kitchen table redo & some more fall decorations

I would say the key to living successfully in a small townhouse is finding ways to maximize floor space and storage. We found a kitchen table a few years ago that did just that, but once again it's black and I'm trying to lighten things up so I decide a fresh coat of white paint would be nice. We moved it out to the garage so I could start working on it and then I remembered to get a before picture.

I had already taken the drawer pulls off of the front, but you get the picture. And yes that is what our garage floor looks like.... Oops. I love that this table is really long and narrow because our dinning area is tiny. And before we had Zion I liked the little wine rack to store sparkling cider and the rack to hang our fancy glasses on, but with a hands on and curious baby it is just wasted space. While I was tearing the table apart to start sanding, I realized it could all be easily removed so that's what I did. I even got Zac to help with the sanding.

After a lot of time was spent sanding, priming, white painting, sanding the edges again, and then glazing the edges with a dark stain and glaze combo... I should have put a coat of poly on top to keep it protected from little hands but I was too excited to get it back in the house... This is what I ended up with...

As soon as Zion became mobile I started keeping the table tucked up against the wall to amplify floor space, and use it more as a way to decorate. When we have guests over we pull it out and use it like normal people, but the rest of the time we just eat up to it bar style. I love how it turned out and that I can fit a couple baskets under it to store stuff.

I made a couple more little decorations to keep on the table. Remember how I still had a bunch of burlap, hemp and silk leaves left over? I used them to wrap and embellish one of Zion's little sand buckets to hold our "Thankful Tree". You've probably seen a billion different versions of "Thankful Trees" but I'll tell you our version because it's a little different. We decided it would be a fun tradition to each be given enough paper leaves as there are days in the month of November leading up to Thanksgiving day. When it's time to pull out the fall decorations we will spend a night writing down different things we are thankful for on each leaf and then hot glue them to the tree. That way it's a fun decoration to enjoy during the fall season but will also bring a spirit of gratitude into our home for the whole fall season and lead right into The Holidays. Starting the first day of November we will each pull one of our leaves off at dinner time and talk about what we are grateful for. Then by Thanksgiving day all of the leaves will have "fallen" and we can start decorating for Christmas.

The other little fall decoration I made are "faux apothecary candy jars". I used some candle stick I already had, emptied and cleaned a couple jalapeƱo jars and filled them with candy, and then glued a little knob to the top of the lid and painted them black. Cute and easy and the candy can be switched out for any Holiday or season.

All I had to buy for these couple of decorations were the little knobs for $1.99. Everything else I already had, which brings all of my fall decorations to a whopping $42. I think that is pretty dang good for everything I've made! I feel like I should now say something like.... Stay tuned for the next episode of "What a crazy, housewife, mommy, insomniac, does in the night ". But that would be weird so I won't.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


rainbow rice

I've officially been a stay at home mom for almost two months now. It took a little getting used to at first and I missed all of my friends at the gym, but now I'm used to it and absolutely loving all of the free time I have to play with Zion and then craft and work on projects while he's sleeping. While he was napping yesterday I made some rainbow rice. Easy peasy... Just pour raw rice in a few ziplock bags, add a couple drops of food coloring and a squirt or two of Purel hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol (this sets the color and helps it dry out), shake it around until the color is incorporated and then pour it onto a cookie sheet or tray to dry. This is what mine looked like when it was ready.

Zion loves to stir things so I poured it in a bowl and let him go to town. He seriously stirred and played with the rice for over an hour. I would hide little toys in it and he would dig through and get so excited when he found them and then throw rice everywhere. Wouldn't it be fun to fill a little sandbox full and let him go crazy... And then just pour all the rice in a large storage tote to be reused? I think I'm going to do it! I love Zion's concentration face in this picture!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


feeling like fall

It's starting to feel like Fall and I am loving it! I love everything about Fall.... The crisp air, the changing leaves, the layered fashion, pumpkin everything, chai lattes, the beauty of Maple Mountain, fun decorations, the spirit of gratitude, the oncoming holiday season..... And the list goes on. Well, I can think of one thing I don't love about the Fall... Football. I don't mind it but it's not something I look forward to. What I do love about it, though, is that while Zac and Zion do their boy thing and watch the games, I have plenty of time to work on projects. This morning I've been baking pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, heavy on the chocolate chips, for my baby sisters birthday party later today. Happy Birthday Heather. I cannot believe the baby of the family is 20 years old! We are all grown up now. I love you so much and hope that this coming year can be one of healing and recovery and that you can find great joy in living. You have fought a hard battle the past few years and I hope that you keep fighting and conquer. Love you always!!

