Heirloom Recipe Wall

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I love old things. Whether it be old barn wood, old fabric, old furniture, old country music or even old people; I love all things old. China… who wants new china? Slap the word vintage on the front of it and I am all over it like white on rice. Yes, I’m one of THOSE people. Sorry not Sorry. Whats even better than just old things, are old things that used to belong to family members. JACKPOT.

I bring you our heirloom recipe wall!

From top to bottom:
Homemade Sign – Made from 100-year-old barn wood from my Aunt Kathy’s farm in Illinois; Myrkwood Farm. Hawaiian Sheet Cake – Top left; My husband’s late grandma Pat’s recipe in her handwriting. German Potato Salad  – Top right; My Nonnie’s recipe in her hand writing. If you haven’t had german potato salad it is WONDERFUL. Date Pin Wheels – Bottom left; My Nana’s famous date pinwheel  recipe. THE recipe she was known for, in her handwriting (always cursive because she thought that her print was ugly). Peanut Butter Cookies –  Bottom right; Also, Wes’s grandma Pat’s recipe in her handwriting.

I think its important to keep (and display) reminders of where you came from. Not only to honor those who impacted us so deeply and molded us into who we are… but also to remind us of the things and people who really matter in this busy world that we live in.

Till next time.

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Faux French Grain Sack Fabric

I’ve been obsessing over vintage grain sack fabric for a while now. It is the epitome of shabby chic farmhouse amazingness. Look at it… Just look at it!

AMAZEBALLS! I just want to stare at it! Apparently everyone is obsessed with grain sack fabric like I am because when looking to buy some online, the prices are quite hefty. Personally, my budget does not include any type of fabric that is anywhere from $17-$35 per yard. No Way. Sooooo, in true high cotton fashion, I figured out how to make some faux grain sack fabric! As they say, necessity is the mother of invention!

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Originally I was wanting to make some pillows out of the grain sack fabric… but then I got to thinking, HOW COOL would french grain sack curtains be!?! I needed new curtains for my kitchen anyways… bing, bang, boom – I had a plan.

<<< I always pinterest my ideas before I do them for inspiration

 

Let’s get started!

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Heres what you need:

  • (2) off white canvas curtain panels– I found mine at Old Time Pottery. If you’ve never been there you HAVE TO GO. It is the holy grail of all affordable home decor. BOTH panels together were $12.99. You cant beat that.
  • A Ruler– 24 inch works best so you don’t have to pick it up and move it.
  • Fabric paintThe Folk Art Multi-Surface Paint is really neat; glass, fabric, ceramic, it paints it all!
  • Paint brush
  • 1 inch Masking tape– The regular old masking tape works better than the painter’s tape for this project.

First, let me tell you, I had to seriously fight the urge to iron these curtains. Its in my genes to iron, everything. My great-grandmother, Nana, ironed everything… From the curtains, to the bedsheets, underwear and I even remember her ironing money every once in a while. For this project I decided to go against my deep seeded need to iron, and leave them wrinkly because wrinkly better fits the style I am going for.

Okay, now lets begin, measure out your pattern with the ruler. I marked where I wanted my tape on both sides and then just stretched the masking tape between the tick marks. Leave a little bit of tape overhang on both sides because having the curtain taped to the table while painting is very helpful.

My measurements from the bottom of the curtains were:
Tape 1: Between 7.5-8.5
Tape 2&3: Between 9.25-11.25
Tape 3&4: Between 14-16
Tape 5: Between 16.75-17.75

 

After everything is taped off and pressed down really well, paint messily between the tape. I didn’t make any of my paint even because I wanted it to look worn. Remove the tape once the paint is dry to the touch.

For my pattern I wanted 2 more small lines in the empty space. So, after the first lines were completely dry I taped down the second set of lines and painted them the same way. The first small lines are .75inches wide so I centered the second set of small lines and made them .75inches wide also.

Once the curtains are dry, repeat all of the same steps with your second panel.

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I don’t always re-decorate my kitchen, but when I do I pretend I am Joanna Gaines 🙂
#MostInterestingWomanInTheWorld #FarmhouseFabulous

PS> If you like my  “Homemade” recipe wall thats hanging next to my curtains… I wrote a post about it HERE

Valet Parking for Amateurs

For some people, valet parking is a normal occurrence. For others (I am included in this category), valet parking is a luxury that is rarely taken advantage of. Looking back, I can only remember one other time that my car has been valet parked – my wedding night, so you get the picture.

