Thursday, April 28, 2011

Shop for a Good Cause!

Hey friends -- SO I stumbled across a great find!! Habitat for Humanity has a HOME STORE! They take donations of items and sell them {similar to Goodwill} and the profits support Habitat for Humanity's OC Missions. As the site says -- we get a good deal on home decor and they get support for their mission. It's a win-win! :o) What's even better, is that they have stores in Riverside, Orange County and San Diego! Those of you who know me, know I {kind of} like to shop, I love a great deal and supporting a great cause is even better! I can't wait to find a free Saturday to visit my local store & see what they have! Here is the link to find your local store: Habitat for Humanity ReStore (OC's shop is in Santa Ana) Let me know if you go -- I'd love to hear if it is worth all the hype. :o) Here's a picture that makes me think it might at least be worth the trip to check it out...
 Happy Shopping! God Bless. :o)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

LEGO bathroom: Before & After

About 6 years ago, I redecorated my boys' bathroom with cute little frogs. The theme was "Ribbit, Ribbit." I painted it on the walls, I had little froggy toys, and I took that bathroom with us wherever we moved! They loved it! Well, six years later, my boys are now 7 and 10 and, sadly, outgrowing cute little frogs. So, this time around, I let them pick the theme and what do 7 & 10 yr. old boys like? LEGOS!! So, here comes a LEGO bathroom - with a positive attitude. {Check the end of this post to see what I mean.}

Like any good before and after post, here is the BEFORE photo of the froggy bathroom {Sniff Sniff}:

Lots of hot glue, mod podge and 100 LEGOS later - the AFTER shot: 

  {I almost sold these shelves below at my garage sale!! Then I noticed they'd match the bathroom perfectly -- woohoo!} Now the boys have a place to display all the lego creations they make!

I also love that my son made the toothbrush holder. :o)

The yellow bath decor & rug was from Target and the little monster cups (which I thought added a little whimsy to the Lego theme) were also a cool Target $1 spot find!

The hardest {but also favorite} part of the bathroom is the lego framed mirror. :o) The Legos were hot glued together then carefully glued & hammered around the mirror. I won't tell you how many I times I dropped the Legos and had to put them back together. ;o) Let's just be happy they stayed on the wall! {3 days and counting!} Can I get a woot woot?? :o)

 I'm a girl on a budget so, this whole bathroom cost me around $40 to redo! I bought the set on sale at Target, I decoupaged them with Lego prints I printed out, I already had the towels, shelves and I used the boys' duplo legos they no longer played with for the mirror frame! 

But my MOST favorite part is this: In my house I am trying to use how I decorate to not only display style, but our character and how we are so blessed by God. So, taking residence in the boys bathroom will be this framed quote, not religious, but still full of a positive ATTITUDE and reminder of how God wants us to be: 

I have always loved this quote, and was so excited to find it in a FREE printable! {That matched a primary colored LEGO bathroom no less!) Download your own attitude quote here:
 Attitude Quote  and thanks for reading! God Bless! xoxo 

Linking up here: TATERTOTS and JELLO BEST OF 2011

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Nothing But Country

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Easter Egg Gnomes

Once upon a time there were garden gnomes, but I think these little Easter Egg Gnomes are way cuter! I was Etsy window shopping a while a back {I REALLY wish I could remember the shop name!} :o/ and saw a post for wool egg hats and thought -- hmm, I could make those! (I didn't have wool, but I had felt!) So, here is my version:

 I put the hats on eggs from my refrigerator, but now I want some wooden/decor eggs so I can have these little gnomes hanging around ALL the time! :o)

Here is a VERY easy tutorial on how to make these little guys! {I was almost too tired to post a tutorial, but seriously, these are so easy to make, they take about 5-10 minutes!} So here you are:

1. You will need:
~Felt {Pardon my wrinkled felt} :o)
~A Glue Gun
~A Sharpie {Only if you want cute little smiles on your gnomes too} :o)

 2. Cut out a 6" (approx.) diameter circle. You can trace with a pencil or use a compass. {Neither of which I put in the 'you will need'. Oops!} Then cut about a 2 1/2-3" pacman-like wedge out of it. {Shown below are two different color felt sections cut out, just for the visual.}

