Ever since we moved in, I have been working daily in the house, just working away, and every time people come over, I clean and clean to give them the grand tour, but one door always stays shut once they come- the master bedroom. It should be your sanctuary, your place to relax and un-wind, right? Not mine. Not yet, at least. I’d be embarrassed to show you a picture of my bedroom on a daily basis since we moved in. It’s where I throw all the laundry and extra junk when people come over, the laundry never gets all the way put away, and it has gotten no work since we moved in- we don’t even have closet doors! Now that I’m trying up work in some of the other parts of the house, I’m gathering inspiration and turning my attention to our bedroom. If you saw my Nashville Farmhouse Kitchen Inspiration, you know the vibe I’m going for- laid back farmhouse, bright whites accented with warm woods and lots of cool, country-music influences. Here is my inspiration board I came up with, all the sources are at the bottom!
I think a room with all of those elements would be perfection. Now to start I just need to be able to choose a paint color. Help! Yall know this is where I get hung up everytime! Leave me your suggestions in the comments!!!
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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BlockPartyHero #CollectiveBias
Can we officially say it’s summer yet? I don’t remember when the bonafide “first day of summer” is but once we start celebrating all the patriotic holidays and the temperature is above 95, I think it’s safe to say hello summer! One of my favorite things about summer is all of the outdoor parties and celebrations we get to go to. I thought it would be fun to share ideas for an All-American block party. We live on an awesome street who has tons of families and the block parties are always fun (one family owns an inflatable slides/moon bounce business so that really amps it up!).
Red, white, and blue is a great color scheme for summer block parties. With Memorial Day and 4th of July kicking off the summer there are plenty of patriotic cups, plates, décor, etc at the stores. Even candy is made in those colors for the summer. Not only is it easy to find, most people already own a lot of things those colors so it makes it a breeze to find supplies you need without a run to the store. A lot of my décor were things that I already had around the house for decorating with. I used lots of patriotic flag pennants, red, white, and blue plates, and used some of the fun things for people to play with as décor too. Adding a few bottles of bubbles and some fun sunglasses to the food table added more color and interest to the food table as well as little signs, wheat bundles, and of course, flowers!
On the tables, I just used simple tablecloths and added a few cute red, white, and blue accents. Fresh flowers are a must-have for parties, which I surrounded with ceramic vases (also just a dollar!), lanterns, and lights. Simple yet cute! A great party hack is to use your tea light candle holders to put citronella candles in to ward off bugs!
See those stacking chairs? They were green and faded and dirty from fifteen years of use. My Mom was going to throw them away but they were in great shape structurally still so I took them, gave them a fresh coat of spray paint and now they’re like new!
The sunglasses were one of the biggest hits of the party; I bought them for a buck each and by the end of the evening everybody was wearing them and getting in the party mood and taking pictures.
It’s most likely that you’re block party is going to be outside and you want to make sure that there’s shade somewhere for people to relax and cool off. You can plan to have your party in a shady area, round up some pop-up canopys, or have it on someone on the streets shaded porch.
Now let’s talk food! Block party’s are fun because it’s a laid-back, fun atmosphere. One great thing to take to block parties, or any kid of party, is a light side dish. I made this super easy Quinoa and Pepper Pilaf using truRoots Quinoa and Swanson’s Chicken Broth. Here’s my step by step and you can find the exact recipe here.
First, chop up your vegetables and heat up a skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil.
Add the shallot and garlic, and cook for two minutes, then add the peppers and quinoa and cook for two minutes. TruRoots Quinoa is certified USDA organic, gluten free, and super easy to make so it’s great for a big party like this!
Next, stir in the chicken broth and bring it to a boil. The Swanson’s broth really brings out the flavors and makes the truRoots extra delicious. Reduce the heat to low, cover it, and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
Once it’s done, garnish it with parsley and you’re done! This pilaf can be served hot or cold; I served it cold since it was so hot outside! Delicious!
