Category Archives: Life in General

RCHOTX   Marsha's Pasta Salad

My Slacker Pinterest Party Weekend

RCHOTX  My new hobby

You guys know how I’m usually the ringleader at our infamous Pinterest Party Weekends, right? Well, this time? Not so much. Not at all, actually.

I started my new (AWESOME) job on Monday, August 12. Friday, August 16 was my 36th (ouch) birthday. I headed to Aunt Toni’s house right after work. I will just say that it took me three hours to get from work to the lake, and if I think about it too much I will get mad… so I won’t.

I’m sure all of you know what I’m talking about when I say that once the job stress was gone, all I wanted to do was sleep. It was crazy tension relief (combined with a sinus infection, but we won’t go there) and all of the stress I’d had for over a year just melted away. It was pretty amazing, but my body paid the price for it! Changing my schedule and getting up by 5:30 AM to leave the house by 6:30 AM has turned me into one of those people that is asleep before the 10:00 news is on. Seriously.

By the time I got to Aunt Toni’s, I was ready to drop! I brought my trusty SIlhouette, but Paige got a Cameo from her fiance (aka my cousin) for her birthday, so I got to play with the fancy one instead. I’m super jealous. It’s so much quieter than mine! I got to show her how to use the Silhouette software and she cut some stuff on it. I’m not allowed to show you what she and her bridesmaids made for the wedding, because 1) it’s not my wedding, 2) her wedding is in January and some of the people invited read this blog, and 3) I didn’t take any pictures to tempt me to show you what they did. I will just say that it is going to be one pretty wedding! I can’t wait to go! She has some awesome bridesmaids – funny and they are hard little worker bees.

Whitney and I were in charge of Saturday lunch, so I wussed out and picked up rotisserie chicken salad and croissants from Costco. HEY! I also made a pasta salad that I have loved for years and years. I’m not totally lazy (although this recipe is so easy, I kind of am).

I was lucky to have worked for 18 years with a bunch of women who loved to bake and cook. We made a cookbook (and you better believe I took it with me when I left last month!) and this is one of my very favorite recipes from one of my very favorite people in the world. Marsha used to make a separate bowl just for me without celery because I HATE celery. I sacrificed and left it in for the Saturday lunch, but I didn’t eat one bit of that nasty celery.

Anyway, here’s the recipe. It makes a large bowl – we had a little leftover and there were about 10 of us there.

RCHOTX   Marsha's Pasta Salad

Marsha’s Pasta Salad

1 box vermicelli, broken into halves or thirds or whatever you want (sixteenths?)

Olive oil

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Accent (seasoned salt)

Mayonnaise (a few large spoonfuls – I’m very exact, aren’t I?)

1 jar diced pimentos, drained

1 small can chopped olives

1 cup celery, chopped

1/4 cup green onion, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

The night before you want to eat this, boil the vermicelli with a couple of teaspoons of olive oil. Once cooked, drain and put into a large bowl. Add a few shakes of Accent and 2 Tbsp. of lemon juice and stir to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in refrigerator overnight.

The next day, the pasta is basically going to be a huge weird ball of lemony-smelling goodness.  Add a few large spoonfuls of mayonnaise (yes, light mayonnaise works fine. Miracle Whip does not. Don’t ask.) to moisten it. You’re probably going to have to use a fork to break the pasta apart, I’m just saying. Now, add the pimentos, olives, celery, and green onion.

That’s it. It tastes like summer. Feel free to add salt and pepper to taste! The ingredients look really weird together, I know – but this salad is exceptional and SO easy. Everyone loved it!

Guess how many naps I took on Saturday? Just guess.

 

Three. Glorious. Naps. Two of them while holding a sleeping Benjamin. Man, I love that baby. He’s pretty awesome even if he cries a lot. He’s cute so it makes up for it. Also, I tolerate kids that are blood relatives much better than non-related ones, so I’m sure that makes a difference.

Since I spent basically all of Saturday asleep (apparently it was very much needed), I whipped up a quick yarn wreath on Sunday morning. Whitney and I saw a yarn wreath at Target last year during Christmas and fell in love with it. I did not, however, fall in love with the $20 price tag. I didn’t even love it enough to buy it on clearance for $14. Nope.

RCHOTX  Target Wreath

I bought yarn that was close enough at Michaels (um, probably in January – that’s how long I’ve been holding onto it) and used a styrofoam wreath form. I wasn’t in love with the felt bow on the Target wreath, so I substituted some felt flowers. It looks very fall-ish and not Christmas-y, in my opinion.

RCHOTX  Yarn wreath Pinterest Project

You know what? I didn’t even feel BAD about sleeping. I warned them going into it that my brain was mush (hello, first week at a new job?!) and sure enough, it was. I give big props to whatever air mattress I slept on. I think I liked it better than my bed at home!

I’ll be posting more now that I’ve (somewhat) gotten a routine down. I’m planning on cleaning the craft room this weekend so I can get back to making things! I miss that so much.

Have a great weekend, guys!

heathersig

RCHOTX  Do good

Heather’s Haven Conference Recap

Hey guys! Remember me? I’m still alive. I’ve really enjoyed having almost three weeks off, but I’m secretly ready to go back to work. Don’t tell anyone! I mean, if I could work one week and be off a week that would be optimal, but that’s not going to happen. Not in my lifetime! So, in between weeks off I went to a little thing called Haven Conference. I’m a sophomore this year, not a freshman, but I was still a teeny bit nervous about going. If you recall, we actually started this little blog at Haven Conference LAST year! (We know of a few people that started one while at Haven this year too – we set a good example, apparently.)

RCHOTX  Tarah, Heather, and Sars - Ryobi party

Last year, I only went to DIY sessions at Haven. This year, I leaned very heavily towards the blogging sessions – in fact, I think I only went to one DIY session this time! Last year, I spent all of my time with our group that went to Haven together and had everything planned out. This year, as much as it pained me, I didn’t make ANY dinner plans at all. If you know me, you know how much I love planning trips and all that comes with it. For several reasons, I just didn’t do it this year. My goal was to eat dinner with strangers (now friends!) and I did it! Every single meal was shared with at least 1-2 people that I did not know before we arrived in Atlanta. Last year, I was too chicken to walk up to bloggers that I admired and introduce myself. This year, no one was safe (especially during the Ryobi/Home Depot party – I’m sure the other girls will cover that in great detail…) but you know what? I met SO MANY PEOPLE that I never would have even had the nerve to LOOK at last year! Walking into a room full of tables half full for breakfast is very intimidating, even at 35 (almost 36. Sheesh. In 1 week.) – flashbacks to elementary school ran through my head. One of the things I love most about Haven is that everyone is either really nice, or they’re really great actors/actresses. I don’t hear that about most conferences, so I think we Haven Mavens must just be extra super awesome badasses.

Photo courtesy of Ballard Designs

Photo courtesy of Ballard Designs

Our flight out of Dallas left at 6:15 AM, so we just stayed in a nearby hotel (shout out to Quakecon – that answered SO many questions about all the people we saw there) and got a ride to the airport at the ungodly hour of 4:30 AM. We landed, somehow made it through the Depths of Hell relatively unscathed, got our rental car, and got the heck out of there.

We had lunch, picked up some snacks and water (and wine if we’re being honest) and finally arrived at the hotel for the conference! The hotel will get its own post later, but I’m reserving judgment right now. We rested for a little bit, and then went downstairs to register and get our awesome swag bags! Ballard Designs really went all out for us – I love the bag AND everything in it.

RCHOTX  Haven 2013 Ballard Swag Bag

After that, it was time to get real. Get real nervous, that is. Tarah and I went down to socialize while Sars had to take a conference call for work (work schmerk) – it was so intimidating. Luckily, Jennifer from Celebrating Everyday Life broke the ice for us. She was so nice and she has her own freaking magazine, y’all!

That night there was a cocktail party put on by Homes.com and Forrent.com – our friend Megan ended up winning an iPad mini! We went to dinner with some new people and went straight to bed. We were whooped!

The next day was a blur. Ana White was the opening speaker (she was great) and she just set the tone for the whole conference – if you are not passionate about what you’re doing, people will be able to tell. I think we’ve all been guilty of that, whether it be blogging, working, anything – I can tell you I have blogged many times when I didn’t really care, and guess what? It is SO obvious to me in those posts. In my opinion, if you need to take a break, you should take a break (much like I did recently). Don’t do something JUST to be doing something. Do it because you want to and because you enjoy it. People will notice and people will remember you.

I took a few blog classes that day (those of you that don’t blog will not even care about this part, I promise) – Google Juice + SEO Tips with Brooke from All Things Thrifty and Court from Blog Builders – cutest brother and sister team ever. See, I have proof:

RCHOTX  Heather and Court Haven 2013

Okay, so that isn’t Court’s sister, that’s me. I took this picture to make Tarah jealous. It worked. Sorry not sorry.

THEN I got to participate in the Ballard Designs Bookcase Challenge – I was so nervous! Our team totally had the best bookcase and we won for the first day. Now I have $100 to spend at Ballard Designs.

RCHOTX  Ballard Designs Bookcase Challenge

Next, I took Designing Outside of the Box, led by Lindsay of Makely School for Girls, Mandi of Vintage Revivals, and Ashley of The Handmade Home. After that, I took Profitable Advertising with Myra of My Blessed Life, Sarah of Thrifty Decor Chick, and Beth of Home Stories A to Z.

We had a few minutes to change, and then rushed down for the Rustoleum cocktail party. Right after that, Ryobi threw a dinner party for all of us. It was a blast! We made lots of new friends and took lots and lots of pictures and had lots and lots of drinks. Ryobi sure knows how to throw a party! They are honestly the nicest company to work with – so friendly and so responsive. We were talking to them, and I told them how before Haven last year, I was scared to death of power tools – but after I got home, I bought myself a Ryobi Deluxe Combo Kit and love it. They mentioned that they were going to be in Texas the week after Haven, and of course they were going to be in Fort Worth (hello!?) – so once we discussed how close it would be to us, they asked what the next tool I wanted to buy was. Duh, a nail gun. They have a brand new one out and I NEEDED IT. The Big Boss Bill told me if I showed up on Thursday for their meeting, he would give one to me. GIVE me a nail gun. He made my week! (You better believe I showed up Thursday morning and they remembered me AND what I wanted – you can’t get any better than that!) I just love those guys and think they are the absolute best. I’m so happy that I’ve gotten to meet them and hopefully we can work with them in the future! I just can’t say enough nice things about those guys. (And obviously, they are goofy like we are…)

RCHOTX  Ryobi Guys + RCHOTX Haven 2013

So, if you follow us on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve figured out that I had a little (lot) too much to drink, so here’s one picture. I reserve the right to delete any pictures that Tarah and Sars post, just FYI! Also – don’t let those girls tell you they weren’t drinking :) We needed to cut loose a little, and cut loose we did!

