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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

farewell 2016!

There was a bit of an unintentional break from blogging this Christmas season. It wasn't planned, but sometimes life just works out that way. I spent Christmas enjoying my family though, so no regrets. 
Well, maaaaybe I would have rather been blogging when E was sick and ralphing all over everyone. Otherwise, no regrets...

And here we are! The end of 2016! 
Guys, I'm just now getting good at writing "2016" on my checks. 
Yes, I'm the only person still writing checks.

And since I'm also a sentimental oaf, I can't start misprinted the year on my important documents before seeing out the final days 2016 and celebrating the highlights.

Here on the blog, the two most popular posts of the year have both been two great DIYs:



(For what it's worth, I've built a second organizer to accompany the first. Same old wood hinged into a square frame with chicken wire in the center. Perfect for the clip hair bows!)





I'd have to say that my favorite moments on the blog are sharing my kiddos' birthday parties. Its always a huge highlight! Jake turned four this year with a race car party and Eliza marveled in her first birthday with  a sweet ice cream sundae celebration.

(for more parties and kid fun, pop over to Jake and Eliza's page)

 

And my print shop also had a great year!
I'm so thrilled that it hasn't been a bust!! ...Can I say that? 

The top print sales have gone to:





 Thanks for all the love and encouragement this year!
I surely do love this little space that I can call my own and my outlet to share life with you!
Cheers to 2017!


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

watercolor ceramic mugs {diy tutorial}



Looking for a DIY present idea this holiday season? 

It seems like every year, I'm on the hunt for a new project to gift folks with. If done well, a handmade gift can be some of the most precious things a person gives and receives. 
Who is it going to? Will they use/enjoy this? Is this going to be tossed? Ha! - All good questions to pose with handmade gifts. 

And every year, some project catches my eye and makes its way under my tree. 2016? These watercolor mugs!





Beautiful, no?
 How about also inexpensive, quick and easy!


: :  Materials  : :

  - ceramic mugs
 - nail polish of your choice (two colors for a multi tone look!)
 - polish remover
 - towel
 - deep dish or bowl
 - toothpicks

Notes: Avoid super quick dry polishes. They dry too fast for this project. Also, don't use a bowl you're overwhelmingly attached too. A throw away would be perfect, but I used a plastic tupperware one and cleaned it afterwards.





Start by making sure any stickers or tags are removed from the mugs
Hint: Check the bottom! And hot water removal FTW!






Next fill up your bowl with room temperature water and set it over your towel. 





Prepare your work area. This project requires you to move quickly through the steps and you don't want to be hustling around for supplies while your paint dries.
 - Lay out a couple of toothpicks within reach.
 - Fold over a couple paper towels as a place to lay your mugs to dry after the fact.
 - Remove the brush tops from your polish and set aside.





Quickly, poura few drops of the polish (or two) into the water. You want it to sit on the surface and spread out. 






As soon as its poured, grab you toothpick a gently swirl the two colors together a bit.
Make sure your polish isn't globbing together! If it globs, pour the water out and refill. Your temperature might be too hot, or you might not be moving quick enough and your polish is drying.






Then gently dip the mug down into the water and pick it right back out. The polish color should cling to the side of the dipped area like watercolor! 

I usually hold the mug over the bowl for a few seconds to allow any water to run off, then flip it upside down and lay it on my readied paper towel.






Depending on the state of the water and any reside on the surface, you may or may not need to rinse out your water for the next mug. It doesn't have to be fresh water, but you don't want any leftover gunk hanging out on the surface. If it looks clean, feel free to pour more polish and go again! 


I let my mugs air dry for at least 24 hours. Probably also wise to add a "hand wash only" tag if these are a gift since they won't do well in the dishwasher.




And voila! Handmade and beautiful gift!









Wednesday, November 30, 2016

our christmas book advent



I love advent countdowns.
 The decorative ones are so pretty and the ones for kids are just down right sweet. But confession - I've never really had my life together enough to fully pull one off. Even this decorative one from a few years back didn't come together until halfway through the month. And it was more a sweet little art piece than anything else. 

But this year will be different!
This year it's going to happen!
 How, you ask?

When a friend mentioned wrapping up a single Christmas book to read each night, I practically jumped for joy! Books! We read those each night! Christmas books! We have those too! Wrapping? So I can satisfy my kid's itch to open a gift too?? This is everything!!! 





So the books... I decided I'd go from December 1st to the 25th. So 25 books was the magic number. 
I knew we had our share of Christmas books because I keep a box of seasonal books and DVDs tucked away. I was really surprised to find 16 of them in there! We had all the classics. The Grinch. The Night Before Christmas. Rudolph. And several fun ones too! 




 I snagged a couple on a quick trip out the next day and then scored a few from my mom (a teacher!) to finish out my stash. The great thing about this is if you think it thru, you can use borrow books and even really inexpensive Golden Books. I also wanted to make sure I had several about the real Christmas story, since that's the true reason we celebrate. 

When it came to setting them up for Jake to read each day, I also decided that I didn't want my selection to be completely random. I wanted to have a good variation throughout the days, and even a few specific books on a handful of nights - my most special nativity story on Christmas Day, the classic Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve, etc. So I decided to tag the books with a number. It brings the countdown and advent full circle as well! 

Ever the DIY efficienado, I was going to make the tags myself. But I stumbled upon the cutest, simple free set from Simple As That. Hellllloooo, my beauties!

{snag these H E R E }




The icing on top was the wrapping paper.
Jake was pretty dismayed last week when I bypassed the outer space Santa wrapping paper for some simple kraft paper with gold foil trees. And I felt a twinge of guilt for wanting my sweet neutral Christmas tree to look perfectly aesthetic with its packages and bows underneath.

But now! Now I had a reason to toss three rolls of Santa on Saturn into the cart!





I can't wait to start this Thursday night!




I think I'll also be pairing this bedtime ritual with this special advent coloring book. It includes a part of the nativity story each day and the Scripture reading that coincides. Perfect for reminding us of the Christ's birth each night!

Is this your year for an advent? There's still time!!




Monday, November 21, 2016

thanksgiving place card notes {printable}



Thanksgiving week is here! My house smells like cinnamon and my mind is whirling with how I'd like decorate my house for the holiday season. 

I get to catch a break this holiday as my mom hosts our Thanksgiving feast, but Jake did volunteer to create place cards for the tablescape!

After talk about paper turkeys, drawings, and more, Jake told me he wanted to tell everyone in his family that he was thankful for them. Who am I to argue with that sweet logic? And he's so excited to be filling these out for everyone in attendance.



While I'm sure they will be especially sweet coming from my hardly literate, backwards-letter-writing preschooler, I think these cards could be a pleasant adornment from anyone. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to tell someone how much you love them and why. 





Interested in grabbing these simple printables? Go  H E R E  to snag a two card per page print and add a little extra sweetness to your table this year!




Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Oh hello there mid-November!

To say that my November has had a bit of a rocky start would be fair.
Almost every day this month, we have either spoken with, visited, or been patients of Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. Our gal Eliza has had a rough go of it these past few weeks with routine (but a bit anxious) testing, some sickness, and even a less than thrilling hospital stay. 
All that to say, I'm glad my girl is feeling better. But this mama is tired. And I feel like I'm already playing catch up on the season.
It'll all shake out. I'm sure of it. I will say that all this time in the hospital or on hold with the hospital or driving to and from the hospital has given me internet powers like never before. Actual accomplishments? Zero. But I wore my phone life out...


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I've been doing a wee bit of stalking over at Jones Design Company. The Lex family just bought a lovely new house that's sure to come with approximately 482947 fantastic decor renovations. Emily's taste is flawless so I'm basically living vicariously thru her in this. 


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Why vicariously? Well, because I've also been following the market myself. J.B. and I have known for quite awhile that our present home was not going to be suitable for a kiddo with special mobility needs. We love our house, but have come to realize that its practically the most inaccessible home ever built. Seriously, give this place an award!
Which means that in the coming months, we'll be embarking on the build/sell/maybe build journey in hopes of landing a better home for Eliza to get around in. 
So I'm also stalking the local housing market.

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Thanksgiving is next week?! When did this happen? Seriously guys. 
Also next week? J.B.'s birthday.  
Cue my mad rush to be thankful for all the things and go snatch the yummiest of  bakery cakes for my man. Thankfully (< see what I did there!), J.B. isn't one to make a huge fuss out of his birthday. 
Is that a man thing or an over 30 thing?
 And since I'm not hosting Thanksgiving, I can give an even greater sigh of relief. Back to my place in the online world as I've stared at these lovely tablescapes that I thankfully (

via / via / via
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But usually certain things have been accomplished by Thanksgiving week. A certain amount of Christmas presents have been purchased. Plans for the holiday season have been made. My Christmas cards have been faithfully ordered from Tinyprints. Not this year.
A family photo session is in the works for this weekend, and I'm hoping for a quick turn around on the prints. Until then, Tinyprints, I'm just going to imagine our faces on your flawless designs.
A few of my favorites...
 



Okay, enough basking in the glow of the internet. Hopeful my sick kiddos are on the mend and we're going to be prepared to hit Thanksgiving with our fat pants at the ready!!



