Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Win It Wednesday : Labor Day by Joyce Maynard

Hi y'all! I have a fun new giveaway for any of you out there who love reading. I'm an avid reader (well, not quite as avid as I was before children), and earlier this year I found a list of books you should read before the movie comes out in 2014. I love lists like this because I am always looking for something new to read and while I have authors that I love (Jodi Picoult, Joshilyn Jackson), I like finding new authors to read. I went through the list and flagged a few that seemed interesting enough for me to read. Vampire Academy did not make the list. Sorry. But Labor Day did. I still haven't seen the movie, but that's okay, I'm sure it'll be out in Redbox soon. Labor Day was the first book from the list that I read. 

Here is the synopsis from BarnesandNoble.com: 

With the end of summer closing in and a steamy Labor Day weekend looming in the town of Holton Mills, New Hampshire, lonely, friendless thirteen-year-old Henry spends most of his time watching television, reading, and daydreaming with only his emotionally fragile, long-divorced mother for company. But everything changes on the Thursday before the holiday weekend when a mysterious bleeding man named Frank asks Henry for a hand. Over the next five days, Henry will learn some of life's most valuable lessons, about the breathless pain of jealousy, the power of betrayal, and the importance of putting those we care about above ourselves—and that real love is worth waiting for.
From acclaimed author Joyce Maynard comes a beautiful, poignant tale of love, sex, adolescence, and devastating treachery as seen through the eyes of a young teenager—and the man he later becomes.

Here is the movie trailer, in case you don't remember from last month: 



I read the book pretty quickly and although I knew what was going to happen, the seemingly "bad guy" wasn't going to be as bad as we first thought, and he and the leading lady would fall in love, there was still some surprises in the book. The explanation of why Adele acts the way she does. And the ending... does he get caught? Do they get away and live happily ever after together? Does something go terribly wrong?  Well.... I hope you win it to find out, but I thought the ending was perfect. And that's all I'm going to say. 

Here's how to be entered to win: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Good luck!! 


Monday, February 24, 2014

moods : February 2014

Hi y'all! Thanks for the encouragement and support last week when I told you all about the funk I'd been in and how I was finally starting to come out of it. Y'all are the best! :) And since y'all are the best... I don't feel too bad that there are only 4 more days left in the month and I'm just now posting my monthly moods. Haha. To my defense there were a few things working against me... February is a shorter month so I have less time to get things posted, work was insanely busy plus aforementioned funk spell, and lastly, my Google Chrome went all anti-Regina on me and decided it wasn't going to work anymore. Which meant Blogger didn't work as well, and Polyvore didn't work at all. Yeah. Awesome. So yeah... we're going with all that and I'm taking a free pass this month. ;) lol

But regardless of my internet woes, and my own personal funk, my moods board post is now up! Woo hoo!

What inspires me: 

February 2014



Y'all, I'm really crushing hard on burlap. I know people have been burlap crazy for a while and I've been right there with them for the longest time, but lately I've been just absolutely oogling over all things burlap. This past weekend I was in a boutique and this lady was refinishing a chair with a burlap cover and fringe and it really looked fabulous! I was smitten. I walked away before I could be talked into purchasing it. Haha. And I especially love burlap when paired with crisp, cool white. So shabby elegant. All of this is providing some wonderful inspiration for another room makeover that I'll have to share with you soon... ;) 

What I'm listening to: 

I'm reconnecting with my Pandora stations and I've been listening to a lot of Jim Brickman radio while working. It's not distracting, subtle, and relaxing in a way that keeps me from wanting to pull my hair out when I get dumb emails from dumb people with dumb problems. You know the type. ;) 





What I'm reading: 


I just started this book and so far it's interesting. I can't give much more detail than that, because really, I just started it. BUT, it's been made into a movie that will be released later this year starring Ben Aflleck.


So if you like the mystery/suspense type movies/books, you might want to check this one out. 


