Friday, May 27, 2016

'Merica & Me

Hello! You are now reading the blog of a 25 year old. Yes, I turned 25 yesterday and I am still not quite sure how I feel about it. Nevertheless, my husband, family, and friends showered me with love and fun and made it into one of the best birthdays ever! (Big shout out to Josh and Audrey for passing the huge balloons down to me after Audrey's 25th birthday bash last weekend!) I spent the day at the lake with my family yesterday and the weather could not have been more perfect. Got some sun, cruised around on the boat, listened to some music, and watched my Dad, Husband, and Brother wipe out on the knee board. Couldn't ask for more! My amazing Mama made me a delicious homemade cookie cake (seriously, hers are better than Great American Cookie I kid you not) and for dinner, we had my favorite...chinese takeout! I know, so fancy. I know I am usually the one that does the decorating around here but I just HAVE to brag on my adorable hubs really quick because look what I came home to after dinner with my friends on Wednesday night:

I mean...does it get any cuter? He would like me to point out that he did not make the rainbow fabric garland...that was me. However, he did get it out and put it up so I still give him all the credit for the cuteness! Of course the giant balloons were front and center and the window in the front was filled with all of my instagram pictures from the last year (wow...I take a lot. *ahem*). Is that precious or what? Lastly, the cherry on top (literally) was the giant wrapping tissue ice cream sundae you see in the far right corner. My sweet hubby got me an awesome, beautiful, Cuisinart ice cream maker for my birthday (per my specific request) and wrapped it in the most creative way possible. To be completely honest, I think he is more excited about that gift than I am...he's begging me to make him frozen yogurt this weekend which of course I will attempt to do. If it works, I may even post it on here! Hmm. Anyways! It was a fabulous day and I could not be more thankful for the people in my life. I am blessed.

Switching gears a little bit:

Now that the birthday fun has settled down a bit, I decided to go ahead and "decorate" if you can really even call it that, for Memorial Day. This is certainly not a holiday I go all out for but of course it is a holiday, so I decorate a little. (I'm ridiculous that way.) 

Side note: I am actually planning to post some more holiday pictures soon here. Yes I am aware that it's May and nobody is even thinking about pumpkins or stockings right now, BUT I would really like to start a section based on what I did last year so that I will be able to add to it this year!

Okay, back to Memorial Day.

Remember how I have that wreath and window obsession and that other obsession with holidays and that other other obsession with switching out my wreaths on my windows for all the different holidays? WELL, here we go. My mama actually made me this adorable burlap American flag wreath last year and I love it oh so much. 

For my gigantic window, I hung my Dad's old tattered and faded American Flag that we used to have flying in front of the house (until it ripped!) My Dad is actually a retired Navy pilot so shout out to him and all the other brave men and women who have bravely fought for our country.  

I got these adorable American Flag pillows for my birthday last year! They came from Target (duh) and I absolutely love them in the summer!

Last but not least is the mantle. I really did not do much at all besides add some mini American flags to my anthro bunny (which I am just having the hardest time putting away ever since...Easter?) I think it's probably just going to become part of my regular decor. Why not?

So that is it! It's not much but I think it's pretty clear where I pledge my allegiance. Thanks for reading and have a fabulous Memorial Day Weekend!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Home Tour: Guest Room

Hello! Long time no see! I apologize once again for the huge gap between posts...these last couple weeks of the school year have been insanely packed and I swear I've sat down approximately one time. Anywho, I am now off for the summer (woot woot!) and am planning to really get going with this blogging thing. Today, I am continuing the home tour with a tour of our guest room. I have to admit...this room has probably changed more than any other room (maybe with the exception of the den). However, this is it in its current spring/summer state. Granted, we do not have a ton of guests because we are blessed enough to have most of our friends and family close by. However, my goal is that when we do have the occasional guest, they feel comfortable and at home while they stay with us. 

Here lies (hangs?) the only wreath in our whole house that is not accompanied by a window. *Insert Gasp* Unfortunately, the previous owners installed a massive shelf in both bedrooms and the hubs and I have been too lazy to take them down because we don't want to patch all those massive holes it will undoubtedly leave behind. Eventually we will get around to it...eventually. That being said, I ultimately made the decision that I could not fit a large enough window in that space without it looking too close to the shelf, so I went with a solo wreath. The wreath (like all the other boxwoods in the house) is from Target and the lamp on this table is actually a DIY project that the hubs and I did together before we got married. All you need is a gallon size mason jar (can be found at Hobby Lobby), a lamp shade of your choice (I went with burlap because...mason jar), and a light kit. Obviously, I let him take care of the electrical part of this project because he is an electrical engineer after all. What good is that degree if he can't wire up some lamps for me every once in a while? (JK, love you, M) ANYWAYS, moving on. The table was actually a vintage find at a local flea market that I fell in love with and knew I had to have. It is painted a gorgeous sky blue with antique detail work and handles on the drawers. Be still my heart. The botanical prints were a free download from one of my favorite blogs a few months ago and the frames were a gift from my wonderful Mother-in-law. The blanket ladder was yet another DIY project. Husband built and wife painted. We used all discounted wood from Home Depot (seriously, always check the 70% off can easily find some great stuff and end up paying next to nothing for a whole project like this). I painted the entire thing a flat black and then went over it with white chalk paint that I actually purchased at the same flea market as I purchased the table. After the white coat was dry, I gently distressed the whole thing with some fine grit sand paper and that was it! Such a cheap, easy piece of furniture! 

The "Snuggle is Real" sign featured above was actually an etsy instant download print that I purchased for $1.50, printed onto a piece of white cardstock, and then hung in a frame that I already had sitting in the craft closet (originally from Hobby Lobby). I thought it was the perfect addition to this cozy corner...and let's face it, with those blankets hanging there...the snuggle IS real.

Next up is probably the star of the show, the bed. I purchased this vintage brass headboard from that SAME flea market as the sofa table and the chalk paint. These were all on different days but seriously...that place is the best. This beauty was $30 and it gave the bed the exact feel I was going for. The bed is a full bed that was actually mine growing up. Thanks for letting me keep it, Mom and Dad! The bedding is an old down comforter (also from childhood) and then a botanicals themed duvet from ikea! I absolutely love ikea's duvet covers and have another one on the bed in our master bedroom (but that's a different post). 

The bird and egg print AND the giant Pottery Barn (yes...Pottery Barn) sweater pillow were both...if you can believe it or not...drumroll please...YARD SALE FINDS! I paid $5 for the pillow and the bird print was just given to me for free! You cannot beat free. Ever. Yard sales rule. The hanging pendant light is one of the more modern things in the house (my cousin Davis would be so proud...more on him in a little bit) and it actually came from Target. It was $30 and came with the edison bulb (my fave) which is actually a really great deal considering those bulbs alone usually run for about $10. I have recently become a big fan of pendant lights over night stands rather than the traditional table lamp and am currently working on a similar project in our bedroom. But, that too is for another post.

The round frame was actually used at our wedding and was another gift from my awesome MIL. This sweet little bunny was from Target's Easter decor a couple years ago and I could not help but leave him out for the spring. The "Be Our Guest" print is another instant download from etsy which I printed and framed the same way as before. The Fairhaven Dry Goods Tray was from Target several years ago (like while we were registering for wedding gifts) and my Mama bought it for me because she was afraid that by the time I had my wedding would be gone. She was right! I love it so much and think it fits perfectly in this room.

So there you have it! Another room down. Before I go, there's something else that I am super excited about. My cousin, Davis (remember the one I mentioned a little bit ago?) just graduated with a degree in design and is now headed to Austin, Texas this fall to study architecture. Why am I telling you all this? WELL. Davis has decided that instead of paying to live in an expensive Austin apartment, he is going to spend this summer (with the help of my awesome Hubs and a couple other friends) building his own TINY HOUSE to live in for the next few years while he's in grad school! A TINY HOUSE! Tiny Houses have intrigued me (and I think most of us, let's be real) for awhile now and he has agreed to allow me to blog about the progress. Don't worry, this is not going to become a tiny house blog, BUT I do plan on featuring it a few times as the summer goes on awesome is that? For more detailed news about the project (aka for posts that aren't just going to be "LOOK HOW CUTE!" or "EVERYTHING'S SO LITTLE AND ADORABLE!" *ahem*) you can head on over to Davis' website here and see everything up close. I have also added a link to his site on my side bar for easier access. 

Thanks again for reading, lovelies! Happy Hump Day!

Monday, May 9, 2016

DIY Shiplap (For Cheap!)

Any other Fixer Upper fans out there? Anyone? I'm guessing if you're anything like me, your life goal is to be Joanna Gaines and one of the first steps you can take to achieve that goal, is adding some shiplap to your house. Now if I had it my way, our entire house would be shiplap...but that just isn't feasible. SO, I settled for above my mantle instead. This project was cheap and relatively quick (with two people at least) and I could not recommend it more! I am in love with the way it looks and it actually is what inspired me to paint the entire wall white a couple weeks after putting it up. I knew there had to be a way to get the look of shiplap without actually having to use the more expensive shiplap or even tongue and groove boards. After standing around the lumber section of Home Depot for far too long, the hubs and I finally decided on a large piece of 1/8 inch plywood (just a little over 5 feet in length). Luckily, the Home Depot employee was kind enough to cut it up for us and he used his fancy saw to cut us 7 equal strips measuring 6 inches wide a piece. Now that the hard part was essentially done for us, all we had to do was get the rest of the supplies. We ended up getting tiny finishing nails to attach the boards to the wall and those turned out perfectly. We also grabbed a gallon of ultra white paint and I am so glad we did. It actually ended up taking SEVERAL coats of the white to cover the raw boards. We already had paint brushes, rollers, painter's tape, and drop cloths at home from previous projects, so we checked out with our paint, nails, and lumber and headed back to the house. I knew I wanted the boards to really look like shiplap, and in order to achieve the look I wanted I was going to need to space them out just a tiny bit so you could see the space between each one. What ended up working perfectly for spacing were quarters. The hubs and I worked as a team to get the first board lined up perfectly with the top of our mantle and then nailed it into the wall with the tiny finishing nails. The next board was a little trickier because of the spacing. I held a couple of quarters on the top edge of the board we had just attached while Mack lined up the next board and then set it on top of the quarters. This allowed for just a tiny bit of spacing between the two and gave me the look I wanted. After this, we repeated this same process five more times (it took exactly 7 boards to fill up the space we wanted) and then the assembly was complete! Next came the painting. It was a little more difficult because at the time, the wall around the shiplap was still a dark gray (Behr Stone Mason in case anyone wanted to know!) As a result, I just had to make sure I taped off the edges of the boards with painter's tape so that I did not have any splatter. I actually used a roller to cover the boards with the ultra white paint and that worked just fine. If any paint dripped down into the cracks between the boards, I just simply took one of the quarters I used for spacing and ran it along the crack to wipe off any paint drips. Quite a little multi-tool I must say! After several coats of the white paint, it was finally complete and I could not be happier with the result. It was exactly what I wanted and I felt more like Joanna Gaines than ever. Since we only had to purchase the piece of plywood, the nails, and the paint, this was a very cheap project. All in all I think we totaled about $35 or so. Not bad for a completely new look I must say! Just to break it down and make it a little easier to read, here is a list of the supplies that we used.

Unforuntately I was so wrapped up in the project that I did not take a picture of the boards while they were in the process of being painted...HOWEVER, I do have pictures from before the shiplap, during the process (before the boards were painted) as well as of the end result. Once again, these are old iPhone photos...forgive me.

This picture was taken shortly after the completion of the project. Excuse the crazy decor, the hubs had just gotten a really great performance review at work. I told you, we celebrate everything around here!

Once again...pardon the decor. I am slightly obsessed with my Easter village houses...but this one was just to show you a close up of the spacing between the boards!
Of course, here is what it looks like now that the surrounding wall has been painted white to match. I can't get enough white in this house!

DIY Shiplap Supplies:
  • Large piece (about 5 feet wide) of 1/8 inch plywood (obviously this is specific to the size of our mantle but if you are doing a larger space you will most likely need more plywood!)
  • Finishing nails
  • 1 Gallon Ultra White Paint (whatever brand you prefer...we always use Behr)
  • Paint brush or roller (your preference)
  • Quarters (for spacing)
  • Drop Cloth (to protect that pretty floor of yours!)
  • Painter's tape (to protect that pretty wall of yours if you're like me and are only adding shiplap to part of a wall)
and the steps:
  • Line the first board up where you want it (in our case, right on top of our mantle)
  • Use the finishing nails to attach it securely to the wall
  • Use the quarters as spacers for the second board by holding (or balancing if you are attempting this by yourself...go you!) and then placing the second board on top of the quarters
  • Once your second board is lined up and spaced out, use the finishing nails and attach it to the wall BEFORE removing the quarters...just to make sure the spacing stays even through the nailing process
  • Repeat these steps until you have filled the space you desire 
  • Use your roller (or brush) to start applying those coats of white paint (or whatever you want it to be!) until you have reached the coverage that you desire
  • Pat yourself on the back and enjoy your inner Joanna Gaines(ness) because you have officially added shiplap to your house! For cheap!
Once again, for not a lot of money we were able to change the entire look of the fireplace and mantle. If you missed my $15 fireplace makeover, you can check it out here! Thanks again for reading!