Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!!

Happy Memorial Day!! Memorial Day around here is definitely the official kick off to Summer! It's not like the East Coast where you finally get to go swimming. Nope, we can do that all year round! My kids take swimming lessons outside in December!

We do find a SERIOUS increase in beach traffic, so Memorial Day is our official time to start riding our bikes EVERYWHERE. It is much easier to ride your bike than to find a place to park on most days. Oh, the joy of living in such a beautiful beach town.

Memorial Day our main street is lined with flags. Full sized American Flags line our street from dawn till dusk to pay tribute to those who have given their lives for our freedom. It is a moving and beautiful tribute.

Memorial Day weekend is the start of our Summer Concerts in the park. Nothing says Summer more than Spreckles Park overflowing with families out for a Sunday picnic dinner. You would not believe how fancy you can make a picnic!

Look at this ADORABLE treat that I must make...

Snowcone Cupcakes

Oh I love you! What says Summer more than a red, white and blue snow cone? How about a snow cone inspired cupcake! Yeah, those tiny, adorable treats are cupcakes! They even follow through with the color on the inside!

Snowcone Cupcake

I've seen plenty of multi colored cakes, but never vertically. Yep, those are vertical colored stripes! Head on over and take a look at how Bakerella created these cuties! It is pure baking genius if you ask me!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I have a DOUBLE feature!

Nothing quite says good morning to a blogger like an email saying "Visiting from your TT&J feature! Congrats!" What? I was just on Tatertots & Jello yesterday and I wasn't mentioned. That wasn't the case this morning...this morning I found TWO of my projects on her newest post. Not one...two! Thanks for the heads up Claire!!

Head on over to Tatertots & Jello and take a look at her list of 21 Outdoor Projects. There are some really cute ideas on there...and if you live in the US, you still have another day this weekend to play!

There is a project that I had pinned the other day from Art is Beauty listed. It is an armoire that she got for free and converted to an outdoor potting "shed." I LOVE it!!

Enjoy your weekend!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

SMART is BEAUTIFUL! End of the Year Party!

On the last day of school in 1st Grade we had a party at our house after school. Not a birthday party...a girly last day of school party...a "Smart is Beautiful" party!

This would be a great party to throw at the beginning of the year too, a way to get to know the new kids in class. I know however, that my intentions at the beginning of the year are good, but we are SO busy! So my "Back to School" party ideas became a great way to finish off the year.

We started with a theme of apples, pencils, chalkboards...all things old school. That led us to our color pallet of red and apple green, which is where our party really took off. I love planning with a color pallet in mind because you never know where it could lead you. A color pallet leaves you with a lot of room for interpretation of your theme.

I had a pack of cardboard letter diecuts that had sat in my craft stuff for years...which provided really cute "ABC" details. Look at the tree...

They already had grommets in them, so it was simple to hang them from the branches with invisible thread. Look closely at the tree and you can catch a few of them floating in the air. I pulled out the letters needed to spell "Second" and attached them to the tree trunk. We needed to celebrate our new Second Graders!!

With "Second" on the trunk, the tree turned out to be the PERFECT photo spot for our Super Smart Second Graders!

We didn't want to have all of the snacks be sugary, so we started out with some "2" Sandwiches.

My friend Kerenza is the absolute best sidekick for a crazy party planning person like myself! She can take any theme and completely run with it...all the great treat ideas that float around in my head, but I never actually get to...she makes them all!! Just look at these adorable chalkboard cupcakes...

And she gave me my first lesson on how to make Cake Pops...

How stinking cute are these apples?? If you have never had Cake Pops...I mean the real ones from Bakerella, you should take some time to try making a batch this summer. They are AMAZING!! She makes some ridiculously beautiful ones, but even if your kids make them...they may not be so pretty, but they are simple and they sure taste GREAT!

I wanted our "Goody Bags" to be something useable...something fun. I found plain red canvas totes at Michaels for $1 and added an apple green "2" to the front. I figured the girls could use them over the summer for checking out library books or taking stuff to the beach. It was the same price as a paper bag, but much more useable!

Each girl also got to decorate a pair of apple green flip flops. Who doesn't need a new pair of flip flops to start off the summer? I found these at Walmart for less than $2 a pair.

I found these glasses at Party City in the favor section...

