August 2, 2015

Inspired by You- Weekend Features #7

Welcome back to another Weekend Features inspired by bloggers. Happy Sunday and Happy long weekend if you happen to be in Canada. Those good at sneaking in holidays when there isn't any to make long weekends in the summer.

This summer seems to be flying by! Aiden turned 3 on Monday and Liam turned 4 the week before that. We celebrated with a small party some Minion cupcakes and I'll be sharing that post next week.

Last week I shared 10 staycation ideas after our vacation plans fell through a few weeks ago. We had lots of fun coming up with budget friendly ideas to do during the week.

And I got a set of Ikea Rast dressers painted up for a client who just had a baby boy. She loved the orange and grey combination. I like it so much that I'm thinking of doing an orange dresser for our new playroom.

And now it's time to check out our bloggers of the week!

I'm hungry so let's get right to this delicious looking One Pan Chicken Caprese from Mindi at Moms Need to Know! Yes, we do need to know.

Moms Need to Know

And as a great side or dessert, Aubrey at Real Housemoms shared an easy and delicious recipe for Tropical Bruschetta.

Real Housemoms

Briana at Bargain Briana made this adorable Minion supply holder. This might find a place in our new playroom.

Bargain Briana

Samantha over at Little Bits of Home added some planking and a new mirror for a mantel makeover. Such pretty colors!

Little Bits of Home

Jamie at Totally The Bomb (Don't you love that name?) whipped up a tasty looking Drunkin' Watermelon Cocktail.

Totally The Bomb

Love these arrow pillow covers from Ashley over at Simply Designing!

Simply Designing

Glazed what? Oh. Glazed Croissants! Yes, please! Kudos to Melissa and Tiffany from Home Grown Families for taking the croissant to a whole new level.

Home Grown Families

Karen from Karen's Up on The Hill sprayed painted an old lamp and made it look absolutely modern and fresh. Love spray painting lamps!

Karen's Up On The Hill

Doreen at Altered Artworks repurposed a desk into a beverage station with some chalk paint. What a great idea!

Altered Artworks

And finally, I'm loving this gorgeous chair makeover from Karen Marie at Dragonfly and Lily Pads.

Dragonfly and Lily Pads

Take a few moments to visit these bloggers and their projects.

Are you interested in having your project featured on our weekend round up? I'm particularly interested in new bloggers and helping you get your work seen. Contact me here or on Facebook and let me know what you've been up to.

Sharing this great bloggers here and over at Serenity NowFinding Silver Pennies, Home Stories A to Z,  Cedarhill FarmhouseFluster BusterCoastal Charm, Bloom DesignsFrom My Front Porch to YoursPieced Pastimes, Tabler for Two, A Life In Balance, and Savvy Southern Style.

July 30, 2015

Ikea Rast Makeover

A few weeks ago I picked up these two Ikea Rasts from Craigslist seller and brought them home. This was the picture listed by the seller. I was charmed but I should have been suspicious of the blurry photos.

They looked adorable in the pictures and I had intended to use them in my room to replace the night tables that I sent down to Alabama (long story lol).

Except they were awful. The sweet girl that sold them told me they were the first pieces she'd ever painted and she had used gold craft paint and regular white latex. Primer? What's that? Which is probably why they had crackled and peeled in places.

She also really loved cats. Like there were at least 4 of them in her small apartment. The dressers were clean but even after cleaning and sanding there was always this mysterious cat fur that kept popping up to stick to my brushes. Yuk.

The good news is a client contacted me the very next day asking if I had a pair of small dressers for a little boy's nursery. Why yes I do! Perfect.

Because my garage was full and it was raining (for 6 weeks in a row), I took these fellows to the basement for sanding and priming.

The client who had asked about these babies requested that they be painted orange to match her orange and blue nursery. Which is pretty awesome since I have a ton of orange paint sitting here since our last orange dresser makeover.

Even with the sanding and priming they were still pretty rough in spots.

And just like our last orange piece, these took five coats to cover the primer. This is after 2 coats.

Since these dressers were for a little boy's room, I took the crystal knobs off and saved them for a future project. I found these little brass knobs at Habitat for Humanity for 50 cents each.

I washed and dried them up and took them outside for some quick spray painting. Except it didn't go that quickly at all. At first it was so humid that the primer wouldn't dry. I brought them back inside and tried again a few days later. Except then it was so windy that they kept falling over or the plastic that they were sitting on kept flying up and sticking to the paint. I think it took 5 days to get these little knobs painted and dried.

So the dressers waited.

And waited. And waited some more.

Finally the knobs were dried and attached.

Orange and grey. Love.

Don't you just love orange and grey together?

Sharing this great bloggers here and over at Serenity NowFinding Silver Pennies, Home Stories A to Z,  Cedarhill FarmhouseFluster BusterCoastal Charm, Bloom DesignsFrom My Front Porch to YoursPieced Pastimes, Tabler for Two, A Life In Balance, and Savvy Southern Style.