This past weekend I topped my previous valet parking record and valet parked TWICE, in one day. It was quite an experience. I had appointments at 2 hotels downtown to do updos for the Cotton Ball. (I am also a hair stylist, in case you were wondering)

For those of you that don’t know what a Cotton Ball is, I’ll tell you all that I know. From what I gathered in my time listening to conversations during my updo appointments, it is a debutante ball. The girls wear all white dresses (they HAVE to be white, not ivory) and white gloves – the whole shebang. There’s a queen each year, but I am not completely sure how she’s chosen. The girls are introduced, and then I heard something about doing the waltz… That’s all I know. It sounds like something that happens in movies – I’m picturing the scene in Princess diaries where Michael shows up to surprise Mia and they dance the night away. Who knows if my fantasy is correct.

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Anyways, back to my valet parking story.

Have you ever done something where you don’t want to look like you have no idea what you are doing… so you try to fake it… but really, you have no idea what you are doing? That’s me with valet parking. I pull up to the first hotel, and get into the line of cars next to the sign that says “Valet Parking”… Do I stay in my car?… Do I get out and hand someone my keys?… Do I get out and leave the car running?… I opted for sitting in my car for a minute, until I saw the valet guy awkwardly looking at me. Staying in the car was apparently not the right choice out of my options, so I grabbed my purse and my hair equipment bag and hopped out – leaving the car running. The second choice was better (Mental note: when valet parking, pull up and get out instead of sitting in the car looking like a loser…GOT IT!)

I went about my hairstyling business. 3 updos and 2 down styles later it was time to go back down to the dreaded Valet. Valet ticket in hand, I made my way down the elevator to the parking booth. I handed the guy my ticket and he started walking towards the parking garage. I figured while he was gone I would get caught up on my social media on my phone. Then I hear from across the roundabout, Ma’am… (of course I am not paying attention)… louder, Ma’am…. (still not paying attention) … now, almost yelling, Hello Ma’am… Finally I looked up and the valet guy is standing there with my car. How embarrassing. I apologized, tipped and left.

I am a TERRIBLE valet parker. I’m sure everyone around was looking at me going “she sure doesn’t do this often”. Exactly what I was trying to avoid.

My last appointment for the day was at another fancy hotel… with valet parking (oh boy). I pull up, get out (leaving the car running), get my ticket, and make my way into the elevator like a pro. YES! I finish my last updo, head back down to the valet. I hand the guy my keys and he’s off to get my car. I make sure to leave the social media alone this time around- so he wont have to be yelling at me from across the drive like the last valet (#facepalm). He pulls up and I go to get in my car, almost home free without embarrassing myself at this hotel when the valet says, “Well, I emptied your… um, Car-Can, for you… that’s actually really smart to put a trash can in your car”. THHHANNNKKKSSS. Of course he had never seen a trash can in a car before, I’m sure people that drive Bentleys, BMWs, and Teslas don’t have “Car-cans”. Yet again, embarrassed by valet parking.

I have to say – if I have the choice again, although I appreciated the convenience of the valet, I’ll probably just park my own car 🙂

PS, as a side-note, how great an idea is a Car-can? You can throw your drive-through trash away, cans, cups, all the stuff that normally takes over the car… just throw it in the Car-can. For those of us who have children, it could also double as a puke bucket. Just saying. I think its a brilliant idea. All cars should really have them as standard equipment.

An Open Letter to My Little Boy

Open Letter

As I lay here at 2am watching you sleep. I am overcome by the intense burning love I have for you. I already see so much personality radiating from that tiny body of yours. You flipped over for the first time today and I couldn’t help but cry. You were so proud of yourself. I love watching you grow. You make my days worth living & you have taught me how to feel again.

As you continue to grow I want so many things for you. I want you to have immense joy but not without some pain because pain makes you be thankful for the good times. I want you to have many belly laughs. I want you to have many more good days then bad. I want you to be gentle yet strong. I want you to be compassionate towards others and yourself. I want you to be a hard worker but know, and most importantly listen, when you need a break. I want you to believe that there is good in people, because there are very good people out there, but also always be cautious and keep your eyes open. I want you to be humble but proud of yourself for things that matter. I want you to have the courage to chase hard after your dreams and never stop. I want you to be a God-fearing man of character. I want you to have unshakable faith that you can’t help but share. One day when you have a family I want you to not be afraid to show or accept love; the true character of a man shows through the way he loves his wife and children. I want you to be able to look back on your life and smile.

What I am saying is,

I want the best for you in every way possible but I don’t want it to always be easy, because struggle builds character.

I promise I will do everything that I can to mold you into a good solid young man. I love the quote “I am not your friend. I am your Mother. I will stalk you, flip out on you, lecture you, drive you insane, be your worst nightmare and hunt you down when needed because I LOVE YOU! When you understand that, I will know you are a responsible adult. You will never find someone who loves, prays, cares and worries about you more than I do!” I will do my very best for you every single day. That is my promise to you little bug. You will be my biggest challenge and greatest adventure.

Mommy LOVES YOU!

First Baby Surprises – New Mom to New Mom

First Baby Surprises

 

When I was pregnant with RykeTheTyke, I had a notion in my head on how I thought everything would go. A sort of “visions of sugarplums danced in their heads” type of perception. You know, the type of labor and delivery that you see in movies. The mommy is glowing with her hair done and makeup on. She practically sneezes and the baby comes shooting out. The nurses lay the baby on her tan chest (that just happens to be perfectly clear of acne). The baby smiles and looks at his mother like she’s the greatest thing he’s ever seen. They share a blissful first nursing session: that goes seamlessly might I add. Then, 48 hours later they are on their way home to start their new life together. We can’t forget the fact that mom is back to her old self by the end of the week.

WHAT A PUNCH IN THE FACE REALITY IS.

My reality was… Ryker didn’t want to come out, so I was induced. I went into the hospital at 10pm looking like a swollen whale that just went through puberty, covered in hormonal acne (though my very supportive and loving mom would tell you otherwise). Pitocin sucks, at least it did for me. My contractions were doing what the nurses called “piggybacking”, the contractions came back to back without any space in between. The nurses kept upping my Pitocin to get them to spread out… with no avail. My water was broken by my doctor with one of those little hook things. Without the cushion of the water the contractions hurt even more. I tried to be really nice to the epidural guy, only for him to rudely say “you wont even remember me tomorrow”, well ok? I pushed for over an hour and about that time I could feel my epidural wearing off. I could feel his shoulders come out & my doctor stitching me up afterwords. Ryker cried for the first hour and a half he was alive. Our first nursing session was far from blissful. I had NO IDEA what I was doing and it turns out, some babies don’t latch right, who knew. You know no pain until you have to nurse a baby on nipples that have been through a wood chipper.

We ended up having to stay an extra day because Ryker’s breathing was too fast, during that time no one would tell us WHY him breathing fast was a problem. Also during that time, the nurses were saying they were going to have to discharge me and send me home without my baby. Needless to say, CRAZY MOMMY came out. Then after 72 hours, and nothing actually wrong with Ryker, we were headed home. We were scared to death & we had NO IDEA what in the world we were going to do with this tiny human who now relied on us for everything.

ALL OF THAT BEING SAID… I BRING YOU “First Baby Surprises – What I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me” from my perspective. In chronological order, because organization is KEY 🙂

