Every year the cousins exchange an inexpensive gift between each other. This year is only our 2nd year for doing it, but it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite traditions. The first year my gifts were okay, but not stellar. I vowed to work hard this year and come up with a better stocking stuffer. I came across a few ideas for a Christmas photo ornament on Pinterest and thought to myself that it was perfect. I schemed with my mom to find a picture of my grandparents and then I scoured everyone’s facebook pages to find pictures.
I decided to do the picture of our grandparents for all the cousins and then personal pictures for their families. As we all get older, get married and are starting to have families of our own the cousin gift exchange is getting bigger and bigger. I have 5 cousins, 3 spouses and 2 kids to think about. I wanted each one to mean something and be personal. The ornaments were super easy to make once I had the perfect pictures.
Here’s what you need for the perfect DIY Christmas photo ornament:
clay or wooden ornaments (I found clay ones at Hobby Lobby for $1.47 and they were 50% off that week so they were only .73 cents each!)
First you want to trace the ornament on top of the picture to get the right size. I would recommend tracing on the back side of the picture so you don’t accidentally get any pen marks on the image. Then cut out the picture.
Second, dip your paint brush in the mod podge and paint over the ornament. Make sure you pay attention to the edges. Then place the picture on top.
Finally, paint a second coat of mod podge on top of the picture to seal it. Let it dry overnight.
That’s it. Simple, isn’t it? I love the idea of giving something meaningful. I even made one of J and I’s recent family picture to each grandma and my parents, too.
I took a different approach this year on our Christmas card.
I went a bit more personal. Some years I send just a card with our signatures, others a letter about what we’ve been up to that year, and some years it’s just a picture of the dogs. But this year I went a different route. I combined everything I wanted in a card and created a masterpiece. It’s simple, it has color, it has details, and it even has a family picture. I mean what else could you want from a holiday card?!? Seriously!
I designed them in Canva and then put 4 per page in Word. Sent them to my local printer and had them printed on cardstock. Easy-peasy!
They were the size of postcards when done and so pretty. Now grandparents can get an updated family pictures, cousins and friends know what we’ve been up and it shows a little of our personality.
Here is the final image.
Sharing a tutorial that adds value to my readers kind of freaks me out a little. I’m not going to lie. I have written tutorials in the past and I love each one I’ve done. But being asked to write one today, without warning is a little scary.
I’m going to share how to create a fabulous photo table runner using muslin, pictures, sheet music and paper doilies. You see, I hosted my sister’s bridal shower in my backyard a few weeks ago. I went all Pinterest crazy on it and create a lot of neat, personal touches for her. She is the only sister I have and her wedding is a pretty big deal.
I found a few different versions of a personalized photo banner and decided to combine them for this event. My sister’s favorite song is Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Our Mom used to sing it to her before bed when she was a little girl. I had several copies of it printed, pictures printed and purchased some paper doilies on sale at Hobby Lobby.
I asked my Mom to come over the night before so we could get it started. I had purchased some muslin from Hobby Lobby (with a coupon – my sister would be proud!). I had an 8 foot table and the table was 30” high. I wanted it to hang pretty far off the table to where it was actually draping the ground.
What you need for this DIY photo table runner:
4 ½ yards of fabric in about a 5” wide strip (if you don’t want yours to be as long as mine then you can take off some length).
50-70 pictures, all different sizes
15 pages of sheet music
15-20 paper doilies, all different sizes
hot glue gun\
Here’s how you do it:
Lay out your fabric on a table. Start gluing your pictures, sheet music and doilies randomly. Keep in mind the direction of the pictures. More than likely the runner will be in the middle of the table with people sitting on both sides. You want to try to get the pictures to be facing the correct direction so someone or words aren’t upside down. Keep gluing until you have all of the muslin covered. I went over the runner one more time gluing smaller pictures and doilies to add more of an interest.
It’s a pretty simple DIY project that really adds some personal touches to the table. I think overall I spent about $35 on the entire project. I ordered the prints from Walmart.com with a coupon and had them shipped to my home for an even cheaper cost. I would recommend doing that if you have several weeks before the party.
J and I have been in our rental home for about 7 months now. We signed a pretty long lease, so we still have one year and two months left here. We aren’t crazy about where we live. The neighborhood is great and it’s close to highways, but it’s just not the ideal home. Our yard isn’t fenced in and with 2 dogs it isn’t very fun letting them out. The walls are stark white and haven’t been painted in a while by the looks of it. Plus there are like a million stairs, but that’s actually a good thing for us.
I am no longer going to focus on the not-so-great parts of where we live. I’m setting some goals to work towards the next few months so our final year feels more like home.
Here go – the expectations.
1) design a gallery wall about the couch
2) hang fabric on the wall behind the TV and create a letter “R” gallery wall
3) stain the coffee table and side table
4) paint the DVD stand
5) create a calming desk space
6) rearrange furniture in the guest room
7) slipcovers for the couch and futon
Simple DIY projects. I’m pretty excited and have been planning what I want it to look like. Now just to pick one project and do it.
I’m thinking the one that will make the most difference…. I’m going to pick out some fabric and hang it on the wall behind the TV. Let’s do this thing!
I love a good gallery wall, they are eclectic and a good way to express my personality. Which obviously consists of a whole lot of mis-match items that when combined create something beautiful.
Now that we are FINALLY in our new place and most of the boxes are unpacked, it was time to hang some pictures. I promised J that I would keep his beloved fish that was caught by grandpa and passed down the family. I needed items that can balance out the fish and make it look like it belongs on the wall. Not like I just stuck it in the corner, behind a door to say that I was good partner because it was on a wall.
Here are some tips for creating a gallery wall that is perfect:
1) find pictures that are unlike each other – either having different frame types, coloring, or are pictures of landscape, sculptures, and people.
2) lay your arrangement on the floor. Play with it and make sure you love it. It took me awhile to get it just right. A lot of frames came in and out of this arrangement.
3) get someone’s opinion. I asked J what he thought before putting one nail into the wall. Not that he actually cared what it looks like, but it was nice to have that affirmation.
4) start nailing it! We measured out the wall space to find the middle, then measured out the arrangement to find the midpoint. Match those two up and start hanging.
5) stand in awe of your awesome gallery wall.
A homemade oatmeal bath for dogs can soothe itchy, dry skin from allergies.
My poor pup, Maggie has been suffering from itchy skin for way too long. I even resorted to covering her skin with an old Halloween t-shirt so that she couldn’t scratch. How embarrassing for her! I could just imagine her at the dog park with another dog giving her a funny look like, “girl, don’t you know it ain’t halloween?” and then Maggie sheepishly going, “ya, my mom hates me for some reason.” Then all the other dogs would gather around her laughing.. I’m picturing Rudolph not being picked for any reindeer games here. Ya, I don’t know why I’m on a holiday theme today.
Anyway… That wasn’t going to happen. No dog was going to make fun of my Maggie!
I did research and found a homemade oatmeal bath that I could use the oats I bought for the Healthy Breakfast Bar Recipe. So to me that was win-win. I didn’t have to go buy anything.
All you need is 1 cup of oats (quick or regular) blended in a food processor or blender. Mix the oat powder in a luke warm bath.
I took a plastic cup and poured the mixture over Maggie for about 10-12 minutes.
That’s it. No rinsing. A simple homemade oatmeal bath.
I noticed an immediate difference; however, she was amazed by her smell for awhile. Maybe it was too close to food… I don’t know. Overall it worked and that’s all that matters.
Oh and just a fair warning this homemade oatmeal bath is a pain to clean up out of the tub if you don’t process the oats to a fine enough powder. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!
Need another use for the large oatmeal that you bought? I adapted a great, super easy recipe for an oatmeal breakfast bar.
How would you like a DIY repellent spray for your outdoor space?
J and I are determined to use our backyard to the fullest this summer. We love that it is fenced in, the patio is covered, and we especially love our new patio set. That’s the icing on the cake!
Last week I talked about repelling flies in our backyard here. J and I have worked on another home DIY treatment to rid our backyard of flies. A repellent spray for our patio furniture was what we were looking for.
3) White Vinegar
In a spray bottle you want to mix 1 part Vinegar with 2 parts Pine-sol and 2 parts Water. Spray this mixture onto the patio furniture. I could instantly see how this spray was working. And I liked it!
DIY Repellent Spray for Flies
Then I got a little carried away … I started spraying the siding of our house. It worked! One downfall of using this spray is the smell. It can be a bit overwhelming. Mainly smells like pine-sol, but that’s not a smell that I want lingering around for a long time.
But overall I love, love, love this repellent spray! I’m thinking that I will keep a bottle mixed and ready to go.
What products do you use around your home to repel flies?
Nothing better than adding a little bit of greenery around the back patio. J and I took a trip to the local nursery and found some plants to add to our yard.
First, lavender, which is probably some of my favorite. Then we added some mint. After some research we found that mint was great to repel insects because of the odor it puts off.
Of course these plants didn’t seem to be too time consuming for me. Both needs to be watered every other day and the plants crave sunshine, which we have ample amounts of.
Here’s what you need:
1) planters – I used one for each plant, a 12″ for lavender and 8″ for the mint. You want the mint to have more of a shallow pot because of their roots.
3) potting soil
The project took about 30 minutes to finish.
First, fill the bottom portion of each pot with gravel. This addition will help with drainage.
That’s it. Pretty simple and makes a great addition to any backyard. I can’t wait to keep adding plants and flowers to make our yard a little more homier.
Alright, I have two dogs and okay, my area rug in the family room started smelling a bit.
It happens when you have a puppy that is learning how to be house-broken. Not to mention this said puppy is absolutely terrified of people and has a problem holding it in when she gets scared. It’s hard to be upset about being scared, but I can be upset that my brand new, gorgeous rug was starting to smell.
Finally, after buying carpet cleaner after carpet cleaner I learned of this neat little trick that worked perfectly. So, I thought that I would pass it on to you.
What you’ll need:
1) The rug you want to clean
2) An area outside to layout the rug in the sunlight
3) Spray bottle
4) White Vinegar
First, you want to soak your rug with the hose. I like to use a good amount of water pressure to make sure to break up any dirt.
Second, spray down the rug with your vinegar solution (1 part vinegar and 3 parts water)
Third, let dry in the sun. I think the heat from the sun really helped get rid of the smell.
Voila! Easy, simple and completely doable. The rug is as good as knew and our house smells wonderful.
So, I might be just a little too giddy about my new adventure that I told you about the other day (here). If you are in need of some new paper goods, then check out my shop over on Etsy.
I was so excited that I took a screenshot of my listing in the search results for my undated planner/organizer.
Thanks for all the support!