I love how easy and beautiful this gift was and I now Mimi is going to love it!
It’s Mimi’s birthday today and that means a handmade project with Andrew. Usually, not a problem to go run to a craft store to the supplies we need, but in the middle of everything going on its really hard. Stores are closed or crazy so I had to get really creative. I happened to have stain glass paint leftover from a jewelry project and an unused picture frame. I knew she would appreciate a cross the most and it would be easy to paint. I used painters tape to create the cross in the center of picture frame glass and gave Andrew a paintbrush. I put some purple, white, and blue paint on a paper plate and held it while he dipped the paintbrush and painted. He had a lot of fun with painting and didn’t want to stop once the glass was painted so I gave him a piece of paper to paint while I cleaned up. Once the paint was dried I removed the tape and glued it into the black frame. I had to glue it in place since the back wasn’t going to be able to hold it in. The glue worked great and to finish I added a ribbon using a staple gun and a little more hot glue to hang it.
I love how easy and beautiful this gift was and I now Mimi is going to love it!
Andrew got most of his teeth very quickly and in two stents. Poor kid. His teeth hurt so badly and there wasn’t much we could do other than teething rings and cool rags. At the time I bought chew safe silicone beads to make him chewing necklaces, but by the time I got time to make them he no longer needed them. Until recently when he started chewing on Lion and on his shirts when we wouldn’t let him have Lion, I pulled out the supplies and made him three different types of chewing necklaces. The necklace cord came with plastic quick-release connectors, but he quickly started chewing on these and destroyed them. I found some small metal magnetic clasp and replaced the broken plastic ones. He thankfully only chews on the silicone beads now and has fun playing with the magnets. The necklace comes in handy to stop him from chewing on things he shouldn’t be and seems to calm him down when needed.
Well, the store shelves are bare and any disinfected cleaning supplies are sold out. Even DIY make your own hand sanitizer supplies are sold out. SO what do you do? We were lucky to have a box of alcohol wipes in our first aid kit and once we used those all up, we made our own. Jack happened to have a bottle of 71% alcohol for when he works on his electronic projects and I always have cotton pads.
I placed ten pads in a baggie or in a small jelly jar and but 1 tablespoon of the alcohol on the pads. I labeled them and it was that easy. Now I know it isn’t the easiest thing to use but it is better than nothing and I refuse to buy a 2oz bottle of hand sanitizer on eBay for $40!
A few months ago I shared my banana chocolate chip bread and realized, I never shared my actual banana nut bread! Way back when I shared my banana nut muffin recipe, but I’ve tweaked the recipe over time, and when I make this recipe I usually do a double batch so I can freeze some of the mini loaves. This version makes 10 mini loaves or 3 regular loaves, just adjust the baking time.
ENTER RECIPE HERE
I just finished putting on the final touches on the courtyard makeover! And I will be the first to admit, the courtyard is my new favorite place to hang out.
I started with a fresh coat of black spray on the table and chairs, making sure to not get any paint on the newly stained concrete. I bought new chair cushions from Walmart for $5 each that matched the blue umbrella we already had. I ordered a new round outdoor rug from Home Depot. I also added a few new garden art pieces around the courtyard.
The final touch was adding some wall mounted planters to the walkway wall. Let’s be honest here, I kill any plant that isn’t watered by a sprinkler so I used very realistic plants that I bought on sale at Hobby Lobby (shhh don’t tell anyone).
I am so proud of all of our hard work and I can’t wait to enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine out there!
The next phase of the courtyard's makeover is to stain the new “rock pavers” on the concrete slab. I bought a one-quart concrete stain from Home Depot in the color Emerald. When I went to start staining thought it was greener than the sample, instead of going and buying a new stain color, I decided to mix it with the blueish gray I used on the back patio concrete. I also added a little water to it to make it more translucent. I wanted the rock pavers to look as natural as possible.
I started in the far corner and slowly started staining with the stain in a spray bottle and blending it with a rag. About a third of the way finished I realized I wasn’t going to have enough stain and really didn’t want to go have to buy more stain, in the two colors now. I finished staining the entire border then I picked random rocks to stain the current shade of stain. Then I added more water to thin it out and give me a little more stain. I picked a few more rock pavers to stain with that version and then repeated twice more: add water, stain a few more, add water, and stain the last few. I barely had enough bit it worked and I really like the different shades of all of the pavers.
Sometimes quick thinking and a little creativity and resourcefulness save the day!
I feel like I have moved thoughts of rocks, twice! Oh wait, I have. This last week I removed every single rock out of the flower bed in the courtyard. I was no longer able to clean up the weeds and knew I needed to start fresh, so all of the rocks had to be removed to lay a new weed barrier down. It took me two days to remove the rocks, which mostly consisted of me sitting down and throwing the rocks onto the concrete slap. Jack and Andrew weren’t interested in helping me and I just took my time and did a little at a time.
After all of the rocks were removed, I sprayed them off with the power washer. I wanted to get and weeds, grass, and dirt off of them before I laid the new barrier down. Since I am hoping to not have to do this again I bought the professional-grade weed barrier that was good for 20 years. I bought only one 150 square feet roll and it was just barely enough.
Note: I did not remove the old barrier, I sprayed weed killer on the remaining weeds and laid the new barrier on top.
I planted a few new plants before moving onto the last step. Which was putting all of those rocks back! Thankfully this time my aunt and mom came over to help me. We were able to get them back in place in about an hour.
Now the courtyard flower beds are cleaned and beautiful. Phase two complete and onto the third!
I love making charcuterie boards for large gatherings. It easy and there is usually something everyone likes. I was asked to provide snacks for the first night of our Lenten Bible Study and I knew right away I was going to make a charcuterie board, several of them. There is really no wrong or right way to make one, but I like to at least have 3 to 4 varieties in each area.
For the charcuterie board in the picture:
Charcuterie Boards are usually a great crowd pleaser and a lot of people will be impressed with the presentation and options for them to snack on. I know the Bible study attendees were!
The weather has been so nice lately and it makes me want to work outside. The project that we decided to work on was our courtyard. I like my courtyard, but not in love with it. Especially not in love with it as much as I love our new back patio and I want that for the courtyard too.
The biggest eyesore is the ugly slab of concrete. For years I dreamed about removing it and adding pavers, but I’m realistic and knew that would be a ton of work and a lot of money. Then I got one of those brilliant ideas, that kind of idea that makes Jack look at me like I lost my mind. But it was genius and it worked awesomely…
We cut pavers into the concrete. It sounds ridiculous I know, but it was so easy! Jack started by cutting the border of the slap into brinks using a grinder and a diamond concrete blade. He was surprised how easy it was and it only took 15 minutes for him to cut the whole border.
Later that day, I used a piece of chalk to freehand the rock shaped pavers on the slab, incorporating any cracks. Once I was satisfied with the shapes I got my turn to use the grinder and cut out the “rock paver”. I figured since I had the image of what I wanted in my head it would be best if I did the cutting and it was fun. It also only took me 30 minutes to cut them all out.
Phase one of the courtyard is completed, next up rocks and weed barrier!
I created this blog to share my creations with hopes that it will inspire others to show their creative side.