Thursday, May 29, 2014

Spring Time in the Country

I was back up north for my little sister's high school graduation this last weekend, and although summer is in full force here in southern WI, it was only just beginning up there.

The pond was so full from all the rain, and all of the trees were starting to bud out.

My sister and I spent many sunny days by the pond catching tadpoles, frogs, water bugs, and turtles.

This picture will either fascinate you or gross you out, but it is a true "spring time in the country picture". The thousands of tiny black dots that are inside of the intestine looking stuff would be little baby tadpoles! This is all along the edge of the pond...
I even saw a little dad frog helping to squeeze more eggs out of the big, fat mom frog. ;) it was like 6th grade science class all over again!

Now back to something a little cuter ...this little guy was the only one brave enough to stay as I took a picture. There were 4 other turtles on the stump (all different sizes) as I approached.

On second thought, maybe he was just stuck. Either way I'm glad I got the picture. He was cute, about 3" in diameter. (I had seen a super tiny and adorable one, about a 1" diameter shell earlier - that's when I ran to get my camera, but it was long gone when I got back.)

Duke and two of the ladies...

I adore the shelf of birdhouses my dad built. And they look even sweeter now that they are getting older. I think they are the same age as I am! (20). This last winter was a rough one and the shelf came crashing down...that would be why the wood brackets are bright and new.

Some beautiful blooms below the birdhouses (say that 10x fast!).

So welcoming... There is no place like home.

As if I wasn't lucky enough to grow up with a pond in the front yard, there is also a creek in the back yard!
The lovely... Mosquito Brook

I could sit down here and listen to the water all day ...if it weren't for the mosquitoes of course. And the fact that this chair could break at any moment. ;)

The Marsh Marigolds sure are beautiful, aren't they?

I hope you enjoyed the country tour!


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Thursday, May 22, 2014

5 Easy DIY Bridal Shower Ideas

My friend Whitnie recently had her bridal shower. ( I showed you Her Wedding Venue a while back.) Being one of her bridesmaids, I of course helped out. It was interesting being on the other I know a bit of what my bridesmaids and mom went through!

Here are some simple yet creative ideas for throwing a bridal shower.

1.) Use Pictures as Decor

Pictures are affordable, and everyone loves them! Try to get pictures to hang of the bride-to-be with each of her bridal shower guests, plus some extras of her and the groom. Using jute with miniature clothes pins is cute and easy.

2.) Use Large Picture Frames as Serving Trays

When you put some pretty paper in a large frame and lay it flat - BOOM - insta tray. The best part? You can go back to using it as a frame afterwards. :) After-all there will be a lot of pictures from the wedding.

3.) Make the Game Prizes Worth Competing For

I was in charge of prizes, so let me show you how! It was quite simple really... I made little gift baskets that contained items that would actually be wanted by the guests. This can be done pretty frugally too, because none of the items are too expensive.

I did three different themed baskets.

This one had a gardening theme with seed packets, garden gloves, and gardening tools all in a little flower pot.

Then there was a baking theme with cake mix, cupcake liners, frosting, and an oven mitt in a plastic container.

And a relaxing theme with a book, tea, a tea mug, and chocolates, also in a plastic container.

...I will see those you thought were not competitive become very competitive. 

4.) Decorate "Shabby Chic"

This is a great way to go because it is all affordable items or things that you most likely already have laying around. Canning jars? Floral saucers? Candles? Mmmhmm. And especially right now because the rustic/romantic vibe is in!

5.) Make Too Much Food

Because you know you are at a good party when there is a ton of food and you feel like you can pig-out and not worry about saving enough for the other guests. We had a few different people making a few different things so that it wasn't too stressful for anyone. As you can see, I was in charge of mini cheesecakes.

Looking back, I'm not sure why I did all cherry. Wish I would have done some blueberry and some as caramel and chocolate.


I was also in charge of the fruit skewers (because we needed something to make us feel healthy).

Here is a behind the scenes photo of my husband's plastic wrap job on the fruit skewers. They weren't going anywhere! haha   ...(does he not look like a really tall 6 year old in this picture!? hahaha! aww..)

Bonus Tip: Use A Small Book As The Gift's "Card"

This, of course, could be used for any gift giving occasion. Just think about it though - cards are like $5 now! You can get a cute little book for that price and write on the inside flap. I got the bride-to-be a very appropriate book about the promises love brings.

Hope this helps anyone planning a bridal shower!

What are some other easy and creative party ideas ya'll have done?? I love hearing from you.


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Friday, May 16, 2014

Antique Farmhouse Table Makeover

I'm sharing another furniture makeover that I did last summer. I refinished this antique farmhouse table right after I finished the Chest Makeover. This makeover I was a little more scared to do because I sooo didn't want to mess it up.

My mom got me this table as a bridal shower present. She found it at the Salvation Army in Hayward for $60! It was in a bit rougher condition, but I gave it some love. We used it as the "Jelly Table" for my wedding (homemade jelly was the wedding favor). I will have to share more about that later...

I had a tough time deciding how I wanted to refinish it. I wasn't sure if I should paint it all white, stain it all dark, or do white legs and a wood top. Do you think I made a good decision?? I suppose I can always change it if I get sick of it...

I realized that I actually thought it had "pretty wood" and didn't want to cover it all with white, however, I still needed some of my beloved white paint.

As you can see it was pretty beat up when I got even had mildew on the top of the table. It came with fold out panels on each side but those were removed to better suit our efficient living situation.

**PLEASE NOTE** the small black dot in the background of these "before" pictures is a rooster! Which is proof that I am, in fact, a country girl despite my current living conditions.

It's actually stamped antique underneath, which I thought was pretty sweet! 

This is underneath the table also. I had never heard of the name, but when I did a quick Google search I realized that my mom got a pretty awesome deal! Even for being a little beat up...
If anyone knows more about "Cushman Colonial Creations" I would be interested in hearing!

Check out her pretty curves!

And her lovely feet!

I sanded the top for so long and there are still little dots of mildew or mold underneath that stain. : (
They are not very noticeable now though. P.S. this picture makes the top look more "orange" than it really is.

Now if I could just find an actual farmhouse to go with my farmhouse table that would be great!

Thanks for stopping by!


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Monday, May 12, 2014

Cozumel {The Honeymoon}

I haven't posted this last week because I was in Cozumel on my honeymoon!! It was wonderful, and as promised in my 6 Tips for Traveling with Only a Carry-On Bag I will share some pictures of the beautiful island!

Above is the gorgeous beach...look at that sky!

Our Condo

It was bigger than our apartment! Way bigger...

 Matt loved this gigantic tropical tree!

The beautiful palms down at the beach.

One of the many iguana pictures we have... ;)

A beautiful hibiscus flower. We watched an iguana gobble one up one day.

 The part of the Melia Resort were our condo was.

Me sporting my leopard print bikini (I wanted one really bad for the honeymoon because my mom had one when she was my age - she got me this super nice Victoria's Secret one for an Easter gift).

The Newlyweds!

The shores there are so beautiful! Really intense shades of blues and greens in all different sections. We will definitely be headed back there someday!! 

If you are looking for a place to go on vacation I think anyone would love Cozumel! The weather was great, the people were so friendly, and ocean water doesn't get much prettier than it is there!

We had a blast!


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