Not only is it feeling like Fall outside, our house is becoming a little bit festive, too. I pulled out all of our Fall scents to burn in our Scentsy, and I've started making a few Fall decorations. First off... I've seen a ton of different cute Fall wreaths so I decided to come up with one of my own. I went to Joanns and their grape vine wreaths were buy one get the second 50% off, and the kind of moss I wanted to use came in a package with enough to make 2 wreaths so here's what I came up with. The first one will be staying on my front door.

And the second one will be hanging inside my house on the antique window I showed you in my last post.

These wreaths were fun to make. I used an 18" grapevine wreath and then hot glued moss around the front. I found moss at Joanns I had never seen before. It came on a roll that was 6" wide and 36" long. I cut it length wise so it was only 3" wide and then cut it into 6-8" pieces. This made it way easier to curve the moss around the wreath. You could use the bagged stuff to save a couple dollars, but it would be a lot messier and harder to glue down. And then I just stuck a bunch of fall stems in the bottom to create a fun little arrangement and hung it with a 4" wide strip of burlap. I found the fall stems at Hobby Lobby and the were all 50% off. I like that the fall embellishments have a stem that I was able to just stick into the grapevine without having to hot glue down, because I think the moss wreath will be cute for other seasons, too. For spring I think I will replace the fall stems with a few flowers and mini bird nests. Anyway, here is a really bad image of what a couple of the stems look like when they aren't hooked onto the wreath in case you want to find them at a craft store and make this yourself.

Did you notice the candles in the background of the cookie picture? I threw those together really quick this weekend, too. They were way easy. I just wrapped and hot glued the ends of some hemp rope around one of the candles and then hot glued a silk leaf onto each of them. Turned out kinda cute.

The last little fall project I made was a little fall bunting banner. I cut 9" triangles out of burlap and hot glued a silk leaf onto each one, and then hot glued hemp rope to the back to hang it by. I decided to hang it across a mirror that hangs above my kitchen table, but my kitchen table is currently MIA. Actually it's in the garage and Zac is sanding it down so that we can continue on with our black to white trend. I will post some before and after pictures when it's finished.

All of these little fall projects have cost me less than $40 and I still have a bunch of silk leaves, hemp rope and burlap left over. I think that's a pretty good deal. Have you ever looked at the price of wreaths? I found one at Hobby Lobby that I liked, but it was $70. No thank you. I would rather make my own and pocket the savings for something I want more, like the new gorgeous espresso colored Michael Kors 'Blair' watch. Did I mention I also love fall fashion?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


pinterest... addicted or inspired

I just got done reading everybody's comments after my last post. Thank you all so much. I'm feeling a lot better. I've been keeping myself pretty busy and I think that has helped. I finally jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon and I think I'm in love! I find the coolest ideas and projects every single day. You might say that I'm addicted but I call it inspired because I'm actually doing and making some of the things I find. Here are some of my projects so far....

Picture gallery... I already had all of the frames but they were black and I'm so sick of black. Our townhouse is way too small to be decorated in black, so I freshened them up with several coats of primer and white paint.

I found the old window at Confetti Antiques in Spanish Fork. I cleaned it up a little, added a quick coat of white paint because the existing paint was way too yellow and it clashed with the frames, and sanded the edges. I made the wreath out of grap vine and hydrangea stems that I found at Hobby Lobby for 50% off.

I love that the old window still had a piece of the original hardware on it which makes a perfect little hanger.

Small table and floral arrangement... I found this table a few years ago at The Porch in Springville, but once again it was black so I primed and painted it white and then roughed up the edges and added a little glaze. You will notice this black to white trend in a lot of projects to come!

I found the cool vase a few years back and loved it but the slats make it hard to work with. I made the floral arrangement and then wrapped the stems in moss garland. Perfect solution.

Hanging flowers.... I have seen so many different versions of hanging flower vases and I love them all so i decided t make my own version. I found the board laying in my garage so I added some paint and cute little knobs I found at Hobby Lobby for $1 each. I stole the coke bottles from my mom. They were the Christmas edition from 1995 and had pictures of Santa Claus on them, so I soaked them in clorox water and used a razor blade to remove the image. Then i threw some flowers in the bottles and hung them from the knobs with hemp rope. I think they turned out pretty cute and decided to hang them in my tiny half bath.

I'm excited about these bottles, the cream vase, and the old window because I can change the flowers and wreaths to decorate for different seasons and holidays. That's also why I'm going with such a neutral pallet with all of my new projects. I like seasonal decorations but I hate when they clash with existing decor!

Pillows... I made a couple of these little rosette pillows to go on my couch and for Zion's little chair. They were fun and way easy.

Jewelry box and necklace hanger... My parents gave me this jewelry box several years ago. It was painted black and had a bunch of vintage looking stickers on it. It was cute but needed a little update so I razored off all the stickers, primed and painted it white, and then sanded the edges a little.

