half birthday

Emmeline turned six months yesterday on the 4th of July! I can’t believe she’s been in our world half a year already 🙂 Our lives have been so blessed by her.

Here are some favorite pics from the start of summer:







I had to add that last one–she looks so distressed despite wearing an adorable dress! This was the day after her 6 month shots–the cranky aftermath was not such a pretty sight 🙂

Happy Half-Birthday, sweet girl!


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…& a nursery update

Hello everyone!  It’s been quite a while since I posted last…lots to do in the last few weeks before BB’s arrival. : )

This weekend we bought our tree and garland for our little banister.  I’m not used to having our tree up so early, but this year is an exception with life changing in a big way January 1st (or earlier!).  Here are some pics:

Our tree…I have been aiming for a vintage (1950’s) tree the past couple years…big bulb colored lights, a peppermint tree topper, tinsel, and a silver lame tree skirt.

Our garland…I was very happy with how it turned out!  I had a vision, but not really a game plan, so it took a bit of trial and error.  Jason helped me wrap 20′ fresh garland (from Lowe’s) through and around the spindles, and then I followed with silver beaded garland and candy-striped giant shatter-proof ornaments purchased at Hobby Lobby.  Lastly, I tied big bows with this great polka dot wired ribbon, also a Hobby Lobby find (all Christmas decorations were 50% off that day!)

Now for the wreath…I have seen many “ornament” wreaths, both on Pinterest and other blogs, so I have planned to make this for a while.

I bought a 14″ green foam floral ring, and wrapped it carefully with Duck Tape…they come in so many great colors these days! I think my roll is called “silver coin”.

Here’s a close-up of the polka dot ribbon, which I also used to tie a bow at the bottom and then later at the top of the wreath.

A few weeks ago, I purchased these tubes of plastic ball ornaments from the Target One Spot.  I’m glad I did, they were pretty much gone by the next week!  I purchased 4 tubes of the larger balls- multi, gold, red, and green.  And then 2 tubes of the small balls, both multi.  It was just enough for the whole wreath.

I removed the plastic tops off each ornament.  At first I tried to glue them upside down by the top of the ornament, but it wasn’t enough surface area to adhere to the wreath.  So I just applied hot glue to the side of each ball and angled it so the top wouldn’t show.

I had fun gluing the balls onto the wreath randomly, and then filled in open spaces with the smaller balls.

I added small balls on top of the first layer, for a “piled on” look.

For the finishing touch, I added a small red ball to the center of each bow.

Here is the wreath, hanging on our front door!

She was very easy to make, and so cheery don’t you think?

The Nursery!

BB’s room is finally coming along, and I have some pictures I want to share.  We still have a few details to work out…we’re waiting for the glider to arrive, and we need to install a dimmer switch for the overhead light, and have to hem the curtains, etc…but it’s looking great–everything I envisioned and more. : )

The dresser/changing table was given to me by my sister…it was her old dresser, already painted white so it just needed some touching up!  I love the pink handles, so I figure I’ll keep them on there for now, and if it’s a boy we’ll have to change them!

This is a lamp purchased at a barn sale this summer…it just needed a wipe-down and a new shade! I loved the pair and am so glad they worked for the nursery.  Its twin will go on an old phone table we plan to hang by the glider.

I purchased some rattan, canvas-lined baskets at Target for storage in the bookcases and beside the changing pad. The original bows were dinky so I tucked them down into the handles and tied cuter ones over them…this pretty ribbon was from a shower gift’s wrapping!

Here are the beautiful curtains my mom made.  I love them.  We used our bird curtain rod from the living room and bought a sturdier one to replace it.  They just look perfect in the nursery!

Here is our crib and crib skirt! My mom sewed the skirt, and did a fabulous job again.  I LOVE the fabric and it works so great in the room.  The crib was such a tedious endeavor, but very worth it when it was put up!  The color is Olympic One in Antique Moss.

The carpet was a Pottery Barn Kids purchase, on sale!

