Category Archives: Pinterest Weekend

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

DIY Nursery Decor

This last Pinterest Party was really more of an ‘Operation Get Benjamin’s Nursery Decor Done’ party for me. And I got it all done! I love all of it and I think his room is going to be modern, bright, and cheery–just what I was going for. And it really didn’t cost me anything, other than the cost of a few sheets of scrapbook paper, some spray paint, and some DIY knowledge. Remember this post and the sneak peeks I gave? Well, here you go!

This sign was in my son’s old nursery at our previous house, but it just didn’t go with this nursery. I tried to sell it but I guess it was just meant for bigger and better things. So, it got re-purposed.
Upcycled Sign Before - RCHOTX

A couple coats of ASCP Napoleonic Blue and it was good to go for it’s new plan!
2013-04-19 16.46.21 And ta-da! All done. Scrapbook paper, the trusty Silhouette, some mod podge, and a clear coat of spray paint and it was a brand new piece.
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I found this huge B at the Hob Lob and immediately knew what I wanted to do with it. I love the name Benjamin, but it is a *little* long to put up on a wall. The space on this B would allow me to put his name on there without taking up an entire wall. Problem solved. (I was so proud of myself and my craftiness this weekend…you guys don’t even know.)

Big B Before - RCHOTX

Again, more Napoleonic Blue, Silhouette letters, and a frame found in Aunt Toni’s attic (which I spray painted orange), and we have decor for above the crib. 2013-04-21 12.22.53

Now, this little beauty (ha) started out as a plant stand when my sister was going through a Mary Engelbreit-ish stage. I needed a small table for beside the glider and this was just sitting in her garage collecting dust.
Upcycled Plant Stand - Before - RCHOTX

You guessed it–Napoleonic Blue, some scrapbook paper and mod podge and it’s a cute table to hold my phone/water/bottle/etc. I LOVE it!
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Now, this next project took the most time. More time than it probably should have but it was SO worth it in the end.

I had these old framed picture of herbs hanging in my old house, but was over them by the time we moved. Again, tried to sell them but couldn’t.
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We took them apart (which took quite a bit of effort–thanks Aunt Toni) and got to work. A little spray paint, some cute pictures and sayings from the Silhouette, scrapbook paper, and posterboard for matting and they have a whole new life.
Nursery Art - RCHOTX

Orange Whales Nursery Art - RCHOTX

Little Brother Chevron Nursery Art - RCHOTX

Blue Diamond Whales Nursery Art - RCHOTX

Where the Wild Things Are Nursery Art - RCHOTX

Can you even believe it? So much better, right? These will look adorable above his dresser/changing table.

I got the idea for the ABC canvas off Pinterest (I know, imagine that).

 

My version (thanks to Heather for helping me out with this):
2013-04-20 22.51.59 It took a lot of effort to line them up and make the patterns “random” enough and then I *still* ended up spacing them wrong, which is why you see the 2 stars placed in odd spots. Oh, well. Still works.

My final two projects weren’t even in the original plans, but they sure did turn out cute! When scouring my aunt’s attic for other goodies, we came across this lamp. Old and brass, but would work great in the nursery.

2013-04-19 17.01.31 2013-04-21 12.29.42

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That other cute sign? Totally last minute. I had this rustic sign from my old house and it wasn’t getting used, so I figured–why not paint it?

2013-04-21 12.29.53 2013-03-08 18.14.10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I figure I can hang it on his door or on the front door during naptime or something. Better than letting a good piece of wood go to waste! Oh, wow, how I have changed. A year ago, I swear I wouldn’t have looked at any of this stuff twice.

I can’t wait to get it all hung up this weekend and of course, I will share the pictures once it is all completed!

So what have you re-purposed? Or are you more of a ‘start fresh’ kind of person?

whitneysig

Pinterest Party – April edition

I’m sure we all have a Pinterest Party hangover …or better yet, a craft hangover. That’s a thing, you know? Much like Whitney’s new term she coined “#craftworldproblems”. And yes, before you ask, we DO find ourselves very entertaining.

Facebook fans – you should recognize this picture of the Pinterest Party – April edition sneak peek!

Pinterest Party Collage | RCHOTX

We made the trip down to Heather/Whitney’s aunt’s house again. It’s just such a pretty house and we can all spread out. In all honesty, I wasn’t sure if I was going to go, but alas, my husband was able to “make it happen”. I brought some half-started projects, 2 projects to start and then 2 little baskets to paint. Whitney has a whole nursery to decorate and Heather is a our Silhouette bitc…. I mean, worker. She didn’t really have a list of crafts after she just came off of a big week of meetings for work out of town. She did make everyone some really cute name plaques after she went outside to the “scraps pile” from the house remodel that was going on.

Front door wreaths These two beauties were made by Paige and Ashley.

Paige was having her sweet fiancé paint their front door black this weekend while she was gone. She knew she was going to be returning with a yellow wreath so the door color needed to showcase. Heather showed her how to make the cute little fabric flowers, then we helped her with the idea of stringing “HELLO” across the center. Its just too cute!

Ashley’s wreath is the oval shape. HobLob has these cool oval shapes, in case you want one. This wreath has a super sweet story behind it. Those little rosettes down the side? Paige made those for Ashley’s wedding last year for her table number frames. Ashley spent Saturday morning ripping them off the frames so she could continue to use them in her house on the wreath. Add on that green burlap ribbon and she has a winner!

