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.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring Shenanigans

Week before last, I shared my Countdown to Spring that I made for my girls to enjoy in anticipation of the season's arrival. We had so much fun doing the activities that were in each day's goodie box. They loved coming home from school to see what today's activity would be.

We enjoyed a spring scavenger hunt with our neighbor friends......

The girls broke up into two teams and we timed them for fifteen minutes. The team with the most on their list won. Here's what they found. (Team One's items are on the right, Team two's on the left.)

Team One won by a ladybug. Literally.

Another of our activities one day was to freshen up our bird bath. Katlyn and Ashlyn took turns scooping out all of the leaves and debris that had accumulated in the bath. Then we trimmed the bushes around it to make it look better. Next, we replenished the birdbath with fresh water.

I snapped this photo of the birdbath this morning in the foggy, cool air. It isn't perfect, but it's an improvement from what it was. We still need to clean up around it a bit, but the birds seem to be enjoying it.

Another activity we did last week, and one that we do each year, is plant some annuals. My girls love to pick out their own flowers and they help me plant them and water them throughout the season. Here is one of the pots that we planted, full of the flowers they chose. I can't wait to see it grown to maturity, all the flowers mixing together and spilling over!
Photo courtesy of Jeremy Henderson (Thanks, Jeremy!)
We've also been busy with t-ball practice and are looking forward to our first game of the season this weekend! Nothing like Spring nights spent cheering on our little one's team!

Mommy-daughter time.

I had to show you this photo. This is the first time since we moved into our home that our azaleas have bloomed! They aren't in full bloom yet, but I was so excited to see that they are blooming. When we first moved in, we cut them back drastically because they were so overgrown. I thought we might have ruined them, but it's nice to know that the bushes are resilient.

If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen this collage. I snapped these photos in my yard and around my neighborhood on one of my afternoon walks. Isn't Spring just gorgeous?

Be sure to stop back by tomorrow for a Spring DIY that you are definitely going to want to try!

More Spring Inspiration:

Shop your home for Spring
Countdown to Spring

Free Spring Printables

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My Makeup Routine

Happy Wednesday! Are you just as relieved as I am that the week is half-way over? This amazing weather we have had here in South Alabama has me dreaming of white sands and sticking my toes in the pretty blue water. Maybe soon.

Today, I have something new to share with you. I have a new YouTube channel and will start incorporating video into Cultivate Create. I can't wait to use this media avenue to enhance Cultivate Create for my readers. I plan on sharing virtual home tours, craft tutorials, and much more! Today, I am simply sharing my makeup routine.

I get asked all the time about my makeup. I love playing with my makeup and trying new things, but when it comes to foundation and moisturizer, I am pretty set on what I use. Namely, because after lots of trial and error, I have found what works for me and don't see a reason to change it. (I use Olay Regenerist moisturizer at night and in the morning, and my foundation is Merle Norman Total Finish in Alabaster Beige.) As a mom in her, ahem, early thirties, I do have some unevenness in skin tone. I have remnants of Melasma from pregnancy, and some sun damage. If you have any of these issues, I strongly recommend trying some of the products I use because the overall coverage is absolutely amazing.

So, without further ado, here is my very first video on my new YouTube channel. If you can't view this video in your browser or on your phone for any reason, try this link:

If you have any questions about products I use, leave me a comment below!

You can subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE.

(All opinions are my own. I have not been compensated for this post.)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Countdown to Spring

Recently, my sister, Leanne, mentioned that it would be cool if I did something for Spring kind of like what I did for our Advent calendar at Christmas. I thought that was a really clever idea. I'm just as sick of the cold, dreary weather as the next person, and I thought doing a countdown to Spring would be a great way to celebrate and look forward the change of seasons.

I didn't want to go overboard with this, so I tried to use mainly what I already had on hand. The only items I bought for the Spring Countdown were the pink favor boxes and candy to put inside. All other items were some I had stashed in my craft closet, including: Chalk labels, Easter basket grass, decorative eggs, enclosure cards, and Sharpies.

I put Easter basket grass in each favor box, added candy (Starburst Jelly Beans, and Hershey's Eggs), and added an enclosure card with an activity for each of the remaining days until the first day of Spring (March 20th).

Here are some examples of the activities I used:
*Scavenger hunt-- green leaf, flower, feather, lady bug or roly poly, pine cone, rock, bird nest
*Tea party outside on a blanket
*Go through spring clothes and shoes. Donate or sell items that no longer fit.
*plant flowers
*Memorize an Easter scripture
*Try a new Spring recipe
*Make a bird feeder
*Make a Spring craft
*Make a butterfly feeder
*Freshen up our bird feeder

You could choose any activity that would work well with your family and the ages of your children.

Instead of leaving the boxes lined up on the buffet, I decided to use my tiered server to display the boxes. I used green Easter basket grass and some decorative eggs to add a little pizzazz to the display. Again, these were items I already had on hand. 

I can't wait for my girls to see their treats! And I also am looking forward to doing the activities with them. Here's to the coming of Spring and all of the wonderful things that come with it! Let the countdown begin!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sleep Deprived

I'm typing this with bleary eyes, sipping my coffee in the foggy morning light. I hope the coffee can infuse me with some energy that I so badly need to function today. I am running on only about four hours of sleep after having tossed and turned for hours last night, sleep evading me as I desperately chase it. I am weary of being weary.
I've had issues sleeping for a long while now. My husband has been trying to get me to go the doctor about it for months, and being the stubborn person that I am, I refused to go. Up until about three weeks ago. I had noticed since about January, when I started back to Zumba, that my energy level was almost nonexistent. I struggled getting through classes that I had previously been completely fine doing. Then, at the beginning of February, I went to Zumba again and just COULD. NOT. DO. IT. I had to leave about fifteen minutes into the class. I had zero energy, and little motivation. I was just plain tired and wanted to go home and go to bed. That upset me a lot. That's when I decided it was time to go to the doctor and I called to make an appointment the very next morning.


I not only struggle with falling asleep, I have a hard time staying asleep. I wake frequently, tossing and turning. I hardly ever feel rested, even when I have managed to get more than six hours of sleep. And before I have lots of comments telling me to take a prescription sleep aid or Melatonin, let me tell you why I can't or won't take them. The first reason is because those type of medicines, including Melatonin, make me feel like a very heavy weight is sitting on my chest and I can't breath. When I have taken that stuff, I have woken gasping and I am not taking something that makes feel that way. I have a couple more reasons, but I will just leave it at that.

 I finally went to see my doctor and he wanted to do blood work and have me do a sleep study. The sleep study was interesting, to say the least. If you've ever had one, you know what I mean. I had stuff stuck all over me, wires everywhere. The creepy part was knowing that they were videotaping me all night long and would be watching that video.
After a week and a half, I heard from the lady that reads the study and she said that I woke around forty times, stopped breathing twice, breathed shallow to where I wasn't reaching full oxygen saturation a few times, and that my legs jerked quite a bit throughout the night. Oh yeah, and I snored all night long. BUT, she said that I didn't have sleep apnea and I would most likely be referred to an ENT. I have yet to hear directly from my doctor, so I will be calling today to find out a little more about what he's recommending I do. I really need to get some good sleep!
I really am just plain tired. I probably average around four to five hours of sleep a night, if that. And it's to the point where it has really caught up with me. If affects a lot of aspects of my life! Notice I haven't posted very much on the blog lately? I have about four or five unfinished posts sitting there waiting for the final touches before I publish, and I just haven't had the energy to do it.(That's the only reason I haven't been as present on the blog....I'm looking forward to getting some rest so I can get back into the swing of things.)  I can be really irritable, and it's really hard to find motivation or energy to get things that I need to accomplish done.

I really hope to know more soon and to take steps to resolve this issue. If you've ever gone through a period with very little sleep, I know you can relate at how it negatively affects your life. I'd love if you'd pray with me, for me as we try to figure this out. I'm just feeling a little run down here lately and am ready to feel like myself again. I really appreciate your patience with me not posting quite as regularly, and am thankful for your prayers!

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

My Faves Party

Over the weekend, I hosted a "My Faves Party" for some of my girlfriends.  Lots of versions of these parties are all over Pinterest, and I've wanted to have one for a long while. They just looked so fun and weren't your average let's-just-get-together-to-eat-and-do-nothing party. After hosting the dinner party before Christmas, I saw even more the need for ladies to connect. I think we all get caught up in our own families' schedules, and the general busyness of life and we lose that connection and community with our friends that we so need. We really have to be intentional in connecting with one another, and I plan to continue to host my friends ever so often so that we can have a night to have fun, connect with each, and laugh. A lot. I mean, lots of laughs! For real, we laughed so much and had a blast!

To make things simple, we all made some of our favorite appetizers or deserts. The food was amazing and we all got to try some new things. Hooray for new recipes to try!

There are a few ways to run your favorite things party, but this is how we did it: each person was to choose one of their favorite things in the price range of $5-$6 and bring five of that item. We displayed all of the items on my buffet and the table and shelves beside so everyone could check out what everyone brought. Each person wrote their names five times on slips of paper and but them in a bowl. We went around the room and each person got up to tell what their item was and where they usually buy it. Then, they drew five names from the bowl and those five people got one of her five things.

 We had a lot of awesome Faves!

Vintage coffee cups, to-go creamer and coffee.

Starbucks Vanilla Frappuccino, Lindor chocolates, nail polish, and earrings.

Nail polish, candle jewelry, Neutrogena hand cream, Victoria's Secret lip gloss

Bath and Body Works Car Scents, Baby Lips--Grape

Key chain Chapstick holder, Organic Coconut oil

Cup covers and notepads, Cup
 We also had white dishes, Better Homes and Gardens Storage Cube, Coke in the glass bottle, and more Bath and Body Works.

I had some questions on each of the three tables above favorites. We all wrote our favorites on our paper chalkboard placemats.



Above, the items I ended up with. Great faves! I can't wait to try out the nail polish. Below are some faves a couple others went home with.

Here are a couple of the placemats with faves doodled all over them!

I love that the quote on this one is from Forest Gump! Too funny.

We had such a great time, and I already have big ideas for our next girl's night. Have you ever hosted a favorite things/faves party? Did you do things differently? Leave a comment. I'd love to hear about it!

Follow this blog with bloglovin

Follow on Bloglovin


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...