Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I'm Still Here... House Update and Vacation Highlights

Hi everyone!  Wow, has it been a wild ride!  We moved in to our new house on July 11th, also Ava's 7th birthday!  We had just two days to unpack before making our trip to San Francisco, celebrating my cousin getting married!  We enjoyed five days there, trying to cram in as much as we could!  
We went to Roaring Camp in Felton, CA and rode up to Bear Mountain in an old steam train. 
The kids loved it, especially Tyler!  
We experienced The Mystery Spot, a weird place up in the California Redwoods that will mess with your head and your stomach!
Walked the beach in Santa Cruz and rode rides at the 
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk & Amusement Park...
Took the kids to the Steinhart Aquarium at the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco...
Drove over the Golden Gate Bridge on a beautiful California day!
We did ALOT of sightseeing while we were there.
Here is a roadside view of the ocean in Half Moon Bay, I was not expecting it to be so chilly there!
100 degree weather in Arkansas... 50's and 60's in CA!
I turned around and had this view...  Just breathtaking!  
On our last night there, we enjoyed dinner with family in Mill Valley.  It was fun catching up and talking about the beautiful wedding, Congratulations to Danielle and Michael!  
It was one of the most elegant weddings I've ever been to!  

So now that we're home from our much needed vacation... let me just say... much progress has been made!    A part of me was glad to be home, after all, it's fun to "play house," especially when it's a new one!  All of the boxes are emptied, broken down and almost everything is in it's place... for now.  I've been shuffling things around quite a bit, which is the fun part, right?  Finding just the right place for everything.  I have more storage than I know what to do with.  There are several cabinets that are still empty, give it time, they'll be full before I know it!

As far as a new email address goes, this blog is still linked to my old one in Texas.  I'm currently working on getting things updated, so if I don't get to your message, I'm not ignoring you!  For those of you that have had to make updates due to a move, any advice for making those changes would be much appreciated!

Hope all is well with everyone!  I've missed you and have a lot of catching up to do here in blogland!

Pictures are courtesy of the locations website:
Roaring Camp Railroads
Steinhart Aquarium
The Mystery Spot
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk & Amusement Park  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ch-Ch-Changes! We're Moving!

Hi everyone!  Thanks for checking up on me.  I didn't expect to be away for so long!
To say things have been crazy around here would be a HUGE understatement!  

In mid April, we began praying about making changes for our family.  After much thought and prayer, we have decided to move to Central Arkansas.  Hubby works from home, so we are blessed to live anywhere, really.  We had a few things to fix up before listing... stain the fence, stretch the carpets, get them cleaned, just to name a few.  Once all of that was taken care of, we were able to put our house on the market in early May.  We had several showings and were pleased with the activity the house was receiving.
On Day 12 of being on the market, we received an offer!
Whoa!  We were not expecting this to happen so quickly!  God is good!
It's been exciting to look for a new home and often frustrating too.  We've missed out on a few that we really loved, but we now know that was Gods way of telling us to be patient.  On our third trip to Arkansas, we found one last weekend that fits our family perfectly!  It is actually one we saw on our first trip to view homes.  We decided to add it to the list one more time, there was just something about it.
After spending a total of 2.5 hours (over the course of the weekend) looking at all the details, we put an offer in and it was accepted a few hours later!  Thank you, Jesus!  
The front of it reminds us of our TX home.  
One of my favorite features about this house... the laundry room is UPSTAIRS!!!  
I am SO excited about this, as I despise laundry, especially toting it up and down the stairs!  
Another favorite feature (there are several) is my long awaited WHITE kitchen!
If you've been following me for a while, you know that I've been "dreaming" of a white kitchen for some time now.  Hubby and I had plans of transforming ours in TX, but God had other ideas!
The house has TONS of built-ins, so I can't wait to organize and accessorize!

SURPRISE!  This explains my long absence.  I'll be absent a bit longer as we purge, pack and press on to our new home.  We hope to be moved in by early July.  What about you?  Do you have changes going on in your family?  Please share!  I'd love to hear what you've been up to!  
Hope you're having a great summer!

Joining the party at:

Thrifty Decor Chick

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award

Yesterday, Cynthia @ Simply Chic Treasures awarded Sweet Ava Kate with the Versatile Blogger Award.   Thank you, Cynthia!  
Here are the RULES for the Versatile Blogger Award:

1.  Add the award to your blog.
2.  Thank the blogger who presented it to you.
3.  Mention seven random things about yourself.  (see below)
4.  List the rules.
5.  Pass the award onto 10 bloggers.
6.  Inform each blogger that they received the award by leaving them a comment on their blog.

Seven Random Things About Myself:

1.  I used to be a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator, but then painting, sewing and blogging took over.  
2.  I have two younger brothers.
3.  I'm the daughter of an identical twin.
4.  I met my husband on a blind date.
5.  I'm a christian.
6.  I played the flute in the high school marching band.  Our band was asked to play in the Fiesta Bowl Parade in Phoenix, AZ (1994) and also the Disney Characters Parade in California (1992).
7.  I have a Social Work Degree from Northeastern State University - Tahlequah, OK.

I have chosen these 10 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award:

Cailan @ Everyday Lovely
Laura @ Elegant Nest
Shannon @ Vintage Restyled

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I Think I May Have a Problem...

I LOVE Target... a little too much!  I can't seem to stay away from their clearance sections lately.  I've found some real goodies the past few weeks and have accumulated quite a collection of fixer-uppers and future project materials.
  Aren't they great?  I paid no more than $13.98 for one item.  I'm talking steals here! 
Here's the list of what I purchased and the price I paid...
Floral Shower Curtain:  Was $19.99 - Now $13.98...  I don't really consider this a great bargain, but I've had my eye on it for a while and it was the last one.
Gray Scroll Shower Curtain:  Was $19.99 - Now $5.98
Oval Bird Print:  $19.99 - Now $5.98 (had some chips and dings, but I have plans...)
Small Oval Metal Frame:  $11.99 - Now $3.58 (tiny chip in the glass, can't even tell)
Butterfly Vase:  Was $19.99 - Now $5.98
Gray Glass Tray:  Was $19.99 - Now $9.98

So excited about these finds!  Here is what I plan to do with them...
Floral Shower Curtain - I love this fabric!  I plan to sew pillows for Ava's bedroom makeover and use for other small projects.
Gray Scroll Shower - Make horizontal striped panels with drop cloth fabric for master bedroom closet window.
Oval Bird Print - I hope to create a gallery wall in Ava's room and the shape is perfect, who cares if it's a little distressed!  :)
Small Oval Metal Frame -  A little spray paint and I think this frame would make for a sweet silhouette, don't you?
Gray Glass Tray - Just picked this one up today (along with the floral curtain).  I almost walked away from this one, but then I saw another lady walking out with one and I bolted over to where they were.
On the way home, it dawned on me that I could use it in my gray and yellow office and bring the white one (that was also a bargain at $4.98, btw) upstairs to use in the master.
Butterfly Vase - This was the best one out of the other two I had to pick from.  It's missing half a wing, but I think using Centsational Girl's tutorial on making a clay petal vase will make her look like new again!
Have you been scoring good deals at Tar-jay?  Do you scour the aisles for red stickers?  
I think I may need to stay away for awhile, I have plenty to keep me busy!
Who am I kidding?  Staying away from that place is impossible! 

Come back soon to see what I'm doing with these letters and moss.  
Some of you may already know, as I've seen this repinned on my Pinterest!  :)
If you've read this post all the way to the end, you'll be happy to know I'm having my first giveaway when I reach 100 followers!  Have a great day!

I'm linking up to:
Tuesdays Treasures @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Monday, April 09, 2012

Easter Highlights

Hope everyone had a Happy Easter!  We spent ours in Oklahoma with my parents, brother and SIL.
Thought it'd be fun to share some highlights of our (never long enough) weekend...
Egg dyeing with Gigi!  We used white crayon to highlight our designs.  
Ava decorated them by writing our names!
The kids discovering their baskets before heading out for Sunday service.  
The Easter Bunny tried to be practical!  
The day wouldn't be complete without an Easter Egg Hunt!
Ava found the Golden Egg!
Always good times with Uncle Kevin!
A long overdue family picture.  I can't remember the last time we took a decent one!
This is a framer for sure!  Hope yours was wonderful!  Check back soon, I've got some projects to share!    

The Liebster Blog Award

When I started blogging about a year ago, I never imagined it would evolve into such a wonderful outlet for meeting people that share the same passions I do.  Last week, Sweet Ava Kate received The Liebster Blog Award by two bloggers, Kari @ A Grace Full Life and Megan and her crew @ Our Pinteresting Family.  Both of these ladies have amazing talent, if you haven't discovered them yet you're missing out!  I am humbled and honored, as this award is given to bloggers that are just starting their journey and recognizes their creativity.
The Liebster Blog Award promotes blogs with less than 200 followers, as a way to get their names out there.  Apparently, Liebster means 'beloved or dearest,' but it can also mean 'favorite.'  
As a Liebster award recipient, I now have the opportunity to pass this award on to five other bloggers.

In order to accept this award, the recipient must do the following:
                                            1.  Thank the person that presented the award.
                                            2.  Link back to that person(s) blog.
                                            3.  Copy and paste the award to your blog.
                                            4.  Present the award to 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers
                                                    (bloggers who you think deserve this special recognition)
                                            5.  Let those deserving bloggers know by leaving them a comment.

Angie @ Flibbertigibberish - First of all, I have known this funny lady all our lives, she is my sweet cousin.  Her stories about raising four children will keep you coming back for more.  I love her creativity!  In honor of our recent holiday, I will say her tutorial on how to dye Easter eggs using thrift store neckties is truly my favorite!

Susan @ Mad Sky Designs - My dear friend!  Our girls became friends through pre-school and it was instant friendship when we met.  She is an amazing person and extremely talented with stamping and card making.  Her homemade cards are magazine worthy!  

Laura @ Elegant Nest - I just met this sweet lady and she has graciously sent me design tips, as this is her specialty! She once had a business designing and creating hand painted shoes!

Allyson @ Cupcakes & Candy Canes - She's a crafty christian blogger with a huge heart!  She's currently busy planning her wedding!

Jena @ Involving Color and Home - Jena and I have something in common... we LOVE paint!  We found each other through a common blogger and I'm so glad we did!  

Thank you to Kari and Megan for this award and to all my readers for your encouragement!  
I look forward to continuing this journey and seeing what's to come!  

Monday, April 02, 2012

Laundry Room Accessory

I've been putting this simple project off for too long... and now I know why.  Soon after I finished the cloth napkin wall art, I was visiting my favorite store (you know the one) and came across this cute striped towel on clearance for $4.  I didn't know why I was drawn to it at the time, but I decided to buy it anyway.  When I got home, I realized... it was the perfect match to the wall art in the laundry room.  I seem to do that often, buy things not knowing what I'll do with it, but then later find the perfect spot or idea.  Does this happen to you?  
 I've had this cute double knob piece for over a year.  I found it at Hobby Lobby and haven't seen one since, so I'm glad I picked it up!   At one point it hung in the laundry room, but it lacked color, so I took it down.  After reviewing all the colors in my new towel, I decided Krylon's Avocado would bring it to life.  The knobs would not remove easily, so I taped around them and gave it 3-4 coats.  My sweet boy "reading" in the background, I didn't have the heart to ask him to scooch.
I'm so glad it dries in 10 minutes because I was anxious to get it on the wall and see how it looked in the room.  
I'm not crazy about these next two pictures, this room is hard to photograph, so bear with me.  
Hopefully you can get an idea of the room in this shot... sorry, tight quarters!
Isn't fun?  I love the color.  My washer and dryer are hooked up wrong, washer is on the right, dryer is on the left.  We thought we could switch it when we first moved in, but dryer duct poses a problem.  :)  Makes doing laundry a little awkward, but I've gotten used to it over the years.  I like to have a hand towel close by after stuffing dirties in the washer, so this is perfect.

Oh, by the way, if you didn't guess... my favorite store is Home Goods!  :)

TDC Before and After

Sunday, April 01, 2012

You Can Find Me Guest Blogging @ Days of Chalk and Chocolate

Hi everyone!  Hope you all had a great weekend!  I wanted to take this time to welcome my new followers and thank you all for your encouraging words.  They mean so much to me... truly!
I'm so excited to be guest blogging at Days of Chalk and Chocolate.  Thanks to Jenny for asking me!
Days of Chalk and Chocolate
If you haven't visited her blog, you must!
She is a super sweet lady, has great tutorials and has featured several new bloggers... like me!
I'll be back soon to show you some new projects I've been working on.  

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring Mantel

Yesterday I shared a very impromptu project with you... my non-inspiring mantel.  Well, not anymore!
After deciding once and for all to paint it white, I can tell you I have had more fun dressing it up!  
So, without further ado, here is the new and very much improved mantel, dawning its Spring colors!
Sorry for all the pics... can you tell I'm excited?  
 I was very much inspired by Angie's mantel @ Beneath the Magnolias.  When I saw the pitchers, old books and fresh boxwood (my favorite), I knew I could create my own version of this with things I had on hand.
Fresh boxwood from the front yard adds to the Springy-ness!  
I had to spray paint the other candle holder to match, it was a dark bronze color, 
both were found at a local resale store a few months ago for under $5.
I've been dying to do something with the old windows I purchased at a local antique mall!  
When I look at them, I can't help but think about where they came from, I'm fascinated with their history.

So, one more time... the before (last years mantel)...
and after:
  I'll be linking up to:
TDC Before and After

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Impromptu Mantel Makeover

As I was looking through all the Spring linky parties for inspiration, I realized I couldn't really achieve the look I was going for with a wood stained mantel.  Here's my attempt at our mantel last year.
See what I mean?  It's just not doing it for me.
Everything I gravitate towards has a white mantel and mine was holding me back.  So guess what I did?  Yes!
I painted it white.  I was tired of thinking about it and just did it!  I used an interior alkyd semi-gloss enamel; it will take a good 24 hours to dry, but when it does, I can't wait to play!  I don't have the color of the paint because it is a custom manual match, but for those of you interested, here is the code:
Here's the before:
Here's a close up of the different types of trim they used and let me tell ya, this was REAL fun to paint!  
I used a sponge brush to get into all the crevices and a sponge roller for the top.  Both worked really well to minimize brush strokes.  After about two hours of painting, here she is in all her white glory.
YAY!  I'm so excited!  I'll be back tomorrow to show you my new Spring mantel.
Are there projects in your home that you keep putting off and one day you finally decide, "today is the day, I'm tired of talking about it."  Today was that day for me and I couldn't be happier with the results. 

Linking up to: 
TDC Before and After
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...