My Sister-In-Law (who recently became a US citizen, so she was loving this patriotic party) made the cutest fruit kabobs that looked like an American flag. She alternated using blueberries, strawberries, and large marshmallows and it came out both delicious and cute! I was so impressed and everyone loved it!
We also had delicious chips and salsa using Pace’s organic salsa, which is delicious by the way! It’s the same as their original salsa, just organic, and it comes it medium, so it’s got just the right amount of kick!-
Hot dogs wrapped in cute scrapbook paper make for a really cute entrée-
Corn on the cob-
And for dessert, patriotic cupcakes, candy to snack on, and ice cream sandwiches dipped in red, white, and blue sprinkles!
No All-American block party is complete without lots of lawn games. Adults love playing out door games just as much as kids do. I made up a game area with outdoor games for people to play with and set out a corn-hole board in the yard for a little fun competition. Having a place for all the fun outdoor toys makes it easy for people to find fun things to do and keeps the party going all evening!
I stocked the activity area with jump ropes, chalk, butterfly nets, binoculars, flags, bubbles, sparklers, pinwheels, games, wooden airplanes, and bags for corn hole.
Corn hole is a great outdoor game for adults. Croquet, lawn darts, and frisbees are fun outdoor games for block parties too. I like games that you can just pick up and play at any minute. I put footballs, big balls, and soccer balls out too.
As it got darker, we broke out the glow sticks and sparklers. Who doesn’t love sparklers?
Block parties are a super fun way to get to know your neighbors or spend time with friends and family and have a little summer fun. Sam’s Club is holding Summer Block party events in-club to help you get ideas and shop for your summer block party. Check with your local Sam’s Club to see when yours is, but until then you can gather ideas on their block party website! I got all my food supplies at my local Sam’s Club!
This post was sponsored by Baby’s Journey as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary merchandise to facilitate my review.
I didn’t really plan decorating the nursery when we moved in. I had lots of things here and there that had been in Sawyer’s nursery at our old house and a few things that I’d hung over the crib when we were staying with my parents. Ever since we moved in, the nursery has been set up for Ford to move into, but Rhett has been sleeping in there still. Now we’re trying to move Rhett in with Sawyer and put Ford in the nursery, so I finally cleaned out the corners and finished setting it up.
The cowboy painting is one of a pair that I found rolled up in one of my parents closets when I was looking for something. When I framed them I decided to leave the little drawings on the edges showing that the artist did. I love that he made little pencil sketches on each painting before numbering them.
I couldn’t find any curtains I liked for this room, until I came across the blue striped one above. It’s actually a shower curtain, but I loved the fringe detail. Rather than buy an ugly swag hook (I couldn’t find any I liked), I simply cut a foot or two of jute rope that I use to tie it back so the sun can flood the room. I got the Mexican blanket off of ebay that I originally planned on putting on the wall or using in the bed, but loved the way it looked on the floor, so it stayed there. The cabinet is another great passed-down piece from family. It was made by my great-great grandfather and used to be a gun cabinet in there home before someone added little shelves to make it a china hutch. Now it stores all Ford’s tiny little pants and shoes.
I have been so hesitant to move my little Ford into his own room. I love being able to look over and see him at night, and to have him close for getting up with during the night. Part of what pushed me to really get the room ready and feel confident moving him was getting a video monitor. We got the Baby’s Journey Smart Sync Video Monitor which is available at Babies “R” Us online and in-stores so I can see him even when I can’t look over and see him. It has great night vision and you can even take pictures of them with it. One of my favorite features is that I can connect it to my phone and check in on him anytime. I have a tendency to lose baby monitors, so being able to just use my phone is great. The Smart Sync monitor also has great features that can save Mombies like me whose brains forget things easily. You can keep track of when babies last feed was and on which side (I’m so bad at remembering!), when they took medicine, diaper changes, and how big they grow. Everyone says by your third kid you won’t be able to keep track of any of that kind of stuff, but being able to save it with just a few taps on the screen makes it much easier!
I repurposed a wall organizer for mail as a diaper and wipes holder on the changing table and the camera for the monitor fits perfectly with some succulents and cacti. The wall hanging was made from some driftwood I picked up on an evening walk after they emptied the lake in our town. I used different strings and twines to hang some feathers and treasures from.
The changing table in our nursery is my most prized piece of furniture. When I was pregnant with Sawyer, I would look at these beautiful baby nursery’s with gorgeous, expensive cribs and changing tables, and I found one that I loved so much, it was so me, and I would just leave the tab open on my computer all the time so I could look at it. I guess that was my form of nesting, online shopping haha. That changing table, however, and the beautiful crib that matched it were so far out of our price range, and Brandon kept insisting that he could make something similar himself. He had never made a piece of furniture in his life, but he had always wanted to, and I’d always wanted him to, so we priced it out and one Saturday he made it happen! Sure there were a few small mistakes on the way, but when he finished it, I was so in love and so proud of it. I love it so much more now than I ever would have loved the store-bought one. My favorite part is that it doesn’t look like a changing table and when we have no diapers to change we can take off the changing pad and use it as a piece of furniture.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #allfreeclear #CollectiveBias
Today, I’ve got another great DIY for kids to share with you. Yesterdays post was all about backyard water fun and today is all about getting dirty. My boys spend 99% of their time outside digging in dirt. No matter how many bikes, scooters, playgrounds we have, they love digging. Unfortunately for us, our house has this little pit of mud with no grass that they love, and it is right next to the road, and they really love it. It makes me so nervous and I sit there watching them like a hawk the entire time they play, and even then I’m nervous something will happen. We don’t live on a really busy road, but still. So instead of letting them dig a big hole in the middle of my yard, we decided to build them a box that can be there monster truck/construction vehicle play box. We made most of it from pallets, which is awesome because it can fit anyone’s budget. Keep reading for instructions!
We decided to fill it with rocks instead of dirt to try and keep them at least a little cleaner than they normally get (we considered sand but didn’t want the neighborhood cats using it as a litter box). I swear my kids have to change clothes ten times a day because they go get so muddy playing in that hole. We go through so much laundry detergent, but we’ve been using all® free clear detergent and at least it gets all the stains out and so they can play outside and get as muddy as they want without me worrying about their clothes every time. In high school, I started having sneezing fits constantly, and was able to trace it back to the laundry detergent I was using. I switched to all® free clear detergent and haven’t used another detergent since. It’s gentle enough for even my babies, strong enough for my messy toddlers, and doesn’t bother me. We pick it up in bulk when we go to Sam’s Club.
I buy it by the pallet. Just kidding, I wish that was my stockpile! I really am loyal to all® free clear detergent though.
12 boards off of pallets (You might need two pallets to get enough)
2X4’s (you can get these off the pallets as well, or buy them, we had some extras lying around)
Landscaping Timber (for the corners)
The first thing you want to do is choose the wood from your pallets and take it off the pallets. Look for wood that’s not broken, doesn’t have holes, etc. You can either pry the boards off of the pallet carefully so you don’t split them, or use a sawzall with a metal cutting blade on it to cut through the nails and free the boards. The latter is much easier, but you can do either one just fine. You’ll need 12 boards. If you pry them, take out the nails as well.
Next, you want to cut your landscaping timber (this will be your corner supports) and 2X4’s to be 12 inches long. We used landscaping timbers because they are only two dollars per eight foot board, but if you have 4X4’s lying around, or a pallet with really big support boards, that will work too.
Now you’re going to start building the box. Take one of your pallet boards and nail each end to one of your landscaping timbers. In the middle, nail a 2X4 for support. Be careful while you are nailing not to split the wood. Pallet wood splits easily. Once you have the three supports on the board, nail two more of the pallet 1X4’s on top of it, as you can see we’re doing in the pictures below. As you add the two top boards, make sure you’re boards are as close together as possible so that when you’re finished the rocks don’t fall between the cracks. You’ll notice you have a little bit of overhang, which is good. That’s where your supports will go into the ground a little. Make two of these.
Now you’re going to add a 1X4 pallet board to connect the two sides you just made, and start making it into a box. You’ll put two more on top just like you did on the other two sides, making sure to line up the boards so you still have that inch or so on your supports that will go into the ground. Repeat on the other side and you have your play box! If you ended up with any cracks or holes, you can use a wood filler or caulk to fill them in.
Now find the spot in your yard where you want your box to be, and use a shovel to even out the ground a little. Take a shovel and dig out just a couple inches where the edges of the box will be so that it will sit down into the ground a little, then you can put your box in, jump on it a few times to get it in the ground, and fill it with rocks! We used 12 bags of pea gravel, and then added in our kids favorite dump trucks and diggers.
They love it and have played in it tons, but of course they managed to find their way back to a mud hole. That’s what the laundry detergent is for, right?
Do you have any great ways for getting mud out of kids clothes? Or keeping them from getting muddy?? I’d love to hear it!
With all my blogging and photography work, I’ve been needing a space that I can keep my blog calendar, supplies, and just sit and stare at something pretty. Since all the rooms in our house are being used or are unfinished, I decided to maximize our under the stairs area and turn it into my little office space. The under-the-stairs area in our house is tiny and I had no idea what to use it for before, but I love it now! The best part was, it didn’t actually require any building or hard projects, just a little paint and some decorations!
When we moved in, it had that shelf in there that I took out and stained the darker color to match the hard wood floors upstairs. As we moved in, it became a place where I stacked all our pictures and art to go on the walls. When I move, I take a really long time getting things up on the walls. It’s not that I don’t feel like putting stuff up, I just like taking my time figuring out what would go perfect where. For example, I almost hung these shutters upstairs and if I had, I would never have considered putting them beneath the stairs. So, when I decided to start making this spot into my office, it looked like this-
A lot of junk, and this was after I had hung a bunch up already. There are no outlets in this area, and it is small and dark feeling, so I knew I wanted to lighten it up. The walls were a dark greige color that felt brown in that space. I had gotten a can of oops paint from Home Depot that looked light grey, so I started painting with that, but the color dried really brassy and dirty looking, so I starting dumping in leftover cans of white and light grey and just kept adding them in until it became a color I liked. Then I added back in the wooden shelves.
The shutters we got from a house the day before they demo-ed it. The fronts are black and originally I planned on spray painting them and putting them somewhere, but while I was spray painting them I flipped them over and really liked the natural aged wood color on the back, so I sanded most of the black (and green and red underneath) paint off the sides and put on a light coat of Minwax Finishing Paste to make them look just a little more polished and finished. Originally, I didn’t have the shutters up and had a pin-board instead. I had the shutters out moving them around and laid one against the wall here and it looked amazing. It was like Joanna Gaines was speaking to me through the universe haha I’m on the hunt for the perfect small wreaths to hang on top of the shutters.
I love this Katie Daisy print, I’ve had it for years and always have it somewhere. I picked up the mint clipboard, little lanterns, the calendar, letter holder, and string lights all in the One Spot Shop dollar section at the front of Target. The lights were perfect since there are no outlets in this space (yet) so I can turn them on for a little extra light other than what the hall light does. My new Loretta Lynn album has been sitting there while I decide if I’m ever going to open it or not. This is the first time a real LP of hers has come out in my lifetime and I’m cherishing it like the gem it is.
Our under the stair area went from being dark, awkward, and un-used to bright, cute, and a great place for me to be able to focus and use. I can even see as the kids get older it being a great place for them to color or do homework. At some point we might have an electrician come out and add an outlet too so I can plug in my laptop or printer or have a light and I might have Brandon build me a drawer or filing cabinet to make some storage space, but it’s amazing what a coat of paint and a little decorating can do! I might even just buy one of those battery operated chandeliers to add a little more cute light.
Check out the widget below for similar office decor to mine!
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