Friday, May 31, 2013

Sillhouette Cameo Bundle GIVEAWAY {$450 value!}

I have been working on a few projects and I can't wait to share them with you! Thank you for being so patient with me as I try to get this whole morning sickness thing under control! 

As promised, here is the super exciting giveaway I told you about... 

This year my friend Adrienne, from Free Time Frolics, grabbed a bunch of blog friends {including me} and My Vinyl Direct to bring you a great giveaway celebrating her bloggy birthday!
Simply Sadie JaneThe Benson streetMaybe I WillElla Claire,  Real Moms Real Views,  Love & LaundryCapital B,
I Gotta Try ThatFlat to Flip FlopsFree Time Frolics, AThrifty Mom

A Brand New Silhouette Cameo Designer Bundle Giveaway!!! ($450 value)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

~Eye Candy Alert~

Hello friends!! 
I have spent the week enjoying time with my family, sleeping, decluttering the house to prepare for our neighborhood yard sale this weekend, and trying to beat this horrible morning sickness! I have a couple of projects almost finished that I will be taking pictures of in the next few days. I will have those to share next week! Thank you for being patient with me; I am so excited to share them with you! 

I knew this week was going to be a little crazy, so I hope you are enjoying the giveaway from Tuesday along with all of the inspiration from the link party! I also have a special giveaway planned for tomorrow as well!

In the meantime, I wanted to share some of the things I am crushing on right now.

Have you seen this gorgeous e-course {HERE} on how to make Santos Cage Dolls by Jennifer Rizzo?

Could these be more spectacularly beautiful? I love all of the different vintage elements that she uses to make each one unique. And I love their pretty little faces. 

Her e-course opened up on May 27th, but you can still join her class. The great thing is that once you purchase the class, you have up to a year to watch the videos and complete the course! I am going to do this one for sure.


Another course I am crushing on right now is this gorgeous summer course {HERE} by Jen from City Farmhouse!
Creatively Made Home Summer Series-Decorating Ideas For Summer

Oh my goodness, is it really possible for all of this loveliness to be in one place!? Jen worked tirelessly to compile all of this gorgeous self-created eye candy, tutorials and all of the little touches that make summer with your family so lovely. This is another course that I can't wait to check out! Doesn't her style just make you want to take a deep breath, sigh, and enjoy a glass of lemonade?


What eye candy are you crushing on right now? I would love to check it out!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

GIVEAWAY, Our Fabulous New Link Party~ Inspiration Exchange #1

I am so excited to be a part of this wonderful group of women to host a weekly link party~ The Inspiration Exchange!{I tried to announce this twice already in the last few days, and for some reason my scheduled posts didn't actually post! So... surprise!!} I love linking up at other blogs' parties and perusing all of the wonderful creativity out there, so it will be so fun to host our own. 

Every week we will host this link party where you can share all of your projects and inspirations from the week! We will share some of our very favorites the following Sunday.

Each week we will also share some of the things we've been working on....

Recently on Ella Claire,

You can find Ella Claire here:


This week on City Farmhouse...

You can connect with me here: BLOG - FACEBOOK - PINTREST - INSTAGRAM - TWITTER

This week on Clean and Scentsible...

You can find Clean and Scentsible here:


This week on Yellow Bliss Road...
Connect with me here: Blog Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter

You will have several ways you can earn entries to increase your chances to win! Open to residents of the US and Canada. Good luck! 
Enter Here... and don't forget to link up your projects below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Want to link up? 
  • Link directly to your specific post {not the homepage}. 
  • Please do NOT link up giveaways or items that you are selling.
  • Please add a text link back to your host at the end of your post. We would love for you to help spread the word!
  • If you would like, follow along with Facebook or on our group Pinterest board to see if you have been featured throughout the week and don't forget to pop back on Sunday for our features post!
  • Please be sure to check out some of the other fabulous links. This is the time to exchange ideas and a few nice comments always inspire us to create more!  

Monday, May 20, 2013

Planting Our Garden!

I finally got out and planted the garden! Ella and I had been sick for the past week and a half since we built the garden box {here}, and I was chomping at the bit to get it done. 

It may not look like much, but I am SO excited for all of my plants! Actually, I am so excited for the yummy fresh food that will come from these beautiful plants.

We planted zuchinni, yellow squash, cucumbers {I still need to add the trellis for these},  summer squash,

green, red, and orange bell peppers, spicy peppers, 

onions, carrots, lettuce, basil, cilantro, and spinach.

 I also planted 7 different types of tomatoes. Yes, I recognize that is a little excessive for a family of 3 1/2... but, I couldn't help myself. I LOVE tomatoes and I wanted to try out a couple of the heirloom varieties. I still need to put their cages on them.

Aren't these little onion starts so pretty? Ella had so much fun playing with them and "helping" me to plant. As a matter of fact she helped me to cover them with dirt... and then proceeded to uncover all of them while I was planting the cucumbers. I am going to giggle if I have onions popping up all over the place!

And here it is.... proof that I haven't killed the new sod! Ella and I are loving running around barefoot in the new grass.

I am going to be planting beans and sunflowers somewhere else in the yard. I sure love getting my hands dirty while being outside with my little lovely.

What are you planting this spring?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Very Special and Exciting Announcement


Ella has a really exciting announcement for you today. 

She is very excited about it too. 

Can you see it?

We are beyond thrilled. And we feel more blessed than words can describe.

Ella has been practicing with her babies. 
She will be the best big sister. 

At the 3 month checkup, I couldn't imagine anything more beautiful than that little heartbeat in there moving so vigorously. I felt the same way about our Ella. I am so happy that we get to experience this again. 

My little baby bump is showing... and really, really high.  

Our little bundle is due in November.
We are feeling so thankful for each other, for our sweet Ella, and our new little one. 

I told you it would make you smile ;)


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Announcement Coming Tomorrow!

I know I told you all that I had a big, fun announcement today, but due to technical difficulties I won't be spilling the beans until tomorrow morning! 

This announcement is a very personal one... and it will make you smile so big your cheeks will hurt. 

See you in the morning :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Spring Chalkboard Art!

Today I am sharing my Spring chalkboard art and free printable template over on Jennifer Rizzo's blog. I hope you will head on over and check it out! I just love her style and she is also such a truly kind and sweet person. I am so honored to be contributing once a month on her blog. 

I have also published an article over on SheKnows with a tutorial similar to the one I shared {here} and a free template for this fun quote:

Chalkboards galore! 

I have a very exciting announcement to share tomorrow. So, I hope you will come back. 
Trust me, it will make you smile ear to ear. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

How to Build the Easiest Garden Box!

A few nights ago, after the little one was in bed, my hunky hubby and I whipped out this big new garden box. It was actually pretty simple to build, especially with both of us working on it. 

I had a couple of smaller garden boxes on the other side of the yard that we ripped out when we regraded and sodded our yard {here}. I had built them out of plain old 2x6 pine boards 5 years ago and they held up great, so we decided to just use pine again. If you are wanting to build one that will last a super long time you will want to build it out of more weather resistant or treated wood.

We hit up Lowes and grabbed the following supplies:
(2) 2x10x12
(2) 2x10x8
(1) 2x4x6
3" Heavy duty outdoor wood screws

and we had these on hand:
2" screws (leftover from the fence we just tore down)

We cut the 2x4 into four 10" pieces. Then we screwed one onto each end of our shorter sides (the 2x10x8s) using the leftover wood screws from the fence we just tore down. We predrilled small holes so we could sink the screws slightly into the wood. If you don't want to do this step, use the 3" screws on the whole thing.

Then I held the shorter side, making sure it was nice and straight, while my strong hubby screwed in the longer side with the 3" wood screws. We made sure to screw a couple into each of the two boards to make them extra stable. The finished box measures 8ft by 12ft and it is 10" deep.  

When we put the sod down last week, we left a spot open for the box so we just placed it directly in that spot on the dirt. We put 2 yards of a premium topsoil/compost mix in the box. As you can see, we need to still fix a little part of the sod, but for the most part we are done... Oh wait, I need to PLANT a garden!!

Quick, easy, and inexpensive!

I really am so excited to get my plants in the ground. I think it is mostly because my little Ella will love to go out and pick her food. She loves to play in the dirt already and is always grabbing my hand with her little hand and leading me out here so she can! 

I just know that her grandma is smiling down on her. My mother in law loved her gardens too.  

And look what else is making its debut in our yard right now... my very favorite plant we have. My big lilacs are just starting to bloom and their fragrance is absolutely intoxicating.

I will have to get a few more pictures when their buds are completely open.

Do you enjoy gardening?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Yard Progress~ Woo Hoo!!

I am SO excited that our backyard is coming right along. I have to warn you that some of the backyard before pictures you are about to see may scare the heebee jeebees out of you... yes, our yard was THAT bad! 
Our neighbors' dog has chewed holes in our fence over the past two years and we have replaced and patched the darn thing so many times I can't even count. Along with that, our lawn has been struggling for a couple of years, and we lost one of our trees over a bad winter {which you can see that my hunky hubby had already chopped down before I took this picture}. 

Finally, we had enough!! We have a small backyard as it is, and we just wanted a safe and fun place for our little Ella to play. We decided to replace the fence (reinforcing the neighbor's side so their dog can't eat it), regrade the yard and lay sod. 

So here is the before pictures of this side of the yard: 
{Notice the bag of compost covering the latest gaping hole}

This planter that you can see here had curbing around it and I actually had my garden boxes in there until the tree next door grew too big and created too much shade {All of that had ben removed before this picture}. So, we decided to make that nice big area all grass for the little one.

And here is the after. Oh, my heart skips a beat every time I look at it!

It is not completely finished in this picture, and we still need to stain the fence, but you get the idea. I have big plans for that space that is still dirt behind the patio. I will be building a planter box of some sort. 

Here is the before picture of the other side of the yard: 

and a picture of while they were laying sod:
(I have the greatest friends, brother, and hubby ever to lay all of this!)

This side of the house is where my new garden will be and we are in the process of building the new bed for it. I will show more pictures of it once we get it finished!

I am SO happy with the progress so far! And I think it looks so nice with the new exterior paint job as well. Here is a little before and after of that if you don't remember that post {see post here}. 


and After:

It is coming right along... 

Oh, and here is a shot of the cutest helper of all! Can you believe I haven't put her hair in pigtails before now!? I love them. Oh, she melts my heart. I hope she just loves her new backyard.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

My Home Exterior Reveal! & How to Choose Exterior Paint Colors

I am so excited to share pictures of our newly painted exterior with you today! And while I am at it, I am going to share the tips and tricks for picking paint colors that I learned along the way. 

As I found out a few weeks ago, choosing paint colors can be hard! I knew that I wanted a brown with gray undertones, but do you know how MANY millions of those there are!? 

Remember this? My 13 sample pots (the colors were a lot richer and more distinct in real life) painted on the wall .... yes that really did happen. I jumped into buying sample pots a little too soon. Well, hopefully some of my tips can help you narrow it down a little easier than I did, and hopefully avoid some of the stress as well! 

Well here is the before {after all of the nails had been caulked by the painters}:

And here is the after: 

We didn't go very far from the original color, but some of the details made all of the difference. 

Tip #1: Search, search, search for other houses to imitate. There are SO many houses out there that there is really no need to stress about trying to come up with colors all on your own. {Unless of course you are really excited to do that, then have at it!} My suggestion is to search online first to get a general idea of the color combo that you are looking for. White with black trim? Red with cream trim? Yellow with white trim?

Here is a house that I found online that I loved and wanted to imitate.

and here is our house now. Keep in mind that the sun is shining very brightly on it right now, so it is pulling a little warmer than it actually is. I LOVE this color! I will share all of the paint color details at the end of this post. 
If you live in an area that has a decent amount of houses, a good idea is to drive around and see how they look in real life.

Tip #2: Follow this tip at your own risk~~ If you live in a safe and friendly area, go up and ask the person whose house you love if they know the color of their paint. I found a house very similar to this, I knocked on the door, and she actually let me  borrow the pot of paint to go and get it matched! Now, obviously this tip has to be used with a lot of common sense. Don't get yourself hurt! Not everyone lives in lovely Idaho, but if you do... just ask! Also, keep in mind that house colors fade over time. So, if it has been a few years the house might be a different color than it was originally. This particular house ended up being a color I didn't care for because it had actually faded into the color that I loved. It had been 7 years since it had been painted. 

Tip #3: If you narrow down your colors, go and pick out a few sample pots and paint them onto your house. You will most likely want to go with something that has more of a cooler gray undertone than you would originally think you would need. Just remember that the sunlight will make it appear warmer than it is. Alternately, if you live in an area that is cloudy the majority of the time, you will be much more able to choose a warmer, truer color. You may want to ask your painter if they are OK with you painting sample pots onto the house. Mine gave the OK because he knew I was using good quality Sherwin Williams samples that he would be able to easily paint over. Different paints have different qualities, so if all else fails, ask your painter first. Paint your samples onto different parts of the house that get different light. It will look different in the light than it will look in the shade, and you need to make sure you like both.  

Tip#4: Choose a color that best compliments the house that you have... not necessarily a house you would build. Does that make sense? If you live in a home that you did not design or build, chances are it has certain quirks that you would not have necessarily picked for yourself. Work with those quirks and pick paint colors to enhance the home that you have. If I were to build my own home I wouldn't necessarily pick these colors, but they look great on this home. 

Tip #5: The nice guy at Sherwin Williams told me that when you purchase a sample pot, you can have them mix it at a percentage. So if you like a color, but want it lighter, start with having it mixed at 25%. It will save you money because you can always go back and ask them to increase it to 50% or 60%, or so on without having to purchase another pot. 

Tip#6: Picking a trim color (and other detail colors) is just as important as picking the house color. You need to decide what you want your trim to do... blend, pop, accent? {hint: Sherwin Williams has exterior combination suggestion cards that are really pretty... can you tell I am a SW fan!?} I wanted my trim to pop, but the plain whites I tried just didn't look right. Once I tried one with a hint of a creamy undertone, it was EXACTLY the look I was going for. 

Look at the difference that this trim color makes! The house just pops! Originally, the house was 4 colors: The lighter base color, darker top color, dark trim color, and white-ish stucko. We chose to go with an all over color and a trim color and it made a HUGE difference. Careful consideration of the details pays off!

which leads me to...
Tip#7: Follow your gut! I made a few trips to Sherwin Williams because in my gut I knew that the other trim samples I picked just weren't right. Painting your house is a BIG and long-term job. If something about your color combination isn't sitting right with you 100%, then try something else. 

Tip #8: Take into account your permanent fixtures. For example, if you have rock or brick on your house, you will want to make sure the paint color does not clash. The same is true of shutters, your roof color, garage doors, etc. We decided to paint our garage doors the same color as the house, but not everyone is able to do that. Also, our roof is a pretty gray color, so I needed to make sure that I picked a color that coordinated. Since brown and gray are both neutral, they generally match.

Tip #9: USE A GOOD QUALITY PAINT! I cannot stress this enough. Your house will fade prematurely if you don't use good quality paint, which is a total bummer. If you don't, it will end up costing you more in the long run. Also keep in mind that all paint will fade to a certain degree outside. Darker fades faster. But good quality paint will not fade as quickly as a lesser quality paint. 

Tip #10: Be brave! You can do this! It can be SO intimidating to make big home decisions, but you can do it! And remember that the people at the paint stores are happy to help. I can't tell you how many times I bugged the guys at Sherwin Williams, and they were SO good to me! I learned a lot from them. Be brave; you can do it! 

The paint colors are all from Sherwin Williams: 
House Color: SW 7032 Warm Stone
Trim: SW 6140 Moderate White
Door: Black

If you are local to the Boise area, we used Ryan Small Companies to paint our home. Ryan (who just so happens to be my brother) and his crew did a great job! As you can see in the before photo, he caulked every single nail in the whole house~ a step that a lot of painters take shortcuts and leave out. It makes a HUGE difference in the final finish as well as the durability. I was really pleased with his perfectionism on this job, and his willingness to work with me to make my vision a reality! 

I am so, so, so happy with how it turned out. In real life it is just a beautiful brown color with a gorgeous gray undertone. And the creamy white trim just pops. Love it! I hope these tips and tricks help you to choose exterior paint colors you absolutely love! Remember, it may seem a bit overwhelming but you can do it! 

P.S. Here is my sweetie pie running into the picture, carrying her purse of course. You can see the flowers I need to plant up by the house. I am so excited to get them planted!