Wednesday, April 30, 2014

WW: How To Fold a Sheet

 
 
 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

DIY Carpet/Mattress Freshener

Yesterday, I shared some of my go-to products for our Spring (and everyday) cleaning.  I didn't share my all-time favorite product.  It is 100% all-natural, super cheap, doesn't have a smell (so it combines with other products perfectly) and has a multitude of uses.
 
BORAX
 
 
In our last apartment (before purchasing the townhome), we had HUGE water bugs.  They climbed through the old pipes in our bathroom and were seen on a number of occasions crawling slowly down our hallway; they were so large that they had a shadow.  A SHADOW!  I freaked out because, well, I don't do bugs *like* at all.  One of our older neighbors said to find Borax.  I researched and learned there were a number of household uses for it.  Per Ms. Pat's guidance, I dumped a teaspoon of Borax (sold in the detergent department) down our drains every other night with warm water and NEVER saw a water bug again.
 
I opened our windows and doors and sprinkled it in the track.  It prevented ants and seasonal bugs from entering our home.  I used it in a paste form (with water and lemon) and scrubbed our sinks... I became a HUGE fan of Borax.  It cleans really well and removes bugs, bacteria and stains!
 
One of my favorite cleaning recipes using Borax is for a carpet and mattress freshener.  I use this mix because it kills dust mites (along with other mites found in carpets and mattresses), it's super easy and it smells awesome!
 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Spring Cleaning: Go-To Products

Howdy, Islanders!
 
 Our Spring kitchen table décor.
 
We've decided to handle the bulk of our Spring cleaning ourselves and to purchase a deal for a maid service to outsource the things I hate (baseboards, fans, window sills, etc.).  While I work through the nooks and crannies, I realize that I've become a cleaning product junkie.
 
Product Junkie: a term used to describe a curly girl's addiction to finding the perfect hair product.  Earlier in my transition, I would purchase any product that guaranteed to minimize frizz, increase curl definition, retain moisture... basically, cure the worst of my hair and ONLY highlight the best of my locs :)
 
In this connotation, I've become addicted to cleaning products.  Over the years, I've purchased hardwood floor cleaners, bathroom cleaners, glass cleaners, etc.  I've learned some valuable lessons along the way AND this week, I'm talking about cleaning!
 
I'm sharing some of my go-to cleaning products, tips, home recipes and more!  I may not be an expert but I'm willing to share what works for me.  Let's get to it, shall we?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Family Room Update - Accent Wall

Happy Friday, Islanders!
 
I've been on work-related travel all this week.  I miss home when I'm away... I returned late Thursday night and I could DEFINITELY tell my fam missed me too :)
 
 
Hubbs bought the grill I've been telling him about and had dinner waiting for me. He did a massive amount of yard work including re-mulching the front lawn, blowing debris and cleaning gutters. He cleaned the garage and the house was still clean.  YO! I was pleasantly surprised, lol.  On TOP of doing a good job with Munch's hair and handling all of the after-school tasks (homework, studying, Reading and Math practice, cooking dinner, etc.), he took care of tasks on his delinquent honey-do list - can't be mad at that.  The man has kicked housework into gear; he's inspired me!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter Baskets 2014

Happy Wednesday, Islanders!
 
As promised, here are the Easter baskets I made this year.  The purpose of this post is to show my mommy, a faithful reader of the blog, just how far my basket skills have come.  I'm also hoping you guys will gain some ideas for Easter baskets (or gifts in general) in the future...  Here goes!
 
 

Easter Wrap-Up Part2

After an evening of shopping and a night of country dancing, I was all geared up for a busy Saturday full of last-minute errands.
 
Did I mention my last-minute house guests?  Shaqueda and her clan came to our place to spend the night before Easter.  My house was in the middle of Spring cleaning...  it wasn't my plan to have people over... I was planning to get laundry done... to clean out my silverware drawer... to go through our clothes and donate Munch's winter clothes that surely won't fit next year.
 
It was 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning and my whole house was up and cleaning.  The man was cleaning our bedroom and bathrooms, the kid was cleaning her room and guinea pig cage and I was on the main living deep cleaning the kitchen and folding laundry.  'Queda arrived mid-afternoon and guess what. 
 
She brought us a family Easter basket!
 
 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Wrap-Up Part1

Easter weekend was perfect. 

I announced my big plans to blog over the weekend but instead, I spent my time with framily (family, friends and fRamily).  Here's part one of the rundown...

Friday, I went Easter shopping with Tammy... we both had last minute shopping to get done and decided to make a friend date of it.  I admit that I didn't have a dress for Munch and I have this grudge against white stockings and we had a few Easter basket fillers to get and Tammy needed to finalize a few things too... it was just productive for us to hang and shop and eat and talk and laugh and... you know, do the things you realize you miss about someone who's known you most of your life.

