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Thursday, October 30, 2014

halloween 2014

It's that time of year again! Halloween at the Wilder household! Y'all know by now that goofy, homemade, group costumes are totally our thing.

We had our church's Light the Night festival last night and it was finally time to get decked out. 

Without further ado... 

Jake was so excited to be a lion this year. He'd been talking about it for weeks!

His costume is a basic body suit that I made out of a warm fleece like material {zipper up the back}. Then I added rings of fur around the ankles, wrists, and end of the tail. The mane was a total labor of love. I created this crazy, helmet-like mane out of the same fur fabric but wrinkling and wrapping until things started to look right.

Considering that I'm really no seamstress, I'm super happy with out it turned out!

J.B. and I were decked out as safari explorers with simple but comfy costumes.
I felt a little like Laura Croft. Maybe less cool. 

Pretty psyched to head to Jake's school Halloween party tomorrow and then to take him through the neighborhood Friday night! It is so fun to watch him roar at everything and every one!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

simple wood burning {tutorial}

If you know anything about me {and even my blog} you've probably realized that I'm a bit of a jack of all trades. Master of none, for sure. I don't like to do just one thing. I'm not an awesome seamstress. I'm not a painter, or a builder, or a decorator. But I do like to try my hand at any of the above when an occasion arises. And sometimes, it works. 
{sometimes it doesn't work} 

A few weeks back I had an itch to try something entirely new, but I had no idea what. So I did what any crazy craft lady would do: I spent some time wandering aimlessly around design stores. I like to see what people are buying, what new things I just have to have and how I can make those items into a less expensive project. Simple enough, right? 

Want to see what my crazy brain settled on this time?  

Yup. Wood burning. 
{told you my brain was crazy}

This is a super fun, relatively inexpensive, hobby to try. And the possibilities really are endless.

Thankfully my friend Traci doesn't usually mind being a guinea pig to my weird ideas. {Seriously, everyone needs a Traci.} So today, I'll show you a wooden serving tray that I worked on to give her as a wedding gift.


First, you need to have a wood burning tool. Most craft stores sell these, and they come with a small variety of tips to use.

Next you'll need to decide exactly what you plan to do. In this case, I purchased this wooden tray and created a simple pattern to place on it.

I tried a couple of ways to imprint the pattern into the tray.
The old lead press trick worked fine {check it out in this tutorial}, but I liked how much easier it was to see the pen marking versus the pencil. Food for thought I suppose.

And then I got to burning. The trick is patience and a steady hand. Just trace over the pattern on the wood.

Every item burns differently depending on the type of wood you're using. And in this case, wood that has been treated. So take your time and pay attention to how quickly the wood is burning under your tool. Play around with the various tools as well to find the one that will work best for your project.

All in all, a fun project that created a completely unique gift!
 What about you? Ever tried this? Are you're interested yet?

I've got a few more wood burning ideas up my sleeve. Can't wait to give them a go!

Friday, October 24, 2014

friday friday friday!

It's almost the weekend folks! Shew!!
The fam and I are off to a sweet southern wedding in southeast Mississippi this weekend, but I wanted to drop in and remind everyone about the fabulous fall giveaway still going on!

Swing by over to the giveaway page to enter to win these goodies!


Have a safe and happy weekend, friends!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

sweet autumn dip {recipe}

Is it possible for something to taste like fall? 
Certain things smell like fall, right? 

Well, if fall had a sweet dessert taste, this would be it. There's nothing exceptionally fancy in this dip, but the combination of those flavors and spices are absolutely perfect for this time of year. It also helps that my favorite thing to dip into it is a crisp apple slice {or just a spoon}.

: :   Ingredients  : :

8oz of Cool Whip
8oz of cream cheese {softened}
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1/2 tsp of vanilla
1/4 tsp of nutmeg
1/4 tsp of cinnamon 

Blend your cool whip, cream cheese, and brown sugar together. This may take a couple of minutes with the mixer to make smooth.

Then add in the nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon. 
Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving, but this is a great one to make the night before and allow to chill in the fridge.