July 28, 2015

10 Great Staycation Ideas For Families

Nothing makes me happier than going away, even if I've been there a hundred times. One time I went to Hawaii all by myself on four days notice. True story. I really love vacations. So when our vacation plans fell through a couple weeks ago, I was pretty bummed. Because I didn't want to completely give up on the "new and different", I figured I needed to challenge us to take a "staycation" that week instead which is something we've never done before.

I tried to plan our staycation the same way we normally had our vacations....intentional, relaxing, a few fun events, and time together as a family. I wanted to make sure we just didn't drift into lazing around the way we do when we have a couple of days at home with nowhere else to be.

In an effort to keep the vacation feel, I pulled together some fun and budget friendly ideas that can be tweaked to meet the needs of any family. Go bigger if you've got older kids or kids who thrive on new things. My guys have FASD which means one event per day max or they get completely overwhelmed and out of control for the rest of the day. Our version of the staycation plan was modest and simple but still fun. Stick to our version of you have little ones or kids with special needs.

1. Plan or Plant a Garden

We started our staycation with some gardening. I pulled weeds from the front bed (ok, the only garden bed) and they took turns throwing them in the composter. Once we had some space we spent sime time talking about different flowers and plant. From there we headed to the garden center to pick something of their very own. We decided before we got there (always make a plan!), that each fellow could pick 2 plants. Purple for Aiden (his favorite color) and pink for Liam. (I may have led him a little bit in that decision.)

We headed off to the nursery to find some flowers. The boys had a ball trying to use their walking feet, smelling all the flowers, and finally picking some plants to bring home. BONUS- There was some kind of charity hot dog stand on site that day. Lunch and an outing for the 3 of us came to around $20!

Once we got home, I dug holes and the boys took turn putting their plants in and watering. Occasionally they watered each other.

Bigger kids can be more involved with planning from drawing up a plan or even starting their own little gardens. Let them research different kinds of plants and help them draw and plan a garden bed.

2. Find Your Local Tourist Attractions


Most people rarely visit the tourist attractions in their own towns and cities. Staycations are a great opportunity to do just that. I had to use Trip Advisor to figure out what the tourist attractions are in our area. You know. Because we've only lived here for 12 years and all. I think I just made my own point.

We skipped the big stuff (too big, too loud, too much for my guys) and went to Clovermead Farms. I can't believe we've never been here before. The boys had a great time seeing all the animals, learning about bees (and even holding one!), tasting all the honeys, and playing in the play areas. I pumped them up by letting them watch Bee Movie before we went. We had such a great time that I'm tempted to buy a summer pass.


Hit up Trip Advisor and search out activities in your own area.

3. Visit a Local Farmers Market


Even if you grow some of your own food (I wish!), it's still fun to visit a farmer's market. We are blessed with an abundance of markets in this area. I took the boys to the on of the smaller farmers market in the middle of the week (less people) when strawberries were just coming to an end. We had a nice couple of hours buying a few things for dinner and talking about what we could make with all of the strawberries we bought. Which was a nice lead in to the next days adventure.

4. Chef For a Day

My boys are too young for a total day experience but we used the following day to get busy in the kitchen whipping up some strawberry recipes. We started with strawberry lemonade popsicles and moved on to make strawberry muffins. I probably should have stopped with the popsicles. If you look closely, you'll see they're starting to get manic and Aiden's popsicles are dribbling everywhere.

Sometimes I forget the "one thing a day" for FASD kids and wind up peeling the boys off of each other and the ceiling. I scrapped the rest of the cooking plans and turned them loose in the yard to run it off.

Older kids could use the time at the market to make menu plans for the next few days and come up with different ways to use all of the fresh in-season produce they've found. I know my kids are always a bit more adventurous with their willingness to try new foods if they had a hand in choosing and preparing the meal.

5.  Water Day

Florida 2015

Beach, river, water park, splash pad.... you get the idea. I had planned to take my guys to a local water park but their escalating behaviour the previous couple of days was a great clue that they wouldn't be able to cope. We filled the inflatable pool and dumped all the beach toys in and let them run wild. Bonus points if a boy can learn to pee standing up in the grass.

6. Go on a Picnic


We often have a picnic lunch when we're at the beach. My guys love it. And why not? It's not like they have to do anything but show up. Older kids can get involved with the prep and packing and even helping to choose the location.

My guys were on overload (yes, again) the day we decided to have a picnic dinner. We went ahead with the plan but moved the location to the back yard. I had a hunch that anything public would have involved me chasing kids all over the place. Sitting isn't their strong point.

7. Backyard Camping


I considered trying this with the boys but two things stopped us. I sold our tent earlier this year thinking we weren't going to use it with having the trailer and all. I did consider picking up a used one on Craigslist if the price was right but then I remembered that our yard slopes significantly and that wouldn't be ton of fun. But if you've got a tent and a relatively flat area in your yard, backyard camping is crazy fun. I did it as a kid and loved it! Get out the sleeping bags and flash lights and give it a shot.