We both were worn out but I had plans later that night.  I was off to celebrate my rustic bride's bachelorette.  Where, you ask?  Toby Keith's I Love This Bar.  It was a really nice bar. I arrived and everyone was sitting down.  You know, one of THESE nights:

Friday, April 18, 2014

Feeling Springy

We had a wintery mix on Monday and, despite the late spring weather, I was a little shocked by it.  A few days of sunshine made me forget the miserable winter we had this year ;) 

Anyhoo, it appears as though the land has resurrected despite Mother Nature's plans to keep it otherwise dormant.  Our greenery is popping up around the house :)


  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

TBT and Kids' Clothing deals!

Throwback Thursday
I know, we don't typically have posts like this BUT... I am still weirded out by how big my kid is.  It seems that, as excitement builds for each holiday, there's this knot in my throat that grows also... I feel like we just took family photos for Easter 2007.
Photo of a photo
Photo of a photo

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Munchface's 2014 Easter Basket

My mom is like the boss of gift baskets.  She's always asked to provide prize baskets for raffles and they're *like* over-the-top fab!  Her Easter baskets were no exception.  I got porcelain dolls, new sandals, Barbie dolls and more while my brothers got video games and swimming trunks, cars and movies... She NEVER bought those store-made baskets.  NEVER.  I remember walking into stores and always wanting the most expensive basket (you know with the doll AND the dress-up gear... with those cheap click-clack dress-up heels?).

"Mommy, pleeeeease?  It even has LIPSTICK and eye shadow..."

No lie, my mom would get all Easter-basket-snob and toss her nose in the air.  She'd announce that she would NEVER pay that much for a basket and go on and on about how those baskets fool you with that big ol' bunny but they're HOLLOW and she'd only buy solid bunnies and... Islanders, you'd be surprised how snooty Easter basket people can get... I didn't get it then but I do now.  She was a basket-makin' diva! 

As kids, we got gifts for our birthday, for Christmas and for Easter... It was like my parents strategically built anticipation for the holidays that mattered to our faith... Much like Christmas, we'd wake up early and rush to the living room to find amazing gifts... then, we got dressed in our new clothes and excitedly loaded into the car (with our baskets, of course).  On our way to church, Dad would explain the real meaning of the holiday but I could barely hear him over the choir of bubble gum smacking we made in the backseat.  Man, those were the days....

Mom always made baskets for more than just her kids - my friends, her family, our neighbors.  I loved watching people's faces light-up when we'd deliver them... how they'd revert to toddler-aged kids rummaging through their goodies.  Garden-themed baskets, Italian dinner-themed baskets, BBQ-themed baskets... man, I have some big basket-building shoes to fill. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easter Gifts 2014

Happy Easter Prep Week, Islanders!

That's right! I just made an entire week of prepping for one of the greatest times of the year :)

Here on the island, I've got a lot to do :) As usual, I have created a whole bunch of tasks to be completed before the holiday and I'm working to get them all done...  I know most people don't go all the way out but I really love Easter.  As a Christian, this is a major holiday for us so I enjoy spreading love and cheer to our friends and family.

I love giving gifts for birthdays and Christmas but I always feel pressure... like, if it's not a GREAT gift, it'll just get lost in the sauce.   If I take time to buy or make something, I hope recipients enjoy it.

For Easter, we've given thoughtful gifts to friends and family for years.
Bubbles for Munchface's class 2012

Bubble necklaces for Munchface's church friends 2012

Treats for co-workers, friends and family 2011

Chazzy's basket from us 2012

Hubbs' basket (Munch decorated) 2012

Monday, April 14, 2014

Bridal Shower Fun

Things are getting crazy around these parts in preparation for upcoming events. 

This weekend, however, was beautiful.  I was busy and tired and did plenty of running around.  I did, however, also take a moment to attend a lovely bridal shower for my Rustic Wedding bride (more on her event here). 

 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

SnapshotSaturdays-A Brave Soul & A Snake

Happy weekend!

Can I just say, I think Rocky the guinea pig is excited about her debut on the island.  Like, maybe she can feel her popularity boosting around the internet... All I know is, she's been excitedly running around her cage and, to put it in perspective, she probably THINKS she looks like this:


She is probably thinking this:



But really... she looks like this:

Friday, April 11, 2014

How To Convert a Dish to a Planter

Happy FINALLY-IT'S-HERE Friday, Islanders!
 
I've had some random moments of green thumb-ness here recently and I'm kinda trying to get back in my groove.  Remember the Earth Day project from Kindergarten (more here)?
 
 
 
Well, I admitted then that I was no pro... I think I over-watered and killed everything in that pot.  That's right. I killed a cactus with my bare hands.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Animal Friendly - A Pig and A Planter

Hey, Islanders!


Yesterday, I introduced Rocky.  I know you're probably wondering how long she'll last considering we got rid of our sweet little pissy puppy, Tico.


