Let’s Talk…Summer Bucket List

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Here in the PNW, summer is the best. It’s short and sweet, always leaving us wanting more. I always feel like it goes by way too fast and that I didn’t get to do everything I wanted to do. My girlfriend suggested making a Summer Bucket List, and I have seen these popping up all over the place, so clearly it’s a must. I’m on board.  I have 16 points listed, going off the Memorial Day to Labor Day calendar, which is 16 weeks. Anyhow, I would imagine this will change a bit over the course of the next couple months, but here it goes…

1. Outdoor movies, obviously

2. Outdoor concerts (did I go to any last year?! Shaaaaame)

3. Host a party (grilling, outdoor lighting, music, the whole shabang)

4. Finish our backyard projects (hanging chair, benches, lighting)

5. Eat outside a few times a week, EVERY week

6. Go for more bike rides (and buy a basket for my ride)

7. Outdoor yoga (did it once, and it was awesome…not sure why I haven’t done it again)

8. Be spontaneous (said the planner)

9. Plant flowers, beautify the house!

10. Read more books (the goal is 9 – 3/month)

11. Re-apply sunblock (I’m great at putting it on, not so great at remembering to re-apply)

12. Float a river (or two or three)

13. Hike more (camping hiking counts, but I need to get out there more)

14. Try paddleboarding (I know my hubby is on board, so we need to make it happen)

15. Make three summer dresses (they’re my favorite in the summer, and I know how to sew…no brainer)

16. Take the pups for more walks (they should benefit from the SBL too, right?)

So, will you be making one too? If so, please share.

xo

 

 

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Old Dining Rooms Chairs Get a Facelift

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We have had the same dining room table and chairs for about 10 years. For all of those 10 years, I disliked that fabric on the seats, and for 10 years I said I was going to change it out. The day has finally come, and it was so easy that I cannot believe it took me that long to do it.

You’ll Need:

  • Fabric (28in x 28in for each chair)
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Staple Gun
  • Marker
  • Iron & Ironing Board

First off, you all know that I like to use what I already have, so I used some upholstery fabric samples given to me by my mom’s friend. I chose a few different patterns that were in the same color family to create a cohesive look. Clearly, not everyone has upholstery fabric samples lying around, so I’d suggest digging through the remnants at your local fabric store, or perhaps buying an inexpensive sofa slip cover.

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Since I chose three patterns and have four chairs, two chairs are in the center fabric (our favorite of the three) and the other two are in the other two patterns.

Once you have chosen fabric, be sure to measure prior to buying. The sample squares were more than large enough for each seat at 28in x 28in. You just need to allow for enough fabric to secure on the underside. I left a 2-4in allowance on the underside, all the way around.

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Okay, so you have found fabric you love, it’s the right size, so it’s time to wash it, and then press it and make sure there are no deep creases. I suggest pressing it on the wrong side of the fabric.

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Set aside the fabric so you can remove the seat from the chair. My chairs have four screws underneath, so I just used a screwdriver to get those out. Once they were out, the seat popped right off. I chose to leave the original fabric on the seats and just layer on the new fabric.

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Next, take the fabric and lay it on a flat, sturdy surface. I worked my way from the center top (shorter side) to the center bottom (wider side), stapling about three to four times on each side. Make sure you’re pulling it tight (but not too tight) and making sure it looks smooth on the top and on the sides. From there, tuck the corners neatly and begin stapling the sides. If you need to trim some fabric to remove bulk on the corners, this is the time to do it.

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Once all four sides are secured and you’re happy with the look, it’s time to put the chair back together. I placed the seat on tops of the chair frame and dry fit it, and then used a pen to mark where the screws needed to go. Using those markings, I cut small holes for the screws. Once you’ve done this, go ahead and put the chair back together. That’s it! It took maybe thirty minutes per chair, so this can be done in one afternoon.

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This is what the original fabric looked like. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, but I wanted something a little different, and two of the four chairs  had stains on them.

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I’m much happier with this line up.

xo

Clipboard Calendar

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I saw clipboards used as picture frames and art displays on A Beautiful Mess here and on Apartment Therapy here. I’ve had this idea in the back of my mind for a long time, and while thrifting this weekend, I came across two clipboards, and for $1.98, they were mine. Initially, I thought I’d print two photos and hang them up, end of project. No, that’s not how it went at all. I printed off two photos and thought they looked a little blah, and I quickly realized that it was probably because the displays I had seen were of more than two clipboards, or of a few layers of photos, and it really made a statement . What does one impatient crafty girl do when her plan fails? She makes a garland. I began going through my scrap fabric bin so I could make a garland to connect the two clipboards. Once the garland was complete, I knew I was on my way, but then I looked at the clock, and it was 9pm, I had been in my craft room all evening and missed my husband, so I headed out to the living room for some QT with him and the pups. From the moment my head hit that pillow, I couldn’t stop thinking about what to do with my project…more photos, layers of printed card stock, fabric swatches, dried flowers??? And then, that’s when it hit me…how about a calendar for keeping track of the blog posts and projects?! So, I made myself two sheets, a calendar on the left and on the right, just numbers and lines so I can list out the projects I’d like tackle. It adds style to the room, while providing function and helping to corral my ideas. I love the way it turned out, and the idea of personalizing it each month, and layering in fabrics and photos makes me really happy.

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Happy Monday!

xo

 

 

 

 

#100happydays Challenge

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I’m sure that I’m late to this party because I have seen friends using this hashtag on Instagram, and I read about it on A Beautiful Mess yesterday. Better late than never? I think so! Get all of the details here @ http://100happydays.com/. The concept is fairly simple…we all want to be happy on a daily basis, so start documenting what it is that makes you happy. It can be anything, as long as it makes YOU feel genuinely happy. Seriously, read up on this and join me on Instagram for #100happydays, it’ll be fun.

xo

 

Kitchen Renovations // Part 1

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We have been through various home renovations and none pose the same level of inconvenience as a kitchen remodel. When we overhauled our master bath, we used the guest bath and vice versa. When we remodeled the master bedroom, we slept in the guest bedroom. There was always somewhere else for us to be with the other rooms in the house, but when it comes to the kitchen, there is nowhere to go.  Our kitchen has been through a lot –more on that later– but this was the first time ever I thought to create a makeshift kitchen for us, so we could (kind of) carry on like normal. Although this helped tremendously, dinners were still difficult for us, and we did not eat very well this week. Where it DID help, was in the mornings. I am a devoted smoothie and coffee drinker in the morning, so I set up my tray table with the coffee maker and blender so I could easily to get to them and prepare my favorites with ease. I also thought to place a cutting board on the dining room table, along with my crockpot, and the fruit bowl, so I could prepare food in the dining room, if needed. I pulled our chest into the dining room as well, so we had a place for the microwave, so really, we had enough to get by.

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20140314-090330.jpg 20140314-090339.jpgNow that you’ve seen my sad makeshift kitchen, let’s move on to the fun part –the transformation in our kitchen! We have come a long way, and I’ll get to that later, but to give you an idea, this is what our kitchen looked like when we moved in, back in 2009.

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Our kitchen has gone through many phases, but we are actually almost done now. One of the last pieces was the backsplash tile. We chose marble, and I’m in love.

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After purchasing, we got home and I opened up a box to make sure my love was true. And it was.

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Then my husband applied thin set, placed the tiles and kept it all straight and in place with spacers. We opted for a 1/8 inch grout line.

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After the thin set dried the following day, he went back through to remove spacers and apply grout. Once the grout is applied, you have go back over everything with a damp sponge and remove the film the grout leaves behind.

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And then, you sit back and admire. I am over the moon with this kitchen and what it has become.

20140314-133307.jpg20140314-135425.jpgMy husband’s talent and innate knack for this is so inspiring. I’m going to pick his brain and and do a more in depth post about what we have done in the kitchen. As you may have been able to tell, I’m not the most knowledgeable with describing what he did and how he did it. Anyway, a post to come soon with details on the concrete countertops and the rest of this transformation.

Also, a really fun side note…not only are the concrete countertops DIY, but my dad made us all new cabinet doors and trimmed the window (and all of the other windows in the house). This home is a true labor of love.

xo

Framing Some L-O-V-E

As a part of the Apartment Therapy January Cure, one of the last assignments is for participants to frame some artwork and get it hung up. Although, I’m well out of my own personal January Challenge, this assignment was important to me, so I say better than never on this one. Here’s how it all turned out.

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Now, let me go back and explain how it could possibly take me forever and a day to hang up a couple frames. I had purchased two white frames and black matting, with the intention of hanging up some photos of the hubby and I, in our master bedroom. I printed off a photo and placed it in the frame with the matting, and I hated it. My friend suggested painting them, and I decided that sounded way more fun than exchanging them. I didn’t get to this project until last weekend just because life has been hectic –and one has to be in the mood to be crafty. I am happy to report that once I started working on this project, I enjoyed painting so much that I decided to create some art for the other frame.

I knew I didn’t just want to paint them, and the idea of texture was on the brain, so I found some mesh in my fabric drawer and placed it over the matting. I just taped it in place on a piece of foam core board. Then I began painting, just using some basic white acrylic paint. After maybe ten minutes, I peeled the mesh off, and this is the outcome.

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Once I saw how the white turned out, I knew that a little touch of gold on the matting border would be nice. I love that the matting has dimension, and I really like its imperfections and variation.

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For the second craft, I pulled out my letter stamps for a little touch of personal art.

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I did not have a black ink pad, so I used black acrylic paint and this required a lot of testing. Also, I just liked this photo.

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I chose two lines from our wedding vows for this piece. The top one is from my vows, and the bottom one is from his vows. Now, this little reminder lives over our bed, so we can see it every morning and every night.

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I am really pleased with the outcome, and I love that with each day our home becomes more complete and more us.

xo

January Challenge: For the Love of Friends

As the big finale to the Apartment Therapy January Cure (I dubbed it January Challenge), we threw our friends a cocktail party. For the first time ever, we did not ask our friends to bring drinks or an appetizer, so I really went for it, providing a good variety of appetizers, a signature cocktail and the basics for the bar. Side note, of course, they all brought a bottle of wine, or a fun treat regardless. Anyway, this was a big undertaking for me, as I always have timing issues when preparing big meals, but it went off without a hitch (with the help of a couple friends in the final hour, how fitting, right?). Truly, I am shocked at the success of the food and drinks, and am so pleased that everyone had a good time. We kept the party fairly small with around 20 people, I put together a little candy bar for favors, complete with mini waters for the road, and we had a photo booth because they are always so much fun. We saw friends, both old and new, and it was a fantastic night. It felt wonderful to host our friends in our home that has come such a long way. Here are some snapshots from the evening.

food 2I used a paper table cloth and a gold pen to show what was being served.
food1A little close up of that green chile and artichoke bread — get the recipe here. Oh and next to the bread, bacon covered pineapple. All of my carnivore friends loved it. Just wrap pineapple chunks in bacon and sprinkle a little brown sugar on top, bake at 375 for about 25 minutes. There are recipes all over Pinterest.

Crab PuffsSince you cannot see the crab puffs in the photo at all, here’s a little pre-bake shot I took. These were delicious, get the recipe here.

Caprese SkewersOh and these caprese skewers were so light, tasty and easy to make. I drizzled a little balsamic glaze over them right before serving.

Aftermath

So, clearly, everyone hated the food…kidding. Please excuse the crumbs and such, but this is real life, it happens.
 cookies
My lovely friend, Angie, pictured in the back there, brought these adorable heart shaped sugar cookies, and they were delicious. favor tableHere is a not so great photo of the candy bar favors. Those strawberry Pocky are so, so, so good.
photoboothI couldn’t talk about the photo booth and not share a photo. They are so fun and so easy to put together. We used my iPad and found a free app called PhotoBooth. We were able to prop up my iPad, using my painting easel, and then you just had to hit the button to take 4 photos in a row. You got a little countdown, and then if the pics were good, you click on Share and then Save. If the photos weren’t keepers, just move on to the next. We put a little sign on the top of the easel with those easy instructions, and it worked really well. For the backdrop, I just hung a black sheet and then a large white sheet in front of it, and I bought some polka dot balloons.  I strongly urge you to have props on hand as well because well, this happens.

photobooth2SO.MUCH.FUN.

Have a great day!

xo