Finally, roll your felt into a cone shaped hat. The point of your wedge is the point of the hat and the outer circumference of the circle is the bottom of the hat. {I forgot to take a picture of this step because I was so excited to make the hat!} Hot glue your cone flap so it doesn't unroll and then place your little hats on Easter Eggs! Gnome Hats + Eggs = Pretty Darn Cute! :o)

Friday, April 15, 2011

30 Homemade Gift Ideas for Teachers! {From Tip Junkie}

I LOVE teacher appreciation week!! {And not just because I'm a teacher like you might think} My boys' teachers work so hard - and it is so fun {and a good lesson in thankfulness for the kiddies} to show we care. All it takes is something so simple -- like a card, a drawing from child to teacher, or if you're crafty -- one of these awesome homemade teacher gifts!!! Here's my favorite photo, but you can find the WHOLE list of 30 gifts on Tip Junkie

I already have my teacher gifts for this year, but I'm thinkin' I'll have to add that personalized bookmark -- or the "You Were Mint To Teach" {you'll have to click the link to see that one!} ;-) because it's so cute and easy to make!!! Have a great weekend! God Bless.xo.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Check out this cute giveaway from Gallamore West!!

One of the cutest new blogs on the block is Gallamore West! Celebrating over 100 fans in just one week here is her first {and super cute} giveaway!!

A $20 gift card to Breanne's Thirty One Gifts!! (Pretty name Breanne ;-) and I LOVE the story behind her shop name}

Click here to go to Gallamore West's blog for SEVEN ways to win!!! Good Luck!! :o)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Inspired by The Girls at eighteen25

Got pickles? Well, pickle JARS, that is. The Girls at eighteen25 had a creative idea for a pickle jar and candlestick makeover! Click here to see their awesome tutorial on how to make it! Here's my version: 

 For me, I used 1 glass candlestick and 2 silver candlesticks. The glass candlesticks = easy to spray paint white. The silver candlesticks were a little more stubborn. Thankfully the girl at Michaels warned me so I had some primer on hand, and then the paint stuck on just right! I also spray painted the lids, then hot glued the jars on top and voilá! Pretty, right? 
Okay, now the 'behind-the scenes' TRUTH girls. 1. I picked up one of these candlestick jars to take this picture and the jar fell OFF the candlestick and rolled down my stairs. I set it back on top to take the picture, then fixed it. {Note to self: use more hot glue.}  2. I had everything in the jars in my cupboard already, except Easter grass, & was too tired to make it, so I used dry pasta nests under the eggs & bunnies, and 3. I don't eat pickles... so... anyone know what I can do with a TUB full of kosher dills? :o)

**Updated May 31st:
Just 'redecorated' the jars for Memorial Day and 4th of July!!!!
From L-R: I used licorice, blue & white filler marbles and 3 beaded necklaces (1 red, 1 silver, 1 blue) layered. (Another Target $1 spot find!) The licorice was a last minute jar stuffer -- I wanted something red & that's all I had. I'm afraid my kids are beginning to think that candy is for decorating and not eating any more! {But, there's nothing wrong with that, right?} :o) Thanks for looking! 
This post was linked up here:
Tip Junkie handmade projects

Monday, April 11, 2011

Free Teacher Appreciation Printable!

Who doesn't like free things! Teacher Appreciation Week is 4/18-4/22! Here are some cute cupcake toppers or labels for your favorite teachers!! {I guess I have a soft spot for teachers} :o) Enjoy!

FOURTH blog's the charm!

 Yes, that's right. I have had 3 other blogs. Around 5 years ago when blogging was peeking it's young head from beneath the covers, I started a blog. Do I remember the name of it? Nope. Were there post? A few. So, somewhere out in bloggy blog world is a blog with my name on it! Oh well. Then I did a blog for a mission trip I went on. That was fun, and so I thought another personal blog would be fun & started a Mother of Boys blog, but petered out with time because, well, I'm a mother of BOYS! :o) So, why this time? Well, I am still a single mom for now, but I have since started an Etsy shop AND bought a townhouse and realized AAALL the work that goes into maintaining and actually getting to decorate a house so, I thought a blog would be a fun way to chronicle all the joys and mishaps of home improvement and decor. {And maybe slip in a few pictures of my boys now and then too!} ;o) Thanks for reading! Enjoy the journey.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Shaped by Grace - Explained

