Friday, July 31, 2015

Frugal Friday - Enlarging Small Wall Decor

Happy Frugal Friday, Islanders!


I took that photo during the set-up of a recent chalkboard-themed graduation party.  I  mentioned when I posted party pictures that the venue, my client's home, was beautiful and inspiring.  I loved how she hung those woven pieces (plates? baskets? platters?) on the wall.  I didn't realize it then but as I was working in the seaside guest room recently, I've subconsciously used my client's home as inspiration in my own.

If you follow on Instagram or recall yesterday's Wordless Wednesday post, you recognize this photo:


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Easy DIY Seaside Wall Decor

One of the photos in yesterday's Wordless Wednesday post was a sneak peek of a project I finished in less than 10 minutes for the seaside guest room.


I decided to DIY this artwork after seeing this piece (and others like it).


Would you believe that frame costs $40?  It's a 12" square and it's $40.  Beach decor is very popular.  Popular decor has its advantages (you can find it anywhere) but it also has its downfalls (priced ridiculously high because demand is high).  In the case of my seaside guest room, I don't have a budget.  I am trying to get it done and I am using what I have (junk in my stash or change in my purse - haha).

More Than a Decor Choice

When Hubbs and I took our first vacation, I wanted something to remember our trip to the beach.  We scoured beaches for shells and it wasn't until we took off our shoes and hiked behind a restaurant after dinner one evening that we found some.  Hubbs used his socks to hold the shells and I used my sandals to sift through the water in search of shells.  We found a sock full and hurried to the car barefoot so excited to have a piece of our romantic time to take back with us.  As we scurried to the car barefoot and giggling, I remember thinking we have to do this on every vacation... and we have.  I have socks and bags and jars of shells and rocks from our tropical vacations.  I love beaches and the West Indian in me feels connected to the island but, more importantly, I have memories on beaches I want to see and cherish.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

WW: A Beach Guest Room Update

Wordless Wednesday




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Monday, July 27, 2015

Maya Monday - Someone Before You


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Friday, July 24, 2015

A Frugal, Fabulous, Flashback Project

Happy frugal Friday, Islanders!

In March, I shared the craft table project (here).  Remember how we (Munch and I) painted it white?


I don't think I shared the paint project I finished the same day we painted the craft table.  Yep, we were crossing projects off the craft room list.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thrifty Thrills - Gold Finds

Howdy, Islanders!

Yesterday's Wordless Wednesday was a hint into my latest addiction.  I have a thing with metallic decor and, more specifically, GOLD decor.  Don't get me wrong, I love all metallics but gold makes my heart sing!


That beautiful sconce caught my eye at The Village thrift store a few weeks ago.  I tried to leave it but when I picked it up and those tassels dangled down, I 'bout passed out.  It was heavy so I know it's of a nice quality and it's so unique I put it in the cart.


For a few minutes, I actually debated whether to purchase but the $4.90 price tag wasn't nearly as high as I knew it could've been.  It sat on Munch's floor for weeks and finally, earlier this week, I hung it in her room entrance.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

WW: Good As Gold for $5 or Less

Wordless Wednesday







Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Perfect Potatoes

I promised awhile back that I would share some  easy weeknight recipes.  Today, as promised, I'm sharing an awesome side dish.  It is perfect for a steak dinner or a healthy turkey burger or a comfort breakfast or a chicken salad sandwich; it's perfect for any laid back summer (fall or winter or spring or any frikkin' time of the year) meal.

Perfect Potato Wedges

Supplies
- Red Potatoes
- Olive Oil
- Pam non-stick spray
- Knife
- Cookie Sheet
- Black Pepper
- Seasoning ( I used Adobo con sazon but seasoned salt would work just as well)


Step-By-Steps

1.  Rinse potatoes until all dirt is removed and cut off any roots that may have sprouted.

2.  Slice potato in twelfths (in half, then in half again, then each quarter piece into thirds).

3.  Spray the cookie sheet with Pam

4.  Place the potato wedges on the cookie sheet with the skin down.

5.  Drizzle with olive oil and seasonings.

6.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.


I removed them and they were perfectly browned and lifted easily from the cookie sheet; I was super excited!


Monday, July 20, 2015

Maya Mondays - A Hero



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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Snapshot Saturday - VBS Video Summary

Today, I'm recovering from our busy week of Vacation Bible School fun.  I've compiled a few images from the week into a quick video and they, along with the background music, summarize the week!

Enjoy!
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Frugal Friday: Pottery Barn Knock-Off Lamp

Howdy, Islanders!

With all the Paris party talk yesterday, I was reminded of the recent lamp update I just finished for a few dollars.


Can you believe this is the first DIY project for Munch's big girl room update?  I love how it turned out!  Before we get to the tutorial, check out the inspiration:


I love how awesome these little lamps are AND I love how their design screams feminine yet also appeals to a sophisticated taste.  Here's how to create one of your own.

I took a lamp purchased at Goodwill for $1.99 two years ago.  Oh, come on.  You know the lamp.


Can you see it in the right of the photo?  It was a dusty rose color with an Ikea lampshade to which I attached a ribbon trim.  I purchased the lampshade from Ikea for $1 in the clearance section.


I like the embroidery but I always felt it was a little off balance... like the shade was too small for the lamp (it didn't even cover the on/of switch).  I had flowers left from a recent client's bouquet (she bought them online) and also used several types of pink flowers from my thrift store flower loot.  For this project, it's best to use flowers in the same color family (all white, all red, etc.).

Pull the flower heads from the stems like so:



I used wire cutters to trim that little piece on the back.  I wanted the flowers to sit flush on the shade.  Once they're cut, glue the flowers around the shade.  I used white hydrangea pieces to fill in the gaps.



It looked great and I was all done in about 15 minutes!  Oh, and remember the base of the lamp?


I found some gold spray paint I had on hand and, after a quick wipe, it was ready for paint.  While the paint dried in the garage, I was bubbling with excitement; I could feel this was going to be awesome!  I could hardly wait longer than 10 minutes before I snatched up the lamp, ran upstairs, attached the lampshade, and plugged it in.


There were singing angels and it was amazing!  The perfect ambient glow!  Plus, beside the Eiffel Tower (it's a photo holder!), the lamp screams tres chic.  With it on and glowing, I stood there in awe of the lamp's awesomeness, I called for the man and child to join me and, well, I snapped *50* photos!


Did I mention I got a $55 Paris-inspired clock sold at Michael's from The Village thrift store for $7.90?  Well, I did and it hangs above her dresser. You can totally see it in the photo above.


Islanders, there is something about a fabulous first project crossed off my list that makes me feel motivated to do MORE! 

Stay tuned!

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Spa-La-La Update

I made some progress recently as it relates to Munch's 9th birthday party plans.

On the decor front, I've made a few purchases over the months and wanted to share them with my party plannin' accountability partners.  While scrolling a Facebook yard sale page (one of my new fave pastimes), I noticed a bride was selling her aisle arrangements and, islanders, they were beautiful! You guessed it! I bought them for $10!!!


Ostrich feathers are really expensive so I know I got an awesome deal.  I plan to either tie them to chairs like so:


...or to use them to create two centerpieces like this:


Aren't they fabulous?! I also found two adorable white umbrellas at the thrift store.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

WW: Spa-La-La Party Update





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VBS Success!

This year, my church hosted its first Vacation Bible School (VBS).  It started yesterday (7/13/2015) and is off to an AMAZING start!


From their arrival until their departure, the children in attendance have a schedule that's jam-packed with fun!  As a matter of fact, I shared a video on my instagram page of the surprise dance party at the end of evening one.  They ran to the floor like it was the Electric Slide (oops! Did I show my age?  Whatever.  That was *totally* the dance to run for back in my day).  Wanna see the fun?  Check it out:


I've spent the hours since that moment practicing with any kid I can find; I need to be ready for the next flash dance mob!!



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Monday, July 13, 2015

Maya Monday - Wonderful Day



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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Summer Happenin's - Summer School

Howdy, Islanders!

Our summer is off to a fantastic start.  My mom-in-law, Judy, came to visit for the holiday weekend and we had a blast sharing our fun weekend with her.  We visited my bro-in-law's new fancy apartment in the city and helped him settle in with lots of housewares.  We laughed, we shopped... because, well, what visit with Judy would be complete without a shopping trip?


In yesterday's Wordless Wednesday (WW) post, I shared photos of Munch in one of the store parking lots from this weekend's shopping trip:


 Seeing her tote that doll around still makes me giggle to myself.  She's such a little mama.  I shared the other photos from over the years because it seems she has ALWAYS had a doll on her hip, lol.


The other images in the WW post remind me just how much she's grown and yet how young and innocent she still is.  I don't want her to lose that innocence. Don't get me wrong, her sassy-pants are growing.  No, seriously, this pre-pre-teen life ain't easy-haha!


Anyhoo, Munch has had a great summer with her Grandma Lisa and Pop-Pop so far.  Her days have been filled with movie dates, manis and 'big girl' pedis, shopping and more!  This summer, Munch is also enrolled in summer school.

WHOAH! I just shared that.

I was once super embarrassed about the out-of-cycle instruction.  I thought summer school was for the kids parents who were failing.  As a child, I remember seeing kids get off of school buses during summer vacation and thinking, "oooh, they must be BAD kids!"  I guess that childhood prejudice has stuck with me but shifted from the kids to the parents.  Shame on me for that!

Munch LOVES summer school.  She's in a bridge program that covers third grade concepts taught by a fourth grade teacher.  This teacher also introduces fourth grade topics.  The best part of summer school is that there is zero pressure for the students and teachers!  Who thought learning could be fun?  Who thought learning could allow for creativity?  Who is playing games and writing funny stories and, all the while, developing math and grammar mastery?

Everything I disliked about Munch's typical learning environment is what makes summer school unique.  Teachers are able to do what they're called to do, teach.  No lectures or standardized tests... no boring lessons or mass-produced lesson plans... just 3.5 hours of solid instruction... smaller classes and bigger possibilities.  Munch comes home excited to tell us about her day and we are excited to hear about it!

"Daddy, today, we played a game called 3 truths and a lie.  We had to write biographies and read them to our group and everyone had to guess what wasn't true.  I said I have a cat... and everyone believed me!!"

Hmm, nice touch, summer teacher lady.  Nice touch.

When the recommendation for summer school was presented, I immediately pushed for improvement thinking that would help avoid dreaded summer school (after all, in my mind, it was only for failing kids/parents and she was FAR from failing).  Then, with her vision issues identified late May and the extent of her prescription, summer school became increasingly more appealing.  I'm so glad we decided to enroll her in the program!

She's home in enough time to enjoy summer with her baby doll and even converted her bedroom reading nook into a doll nursery.


My craft room trash can became the bedside table, her magazine holder became the baby's bed, the crib quilt became a rug and she even recycled some old party decor to be wall and room accessories.

Summer school allows me to rest easy knowing she is challenged academically and allows Munch to enjoy her time when she comes home to do, well, whatever little mama wants!  She reads to us every evening and it's a lot less stressful for everyone!

Here's hoping you're having a productive and FUN summer too!

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

WW: Baby Doll Love Then & Now

Then:






Now:




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A Surprise Vow Renewal

For her birthday, Melina's mom was given tickets to a play.  The event was hosted in NJ and her daughter also included a promise of glam...

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