  1. Be Aware of Pain Medicine in Your IV- After my contractions were piggybacking, my doctor decided to give me some pain medicine in my IV to help me relax and possibly get some sleep. I agreed because, hey, sleep sounded nice, and I was in a lot of pain, so why not. BIG MISTAKE. For someone who has never taken any type of serious pain medicine before. I was not used to the effect that heavy narcotics have on you. As soon as she pushed that syringe of fluid into my IV, I was sure I WAS GONG TO DIE. That was the end, I was going to stop breathing. I made my nurse, Kerri, sit on the couch in our room to make sure I didn’t. Talk about HIGH AS A KITE. I now see new why people get addicted to that stuff- it’ll knock you on your butt in about 2.5 seconds.
  2. Be Very Nice to Your Nurses- For some reason I thought the doctor would be the one doing most of the work, ya know since you pay him the big bucks. No, the nurses are the ones that do practically everything other than cutting ya, catching the baby, and stitching ya up. You’ll see the doctor for 15 minutes tops. Your nurses are your girls. All of that being said, you should bring them a gift- this was ours:nurse gift
  3. Tar Baby Poop-  I had heard that newborn poop looked like tar, but i figured that was an exaggeration… surely it’s just really dark brown. No, Its BLACK, Sticky, Slimy, and smells quite odd.
  4. Everyone Mashing on your Stomach- For 2 days after you give birth, Every nurse/ doctor that comes in the room will push as hard as they can on your stomach to push the excess fluid out. Your stomach muscles are already sore from, oh ya know, pushing a baby out. Why not mash on it some more for good measure.
  5. The Diaper Popsicle Sunday Contraption- The first time you get up to pee (which is much more difficult than you think, in every way possible), the nurses will teach you how to make a frozen diaper sunday for your lady bits. Whoever came up with this is a genius. Once you have it on, you might feel like a 2 year old in a pull up doing the cowboy walk, but it’s totally worth it. They will be your best friend.
  6. Breast Feeding in the Hospital- If you choose to breastfeed, you will be amazed at how normal it becomes to just whip your boob out in front of the doctors and nurses to feed your baby. Its like magic. Your baby starts crying and without even realizing it, your boob is already out ready to feed baby- without missing a beat in your conversation with the nurse. Now that I am out of the hospital, do I just whip it out in front of people, No. The hospital is like this strange breastfeeding bubble.
  7. Unexpected Visitors at the Hospital- When there’s a new baby in town, people come out of the woodworks to see them. People you never expected to come will be there, and some of the people you did expect to come, wont. Just roll with it. Most people come bearing goodies, like yummy food, which is also a nice surprise!
  8. Waking Baby Up to Eat- I assumed that if baby was hungry, he would wake up to eat, right? Wrong. The first night in the hospital, the nurses scared me to death. “If he doesn’t wake up after 3 hours you need to wake him up to eat, after 4 hours we have to take his blood sugar to make sure he’s okay”, like he was gonna shrivel up into a raisin or something! You best bet at 3 hours I had all of his clothes off, blowing on him, wiping  him down with a wipe. After an hour and a half he was still asleep. Thankfully, he didn’t shrivel up into a raisin.
  9.  Cluster Feeding- Oh Boy that second night at the hospital, things were different. Instead of not waking up to eat; the kid ate ALL NIGHT LONG. I’m talking- eat eat eat- 15 minute break- wake up screaming, on repeat, ALL NIGHT LONG. This is called cluster feeding and babies do it to either get your milk to come in or to make you produce more if they are about to go through a growth spurt. Be prepared 🙂
  10. Newman’s Cream- Whoever created Newman’s nipple cream is on the same level of genius as the person who created the diaper popsicle sunday. Lanolin-Shmanolin, Newman’s is the holy grail of all nipple creams. I don’t know what is in it but, it heals almost instantly. You can be dying from a bad latch at the end of a feeding & then by the beginning of the next feeding you are golden. If they don’t send you home with a prescription for it, ask for one. It will save you.
  11. Bringing Home Baby- Walking in the door of your house with your new baby is the scariest/ most exciting thing you will ever do. You are finally on your own to learn how to be parents. I remember walking into our house, setting the baby carrier down on the floor and looking at my husband like “Soooo, what do I do now”.
  12. The First Couple of Weeks Are Harder than You Imagined- You thought you would be sleep deprived; little did you know just how sleep deprived you would be. The first couple of weeks are what I call survival mode.Like the zombie apocalypse, you are just trying to survive. You will cry, sometimes for no reason at all. Its inevitable and normal. It is normal to sit back and think to yourself, “what in the world have I done”, but just remember this too shall pass. I cried multiple nights because I just wanted to be able to be a wife and do wife things like cook dinner.  The change from just a wife to-> wife and mommy 24/7 is SO HARD. It was for me at least. It does get better and easier though. You will get the swing of things and absolutely LOVE it.
  13. Bathroom Talk- You will no longer be able to get through a conversation without talking about the baby’s gas, poop, or spit up. This is what your life consists of now & you feel like everyone should be as concerned about it as you are. Just wait, you’ll see.
  14. Bathing a Newborn- After the umbilical cord falls off, you’ll get the OK from the doctor to start bathing your newborn. Little do you know, there is nothing easy about this task. Theres the perfect water temperature, the bathroom heater (so they don’t get cold), not getting water into their little eyes, and magically your baby will turn into one of those plastic tube toys thats filled with water that are impossible to hold onto. Yeah, Those things.slippery-water-snake-177-p
  15. Oh The Places You’ll Go: Whilst Holding Your Infant- You will figure out how to do pretty much everything one handed. Fixing dinner? One handed. Opening a jar of peanut butter? One handed. Gotta get dressed? Pants on, zipped, and buttoned all with one hand. You will figure out how to do the impossible. Rock on one handed super-mom 🙂

DIY Farmhouse Cotton Stems

cotton stems014_editContrary to popular belief, I, like many Southerners, don’t actually have a cotton field in my back yard – though I would really love that.

So, what do you do when life doesn’t give you cotton? (& you sure as heck aren’t paying $17 per sprig at the craft store)
By golly, you make your own!

Since I was trying to re-create something from nature, I figured I should take a look at exactly what they look like “in their natural habitat” for reference. I found this picture:

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You’ll need:

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1. Cardboard egg cartons
2. Hot glue gun & sticks
3. Large cotton balls
4. Paint brushes
5. Scissors
6. Beige brown and dark brown paint
7. Floral wire
8. Brown floral tape

Let’s Do This:

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First off, I cut each of the little egg holders in the egg carton into a 4 petal-ed flower shape. For the sake of this tutorial I am gonna call them “cotton pods”. This is the most time consuming part, but I pinky promise it’s worth it in the end!

