Feb 3, 2014

Valentine Luau

Last year's Valentine banquet post has been getting quite a few visits and pins, and I thought I'd take a little time to share what we are planning for this year's banquet.

Since I didn't want to get stuck doing the same theme for our church's Valentine banquet each year (red, white, pink, hearts, lace, etc.), I'm going in a totally different direction and planning a luau theme. After this bitterly cold winter, we could all use a tropical distraction, and most of us can't afford the real deal. My hope is that this will be a fun filled evening that will take us away from reality, even if it's only a few hours.

Once again, I'll be preparing all of the food myself, making as much as possible ahead of time. The teens will be helping serve the meal, and we'll have some fun minute-to-win-it style games.

The menu:

{sand dollar cookiesaloha punch, Hawaiian rollscoconut cream cupcakes, honey glazed hamkey lime cupcakesHawaiian pasta saladfruit kabobs}

And here is my decor inspiration:

{pineapple vase, tropical tissue flowers, tablescape, umbrellas, luau dessert bar, leis}
I'd love to hear about your Valentine parties or banquets!

Dec 11, 2013

Christmas Home Tour

No matter where we've lived, I have always enjoyed decorating our home for Christmas. This house, though, seems like it was made for Christmas! It makes it even more fun! I used a lot of the same decor as I had up last year (even the same tablescape- gasp!) but moved a lot of things to different parts of the house or paired them up in a new way. Enjoy the tour!

The front porch...

As usual, we cut down a really huge tree and then had to chop a lot of the bottom to fit it in the house. It was okay, though, because I had plenty of branches for making a wreath, a garland, and sprigs to tuck here and there. The ornament in the bottom right picture is the one we picked out on our Christmas date.

So much better than a fake garland! I might do this every year. The vase with branches is a card tree. We have a few up now!

Of course, I had to make new stockings this year. These were made out of old plaid shirts I picked up at Goodwill. Yes; I'm still obsessing over plaid. I did not come up with the chalkboard graphic on my own. I'm just really good at copying stuff I see on pinterest. The advent garland is still a favorite!

I didn't have the gallery wall up in time for Christmas last year, so I was excited to switch out the sheet music for some Christmas pieces.

That's it! Thanks for stopping by!

Dec 7, 2013

FREE Christmas Printables

Hello again! I've made some Christmas printables for myself and wanted to share them with you. They are lyrics taken from Silent Night, Holy Night, and It Came Upon the Midnight Clear. Enjoy!

Dec 5, 2013

Photography Tip

I am obviously not a professional photographer, and this may be a widely known trick, BUT I discovered a secret to getting real smiles out of kids (as opposed to CHEESE-y grins)!

I was taking pictures of some nieces and nephews and asked them to smile...

Without being prompted, they started cheesing.

And then I asked them to laugh...

SO much better! It worked like a charm every time I pulled the camera out. By the end of the day, they were laughing for the camera before I even asked them to!

Oct 14, 2013

Kitchen Cabinet Update

Today, I thought I'd take a little time to share an update on how our kitchen cabinets have held up. Our kitchen reveal post has received a lot of attention over the past year (thanks, pinterest!) mainly due to the fact that we painted our kitchen cabinets without sanding them.

Sanding must be a universally hated task. It sure is in our home! But if you're going to go to all the work of painting something, you definitely want to do whatever you need to do so that you don't have to redo it later, even if that means sanding.

I'll admit I was a bit skeptical when we painted our cabinets without sanding them.

But it worked!

We used a primer that did not require any sanding and a higher quality paint than what we'd normally use on walls (more details here). Not only did the cabinets look great as soon as they were finished, but they look terrific a year later!

There are just a couple of spots around the knobs of the two cabinets we use most often that need a little touch-up, but other than that, the paint has held up very well.

One thing I hadn't considered was how often I would have to wipe down the cabinets. For pete's sake, it looks like we splash coffee on them every time we walk by. I guess that's what I get for going with white. I love how bright they are, though, so I'd still pick white even after knowing I'd have to clean them all the time.

In the end, I'd say it was a success! If you've been on the fence about painting your cabinets, GO FOR IT!

If you have a success story about painting your cabinets, I'd love to hear all about it!