The bookcases were a fantastic handmade gift from my father-in-law…he is so talented with woodworking!  He created these all based on a picture from a blog I sent him.  I fell in love with these bookcases on Elements of Style’s blog, and he made them for us!  They turned out perfectly and make such an impact…I couldn’t be happier with them.  They are great storage and display for a tiny baby room!  I wish I could take a head-on picture of the pair, but the room is that small I couldn’t fit both in the shot!

I am so happy with how our little nursery is turning out…hopefully tomorrow I will be able to post the bird sketches I created to hang above the dresser!

Until then, goodnight!

Baby Shower

Last weekend my sister threw me a lovely baby shower at my parents’ house in Richmond.  I so wish my younger sister Hannah had been there (we miss you in Spain!), but it was a wonderful, special day surrounded by friends and family.

I wanted to share some highlights with you that will showcase the creativity of my sister Kate…she is so talented!

adorable name tags she created on the computer…

my name tag 🙂  We loved the vintage stork and little baby just hanging out in the blanket!

The adorable handmade favors…close-up below:

The lovely table…my mom and sister did a beautiful job!

The same florist who did the flowers for our wedding created the centerpiece for the day…isn’t it so pretty?

The invitation atop my own silver baby cup 🙂

Purple hydrangeas from my Mom’s garden…

Drink tags Kate made…

Aren’t these napkins so sweet?

Kate made such cute (and delicious) cupcakes with buttercream icing…the cupcake toppers are from the Dollar Store!

Everything was so lovely, and BB received so many thoughtful and generous gifts!  It was wonderful to have my friends travel down to share in the special day with me. 🙂  I really wish I had taken more pictures with everyone of course, but here are just a few…

Thank you to everyone who made the day so happy, memorable and wonderful!

Festive Fall Wreath & Other Things…

With the cooler fall weather here, I have been anxious to reflect my love for the season on our front door.  Yesterday I went out and gathered materials to make a festive fall wreath.  Here is the finished product:

I have been wanting to get a picture of the wreath in the daylight, but since it has been so rainy/wet/dark/gross for what feels like forever, this was the best I could do.

The wreath turned out to be inexpensive, not very time-consuming, and painless.  Music to my ears!

Here is the breakdown of materials I used:

Leaves and mini pumpkins & gourds assortment were all purchased at the Dollar Tree.  I didn’t need every single leaf and gourd, but for an 18 ” wreath, I used most of what I bought.

Wide orange ribbon, purchased at Michaels on sale for $2.50 a roll (plus I used my 15% teacher’s discount)…I have bought this in the thinner variety before and just love it–the grosgrain style, its sturdiness, and of course the cute factor of the white contrast stitching. I ended up picking up 3 rolls of it to have on hand for adorning Halloween treats, but only needed approx. 1 roll for the wreath.

18 ” raffia wreath form from Michaels– only $2.99 with a 40% off coupon!

…And you’ll need a hot glue gun to put it all together 🙂

The how-to:

I trimmed any loose raffia bits, then tied a bow on the top and bottom of the wreath (ignore the jagged cutting job…this was before I located my nice sharp pair of scissors!)

I glued a row of red leaves on the underside of the wreath, around the circumference of the inner ring…here’s a view from the front:

…Then a row of yellow leaves around the outer ring.

Then I did the same to the front side of the wreath, but did yellow for the front inner ring and red for the front outer ring:

For the exposed raffia part, I alternated red and yellow leaves:

It’s hard to wield a camera and glue gun at the same time!

Now using my plastic pumpkins & gourds, I laid out a pattern to my liking and then glued them down around the front of the wreath:

I trimmed the ends of my bows up finally, and used the remaining ribbon to fashion a loop with a tail to hang to our door knocker. Tip: I didn’t actually tie the ribbon to the knocker; rather, I fed it through the handle of the knocker and attached it together with a twist tie.  This will make for easy removal and not having to re-tie a “hanger” each year.

The result is a very bright and cheery fall wreath, done for less than $13.00.  Now if only this RAIN would stop so we could truly bask in autumn weather, the way it’s meant to be!

While I was at the Dollar Tree, I happened upon these little gems:

I scooped up the best 4, but I would’ve bought more! How cute with a votive candle inside?

