Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tutorial for Aging Wood and making Beach Art

I absolutely love to decorate our home with art that is special! Basically if it is hanging on our wall it is either...
1-picture of our family or friends
2-made by one of us
3-means something special to one of us

I have been super confused as to what to hang over our white couch in our living room for years! I have so many holes on the wall from switching frames in and I needed something very large to cover the holes....and make us smile when we walk in our front door and see it.

I decided on making a Bike because we absolutely LOVE family bike rides.....taking the bikes to the beach and riding along the water......and just spending time outside. IT WAS PERFECT FOR OUR FAMILY!!!!!!
After my kids saw the bike....they both requested pieces for their rooms. :)

TADA!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT IS HUGE! 4 ft x5ft!!!!!
The only problem is figuring out how to hang this on the wall....and I will keep you posted on how we tackle that job.

Close up on the weathered wood, and the bike.


STEP 1: Figure out how large you want the final piece to be. They will cut the wood for you right at Home Depot so just purchase the amount of boards you need for the project and they will measure them just right for you! BONUS!

STEP 2: This part is SUPER smelly and I suggest doing it outside or in your garage with the door open. I did a lot of research on how to weather the wood without making it orange or feeling as though I just stained it. This is what I ended up using and LOVING.

Pour Apple Cider Vinegar in a bowl and set one steel wool in it to soak for 30-45 min.
In an additional bowl pour Balsamic Vinegar with the other steel wool and let it soak for 30-45 min.

STEP 3: While the steel wool is soaking, I hit the boards with a hammer, screw driver, poked with a fork, and basically anything that I could use to hit them to add a little character.

STEP 4: Rub each board all over with the apple cider vinegar, don't forget the sides of each board. I waited about 10 min and then rubbed the Balsamic Vinegar over the boards. Make sure to get it into the little knots that you made with the hammer.


STEP 5: Once the boards are dry we went to town with the sander. I used super heavy paper and just went to town. I sanded the tops of the boards to give them a little scratch as well as all of the edges. You can go as heavy as you would like on this step.

STEP 6: I purchased these bars to hold the boards together. (I seriously have NO idea what they are called) Make sure to buy them large enough so that when you screw them, it does not split the edges.


STEP 7: This is my favorite part......PAINTING. I used craft paint for the project, but you can use any paint you would like. I did not do more than one coat with each color because I wanted it to show the wood thru the paint.

We did not use stencils and just free handed the piece. You could use stencil, vinyl, or trace image for this step depending on the affect you are looking for.


I hope you enjoy this tutorial as well as the art you make from it.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Growth Chart Tutorial

We have always kept a growth chart of our kid's height on their bedroom door. I absolutely love looking at it and seeing how fast they grow! My parents charted our growth on the door when we were growing up and once they moved I realized that we didn't mark it down on something that we could see later. SO SAD!!!! I would have loved to have something with my growth to compare how much taller my children are than me. :)

I have been crazy project lady for the past week and was not able to share due to problem with our computer.

For the growth board all you need is a 6 foot board. (unless you have people in your family larger than 7 feet....then you will need a larger board)

I weathered the wood (tutorial on that tomorrow) and let it dry for two days

Sanded edges of the board like crazy.....the more the better in my opinion!

Went to town painting the inch marks and played around with the design.

I am hanging the board one foot off the ground so that the 6 foot board will actually measure up to 7 feet.

I think we will have a lot of fun with it! I plan on putting their grandparents height, Chad and my height, and theirs as they grow. I just love the idea of always having this.

I added some sea glass blue stripes and just painted the numbers freehand.

This will be hung one foot off of the floor. (that is the hubby's job because I tend to add a few extra holes to the walls)

This is the records that we have taken up until now. :) I will still continue to let them keep this on their doors.....but it won't hurt so bad if we move anymore.

Come back tomorrow for a tutorial on how I weathered the wood....and a few other fun projects!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chopped Salad Wrap

I have said it a million times...I am ALL about fast dinners that are healthy, easy, and yummy! This is one of my "go to" weekly meals that is honestly one of our favorites. I used to go to a wrap shop in Boca Raton on a weekly basis for a chopped salad wrap....and once we moved I had to make them on my own.

There is really no recipe.....Just look through your pantry and fridge and start pulling...

- protein (we use either rotisserie chicken, left over chicken, deli meat, hard boiled eggs, sometimes even chicken tenders)

-your favorite dressing (we use either ranch or a sesame dressing)

- fave cheese (I usually shred it)

- fave veggies or fruit (corn, carrots, broccoli, oranges, apples, grapes, avocado, beans...anything will work!)

-Lettuce (bag of lettuce or whatever greens you have)

-Croutons (I will not lie, I have been known to add chips for a crunch)

-Wrap (buy them large so you can pack the salad inside)

This is what we used tonight in our wraps....leftover chicken, corn, egg, pepper jack cheese, and croutons.

I went out and bought a metal bowl because that is what they used at the store I used to go to.....and just dump all of the ingredients in.

Chopping it up like crazy with the pizza cutter is probably my favorite part! It is right up there with beating chicken! I don't add the dressing until it is all chopped up and then I just stir it in.

TaDa! Easy....leftover heaven.....chopped salad wraps! MMMMM!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Here's to Dreaming...

Today I wish I was in Aruba....with a frozen the water.....and NOT on my way to take the kids to the dentist. ugh!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Thank you Pinterest for Feeding My Family

I am not a chef....and I honestly don't really enjoy food enough to spend a lot of time on it. I would be just as happy having a sandwich or pasta every single night of the week. This was a great plan.....until I had a family that requires meals.

I have found some super easy and fast recipes on Pinterest and here are a few that I have made....loved....and will make again! We are generally up at the fields involved in some sport or running 5 nights a week, so fast and easy is key for me!

I have been known to make this call. Actually......I am not THAT lazy! I usually order the pizza myself and just call Chad to tell him what to expect for dinner. :)

Melon Mint Sangria!

Recipe found here
This is seriously an amazing summer sangria! It is so fresh and super easy! We went thru two batches at a recent girl's night I hosted!

Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips

Recipe found here
This is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have not mastered the cinnamon chips yet, but the salsa was sooo great that it didn't even matter! I think my kids have requested this nightly since we made it!

Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken

Recipe found here
This was AMAZING! I did not use the thigh chicken that the recipe called for...and opted for Chicken breasts. This is a MUST MAKE!

Shrimp Quesadilla with Avocado

Recipe found here
This is probably my favorite recipe yet! I am actually making this for dinner tonight now that I saw this picture and remember how good it is! MMMM!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

recipe found here
Such a good appetizer/meal! We ate so much of it that we decided to skip dinner! I used the rotisserie chicken and it was super easy and a total hit!

Jalapeno Chicken

recipe found here
Soooo Good! I had to make half without the chips for my kids because it is really spicy!

Sticky Buns
recipe found here
I have seriously made this for breakfast at least 10 times....including Thanksgiving morning....Christmas morning.....and basically anytime that we want an amazing breakfast!

Hope this helps with some ideas for your dinner plans!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Feels Like Spring

I love this time of year!!!!! The trees and grass are green again, the plants are blooming and we can finally return to the beach! My family LOVES the beach and will hopefully be able to move a little closer at some point in our lives. (we currently live about 45 min from the beach)

This weekend we packed up and headed to the beach to visit with family and friends! The water was FREEZING (for us Florida people) but we totally enjoyed every min of it!

Collin is such a worker bee. He didn't build a castle or anything...he just wanted to dig and then fill the hole back up. ha! (might have something to do with watching Chad and I plant trees for hours the day before)

Kacey could spend hours walking up and down the beach with me and finding the perfect shell! She seriously washes them....and saves them to put on the top of her plants. So sweet....and a great idea!

A view that I could never get sick of!

SOOOO exciting! My parents got an RV!!!!! They are totally excited, and so are we! Collin hasn't stopped talking all about it, and we are planning our first weekend "glamping" trip with them! Some seriously great memories will be made in this RV....and I can't wait to get started making them!

I have had this hanging plant for a little over a year and I LOVED it! I am not in love with it anymore because these birds have seriously taken over it! There has been a nest with an angry bird in it constantly! I can not water it without being I just sit and watch this beautiful plant slowly die. So Sad!

Collin made this bird in school last week and I am sooo impressed with his artistic side! This is the kind of bird I prefer....not the kind that makes his home in my hanging plants!

Hope you have a great week!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Half Marathon...DONE!

Four our 8 year anniversary we decided we wanted to run a half marathon together! Actually....I wanted to run a half marathon and chad is so sweet that he signed up with me! I trained for the race and totally enjoy running.....Chad just pretty much shows up and runs with me. Soo lucky!
We woke up at 3:30AM and it was VERY windy.....and they were predicting serious rain storm! NOT THE NEWS YOU WANT ON RACE DAY!
But it all worked out! A little rain and crazy wind isn't enough to stop us!

I took this picture at mile 10. We totally enjoyed the entire run, and it honestly didn't feel like it was that hard! We started at the end of the race line (over 5k people were in the race!!!!!) and only stopped one time to use the rest room (aka. NASTY porter john!)....other than that we kept our pace and just enjoyed the run!

My parents and kids were at the finish line to cheer us on!!!!! It was soooo amazing to finish and have them there to see us!

Our stats. We were excited with our time because we felt great the entire race.....stopped once and waited in line for the bathroom.....ran the entire race without walking.....and totally took in the whole experience!

These two looked like this at the end of the day! ha! They fell asleep on the couch together while we were facetiming family! too cute! They were exhausted from all of the excitement!

Basically at the same time Chad and I finished our race.....this super sweet little man was born!!!!!!!!! Colson is one lucky little guy!!!!!!!!

I feel so accomplished after this weekend! Chad and I had a goal...totally stuck to it....and are thrilled with how we felt during and after the race! I can't wait till our next race!!!!!!


Friday, March 2, 2012

What I have been up to...

I have been an awful blogger lately and it makes me sad! I feel like I am keeping up with so many different outlets that I just can't seem to fit it in.

Here is what we have been up to......

Kacey was home from school for an entire week with a bad sinus infection, and we spent a good chunk of the time watching movies and helping her sew new pillow cases and curtains for her newly redecorated room! (hopefully we will have it all together and show pics soon)

Every year we drive up to Daytona for the 500. I am not a Nascar fan, but it is so much fun to people watch! I seriously have seen the craziest things ever at this race!

We hung out in the RV for a good chunk of the time hiding from the rain.

On top of the RV. :)

My little Roxy! Collin made her a sweet necklace at school.

A good chunk of my time has also been running.....lots and lots of running! I have been running an average of 30 miles per week......and I am running a half marathon this sunday! I have always been a runner and have been running races since I was in elementary school....and I am excited to be running my first half with my hubby!!!!!!

Have a great weekend!!!!