What I'm watching: 

The Walking Dead is back from the mid-season hiatus and we're a few episodes in to the back half of the season. And wow! Could this be more of an emotional roller coaster. So many highs, lows, wonderfully happy moments, and painfully stressful moments. It's crazy! And it's awesome!



I'm looking forward to this week's episode of Grey's Anatomy. Is it going to be Jackson or Matthew??? I just don't know! I can't even decide, I don't know how April's going to decide. And we all know that Yang is gone after this season... but will Meredith and Cristina part ways no longer friends? Will Cristina leave the show without her and Meredith making amends?

The next couple months of my television shows is sure to keep me hopping. ;)

Alright, well that's pretty much the mood of my month. What about you? What's been going on in your world? Any good shows you're watching? Books? Do you have a song that you are jamming to right now?



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Where I've been....

Hi y'all! I'm here and I'm alive. I realize I just kind of dropped off the blogosphere for a bit there, many apologies. I was in a funk... and the kids have kept me hopping... and mostly I was in a funk. You know how some people get the post-holiday blues? Yep. Towards the end of January there was this blow up of stuff at work that really made me feel completely useless and inadequate. Plus the typical post-holiday blues. Plus a head cold. All of it combined to just put me in a funk. I had no energy, no motivation to do much of anything, and while I thought about blogging and blogged once or twice, I wasn't interested in doing much more than that. 

And although I was in a funk with little motivation, there was still a lot of stuff going on. Here are a few things that have happened recently. 

Luke is finally eating baby food really well. It took a lot longer to get him use to the texture and new tastes, but he's finally eating it everyday and doing really well. Side note: Have you ever fed a blind baby? It's a little challenging since they use their hands to see so their hands go everywhere. He also loves grabbing the spoon and not giving it back. haha. 

He also learned this new trick: 

 
 We've been working with him for a while now on sitting up. It was his next big goal. I've been working with him in the evenings for weeks on just sitting up and how to prop himself up. Saturday Luke and I were hanging out in the living room and he was just rolling around, playing in the floor by himself and the next thing I know, I looked over and he's sitting up all by himself. I was so amazed!!! 

And to prove it wasn't a fluke, he did it all day long. So cute!!! His therapist comes today so I'm wondering if Luke is going to show him his new trick, or if he's going to play a trick on Mama and not actually do it. lol 

We've also decided that Luke is crawling, he just does it his own way. The kid is mobile!! Hahaha. However, the therapist wants him to crawl like other kids so we're working on that too. Which means he'll probably surprise me one day by just crawling everywhere all of a sudden. :) 

Our master bedroom is now 100% complete. I know I did the big reveal not too long ago, but I still had one little thing hanging over me and it was the picture frame on the teal shelf. It needed something in it and I had decided on a cute artsy quote print from Etsy. But that sale fell through so I had to find another one and I love it just as much too: 

 
So that is one big fat check mark on my yearly to-do list. ;) 

Also, if you follow me on Instagram (and if you don't, WHY?!?!?!) then you know I've been learning how to use Photoshop. And here are some of my first edited photos: 





So I guess I haven't been completely useless while in the funk. ;) haha. I also turned two box springs into raised garden beds. But I'll post more on that later. 

Well, that's a little snippet of what I've been up to. 

And here's to fresh starts (even in February). Getting over the blues and beating your funk. And also getting back to this fun world of blogging.



Friday, February 7, 2014

DIY : pallet to decor

Hi y'all! With my bedroom makeover complete, I wanted to share one of the major projects for the makeover, my over the bed decor. Originally I had thought shelves with some pictures, art, an ampersand, and knick knacks, but once our bed was in our room, I decided there just wasn't enough room for what I wanted. I scoured Pinterest for all sorts of ideas and found several that I really liked. From mirrors to pictures collages to shelves to lights, there really is no shortage of decorating ideas to be found on Pinterest. (side note: you can view my bedroom makeover ideas board here.) Eventually, I decided I wanted a large piece of art/decor above our bed. After seeing so many pallet art pieces, I knew that's what I wanted. I could make it in any color, and I thought the pallet aesthetics would really tone down the "fanciness" of our room decor. But what quote or words would I put on the piece? That was a big problem. I knew I wanted it to be something meaningful, but something universal. Something that meant something especially to us, but also could mean something to others. I didn't want it to be overly personal, but still romantic. So I searched and searched and one day as I was driving to Lubbock, I heard this song and everything clicked.



Once I heard that song I knew what I wanted on my pallet art/decor. "In the shelter of each other we will live." I know there have been times in our marriage where we didn't live in the shelter of each other. We lived in the shelter of something else. So it means something to us to remind us to live in each other's shelter. It also means something when you're working for a congregation and you need to be reminded to live in the shelter there. And in the shelter of your Christian brothers, sisters... it's a perfect reminder for exactly who we are, where we are, and what we do. 

So now that you know the back story, here's the "how to" for creating this art/decor if you want to do something similar. 






1. Disassemble the pallet. I highly recommend this man's post, but I didn't have those tools so I had to do it by hand with just a hammer. It's entirely possible to do it this way, but do things slowly so you don't split your wood. 





 2. Determine your layout. I simply laid out all the boards until I liked the layout.




3. Measure your space and measure your layout. With all my boards laid out the way I liked, I measured them just as they were both width and height. Then I measured my wall space and realized my current layout was too large for my space. So I removed one whole row of boards to decrease the height. Then I cut some of the boards in half until the measurements of the new layout were what I needed to fit the space above our bed.  




3. Lose your mind and your temper. Attach pallet pieces perpendicular on the back of the piece to hold everything together. And this was the step that seriously made me hate the entire project and wish bad things on anyone who had ever repinned a wooden pallet project on Pinterest. This pallet was made from hard wood. So when I started simply nailing the cross pieces to the back, I bent nail after nail after nail. After about 20-30 nails, I decided screws would be the best answer. After I broke the head off of a screw, I decided drilling pilot holes would be the best method. After I broke a drill bit while drilling pilot holes, I decided the pallet was a worthy opponent and pallet projects are for people who enjoy mental torture. Seriously. Wooden pallet projects are not to be entered into lightly. If I could murder a piece of wood, I would have attempted to do so that afternoon. Only to realize I was dealing with the Chuck Norris/Liam Neeson love child of wood here and it was NOT going to allow me to murder it and probably would have roundhouse kicked me back to my previous world of Painted Card DIYs.

So... in order to preserve your sanity... if you decide to take on a wooden pallet project let me help you out. When you are attached the perpendicular pallet pieces to the back of the piece, take a drill bit slightly smaller than your screws, and slowly and carefully drill pilot holes first. Then you can use your screws and drill to attach the boards. And feel free to use this time to think, "Wow, I'm so thankful for DIYers who figure out the easiest/best/most resourceful ways of doing things and then telling the world about them. That Regina, Nobel Peace Prize nominee right there."


 At this point, you've either lost your mind and your dignity to a wooden pallet, or you've got your perpendicular pieces attached to the back and now your whole project has taken on a shape that actually holds together. High fives, fist bumps, and cheers all around!




4. Paint and paint and paint some more. I wanted our art/decor to look distressed and roughed up (like me after step 3), but I also wanted it to have a little color to it. To create the colorfully distressed look (did I just coin a DIY phrase right there????) I first painted two coats of black spray paint. Due to the large size of our piece it was one can per coat. 



Done!

Then I painted two coats of teal. More specifically Rust-o-leum's Satin Lagoon. Two coats, two cans. 


Done again!

Then I painted one coat of white spray paint, followed by two coats of rolled on paint. (The white color is Glidden's Oyster Shell.) And voila!! You really want to end with a coat of rolled paint so it looks even. 


Finally finished. Done and done!


5. Add your lettering. This step is going to be different for everyone, depending on your skill level of lettering. You can print out letters, cut them out and trace around them. You can stencil. Or you can just take a deep breath and try your hand at hand-lettering, which is what I did. I wanted a calligraphy-style lettering so I turned to Google for "how-to calligraphy". You can find lots of tips, tricks, and even video tutorials for accomplishing this and then you just give it a go. I started out with a pencil and very lightly did my lettering and used a sewing measuring tape to keep my letters similar in size and spacing. I did have to erase a lot and did a lot of trial and error, but it worked and turned out beautifully!


For the black I used (get this!) a King Size Sharpie marker. Yep. No fancy oil paint pens, no paint brushes and black acrylic paint, nope. Just a Sharpie. 


Based on the calligraphy tips I learned, I first wrote out the entire phrase, then I went back in to thicken the down-ward strokes to give the look of calligraphy. 


6. Sand your art/decor. After your lettering is done, it's time to start sanding. This was by far my favorite step. I started out using a sand block but quickly changed my mind and got out my Mouse sander. I went all around the edges first, then I worked on the end of each board to take off the paint in layers. I went down to the wood in places, down to the black in places, and sometimes I just sanded a little to let the teal peek through. 

When I finished the edges, I started working on places throughout the entire piece, just roughing it up here and there until I felt it looked right. This was my favorite step because you can really just play around until it looks exactly like you want. Sand a little here, sand a little there, here a sand, there a sand... well... you get the idea. 



7. Attach your hanging elements and then hang your newly finished art/decor piece in it's place and pray it doesn't fall on you while you sleep. I attached hanging wire to the back and used two anchored picture hangers to hang up the piece. 





And there you have it. It's a rather long story, but it's oh so worth it. I absolutely love the piece and it fits us perfectly. 


What do you think? If you were going to put a piece of art above your bed, what quote or phrase would you use?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Great Bedroom Makeover of 2013/2014 { reveal }

Hi y'all! I know it's Wednesday and that typically means a Win It Wednesday post, but do you mind if I put that off for a week? I hope not. Because I have been waiting for what seems like forever to finally do this post and I don't want to wait anymore. Not even one more day! We are finally finished with the great bedroom makeover and I say, we can not be more pleased with the results. I have a tendency to talk too much when I'm excited, so let me just hush right now and get to the pictures!!

First, let me remind you of the inspiration board for the bedroom makeover. Of course, this was after a giant peacock painting spoke to me in Kirkland's. But you can read all about that here.

Here's the inspiration board:



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And now for the results. I have to say... I think that inspiration board ended up translating very well!

First, we'll start with my side of the bed. The wall you're looking at is the east wall.

 Close up of my nightstand décor:
All of the furniture (nightstands, chair, dresser & bed) are from Ashley Furniture.
| Frame - Hobby Lobby | Peacock night light - Kirkland's |
 
The frame was from Hobby Lobby and it was 50% off so it was about $8 or $10 a think. The peacock night light was about $12.
 
Then the bed...
| White sheets - Better Homes & Gardens | Down Alternative comforter -  Royal Velvet from JC Penney |
| Sleeping pillows - Sealy | Throw Pillow - Pier One |
 
The sheets are about $50 a set from Wal-Mart. Sleeping pillows about $9 each, also from Wal-Mart. The comforter was on sale at JCP for $175, regularly $350. So with the extra cash I saved, I splurged on the perfect throw pillows which I dearly love from Pier One which were about $30 a piece.
 
Close up of the pillows.
I knew I wanted white sheets and comforter, so I wanted the throw pillows to be the perfect pops of color to reflect the "peacock" theme we were going with.
 
I also knew I wanted great textures in my pillows and after searching all over the internet, none were as perfect as the ones I found at Pier One. Now granted, I typically wouldn't spend that much money on throw pillows, but I figured I saved money in other places so why not splurge here, AND I did NOT want another project to take on like trying to make textured, peacock-colored throw pillows. If I would have tried that, we still would be waiting for a bedroom...
 
Okay, so with the sleeping pillows and throw pillows combined, our pillow count is at 11. Which is a lot. Joey calls it Mount Pillowmanjaro. He's so funny. But really, they're gorgeous, I love them, and they are actually really comfortable when you're lounging in bed reading, watching tv, or taking a nap on Sunday afternoons. Love, love, love.
 
 
Above the bed....
 
Above the bed we have this gorgeous sign that I made! I'm so in love with it!
 
 
Later, I'll share how I made this sign and all the blood, sweat, and tears that went into it.
 
 
Now we'll move over to the north wall...
| Vases/Candle holders - Kirkland's | Frame - Hobby Lobby | Teal Roses - Hobby Lobby |
The frame is from Hobby Lobby for about $10. The vases/candleholders I got at Kirkland's on clearance (the same night the peacock spoke to me) for 50% off their original price. I think the large one was $10 and the smaller ones were $7. The teal roses are from Hobby Lobby for about $25 a piece, but you can easily get those on the 50% off days OR use a 40% off coupon.
 
Moving on over to the southwest corner of the room...
When we bought our furniture we hadn't measured, we just saw, liked, bought. So when the guys came to deliver it, we discovered there wasn't enough room for each night stand to be on the side of the bed. So Joey's nightstand now rests on the west wall of the bedroom at the foot of our bed. It's fine there, it provides a place to set your coffee when you're lounging in the corner chair reading. Which brings up another point. If you think it looks like the chair and the bed are very close together, you would be right. They are touching. I can move the chair a little where I don't have to step over the chair to get to my side of the bed, but that means you can't easily sit in the chair. So... the chair stays the way it is, I continue to step over (it really doesn't bother me that much) and when the chair isn't stacked high with all those throw pillows, we can sit in it to read, watch tv, etc. I've found it's a fantastic spot to sit on Sunday afternoons with a good crime show on and work on blogs.

 | Lamp base and shade - Target | Ceramic scented wax warmer - Scentsy |
 | Frame - Hobby Lobby |
 
Both of the lamps and shades are from Target. They were a lot pricier than I had expected, but we didn't have any lamps so I didn't have many options. But they are pretty and I really like them, so I don't mind. Lamp bases were $30 each. Lamp shades were about $25 each. The warmer is from Scentsy of course, and it's about $30 I think. I ordered it before we were going with the peacock theme, back when our room was just going to be shades of purple. When I got it in, I was surprised by how much blue was in the glaze, but it's gorgeous and fits our current theme perfectly.  


| Peacock painting - Kirkland's | Flower arrangement on wall - Hobby Lobby |
 
Of course, you know the story by now of the peacock painting and I still just absolutely love it! I bought the sconce vases years ago at Hobby Lobby when we still lived in Levelland, but I never used them. When we started redoing our bedroom, I pulled them out, cut off the tags, and put purple and green flowers from Hobby Lobby in them. They aren't necessarily my favorite decor, but they do add some color, and they're pretty, so I'll keep them.

| Faux fur throw - Royal Velvet from JC Penney |
I love this throw. It's light weight but super soft and very warm. I got it for about $30 at JC Penney and I would seriously go back and buy 3 more if I had places to use them because it is just that wonderful!! 




 Here's an up close look at some of the décor throughout.
| Teal shelf, bird cage, wooden frame - Hobby Lobby |
 
 
I think the only thing I haven't talked about yet is the teal shelf decor. All of that is from Hobby Lobby, and it was all 50% off so the shelf was about $15, the bird cage about $10 and the frame about $10. The frame came just plain wooden, but I had some wet white paint on a roller from painting the sign above our bed and decided to roll some on the frame. I think it looks better and fits better with our other decor.
 
 
And I think that pretty much wraps it all up and puts a pretty peacock bow on it. ;) Hopefully Friday I'll have the DIY post up on the sign I made for above our bed.
 
In the mean time, let me know what you think or feel free to ask any questions about any of my décor ideas.