Whatcha Doing Wednesday?

Happy Hump Day! Monday is behind us, and the weekend is just in sight. Today I’ll be trying my hand at pyrography, also known as wood burning! I’ve had an instruction booklet, wood burning kit and wood for a while now. Initially, I wanted to carve me and my husband’s name into the large piece of wood and later carve our initials into our oak tree outside because it was our fifth wedding anniversary! Well, after I started reading up on it I realized wood burning may not be as easy as I had anticipated. It’s okay, hubby said we could still celebrate “wood” on EVERY anniversary, ha!

I purchased all my supplies at Michael’s Craft Store, which is by far my favorite craft store!

Supplies:

Walnut, birch wood, pine and aspen are great to work with for wood burning due to their softness with minimal grain. Although, I like the wood with imperfections. It makes them unique!

Tips:

Please be sure to read all instructions thoroughly and work outside or a well ventilated area. Make sure the wood burning tool you choose has a guard to protect your fingers from an accidental burn.

I look forward to sharing the results with you soon. It will be a WIN or a DIY Oopsie!!

Are you a pro at wood burning or just getting started like me? Either way, I’d love to hear your tips and answer any questions in the comments below.

Toodles noodles!

 

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Magic Mondays!

Welcome to our second edition of Magic Mondays. I hope you had a lovely weekend filled with love, fun and maybe some plot twists along the way. 😉

How did Monday get here again so quickly? Friday takes forever, but Monday? Nope, it’s always there lurking in the shadows..shudder.

It’s okay though because I’m here to provide five tips that might make today run smoother! These tips work for any day really, but come on…we all know Monday’s are the poo!

Get to bed early on Sunday night. For many, Sunday night still feels like an extension of the weekend so we continue to occupy ourselves later than usual with anything other than winding down. Turn the lights down about two hours prior to bedtime and do your best to let those electronics rest up to an hour before shut eye. Take a cue from my foster puppy Radar here. Curl up & sweet dreams!

Get up 20-30 minutes earlier than normal. Honestly, I have done this for years (not by any means perfect of course) because I need that quiet time before everyone else wakes up and the (loving) mayhem begins! TIP If you have children, now is a good time to start waking them up early in preparation for the new school year.

Make that extra time count! Don’t work or make lunches or “all those errands that will never get done otherwise.” Make this time your’s! You deserve it by golly! Preset your coffeemaker so it’s ready when you wake up. Sip your coffee or morning beverage of choice slowly and quietly on the patio while enjoying the beautiful sunrise, journaling, meditating or even doing a little yoga. Heck, grab your coffee, hop back in bed and catch up on your DVR shows if that makes you happy!

Here are a few of the ways I enjoy spending my sweet alone time upon waking. From left to right, ‘Instant Happy’ by Karen Salmansohn. This is a wonderful little book that will pick you up after reading just one page! Next, my beloved Snoopy journal..to not only write about the blegh stuff in my life but the good as well. Next, my T-Rex mug. Reminds me of my ROAR!! ‘Yes Please’ by Amy Poehler. I have not had the opportunity to finish this book, but so far it’s relatable, enjoyable and funny! Last but not least, ‘Tangle Art Pack.’ This is a meditative drawing book. IT’S SO MUCH MORE THOUGH! I have so enjoyed the abstract drawings I’ve created with this book. 🙂

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Begin your week with a fresh, glowing face! Have you read your baking soda box lately? A lot of them say that mixing baking soda with water makes a great face wash. Well, I’m going to take that one step further and let you know that mixing a dab of coconut oil with about a 1/2-1 teaspoon of baking soda makes an exfoliating, mild scrub that will leave your face feeling so soft you won’t even want to put make-up on! If you’re into essential oils, take this one more step further and add one drop of Frankincense (Young Living is the only brand I trust) to your mixture. I started doing this once a week, and now I’m up to three times a week. It’s gentle, makes my face uber happy and kissably soft!

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The summer break is almost over. Make it count! Create some time in your schedule to play games or hang out by the pool with the kids. They’ll be back to the grind before you know it. That might sound awesome right now, but you might miss them. I know I will! 🙂

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Baby Girls!
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My sweet boys!

I have a lot more tips up my sleeve, but Magic Mondays is a series I hope to cultivate joy and inspiration over time that can easily be applied to every day life!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas! Please feel free to comment below about this post or leave a comment in the Guestbook, located in the top menu.

Have a marvelous Monday darlings!

Five Fantastic DIY Gifts for Him! 

When I was younger, I did not appreciate DIY or homemade gifts the way I do now. The young me internally thought, “Umm…you could’ve just gotten me the gift card I asked for.” Ha! I was a little high maintenance (My husband might say I still am). crickets chirping. I blame ‘only child syndrome’. 😉 Well anyway, with age comes wisdom. With age also comes times in life when funds are tight. I am so grateful now for those times because it forced me to be creative! And yes, I do mean forced because I was a self proclaimed “un-creative.”

Now that I’ve given gifts I’ve made, I understand the thought, time and love those gifts represent. That person cared enough to create something for me that took time and effort away from other people or tasks in their life. Now don’t worry, I still LOVE gift cards and receiving gifts that I’ve asked for! 😀 In tough times (or not) though, it’s nice to give and receive a thoughtful, homemade gift to show that special someone just how much you care!

Below are my top five fantastic DIY gifts for him…

1. Favorite Song Wall Art:  Maybe it’s your wedding song, a song that is a private joke between the two of you (Like Lionel Richie’s ‘Hello’ for me and Chuck) or just a song that you know he loves! Whatever it is, write out the lyrics in your own handwriting (I think handwriting as opposed to stencils is much more personal for this project) on canvas to create a great piece of wall art that reminds the recipient of that wonderful memory you shared together.

Supplies:

  • Stretched canvas – size and color of your choice (I used 15×30 Artist’s Loft black canvas)
  • Metallic Chalk Markers (I used Craft Smart)
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Song Lyrics of your choice (check online to make sure you have the correct song lyrics before you get started) Better to be safe than sorry!

Okay, so I did a little bit of a cheat with how I spaced out my lyrics. I wrote them out as they were shown on the lyrics site. I did this a while go and unfortunately can not remember the name of the site. There are a lot of websites out there to look up song lyrics though so you should be able to find one without difficulty. This saved me a lot of time trying to figuring out measurements. Numbers…Yuck!

I measured out the number of lines needed for the song and drew the FAINTEST lines possible with my pencil. I wrote the name of the song at the top in the light blue metallic marker shade. Next, I wrote the lyrics in silver. At the bottom, I wrote a special note for the recipient, i.e. My hubby. 🙂

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Unfortunately, you can see a bit of the pencil lines in this well lit photo. However, you can not see them at all in our bedroom. Also, I did not seal this upon completion which is now evident in a few places where the paint has possibly gotten wet and run a bit. Boo! SO…my tip as a newbie DIYer: ALWAYS seal your artwork. 🙂

Regardless, the hubby absolutely loved this gift and it’s meaning. Beauty is in the imperfections riiiight??

2. Handwritten Card or Note:  This seems like, duh right?! BUT if you’re more the funny card kinda gal then this will be a welcomed and appreciated card for your loved one. By gone are the days of a written love letter or telegram. Purchase a thoughtful card and continue the notion with your own words or use a blank card or even a handmade card! Spilling your heart out on paper may seem daunting, but my bet is the recipient will keep that card and read it again occasionally for a smile. 🙂 If not, lose him. You don’t need unsentimental people that don’t hoard Hallmark cards and look back on them occasionally for nostalgia in your life! 😉

3. DIY Massage Oil:  Essential oils are not just for women. Men certainly benefit from the therapeutic uses, and there are many scents he’ll enjoy! I created this blend especially for Chuck (hubby) for it’s earthy, masculine aroma and benefits each oil brings to him.

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Supplies:

  • Dark glass bottle (I used a leftover glass, massage oil bottle from a bath and beauty store)
  • Carrier oil of choice (I used Now Solutions Almond Oil)
  • 30 drops Idaho Blue Spruce – Relaxing, can be emotionally balancing and a wonderful aphrodisiac (wink, wink…it works!!) 🙂
  • 25 drops Cedarwood – Calming, anti-spasmodic (great for Restless Legs Syndrome) with a woodsy, pleasant scent
  • 25 drops Stress Away – a blend to help wind down
  • 25 drops Copaiba – Relaxing to aches and pains. Also amplifies the benefits of all other oils combined with it!
  • 15 drops Cypress – Can benefit circulation, herniated discs, arthritis, etc.
  • 15 drops Lavender – Overall calming and soothing

Combine carrier oil and essential oils into a dark glass container. Essential oils are heat sensitive so it’s best to keep in a dark container if possible. If not, please keep in a cool, dark place. You could also paint the outside of your bottle or wrap it in Washi Tape!

I only trust Young Living Essential Oils. Please do your research on oils before purchasing and using. Stay tuned for a post about why Young Living is how I choose to care for my family in SO MANY ways!

Not only will your beloved appreciate this homemade massage oil, but he’ll LOVE the future massages in store. 🙂

4. Frame an Old Family Photo:  My husband had this ADORABLE and large baby photo. Professional matting was outrageous in my humble opinion so I did it myself…mostly.

Supplies:

  • Photograph
  • Matting paper
  • Photo Frame

Because of the picture’s size, it was difficult to find a frame. Therefore, I purchased a frame that held two 5×7 portraits and removed the matting that came with it. I gave it a good go with the matting, but umm…NO. It was a jagged mess. Luckily, I was able to choose a matting and have the framing department cut it to my specifications for less than $10!

The result? Something that made my husband and kids smile and stimulated conversations of childhood nostalgia. My in-laws loved it as well. sky punch!

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5. Picture Collage for Men:

I absolutely love capturing our lives in photographs. It’s like getting to revisit wonderful moments in time whenever you’d like! I chose a large, rustic frame with chicken wire and small laundry clips at Michael’s Craft Store for 50% off. I proceeded to print out pictures of us in wallet size along with many, many Instagram photos! It was great to look through all the years of photos and reminisce about the time we’ve shared together.

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I MAY have gone a little photo crazy on this project. 🙂

I hope these five awesome, homemade gifts inspire you to create something personal for HIM! And of course, these projects can be tailored for anyone you love. That’s the great part about Doing It Yo Self!!

BEWARE: Upon opening gifts expect conversation, laughing, maybe a little crying and definitely cuddling! ❤

Remember, it’s not the size or price of the gift that matters. It’s the massive and priceless love and joy you share together that counts!

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Loving and laughing!


DIY Foaming Hand Soap

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to show you a snippet of why I love essential oils so much and how they allow me to save money virtually every day!

I am a HUGE advocate of essential oils and how they have improved the lives of my family, home and even my fur kids! More on that later in a separate post. 🙂

For now, this easy recipe can save you money on all those bottled, foaming hand soap dispensers you find yourself purchasing on a regular basis filled with chemicals and dyes. Over here, a family of six runs through them pretty fast! That’s why I’m so excited to share this easy recipe with you. 🙂

Supplies:

  • Foaming hand soap dispenser
  • Distilled Water
  • Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castille Soap
  • 100% Pure Vegetable Glycerine (I use NOW Solutions found at Whole Foods)
  • Vitamin E oil (optional)
  • 8-10 drops essential oils of your choosing (I only trust Young Living Essential Oils)

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It’s my bet that most people have used a foaming soap dispenser before and will have one free to use. If not, you can find them online. I quickly found a 3-pack on Amazon for $10.98. I had several on hand so that part was free for me. I LOVE FREE!

Okay, I’m not going to be terribly technical here with all the amounts because a lot of these soap dispensers are shaped differently. If you are one of the Type A’s that needs exact amounts, LOOK AWAY NOW! Teehee…

  1. Wash your soap dispenser before using and allow to dry naturally
  2. Fill your soap dispenser approximately a 1/3 full of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap
  3. Add approximately two teaspoons vegetable glycerin
  4. Add 2-4 drops Vitamin E oil (Optional – I LOVE soft hands so I add it in) 😉
  5. 8-12 drops of your favorite essential oils
  6. Fill the dispenser with distilled water almost to the top. Leave room for foam and screwing the top back in
  7. Give your hands a wash with this luxurious homemade hand soap and enjoy!

The following are a few essential oil recipes I enjoy using for hand soap:

  • 10 drops Thieves (when you need super, duper extra protection keeping bacteria away)
  • 5 drops Lavender and 5 drops Frankincense
  • 5 drops Peppermint and 3 drops Joy (Joy is a blend created by Young Living)

The Castile soap, vegetable glycerin, Vitamin E, distilled water and essential oils will last you SO much longer than purchasing a new dispenser, or even the refills on a regular basis! The savings really start to add up!

Tips: Give your soap dispenser a gentle shake before each use since oil and  water will separate. If you decide to use citrus oils in your soap, please use a glass or stainless steel dispenser. Citrus will eat away at plastic causing a chemical change preventing your body from receiving the oil’s benefits.

Please be sure to do your research before picking essential oils. Stay tuned for an upcoming post with more information about why Young Living is the only brand I trust with my family, pets, friends and myself!

In the meantime, enjoy the benefits of your natural and luxurious DIY foaming hand soap!

Easy DIY Faux Sheepskin Rugs

I just LOVE the lush look of fur, don’t you? It adds so much texture and warmth to a space. However, the only real fur I plan to wear is the fur left on my pants from the four legged fur babies! Therefore, I went on the hunt for faux sheepskin fur and found it at Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts.

These rugs can be placed just about anywhere, instantly making your space more interesting! I wanted several for different parts of my home. Similar rugs retail individually  for approximately the total I paid in fabric to make six rugs!

Enter fabric store. I purchased five yards (which was all they had left at the time) of cream colored faux fur for around $12.99 per yard. Check http://www.joann.com for weekly discounts that are definitely worth the few seconds it takes to look them up! If there’s not a location in your area, you can order online or find a fabric store near you.

Supplies:

  • Sheepskin hide template I created freehand from an old yoga mat
  • Faux sheepskin fur (I purchased five yards)
  • IKEA Stop Filt Rug Underlay  *Optional
  • Adhesive Velcro  *Optional
  • Scissors

Call me crazy, but I totally free handed the sheepskin hide (not every hide is perfect or identical right?) 😉  I Googled sheepskin rugs and freehanded the shape onto an old yoga mat. I then cut out the shape and used it as a template. I traced the shape onto the back of the fabric and simply cut it out with fabric scissors. Don’t worry about rough edges. Fluff the fur, and you won’t even see the edges! 🙂

If these are for decorative use only then consider this project done! Say whaaaaat?! :-O Yes, that’s it! Leave the fabric as is to be gathered a bit to your taste or tossed over a chair for an easy, relaxed look.

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If you’re using these on the floor then I STRONGLY suggest an anti-slip underlay. I purchased IKEA STOPP FILT Rug Underlay with anti-slip, size 5’x7′ for $11.99. I have concrete floors downstairs and this underlay works y’all! No slipping and sliding, yay!

I cut out the underlay fabric using my oh so professional yoga mat stencil and applied peel and stick velcro to attach it to the rug. I made the pads removable for washing purposes. Also, it’s just nice to have the convenience down the road if I decide to use the faux sheepskin in a different way.

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I initially made these as throws for my dining room chairs last winter. Some of them have moved around since then to serve as rugs or throws on living room seating. I do put them back in the dining room though for gatherings. 😉


Can you hear it? What?! It’s the dining room SCREAMING for a makeover! Stay tuned to see how I transform this Early American dining set into something spectacular!

 

Easy Furniture Makeover

Yes, the first DIY project I decided to take on was painting an Early American bedroom suite! Go big or go home, right? 🙂 This furniture has found it’s way into many of my relative’s homes throughout the years. When my aunt no longer needed it I decided this would be a great DIY project and also extra furniture to fill a new, larger home! Woohoo!!

I had done some research online and came across Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. This stuff sounded PERFECT! No stripping or priming necessary. No toxic smell. Wax the furniture upon completion and voila! It sounded like something this self proclaimed “uncreative” girl could actually do! This paint is super versatile and easy to use so check it out at http://www.anniesloan.com. Luckily for me, there is a dealer for this brand of paint inside my favorite antique mall! Another reason to go antiquing? Yes, please. 🙂

As you can see from the photos below, the furniture is sturdy and in fantastic shape. It’s just a weeeeeeee bit outdated! All the hardware is original, also in great shape with no missing pieces. I just didn’t think about taking photos until the process was underway. That happens when you don’t realize you’ll be starting a blog about this someday! 😀

Supplies used for this project:

  • Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (I used Paris Grey)
  • Annie Sloan Clear Wax
  • Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover 2x Satin Canyon Black Spray Paint
  • Good quality paint and wax brushes; a lint free cloth can also be used for waxing
  • Screwdriver for removing and reattaching hardware

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After much consideration, I decided to go with Annie Sloan’s Paris Grey color. I thought it would be super refreshing for these dark, heavy pieces. I pulled out the drawers and  removed the hardware prior to painting. The paint is fairly thick giving optimum coverage in minimal coats making this project easy, even for those of us that get distracted by shiny things! After the paint was dry I applied Annie Sloan’s Soft Wax.

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You can see that too much wax has been applied in the above picture, on the right door. Oh boo! 😦

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Apparently wax can be tricky for those accustomed to polyurethane. However, I had no experience with poly so I thought the wax worked well! I didn’t apply it perfectly the first time, but now I know for next time. 🙂

My advice from the experience:

  • Apply the soft wax sparingly with an Annie Sloan wax brush, lint free cloth or any other good quality wax brush. I found that a soft cloth was best for big surfaces while the brush allowed me to get into the grooves and designs of the wood. If you have applied too much wax the paint will feel soft and somewhat sticky leaving it vulnerable to dents from decor and a magnet for dust. I know this b/c of course it happened to me! In this case additional buffing will be necessary. Find your inner karate kid and WAX OFF!!

I actually went to the local craft store to sample new hardware. None of it felt right right in comparison to the original hardware. After trying out flat, satin and gloss finishes, I decided to paint the hardware a sleek, modern Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover 2x Satin Canyon Black. The hardware was the only thing I painted outside. The chalk paint barely had a scent. I was able to throw down a drop cloth and get right to it without worry of moving furniture back and forth, airing out the house, etc. I reattached the hardware and OH. MY. GOODNESS. Same exact furniture and hardware but an entirely new vibe!

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I hope you enjoyed this quick and easy makeover project! My family members that have had this furniture in their home at one time or another are in awe of the difference a little paint made on this fabulous bedroom suite.

Do you have an older piece of furniture just waiting for a makeover? Go on and get after it! I was so thrilled with the outcome! This first project gave me the confidence I needed to continue exploring the world of DIY. Happy Painting y’all!