In other recent news…

Have you heard of the ELF cosmetics line at Target?  It stands for Eyes, Lips, and Face and runs from $1 – $3.  I have bought their highlighter and a purple eyeliner before, then I saw this eyeshadow palette:

I love the purple hues and hint of shimmer…thought it would be pretty for the holidays.  It also comes in a “natural” colorway. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

And lastly…I recently learned a chic way to tie a scarf, and thought I’d share with all you scarf lovers out there (which includes me, I feel like I live in them when cold weather hits!):

Fold your scarf in half, wrap around your neck, and just pull one end through the loop.

Twist the loop once…

…and pull the other end through.

Give it a little fluffing, and voila!

I hope everyone has a great week!

Painted Rug

Last week I decided to highlight my own hair…my roots have been awful (now that my hair finally grows…might be those prenatal vitamins), and a salon visit just hasn’t been in the cards, er, budget.  A couple of disclaimers:  if my hairstylist is reading this, I love you and your work!  And refer friends to you every chance I get!  I just needed something to bridge the gap between visits.  Also, if you are wondering why a pregnant lady is dying her own hair, I am now in my 3rd trimester and was very careful to open all the windows and did not apply directly to the scalp!

I purchased Clairol’s “Perfect 10”, and for only $11, I think it did the trick!

I woke up at 7 am before church on Sunday to get to work…so much for sleeping in.

The directions were super easy to follow, and the comb applicator attachment gave my hair a highlighted effect.  I didn’t take a head-on picture, but you should be able to see it in my rug tutorial below.  I was happy with the results and it saved me a good chunk of $$!

DIY Painted Rug

Our guest bedroom is a work in progress, and has definitely been placed on the back burner with our nursery room overhaul….but this past week I added a “runner” to go by the side of the bed.

I had seen a couple tutorials online on how to paint a rug, and it turned out to be a very inexpensive project.  I found a rug at Lowes for about $13, and I used the same latex paint that I painted the bedside tables with.

The rug was a natural/tan color, and had a Berber-like texture.  This is the before picture:

And a close-up of the tag in case you wanted to find it at your local Lowes:

I settled on a chevron design, and created a stencil with some card stock (actually a leftover box!) and tape:

I began painting with the Kingston Aqua, and made sure to measure between zigzags–I kept them 4 inches apart.

I used a “stippling” affect with the brush, rather than sweeping the paint on…tapping the brush to the loops in the carpet absorbed the paint best.  Surprisingly, the stencil held up very well and the paint didn’t bleed underneath!

You’re probably wondering why I didn’t just paint the whole thing aqua, and then add in black (my other paint color) stripes…frankly I was wondering this too, as I realized after this step that I was only half-way finished!  But in retrospect I am very glad I didn’t, because the black was slightly transparent and the aqua would have shown through. I realized this when I botched up my pattern a little at one end of the rug, and it required several coats of black to cover up the aqua.

I held the stencil down over the aqua zigzags to create a crisp edge.


I gave it a good day and a half to fully dry.  The how-tos I saw online said to use an electric sander as a last step to soften the fibers so the rug wasn’t so ‘crispy’ with all the paint.  When I began doing that, however, it took some of the paint off….giving it a distressed look which isn’t bad, but not the look I was aiming for with this rug. And actually, my rug felt rather soft to begin with, even after the paint dried.  So I just touched up the paint after testing out the sander.

The above was taken right after I finished painting…

…and after drying, here’s what it looks like in the room!

(I am anxious to paint the guest bedroom some day soon…this periwinkle color makes me go “eek!” every time I turn on the light! I think we’ll go for a silvery gray for the walls…)

Of course I can’t stop thinking about all the other designs/color combinations one could do…I think a painted rug would be so cute in front of a kitchen sink or right inside a door…so if anyone wants to tackle a project of their own, I’d be happy to help!

Up next…a DIY sunburst mirror, of course working on the nursery, and remember that tray I painted black and white? Every time I look at it it makes me upset.  It just won’t do. So I’ll be repainting that again soon too!