I like to serve it with apple slices or graham crackers, but you can get creative!


My family came over this weekend to carve pumpkins and I had a bowl of this out while we worked. They didn't leave even a crumb behind.

But that's okay. I still got to carve a Thomas the Train pumpkin with this little rascal.
{andplusalso, I stashed some extra in the fridge beforehand, muahaha}

So give this one a try at your next fall get together.
It's sure to be a hit!


Friday, October 17, 2014

autumn giveaway!

** This giveaway is now closed. Stay tuned for the winter giveaway in January! **

I love giveaways. It's so fun to throw things together each season! And since autumn is my ultimate neutral time of year, its even better.

Bring on the good stuff!

burlap ribbon   //   leather wrap bracelet   //   chalkboard print

Want to win these goodies?
It's super easy!

 Follow the blog via email! There's a nifty little box on the right side of the screen to get you set up. Then you'll have the Live A Little Wilder posts in your inbox as the blog is updated!
{And don't fret, I'm as allergic to spam as you are!}

Comment below and tell me your favorite thing about the fall!

 Ekk, I'm excited to hear!
Good luck to all! Giveaway ends November 3rd!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

DIY wooden arrows {tutorial}

I've been spilling details about Jake's new explorer room here on the blog lately.
{go here for a tour of the room}
And in typical fashion, there were a lot of DIY projects included in the space. 

So today, I'll tell you about one of my favorites...

I love these! They were ideal for his room but would fit really nicely in any rustic space. And they are super simple to make.

I used 1x2's, but gauge yours to whatever size wood you'd like to use.
You'll need four small cuts of wood to create each arrow.  I cut my 1x2 board down to four 6 inch pieces for an arrow pictured above.

Cut the edges of each piece at 45 degree angles, pointed in the same direction.
{If you don't have a power saw, a handsaw and a miter box are an inexpensive way to make these cuts.}

Before you connect these four pieces, do whatever staining or painting that you'd like.

Lastly I used small metal plates to hold the pieces together while still allowing the back of the arrow to lay flat against the wall.

I also added a little zigzag picture hanger to the back to hang it. 

And there you have it! Simple wooden arrows to add to any space.

I liked that we used the same stain for the arrows as the the dresser. It really pulls some of that wood coloring together amidst all the stuff happening on that wall.

There are also a lot of great options for painting or distressing these arrows. Perhaps even painting a tribal pattern on them!

I love projects that can be manipulated in so many ways! Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

currently {october}

I'd love to pretend like I spend the final few moments of every day relaxing with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa. Doesn't that sound heavenly? But I'm such a sporadic reader. The same books might sit on my nightstand for months, then, on a binge, I'll fly through all of them. 

We have a long weekend at the beach coming up. Here's a couple that I'd like to finally conquer while I'm gone: 

Lots and lots of Disney soundtracks. Jake is huge singer. And he is pretty crazy for Disney movies. So you can imagine how well that goes down with music as well. These are a few of the albums that have graced my iTunes account recently:

Fall!! The weather is absolutely perfect here in north Alabama! I love spending time outside with Jake and not worrying about the heat or the mosquitoes. And there are so many fun things to do this time of year.

This past weekend we spent a day at our favorite local farm, Gullion Farms. Jake was so overwhelmed with all of the super fun things to do!
Fishing, hay bales, giant slides, wagon rides, mazes, corn pits, horse rides, and of course pumpkins!
What kid wouldn't love it??

My Plum Paper family planner!

Y'all. This thing is magical.

The Plum Paper planner is totally customizable to your own life. I have daily tabs for Jake, my blog, meal planning, etc. It literally holds everything in my life. They also make wedding planners and school planners whatnot.
I might be obsessed... 

One of my very best girlfriends just had her two baby girls last weekend.
Oh I already love them so!

June & Millie.

Don't you want to just snuggle them?! And yes, feel free to hate her, she's beautiful. I adored taking hospital pictures of these four.
Sidebar: Jake is crazy about June. He says they "have the same letters" {oh my gosh, the mind of a two year old!}.
Gah, baby fever. I'm so loving spending some time with these itty bitty girls.


Y'all know that the Wilders get pretty serious about our Halloween get up.
I'm really hoping to keep up creating our own costumes this year. With a church trunk or treat, several Halloween parties and the traditional trick or treating, our costumes are going are definitely going to be worn a lot this year. Can't wait to share more!

I hope your October is shaping up as nicely as mine! Happy fall, friends!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Jake's explorer room {the details}

Well, did you guys like Jake's new space?
 {take the tour here}
We're pretty fond of it. 

We're also totally biased. So whatever.

But as promised, I'm back today with all sorts of sources and behind the scenes details. I've been stashing things for this room for about a year now so we ended up with a nice little collection of items.  For sources, I'll try to use several of the same pictures from the tour, add lots of links for you, and hopefully give credit to everything I see...

First up, the now infamous tent bed. Isn't it cool?? I sort of dreamed up this thing, and my magical husband was the brawn behind all my effort. We scavenged the interwebs for an actual plan that we could use and stumbled upon this plan from Ana White {gosh, isn't she just fabulous!}. We tweaked the design for the sides to create our own look.  After staining the bed, I bought a giant drop cloth from Lowe's for the tent siding. Each side was measured out and hemmed, then attached and rolled up. I used some D-rings and canvas belt material to hold the rolled sides up.

Black piping was used for the curtain rod. I love love love that industrial look. For our single window, I used three 18" straight pieces with two connectors, two elbows, two 2" pieces, and two pieces of flange to connect it to the wall. I spray painted the entire rod with a bronze paint to give it the right look.

Curtains are a beige linen from IKEA (find them here). They were originally way too long but since the price was right I didn't mind hemming them. I painted a stamped looking "ADVENTURE" along the side of one panel to give it a more unique look.

The table and chairs are this style from IKEA. I painted the entire set in a hunter green to add a little more color in with all the browns.

The chalkboard is a TJ Maxx clearance find ($15!) and I added a copy cat design on it based on a canvas by Lindsay Letters.

In the reading nook sits a jumble of Target and IKEA pillows, along with a fabulous tree trunk side table. I had this custom made for the room by a local woodworker.
{Local friends: let me know if you'd like the recommendation!}

And the gallery wall!
Lots of DIY here, but I had some great inspiration to go from.

 - The arrows are handmade {look for a tutorial soon!}.
 - The subway map is just framed scrapbook paper. A tried but true trick!
 - The large letters, hanging mirror and little star were all random finds that came out of my stash of fun decor stuff.
 - The bear is a, Etsy printed graphic, purchased here.
 - The mountains and national park maps are my own personal knock offs of this design and this design.
 - The clock is just simply a wood slice with clock tool attached.
 - The teepee is little canvas that I painted myself.
 - And the compass was a Target clearance find that I repainted.

The dresser is this style from IKEA, stained to match the bed. {We used Minwax's Special Walnut}
It originally came with some boring wood knobs, so we gladly swapped those out for the green spignot knobs from Hobby Lobby. Really happy with this sturdy dresser. The drawers roll easily and it was a great deal!

Rolling cart and laundry basket are are also courtesy of IKEA.

Plain black lamp is Target and the adventure art is from Hobby Lobby.

The bookshelf is another IKEA purchase, though it came in a not-quite-right pine shade initially. Once we decided on the darker brown, I painted this piece to match.

Bottom baskets are also IKEA and made to fit into this piece of furniture.

Galvinized letters are from Michael's. Wooden dinosaurs and airplane are Hobby Lobby. The antlers are also Hobby Lobby, though I purchased those as a bright gold color before painting.

Lastly, that fun collection case was a random Pottery Barn Kids clearance find awhile back.

The trunks and boxes around the other side of thebed were all yardsale type deals. I scored big on the large forrest green trunk. I'm still gloating that one...

Did I miss anything? I hope not!
But feel free to ask if any fun questions arise.

Thanks for such great reception on Jake's new little space!