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After the long, grueling cutting process (just kidding- can you tell I am not very patient?), I painted the inside of the cotton pod light beige brown and the outside dark brown. This part doesn’t have to be perfect because nature isn’t perfect. (See the “natural environment” picture above again if you need some inspiration for your non-perfectionism)

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Once I was finished finger painting – not painting with my fingers, but on them. (You’ll understand if you try this DIY), I poked a hole in the bottom of each of my cotton pods and cut a “stem” out of the floral wire – about 5 inches long. Then I curled one end of the wire so once it was attached, it wouldn’t pull through the bottom of the cotton pod.

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After that, I inserted the wire into the hole at the bottom of the cotton pod and hot glued the twisted end to the inside.

cotton stems007Next, I ripped apart a cotton ball into 3 equal sections and rolled them into their own little balls. I put some hot glue into the bottom of the cotton pod and stuffed the cotton balls into it, pressing firmly so they would stick, then fluffing again.

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Look at all of those adorable little cotton stems…

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Just look at em’ 🙂

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Ok, so after all of that, I attached them each to different lengths of the floral wire with the floral tape and separated my stems in half to make 2 bunches.

Arranging the stems from tallest to shortest, I wrapped the remaining ends of the stems together with more floral tape. I stuck ’em in a whiskey bottle and called it a day (optional, but I thought it was really cute).

DIY Faux Barn Wood Sign

Pallett Wood015_editBarnwood is all the rage these days. But, one of these days we are gonna run out of old barn wood to craft with because, really, how much “vintage barnwood” could there possibly be in the South? I agree, probably quite a bit, BUT – all of us crafting ladies are bound to use it all up at some point. SO, without further ado… I give you my solution to the impending barnwood-mageddon…FAKE IT! We can take brand spanking new wood and make it look worn and weathered. No high winds and thunderstorms are needed, just some simple acrylic craft paint, a dry paint brush, sand paper and your favorite color stain.

You’ll Need:

  1. (2) 1 in. x 4 in. x 8 ft. Boards
  2. Circular saw or comparable
  3. Drill & 1.5inch screws
  4. Ruler and Pen
  5. 3 or 4 inch wide paint brush
  6. Beige, warm white, & black acrylic craft paint
  7. Artist paintbrushes for lettering
  8. Masking tape
  9. Dark wood stain & rag to apply
  10. Fine grit sandpaper

Alright – let’s do this thing:

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First, I started out with 2, plain jane, brand spanking new, 1 in. x 4 in. x 8 ft. pieces of lumber.

 

 

 

 

 

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Then, with a circular saw, I cut 4 pieces at 24 inches for the front of the sign & 2 pieces at 21 inches to hold it all together.

 

 

 

 

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After all of the wood was cut, I laid it out like so, in preparation to attach it all together.

 

 

 

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Next, I laid the two 21-inch boards on each end, perpendicular to the rest of the boards & centered them. Using the 1.5 inch screws, I screwed the back boards to the front. *It’s important to use 1.5 inch screws so they don’t go all the way through to the front of the sign & its also important to use 2 screws per front board so theres no sliding.

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After everything is attached together, it’s time to grab the large paint brush and the beige craft paint. With the brush still dry, dip just the ends of the bristles into the paint and messily stroke it on. You want there to still be wood grain peeking through. Once the paint has dried, take the sandpaper and rough up the just painted surface -going with the grain of the wood.

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Lastly,  I rubbed the dark wood stain over the surface with a rag *don’t forget the edges* and then let it dry overnight.

 

VOILA! Beautiful faux barnwood in a snap!  You are more than welcome to do whatever you want with your new barnwood sign but here’s what I did with mine!

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First I designed the way I wanted the sign to look in Adobe Illustrator. I did this because sometimes things look better in my head then they actually do on paper! Then I took my craft paint and went to work on the large lettering. *You could use a stencil if you wanted to, but personally I don’t use them because I think they are a pain in the butt!

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After the large lettering was painted and dried (with a blowdryer because I am not patient enough for air drying), I taped off the top and the bottom of the 4th board in order to help with the size of the lettering. *Think “paint between the lines”*

 

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Starting with the middle letter and painting out (a trick I learned in design school), I roughly painted the “established in” lettering and then went back and finessed the lines and serifs.

 

 

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Now its your turn!  Hurry it up, We’re Burning daylight! Xoxo