How to Make a Framed Chalkboard

wreathframe

 

There is something about chalkboards that I just love.  They are rustic, and can be dressed up or down. Chalkboard paint seems to have taken the world by storm, and for good reason. Just slap it on pretty much anything, and boom! You’ve got yourself something cute and functional.

I’m loving chalkboards that have pretty frames right now, which is great, because they are incredibly easy.

When I first set out to create the look, I had an image in my head of what I was looking for.  This beautiful frame was my inspiration.  I searched long and hard, and ended up finding one at goodwill.

My trick for finding a great frame for an even greater price is looking at goodwill, thrift stores, yards sales, etc., and picking one with a dated and unattractive print/picture inside.  Disregard what’s on the inside, it’s gonna get covered up.

Make sure your frame has glass.  That is what you’ll be painting.

Materials:

  • Frame with glass
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Paintbrush

Steps:

  • Lay your frame on a flat surface. No need to remove the print behind the glass.
  • Use the painter’s tape to protect the frame where it meets the glass.  Do not put tape on the glass itself.
  • Dip your paintbrush in the chalkboard paint and start painting the glass.  You can also use a small roller to get a smoother surface. You will probably need at least 2 coats.
  • Let dry.  Follow the directions on your chalkboard paint.  Some take a couple days to cure and don’t recommend using chalk on them until that happens.

So, next time you see a crazy looking picture in an awesome frame, give it a chance.  You might be pleasantly surprised with what it can become.

Have a great week!

Steph

 

Friday Finds: What I’ve Loved on Vacation

beach trip 1

We have been on vacation for the past two weeks and have absolutely loved it. As our kids get older, we feel like quality time with them just gets sweeter. Since we are wrapping it up, I want to highlight some of my favorite finds from this vacation. Here we go!

  1. Coconut oil for your sunburn.  As if I needed another reason to love coconut oil! I will say, aloe vera is still my go-to to ease the initial pain, but coconut oil is great for the next day to hydrate and heal the skin.
  2. Fisher’s Popcorn.  If you have had the pleasure of visiting Ocean Ciy, MD, you have probably come across the amazing Fisher’s Popcorn.  They’ve been cookin’ up gooey caramel popcorn on the Ocean City Boardwalk since 1937.  You’re in luck if you get there when they bring out a fresh, hot batch.  Our new discovery this year was getting the caramel and cheddar popcorn mix.  Holy cow, you’ve gotta try it.  Salty and sweet goodness at it’s best! Click here if you want to check out their website, or just mix up a batch of your own caramel/cheddar combo.
  3. Playing Games. My mom brought this adorable game to play with the kids, and it was so fun watching them run around the living room searching for their ants to pick up with their velcro anteater noses.  Melissa & Doug does toys right.
  4. Biking on the Boardwalk.  This was the first year I have done this, and I think it will have to become a tradition.  My husband rented a regular bicycle with the other men in the family, but the kiddos rode with my mom and I in the 5 seat surrey.  It was a blast.  Next time, I plan on getting up extra early when the boardwalk is a ghost town, and enjoying the wind in my hair, cruising down the boardwalk before breakfast.
  5. Family dinners around the table. Seriously, it is one of my favorite things. No one is in a rush. We could literally sit there for hours and reminisce about the past, dream about the future, and laugh through it all. I saw this quote this weekend: “Family is like the branches of a tree growing in different directions yet our roots will always remain as one.” -author unknown. This quote is a good reminder that no matter how far away my family lives, we can still stay connected and close. I’m thankful for that because I know it’s not a given, it’s a blessing.

beach trip 2

beach trip 3

beach trip 4

I’m so thankful for time to rest, recharge, and bond with my most loved ones.

See you when I’m back in real life!