RCHOTX  Heather and ATL Policewoman Haven 2013

Sadly, this wasn’t my only run-in with the lovely Atlanta Police Department. Story to come later on THAT one :)

The next day (oh, the headache – was it worth it? TOTALLY) was a full day of classes. My first class was I Heart Organizing with Chris from Just A Girl and Jen from I Heart Organizing. Then I took Working With Wood 101, led by Ryobi and Kreg Jig. That’s where I fell in love with the nail gun. I didn’t want to give it back to them! My last Haven 2013 class was Advanced Advertising with Beckie from Infarrantly Creative, Cassity from Remodelaholic, and Rhoda from Southern Hospitality.

We had a wonderful closing speaker, Bob Johnson from Habitat for Humanity. He made everyone cry a little (if you didn’t cry a tiny bit, you have no soul) and encouraged us to go out and

RCHOTX  Do good

Haven could not have had a better speaker to send us off. I have had that quote running through my mind almost nonstop since he said it. He is so right – we all have influence, no matter how big or small – and we should use that influence to do good. And lots of it. We are thinking about how we at RCHOTX can make an impact and involve all of you as well – if you have any specific ideas on how we can do good on a grand scale, please please please leave it in the comments or if you would rather email me, do so at heather@rchotx.com.

Haven was a success. You get out of it what you put into it, plain and simple. I am already so excited for next year, and feel like I made so many new friends. I miss everyone so much and can’t wait to see you all next year! As Mandi would say, LOVE YOUR GUTS.

heathersig

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What’s going on with Heather?

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I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve been fairly quiet on the blog lately (thanks to Tarah and Sars for picking up my slack) – it’s not because I don’t love all of our readers, I promise!

Lots of changes are going on in my life right now – most notably, I was offered a new job! Now, if you’ve read our “About Me” page, you can see that I’ve worked at my company for 18 years now – that’s half of my life, y’all – and this new job thing happened so suddenly. I manage a jewelry store for a company that is based in Texas and has been around since 1954 (if you live in Texas, you probably know what company I’m talking about) and I have loved it. However, retail is tiring. 18 years of retail just might kill you. My brain is ready to learn something new, so I decided to take the new job and I will now have a Monday through Friday, 8-5 job. No nights! No weekends! And most importantly, I will be able to have a real Christmas with my family. If you’ve worked in retail at holiday times, you know that Christmas is just something you get through and deal with – I am looking forward to having a relaxing Christmas for the first time since 1994. Whitney has pushed me for years to find a new job, but I wasn’t ready until fairly recently. I’ve been spoiled by this company, and the new one has big boots to fill. I am very sad to leave my job and all of the friends I’ve made over the last 18 years, but very excited to start a new career and meet new friends too! I’m relieved now that I have told everyone I’m leaving and have given my letter of resignation. I am happy, but also scared to death to leave “the nest” as we call it at my company. I start my new job on 8/12/13, after a nice three week break!

Anxiety and Depression

I also had a pretty bad bout of depression/anxiety. I seem to have one of those about once a year, and sure enough, it came back this time. It started in May, and I’m sure it was a combination of things – stress about my job and my husband’s job, Mother’s Day (my mom passed away on Mother’s Day weekend in 1990), money, and just general anxiety. As a result of that, I didn’t really care about anything. The blog was honestly the last thing on my mind. Thankfully, I realized what was happening and talked to my doctor. Things are getting better by the day – I was afraid that my job change would cause a setback, but I think it might have actually done the opposite because I feel better than I have in months. Tarah, Sars, my husband, and Whitney helped me work through what was going on, and for that I will be eternally grateful. There was no judgment from any of them, only support – and that’s what I needed. It scares me when I go through these low valleys because depression does run in my family (among other things) and I am glad that I have people that notice things that I might not. Anyway, things are much better with my brain, and I’m ready to come back and play with the Real {Cheap} Housewives of Texas.

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As I’m sure you may have guessed (judging by Whitney’s absence), the Housewives welcomed a new baby boy during my break! Sweet Benjamin was born on 6/19/13 at 7:26 AM. He weighed 7 lbs. 6 oz. and was 19.5 inches long. He is just about the sweetest thing ever and has been a really great baby! I can’t get enough of him and neither can his big brother Logan. Remember how Whitney was scared about how Logan would deal with it? Nothing to worry about. He is all over that baby and smothers him with kisses. He is a great big brother, just like I knew he would be. Whitney is doing great and is in love with both of her boys. I’m sure she will post some pictures of Benjamin soon!

The whole group!  RCHOTX

Also during that time, Tarah and I planned our Texas Bloggers Pre-Haven Meetup. I’m not going to lie, my heart was not in it during the planning, but I am so glad we made it happen and SO SO happy to have made some new friends. I have a feeling that we may have made some lifelong friends on that weekend. I am so looking forward to seeing them again in a couple of weeks…

AT HAVEN CONFERENCE! I feel so much more prepared for it this year than I did last year. We actually have a blog that actually makes a (very small) amount of money, and we have taught ourselves SO much this year about how to run a blog – and since this is not my first blog conference rodeo, I feel much more secure than I did last year! Last year, I went to the DIY sessions instead of the blogging sessions – this year, I really hope to do more of the blogging sessions and maybe just a couple of the DIY ones. I am excited to meet new people, talk to new brands and companies, and have fun with my new friends. Tarah, Sars, and I are flying out early early EARLY on Thursday, Aug. 1 (like 6:15 AM early – told you) and coming home late on Tuesday, Aug. 6. We’re going to shop, eat, and explore for a few days after the conference. I’m excited and hopefully won’t have to ship too much stuff home this year! I promise we will come back from Haven Conference with lots of new ideas, tons of new friends, and excitement for the blog. By the way, have noticed our new logo? Check it out! Tarah did a great job on it (and had to listen to my wishy-washiness about it!) so GOOD JOB, Tarah!