The necklace hanger was way easy. I found this tin "live well, laugh often, love much" sign at TJ Maxx a long time ago. Once again it was black and I actually decided I didn't really like anything about it anymore and was going to throw it away and then I realized I could use it for one of the necklace holders that are floating all over the land of Pinterest. I primed and painted it white, sanded the edges and added a few hooks and it works perfect as a necklace hanger.

Mod Podge pictures... Ok, from these pictures you won't be able to see the difference, but I'm telling you, there is a difference. My dad made me several frames to hold my bridals when me and Zac got married. The problem is they were canvas pictures so they didn't need glass over them and they are not standard sizes and I had no idea where to go to find custom sized glass. The solution, I printed some of our family pictures at Costco and then trimmed them to fit the frames, adhered them to cardboard with Mod Podge and used a foam brush to paint over the entire surface with a matte finish Mod Podge. Now the pictures look like fancy canvas ones and don't need glass.

Measuring cup holder... This project isn't the cutest but it's very functional. I hate digging through a drawer to find the right measuring spoon or cup. Enter Pinterest. I loved the idea I saw on Pinterest of hanging all or those annoying items inside a cupboard door. I snagged a few free paint sticks from Home Depot, cut them to the length I needed, figured out the spacing so my cupboard door would still close when everything was all hung up, drilled several holes, painted the sticks, twisted in the hooks and adhered my little friends to the inside of a door with my trusty liquid nails.... And...

A nicely organized solution.

Seriously, Pinterest, I love you. Thank you for giving me some stability and projects to occupy my time while I wait for this time to pass. And as a side note, I promise I'm not a terribly neglectful mom and wife. I'm used to running on very little sleep from working at the gym so I've just kept that trend going. I work on my projects when Zion takes naps and at night after Zion and Zac go to bed. Stay tuned for a lot more projects to come. I have about a billion items on my list, and soon you won't even recognize our house! We've decided that since we are like a lot of people who bought their houses 4 years ago (thinking we would only be in it for 2 and it was an investment property) and aren't going to be able to sell it for possibly a long while, we might as well fix it up a bit and make it more comfortable to live in. Coming soon... All of the ugly standard builder bathroom mirrors will be framed, new OJ (over the John) cabinets in the bathrooms, laundry room cabinets, and our kitchen is getting a facelift with crown molding and light rail molding, new hardware, and our island will be covered in white bead board! And I will be doing all of it myself. Just kidding. My dad owns a wood working business (houtzwoodworks.com) so I've hired him to do all of the hard stuff. I'll stick to the simple things, like using white paint, sewing straight lines, and glueing things together.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad



I'm feeling a little heartbroken right now. I'm not sure why I'm writing this.... I guess I just need to get it out and I can't really talk about it without turning into a total mess. Zac is the only person I've been able to talk about my feelings with. Everyone else I'm just trying to avoid because I can't keep my emotions in check when I start talking. I had a miscarriage last week. We've been trying to get pregnant for a few months and it's been so frustrating. With Zion we got pregnant the first month we tried, but this time around it has not been as easy. We finally found out we were pregnant and we were so excited! The baby wasn't due until April, so it and Zion would have been 21 months apart. Perfect. We waited a couple weeks before sharing the news and then on Sunday we took a cute picture of Zion wearing a big brother shirt and sent it to all of our family. Monday morning I woke up and everything was fine and then a couple hours later I went to the bathroom and started bleeding REALLY bad. I've never felt so helpless in my life. Zac was at work and I couldn't get a hold of him, so I just held Zion and cried. When he got home we went right to the doctor. They measured my hcg and it was in the normal range for how far along I was, and then they did an ultrasound and couldn't find the baby. It had stopped growing really early and was still too small to see. The doctor tried to be hopeful and said maybe I just wasn't as far along as we thought, but I knew it was wishful thinking. The bleeding continued and I went back Wednesday to confirm what I already knew. They measured my hcg again and it should have doubled, but it dropped instead. Now I'm left with such a void. Logically I understand that miscarriages happen all the time and it's usually a chromosomal defect and nothing the mother did, so I don't really feel guilty or angry or wonder why this happened to me. But being a mom already, and knowing how much I love Zion and how amazing he is, I'm just sad. Sad as I sit and wonder if this little baby was a girl or a boy and what he or she would have looked like. Then I think of all of the little milestones with Zion over the last 14 months, his little quirks, how independent he is, and everything else about his personality... And it just makes me wonder even more, what this baby would have been like. I know I'll get through this but right now I just feel sad. My way of dealing is to put on a happy face and to stay really busy, and I'm really good at it, but when nighttime falls or Zion's napping while Zac's at work, and nobody is around, I have a harder time faking it. I'm sure time will heal everything. Thankfully I already have one beautiful little boy and the most perfect husband to hold me up until it does.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad