Thursday, April 16, 2015

Experiencing DIY Burnout?

If you've ever lived or are now living in a fixer upper, I would wager that you probably have, at some point or another, been plagued with DIY burnout. As the extremely long list of to-do's, which should be shortening, seems to grow by the day, a feeling of overwhelm and Will I ever get this house finished? seems to creep into our minds and root there.

In May, we will have been in our current house for three years. Three whole years!  (You can check out a lot of our before and after's on the Projects page.) It's hard to believe that, and as a person who has perfectionistic tendencies, it's hard for me to swallow the fact that we haven't accomplished more here than we already have. I'm usually a very upbeat and positive person, but I can also be really hard on myself. So, I've been trying to remind myself just how far we've really come. The way our home looks now is a drastic difference from where we started. And yet, it seems our list hasn't shortened in the least. Instead, once we cross off one thing from our list, we end up adding two more items.

I was just talking to a couple of my friends a few days ago about being overwhelmed with what we still have to do here to be "done." Really, I don't know that anyone ever truly is done but I'd like to be in the vicinity of done. In our reality, we can't pull a Joanna and Chip Gaines and completely overhaul our fixer upper all at one time. This is a process, one that evolves as our family's needs and tastes change.

I've kind of slacked off on our to-do list here of late. I haven't been pushing myself to finish projects that I've started, or even start new ones. Right now, I'm looking at a mostly painted black wall in my office and I just came from our partially finished laundry room a few moments ago. I'm just feet from our front door, which is still in need of replacing, and I'm thinking about my hall bathroom, where the original black and white tile on the vanity has started to fall off just last week. But, I can't seem to get myself to address these things at the moment. I'm just in total burnout mode and I need to find a way to jump start my drive to accomplish some much needed projects around the casa. As of late, I've been content to use my creative juices for parties and gatherings, not all out DIY projects. I think a respite from the push to check things off the list is in order.

What I've decided to do about my DIY Burnout:
*Give myself some time to rest and regroup. Sometimes, I think the best way to get over being totally "over" something is the step away from it for a bit. Just take a breather and be okay with that. I often feel like there is this self-imposed deadline for projects to be finished looming over my head. But that's just it. It's self-imposed. I can choose when and how I want to accomplish a project and right now, giving myself permission to NOT worry about those said projects is a small lift from my shoulders.
*Use sites like Pinterest and Houzz and magazines to get inspired. I feel like my mind has turned into mush after looking at so many paint colors, laundry room and home office options, and bathroom details. I have an eclectic taste and I like a lot of different styles. That makes choosing what direction to go while doing projects difficult. After stepping away from updates and upgrades for a bit, hopefully I can find some much needed inspiration to get me focused in one direction or another for our next projects.

Last year, I wrote a post about buying a fixer upper versus a move-in ready home. I still stand by the things that I wrote there, even during this "burnout mode" that I'm in. I know that it will all be worth it in the end as we create a home that our little family loves to come home to. (You can read that post here:)
Move-In Ready VS. Buying a Fixer Upper

Have you ever felt like this? Are you currently living in a fixer upper and are just as overwhelmed as we are? Or have already completed all of your projects and have some wisdom to share? I'd love to hear about it. Leave a comment below!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Southern Holiday Life

I am so excited to be a contributor for Southern Holiday Life again for this Spring/Summer edition! I had a great time writing my articles and coming up with fun ideas for the readers! Definitely go check it out for lots of fun ideas! Bonus! If you are planning a wedding in the Southeast, this is definitely something you are going to want to read!
Don't forget to go enter the Spring Spruce-Up Giveaway HERE!
View the Digital Edition HERE!

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Spring Spuce-Up Giveaway

I'm so excited to be offering a $20 Lowe's gift card to go toward your next Spring Spruce-up project! Enter to win and tell your friends! The winner will be announced next Thursday. Good luck!

BONUS! Earn 5 extra entry points for becoming a subscriber to my YouTube Channel! Go subscribe HERE!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

DIY Fringe Party Backdrop

Ya'll, I love making DIY items for parties and gatherings. I love being able to use my hands to fashion something that is seemingly plain or ordinary into something with a little more pizzazz. And, I love making things special for guests! I made this fringe backdrop for a party and today, I'm showing you how to make one for your next gathering. It would be great to as a buffet backdrop, a photo booth, VBS decoration, proms. So many options! It looks complicated, but it is really simple, albeit slightly time consuming. It was worth every second!

Gather your supplies: 
*Plastic tablecloth
*About 8 to 10 small packages of Tissue Paper (Depending on the desired size, you may need a little more or a little less).
Here's How: 

 Start with an inexpensive plastic tablecloth and cut to size if needed

Cut tissue paper in half (long way.)

 Starting at the bottom row, tape tissue paper to the tablecloth. Double up tissue paper for a fuller, more dimensional look.

 Once you have taped all your tissue paper in place, you are ready to start cutting the fringe

Using scissors, cut one to two inch strips to make the fringe. (I have since found that Martha Stewart makes a fringe cutter and it can be found at Michael's for $24.99. It might be worth the investment if you are going to be cutting a lot of fringe and will use it for more than this one project. You can see it HERE.)

Now, you are all ready to prepare for your gathering!

I used this backdrop for a graduation tea for my niece (that ended up getting cancelled due to sickness, but that is a whole other story). This party scene and party tips will be featured in the upcoming edition of Southern Holiday Life Magazine! I was honored to be asked to be a contributor once again and I am so excited about Cultivate Create being featured! I will let you know as soon as the digital version can be viewed online.
I also made the fringe tassels and the large tissue paper flowers. I've been asked by a few people how to make both, so I will be posting tutorials for both really soon! I hope you enjoyed today's DIY tutorial! If you have any questions, be sure to comment below! Have a wonderful day!

Linking up to:

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Spring Break and Easter 2015

Last week, we enjoyed spending family time while my two girls were on Spring Break. We took them tent camping in Florala, Alabama at the State Park there. It was the first time we had ever camped there and the tent camp sites had pretty views. We camped right on the water.

There was definitely an abundance of animal and marine life to keep us on our toes. Within fifteen minutes of arriving, my husband had to kill a snake that was in the water and heading straight for us. I'm so glad I spotted him before he snuck into our camp with us unaware. The ducks were very friendly! Obviously, they are pretty comfortable with humans and get fed by them on a regular basis. I let my girls feed them some bread when we first got there, but pretty soon saw that if we didn't deny them, they would never leave and were even a bit aggressive.

We even found a baby turtle. They loved him and named him Squirt. We didn't take him with us, though. We put Squirt back in his home.

I don't know what it is about camping and gathering around an open fire. It's just so peaceful. I'm glad we took our girls to do this, in spite of all the work putting up the tent and all of the preparation and packing it takes to make it happen.

Truly, the views there are so beautiful! The Spanish moss that hangs off most of the trees almost looks ethereal. I think that, living so close to this site and having been there quite a bit, I almost get numbed to the beauty of it all. But while we were there, I really tried to open my eyes and take in all of the beauty God created for us.

One morning, we enjoyed about a two mile walk from (and back to) our camp site. A lot of the walk was on these little bridges that are right beside the water. It's so pretty. I lagged behind and snapped photos of my little family. I love these photos of my littles holding their Daddy's hands. It's so sweet, and I know that they will grow out of this stage way too fast for my liking.

I also took my kiddos to the movies while they were on break. They have taken after me and are beginning to become movie lovers, for sure.

Easter weekend was so fun! We had an Easter egg hunt at church on Saturday. Sunday morning, we enjoyed a sunrise service at church, then had some of our family over for Easter.

This cracks me up! The picture you get when your six year old is so over taking photos!

After lunch, we hid eggs for the kids. Here Katlyn is in hot pursuit! It was such a beautiful day!

Cousins counting their eggs. This is so stinkin' cute!

So, how was your Easter? How did you celebrate? I'd love to hear!

Check back tomorrow for a fun DIY, and later in the week, for a giveaway you won't want to miss!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Spring Break

Hello, friends! I am enjoying some family time this week with my kiddos and hubby while they are on Spring Break. I will be back Monday with some great new stuff next week, including a giveaway, an awesome new DIY, and an announcement! I hope you'll stop back by!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

DIY Boxwood Wreath

I have been drooling over preserved boxwood wreaths, in any shape, size, or form, for a long time now. Every single time I have gone to get one of the lovely Smith and Hawken ones from Target, they have been sold out. This past weekend, I was looking at my very bland white mirror in my dining room and started daydreaming about a pretty boxwood wreath hanging on my mirror for spring and Easter.

So, I booted up my laptop and went to Target's website, determined to order one. I searched and had three results.....the beautiful Smith and Hawken wreaths in three sizes and......they were on SALE! Yay! Yippeee! I was just about to do a little Leprechaun jig when I clicked on the "add to cart" button and womp, womp, womp (Debbie Downer music almost audibly played in my ears.)

They were completely out of stock online. In all three sizes. Then, I saw the "pick up in store" option and thought that I would just drive to get one and would be happy as a little lark with my new boxwood wreath, no matter if I had to drive out of town to get it.

I proceeded to check availability at stores and NOT ONE IN STOCK WITHIN THREE HOURS DRIVING DISTANCE OF ME!! Eeeekkk!

So, naturally, determined as I was, I decided to search for other online sources. Yes, some showed up in the search, but for the same size as the largest one at Target, they were all at least double the cost plus shipping. Man, those things sure are expensive everywhere else but Target. No wonder they are perpetually sold out of them.

So, I decided to do the next best thing.....make one myself. I have a few boxwoods in my front landscape that need a spring trim. That's something that I already had on my to-do list. Instead of chunking the clippings out, I decided to make my very own wreath, even though I don't have to time to preserve it before Easter. I plan on trying to preserve some fresh boxwood cuttings soon, but for now, this will do. (And if Target EVER has one in stock, you better believe that I will be snatching that baby up sooooo fast!)

I did a little Pinterest research and found that an un-preserved boxwood wreath can still last from a couple weeks to a month before turning brown. I'll take my chances.

I started by gathering my cuttings, some floral wire, and a pair of sheers.

I used the wire to make "bundles" of the boxwood cuttings. This one is rather small, but I tried to vary the size of them as I made them. Once you have the bundles made, you can wire them to your wreath form.

I used an old wreath form I had on hand that was a little lackluster and I didn't mind throwing away after my boxwood turns. (I mean, it's not like I can find wreath forms in my small town. And the nearest Target, Hobby Lobby, or Micheal's is an hour away.) The flat wreath forms would probably work best for this if you are buying one, but as necessity dictates for me, I used what I had on hand.

Once I finished my wreath, leaving mine a little more haphazard looking than very smooth, I hung it on my mirror in my dining room with a chalkboard sign in the middle. I actually did go buy some black and white gingham and some turquoise ribbon for this, but I just couldn't get it to look right. I opted for classic black and white stripes I already had for a simple look.


This is about the extent of the "Easter" decorating that I have done this year, but I'm glad I can easily change out the ribbon or the message on the chalkboard when I feel like it. Currently, the majority of these cuttings have been cut for a few days and they are still as green as can be. I'll let you know how long this wreath, unpreserved as it is, lasts.

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