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Coming up: I am having new drapes made for my living room (yeah, that’s right, I’m not making them) – that’s a sneak peek. I will be reviewing a paint sprayer, and we’ve got lots more stuff planned for y’all!

I know that this entry is not something I HAD to write or tell you about, but it has been on my mind for a while and I felt it was only fair. If any of you have struggled with depression and/or anxiety, you know how out of control it can feel. I’m finally getting some control back. Friends can make all the difference in the world!

Y’all have a GREAT week!

heathersig

I can paint!

I’m still alive in case anyone was wondering. When I said I was going to write a blog post, my husband sarcastically said “Oh, you still do that?” He’s a funny guy.

A few months ago my friend, Melissa, sent me a picture of her guest room bedding and asked if I could paint her something to coordinate with it. Of course I could. I can paint! inspiration I finally got started on it and went to town. I’ll be honest, it changed a few times. I was just going to replicate the bedding, then I decided against that. I made a trip to one of my favorite stores, Hob Lob and picked up the supplies. Some craft paint, brushes and a canvas .. or 3 like I did.

setting up

You can see some polka dots that I painted over because I didn’t like them. And I just noticed the below picture is upside down. Awesome. From this point, you’ll be able to see the changes I made as I was painting.
during At the last minute I grabbed some burlap and buttons. Also, around the edges of the canvas I finished it with burlap ribbon. I did 3 canvases because I thought it would look cool. I hope when she hangs them, she spreads them out a little.
done

I’m hoping to get a quick project done to show y’all. I have an itch to decorate above my couch and this little project I’m thinking of will go perfectly with what I have in mind.

tarahsig

The whole group!  RCHOTX

Texas Blogger Pre-Haven Meetup

That’s a mouthful, huh?

A pretty good-sized group of Texas DIY bloggers (that are all going to Haven, with the exception of one) decided to get together before Haven Conference and hang out. I organized it (with some help from Tarah) and it was this past weekend! That is one of the reasons you haven’t heard much from me lately – I’ve been busy with that!

We went to Austin, TX (the best place in the world) for a full day of eating, drinking, and thrift shopping. I was completely exhausted both nights we were there, but it was so worth it to make new friends! (Making friends as an adult is hard. It really is.)

It was a success! Some of us had been to Haven before, and I hope we eased the fears of the first-timers. Going to your first conference can be very, very scary and I said several times that I wish there had been a “get to know you” weekend before we went to Haven last year. I think it was helpful for everyone this weekend, whether it was first conference jitters being calmed or just the experience of meeting strangers (that I now call friends).

Tarah and I weren’t supposed to go until early, EARLY Saturday morning, but she texted me on Thursday and asked if I could get the hotel room for Friday night as well. Well, duh, don’t twist my arm – I was already off on Friday, but I had to wait for a delivery for the goodie bags (they were awesome) so we left town as soon as that was dropped off.

hotel room view  RCHOTX

I used Priceline for our hotel room and could not have been more pleased! I told the other girls what I did, they did the same thing, and we all ended up getting a great deal at the same hotel! It worked out perfectly. The Renaissance Austin Hotel in the Arboretum was perfect. Everyone there was great, friendly, and went above and beyond for us. It was definitely the best experience I have ever had in a hotel, and the fact that we were there at a highly, highly discounted rate did not seem to matter to them. I hope I can stay there every time I visit Austin! (I may try and use Priceline for a hotel in Atlanta next month as well, and cross my fingers for a Renaissance!)

austin thrift shops  RCHOTX

Heather and fruit  RCHOTX

We bonded over barbecue, Mexican food (twice), margaritas (twice), and thrift store shopping – and we had a blast! Yes, it was extremely hot, and our drinks from Sonic were extremely flat, but we kept on going and got to know each other a little better. I can’t wait to see everyone again in one month!

County Line lunch  RCHOTX

ALSO – it was Jamie’s birthday! She joined us for lunch but had to leave after we ate so she could get ready for her birthday cookout. Happy birthday, Jamie!

Jamie's Birthday  RCHOTX

Okay, on to the stuff you really want to know about – who was there and what was in those goodie bags?

The whole group!  RCHOTX

Strangers that I now call friends:

Top row:

Lindsay from Makely School for Girls

Jamie from C.R.A.F.T. 

Me!

Jamie from Huckleberry Love

Middle row:

Cynthia (no blog YET!)

Tarah!

Sara from Major Hoff Takes A Wife

Tracey (no blog YET!)

Janis from All Things Beautiful

Front row:

Megan from Two Live Colorfully

Lydia from Huckleberry Love

Karla from Huckleberry Love

Two ladies joined us later – Amy and Jennifer (they came for dinner!)

Goodie Bag closeup  RCHOTX

Goodie bags  RCHOTX

Awesome companies that donated for the goodie bags and door prizes (I was amazed at how much we got!)

Doozie’s Corner (Cece Caldwell Paint and Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint)

Hometalk

Maison Blanche Paint Company (accidentally got left at Tarah’s house… we’ll smuggle it to Haven!)

Minted

Paper Coterie

Pick Your Plum

Pinterest

Rustoleum 

Tito’s Vodka

Valspar

What I found was that most companies were very willing and happy to contribute! I was super impressed with the response I got from one simple email explaining what I was putting together.

It was so much fun to meet everyone, and Tarah and I are so glad we had the chance to do this with all of you!

heathersig

 

Seaside

4 Ways to get that ‘vacation feel’ at home

We are experiencing a very abnormal cold front in Dallas this week. Today the high was maybe 89? It was chilly on my way in to work in the A.M., I lunched on a patio and I drove home with my sunroof open.

Pure bliss.

Well, as much bliss as you can have between emails, phone calls, pagers going off (I work in health care and yes, we still use pagers) and screaming kids. A quick glance at my phone lock screen shows a photo of my husband and son running into the ocean this past Spring Break and immediately calms me down.
Seaside boys

In March, we were able to vacation in beautiful Seaside, FL Seaside

seaside
but the stars did not align to repeat that trip this summer. While there, I jotted down a few ideas of how I could have the ‘vacation feel’ at home. If you are only able to stay-cation this summer, I hope these tips will help you.

1. Get unplugged. When you are on vacation, you are focused on enjoying the weather, the sights, your family, food, fun and more. Being tied to technology takes a back seat to pure enjoyment on vacation, so why can’t it be like that at home on the weekends and after five? I have actually been trying this for some time. During the weekends I turn off the access to my work email, if there is an emergency, the important people know how to reach me via the phone. Replace your technology time with evening bike rides or swims, one-on-one dates with your children – or better yet, your spouse. Enjoy your time away from the office and live in the moment.

Seaside house

2. Clear your clutter. The home we stayed at in Seaside was a picturesque beach house. In fact, I was sure I had recognized the laundry room from a magazine. Turns out, I had pinned a photo of it several months ago. Besides the beautiful furnishings and finishes, what I really noticed in the house was the lack of clutter. Sure, no one lives there most of the year, but when the home owners or their guests are there, everything has a place. This past week I have been focusing on clearing out our clutter. It’s one thing to have stuffed everything in a closet so no one can see but it’s another to actually have a place for all your belongings. Sell or donate duplicates, shred once important but no longer needed documents and organize the rest.

3. Prioritize your commitments. The summer is a great time to re-focus on what’s really important to you and your family. With school out, it seems the family commitments begin to slow down. Re-evaluate how much of yourself you can give to your schools, church, women’s auxiliary, etc. If you are a perfectionist or an over-achiever, this can be hard. For the last two years, I have held very heavy volunteer positions with the Junior League of Dallas, I was beginning to get burned out and it made volunteering no longer fun. This year, I have scaled back and am already loving my new placement. I know my focus in the coming school year needs to be on my job and my son. Remember, no one is taking this time away from you. You are giving it to them. Choose wisely.

seaside with mack

4. Use white linens. Back at that beautiful Seaside house I noticed all of the linens were white. At my favorite hotels, the linens are white. There’s something about the freshness of white linens. Not only are they super easy to clean (throw in some bleach and they are like new) but the crispness of the white makes any room look sharp and put together. We’re about to begin a bathroom remodel and I’m already planning on clean, white towels and floor mats.

These simple ideas are just a few ways to help quiet your chaos and help you enjoy your summer. What are your favorite ways to enjoy summer vacation at home?

sarssig

Method: Designed for Good (and it smells even better!)

method-logo-1 (1) Thanks to Method for sponsoring today’s discussion – this is a sponsored post, but all opinions are mine!

I don’t know about you, but I love love LOVE Method products. They smell great, their packaging is great, and now I have another reason to love Method: they don’t do ANY testing on animals. At all.

If you know me, you know that I am an animal lover. Well, most animals. I don’t support animal testing, so I was thrilled to hear that Method doesn’t either! Furthermore, there are no animal      by-products (100% vegan!) AND everything in Method‘s line is safe for animals.

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To get the word out about Method’s stance on animal cruelty, they are teaming up with Soap.com and will be donating 15% of sales on soap.com for the month of June to the ASPCA! Even better, use the coupon code PAWPRINT for 20% off on your first purchase at soap.com - now THAT is a good deal.

And now for the Housedogs!

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Kimber - RCHOTX Libby - RCHOTX

Booda - RCHOTX

Oliver - RCHOTX

Django - RCHOTX

Ranger - RCHOTX

We’ve got a lot of dogs and a lot of kids between all of us, huh? Method is also sponsoring a Pet Photo Contest via Facebook AND Instagram!

How to enter:

Step 1: Take a photo of your adorable pet.
Step 2: Choose how you want to enter the contest: Facebook or Instagram –
Facebook: Find the ‘pet photo contest’ tab on Method’s Facebook page and follow the instructions on the tab for uploading your photo.
Instagram: Post your pet’s photo to your Instagram account using the hashtag #methodcutepets. You must also follow @methodhome in order to be eligible to win.

Desktop users: Use this link

Mobile users: Use this link

The contest will begin on June 11 and end June 30. Method will select one winner each week to receive the two “designed for good” soaps and a $50 gift card to Soap.com. NOTE: Only residents of the US and Canada (excluding Quebec) are eligible to win.

Get some cute pictures of your pets and enter this contest! There is one week left, and $50 goes a long way at soap.com!

Good luck! I know we have some animal lovers here, so I’m hoping one of OUR readers wins $50!

heathersig

Pin there. Done that. {It really does work!}

I know, it’s a been awhile since there was a Pin there. Done that. If you’re a new reader, welcome! Pin there. done that. is very simple. I find a pin on awesome Pinterest and recreate it my way. I’ve combined a few pins to make one, failed at painting while recreating a pin, and then the one time, what had happen was … I nearly killed my husband. You can call that last one a fail or a win, depending on the day.

Do you ever pin something on Pinterest and think “I wonder if that really works”. I have an Interesting Ideas board with some pins that I often wonder if they work.


Last week when I spent hours and hours outside in the garage (with both doors up), I needed some tunes. A few weeks ago I upgraded my phone but didn’t think anything of it. That is until I went to plug my phone into a little iDeck. Yeah, I bought it years ago and up until the iPhone 5, it worked for everything. Dang you, Apple, for changing the charger cord. I had to improvise. I knew I had pinned something that could “blast” my music for me. I mean, I really needed to get my Pitbull fix (and obviously Kelly Clarkson).

 

Pinteresting Idea | RCHOTX

Do you have a board like this on Pinterest? Have you tried any of the “interesting ideas” that you’ve pinned?
tarahsig

Bow Tie Baby Shower welcome - RCHOTX

Bow Tie Baby Shower Part Two

Bow Tie Baby Shower welcome - RCHOTX

 

If you missed the first part of the shower (decor, food, and guests), click here to check it out!

The “bow tie” part of the shower was a somewhat last minute thought of mine. I can’t stand playing games at baby showers – I’m sorry, “guess the chocolate bar while it is smudged in a diaper” is disgusting, and in my opinion, not entertaining at all. That shiz is not okay (pun intended). I knew we needed some kind of activity to keep people talking and moving, so I borrowed Pleated Poppy’s tutorial (LOVE HER) and prepared the pieces for approximately 40 bow ties.

The sad part is that I already had most of the fabric in my craft room. Hey, they’re great for using up scraps! I also learned that flat irons work just as well (or better) than a regular iron for fabric. I’ve used my flat iron exactly twice – once on hair, once on fabric. I far prefer the fabric use because I do not have time to do that on my hair!

I wanted to make it easy for everybody to make one, since not everyone is crafty (although it most certainly can be taught!). Once I had everything cut, ironed, and glued, I put each “step” in its own metal bucket and made a little plaque for each one (I bought the buckets and wooden plaques from Pick Your Plum months ago!) so people could make their way down the table and at the end, they’d have a cute little bow tie. I made a couple while people watched and they all ended up helping each other when I wasn’t there. It was fun!

I also purchased many, many onesies in varying sizes from Amazon. Do you know how difficult it is to find plain colored onesies? Yeah, you can find white gerber onesies anywhere – but what if you want red? Green? Blue? Amazon. They weren’t expensive, either! I bought Whitney some of the monthly stickers as well, so she can use the onesies for those too. (The stickers were from My Lullabug and they are CUTE) There is so much cute stuff out there for babies that it was hard to stop shopping!

Without further adieu, the pictures:

Bow Tie Example 2 - RCHOTX

Bow Tie Example - RCHOTX

Bow Tie Steps 1 and 2 - RCHOTX

Bow Tie Makin' Station - RCHOTX

Bow Ties in Action! - RCHOTX

Guests making bowties - RCHOTX

Onesies and My Lullabug Stickers - RCHOTX

Paige's Onesie - RCHOTX

Sars and Heather Onesies - RCHOTX

Jen's onesie - RCHOTX

Bow Tie Example Finished - RCHOTX

Basket o' onesies - RCHOTX

Just some of the bow ties - RCHOTX

Lots and lots of bow ties - RCHOTX Y’all, it was so much fun to watch people that have never crafted a thing in their life (I know, they really do exist!) get so excited about making something like this. I’m still getting emails and compliments on how cute and how different the shower was – the best part is that Whitney loved it!

If you have any questions, ask away!

Texas Women Bloggers
heathersig

 

 

 

Welcome!

Bow Tie Baby Shower Part One

Welcome! Okay, I was going to attempt to put this all into one post, but, uh, there were a TON of pictures. Tarah was our photographer for the shower (THANKS, Tarah!) and she did not disappoint. 180 pictures for a 2 hour shower = not too shabby.

As you know (or maybe if you’re new you don’t know), Whitney is pregnant and will be having Baby Benjamin in exactly two weeks! Tarah and I hosted a shower for her, along with two of Whitney’s other friends (Amy and Lindsey), this past Sunday.

This baby has been a long time coming, so we knew we had to go all out. We’ve waited over 5 years for this kid! We are all just thankful that we get to hold another baby and we can only hope that he lives up to the antics of his big brother, Logan. (He really has no choice, considering our family. You’ll see what I mean in a while.)

Wreath Closeup - RCHOTX Amy’s friend made this wreath for her to put on her front door. Whitney will also use this in the hospital when she has the baby! (Is this just a Texas thing – or do other non-Texans put wreaths on their hospital doors too? Kind of like homecoming mums!)

Invitation Close Up - RCHOTX The invitations were ordered from EThree Design Studio on Etsy. I found some I loved, but they weren’t the colors I wanted and I wanted different wording on one part – she was great about switching up the colors and design a little bit! I was very pleased with the invitations and will definitely order from her again. I also purchased matching cupcake toppers from her (I used them on the envelopes and not on the cupcakes) and she sent a file of Thank You notes for Whitney to use as well.

Welcome Baby Sign - RCHOTX

 

Garland Closeup - RCHOTX

 

Long garland - RCHOTX I whipped up the cute “Welcome Baby” sign one night when I was bored, and I made Whitney help make the (really long) fabric garland while we watched TV one day. I’m not above making the guest of honor help out for her own party. The rest was a surprise, though, so we did good!