8.  Local Festivals


Summer is a great time for festivals and events. There's a festival of some sort almost every weekend within a hour of where we leave all summer long. We took ourselves to Sunfest for a couple of hours one afternoon and had a grand time wandering our way through the booths. We're really looking forward to Ribfest next weekend, too.

9. Movie Night


We had more of a movie day, spending a rainy afternoon and early evening watching all things Shrek. That's what happens when you let a 3 year old pick the theme. I kid you not. Shrek, Shrek 2, Shrek 3, and Shrek Ever After. All in a row. I was lucky enough to spot some Shrek toys at the thrift store earlier in the week and that made our movie day complete. I'm pretty Shreked out to be honest and we totally blew the APA's recommendations around screen time but the boys loved it. We made "movie food" with some popcorn and other finger foods and skipped dinner completely. I loved having an excuse to do nothing but lounge on the sofa that day and I really appreciated that there was no after dinner clean up.

If the kids are older or not so close in age, let them each pick a movie and have it after dark. Bring in the props like tickets, popcorn boxes, and comfy seating with lots of pillows and blankets. Or go all out with a projector and an outdoor movie night.


10. Spend a Night at a Hotel

Find an inexpensive hotel in town and check in for the day. Make sure there's a pool and a hot tub and the kids will have a blast.

Western Lamplighter

Eat in a nearby restaurant or order in room service. Bonus points if there's a free breakfast. In many places you can check out and still use the amenities until you're ready to go home. We actually did this with my girls years ago. The hotel staff were terrific about letting us stay around for a few hours after check out because we were locals.

Have you had a staycation? What sort of things did you get up to?

Sharing this great bloggers here and over at Serenity NowFinding Silver Pennies, Home Stories A to Z,  Cedarhill FarmhouseFluster BusterCoastal Charm, Bloom DesignsFrom My Front Porch to YoursPieced Pastimes, Tabler for Two, A Life In Balance, and Savvy Southern Style.

July 26, 2015

Inspired by You- Weekend Features #6

Hey, dolls! Welcome back to our weekend features. How was your week?

We had another busy week with social worker visits for the boys (they dumped their juice all over the floor 3 minutes before the workers arrived....that was awesome) and lots of sunshine and outdoor time.

I also managed to run into the inflatable kiddie pool with the lawnmower. In my attempt to look at the damage, I fell into the play house and damaged that as well. Apparently, I'm not only socially awkward but just regular awkward as well. And also blind since I don't know how I hit a giant blue pool in the first place.

Having said that, I went to Walmart this week to grab a new kiddie pool and I nearly cried to see the back to school stuff. Not that I have kids in school but what the ever loving heck? School doesn't start up here until after Labor Day. The upside is that the pool was half price.

We did make some homemade lemonade and five different variations which I shared earlier this week. The boys loved sampling all of our creations. Except the vodka version. That would just be wrong.

Enough about us. Time for our favorite posts of the week. Get comfy, visit these great bloggers, and make sure to Pin from the original source :)

Maybe we should take a minute to whip up this Blueberry Bourbon Smash from Lexi at Lexibites before we get started? She had me at Bourbon to be completely honest.

Y'all know I love me some outdoor spaces so I couldn't not share this Patio Makeover from Dinah at DIY Inspired. So many amazing DIY projects in one space.

DIY Inspired

I have  a fondness for fairy tales so when I saw these cute wood fairy tale signs by LZ at the Summery Umbrella, I had to share.

The Summery Umbrella

Mmmm....who loves a shrimp boil? Me and everyone else I know! Courtney at Sweet C's Designs shared her quick and easy recipe for such feast.

Sweet C's Designs

Speaking of food. Pot roast. Totally a favorite of ours and I loved this Italian Pot Roast Recipe I found this week from Sara at A Flavor Journal. Plus she told me to pour a glass of wine after dinner comes together to celebrate. Indeed.

A Flavor Journal

Who knew you could paint a purse? Oh. Amee at Love Laughter Forever After knew.

I have no idea who Shaun the Sheep is but I want to eat all of these adorable sheep marshmallows from Brett at This Mama Loves.

This Mama Loves

Stacie at Simply Stacie shared her great idea for Smores Pizza. Yummy!

Simply Stacie

Sherry at The Savvy Apron shared her thrift store end table transformation. You should see how it started won't believe it was the same table.

The Savvy Apron

Another great furniture makeover from Amber at Averie Lane. Love the navy and the natural stain together.

Averie Lane

Pretty awesome stuff, no?

Are you interested in having your project featured on our weekend round up?  Email me or like us on Facebook and shoot me a message to let me know what you've been up to. 

Have an great week, folks!

Sharing this great bloggers here and over at Serenity NowFinding Silver Pennies, Home Stories A to Z,  Cedarhill FarmhouseFluster BusterCoastal Charm, Bloom DesignsFrom My Front Porch to YoursPieced Pastimes, Tabler for Two, A Life In Balance, and Savvy Southern Style.