Trying not to apologize

cleaning-clip-art-a687634f87d355499999480e94fb805dI volunteered to host a first-time meet-up of several ladies (and their kids) for a new book club. We “met” over a local Facebook group. We were interested in starting a book club, so we coordinated our first meeting – at my house. At my house, tomorrow (don’t worry, it wasn’t last minute).

Today I spent several hours and four magic erasers trying to clean the grout in my old tile floor. My toddler has decided to move all of his toys from his room to the living room, but other than that, my house is pretty clean. Just don’t look at my blinds.

I don’t know much about these 5 women. I know they are mothers and live around here, but that is about it. And I know, that as they walk in the door, pulling or carrying their little ones in with them, I will have the strong urge to apologize.

I will feel the need to apologize that my house isn’t big enough. Or clean enough. Or new enough. Or that my carpet is lame, or that I don’t have the most comfortable couch. Or perhaps, I will want to apologize that we don’t have a separate playroom for the little ones.

But I will not apologize. It may be hard for me to keep my mouth shout and not utter “I’m sorry,” but I will succeed. I won’t even apologize for the blob of wall paint my brother got on the ceiling that we still haven’t fixed.

Why should I feel self-conscious that my home isn’t a new house, in pristine-condition, full of expensive things? I shouldn’t!

I really don’t need to apologize for not having the best house. I don’t need to apologize that my house isn’t sparkling white. I’m not perfect, my house isn’t perfect, but it’s our home.

My home is full of love, laughter, and fun (well, most of the time). My home is full of good memories and in the three short years we have lived here, we have done much to make it our own.

So I won’t apologize that my home isn’t straight out of a magazine. I won’t cheapen our home or feel ashamed. I won’t show you or my children that we need more to be happy, because we don’t.

And if you open your home for us to socialize and share and connect, don’t apologize to me, either.

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Labor Day deals

Lots of sales going on this weekend, especially from our Affiliates. Why Affiliates? I have hand-picked several companies that I enjoy and shop at to promote, and in turn, if you purchase something because of the link I shared, they share a small amount (usually about 2-5%) of that amount with me. It helps keep this blog up and running. My first priority is not to blog about Affiliates every day, but here and there when appropriate. So if you were planning on purchasing something from one of these businesses, then I appreciate you going there because of a link I shared 😉

 
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Coolest fish tank ever

Have you seen this? It’s called the AquaFarm

aquafarm

The AquaFarm is a self-cleaning fish tank that grows food! Grow organic produce like basil, lettuce and wheatgrass right from the comfort of your own kitchen or classroom. This closed-loop ecosystem uses the fish-waste to naturally fertilize the plants above and in turn, the plants clean the water for your pet fish.

• Self-cleaning fish tank that grows food. Fish waste feeds the plants. Plants clean the water.

• Includes everything you need to get started as well as organic seeds and a discount coupon for a Betta fish (Fish not included in kit).

• Sleek and attractive design with 3-gallon capacity.

• Perfect for your kitchen or classroom. Also makes a great gift.

• Designed and manufactured in California.

How awesome! I think this would be the perfect gift for someone who has everything, or for the small child who wants a pet but who isn’t quite ready for the responsibility of feeding a fish every day. I seriously think I may get this for my dad and step-mom, who are the hardest to shop for, ever!

Thrift-shop terrarium centerpiece

terrarium

Last week, for the first time, I ventured into a thrift-shop that was literally around the block from my house. I’m not sure why it took my so long to go inside, but I was pleasantly surprised and took home an armful of puzzles, a vintage top, an awesome purse, and a bag of Mega Blocks. I also found out that on Tuesdays, everything is 50% off! This week I went in there and bout a vase, a glass bowl, a crystal tea cup, a wicker platter/basket, and some odds and ends. I knew exactly what I was going to do with the glassware – make a terrarium!

Terrariums have been a trendy DIY project for a while, but I hadn’t participated in it as of yet. Finally, with an abundance of baby succulents growing in my garden and a renewed interested in pinned terrariums, I decided to look into it a bit more and give it a go.

Directions and care instructions after the jump!

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Chalkboard clothespin card and photo holder

After getting some inspiration from the clothespin crafts I posted the other day, I decided to start on my own project.

I had already started making a chalkboard out of a pizza pan, so I decided to glue painted clothespins around it and attach a ribbon. It matches my home decor so that I can use it all year long!

chalkboard clothespin card holder

Supplies
Pizza pan or other serving tray
Paint
Chalkboard paint (or make your own)
Paint brush
Clothespins
Industrial-strength all-purpose glue or hot glue
Ribbon

Directions
Paint your pan or tray
Paint your clothespins
When all is dry, glue clothespins to tray so that that open outwards; you may have to glue a couple at a time

chalkboard how to
Secure a bow/ribbon to the back (I used hot glue)
Write a message in chalk and hang up!

10 Days Until Christmas!

Easy hanging pictures

I guess I am lazy, but I find it a pain to change out pictures in frames, especially when they are hanging on the wall. Solution? Hang the picture on the outside of the frame! You can easily change out pictures of several different sizes and you can change out the backdrop paper as well.

22 days

I bought the frames from a dollar store and the clips came in a 3 pack from Target. I also used spray paint on the clips.

Supplies:

  • Frames
  • Clips
  • All purpose, industrial-strength glue
  • Spray paint (optional)
  • Colored paper (optional)

clip picture frames

picture frames finished

That’s it! Now you can change out your hanging pictures without taking your frames down!

Christmas crafts with clothespins

December is here and my house has already begun to celebrate Christmas. I have my mantel decorated and a small tree up and my husband has hung lights, I just have a Christmas tree left to get. This is our first year in a house and I want a real one, like all the years of my childhood! Luckily my husband is willing to indulge me!

The holidays to me are full of crafts and new recipes, family and friends, and special church services. So let the countdown begin!

The other day I found a couple packs of clothespins in the garage and wanted to do something Christmas-ey with them. There are a TON of crafts to do with clothespins. There are a million animals, people, and little critters do make with clothespins, but I was looking for holiday decorations that maybe double as organization as well. I found a few things that seem promising:

Links and tutorials after the jump

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7 Different ways to create your own photo canvas

DIY canvas photos are quite popular right now. There are lots of tutorials online ranging from really easy, to a bit more difficult. I’ve compiled a list of the most common tutorials so that you can give it a try! Whether you are trying to save money, make memorable gifts, do something heartfelt, or fill your empty walls, this is a great project!

Canvas packs at Michaels are $19.99 for TEN 8×10’s! They also go on sale for 40-50% off. Thats $1-2 for each canvas. Printing at Costco is also very inexpensive. Below is a price list, but 8×10’s are only $1.49.

Below are several different tutorials on how to make your own canvas pictures. I’m sure you can find one that suits your needs!

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Nursery sneak-peak: Refinished furniture

The nursery is just about all completed. I need to put some pictures in frames, but I didn’t want to do the big reveal until I got some sweet baby pictures in them. But I will share with you some of the projects!

We decided to try and find a long dresser to use as a changing table and when looking on Craigslist was a bust, I made plans to hit some yard sales. Marc had never, ever, even once, been to a yard sale! We use to go quite often when we were children, but I hadn’t gone in some time. Luckily for my husband, the first yard sale we hit was a success! We brought home a dresser AND a nightstand for $30!

I sanded, primed, and used a sample size jar of paint to do the night stand. I am stashing all my breast-feeding supplies and burp cloths there since it is near the glider. Remember when I repainted the glider and said how great those sample sizes of paint were? Well, the size and cost is awesome, but the paint quality is not. I realized this after I painted the dresser. I bought a quart of satin paint for the dresser and the difference was HUGE. I didn’t even sand most of the dresser, just primed it, and it only needed one full coat of paint and some touch ups. All the other pieces of furniture I did with the sample paints had about 3 coats and still needed touch ups.

I really wish I would have taken a real “before” picture of the dresser. The old drawers only give you a snapshot. I LOVE how the dresser turned out! The blue was so lovely to work with and so pretty! I bought some regular knobs at Wal-mart and I just love how the dresser turned out.

We saved  lots of money by going this route as well:

  • Nighstand: $10
  • Dresser: $20
  • Primer: $9 (and used for other projects)
  • Sample of orange paint: $3
  • Quart of blue paint: $16
  • 12 knobs: $14

For less than $100 we have two pieces of furniture! You can’t even buy a dresser for that much, and sometimes you can’t even find a night stand for less than $100!

We are in our new house + Master bedroom redo on a budget

We have officially slept a week in our new house! Surprisingly, we are pretty much all unpacked (the craft boxes will await until another day) and just about all situated. I have curtains to finish and a few more things to hang on the wall, but that’s it.

I’m so thankful to have such awesome family – they painted, cleaned, moved, and helped unpack, so that we could have everything ready for when the baby decides to get here.

Marc indulged me with the ever-so-popular wall stripes and yellow, gray, and black bedroom motif. I love our new master bedroom!

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