Happy Birthdays & Dollar Deals

Yesterday my twin sister and I celebrated our birthday. : )  Here’s a pic of the two of us, taken just a few years ago….

….and now we’re 27. (And my sister is still sassy, even without the hand-on-hip pictured above). My how the years have flown.  Happy Birthday Kate!

We got together with our family for dinner at Rio Grande (our favorite Mexican restaurant) and exchanged gifts.  She got me some great serving pieces for our backyard patio furniture, and this bottle of nail polish–a color I’ve coveted since I saw it on my friend Sarah’s toes : ) It’s called “Lollipop” by Essie, and is a great retro-red.  Can’t wait to give myself a mani!

Running errands yesterday brought me to Home Depot to pick up something for a project.  On my way there, I couldn’t help stopping at the Dollar Tree.  And I’m glad I did!  I found this cute cut-glass nut dish….looks very 50’s I think:

…and these bamboo skewers.  A cute alternative to toothpicks–I’m excited to use them at a cocktail party!

Then I spotted these great disposable serving trays.  Faux silver with a pretty etched design….without picking them up, you could totally mistake them for the real thing! I thought these would be so cute to put an hors d’oeuvre on and bring to a party. I picked up two!

My bday culminated with a nice sushi dinner out (it’s a bit challenging when you’re limited to only the cooked fish)  and an awesome new orange purse from my husband! It was a great birthday, and hard to imagine the last one I’ll celebrate without a child in tow!

First Anniversary & Fun Correspondence

Photo courtesy of Patricia Lyons Photography

This weekend Jason and I celebrated our first anniversary.  We were married on July 10th of last year, and it’s so hard to believe that a year has already passed, and so much has happened!  Even more difficult to wrap our heads around is that it’s only 1 of upwards of 60 years of marriage!  With a wedding, school year, Jason’s job changes, two moves, and a baby due Jan. 1st, it seems like a whole lot has happened.  All wonderful though. 🙂  And this milestone makes me excited for a few dear friends who will also be celebrating their 1st anniversary soon!

One of the ways we celebrated was by having a slice of our wedding cake topper, which had been kept on ice in my parents’ freezer.  Still looked beautiful! I loved our wedding cake….a basket weave design made of buttercream frosting with a fondant bow on top (which got a tad smushed after being in storage).  The top layer was carrot cake…Jason’s favorite and I thought it would be a cake that would stay on the moister side, since I knew we’d be enjoying it a year later.  I forgot how big the cake was; even the top layer could have served as a large cake by itself!

A year later, it was still delicious!  Now if only we could head back to Bermuda too….

Inexpensive Stationery:

I probably have an unnatural obsession with stationery.  I love cards, invitations, and most of all, sending and receiving both! 🙂  There is a wonderful stationery shop in Richmond called Paper on the Avenue that does beautiful, beautiful work…we had our wedding invitations done through them, and if I had an endless budget they’d help me design every piece of correspondence I sent out!  Alas, being a girl on a budget, I have to get creative at times.  Michaels’ $1 section (usually found near the front of their store) has proven very helpful in this area.  It can be hit or miss of course, but in the recent past I have found cute cards like these:

…and these adorable gift tags (so cute tied on to a bright pink bag):

At $1 for a pack of 8, you can’t beat them!  I have also taken to making some.  I have bought stamps, stamp pads, and blank cards at either Michaels or Ben Franklin Arts and Crafts for a dollar each.  Here is what I have created–each design was super easy.

The last stamp I bought but haven’t done anything with yet…thought it would be so cute on a white invitation with black or navy ink.  The envelopes that the cards come with are on the flimsier side, but when you take into account that they were just $1, it’s a small price to pay for a cute little thank you note.

The next card I made for Christmas thank-yous…I had white card stock on hand and lined each edge with a black Sharpie to create a thin border. I used this adorable stamp I bought at Ben Franklin with red ink, but I think it would be equally cute in another stamp color and used as birthday or shower thank-you notes.

Here is the image closeup:

A ‘pennywise’ way to create chic correspondence!