This blog started out as "Pretty Into Life" because, well, sometimes in life as a single parent I feel that I am only a “pretty good” parent, "pretty good” at my job, “pretty” involved at my church, “pretty” crafty, “pretty” active, you get the point. I never felt good enough. Just pretty good, and sometimes not even that. Life hands a lot of curve balls along the way. It’s NOT always pretty.  Thankfully I’ve become strong in my faith and with God’s help -- here I am, trying to take what life gives me and, well, make it PRETTY! But it still didn't seem to capture ME. I recently read a book that reminded me that I should reflect God in every area of my life. {Seriously God? Every area? Even crafting and blogging?} The answer, of course, is yes. So, here I am. Why blog? I love to write. {Apparently so much so, that I don't even care if anyone reads it or not!} ;o) And I love to craft & look at all the creative ideas out there and somehow bring them into my home. But more importantly, I want my home to reflect how blessed I feel. {Again} I read how I wanted my house to feel -- not in a "look how pretty I made this" sort of way but  in "the 'I am so blessed in life' God-given happiness sort of way. This kind of happiness at home doesn’t necessarily come from having beautiful things or the perfect circumstances as much as it depends on creating a home full of meaning. There is a big difference." {from Incourage} I hope I can share how blessed I am, even through something as simple as a blog. That l am nothing special alone, but I am: shaped by grace. God's grace. xoxo
{But as you abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us—see that you abound in this grace also. ~ 2 Cor. 8:7}

Deep Thought Blogging

Sit down, grab a cup of coffee and get ready for some deep thought blogging!

This one is for all my girlfriends out there. I recently read a new and amazing blog my cousin started. She is a beautiful, Godly woman, inside and out, and wrote a post that just resonated with EXACTLY how I felt and why I always started {and never finished} my blogs. Here are her deep thoughts. After you read it, I’ll explain how they applied to my life and why I am even bothering with another blog: 

“We are all people. Not one person is more special than the other. God made us all, He loves us all the same and we are all just as equally important. My problem with these blog things or FB is that I feel as though when telling stories or posting pics, it is a lot of times for us to say, "look at my really great life". Well let's look at the facts, we are all living in the same broken, sinful and fallen world and things are not, and I repeat not, perfect for anyone. If I do read about something or look at fun pics, it doesn't phase me because I  know things are not always as they seem. Having said that, I know people, especially girls, compare themselves to one another in general.  FB pics or what they read in blogs may make it worse and have them thinking "Well shucks, Buffy's life is way more exciting than mine, she gets to travel to far away places." Or perhaps "Wow, Marcy sure is looking good these days. I wish I had the money and creativity to buy and cook all clean, vegan and organic. Maybe I would look that good." Once again, the bottom line is, we are all just living beings and we are all just as special as the next. Do not let a blog or some pics or dumb status updates have you thinking differently.” ~from Diary of a Mad Black Woman {and my cousin Carey who is neither Mad nor Black}

I know right? Here is why it struck a chord with me: I remember back almost 6 years ago – I was going through a terrible divorce. This is not the time or place to go into details, know only that my ex decided he did not want to have a family any more and was giving me and our 2 boys an extremely difficult time. I lost 20 pounds in less than a month. My lowest weight was 104 lbs and to put it in perspective: I’m 5’7”. Friends who didn’t know said, “Wow! You look amazing!” and “You’re so skinny -you should model!” and even “I wish I had that body after 2 kids!” Why am I telling you this? Because every comment was about what I looked like on the outside. Yet inside -- I was a mess. Sometimes I feel like the blog and Facebook world can be just about what’s on the outside – we post only the perfect pictures and the perfect projects and the perfect smile. But remember, things are not always what they seem. I too, have posted a many pretty picture on the very crappiest of days. And remember, no good comes from comparing yourself to others - you never know what is going on inside of them. I encourage you to be yourself; if you do, that makes you a perfect 10 in my book, because no one is exactly like YOU! :o) My purpose for this blog is to fulfill a space in my heart that loves to write, to post projects I like to do around my house and share ideas with all the creative folks I see out there and laugh at myself along the way. Many of my little home improvement projects turn out exactly like what I envisioned and others are, well, disasters. I promise to post pics of both!! :o) These thoughts were mostly a lecture to myself, but maybe you’ve felt this way at times too. So thanks!! Aaand -  if you are still reading this post, kudos to you!! You must be an extremely dedicated friend, or my mother. So thanks again! And Follow Me if you like! I promise the rest {most} of the posts will be much shorter & light-hearted!  Thanks for reading. God Bless. xoxo
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