Maison Blanche Wrought Iron

Remember that field trip to Maison Blanche Paint Company? This is Heather’s take home door. It was painted with wrought iron, then Aunt Toni took the silver leaf to it. (Note – AT is a fan of this silver leaf. This is the second time she has used it and it gets EVERY.WHERE) The leaves were there glacaged part of the piece. I think it’s beautiful, even if it is that pesky silver leaf.

LAKE SIDE

SPEAKING of silver leaf – Aunt Toni’s project. These letters are the cardboard/chipboard material that you can get at HobLob and JoAnn Fabric. She used some Maison Blanche Robin’s Egg to paint the letters, then took the silver leaf to them, followed by some Maison Blanche dark brown wax. If you look closely, you can see the Robin’s Egg color peeking through. Also, note the little “specks” in front of the letters. It’s glitter’s ugly cousin – silver leaf. Its floats in the air and gets every thing it touches.

Recycled can

Paige recycled a can that Aunt Toni had saved. She painted the can Annie Sloan’s Old White, added some ribbon then added this really cute fabric flower. Very simple!

Addicting fabric flowers

ANNNNNND these fabric flowers. Oh these fabric flowers. They became “the craft” that everyone had to do (like these). Well, everyone but me, you know because they’re made of fabric and I don’t “do” fabric. Anyhow, I watched these little flowers become a quick addiction for them. As you can see there was quite a few made, and that’s not counting the ones on Paige’s wreath and can, or the ones on the “name” plaques that Heather made us all (you can see those in the very first picture collage).

2013-04-21 12.19.45

Stay tuned for the Pinterest Party recipe post and Whitney will be showcasing all of the nursery goodies she made. Baby Benjamin is most definitely going to sleep in a super cute room!

Any thing you see in the collage you want to see more of? Let us know!

tarahsig

My Pinterest Party Crafts!

I am just now recovering from our Pinterest Party this past weekend. A full day of shopping at Canton + late nights up laughing + crafting and eating non-stop = a very tired Whitney. BUT– I am so proud of myself. I am getting so much craftier since we started having these Pinterest Parties. I no longer require the help (or at least not as much) to get my crafts done. I no longer just copy what someone else is doing. I actually inspired the other girls to do one of the crafts I did because they all liked it so much!! I am telling you, if you think you aren’t crafty (like I did), then organize a Pinterest Party for you and your friends. It doesn’t have to be a whole weekend, maybe start with just a few hours, but you will learn so much from each other and get inspired. It doesn’t hurt that between all of us (well, between Heather, Tarah, Paige, and Aunt Toni), we basically have a craft store with any and all the supplies we might need. That makes it REALLY easy! Check out all the stuff we made!

I actually did 4 out of the 5 crafts on my PT5 from a couple of weeks ago and then added another item on a whim.

Pinterest Inspiration:

 

My Interpretation:

This was easy, you guys. I bought these wooden letters in Canton, but you could easily use chipboard letters from Hobby Lobby or Joann. Slap some Mod Podge on and cover with glitter and you’re done. I sealed them with spray sealer just to keep the glitter from constantly flaking off…we’ll see if that works. Helpful tip: Spray adhesive + glitter = glitter clumps that can’t be reused/funneled back into the glitter container. Mod Podge is the way to go.

Pinterest Inspiration:

 

My Interpretation:

Again, easy. I used 12×12 cardstock to make the cones, but they aren’t super sturdy. If the foam cones had been on sale (or I had seen the chipboard ones Tarah told me about later) then I would definitely have used those instead. But these will work on my mantle for at least this year. I added the jingle bell and bow on top at the last minute and it definitely made it more festive. :)

Pinterest Inspiration:

Source: etsy.com via Heather on Pinterest

 

My Interpretation:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love this little sign. I did not use vinyl letters like I originally thought I might since my sister had her Silhouette handy. I painted one of our many canvases then Mod Podged the letters on. Sure, there are a few wrinkles here and there, but nothing that is super noticeable from a distance. I made one for me, one for my sister, and one for my aunt. How I got roped into doing all 3 I will never know.

Pinterest Inspiration:

 

My Interpretation:

I actually ended up using this tutorial for the ornament wreath and it was super easy and quick. All the girls ended up wanting to make one so there was an impromptu trip made to the town Dollar Tree to stock up on more ornaments and bows (there were balls for days). :) Yes, we are all immature children than like to make jokes about balls.

And take pictures:

Brittaney and Sars sent us this picture from the Dollar Tree with the caption “Oh balls.” The rest of the weekend, there were many, MANY ball jokes. And we laughed every time. Don’t judge.

Pinterest Inspiration:

Source: houzz.com via Heather on Pinterest

 

My Interpretation:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I need to wipe off some the excess glitter, but it is a cute sign. The Pinterest picture used battery-operated lights but I am far too lazy/cheap for that. So glitter dots it was. And it will still be cute on my entertainment center. :)

So, it was a busy weekend. And SO much fun. I laughed so hard my stomach hurt and stayed up way later than I have in at least a year (btw, EVERYTHING is funnier at 1:00 am).

Here’s a goofy pic of all of us girls with our crafts. By Sunday, I think we were all delirious and someone thought it would be a good idea to use our wreaths as frames…

I love my girls and our Pinterest weekends and can’t wait for the next party. I realize how lucky I am to have such a good group of friends that enjoy being together and crafting. And that we have husbands that understand our need to get away! I also love that my house is filled with crafts that I made for a fraction of the price you would pay for it in the store.

Linking up at Things I’ve Done Thursday at Bear Rabbit Bear Crafts

Whipperberry

Recovery Mode

Pinterest Party was a success! I think this was our 5th one – maybe 6th? I’m pretty sure we will have some excellent recap posts up this week after we get the glitter out of our eyes/nose/hair/mouth/toes.

Highlights include: vodka slush, a Dollar Tree run, and balls. Lots and lots of balls.

PS: Washing your hair 3 times doesn’t get spray adhesive and glitter completely out. Better go for 6 times.

PPS: Don’t forget to enter the $50 Shutterfly giveaway! One more week until we pick a winner!

MY Pinterest Weekend Plans

It’s finally here! Pinterest Weekend is baaaaaaaack.

We’re starting off with a bang – going to Canton. If you live in Texas and haven’t been there, shame on you! Now, as a rule, I only go to Canton a couple of times a year – usually in November and January. Why then? 1) It’s not hot as balls, 2) the vendors will have their Christmas goods out, 3) November is not nearly as crowded as December, 4) January – lots of markdowns on Christmas goods! I have learned my lesson about going to Canton in the summer months (which in Texas is basically March through October). No mas!

We have a few favorite shops to hit in Canton but this time I think we’re going to go to the “junk” side too. Maybe we’ll find some bargains? I’ll be sure to grab business cards and pictures so we can tell you our favorites after we get back.

I’m not completely, totally sure about what I’m going to make at Pinterest Party but I’ve got several ideas. I’m sure I’ll improvise and come up with more stuff as the weekend goes along! Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Source: houzz.com via Tarah on Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looks like I’m gonna be pretty busy this weekend, huh? What are YOU doing this weekend? Any crafting I should know about?

PT5 10.27.12~{Christmas Pinterest Party Edition}

I CANNOT wait until next weekend. All of us {Cheap} Housewives plus a few extra girls are getting together at my aunt’s house for our Christmas Pinterest Weekend. We are starting the weekend off on Friday by going to First Monday Trade Days in Canton. The rest of the weekend will be spent eating, drinking, and crafting. Specifically, Christmas crafts (see last year’s here). So I am going to show you what I love/dream/aspire to make next weekend. Oh, it won’t all get done and I will probably change my mind later this week or when I see what the other girls are making, but this is my starting point.

 

 

Love these letters. And my mantle definitely could use some help. Most of the other girls are craftier than me, so I will let them lead the way on this one. :)

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How much easier could these be? And instead of expensive foam cones, roll up a piece of scrapbook paper or cardstock into the shape of a cone. I think this one is a *for sure*. Or this one.

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I have loved this wreath forever but, man, bells are expensive. Especially when you need a TON. We had this pinned for last year’s Christmas Pinterest Party, too, but it didn’t make the cut.

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Source: etsy.com via Heather on Pinterest

 

I may attempt something like this (ala canvas word art) since I have some extra canvases and there will be an abundance of paint available.

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I also love this wreath and have had my eye on it for a couple years. I have a thing with wreaths. I think my husband might hurt me if I come home with another wreath, but I have always loved the way these looked!

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What crafts do you have planned for Christmas? Anything we should try??

Here are the links to our Christmas Pinterest Party Boards if you want to follow us!

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2012

It’s Finally Fall!

I have been waiting and waiting for cooler weather to hit so that I could start to decorate for fall. I don’t know about y’all, but it is impossible for me to get in the seasonal decorating mood until the seasonal weather hits. If it’s fall, the weather needs to be cool and crisp for me to decorate. Winter/Christmas needs to be cold and blustery (or at least cold enough to necessitate pants and long sleeves) before I can break out all the Christmas decor bins (I have at least 12, don’t judge).

Anyway, last weekend it was cool and rainy all weekend long, leaving us with no soccer game and a home-bound husband since he can’t mow yards in the rain. Which meant he could get in the attic and bring stuff down! Now, I only have 1 bin of fall/Halloween decor but I am thinking I really need to add to that. I may need to hit up the Hobby Lobby soon!

Without further ado, here are my attempts at fall decor. Not professional by any means, but I think it is pretty good for me, seeing as how up until a couple years ago I didn’t decorate for fall at all. I love to look at all the fancy blogs and fall decorating link-ups but man, do I feel inadequate when I see all their cuteness. My mantle doesn’t even begin to compare, but it makes my son happy. That’s all that matters. :)

On the left there is a pumpkin on a plate–this was from our Fall/Christmas Pinterest Party last year, at my aunt’s house. Here is a closer shot:

Brittaney brought the supplies for everyone and it couldn’t have been easier. She found the cute styrofoam pumpkins (all different shapes, colors, etc.) and the plates at the Dollar Store, I think. So, super cheap. We cut the pumpkins in half so they would lay flat on the plate, hot-glued them on, and then added a ribbon. Couldn’t have been easier. It would also be really easy to do something along these lines for Christmas as well.

This button pumpkin was made last year at our Pinterest Party at Brittaney’s house (when she was still living in College Station). We used foam pumpkin sheets as our template and either glued buttons straight to the foam or traced the pumpkin on another piece of paper. Glue the buttons on, overlapping and filling in as necessary, until you get the look you are going for. Since I am a bit on the OCD side, it took me quite a bit longer than the other girls, but I love how it turned out. Slap it on some fall-ish scrapbook paper, add a wine cork (cut down the middle so it lays flat), and put it in an extra frame you have lying around (no glass due to the cork).

Oh, another fun time for my OCD nature (why do I do this to myself?? See Peppermint Wreath)!! I loved seeing all the candy corn wreaths on Pinterest and really wanted one for myself. So, again last year at Brittaney’s, a few of us attempted these. After ALOT of candy corns and hot glue (and lots of burns), we were done. It didn’t take as long as I had imagined but it wasn’t super quick, either. I did SEVERAL coats of clear-coat spray paint, in the hopes that it would last more than one year and it did! I hang it inside during the fall, but we stored it in a trash bag in a rubber bin in the attic last year and it even survived that heat! I still love it.

My front door. I got the fall leaf garland on sale at Michael’s a couple of years ago and made the Pom-Pom Wreath from Hell at Brittaney’s Pinterest Party last year. Add in my 2 huge mums from Costco and we are set until Thanksgiving.

I scooped this adorable sign up at Michael’s as well.

So that’s the extent of my fall decor. Not overly impressive but enough for us. I would love to add more this year, though, so I need more ideas so share your pics with us. Leave your link in the comments or post on our Facebook page!

Here are the links to our past Pinterest Party crafts as well:

Fall Pinterest Party 2011

Christmas Pinterest Party 2011

Christmas Pinterest Party II 2011

August Pinterest Party 2012

 

Pinterest Party : Crafts

What I’m really doing here is procrastinating organizing my craft room. It is just overwhelming – so why not do a blog post about our Pinterest Party crafts, right?

Ah, the project that we had such high hopes for. This is a very modified version of the original that we attempted to replicate. Moral of the story? Don’t use ink stain on photo paper. It just doesn’t work. It is a really, really cute picture even though we finally gave up (after wasting 2 prints) and used spray adhesive to stick it to a 16×20 piece of plywood (not the bendy kind). It’s cute just the way it is, but it would be cuter if I had the patience to do it the original way. Oh well. 16×20 prints are $5.99 at Costco, so it’s not like we’re breaking the bank here.

Sorry for the blurry picture! Sars saw a Target ad in a magazine while she was lounging on the couch, and showed it to us. Apparently, there will be a chalkboard that looks eerily similar to this one coming out soon at your local Target! My aunt fell in love and wanted one for her daughter. We took one of the many pieces of plywood (best $10 spent the whole weekend – one sheet made a TON of different size plaques/boards, AND the dude at Lowe’s didn’t even charge us for the cuts – and there were a lot of them) and sprayed chalkboard paint on it. While that was drying (takes about 1 minute!), I cut out letters on the Silhouette in different fonts. I also found a cool design in their online shop that I cut for the corner (the Target one does not have that!). It took forever to cut, but it was perfect for it. We mod-podged the letters onto the board and that was it. It’s too cute.

I buy these frames from Michaels in bulk. As in, 10-15 at a time. They make quick, easy gifts and they are only $1. Yes, $1. They are in the unfinished wood section, and occasionally they will put them on sale 3/$2. Katy bar the door when that happens. Whitney put this together in about 10 minutes (including cutting time on the Silhouette). Quit looking at the Mod Podge, it’s not dry yet. It dried clear and it looks perfect.

You’ve seen this bad boy before. Whitney brought it out to Pinterest Party so we could put the finishing touches on it. It took us a couple of tries to get the font right, but once that was done, it was easy. Mod Podge to the rescue. It looks great!

You’ve also seen this before. All we had to do to it this time was add a dinosaur (or a “longnecky” as Logan calls this particular type) – five minutes + Mod Podge. Done.

Sars, the self-proclaimed NOT CRAFTY one of the bunch, showed up to Pinterest Party ready to sleep and do some stuff for work. Seriously, she planned on working. That’s cool, sometimes you just need to get away and do your own thang – but she didn’t. She crafted. And she crafted WELL. She made this sign for her group at work, obviously named “Utopia”. She did a great job! Plywood + Silhouette cutouts + Mod Podge. It turned out perfect.

This is what happens when you craft and drink. Obviously, I’m not going to put “FART” on my craft room wall – it really spells CRAFT, but fart is a much funnier word. These were just chipboard letters from Hobby Lobby painted with 3 coats of craft paint. That’s it. The letters were $1 each, so why not, right?

These little stepstools from IKEA are the coolest gift ever for kids. I’ve given several of them away, and up until these two, all of the letters were cut BY HAND. You know how much that sucks? It sucks a lot. Thankfully, I have a Silhouette now (am I pimping them out enough in this post? Between the Silhouette and Mod Podge, I should be making a commission) and it is much, much easier to whip these out quickly. Sars and I put the two stepstools together by hand, with the infamous IKEA Allen wrench (ugh) and I spray painted them with 2 coats. Fun fact: It started sprinkling pretty heavily between the first coat and the second coat. I was spray painting against the clock! Once the paint was dry, we picked out fonts (no small feat, since I have approx. 3500 fonts – it’s a problem) and cute designs. Trent’s brother Jaxon received one a couple of years ago, and they share a bathroom, so their stepstools had to coordinate. Savannah (who has a really, really long name) has her own bathroom so I had free reign over that one. Her letters are actually lime green and the little birdies are a cute pink/lime green floral pattern – the flash made everything too light! Again, Mod Podge is your friend when putting letters and designs onto anything. I should also mention that Sars (you know, the non-crafty one) took control of Savannah’s stepstool and did it all herself. I think it looks great. Now I just need to get the dang stepstools to their owners…

Aunt Toni found this magazine rack at a thrift/resale shop and painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White and Primer Red. It needed a little something else, though, so we used one of the Royal Design Studio Stencils and a little Duck Egg Blue paint and made it even cuter.

Well, I haven’t really been able to stop thinking about how cute, cheap, and easy this craft was. Aunt Toni came up with it all on her own! She used two dishtowels from IKEA for each chair (.79/each), red ribbon to tie it with, and pom pom fringe to line the bottom with to make it even cuter. She sewed the two dishtowels together, cut small holes to put ribbon through, sewed the pom pom fringe on, and that was it. About $2 + 7 minutes. Seriously. I look at dishtowels in a whole new light now.

I think this frame cost about $6 at Family Dollar. It had a beautiful fug picture of something in it, I don’t even remember what. We covered that up faster than you can say “Mod Podge”. All it took was (wait for it) Mod Podge, (wait for it) Silhouette letters, and (wait for it) that’s it. So easy. So cute. I heart your heart.

Again with the $1 frame. I painted the whole thing with silver craft paint and let it dry. Then I taped off stripes with Frog Tape (thanks to Haven, I have about 8 rolls of that stuff), and painted it with gold craft paint. 10 minutes to do it and it looked pretty cute. I need to add something to it, though – maybe a big sparkly flower or something.

Since the letters at Hob Lob were only $1, we went buck wild buying different ones. Whitney mixed up some craft paint colors and ended up with a goldish terracotta color – slap some paint on those things and they’re finished!

Canvas + chalkboard paint + Silhouette letters + Mod Podge. That’s it. This turned out really cute and it showed up just great in Logan’s first day of school pictures!

We had an overabundance of blank canvases, so everyone that attended Pinterest Party made a bird canvas (I know you are loving this, Dianthe). Well, everyone except for me. I made Aunt Toni make mine. I wanted to be surprised! She wrote “Birds of a feather craft together 2012″ on the bottom edge of my canvas, so everyone else copied her. Mine is the hot pink one, by the way. Gotta be different.

This is a picture of everything we made (minus the furniture, which had its own post). It makes me tired (and happy) just looking at it. Paige (the new girl, that we all love now!) made several headbands for her not-born-yet niece, due to arrive in October. She whips those things out like nobody’s business! I should also note that Hometalk (like Pinterest for home stuff) sent us aprons to use for our Pinterest weekend – you can see that I tied one up on the banister! Wouldn’t you know I completely forgot to give them out until, oh, the very end? I wish we had a picture of everyone in their apron – we all loved them! Go check out Hometalk – it’s addicting. We are on it – there is a button on the sidebar! Every time we have a Pinterest Party, we try to get a picture of everything we’ve done – it gets harder and harder each time because we make so much stuff! Here are a couple of pictures from past Pinterest Parties.

Fall 2011

Christmas 2011

I hope you enjoyed seeing everything that we made – we really do have a lot of fun at these parties, but we also work hard!

Have we inspired you to have a Pinterest Party/Weekend? Tell us about it!

Linked up at Whipperberry – for some reason, the button code won’t work! I’ve tried 20 times :)
 

 
Visit thecsiproject.com
 

 

Get your breakfast on!!

It’s Saturday afternoon, and its my turn to bring breakfast to Sunday School tomorrow.  My sister and I LOVE breakfast/brunch…Heather calls me the brunch queen of North Texas.  Eh, she may have a point.  I DO love a brunch with the girls.  Anyhoo….

I went by the farmer’s market this afternoon and they had a plethora of blueberries.  Earlier this year, I tried this recipe at one of our Pinterest Weekends at Aunt Toni’s house.  It. Was. Good.  I like it because it’s a little off the beaten path, not your typical eggs, bacon, chopped onion and cheese breakfast casserole.

You can’t go wrong with cream cheese and blueberries.  This one is super easy, and takes just a few minutes the night before to whip it all together.  Let it sit overnight in the fridge, pop it in the oven for an hour.  While the kids are getting ready for church, breakfast is cooking.  The blueberry syrup takes about 10 minutes to make.

 

This is the recipe I found on Pinterest:

Overnight Blueberry French Toast Recipe
(Recipe from Real Mom Kitchen)

French Toast: 
12 slices bread, cut into cubes (french or Texas toast work well)
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cut in cubes
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
12 large eggs
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 cups milk (I use 1 cup milk and 1 cup cream)

Syrup: 
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 Tablespoon butter

Arrange 1/2 of the bread cubes in a greased 9 x 13 pan.
Sprinkle cream cheese cubes and blueberries evenly over the bread cubes.
Top with remaining bread cubes.
Mix together eggs, milk, and syrup.
Pour over bread cubes and cover pan with foil. Let chill in refrigerator overnight.

Bake covered with foil at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes or until fluffy and golden. Top with sauce. Serves 8.

Syrup: Cook water, sugar, and cornstarch until thickened. Stir in blueberries and simmer for 10 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted. Serve over the french toast.

 

I’ve made this recipe several times, and here are some suggestions I can give you:

1) Use French bread.  It doesn’t cost much more, but tastes SO much better!

2) Don’t use lowfat, no-fat, or reduced fat Cream Cheese.  It doesn’t bake well. It will be a lumpy mess because it doesn’t melt.   Neufchatel is a viable alternative, but cream cheese (the real deal) tastes best.

3) My husband/kids don’t love maple syrup, so I substituted Smucker’s Blueberry Syrup last time I made it.  It tastes really good, and I actually prefer it!

Enjoy!!

 

Our Pinterest Party House

We are some spoiled bloggers. My aunt {although all the girls call her “Aunt Toni”} lives in a lakehouse south of where we all live – just far enough away that it feels like a mini vacation. She is pretty crafty herself, and fits right in with our sarcastic snarky crude drunk silly lovely crew. We all love her and {we think} she loves all of us back.

I kept telling her I was going to put her house on the blog, and I finally took a few pictures when we were there last weekend. Here are a few things she has made/collected over the last couple of years!

 

This is her mantel – looking perfect, as always. She switches it out with the seasons, or just because she wants to.

She just decided she wanted a giant “E” {her last initial} on the door of her built in media cabinet. Frosted contact paper and exacto knife to the rescue. I was trying to make it all difficult – looking through my 3,500 fonts {not even joking} for the perfect E. Yeah, she was already finished with it by that time.

This is one of the upstairs bathrooms. Instead of a boring old vanity, she is using an antique painted chest of drawers. It is the prettiest butter yellow color.

Yeah, I made that wreath. I originally put a snowflake in the center since it was for Christmas, but she put a daisy in it and look how cute it is all year round.

These are the fabric strip curtains in the yellow bathroom. She just decided to do this one day and it worked out, so there you go.

This is in the other bathroom upstairs. Isn’t that cute? None of her kids live there (they’re all grown up!) but they still have a basket in a bathroom.

I love this piece and want to marry it. DIBS, Aunt Toni. DIBS.

Aren’t these corbels awesome? She bought them at an antique/vintage store in Dallas – she can’t remember which one. We named off a few, and none were triggering anything – I guess we’ll just enjoy hers! These divide her living room and kitchen.

I hope you enjoyed the “Pinterest Tour” of my aunt’s home. We sure do love staying there for our Pinterest weekends!

 

 

Kindergarten Memories

My little boy started Kindergarten today. It was extremely bittersweet. I am sad he is growing up but so happy that he is so excited to start school. He didn’t seem to have an ounce of reservation and that helped me not worry as much.

I was still so nervous/anxious about today. I have never been away from him where I couldn’t go check on him or call/text his sitter and see how he was doing. So this was a total change for me. I survived and I am glad today is over. Tomorrow will be much easier–I hope.

Thanks to Pinterest, I found a ton of cute Back to School photo ideas. Last year, for Pre-K, I taught myself how to use Fotoflexer and copied this idea.

So, of course, this is going to be an annual thing. My sister introduced me to PicMonkey, which was way easier than Fotoflexer (for me, anyway). This picture, before PicMonkey, was crooked (my fault), but I was able to straighten it, which was really cool to me (you know, since I am a little OCD). And then, the different filters/effects make the pictures look even better. Then you just add text and change fonts/colors as you please. It was super easy, free, and took no time at all for something we will keep forever.

My boy is so handsome. That is all.

My next picture idea came from this Pin. I had extra canvases, bought some chalkboard spraypaint, and my sister used her Silhouette to cut out the words that would be the same every year. The shiny striped parts are fixed on with mod-podge. The rest is chalkboard that can be changed every year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love the way they came out and can’t wait to see how it changes every year. You can barely see, but he wrote his name in the top section (which was not easy for him with fat chalk, which was all I had) and then by Kindergarten I wrote ’2012′ (even though it is too small and didn’t show up in pictures). Today he said he wanted to be “Daddy’s baseball helper.” He is always talking about playing baseball with Daddy when he gets older. But last week, and for several weeks before that, he wanted to be an astronaut and go explore all the planets. Go figure. :)

Did you send any kiddos off to school? Get any inspiration for pictures or other traditions from Pinterest or anywhere else? Share with us!

Pinterest Party 8-2012: Furniture

Since we all have a *slight* obsession with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, of course, no Pinterest Party would be complete without a little painting. We were able to complete 6 pieces of furniture–3 nightstands, a dresser (which was already painted, just needed wax), a kitchen table, and a coffee table.

Now, onto the pictures. I know that’s what you’re all waiting for.

Check out this find! Heather and I found it at a Goodwill in Arlington for only $20. We knew Aunt Toni was looking for a side table for her daughter but couldn’t get a hold of her. I bought it anyway, knowing someone would find a place for it if she didn’t want it (that someone being me). But, of course, she wanted it. So it went from a very distressed (not intentionally) black piece to beautiful in Duck Egg with a drawer in Pure White with clear wax.

Aunt Toni was also working on a coffee table she found on Craigslist for $40. It was a little beaten up, but with it being laminate on top, there wasn’t much we could do as far as sanding. It was going in a college apartment, so we figured it would be getting beat up anyway. The paint at least gave it a fresher look, even though you could still see some rough spots. It adds character, right? We did Duck Egg all over and Pure White on the shelves with clear wax over all of it.

The next piece is a dresser I found on Craigslist ($50) but Aunt Toni bought it from me (again, for her daughter’s apartment–how lucky is that girl?).

She is still on the lookout for cute knobs or pulls, so it’s not quite done yet.

She also decided to revamp some chairs to go in her daughter’s apartment. Plain metal and wood chairs turned into red, cute chairs with Ikea tea towels ($0.79 each, y’all!) used as slipcovers…I would have never thought of that. No ASCP this time, just red spray paint–we take the easy way when necessary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was an easy, cheap project with very little sewing (and could be done with no sewing if you so desired) and totally changed the look of the chairs. She even added some pom-pom fringe on the back just to top it off.

Paige (Heather & Whitney’s cousin’s girlfriend) brought 2 nightstands that she scored for $10 each at a flea market in South Texas (how come I never get that lucky?!) and bought Graphite to use on them. Heather and I were so excited to see the Graphite on a piece of furniture. We have been wanting to go buy some for a few of our pieces but hadn’t managed to do so yet. This was Paige’s first experience with ASCP, so I hope she was as impressed as we have been. I think originally she was hoping for an almost black look, but with only 2 coats and then clear and dark wax, we got a dark charcoal color, which I love. I am sure if we kept going and added more coats and then more dark wax, it would have gotten darker, but she was happy with it. She added some CUTE houndstooth wrapping paper as drawer liner, which absolutely made the piece. Again, no before pictures (sorry, we just weren’t thinking), but just imagine one plain wood nightstand (sanded down) and one white one.

It was a very busy weekend, with all the crafting and furniture painting, but it all turned out really good.

Aunt Toni and Paige with all their furniture. And cute Lucy had to get in on the picture, too. **sidenote~Do you see the view we get when we have Pinterest Parties at my aunt’s house?? It’s a wonder we get any work done.**

I love ASCP simply because you can work so fast and get so many pieces done, but I do want to try to make my own chalk paint and also try gel stain and CeCe Caldwell. You know, just to get a feel for everything…and pass on what we discover to you guys, of course.

What furniture have you painted? With Annie Sloan or something else?

Pinterest Party 8-2012: Food

We like to have our Pinterest parties at my aunt’s lakehouse out in the sticks. Why? She has an awesome house. Her kitchen is huge, and she encourages us to make ourselves at home in it. It also doesn’t hurt that she claims to enjoy hosting people, especially people that cook good food.

Whitney and I met my aunt in the {very small, very boring} downtown area where she lives right around lunchtime. We did some shopping and found a couple of neat stores. We ate at a sandwich shop – it was okay, nothing to write home about.

Once we finished with our “in town” stuff, we got to her house and we made Spicy Avocado Chicken Enchiladas. I used a poblano pepper instead of a serrano pepper, because I didn’t want them TOO spicy or I would be hating life, if you know what I mean and I think you do. I also substituted three avocados for a package of Wholly Guacamole, because the avocados we saw at the store just looked gross. One package contains two bags – I used both. They were excellent. Definitely a keeper, and so easy and filling. It also helps if you have a sous chef {aka Whitney}, because I hate chopping. So does she, but that’s beside the point. I’m older and I have more insurance. TOWANDA!

The next morning, one of the girls made breakfast for us. She made hashbrown casserole {you know, the good kind with the cornflakes on top} and little sausage/cheese muffin things. I’m waiting on her to give me the recipe, as it was not a Pinterest find {GASP!}. I’m guessing it was something like this, but if she gives it to me I will update this post with the actual recipe. My first thought was that they would be great to make and freeze – take one out and zap it – BOOM! Breakfast.

Sausage & Cheese Muffins
1 3/4 tsp flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 lb. sausage, cooked & crumbled (I like to use the hot sausage)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg beaten
3/4 cup of milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Combine all ingredients and stir until moistened. Spoon into greased muffin tin. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.

For lunch, we had Chicken Taco Salad. I’ve been craving salads like crazy lately, but I don’t like making them – go figure. Salads taste so much better when someone else makes them for you, but isn’t that how it always is with everything? We decided that this was actually a pretty healthy meal, as long as you don’t overdo it on the chips. We used olive oil mayo, so that helps, right?

For dinner that night, we had “Man Pleasing Chicken”, even though there were no men in attendance, and none of us really cared about man pleasing at that very moment. We also had the infamous OKRA & POTATOES, so who really cares what else there was to eat if OKRA & POTATOES was on the menu? Not me. Oops. That stuff is like crack. Fried crack. The chicken was good, but it was not even approaching photographability (is that a word? It is now), so I spared you. Just imagine chicken with a mustard-y sauce on it.

That night, we made Chocolate Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark on a whim. We had all the ingredients, and we were just tipsy enough to attempt to make caramel from scratch. Welllllllll, one burned pan and about 45 minutes later, we had some caramel. The smell is reminiscent of burned microwave popcorn. Just be glad you weren’t there. No amount of vodka can rid your nose of the smell. It was AWESOME. Salt + sweet + chocolate? What’s not to love? The only thing I didn’t love was having to freeze it for a couple of hours.  I may or may not have stolen the ziploc bag containing the leftovers to take home for myself. Okay, I did. And you can’t have any.

