Front Door Accessory

Like the rest of our house, the front door is a work in progress.  When we moved in it was plain jane white.  I have always wanted a cheery yellow front door so last fall we painted it.  Well…I got the paint and my mother in law painted it for us while we were at work.  I like that it’s yellow…but I’m not sold on it.

I do like that it basically advertises us as Steelers fans in this Ravens community!  It is just brighter than I was picturing.  I also want to switch out the hardware for something darker like oil rubbed bronze or something.  And a more substantial doorknob and lock.  Something like this maybe.

Or even better, this.

With a knocker like this.

Maybe with darker hardware the door won’t look so crazy bright.

We also need a new storm door.  But we’ll wait to get that after we win the lottery.  (Apparently our door frame requires a custom fit storm door which means $$$.)

In the meantime, I wanted to add a little interest.  The front door is, after all, the first impression of a home, right?

So I made a wreath.

It was cheap and easy.  Actually it was free and easy!  I had a bunch of cardboard boxes so I cut two circles from it and taped them together.  Why two?  Just to make it a little bit thicker.  Then I wrapped it in yarn.Then I made some fabric flowers.

I cut some strips of fabric (various sizes) and folded them in half…

I rolled up the end to make the bud and put a dab of hot glue …

Then I started folding the fabric (inward) and wrapping it around the “bud”…

Putting a dab of hot glue every couple of folds.

I just kept wrapping and folding until I got this!

I made a few different sizes using various fabrics, glued them to the wreath and added a ribbon.

I LOVE IT!!  I just wish I had made the wreath a little bigger.  

For now, it adds a little something and looks nice and colorful!

This project was way more fun than what we worked on this weekend.  We totally deep cleaned the kitchen!


4 years and counting…

4 years ago today I tied the knot with my best friend/partner/other half/any other cheesy-but-true descriptions of my hubby.

Ya know, a lot of people say “it feels like just yesterday…”  I actually think the opposite.  It feels like it’s been forever.  (in a good way!!!)

I know, without a doubt, that he is the person that was meant for me.  Marriage is hard and we definitely fight like cats and dogs sometimes but we love each other and are committed to each other and to our marriage.

I feel so blessed that God gave me such a great guy that takes such good care of us.  He is a wonderful father and I am so lucky to call him my husband.

Love you, Bob!  Happy 4th Anniversary!!

Epic Week

Last week was kind of crazy.  In a good way though.

At the beginning of the week we really didn’t have much planned.  (as usual)  It was just going to be a dinner on Wednesday night.  But…plans changed…

On Wednesday morning my mom surprised us with a visit on her way home from visiting my sister in Bethesda.  On Wednesday evening we got together with some new friends from church for dinner at their house.  It was so much fun!

On Thursday night we got together with more friends (and Clark’s baby girlfriend, Ainsley) for drinks and dessert at Nautilus Diner.  Yum and fun!

Friday Clark and I made a trip down to Bethesda to visit Aunt Ellen.  She’s a nurse so she often has days off during the week.  It’s so nice that she’s so close.  We just chilled at her condo and hung some frames and skyped my older sister and niece in Memphis.

Saturday we saw more friends and had dinner at their place.  Ben and Melissa are dear friends.  Clark was the first baby that Ben has ever held!  Those boys get along great.  Both of them are big fans of TV!

Sunday after church we got a knock on the door.  My brother and his friend had also visited my sister in Bethesda (she must have had an epic week too!) and stopped by for a quick visit on their way home.  Clark was so excited to see his Uncle Sam that he pooped on him.  literally.  oops 🙂

All the time spent with friends and family made the week fly by.  We were all exhausted by Sunday night but feel so blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives!  What a great week!!!

Zipper-less Pillowcase

Recently I have been, let’s say…”re-decorating” things around here.  I have been trying to just use things we have to freshen up the house.  For instance, I moved the bedding from our second/guest bedroom into our master, the bedding from our room in the basement into the second/guest bedroom and the bedding from our master went down to the basement.  haha  I know…what was the point?

Well…eventually I think we’ll get some new bedding for the basement room.  But for now, all of the rooms feel brand new.

Especially the second bedroom.  It’s really coming along and I am just loving it.

Anyway back to the point.  The original master bedroom bedding (which now lives in the basement) came with a small decorative pillow that I really was never into.  I took the case off and decided I could use the pillow inside in the second bedroom if I made a new pillowcase for it.  So I chose some fabric from my stash and made one.

I didn’t have a zipper so I had to come up with something a little different.

I cut my fabric so that it was a single piece the width of my pillow and long enough so that it wrapped all the way around the pillow with a few inches of overlay. (that will all make more sense when you see the pictures)

So, I ironed the fabric and hemmed the raw edges.

Then I folded it around the pillow (wrong sides facing out), leaving a small overlap and ironed it.

Then I stitched all four sides.

I flipped it right side out…

…and slipped in the pillow.

Here she is making her debut on the bed in the guest room.

I’m still working on the window treatment for above the bed and art for the blank wall to the right.

But the pillow is cute!  We needed some yellow in there.

So easy too.  What do you think?

Hershey Park Happy

I grew up in Central PA.  About 20 minutes from Hershey which means we went to Hershey Park EVERY summer.  I have so many great memories spending time there with my cousins and middle school/high school friends.  In fact, when Bob came to visit me at my parents’ house for the first time, we spent the day there.

Almost a month ago, Bob’s company hosted their company picnic at Hershey Park for their Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland regions.  Bob was able to buy tickets through them for an awesome deal and it included lunch!!  They even gave us water bottles, a beach towel, beach ball, a frisbee, and some sunglasses.  Each employee was allowed to get up to something like 6 tickets so Bob suggested inviting my parents and my little brother (who’s home from college for the summer).  We sort of made a weekend out of it, heading up there on Saturday to have dinner with them and sleep over.

Clark got to spend some time with his buddy, Jake.  (My mom’s yorkie)

Sunday morning we all skipped church and got ready for the day at the park.

Love this picture of Clark and my mom.

My brother went out with friends the night before.  This was Clark’s impersonation of him.

Probably pretty spot on.

They both needed a nap before we left.

We were pretty slow moving and didn’t get to the park until about 1pm so we bee-lined to the food.  They had hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, pasta salad, fruit, drinks, and some ice cream treats.  We were pretty impressed with the food considering there were SO MANY PEOPLE to serve.

After lunch we hit up the rides.  Of course we got some “waiting-in-line” shots.

My dad is not a fan of coasters.  A direct quote from him when asked if he wanted to ride The Claw with us.

Yeah right!  That would kill me!

So we put him in charge of the baby.  It was some grandpa/grandson bonding time.  They both loved it.

The weather wasn’t too hot, but it was warm enough for Bob and Sam to ride some of the new water rides.

The day was so much fun!  It was a blast spending time with family at such an awesome place!  Can’t wait to do it again next year!

So many things to see and do.  Good times to be had.


Last night was a milestone for Clark!  And I didn’t even cry!  Now THAT is a milestone for me.

Clark was 5 months old on Sunday.  Since he’s nursing, we didn’t have to start him on cereal yet but lately he has seemed so interested in food and eating.  His pediatrician suggested that we may want to take advantage of that interest.  Bob was excited.  I was resistant…but eventually came around.

Plus it was so darn cute watching him gobble it up.

We realized we didn’t have any baby spoons so we used this 1/2 tsp measuring spoon.  Can we say “ghetto”?  It worked fine but I picked up some spoons at Target today to use from now on.

We all thought the whole thing was a success!!

Happy Boy!!

Here’s a video of Clark’s first “meal”.

Hitting the Deck

Our backyard was one of the things that sold us on this house.  We have an “end of group” townhouse so our yard’s square footage is bigger than most on our street.

In addition, we have a good sized deck that we utilize most of the year.

We have been wanting to re-stain our deck since we moved in a year and a half ago.  Finally, we have started the process.

First we moved everything off of the deck and into the yard.

I’m sure our neighbors were thrilled about our lovely mess.  We were in need of cleaning off our deck anyway, so we used this opportunity to de-clutter (also known as de-hoard.)

Bob used this stuff to strip any leftover stain.

LESSON LEARNED: This stuff contains acid!!  Wear goggles when using it!!

Bob learned that lesson the hard way.  See, he got half of the deck done the first night.

See how the left side of the deck is lighter?  He just applied the stripper, scrubbed with a stiff bristle brush and hosed off the area.

The next night he started with the other half.  He put some stripper in a paint tray to apply onto the deck but as he was moving it, a little splashed up and out into his eye!  We had Bob over the sink dumping water in his eye to flush it out.  I even called the on-call emergency eye doctor!   I had a flashback to when my little sister used some TV cleaner as eye drops.

He was fine, but after that he let the deck sit half stripped for about a week before finishing it with his new goggles ON!

The deck looked like this (after we brought the table and chairs back up).

I know from the pictures it doesn’t look all that different but the stripper definitely worked.

Next up is the cleaner…but before we get to that step, we want to choose the stain color.

This is my vision:

I’m thinking dark on the “floor” of the deck.  White on the rails. Like this:

photo credit

or this

photo credit

At first we couldn’t decide if we wanted to go with a solid stain, semi-transparent, or a mixture of both (semi-trans dark, solid white?).  So we went to Home Depot and picked up some samples.  As soon as Bob applied the white, we both agreed solid stain was the way to go.

Then we applied the dark stain choices to see which we liked best.

The one on top is Behr Solid Color Wood Stain in Coffee.  The bottom is Behr Solid Color Wood Stain in Wood Chip.  Who knew this would be the hard part?

Why am I so good at choosing deck stain color!?!?!?

We are having trouble deciding.  Bob is leaning toward the Wood Chip.  I go back and forth.  I think we may have to see what they look like up against the brick of the house.  We’ll sit on it for about a week before we decide.  The weather has to cool down a little before we apply the stain anyway.

So what do you think?  Coffee or Wood Stain?  Leave your opinion in the comments.

Eat Mor Chikin**

Did you know that Friday was Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A?  All you had to do was dress like a cow to get some free food.  I LOVE Chick-fil-A.  Plus I thought it would be adorable to dress Clark as a cow.  We didn’t have full cow costumes just laying around the house so we went with just some black electrical tape on white tees/onsie.  I made utters out of hot pink card stock too, but Clark ate both his and mine.  Bob was not thrilled about the “costumes”, but it was a fun family affair.

Well…kinda.  The food was amazing, as usual.  It was fun and kind of silly to dress up together, but there was a little…situation.  While we were waiting in line to order, we heard a ruckus behind us.  Apparently, two guys had a…shall we say “disagreement”?  There was a full blown fist fight and one guy threw his drink at the other.  Bob (who was holding Clark) obviously moved to the other side of the restaurant.  He also called the police (as did a few other patrons.)  It didn’t last very long as a few bigger guys jumped in to break it up, but needless to say, it was not the evening we expected.  We got the food to go and enjoyed it at home.

Thanks Chick-fil-A for an exciting partially free meal!

Next year I think I’ll put a little more effort into the “costumes”.

Did anyone else take advantage of Cow Appreciation Day?

**Trademark of Chick-fil-A

An Apron for Sis

My sister in law, Leslie is getting married next month.  (Actually in just a few weeks!!)  I had to miss her bridal shower, but this is one of the things I gave her.  The theme for the bridal shower was cute.  Her maid of honor included a recipe card in the invitations for us to provide Leslie with one of our favorite recipes for her kitchen.  We were asked to bring the relevant utensil(s) to go with the recipe as a gift from her registry.  I gave her my sugar cookie recipe, a rolling pin, and made her this apron.  A little background info…

She went to Auburn and all of her kitchen “stuff” is going to be orange and blue.  (NOT to be confused with orange and blue for UVA.)  I would NOT have been okay with that.  GO HOKIES!!

Anyway…that’s why I went with orange and blue for her apron.  Here’s how I made it:

I actually got the measurements for my pieces from an apron I already had.  I didn’t write down my measurements, but here’s a similar tutorial.

These are my pieces all laid out how I wanted the apron to look.


Gotta start with the pockets.  I wanted trim on the top of the pockets.  So, first I hemmed the edges of the trim.


Then folded it in half right sides in and stitched the sides leaving a pocket.


Clipped the edges.


And flipped it right side out.


For the actual pocket, I folded the piece in half right sides in, hemmed the sides and clipped the edges.


After I flipped it right side out, I slid the trim over the unfinished edge like a hat and stitched it on right over the seam I already had.




Repeated with the second pocked and pinned them to where I wanted them on the front of the apron.  Then I sewed them on.


After they were attached, I did pretty much the same thing with the skirt of the apron.  I folded it in half right sides facing in, stitched the sides and clipped the edges…


…then turned right side out and attached the bottom trim.


For the bib of the apron, I folded it in half right sides in and stitched the sides, clipped the edges…(you know the drill…)


I wanted “side trim” on the bib that were also the neck ties.  So I hemmed the short ends of it, then just ironed a hem, folded it in half, and ironed it again.


I folded it over the sides of the bib, then ran a stitch through it to attach.

Same for the other side and I got this.

To attach the belt, I hemmed the short ends, then laid out the pieces right sides facing like this.


Stitched it.


Flipped the belt part up and ironed it.


Then attached the bib to the belt right sides facing and ran a stitch. **Note: I realized after that this was kind of an unnecessary step because…


…I had to run a stitch across the whole belt anyway to attach the front and back.


The waist ties I folded and ironed like this…

DSC00933 DSC00934

Stitched it.


Then slid the raw edge side in between the two layers of the belt.


And stitched.  I could have probably done a little better job with this.  Because it was homemade, there are going to be some spots that look homemade. And I’m okay with that.


Here’s Sis in her new Auburn apron posing with her Auburn ribbon wreath.


LOVE HER!  Can’t wait for her wedding!

Quick and Simple Craft

We are getting ready to head to Pittsburgh for the weekend for a bridal shower/bachelorette party and to see family and friends.  Let’s hope Clark does as well with this trip as he did last time.  I’ve been packing and prepping for the road trip but I had time to squeeze in this cute little craft.

I’ve been slowly collecting glass jars after using up stuff like jelly, apple butter, etc.  I sometimes use them to keep my homemade BBQ sauce in the fridge and a couple times I have used them on the table to hold tea lights or flowers.  They really can be used for all kinds of things.  BUT…some of the ones I have kept look like this:

Leftover from the label.  I have some Goo-Gone which actually works really well, but it’s a pain to use and…I just didn’t feel like it.  I decided to just cover it up with some twine/string instead.  This was a totally original idea that probably no one has ever seen before!!

Just kidding!  It’s all over Pinterest and pretty much everyone and their DIY moms have done this, but it is really cute and easy.

All I had on hand was some kitchen string.  I started with a little dot of hot glue on the top and just started wrapping.

I tucked the end under the second row of string.

I just kept wrapping and glueing and wrapping and glueing.

I wasn’t even very neat about it.

Finished product.

I just put a few flowers from my garden in it.  Doesn’t it look sort of charming?

A cute little vase for free!  And it only took me about 10 minutes.  What do you think?


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