Whale - RCHOTX

 

Whale and quotes - RCHOTX This whale was purchased at HomeGoods months ago. I did not love it – it was painted horribly and was just ugly! I bought it, painted it, added new cording to it, and printed out sweet little phrases and verses for it. A friend told Whitney about the Bible verse above when she had decided on the name Benjamin, and she really wanted it somewhere in the nursery, so I made sure to put that verse in.

Diaper Cake - RCHOTX You just can’t have a baby shower without a diaper cake, right? Whitney’s best friend Lindsey (one of the hostesses) made this for her and it was just adorable. I’ve never made one, so I’ll let the people with the diaper cake talent do it!

Rainbow Cups - RCHOTX

 

Utensil canisters by Tarah - RCHOTX

 

Pretzels - RCHOTX

 

Cupcake Tower and Pretzels - RCHOTX

Cupcake tower - RCHOTX

Accidental Lime and Orange Punch - RCHOTX

All the food! - RCHOTX Tarah made the utensil canisters (out of formula cans!) and the cupcake tower to match the decor. Everything was so bright and cheery, it was exactly what we wanted!

Whitney and scissors - RCHOTX I just had to include this picture. It’s just not a party with us unless there are scissors on the floor. Not childproofed just yet!

Whitney - RCHOTX Whitney, taking it all in. We had a great turnout!

Jennifer and Aunt Toni - RCHOTX This is our Aunt and one of Whitney’s oldest friends.

Aunt Toni, Whitney, and Rebecca - RCHOTX Aunt Toni, Whitney, and our cousin Rebecca (SO TALL AND PRETTY).

Ryan and Whitney - RCHOTX And I’ll end with this. Y’all, this is our brother Ryan. He has no shame. He waltzed in at the tail end of the shower looking for food (as per usual) and he was quite the entertainer, as you can see. In all seriousness, he’s a pretty good uncle, and Logan just adores him. I’m sure Benjamin will too!

Next post: Bow ties!

heathersig

 

Whitney’s Baby Shower Sneak Peek!

Whitney’s baby shower is on Sunday, so I’ve been in high gear preparing for it (and so have the other hostesses!). Whitney DID help with part of it, but she doesn’t have any clue about the rest of it, so all I can give you is a baby shower sneak peek for now. Rest assured, next week there will be at least one post about it!

PS: Does that kid look like someone afraid of becoming a big brother? Nah, didn’t think so! Logan is going to be just fine (and so will his mommy)!

shower sneak peek

 

heathersig

Seriously, could he be any more handsome?

Only Child to Big Brother Anxieties

So, fair warning, this is not a craft post. But I figure we are all (or mostly) women here and the majority of us are moms so I thought maybe I could share my anxieties here and get some advice and support.

With the arrival of Benjamin happening in 22 DAYS I am having some new anxieties I wasn’t really anticipating. Typically they hit me in the middle of the night after my 3 am bathroom run, after which I am usually awake for a good 2 hours. Last night’s episode was especially bad.

It all hit me. I am losing my “only” child. I feel like I am grieving the loss of that–it sounds ridiculous, I know. I am not losing a child, I am gaining another one whom I have wanted for a very long time. But Logan has been my whole world for over 6 years. He has been the only child/grandchild (at least on my side) for 6 years. He has been everyone’s “world.”

I have tried very hard to not overdo the Benjamin talk around him. I try to not buy a lot for Benjamin when he is with me. I have really tried not to use my pregnancy as an excuse for much when it comes to doing stuff with Logan. I have tried to include him in as much as possible (such as helping pick out baby things for the registry). I don’t want Logan to resent the baby before he is even here. Now, he has never shown signs of that–it’s just my own paranoia. I ask questions to him occasionally–”Are you excited?” or “What do you think he will look like?” And he answers in a very matter-of-fact way and moves on. But that is his personality. He is literal and pretty straight-forward about things. Only once has he told me to stop asking about the baby and that was months ago–after which, I shut down the baby talk for a good while unless he brought it up.

I worry about how Logan is going to handle it all. It is so hard to know. I am so incredibly lucky to have a very supportive extended family who will be helping take care of Logan while I am in the hospital and even after we are home. I have made fun plans for him so that his routine will remain pretty similar and he won’t be stuck at home the whole summer. Logan will not be left out, but even so, his world will be rocked. I think it is worse because he is 6 years old. Being the only child is all he has ever known.

I am not worried about having enough love to share, I guess I am just worried about losing the close bond with Logan that I have had for the past 6 years. I know him like the back of my hand. I am getting teary-eyed just typing this…and I know a lot of this is hormonal. I don’t want him to feel left out or like I won’t have time for him. I don’t want to overly focus on the baby and inadvertently forget about Logan or make him feel that way.

Luckily, he hasn’t expressed concern about any of this. He talks about the baby occasionally and how he wants to kiss him and hold him when he sees him and how he wants to play with him (or trap him in his laundry hamper when he is 1 year old–as he told me yesterday). I hope he keeps those feelings. I hope I can balance both of their needs and have the same bond with Benjamin and maintain my bond with Logan.

I am sure all of these are normal feelings but I had to get it off my chest. It has been weighing on me and I would love to hear any of your stories or advice about this subject.

But first, I will leave you with some pictures of me and my favorite little man.

Logan and me

Taken at his 6th birthday party

One of our many date nights

One of our many date nights

Mother's Day 2013--33 1/2 weeks

Mother’s Day 2013–33 1/2 weeks

Seriously, could he be any more handsome?

Seriously, could he be any more handsome?

So, tell me. What can I do to make the transition (for both of us) easier? What helped you if you had a similar situation?

whitneysig

 

Real Cheap Housewives of Texas

Vintage babydoll crib

Real Cheap Housewives of Texas

WHAT IS THIS? Well, it is the vintage babydoll crib I used for my baby dolls when I was younger. What you don’t see, that I apparently forgot to take a picture of — an ugly bass fish sticker on the other side. This little piece of history is going to be used by my daughter but not before it’s had a little facelift makeover. It’s in need of one, don’t you think?

Real Cheap Housewives of Texas Real Cheap Housewives of Texas

Purple is my favorite color. As you can see, I’m trying the force my love for purple on my child. Its what every good mom should do. I had this purple paint left over from painting her nursery at our last home. I’m going to start planning her “big girl” room soon, so I just decided to use this paint on small stuff.

Real Cheap Housewives of Texas After covering up the little bear and ugly bass fish, I felt that the ends needed something. Luckily, Heather thinks ahead and brought her stencil set from Royal Design Studio that she used on her Barcelona Orange dresser for her craft room. I just took some acrylic paints that I brought with me to the Pinterest Party. (If you go to our April Pinterest Party, you’ll see this pretty little makeover in the front. At least half of the makeover)

Real Cheap Housewives of Texas I know. You don’t have to say anything. It’s ugly. And most definitely does NOT go with the pretty purple crib. Time to fix it.

As our Facebook “likers” heard yesterday, I did something with fabric. You know, the person that doesn’t want to sew or do anything with fabric. I totally tried it. I left the ugly fabric on because I needed the thickness. However, it wasn’t enough so I had to add something else so that the staples from the staple gun wouldn’t go through.

Real Cheap Housewives of Texas

Enter piece of cardboard. Yes, I totally used cardboard. Don’t judge. You work with what you got.

Real Cheap Housewives of Texas

Please notice this piece of “wood” looks like it was a piece of 1970s paneling. See the little crease to the right side.

Real Cheap Housewives of Texas

 Look at that perfect corner and use of staples with the staple gun. Its almost like a hospital corner. Yes, I do make the beds with hospital corners WHEN they get made, which I’ll admit isn’t often enough.

Real Cheap Housewives of Texas

 

I chose a duck cloth to use for it’s durability. It is going to be used by a child and hopefully she’ll be able to pass it on to her children. Maybe she’ll even want to make it over as well, but I’m sure paisley will still be in style, or back in style.

Real Cheap Housewives of Texas

 

I most definitely like the after. It looks so cute. I’m sure that the baby dolls will love it, along with my children, who will probably end up sitting in it. (They tried it out while it was sitting in my craft room before the makeover.)

This was an easy fabric challenge for me. Just fabric and a staple gun, simple. I might venture into making some of those fabric flowers that Heather is addicted to making. I did see a cute wreath made with them.

What do you think? Did I do a good job with the fabric? Isn’t it cute?

tarahsig

Sweet potato-apple

Sweet potato-apple dish

Sweet potato-apple dish

We love sweet potatoes in our house. We especially love this sweet potato-apple dish. My mother-in-law started this dish, but I’ve changed it a bit. Her version has cranberries, and while I love cranberries, they aren’t always readily available. I normally just make it with the potatoes and apples, but this past few times I’ve added in the pecans. It’s like a nice fall evening in your mouth. (I even made myself laugh with that one)

Sweet potato-apple I just wanted y’all to see my awesome photography and photo styling skills. Maybe I should start a new hobby.

Sweet potato-apple dish

Ingredients

  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 apples (I use Gala apples, but you choose what you like best)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 TBSP stick butter (the real stuff, not margarine and not in a tub)
  • 3-4 TBSP pecan pieces (optional)
  • sprinkles of cinnamon
  • sprinkles of nutmeg (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse sweet potatoes.
  2. Leaving the skin on, cut sweet potatoes and apples into cubes. Place into a 8x8 baking dish. Cut butter into thin pats and place in with the potatoes and apples. Be sure to stick some in the middle. Sprinkle the brown sugar and spices over the top and lastly, top with pecans.
  3. Cover your dish with aluminum foil and cook for 45-50 minutes.
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http://www.rchotx.com/sweet-potato-apple-dish/

I know, I know. It’s not Tex-Mex or Mexican food. Pick your jaw up off the ground. ;)

 

 

 

 

tarahsig

Mother’s Day cleaning

I hope y’all had a great Mother’s Day! I had breakfast made for me, watched a movie with my 2 little boys, giggled with my sweet little girl and they gave me a beautiful new purse. It’s stunning and has purple accents! I love purple!

While I know most mothers relax on Mother’s Day, I suddenly felt the urge to do a “mother’s day cleaning” of the banisters of our stairs. I have been going up and down those stairs, noticing them getting dirtier and dirtier. I rarely have that “urge” so I ran with it. However, after going through the cleaning supplies, I found that I didn’t have any “all purpose cleaner”.
All purpose cleaner

  • spray bottle
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 TBSP dishwashing soap

Directions are very simple – mix it all together in the spray bottle. See, very simple.

I started cleaning with a paper towel, the graduated to a sponge and followed with a paper towel. Now, there’s a before and after picture. Don’t judge. Remember, I have 3 young children that go up and down these stairs at least 50 times a day.

Before and after cleaning I found a few “recipes” for this all purpose cleaner. I just went with the one I had all the ingredients for. Cottage Sweet Cottage is the one I chose to use. Big Box Detox also has one that’s similar. Any of these will work. I think it worked very well and I love my clean banisters

I finally used the white vinegar for what it SHOULD be used for instead of, I don’t know, plotting to seriously injure my husband.

tarahsig