A few times a year we go to my family's cabin in Arnold. It's one of my favorite places to be. It's the kind of place where you can read all day long and not feel guilty about work/cleaning piling up. It's the kind of the place where getting dirty is part of the fun, not having to worry about makeup or doing your hair. The kind of place where my girls can run wild and not get in trouble. I hope when they get older, they'll remember the fun times they had in Arnold.
It was a quick trip for us this time. We drove up after work on Friday and came home Sunday afternoon, but we were able to pack a lot in.
Friday night was bonfire and s'mores. This was pretty exciting since neither of my girls had ever had s'mores before and didn't even know what they were. It was a big hit.
Saturday morning was spent on the back porch reading and playing games. Saturday afternoon was spent at Beaver Creek.
Sunday was Fly-In Lake and lots of floating and sandcastles.
It was a perfect summer weekend and I'm already counting the days until we go back.
I'm doing another Project Life album this year and I'm still loving the whole process. This is my 5th year doing a yearly project life album. As usual, I'm a little behind, but this system makes it so easy to get caught up. I've stopped doing traditional layouts and there is so much relief not having to figure out a layout. Just getting the pictures in the page protectors, writing down the things I want to remember and I'm done.
Here are a couple pages from this spring.
I have terrible handwriting, so this year I am printing all my cards from the computer. I am using this tutorial and it is so easy.
I've always loved wooden oars. So when I saw all the cute painted oars on Pinterest, I knew I wanted to paint a couple to put over our TV. I found both of these oars at antique stores. One was $10 and the other was about $15. I didn't care if they were exactly the same. I just looked for two that were similar.
I painted two coats of white with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, then taped off different areas with painter's tape. I used acrylic paint from Michael's for the stripes and number. Then distressed everything once they were dry.
They were still a little boring to me, so I used some thin jute twine I found in the garage. I held it in pace with tape until I had it where I wanted it. Once it was in place, I used a little hot glue on the ends to hold it down. I added triangle hooks on each end so I could hang it on the wall.
Love the way they turned out! And it only took me an afternoon to finish the whole thing.
We just got back from our vacation in Southern California and we had so much fun! The first half of the week was spent in Disneyland and then Santa Monica for a wedding.
Our first ride was teacups, and it was the favorite of the week. We kept getting right back in line for the first half hour of the day.
Day two was spent in California Adventure. The last time I was there, Cars Land wasn't open yet, so it was a first for all of us. Madison is not a fan of most of the rides. But I took her on the Radiator Springs ride and hoped for the best. As soon as the cars started speeding up, she started screaming. It was hysterical. At the end of the ride she was kind of crying, kind of laughing, and said her tummy hurt a little bit but she kind of liked it. After that ride she asked someone before every single ride if it went fast, sideways or had any drops.
A rare moment with no fighting.
Lunch with the princesses. A big hit.
Madison and I watching Sidney and Oma on the Jumpin' Jellyfish. Sidney got off the ride and said it wasn't very good. It didn't go high enough. She is definitely my daredevil.
Day three - back at Disneyland and back on the teacups.
After Disneyland we headed to Santa Monica and spent Saturday morning at the beach. We had a lot of family with us and cousins we don't get to see very often. Sidney said it was the best day ever.
Saturday afternoon was the wedding and Madison and Sidney were flower girls for the first time.
The bride with all SIX of her flower girls!
I love the little secret waves.
We had the best time, but Sunday morning I couldn't wait to get back home.
Over the past couple years, I've grown to love succulents. They add just the right amount of green to my house or yard, they are easy to grow and they are inexpensive. But the best part is that you can break off a piece from an existing plant, and create a whole new plant.
I'm always on the lookout for any little thing to put succulents in. On a recent trip to Home Goods, I found these teacups in the clearance section for $1.00 each. I was so excited. I immediately came home and started breaking off little pieces from my succulents outside.
I used a diamond drill bit and carefully drilled a drainage hole on the bottom of the cup. I put small pebbles on the bottom, them filled the rest of the cup with cactus dirt and stuck in my succulent pieces.
I had all three cups done is just a few minutes. I think these will make excellent hostess or teacher gifts at the end of the school year.
My favorite Christmas project so far this year has been my wood tea light holders. I love the way they turned out, but I also love that they were completely free! Everything I needed, I already had in my garage.
I used leftover 4x4 blocks from when we built our new fence a couple years ago. I drilled the holes using a 1 1/2 inch drill bit (like this) for the tea lights, then stained the block of wood with a dark ebony stain.
When the stain was dry, I painted two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White.
I printed the words onto a piece of paper, then traced over them with a ballpoint pen. I pressed just hard enough to see an outline of the letters in my wood. Then I used a tiny paintbrush and filled it in.
I don't have a very steady hand, so I was really disappointed with my paint job. However, a little distressing takes care of all the painting outside the lines. It also took care of all the paint marks when I dropped my brush!
I let everything dry, then started sanding away with my sanding block. I love how soft this paint is after you distress it. So soft and smooth. My girls kept "petting" the wood because they loved the way it felt.
I think this will make perfect hostess gifts this season.
I have always loved growth charts. So when I saw all the distressed growth charts on Pinterest, I knew I would eventually make one.
They are so easy and inexpensive to make. It took me a couple days to complete because of drying time, but the actual work is quick.
I used a 1x6 from Home Depot, sanded all the edges and corners and then stained it. I let it dry overnight and then lightly sanded it again so it was nice and smooth.
I marked every six inches and then taped my squares so I could apply paint. I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint because it dries quickly and distress easily.
After the painted squares were dry, I used a plastic stencil from Michaels to paint the numbers. I did get a lot of bleeding from the paint under the stencil, but once everything was distressed, it was not noticeable.
I did two coats of white paint and only one coat of the blue paint before distressing. I definitely like it better with two coats of paint. The blue looked too washed out, not really distressed.
I love the way these turned out. I can't wait until I can actually starting marking both my girls' heights!
The Plumgrove Boutique was this past weekend and it was so much fun. I can't believe how many people came to shop. There was an endless stream of customers.
So, I'm really happy that I made the extra effort last week to finish up these little wooden Christmas signs. They were so easy to make and I had a lot of fun painting them.
I used an old 1x6 I found in my garage. I stained it with Minwax in Ebony (my favorite because it is such a dark color), painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White, and then used regular acrylic craft paint to paint on the words.
After the paint dried I used my sanding block to distress it, added a couple eye hooks and twine and it was good to go.
The only thing left to do is decide which one is my favorite!
My Annual Holiday Boutique is coming up this weekend. If you are in the Sacramento area I would love for you to stop by and do some shopping.
Over the years, our boutique has gotten bigger and bigger. Last year, Good Day Sacramento came early in the morning and filmed a few segments for their show. It was so much fun! Here's a clip of one of the segments: