Milk Bath Photography – January 2018

Recently I couldn’t help but set up a “mini photo session” for my sweet girl. These trendy photo ops are taking over Pinterest, and I have no problem jumping on that band wagon! Milk baths are PRECIOUS.

I used half a gallon of milk, cuts from some fresh bouquets, two bedside lamps (with LED bulbs), and my iPhone!! It was beyond easy, and I am in love. I have a normal tub, with limited natural light from one window, but surprisingly that didn’t seem to effect my shots! You all will DEFINITELY be seeing more of these kinds of shoots.

I took dozens of amazing shots, but for now – enjoy these!!

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DIY Farm House Table

My husband and I recently bought a house and now have a giant casual dining room off of the kitchen. Previously, we had opted for barstools around a large extended counter. So I was pretty excited to finally have the kitchen table of my dreams! I wanted a table big enough to sit large amounts of people. I also knew that I wanted to go towards a more Southern farm house feel. Lastly, I knew that I wanted to try and build it ourselves! I immediately looked towards Pinterest. I follow one DIY blogger, Shanty 2 Chic, who has a link to how she built her table for $65! (You can click here for the instructions! They were fairly easy to follow and include a “cut” list. The only thing I would recommend is cutting the largest pieces first. We did all the small ones first and then had to buy more wood because I didn’t account for the large ones both fitting on one board).

We ended up spending a little more because we bought a high quality white paint for the base, rather than stain it like the original tutorial suggested. We also opted for a slightly higher quality of wood. However, that said, we built it for about $125! Of course, that doesn’t include the tools we bought, but we counted those as “good husband” gifts. Michael definitely deserved them!! We also opted to use a stain we already had, leftover from my Coffee Bar project. So that saved us a few dollars.

Anyways, we had SUCH a blast building this table. It was so exciting watching it come to life in front of us. (I also did a time lapse video of part of our adventure so you could enjoy it too!) This week we are building matching benches, so stay tuned!! I’m so thrilled that it will all be done in time for Christmas! We have lots of people coming and I need somewhere to feed them! We should be able to fit 4-5 people per bench comfortably. Eventually I am going to add captains chairs on each end, but I haven’t found any that I love for less than $1,000 a piece… and that’s just not an option seeing how we’re about to have a toddler running through the house wiping who knows what where!

((Also, I’m loving my simple holiday center piece. The eucalyptus is leftover from my Eucalyptus Wreath project and the red berries that I wove in were $.49 per branch at hobby lobby! The Dino salt shakers were from sweet Sophie for Michael’s birthday! Let’s go Christmas! I’m ready for ya.))

DIY Eucalyptus Wreath

Last month one of my girlfriends saved me a gorgeous floral piece from a wedding she planned. It was a strand of eucalyptus branches wired together into one long vine. I was so excited! It’s seriously like nine feet long! I knew that I had enough for a project or two so I started with a door wreath for Spring/Summer. I recently made a Christmas wreath (you can find the tutorial here) so I knew I could find a great deal at Hobby Lobby on the two things I needed. I picked up my floral wire and a wreath base on a mommy crafting day with Sophie!

When we got home I laid the base down and held one end of the eucalyptus vine against it while winding it around the metal to see how much I needed to cut off. I gave myself an extra inch of overlap as well. Then I just snipped through.

Next, I cut about seven inches of the floral wire off. I threaded it between one of the gaps in the wire, over and around the vine, and then back through the wire base. Then I tied it off twice. After that I wrapped the remaining wire around the base for extra security.

I did that about seven times until the entire vine was secure! That was literally it!! I may add something to it later, but for now I love how simple it looks (and is to make)!

For those of you who do not have a pre-made vine (which I’ve seen at some crafting store if you’re okay with fake leaves) then it’ll take a little longer. If you’re starting with just branches you have to individually wire each branch to the base. It will still be gorgeous, just time consuming. (You would just lay all the branches in one direction, using the fullest part of each branch to cover the stem of the last).

I am so excited about this win! Thanks Brittany for surprising me with the eucalyptus! I’m obsessed.

Supplies List:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Floral Wire $3.99
  • Metal Wreath Base $4.99
  • Scissors (already owned)

* I had my eucalyptus already, but if you’re not recycling a floral piece like me you can buy eucalyptus at Whole Foods or most floral shops. You can also buy realistic looking plastic eucalyptus at Joann’s and Hobby Lobby!

Late Fall Rosebush Transplant: a DIY Attempt 

Recently Michael’s long time best friend & his wife bought a super cute house. Along one side of the house were six huge and gorgeous  rosebushes.  Luckily for me, they hated them! I seriously have zero clue why. They are pink, which is not my absolute favorite, but the height and amount of blooms on these bushes is amazing. So I told them if they didn’t want them I would come dig them out ((read: Michael will dig them out and  will attempt to help)). So when they text us asking us if we were serious we jumped on it!

I know nothing about transplanting rosebushes so I pulled up google and spent a solid hour trying to understand what I needed. From what I gathered, this is really not the ideal time to move the bushes.  You generally would want to move these in late winter/early spring when the chance of a frost is over.  However, one of the people I talked to told me he wouldn’t be worried about it as long as I trimmed the bush back pretty aggressively (the idea is that the plant won’t be trying to sustain every leaf or bloom, instead it’s energy can be focused on the roots and trunk of the plant. Another resource told me that I could cover the bushes for the first little while during cold nights to buy the root system more time. The goal is to not totally shock the plant.

I also read that roses don’t like “wet feet” so there needs to be good drainage. Our soil leans more towards clay, so we bought something to help water drain.  It wasn’t very expensive at all (I’ll list everything we bought and the price at the end of this post).  Roses also need sun exposure, to be planted where other things are not too close to prevent the roots from being choked, and a more acidic and organically composed soil.  Everything I read said the same thing.

So now that I was feeling a little more prepared we headed down to Lowes.  We bought all of our supplies and then headed home.  First we had to clear out a spot for the six bushes.  I had a few ideas, but ultimately decided they should line the deck. Currently there was a thick bed of ivy. I honestly had no idea how much there was until I started trying to pull it out.  I ended up having to use the hoe to rip out as much as I could and loosen the soil. Then Michael and I used our hands to pull everything else out. After that I raked the new bed so it would be somewhat flat.

Next, Michael was a great sport and dug our holes.  At first we were just using a spade, however, then we remembered the post digger took we bought for our mailbox project! It worked like a champ. This took an entire afternoon and it was getting dark so we had to call it a night.  I could barely contain my excitement.  It looked so good!

The next day, Sunday, we headed over to dig out the roses after church. I started by trimming the branches down heavily. This was recommended to me by my step mom and the nursery worker at Lowes. They both said that the roots will have access to more energy if the plant isn’t trying to keep every leaf alive. Plus, it made it way easier to transport!  Next, we dug around the base of the plant. The trick is to dig deep enough from the side that you can go underthe roots. I was so impressed with ourselves! We were able to save huge portions of the root systems. I feel very confident about their chance of survival.

((I am so proud of this before and after!! Also, without the pink roses the brick looks like a totally different color! I think that is so crazy.))

After that we loaded them onto the roof of the jeep and tied them down. Luckily we only had a ten minute drive! When we got home we set about to plant them. I put a handful of the Perlite Miracle grow and a handful of the flower food (specifically for roses) into each hole and worked it into the soil. (Since I was doing two products I did less than the recommended amount to avoid harming the plants). Then I held the bushes upright as Michael filled the hole with a mixture of the original soil and our Evergreen soil conditioner. After they were all planted we watered them heavily. I know that they don’t like “wet feet” normally, but I thought they needed a good dose to get them started!

I am so excited. I think they look amazing. It will be so fun watching them grow over the next few years. I hope it doesn’t take them too incredibly long to grow back to their former glory! I will keep you updated- and if you have any advice I would loveto hear it!! Have a great day.

Lowes Shopping List:

Total Costs: $131.54

* We only ended up using two bags of the Evergreen, but with all the spring projects I have planned it will be used!

DIY IKEA Kids Table Makeover

If you go on Pinterest and type in “kids table” you will see a dozen or so IKEA Hacks – where people buy IKEA’s $19.99 Latt Children’s Table and update the plain white and wooden set! There are some really cute ideas out there which inspired me to try it myself. It was fairly simple to do, and because I had so much of what I needed at home, fairly inexpensive. Here is what you will need to do this craft! (The items that I bought I listed the price of, but the rest I already had!)

Supplies List:

  • IKEA LATT Children’s Table $19.99
  • Paper Source – Birch Floral Paper $5.95
  • 0.08 Sheet of Plexiglass $10.97
  • White High Gloss Paint
  • Design Masters Gold Spray Paint
  • Painters Tape
  • Measuring Tape
  • Scissors
  • Sand Paper
  • Paint Brush
  • Brown Paler/Some Form of Drop Cloth

The first thing I did was spray paint the legs. I knew I wanted 3 inches of gold before the table was painted white. However, looking back I wish I had painted the table white and spray painted second. I think it would have given me cleaner lines. (On one of the table legs paint dripped down through the painters tape. It’s not the end of the world, but still not my favorite thing). Also, if you don’t follow my blog you should know that I use this spray paint for everything!! I am beyond obsessed with it. I used it for the first time in a dresser restoration project for the nursery, then for a nursery accent piece, and by now I’ve used it for a dozen other projects! I am so thrilled with how well it applies and endures. It’s an A+ product for sure.

Anyways, after I spray painted the legs I painted everything else white. It will be so much easier for you if you paint this before assembling it!! When it came to the table and chair legs I simply measured three inches from the base up and then used painters tape to section it off.

After everything is dry you can assemble it! It shouldn’t take you too long, it’s a fairly simple “instal.” The next part I had a surprising amount of difficulty. I had bought a gorgeous price of wrapping paper from Paper Source to be my tabletop. I had assumed I could just trace the table insert from IKEA. However, the notch that the table fits into when assembled was so tight I couldn’t even get my paper to slide in. What I ended up going was after the table was entirely assembled I pressed the paper into the four sides of the paper (so the extras were folded). Then I used a pen knife to trace out the paper. This worked well, but it took me way too long to come to that conclusion!

Lastly, I used plexiglass to “seal” the paper in. I bought a sheet at Lowes because I had read that they will cut it for free for you – and they do! They couldn’t notch out the corners (because of the construction of the table it’s not a perfect right angle rectangle) but they did trim it down to the right size! When I got home I just used a fine grit sandpaper to round off the corner edges and that worked perfectly! It’s supposed to be cut at 23 3/8″ by 17 3/8″ according to several blogs I read. For me, the plexiglass came out a tiny bit too big, but a little sanding made it perfect. I think that could have been from the man who cut it though! Apparently it was his first time.

I am so glad that I decided to go this route. Originally I was going to modge podge the table, but this is way better. The plexiglass will be super easy to clean off. Also, I can remove it whenever I like. This means I can replace the paper if it ever gets damaged- I also can change the paper out based on the season, holiday, or my mood! That’s actually why I chose a white base for my table. At first I was going to paint it a light blue, but then I realized I was just feeling it today. Who knows how I will feel next month! Instead I got the paper with blue. The white will match almost anything else I bring home in the future. Another thing I loved, but didn’t do was to cushion the seats. I was intending to, but then realized that a fabric would limit what I could do with the table top.

Once that plexiglass is laid down you’re all set! I am so obsessed with this table. Next weekend I am going to add paper and plexiglass to the chairs as well. They have the same build as the table, so you would literally follow those instructions, just on a smaller scale. Once I try it I will add my measurements to this post!

If you decide to try this make sure you tag me- @wifetalk. I would love to see what creative ideas you come up with. It’s so fun to support each other!

* the most helpful blog I read was Milk & Mascara! She had an easy to understand guide.

DIY Mailbox Upgrade

One thing that I didn’t love about the house we bought was the mailbox. It was a light blue mailbox with painted flowers that was poorly and crookedly mounted on a white plastic base. There was almost no support, except a pipe they had shoved into the ground and placed the plastic post over. I know plenty of people who would love that painted mailbox, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. To each his (or in this case, her) own right? I like a more classic look. So the weekend we bought the house I immediately grabbed a new mailbox! First of all, I was unprepared to see how many options there were. The shape, size, and color of the mailbox itself created dozens of choices. Then there is the type and color of the stand. Plus, you can’t forget the house numbers- stickers, brushed metal, modern black, and more. After having a hunger induced mini breakdown I finally chose what I wanted to go with. Michael helped me pick out everything we would need to complete the project. Here is what we chose from Lowes (though I was at Home Depot the same day and they had basically the exact same thing for the exact same prices).

Shopping List: 


This is how we went about installing it all! First, we tore out the old one.  That wasn’t hard to do at all – like I said before, the previous owners had “installed it” by stabbing an old pipe into the ground and then sticking the cheap mailbox stand over it. For such a gorgeous house, I don’t understand such a tacky mailbox.

Second, we used our handy new post digger to dig our hole.  You’re going to want it to be as deep as 1/3 the total length of your post.  When we dug down it measured 26 inches, which was a tiny bit over 1/3, but better for me because the mailbox is the length I want for my height.  At first I was confused, maybe even skeptical about why we needed to buy a post digger when we already have a shovel.  However, I’ll have to admit that it made the job so easy and quick! I’m glad we didn’t skip that.


Next, ((but really on a different day because we have a baby so apparently that means projects take triple the amount of time expected)) I painted the mailbox post. I had bought a high quality paint made for outdoor use and it worked great.  The only thing I would change is we bought a cherry wood post.  I wouldn’t do that! I do not understand the science of it at all, but where the wood was naturally darker, it’s almost like the color seeped up over the white paint.  I can’t explain it! All I know is it took a second coat of white paint.  I wish we had gotten just the plain post- it was even a few dollars cheaper.  Anyways, one good thing is this dried fairly quickly.


After that, we brought the post out and stuck it into the hole.  I used a level to make sure it was completely straight! This is important.  Then we started the concrete mixture.  The instructions called for us to fill the hole 1/3 of the way up with water.  Then we dumped the entire bag of Sakrete into the hole.  You don’t have to mix or anything! We just added a little water to the top and triple checked the level as it hardened.  After about thirty minutes it had set! I was so impressed.  I would definitely recommend this product.

Then Michael attached the board to the mailbox base, allowing room for all of the ridges of he mailbox.  (Lay the board on top of the post where the mailbox will sit and screw directly down!) Then following the pre-drilled holes, he attached the mailbox to the screwed in wood panel. It finally looked like a real mailbox!!

Lastly, we attached the numbers.  I chose the ones we did because I found them to be sleek and attractive.  They were surprisingly harder to attach than expected. That said, I officially have a nice mailbox! I am so thrilled.  Thank you to my handsome husband who helped ((read: did most of)) this project.  I love you- and our new mailbox!

I hope y’all enjoyed this little DIY tutorial. Let me know if there is anything I should clear up! And stay tuned for more projects! We’re updating bathrooms, the kitchen, hallways, the yard, and more!

DIY Christmas Wreath

Yesterday Sophie and I were hanging out when she mentioned that Christmas was about to explode in her house. Less than an hour later we found ourselves trying to balance car seats and handfuls of Christmas decor on the tiny carts provided by Hobby Lobby. (Seriously, why are they so small?) I won’t lie, it was by far the most stressful joint shopping trip we have ever been on! Nolie’s allergies from the dust and glitter in the air were killing her, both girls refused to sit in their seats, and I dropped at least a dozen items. Don’t worry nothing broke. Then when we went to check out things got even crazier. Sophie was finished checking out first so she asked if I would keep Mia next to me while I checked out and she would go grab the car. Great plan right? Except I accidentally handed her my wallet to take with her and so I had to chase after her, both babies screaming at me. I ran back, covered in sweat and judgment from the long line behind us. It was delightful. However, when we got home we had everything we needed to make the perfect Christmas wreaths!

Originally we were just going to buy pre made wreaths, but when we finally found the wreath aisle we changed our mind! A preassembled wreath was averaging $129! That is insane. So I suggested we make our own. Sophie loved the idea, Christmas products were 50% off today, and I am all about craft days. It was a complete win!  Here is what I bought, the price per item, and the total cost. The only thing not listed are three or four ornament hooks Sophie gave me. (I don’t have Sophie’s receipt. However, I assume she spent about the same. Her wreath is smaller, but she overall has more expensive ornaments on hers). 

 

Supplies: 

  • Christmas Wreath ($12.99 // 50% off) $12.50
  • Squirrel Ornaments ($6.99 // 50% off) $3.49
  • Wooden Letter ($11.99 // 50% off) $5.99
  • Santa Ornament ($5.99 // 50% off) $2.99
  • Branches ($1.59 // 50% off x 3) $4.77
  • Gold Acorns ($0.99 // 50% off x 4) $1.96
  • Porcupine Ornament ($2.99 // 50% off) $1.49

Total wreath cost: $33.19

 

We started by weaving in the branches with berries. Sophie chose a more realistic red berry while I went with gold. Next we placed our last name initials since they would be a focal point. Sophie fastened hers with metals hooks. I used the malleable wire branches to secure mine. Then we used the wire hooks to secure our ornaments to the wreath bases. It took less than an hour! It was beyond simple and I saved a tiny bit under $100! Plus, it was exactly what I wanted.

It was such an affordable wreath option and a new bestie holiday tradition! als, the   ornaments are not permanently placed so next year I can just replace what I want! I could even decorate per holiday if I wanted to. I hope you give it a try and then tag me (@wifetalk) so I can see what you’ve created! Have fun!