Steph

 

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How to Refresh Your Home the Cheap Way

I’ve been married and decorating my own space for almost 7 years now, and I’m amazed how much my personal style, and what’s “in style” has evolved in that short amount of time. My space doesn’t need a complete overhaul, but rather, some refreshing. So, here are some of my ideas on how to refresh your home the cheap way:

  • Spray paint your curtain rods
    • Black is classic and will go with any decor. However, if you are feeling trendy, gold is really in right now.  Check these cool rods out.
  • Lighten up your walls by changing to a neutral color
    •  This is a great update because once you do it, you can probably leave it for decades to come.  Neutrals are never out.  My absolute favorite neutral wall color is “Navajo White” by Sherwin Williams. Check it out here.
  • Rearrange furniture to create conversation areas
    • Instead of having the focus on the TV, allow furniture placement to encourage face-to-face time. Click here for ideas.
  • Less is more when it comes to decor accessories
    •  Pick only your favorites to display in your space. If you are having trouble parting with some of your precious pieces, read my post about How To Get Rid of Your Stuff.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix and match
    •  Eclectic is in.  This is great news for the DIY enthusiast because it’s inexpensive, and you can make it your own. A few rules to pull this off:
      • Try to stay in the same genre.  For example, 2 end tables that are different, but are both modern, cottage, or mid-century in style.
      • Stay in the same color palette. Do you have hand-me-down night stands with mismatch wood tones? Paint them both the same color. It’s a great way to tie your room together without breaking the bank. Check out this post for some beautiful examples.
      • Be cautious when mixing patterns.  In general, the simpler the better.
  • Consider open shelving
    • This is a beautiful and practical update to make.  Here are some examples.
    • If you don’t want to go to the hassle of installing shelves, try removing the doors on a hutch. I love this hutch makeover.
  • Switch out your colored dishes for white ones
    • This mainly applies when you are displaying them on your open shelving. I filled my hutch with all white dishes from the dollar store. They are perfect for the look I was going for.

Have you refreshed your decor lately? I’d love to hear your ideas.

We have been having a wonderful vacation, and look forward to a few more days of relaxation before heading back into the pace of real life.  It has been a great time of rest and bonding as a family.

Take some time for yourself and your loved ones this week!

Steph

Introducing, Friday Finds

There are so many times that I am out and about and I just get inspired by something.  Different things from different places peaks my interest: sometimes it’s at a thrift store, other times it’s on Pinterest.  I want to share these things with you without the need for a big, LONG post about it. Therefore, enter…”Friday Finds!”  It won’t necessarily be every Friday, but when I come across some awesome finds, or even deals, I will try to compile them into a “Friday Finds” post. Obviously, today is not Friday, but I wanted to give you all a heads up so you can check back on Fridays to see if there are some “finds” you might be interested in. So here we go!

  • I have a weakness for a fresh watermelon slush, and this recipe looks perfect in its’     simplicity.
  • This all white bedroom nook is positively dreamy.
  • Frozen gluten free pepperoni pizza from ALDI…because sometimes you need something with zero nutritional value.
  • I love this list of summertime hacks.
  • This week, I was at Target in the dollar section, and I saw this adorable, beachy, glass votive.  At $3, this is a total steal.  I’m thinking it would be cute sitting on the back patio table, holding a citronella candle, or used as a vase for fresh flowers.

glass votive

Did you make any fun discoveries in the past week?  Comment if you saw something noteworthy.  I’d love to know what inspired you!

We are on vacation the next couple of weeks, so posts might be light.  Hoping I come back refreshed and ready for some more DIY goodness!

Have a great week!

Steph

How To Be Productive During Summer

The warm weather is here, and I don’t think I’ve ever loved and appreciated it as much as I do now.  I don’t know if it is the age my kids are getting to, but I want to be outside all the time.

As an added bonus, being outside all day normally means the house stays relatively clean.  This week, we had a ton of rain; hence my sink that is overflowing with dirty dishes.

There is typically more freedom in summer. Fewer scheduled activities, sunny days to play outside, and vacation! I like to be flexible, but I’ve realized that I function best when I have a schedule or routine to be flexible with.  There are a ton of things (including fun activities) I want to do this summer.  But, if I don’t put it into my schedule, it will not happen.

summer goals

This is why I’ve decided to make a list of goals for the summer.  For my list, I’m separating it into 3 different categories:

1. Fun Activities

2. House Goals (for rainy days!)

3. Personal Goals

Let me give you some examples of what each looks like.  All of these are not necessarily on my list, but hopefully they will help give you some ideas.

Fun Activities

  • Go on a hike in a new place
  • Go camping
  • Let your kids have a Lemonade Stand
  • Play catch
  • Have a camp out in your living room
  • Roast marshmallows
  • Make these banana boats on the grill
  • Float down a river in an inner tube
  • Day trip to the beach
  • Day trip to a new city
  • Go to a baseball game
  • Invite friends over for a cookout
  • Host a block party
  • Run through a sprinkler
  • Have a picnic
  • Watch an old movie

House Goals

  • Make your bed every morning
  • Clean out the pantry
  • Touch up paint on the walls (I have sweet little artists in my house that like to create murals on our walls)
  • Steam clean carpets
  • Update family pictures displayed around the house
  • Clean out/organize under the bathroom sink
  • Clean out the garage
  • Have a yard sale
  • Test your smoke alarms
  • Do some yard work (trim the bushes, pull weeds, plant new flowers and don’t forget to water them!)

Personal Goals

  • Plan a girls’ night (or a guys’ night, if that applies to you)
  • Carve out some “me time” every day (even if it’s 15 min with your morning coffee)
  • Exercise 3-5 days a week (take it slow if you are just starting out)
  • Up your fruit and veggie intake
  • Drink at least 64 oz of water daily
  • Finish a book
  • Spend less time looking at your phone
  • Spend more time face to face with your spouse or a friend
  • Laugh more, stress less

Make some goals this week for your summer!

Stephanie

 

 

 

 

Keeping It Simple: How to Get Rid of Your Stuff

I was putting the kids’ winter clothes away…finally…and guess what? I was totally energized to not only put my own winter clothes away, but to also fill 4 trash bags with clothes to give away.  It became addictive.

Early on in our marriage, my husband and I got rid of everything we owned besides our bed, 2 night stands, and our clothes.  We were moving into my parents’ converted two car garage with our 4-month-old to save money to buy a house.  We were there for a year and absolutely loved being free from all our stuff.

On one hand, I crave simplicity, but on the other hand, I like to salvage things.  I think I’m still learning how to reconcile the two.  For now, I’m going to try to live by a few rules to help me keep it all in check.  These apply to my wardrobe, kids’ toys, salvaged items, kitchen tools, etc.

how to get rid of your stuff

5 Reasons to Get Rid of Something

1. Haven’t used it in a year

If you haven’t used that “pallet that you found on the side of the road” (because you saw an awesome idea on pinterest) in a year, it’s time to let it go.  I’ve been there.  This also applies to clothing.  Before my latest purge, I had clothes from high school still hangin’ out in my closet.  It was time.

2. Hanging on to it “just in case”

I’m a thrifty person, so naturally, I have a hard time getting rid of things because I fear that one day I might need it.  I’m now realizing that even if I do need it in 3 years, there is no way I’m ever gonna remember where it is.  If you don’t need it now, like in the next 12 months, move it on out!

3. “I don’t like it, but someone special gave it to me”

My mom has really helped me with this one.  I can be very sentimental, which makes it hard to let go of something, even if I hate it, if someone I love gave it to me.  My mom reminds me that it’s the person that is special, not the object.

4. Having more than one

Do you really need more than one salad bowl? Do you need more than one pair of dressy black heels…that don’t get worn anyway because you spend all your time chasing kids? oh wait, that one was for me. Enough said.

5. “I’ve always had it”

For some reason, stuff gets hard to part with simply because we’ve always had it.  Give yourself permission to let go.

 

Once you start a habit of purging the extras, you might just get hooked.

Fill a trash bag this week!

Stephanie