On Sunday, I woke up at the ungodly hour of 7:00. Not cool, not cool. I somehow got roped into making breakfast for these fools with the help of my aunt. We had Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake. Anything with the word cake in it is a winner in my book. It was great, but we had to bake it about 20 minutes longer than what the recipe called for, just a heads up.

And that, my friends, is the end of our food report from Pinterest Party August 2012. We all love trying new recipes, and what better time to try them than when we are with our friends?

If you would like to follow our group Pinterest Party boards, they’ve got some good stuff on them. We make new group boards for each party…which reminds me, we’ve set the date for our next one so I must make a new board!

August Pinterest Party

Christmas Pinterest Weekend

Fall Pinterest Weekend

Food for both Pinterest weekends

and stay tuned for… November 2012 Canton/Pinterest Weekend

Have you ever had a Pinterest Party with your friends?

 


The Trip That Started it All (Part I)

I’m a little ashamed to admit it, I am a Bravo junkie.  I love all things Jeff Lewis, Patti Stanger holds a special place in my heart, and of course, I know all the cast members of every Real Housewives of (Insert City Here)  cast. My personal favorite train wreck is the Real Housewives of New Jersey.

So, on every Real Housewives installment, there is a trip inserted about halfway through the season so they can  call out the crazy girl, kick someone off the island of St. Barts, find out if the tabloids are true, the girls can tell Vicki her boyfriend is a gold-digger, find out NeNe Leakes is just a little cray-cray,  strengthen their bonds of friendship and sisterhood.

Thus begins our story today….(only we are cheap.  We don’t charter jets, We didn’t stay in a posh resort, we rented a mini-van, not a Bentley, and we don’t have stylists that travel with us.)

Six girls from Texas decided to take six days away from being a wife/mom and have the ultimate “girls week out” halfway across the country.  This was no small feat since we had to make arrangements for six husbands, eight kids, and seven dogs to be without us for the better part of a week!  (By the way, thanks to all the dads/aunts/grandmothers who made this getaway possible!)  Here we are right after we landed:

Whitney, Toni, Tarah and Christie

The race was on, and we were headed to Haven 2012 in Atlanta (with a post-conference vacay to Savannah!)  Heather, Tarah, and Brittaney are insanely talented and crafty.   Whitney and Aunt Toni are also accomplished domestic divas in their own right, and I was admittedly pretty much along for the ride.  WOW!  DID I LEARN A LOT!

We met many wonderfully smart women while at Haven.  You can read about/link to some of our favorites here.

My favorite session of the conference (and Tarah’s) was Decor 101.  I can look at something, and know that I like it.  I couldn’t really tell you why I prefer one look over another, and I am hard-pressed to recreate it in my home.  Beth @ Home Stories A to Z and Chris @ Just a Girl did an amazing job of teaching us how to layer texture & color to create a very welcoming room.

Heather, Toni and Whitney all enjoyed the painting sessions, learning different techniques and products we had never used before.  Thanks to our swag bags and the painting workshops, we ALL fell in love with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and are eagerly awaiting the release of Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint.

Brittaney found the photography session the most informative with real-life application.  Her enthusiasm has now turned me into a shutterbug.  I just received my first “real” camera (Not a point & shoot).  She took some amazing pictures in Savannah and coached me into taking some great ones, too!  I can’t wait to share them with you!

We all got a kick out of Mr. Goodwill Hunting, and ventured to his favorite thrift store in Atlanta, Value Village!  He encouraged us to put on our “thrifting grungies, get yo’ hair up in a pontytail, and get the perkies up high” to achieve the most success in our bargain hunting conquests.  

The six of us decided to divide and conquer the sessions offered  based on our strengths, and gained knowledge about a wealth of subjects like painting, power tools, furniture building, slipcovering, photography, and blogging.  SO much to learn, so little time!

Okay, now on to the fun stuff…

We had some AH-MAAAAA-ZING food.  We LOVE trying new/different/off-the-beaten-path selections, but we also have an appreciation for the tried and true.  I was not counting calories on this trip.   We started out with some deep-fried goodness at The Varsity (an Atlanta institution) accompanied with shouts of “What’ll ya have??”We also enjoyed delicious Italian food at Figo.  The next night, we were in comfort food heaven at Greenwood’s.  This place was a fun, funky, farm-to-table experience.  Our table was near the garden, and the food was absolutely delicious!  We opted for a sampling of the menu and tried the peppered honey – fried chicken, pot roast, and pork chops with grits, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans, and creamed corn.  The jalapeno cornbread was top notch!  No dinner here is complete without pie, so we opted for chocolate meringue, coconut cream, and lemon meringue.  All were delectable!

Our adventures also included trips to the amazing Atlanta neighborhoods of Buckhead and Druid Hills just to see how the other half lives.  If you happen to have 12 million dollars in the bank and you are thinking you’d like to try the deep south, you can purchase this little gem.  You can invite us all to your house for our next Pinterest Party!

While enjoying all that Haven had to offer, each of us were overcome with a spirit of “Hey, I can do that!” Most of us were talking projects, but when we learned how much fun having a blog could be, we thought, “Hey! We could do this!” and the brainchild that became “Real Cheap Housewives of Texas” was hashed out over the four hour drive to Savannah.  We present it to you with love….

Watch for Part II of the Trip That Started it All  (Or Walking in the Rain through Savannah and Loving Every Minute of it!!)