Tuesday, November 1, 2016

the wilder circus {halloween!}



Another year, another glorious family Halloween!!
And welcome to The Wilder Family Circus! 




We had so much fun in these costumes! 
J.B. the ring master, Jake the strongman, Sarah the tight rope walker, and Eliza the clown!

This year, we even joined our church's trunk or treat festival and created a circus tent trunk! 
(And we won a prize! Totally didn't know there were prizes! Next year, we're going for the sweep!!) 





And I will say, while the car trunk tossed in a whole new element, I think these costumes might have been my easiest to date!




The details... For J.B., I only had to order a matching set of suspenders and a bow tie. The megaphone was a party prop from Hobby Lobby!  For me, I snagged a glittery headband and a blue tutu (cheaper than DIY!) and then made myself a little no-sew cape with black fabric, some iron on ribbon and a black fastener. Jake wore girl's leggings (!!), and a cut up red t-shirt. His belt (and little shirt tie) were from a scrap of pleather with a snap in the back. The barbell is a piece of PVC with styrofoam balls on the end. We had a bit of a McGyver moment at the trunk or treat when the glue released and the whole barbell fell apart. So apparently super glue and styrofoam don't mix? Duct tape to save the day, of course! Eliza wore a little romper my mom stitched up and I added some pom poms for fun!





Only a hour of trick or treating in our neighborhood landed us with four buckets of candy! Plenty of time to come back and admire our loot. And with the kids in their Halloween jammies, I totally had flash backs to five years ago... 





Oh my stars, Halloween has officially come full circle!! And the family costume game is now six years strong! 







I hope your Halloween was equally excellent! 
Until next year! 



Tuesday, October 25, 2016

twix or treat! {halloween goodie bags}


Y'all know I'm a sucker for a goodie bag.
No birthday or holiday is complete without the tiniest little package for all of Jake's pals! 

So enjoy this yummy Halloween treat, kids! 




 
I grabbed cheap cellophane bags and fun sized Twix bars. Then I used a couple of other things I had on hand - black and white baker's twine, a tiny hole punch, and scissors. 





The design I made for these was simple, but cute. I'll even add a couple of options here if anyone wants to download them! 





Options for you:

{printable with space to add a name H E R E}
{printable without name H E R E}

Finished product was officially approved by my kiddo. He's excited to take them to his friends at his Halloween party on Friday! 




Only one week left until the big day!
Hope y'all are costume ready!


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

silhouette status unlocked


Yes! Yes! Yes! After years and years of DIY, I suppose I'm finally adult enough to have a legit crafting tool! On a whim and taking advantage of an awesome sale price, I spent a little chunk of fun money on a Silhouette Portrait







It's the most basic model in the Silhouette family, so don't fret that I've gone high society on you. But this baby cuts vinyl, fabric and more. 

In true Sarah fashion, I [of course] picked a miserably hard project to start with. I used a Silhouette hack on my first ever cut. I designed my own cut out and retraced it all into the new software. And I picked a delicately tiny cut at that. 

Seriously guys, what's wrong with me?
So while it took me approximately 56 hours to figure this beast out and how to work around the system, my first project was a success!!



High five everyone! I'm a crafting grown up!

The details: I created the design in my better-known-to-me Adobe Illustrator and brought it over to the Silhouette software to clean up and trace into their system. Then I cut it onto freezer paper instead of an "approved" vinyl. Obviously this is pretty tedious as its intricate and sized small enough for an 18 month old's tshirt. But I got the pattern onto her shirt and had the design done in five minutes. 





Jake got a shirt too. His pattern was so much easier and faster. I'm improving!





Many of y'all know that I've done the freezer paper trick for years to place designs onto fabric (tutorial here!), but doing it without a cutting machine means you have to print the design onto the freezer paper, then hand cut everything out with an exact-o knife. Not the quickest task. So this bad boy will enable me to do that same process in a fraction of the time!   
Well, once I tame this machine...

So now I'm in search of allllll the Silhouette projects! Oh glorious options!!


 Want to know more about the design on Eliza's new shirt? Head over to Expecting Eliza to hear the story! 





Wednesday, October 12, 2016

coffee chat {no.3}



Hi friends! 
It's been awhile since we pulled up a [completely fictitious] chair and just chatted together. Obviously over coffee, but that's basically what's always in my cup. And I guess since I'll be doing all the talking, this is like a meet up with that friend that doesn't let you get a word in edgewise.
Bless. Come chat with me anyway, haha! 



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So October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month! If you're just  recently tuning in or have been living under some sort of rock, you might not know that my 14 month old daughter, Eliza, was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. She is the best baby and has her own corner of the interwebz over at Expecting Eliza. I've had fun so far, sharing some tidbits about spina bifida with the world. It's something that gets very little information passed around, and I hate that! Hop over to her blog and learn something new with a few of the quick infographics I've been creating! 



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I've recently become obsessed with these bars... 

I don't even know what you'd call them? Fruit bars? Every bar has an apple, ten cherries and some chia seeds. They're delicious, which is why I eat them. But they're also kinda of healthy, which is why I keep buying them and patting myself of the back about what a great, health conscious eater I am. Feel free to roll your eyes at that one. 

Pretty much everywhere carries them near the health food snacks. Or here's a company link in case you want to buy a case of 100... I'm considering it. 




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Also in October? Halloween! I can't believe it's right around the corner! I'm a total slacker this year because, while I've planned out our entire costume theme, all my supplies are still in the exact same pile they were six weeks ago. We have our family Halloween with the kids, an adult Halloween party, and are even planning to house a decorated trunk at our church's Light the Night trunk or treat festival! Clearly I need to get myself into gear or I'll be a constantly behind stay-at-home mom for Halloween. 
But I'll answer what you're wondering... yes, it's another year of family themed costumes. And since you're reading ahead of time, I'll even spill the beans. Prepare yourself for the Wilder Family Circus!




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Over the holiday weekend, we went on a family trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama! The weather was so perfect for a beach trip and my sweeties adore playing in the sand and watching the ocean. Our last morning there, Eliza was literally blowing it kisses! 




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Other than my front porch, I've done a pitiful job of decorating for fall.
These other folks have things looking pretty spectacular! Let's live vicariously through them!
sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 /










I hope your fall is full of pumpkins and costumes and football and thankfulness!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

fabric travel high chair {DIY tutorial}



We have an upcoming family beach trip and I'm knee deep in packing lists. What's the deal with the massive amount of stuff you have to take when you're traveling with small kids?! It's overwhelming!

So last weekend, I decided to eliminate one bulky item from my list - a high chair/booster seat for Eliza! Instead, we'll be taking this:





It's a great alternative that fits almost any chair and folds right up! Can't beat that!

And for those of you that are already checking out on this post because sewing, WAIT. It's really not tough! If you can sew in a straight line with your machine, you're golden! 


: :  Materials  : :

 - 1/2 yard of cotton fabric for interior
 - 1/2 yard of cotton fabric for exterior
 - 1/2 yard of batting
Velcro

Technically, you don't have to do two different fabrics. You can grab one yard of a single fabric and it's perfectly fine. But I like the pattern contrast on this one.





So this project is made up of three shapes. Start by cutting them out. You'll need each shape from your bunting and your two fabrics. So a total of nine pieces.

Strap piece: 37" x 7"
Seat piece: 18" x 12"
Connector piece: 4" x 3"





Then place all three of each shape together to be sewn. Imagine sewing this like you would a pillow case - sewing it inside out, then flipping it the right way. So put the pretty sides of the fabric facing each other and then add the bunting to one side. Pin like crazy!






And just like sewing a pillowcase, you're going to leave an opening in one spot to flip the fabric right side out. The secret to this project is to make sure your opening starts in a specific place so you can easily fit your three pieces together.

On the super long strap piece, the opening should be on the longer side, in the middle. 
One the medium piece, the opening will be on a shorter end, in the middle.
And on the smallest piece, you don't have to worry much. Don't even bother sewing the ends. Just make sure the sides are done. If you're confused about the placement, scroll down and you'll see how it all fits together.
The squiggly lines show where to leave a gap open. It helps me to mark that with a vertical pin.





Once you've sewn around the edges, flip each piece right side out.




Grab the littlest, tiny piece. It's going to serve as your connector between the other two.  Line up one of the open edges into an the open spot on the seat piece. Pin in place.





 Sew all the way around the very edge of the seat piece. This finishes off the seat piece while also attaching it to the smaller connector piece. 




The place the other unfinished end of the connector piece into the open spot on the strap piece. Same story - sew around the edge of the larger piece, sealing it all together. If you'd also like to sew the couple of inches around the edge of the connector piece you can. Totally optional. Here's what it should look like with all the pieces attached together:




And last, add the velcro! I attached a long piece to the straps. Remember, one on the inside end of the strap, one on the outside of the other end of the strap. I would definitely go with sew on velcro this time. You'll want the most secure hold.





And you're done!






Then give it a try! Eliza loved sitting like a big girl.




Of course, hang with your baby while they're in this travel seat. Without a five point harness, they won't be completely secure to walk away from. But its such a great space saving option to leave in the car for trips!

High five for one less thing in the car!