June 20, 2014

the ever changing wall gets some pallet art...

We have this small hallway wall downstairs that I never know what to do with. There's not a ton of natural light in the narrow hallway and the wall space isn't huge, but its definitely large enough to need something more than just a frame or two.

I've try to toss up several things there. For awhile I hung a huge canvas covered cork board. Then I created the wooden display. Nothing really stuck though.

I mulled it over for quite some time before deciding to create some sort of pallet art in the hallway. 
{well, that and I had someone give me 40 something pallets}

A few months back, our pastor did a series on the home and used this quote in one of his sermons. I had heard it for years, but it really suck with me that day. I wanted to find a place for it in our own home to remind me of what a special place we have here.

{For the record, it originates from a song called Home Sweet Home by John Howard Payne.}

This piece measures 3 feet by 3 feet. And I love it!
It fits perfectly in this space without being too bold. 

To create it, I had J.B. take apart a few of our pallets. He sanded the boards down a little and we cut them down to a general size. As  you can see, none of them measure the exact same - that was planned.  To assemble, I decided on the shortcut method and had J.B. nail each of the boards directly into the wall. I felt like the whole piece would be more secure this way. Plus I wouldn't have it sticking out into the narrow hallway any more than absolutely necessary. 
Finally,  I painted on the quote. 

I think it's a great little addition to the space. 
Maybe I'll be keeping this one around for awhile. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

dino photo holder {tutorial}

For holidays or birthdays, I really like to do at least one homemade gift. Preferably something fun from Jake nowadays. And while I mulled over the idea of a popsicle stick frame or some painted wooden whatever, I felt bored. I wanted a little gift that was surprising and fun.

Thus, the dinos were born.

I happen to find these things completely adorable.
They are fabulous gifts and so easy to make!

: : Materials : :

a dinosaur
utility knife
spray paint {optional}
 magnet set
super glue.

I grabbed these dinosaurs at the Target dollar spot. You can probably find something similar just about anywhere. And obviously, any animal will do.

{Ohhh, wouldn't an old school mascot be fun??}

Start by finding the center seam on the animal. The use your utility knife to split it back open. Please don't cut any fingers off. That would not add to the value of this gift...

After splitting them into two parts, I gave these dinos a little facelift with some spray paint. Lime green for fun. It did take 3-4 layers to fully adhere to the plastic, just fyi.

Then I attached the magnets on the inside of the dinosaur with super glue. I recommend applying a little bit onto the inside lip of the dinosaur and a little bit to the edge of the magnet. You'll have to secure each piece in place for a minute or two until the glue dries a little. Then just prop it up to dry fully.

In full disclosure, I did try using some other types of glue first. Fail. Just go with the super glue. It also dries clear, which is nice.

And enjoy!

Jake and I made a dinosaur for all the dads and grandads in our family this Father's Day and I think the guys really loved them. It's a gift that's sure to get a big smile! They all seemed really excited to take them home and find a fun place for them.

Who says you have to settle for a popsicle frame anyway?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

a getaway

Last week we took a little family excursion down to the gulf coast. And boy was it lovely. 

We played in the waves,

made sand castles {for Nemo, according to Jake},

and played in the pool to our hearts' content. 

Jake had a blast doing... well, everything! He's as active and adventurous as he is easy going. It's wonderful to have a little fella' that makes traveling a fun experience

We slept late, ate like gluttons, shopped til we dropped, and had plenty of family adventures.
I loved leaving my work cell turned off. I think J.B. loved that he could take naps, haha. And there's no doubt that Jake really loved the slides at the water park.

{He has asked to go back every day since.}

And of course, we all loved our precious family time.

I'm so thankful we took a break from our crazy busy lives to unwind and let loose. We're a normal, hectic family and like every one else, some refreshing time away is always good for the soul.