I've explained it before but I just wanted to clarify again.  It wasn't that I didn't like him or think he was absolutely adorable or that he was a bad dog... He just peed.  His little dime-sized bladder couldn't hold it for long and -- well, he peed.  A lot.  He had to go because we couldn't fit his potty breaks into our schedule.  Don't worry, he's in good hands with my parents.  He loves it down there!  He is a Jack Russell in training with the other boys and loves to catch frogs, jump in the pond, sling mud in the rain... he has no idea he is supposed to be a tiny lap dog... until he's indoors... covered in his mess of the day.  Yep, THAT'S when he wants to hug and kiss and play :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

WW: Meet Rocky, The Guinea Pig

Wordless Wednesdays
 
 
 
 
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Parenting: It Gets Real

I just gotta keep it real for a moment so, just go with me, ok?

Taken during a family breakfast a few Saturdays ago.


Listen, I think Munch is pretty awesome.  She's smart, she's artistic, she's witty, she's compassionate, she's funny, she's cool, she's basically jam-packed with awesome sauce.  I also have to admit that she can be bossy, sassy, grumpy in the mornings...  what?! I'm not supposed to say that? I mean, can we just be real for a second?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Rustic Wedding Update

Islanders, I've been working to shape and execute a rustic bride's wedding vision.  This client is near and dear to my heart.  Our moms are close... Like, really close.  Her mom is lovingly known as my mom's "light-skinned sister."


That's just little ol' me and my "light-skinned" auntie.
Anyhoo, shortly after her engagement, my bride reached out for wedding planning assistance.  She wanted to execute the rustic barn weddings we've seen all over blogland and Pinterest.  You know the ones:
 
 
She also informed me she was purchasing a home and wanted to keep control over her budget.  My first task? To find the perfect venue - a barn that is affordable and beautiful, rustic and chic.
 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Island Spring Cleaning!

Happy Friday, Islanders!

I'm so excited to share that I've been working with an awesome designer to perform some annual Spring cleaning around these parts.

I partnered with a brand spankin' new etsy shop, Dragon Flight Digital, to spruce up the place. 

Check out her shop!


I'm very happy with the changes but thought it's only fair that I tell you what we did.  I mean, this is OUR Island, right?!


1. Title fonts have changed for all posts.

2. All body text for posts now has a custom default font

I love the font!  It's classic and clean yet still fun.  I'm not going to say it reminds me of a certain fabulous person who resides on a certain fabulous blog island ;) but... well, I think I just did - HA!

3. For future posts, I've made it so readers can quickly scroll through posts or click the READ MORE button to view entire posts


O and, before I forget, she also updated my social media buttons to include my Google+ and Bloglovin links.

 
Want to stay connected with the island?  Be sure to follow using the links in those darling little bubbles!
 
All-in-all, I update my blog annually around this time of year.  I still love my overall blog design but recognize I need to offer fresh content in a fresh space.  These minor changes HOPEFULLY will make blogging a little easier on me (no more manually formatting text for this chick) and will make your visits a little easier on the eye.  Special thanks to Amanda for the awesome design updates; she's the bomb!
 
Now, am I the only one NOT getting the subscription emails?
 
UGH.  Not that problem again.
 
Just when I thought I cleaned up one "mess" another pops up!
 
I'll keep you posted on my findings!
 
HAPPY never-ending to-do list FRIDAY!




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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Minecraft Party Inspiration

During one of our weekly lunch dates, my co-worker and sister-friend, Melanie, asked for my services in support of her son's upcoming 8th birthday party.  Of course, I agreed and we set to planning.
 
Without hesitation, Melanie informed me that Aaron LOVES Minecraft.
 
Munch and her friends love to play the game also so I was familiar with it.  Wait, you haven't heard of it? Really?!
 
"Minecraft is a game about breaking and placing blocks. At first, people built structures to protect against nocturnal monsters but, as the game grew, players worked together to create wonderful, imaginative things" (Source).  
 
Like I said, I've seen the game but I needed to learn more about it... perform some hands-on research, if you will...  I downloaded the game onto my phone (the pocket edition costs $7?! WHAT?! Does Pop-Pop know he paid for this on the kid's iPod?! OMG, I 'bout passed out).  It was difficult to play (yes, I played it) and it's pixelated... as in box-y and... well, not my typical party.
 
 
I know what you're thinking and...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

WW: Unique Minecraft Party Invitations


WORDLESS WEDNESDAYS

 
 
 
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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Makeup for the Non-Makeup Me

Hey, Islanders!
 
I mentioned taking a break from the regularly scheduled crafty program to share more of my favorite things!  Well, today, I'm sharing my makeup routine... NOT because I'm a pro or because I do anything fancy but because I finally feel like I have something that works for me - an easy, quick, natural-looking makeup routine.
 
I'll talk about my cleansing routine and products that work for me in a separate post but today, I need a break from the party inspiration and I've been proud of my face here lately. So, here goes :)
 
I decided last year, per my Dirty30 bucket list, I would start to wear makeup. To Ulta, I went!
 
 
I was a total mess and at a total loss so I took my personal makeup guru, 'Queda.  She's one of those people who packs her airbrush machine in her overnight bag.  She is awesome with makeup and I knew she could translate my craziness into makeup speak, lol.
 

So This Happened: Straight Outta Fifth Grade

Howdy, Islanders! We spoke about a lot of the graduation details.  I mentioned one of her gift bags were filled with t-shirts. One of t...

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