You would not believe how CUTE CUTE CUTE the pictures are of them all in their glasses! If you are going to show how smart you are, you definitely could use a pair of new glasses. And at 10 cents can't beat the price!

Each of the girls took time to write a note to another girl about why they were a good friend. It was sweet. Then they drew a picture of themselves for us to display on our art easel...

It was precious to see their work...

It was a really great way to finish out the year! They went from First Graders to official Second Graders. It was a fabulous way to start the summer!

Come check out the fun at these parties:


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Trash to Treasure Patio Furniture

This is one of those projects that makes you feel like the world's WORST blogger. I know I took pictures of these chairs. I know I did. I can't however find a single one of them. Not one.

This project started out with a phone call from my friend Kara, who had a wicker table she had picked up from a neighbor. She wanted to know if I would be interested in painting it. Me? Paint something? Of course! I have a neighbor how walked by yesterday and wanted to know if there was possibly anything left for me to paint. Yep...I paint A LOT.

The little table sat in my front yard for one day, before I got another call. One day!

This call was from my friend Tandee. She had just found 4 wicker chairs that a neighbor was throwing out and she wanted to know if I wanted 2 of them. I figured they had to be in pretty decent shape for her to be so excited about them...and I knew I had a wicker table in my yard already...

The table started out pink...and not a cool hot pink. The chairs were originally a dark stained brown that had faded from the sun. REALLY faded. And despite being a terrible blogger and not having my pictures, I have pictures for you.

Huh? Remember the great friend Tandee? She has the other two chairs at her house and promised not to paint them until I could get some pics for my blog. So I ran right over this afternoon to get some quick shots.

These chairs have definitely seen better days. However, the structure was solid and they just needed some cosmetic work. I decided to snip off all of the unraveling wicker and leave the legs more streamlined. This also gave me wicker to use to repair other areas like these arms...

Yikes! I glued pieces of wicker across the areas that were missing them. Once it was painted, I was assuming you wouldn't be able to tell it was patched. Then I gave them each a good spray of Rust-Oleum gray Primer, followed by a coat of Rust-Oleum Dual Coverage Glossy Black. Just look...

Would you ever have thought they had all been pieces salvaged from the trash?? A couple cans of spray paint and a $30 pack of cushions from Home Goods...they look like a million bucks!

Do you know how awesome it is to have friends who look out for your crafting needs? Seriously, those are some GREAT friends! Thanks Kara and Tandee!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wonderful Wednesday...End of the Year Wrap Ups

Today was one hectic day! I spent 2 hours distributing Yearbooks to all of the classrooms. Ran from one school to the other to catch my little man's "Nursery Rhyme Review." He performed an adorable rendition of "Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater" although, I will admit I'm not sure how I feel about putting his wife in a pumpkin shell! He also played the part of the letter "Q" in the ABC song.

What a Q-T!

Then I shuttled kids around, spent a few minutes painting some whicker chairs and ran out for awards night at AWANA.

That was a lot of work for those awards! And tonight I am one worn out Mom!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Whew! I have never counted so many checks in my entire life! I am finally coming to the end of my Yearbook commitments. This has been one GIGANTIC job! The Yearbooks are here and I have been counting orders and money, orders and money, orders and money. When you order 600 Yearbooks it is a lot of checks to count! Tomorrow I will pass out nearly 500 job is almost over. Whew! I can't wait to call this job finished.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Vintage Crate Flower Box

Hi! I hope you are all having a wonderful start to the new week. I kind of fell off the face of the earth for awhile. I came down with the stomach flu and it really knocked me off my feet for a few days. Its something you expect in the winter, but not so much with summer knocking on your door. I am happy to have returned to my normal know, where people get up and accomplish things in the day. It feels good to be alive and well!

I picked up this old wooden crate a few months ago at a Yard Sale. I think I paid $1 for it. I had no idea what I was going to use it for, but it had such lovely weathering to it, I couldn't pass it by. I knew it would be great for something...

After a trip to my small town hardware store...where I must say, I get the GREATEST CUSTOMER SERVICE OF ALL TIME...I saw flowers planted in old vintage crates. CUTE. Not the flowers I would have chosen, but it was cute. Of course, I knew I had a vintage crate at home, so I was in no rush to buy anything.

Saturday, I found myself at Home Depot. It does not have the charm or customer service of my little hardware store, but I will admit I get a much better price on spray paint at Home Depot. And, well, I use a LOT of spray paint around here. Some day I will have my own workshop in my garage with a power sprayer...aaah, I can just imagine it now...but at the moment, cans of spray paint are my "weapon of choice."

At Home Depot I again found myself face to face with vintage crate flower boxes! What? Home Depot? Since when have you become all cute and vintage? I couldn't stand the thought one moment longer. I grabbed a cart and quickly filled it with potting soil, a few potted hydrangeas and practically skipped out of the store. My vintage crate was going to have a purpose!

Don't they look like they belong together??

As much as I adored the look of the vintage crate, I also knew I couldn't leave well enough alone. I don't want a crate that looks like something everyone else has. It was fairly original when I saw it at our local hardware store. But if Home Depot is selling them too...this was no longer even remotely original. That just wouldn't do. I needed to put my own mark on the project. I took out my Cricut machine and made a quick "beach" stencil.

I placed the stencil on my crate and realized I didn't have cream acrylic paint. So...I used my blue painters tape to mask off the exposed crate.

I gave it a very light spray with my RustOleum Heirloom White paint.

Aaah...something a bit more unique.

I love how the "B" still shows...

And since I am fancy I lined the bottom of the crate with tin foil. I know, a plastic tray would have worked much better or a layer of rocks...but I was in a hurry and at the moment tin foil was available and seemed to make sense. A few scoops of potting soil and two hydrangeas later...

It still needed just a touch more. A starfish, some rope and a hot glue gun later...look at her now...

I couldn't be more thrilled with the final product! It makes me smile every time I come home. Isn't that the point of front porch decorations?

Come over and join the party...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Altered Charger Plates

Last week I was helping set up for a Mother's Day Tea. There isn't much I like more than planning a party...Birthday, Christmas, Tea Party...any kind of party will do. It gets my creative juices flowing. Something that makes me feel

When I saw these chargers online at Michaels for 99 cents, I knew they would be PERFECT.

Remember, I said WOULD be perfect. They certainly weren't perfect at this point. I can't think of too many situations where you would want a shiny teal charger. I am sure it is perfect for something, but probably not any party I will be hosting. So what do I do when I like the idea of something, but not the actual product? I spray paint it of course! Yep...I spray painted my new chargers!

I gave each of them a coat of gray primer...

Look how pretty they look even in the gray! Next I gave them a coat of black. I would've preferred to paint them with chalkboard paint, but I was out. I can imagine how adorable it would be to write messages along the edges! I will definitely be repainting these cuties with chalkboard paint!

Even without the chalkboard paint, I adore the way these turned out!

I love the way the chargers bring the paint around the rest of the table, not just on the table runner. No one ever guessed these were spray paint beauties!

Monday, May 14, 2012

QUICK Thank You Gift

I've got a really QUICK idea for a "Thank You" gift. The end of the year seems to bring so many people I need to say "Thank You" to. It seems every time I turn around there is another person I should recognize. Look what my kids took to school today...

How cute is that vase? I found the tags last week at a scrapbook store and fell in love! It would be pretty simple to make your own copy with a popsicle stick and some small alphabet rubber stamps. Of course, it was much easier to take them out of the package and thread them on the bakers string. Don't get me wrong...I am all about saving money. I know I could have done this cheaper on my own. Sometimes, however, it is better to just get the job done quickly and done well.

I clipped a couple roses from our yard and we were off to school! The only supplies I actually purchased were the "Thank You" tags for $2.25...not a bad price for 4 "Thank You" gifts!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ready for Summer!

Is there anyone else out there ready for summer? I am ready for school to be out and all of the year end activities to be over. It is a busy time when you have kids!

This is a funny time of year in Southern California. We locals call it "May Gray" which is followed by "June Gloom." In other words, while the rest of you are warming up and experiencing the best weather ever...we are pretty much having our worst weather. I know, I know...Southern California's worst weather trumps good weather in many places. But for those of us who are lucky enough to call this home, it is pretty dismal at times.

Do you want to see the signs that I am ready for summer? Look what I picked up today at Home Goods...

There is literally a sign that screams summer! Nothing says "I am ready for summer" like a pile of beach cottage home decor! Just look how cute this bedding is...

Now I am on a search for the matching pillow shams. I think it is a genius scheme by Home Goods...don't have the shams for sale with the quilt. I will have to pop into every TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods I see until I get my hands on those pillow shams! You know I will find something that calls my name when I return. Oh, Home are so clever.

**THANKS Mom & Dad for the special Mother's Day Treat! Shopping and such great finds!**

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wonderful Wednesday...Annual Flower Show

One of the great things about living in a small community are the small town events that take place every year. This year was the 87th Annual Flower Show. 87th!! That blows my mind. That means the first Flower Show took place in 1925. Do you know what the world was like in 1925? Calvin Coolidge became the first President to have his inauguration broadcast on radio...not tv, not on the internet...the radio!

This was the first year that both of my kids were able to enter a flower arrangement in the Kids Division. Last year my daughter entered 2 categories and got a 1st and 2nd Place ribbon. She was THRILLED. From the last day of the show in 2011, she knew what she was going to do this year. I knew it was a good idea, actually a GREAT idea. I just hoped it was good enough for the "BIG ribbon" she had been hoping never know.

Each category is divided between age groups. Each piece is scored on a number scale, so there can be numerous 1st Place ribbons. Once those 1st place ribbons are given, those entries are then pooled to find an overall 1st Place in the category...aka a "BIG ribbon." Then the "BIG ribbon" entries are judged against each other for an overall winner who gets a trophy. Here is my daughter's entry:

I was impressed! I am pretty creative. But I would never have come up with this idea! The flowers were her paint pallet. I know I am a bit biased, but I thought it was GENIUS! The judges thought she did a pretty good job too:

The small green ribbon is for 1st Place. The green and yellow ribbon was her coveted "BIG ribbon"...and it was also for 1st Place. The little trophy represents the big one she has her name on at the Library. She was OVER THE MOON with excitement! She had never even thought of winning a trophy! I think I am in big trouble for next year!

She also entered a miniature flower arrangement:

They have to be no larger than 5 inches in all directions, which is a lot more difficult than it sounds. She was pretty pleased with another 1st Place ribbon!

I was pretty surprised that he cared, but the day before the show my little guy decided he wanted to enter too. He is very opinionated and was set on making an arrangement with Bird of Paradise flowers. He literally spent less than 5 minutes creating his arrangement. He dropped the flowers in piece by piece and was done.

A 1st Place ribbon and a "BIG ribbon" for 2nd Place...only behind his sister...not bad for 5 minutes of effort! Of course, there was a bit of envy because she had won a trophy. Lucky me! Despite doing an amazing job, I think he was mainly concerned that she had beat him. Aaah...sibling rivalry at its finest. I'm sure there won't be any sibling rivalry next year!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Finished Craigslist Desk

It has taken me far to long to show the final reveal of my adorable Craigslist Desk! I wrote about it so long ago, that I didn't even know how far back to go to find the last post. That is sad. To be honest, I just put the finishing touches on it last week..yes, I know that is pathetic. Sometimes that is how life goes.

Just a reminder, this is how the desk started...

Ugly, ugly, ugly...but it was FREE! Now, it looks like this...

I love it! Even better, my daughter LOVES it! Just look at those sweet details...

Can you believe these knobs came from the Dollar Section at Michaels? I pretty much bought them out since they were so cute! And look at the keyhole covers...

I had to special order them online...which took a bit longer than my patience lasted. It wasn't that they were slow in their shipping, I was just impatient. I love how they look, and it saved me from having to patch the holes that were already there. I also think it helps show the piece has some age.

And just look how well it works with the new hinges...

I love the way the desk closes and hides away all of the "treasures" that little girls seem to collect. It makes both of us very happy. She can have a place for all of her things, and I don't have to look at them all of the time!

I couldn't be more pleased with how this piece turned out! The hinges had to be ordered online too, and when they arrived they didn't quite fit into the existing notches from the previous hinges. Luckily for me, my Grandparents came for a visit and my Grandfather was kind enough to carve out the needed space. Thanks Grandpa! It is just another reason this piece is so special...not only did Mom refinish it for her, but her Great Grandpa did too!

I am hooking up to the following: