Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Flower Pot Tower

It's no secret that I've been trying to work on the curb appeal for our home.  I've mentioned it a few times, here and here.  No real reason other than, we have been slacking on the yard...for a few years now.  Come to think of it; ever since we got the boat.  I mean, really....who wants to be working in the yard on a sunny day when you could be out playing on the water?  Am I right, people? 

I have been wanting to do a fun project for the front yard, for a long while now.  I was missing one major piece to this project, and when I was cleaning under the deck the other day I stumbled across my missing piece.  I was so excited that I may, or may not, have done a little dance.  Right there.  In the backyard.  Under the deck.

We've all seen the stacked flower pot towers right?   Well, THAT's what I wanted to make.

Here is what you will need.  Remember, you will need a few days to let the spray paint cure.

Supplies:

5 terra cotta pots, various sizes.  (Large to small)

Outdoor paint or spray paint

1 piece of re bar  (Approx. 3 feet)

Step One:   Spray paint your pots.   I like working in odd numbers, so since I already had 3 colors at home from other projects, I used those.  


Step Two:   Let paint dry (hardest thing for me to do....ever)

Step Three:  Add a second coat of paint and let dry...again

Step Four:   Hammer your re bar into the ground for a good amount.  You don't want the re bar or the tower to wiggle around at all
Step Five:  Let the fun begin!   Add your pots, very carefully, through the hole in the center of the pots

Step Six:  Add potting soil into your base pot.  This will help you next pot, sit on it.

Step Seven:  Start adding the pots and tilt them when you slide them down the re bar.  They will then sit on top of each other
Step Eight:  Add potting soil and your plants in the next 4 pots

Step Nine:  Add the littlest pot on the top.  You could even add a fun yard orb if you didn't want flowers or plants on the top.
This project cost me, approx. $18, the re bar was my missing piece that I ended up finding in my backyard.

Now, sit back and admire your fun little yard project!  I just love the way this tower brings a pop of color to my front yard.  I can't wait to get more projects completed!!

And one more, because I just LOVE this little Flower Pot Tower so much!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Meal Plan Monday 7/29/2013

I sure hope everyone had a great weekend.   We were laid back this weekend, not much going on.  The Mister was on call, so that keeps us pretty grounded.  I went to see The Heat on Sunday with two of my girlfriends.  My cheeks hurt so bad from laughing.  It was funny.  
I also managed to whip up a cute little yard project that I will show you later this week.

My girlfriend at work has been cleaning out her kitchen and gave me this really neat Crock-Pot Cooker, cookbook.   So, I've been thumbing through some recipes and decided we were going to try a few this week.  I just love the simplicity of the crock pot.  Load it.  Set it.  Forget it.  Then eat it.  Easiest thing ever.  If these recipes are good ones, I will post them later on the week.

Monday:  Flat Steak w/ Green Beans and a Spinach Fusilli Pasta salad

Tuesday:  Slow Cooker:  Teriyaki Chicken

Wednesday:  Seafood Stir Fry

Thursday:   Slow Cooker:  40 Clove Chicken

Friday Bikini Rolls Ups (Wraps) with Peanut Sauce

Saturday:  Salmon w/ Corn on the Cob and Green Salad

Sunday:  Slow Cooker: BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Next Step: Adding Furniture

That title pretty much sums up this post.
  Adding in the furniture. 
Let me recap with what I started with.
 
Before:
 

As most of you know (my close friends and family who seem to be the ones that read this blog)
  We lost a huge asset to our family earlier this month.
My hubby’s beloved Grandmother. 
My babies beloved Great-Grandmother.
 
In her guest room she has a mahogany bedroom set.  
My wonderful Mother-in-Law was so sweet to think of Hotrod and give him the bed from the set.
  We actually took the entire set, to keep it together, but the other pieces didn’t work for Hotrod’s room.
 
So, the NIGHT that Hotrod was on his way home from Disneyland we rushed over, took the bed apart, loaded it up in the suburban, and drove home, polished it, and reassembled it.


 These girls deserve the SISTER-OF-THE-YEAR Award!
   Seriously! 
They not only helped clean their brother's room, but the also helped with the painting, and moving furniture, box springs, mattresses and so much more!! 

Such a simple, beautiful, masculine bed....off the floor!
 
Just a quick tip, and you are all probably smarter than I, that you may already do this.
I bought 2 fitted sheets for his bed. 
One for the mattress and one for the box spring. 
This box spring was bright blue, and boys, well, they don't want bed skirts.  :)
Plus I wanted to show off the clean lines of the bed.
 
The start to a little bit of organization in this teen's room.

After:
 
 
What a difference for the before and after photos. 
As soon as I took this photo, I received a text from Hotrod telling me that they were at the church and ready to be picked up. 
Perfect timing.
 
We still have more happening in this room. 
The dresser's a getting an overhaul and the window will be getting new window treatments as well.
Wall art, decorations, possible shelving.
Lightening changes.
Along with new sliding closet doors (these ones are bi-folds) and a new bedroom door.
 
Needless to say, when he got home from a week of being away, he was pretty surprised at the look of his room and he LOVES his new room!  (So far, 5 days of it being clean!)
 
Stay tuned and those updates will be coming soon!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ghost Stripe Walls

As you saw yesterday, I am redoing Hotrod's room.  It is long overdue, that is for sure.  When he left for his trip, I was shocked at the work we had to do in his room.  Since I had asked him to clean it, which he did do a few days before; however while, he was packing for his trip, it was right back to where it began before he cleaned it.  

I'll let the pictures do the talking.
 
I had a long road ahead, that's for sure, and only 4 days to get it done!!  Typical teen boy room...or so I'm told...I just think my teen happens to be highly allergic to a garbage can.

I knew that I wanted a paint that had a primer built into it.  Also, Hotrod and I had previously discussed colors for his room should I ever redo it.  Which was grey.  So I went to my local Home Depot, at 7 o'clock on a Monday night of course (perfect time to start a major project, right?), and bought the Behr Premium Plus Ultra and had it color matched to the Dutch Boy Route 66.  I have to say, this rolled on quite nicely and covered a lot in just the first coat.  I did do two coats.

Now, because of a few things...

1) I'm impatient
2) I'm lazy
3) I didn't have any space to move the furniture out into

....don't be shocked at the pictures you are about to see.

I didn't completely empty his room as I probably should have.   Moving around things and cleaning as I go...totally my gig.  But not necessarily recommended for all.
I had help from my cousin, Rachel, who was so sweet in painting with me till the wee hours of the morning.   We spackled holes (from previous shelves) and put our first coat of gray paint on the walls.
 
 
 
I let the paint dry for a full day and a half.  In fact, I did nothing but clean on Tuesday.  On Wednesday, I added the second coat of paint.
After two coats of paint I was able to start the striping on one of the walls.  The Mister and I were trying to decided which wall to do.  I wanted to change the layout of his room slightly.  He has an odd shaped room and unfortunately it doesn't leave much for furniture arrangement.  So, I chose to stripe the wall that his bed was going to be on.

I actually used a paint stir stick as my measuring tool.  I find it much easier to use a solid piece of scrap wood, paint stick, whatever you have handy that is going to be consistent every time.

The trick is to remember that one row, as you tape off, is going to be in the negative.  Meaning, that part of your painted lines will be UNDER your tape.  So you will actually need to measure from the far OUTSIDE line of your tape.  Then the next stripe will be the inside of the tape....I sure hope I am making sense.

So if my ruler was 12 inches. 
My tape was 1 inch thick for each side.
Then I would have one row be 12 inches, exposed and the next row would be 10 inches exposed. 
Not gonna lie, it hurt my brain to do this math...and I work with math and numbers all day long at work.
There was untaping and remeasuring and retaping and a lot of frustration...but it was WORTH IT!! 
 
 
I also put a strip of tape in the sections that I WAS NOT going to paint.  Last thing I needed was to get confused on my A-B pattern and paint the wrong section.

Okay, so when you step back and look at the wall, it WILL appear that one section is wider than the other.  That's because it is, because of the tape and what you are not painting vs what you are painting.

I used the exact same color of paint, Behr Premium Plus paint, only it was the Hi-Gloss finish.  I was able to get away with just a quart of paint since I was only covering the one wall.

Also, I prefer to use Frog Tape, but that is just my personal preference.  Hotrod's walls were really textured, so the tape stuck really well to the walls and gave me crisp, clean lines.
 
It is so subtle, but yet dramatic enough for a teen boy.  I really love the look.  And he does too!  That's like winning 100 mom points and the lottery!

Stay tuned....the furniture will be moving in soon.

Have you done any fun wall treatments lately?  What were they?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Surprise!!!

I love surprises!  I especially LOVE to give surprises!  Whether it’s a birthday party, a Disneyland trip for the kids, or redoing my teenage son’s room while he is gone on a backpacking trip with the Boy Scouts.  I had 4 days…4 days people…to redo my son’s room. 
 
When we moved into our home 8 years ago, we I allowed the kids to picked out their own paint colors and decorate their own rooms.  So needless to say Hotrod’s room was long overdue for a redo.
He picked out the border and then picked out the two colors based off two of the cars in the border.  Not bad for an 8 year old, if I say so myself.  The red, because it was like Daddy's Chevelle and the blue...well, I think he just liked the blue.
I wanted to spruce up his room.  Brighten it up a little bit.  Here are my thoughts for his room.
**Notice, I just want to do subtle stripes on the wall, similar to the ones in the upper left hand corner, not the bathroom vanity. 
I'm thinking several different shades of gray with a pops of red throughout the room.  The other problem that we are facing is storage and the lack of storage that his room has. 

I was so excited to get his room done, or at least as much as I possibly could, before he got home.

Stay tuned for all the updates!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Meal Plan Monday 7/22/2013


Happy Monday!!!   Did you get out and enjoy the sunshine this weekend?  We got our Hotrod back Friday night, so this mom is a happy girl!   He had a fantastic trip with the boy scouts.  I can’t believe that we are almost done with summer.  It is going by so, so quickly!

Tonight, some girlfriends and I, are going to see Bruno Mars in concert, so I wanted to make dinner simple.  Super excited!

Monday:   B.L.A.T (Bacon, lettuce, Avocado's, Tomato's) w/ watermelon and tater tots
Tuesday:  Rotisserie Chicken, w/ garden salad and asparagus
Wednesday:  Taco Salad
Thursday:  Chicken Enchilada's
Friday:  Salmon, on the grill, w/ green salad and brussel sprouts
Saturday: Chicken Fajitas
Sunday:  Smoked Spare Ribs w/ green salad and green beans and cantaloupe

I hope you all have another fabulous week!  I have a “surprise” post for tomorrow and the remainder of the week.  Super excited for the outcome!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Front Porch Pick Me Up

My goal this summer, spring, fall, even winter is to gain a better curb appeal for our front yard.  We don't spend as much time in the yard as we should and it's evident by the lack of color, personality, and just about everything in our front yard. 
Our front steps have been bugging me for a while now.  I've been wanting a cute little table and chair set to put out there, however, I just haven't found one that I liked.  

So, while the kids play out front, The Mister and I, sit on the hard cement watching them.
 
So dull, boring, blech...right?  Moss, leaves, dirt...booorring!
Those pots on the left are actually my hanging pots.  I moved them there because we were gone last weekend and my neighbors took care of them for us.
 
The other night, The Mister came home with a cute little table and chair set that sat on Grammie's porch.  It was exactly what I was looking for...and it was something that was Grammie's.  Something that would make us smile every time we sat outside to watch the kids. 
 
I quickly pressure washed the front steps and cleaned up the table and chairs before I put them in their new home.
 
 
So much better!  Adorable, lively, cute, and more our personality.
 
I love walking in and out our front door now.  It just feels so much more inviting. 

Have you done any small changes that have big results lately?  Please share!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Meal Plan Monday 7/15/2013

Hey y'all!  I wanted to say thank you to those of you who have reached out to our family via text, Facebook, phone calls, and even cards giving your condolences regarding the passing of Grammie.   She was a shining star in our world and is missed immensely, that is for sure.

Did everyone have a good weekend?   We ended up going on a little get away, to our little slice of heaven.  We just needed to regroup as a family.  Isn't this just beautiful?

So, as we are trying to get a little bit of normalcy back into our lives, let's kick it off with another Meal Plan Monday.

Monday:  BBQ chicken drumsticks, corn on the cob, green salad and watermelon cubes
Tuesday: Simmer Sauce: Salmon, salad, cantaloupe and steamed broccoli & cauliflower mixture 
Wednesday:  Slow Cooker: Pot Roast
Thursday:  Slow Cooker:  40 Clove Chicken
Friday:  Sub sandwiches with fruit chunks (watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew, and strawberries
Saturday:  Dutch Oven:  Braised Short Ribs

Sunday: Homemade Pizza

I hope that everyone has a spectacular week!  I'm working on a couple of projects and will post later this week....stay tuned!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Great Woman...Leaving Behind Her Legacy

Right now our family is currently going through a struggle of preparing for the loss of a great woman.  I continue and will continue to learn from her on a daily basis. 
As I sit and watch her spend precious moments with my kids, giving them her 100% undivided attention, listening to their stories; like how the tooth fairy came and Bubba found out he had a boy tooth fairy (and he is green), and how Miss Firecracker was getting better about wake boarding and wants to do tricks by the end of the summer, how Hotrod is heading off for an amazing trip with the Boy Scouts and have an experience of a lifetime, and how Miss Baby Girl is going to grow up a save all the animals in the world and be a veterinarian because she made friends (and named them all) with some sweet horses last weekend while we were camping. 
While we listen to Grammie talk about growing up on the farm in Canada with her brothers and sister (2 boys and 2 girls, just like my little family), I wonder to myself...what legacy will I pass onto my children, or like in Grammie's case, my grandchildren and my great-grandchild? 

Will I grow into the role of the matriarch of the family, much like Grammie is?

Will I be as solid of a rock for my family like she has been for ours? 

The crazy thing is, this isn't even my lifelong grandmother.  This is my husband's grandmother and I've been blessed to be able to call her my Grammie for only a short 17 years.  I feel so blessed that all of my children have been able to establish such an incredible bond with their Great-Grandmother; a bond, that is like no other.

You can't help but to gravitate to this woman.  Her sweetness and kindness is overwhelming.  My own parents, have gravitated to her and love her like she is their own mother.

We are, all, so fortunate to have created so many wonderful memories with this amazing woman, I can't even being to express them all to you.  I had to share a few that just popped into my head.

Memory #1:  The day my son was born.

My husband and I weren't together too long before we became parents.   We were young.  Very young.  We were in love.   VERY much in love.  I hadn't met a lot of his family at the time.  Then came baby delivery day.   We were living with his parents at the time and my water broke.  We headed off to the hospital and off my mother-in-law went to grab Grammie and come to the hospital.  I didn't want a lot of people in the room for the birth of Hotrod.  Yet, here we were in this teeny-tiny hospital room, expecting our first baby, and we have my mother, my mother-in-law, Grammie, my sister, 2 nurses, and the doctor.  As soon as Grammie walked into the room, she shoved my hubby right out of the way and started to rubbed my forehead with a damp rag, giving me ice chips, and rubbing my arms and back.  She took care of me.  And with ALL those people in the room, Grammie was the ONLY ONE who had a camera.  If it weren't for Grammie, we would have no pictures of the labor, the brand new baby, nothing of our first day to our new little family.  The joy on her face when she met and held her first great-grandchild for the first time and being there when he was born (it was her first delivery that she had ever seen) I will never forget it.  Pure love.  She just illuminated pure love.
(Photos are pre-digital days, and they are in a scrapbook. Sorry.)

Memory #2:  The Nutcracker

Every year, for Christmas we draw names for the following Christmas. 

i.e.:  Christmas 2012 we draw names for 2013. 

We have one full year to plan for Christmas presents for that one special person.  I drew Grammie.  What do you get an woman who has everything and doesn't need anything? 

Time. 

You give her time. 

Your time. 

You go on a date.

You listen to her stories, while she listens to yours.

Grammie had never seen the Nutcracker before.  I remember my mom taking me every year when I was a little girl.  We would get dressed up, go to dinner and then go to the ballet. 

So, that's what we did. 

My girls and I, got dressed up. 


We picked up Grammie for a nice dinner down on the water, watched the Christmas ships go up and down the water while we ate, and then we headed over to watch the Nutcracker ballet.  Had our picture taken in front of a beautiful Christmas tree, by the nice valet guy.  We did this a few days before Christmas and for her gift on Christmas,  I had printed this picture, put it in a frame and gave it to her.  It sits on her dresser to this day.

I secretly hoped we would continue to draw her name every year afterwards.   We did, one more time, and the girls and I took her to see The Lion King, which was another wonderful experience for all of us.  (You don't need a holiday to spend time with your loved ones and take them on a date.  Do it anytime!  Life is too short)

Memory #3:  Boating and Camping

Last summer, July 2012, we spent 10 days camping in Detroit Lake, OR.   This was our first vacation, camping for a full week (10 days), with the boat.  We normally spend Independence Day at the coast doing our usual crabbing, sitting by the campfire, etc.  However, we (The Mister and I) wanted to use our boat and do something different.   My mother-in-law, (a new wave runner owner) was immediately on board.  So, soon the whole family (Auntie's, Uncle's, cousins, kids, and Grammie) were all coming with us.  The original plan was that Grammie was going to camp for about 3-4 days, then go home with the rest of the family, since not everyone could stay for the full 10 days.

In those 3 days, we played cards with her (Spite & Malice being the favorite), Gin Rummy, Uno, and had s'mores by the campfire.  When day 3 came around, Grammie was in immense back pain, however, she was having such a great time she decided to stick it out the remainder of the trip.  Needless to say, my in-laws, my hubby, kids and I were thrilled she decided to do this.  We took her out on the boat, she was able to watch the kids wake board and swim off the boat.

We showed her all the lakeside homes while we putted around the lake, and she had a perma grin the entire time.  We didn't know it at the time, but that would be Grammie's last camping trip.  Oh the memories she made for us that trip.

I could go on and on about the memories we have with her in them.  I only have 17 years of memories with her, imagine that wonderful childhood my husband had by having her as a grandmother.  (I love her smile in this picture.  She had so much fun that day)

The legacy she has managed to pass onto all of us is unmeasurable. 

The way she has inspired me to be a better mom, with patience, with grace, with love, just like her (I have a long ways to go, as she has some very big shoes to fill).

We love you Grammie.  Always have, always will.


What legacy will you pass onto your future generations?  What memories will everyone be sharing?   Are they good ones? 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Meal Plan Monday 7/1/2013

Happy Monday!  Happy July!  Happy Birthday to my Daddy!  It's a happy day today!  Oregon is getting quite the heat wave, and I am NOT complaining in the least bit.  I love it.  Love the sun.  Love the heat.

Let's get on into the menu.  This is the time of the year where heat is in, eating is light, and salads are big for our family.

Monday: Leftovers  
Tuesday: Slow Cooker: BBQ Chicken Cobb Salad
Wednesday: BLT's w/ watermelon and tater tots
Thursday: BBQ chicken & Ribs BBQ, garden salad (our friends will bring side dishes & desserts)
Friday:  Taco Salad
Saturday:  Homemade Burgers w/ corn on the cob and green salad
Sunday:  Pizza

I hope all of you have a wonderful Independence Day and to remember why we are celebrating this beautiful country of ours.  We are going to have some friends over and their kids, so it will be more fun times.

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