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!

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 Headband Frame

Reason five million why little girls are the best: the hair bows. I never knew how exciting buying hair bows could be until one morning Michael, my husband, pointed out that I have dozens! This immediately got my mind turning on a more efficient way to store them. At first I searched online for places to buy what I wanted. However nothing was just right! The only products that came close were incredibly expensive.

    
So, earlier last week I decided I finally wanted to just make a bow holder for my sweet baby girl. I headed down to Goodwill to find a frame to use as the base. I found the perfect frame, it was huge and only $5.99 (I’m going to list the rest of the costs at the end of this post). Then I ran over to Joann’s to look for some paint brushes, as well as ribbon and white clothes pins. (I knew I already had white chalk paint and flowers at the house).

    
When I got home from all my errands I opened my trunk to see that when the Goodwill man put the picture frame into my car, he accidentally broke the frame. I was super disappointed, but I also didn’t want to give up on the frame quite yet. It was so so close to perfect! Unfortunately I tried fixing it before asking for my husband’s advice. This just in – do not try and dump an entire tube of gorilla glue into a picture frame to try and fix a crack. Apparently it expands, making it nearly impossible to fit back together.

    
Anyways. We decided to put the project aside for the night and start fresh in the morning. Friday morning we woke up, showered, and headed to Lowes. Michael helped me pick out my own hand staple gun and the staples I needed. ((Side note: I LOVE my hand staple gun. Everyone needs to have one! I will include a picture of the packaging, it made it so easy to use. There was a list of brands and what size staple was compatible. I felt like it was super user friendly! This is a total win in my book. I’m literally planning new projects just so I can use it).

 

When we got home we took the frame and pulled out the original artwork, scraped out the gorilla glue, and laid it out over a piece of plastic. Then we stapled all of the four corners together. It was really nice having Michael hold it together so that I could have both hands on the staple gun. After everything was stapled it still didn’t look incredibly stable. So Michael filled in the seams with liquid nail for better adhesion. We had to let it dry for an hour, but then came back and caulked over the seams for a more finished look. Now we were FINALLY back to where I thought I would be when I got home the day before.

Next I cleaned up my area — it was messy from scraping off dried gorilla glue. Then grabbed my chalk paint and brushes and got started painting! After my first layer I let it dry for about two hours and then did a second coat. It made all the difference! Then THAT had to dry. This project had a lot of waiting, something I really am not fond of!

    
When that had finally dried I set about to attach the ribbon which would serve as the “clotheslin” to pin the fabric headbands onto. I really wasn’t exactly sure how to approach it, so we went with trial by error. First I measured the length across the frame, adding in a little extra so I could attach on either side. The main things I had to keep in mind were making it secure for everyday use, flat so it hung against the wall, and loose enough that you could fit a clothespin.

     
I also knew I wanted three rows, spaced evenly. That said, I did need a little buffer at the top. I ended up (going from top of the frame down) marking at inches • 11 inches • 19 inches • 27 inches. That way there was an even 8 inches under each ribbon for the hanging headbands, as well as a three inch boarder along the top.
I marked both verticals sides of the frame with a pencil at the above mentioned lengths. Then stretched the ribbon across, matching the top line of the ribbons along the tick marks, and used my handy new stapler to secure it in place. At this point I started getting really excited!! It was seriously coming together. Now all I had was the aesthetic aspect.

     
In Nolie’s closet I had leftover flowers from two other projects – her mirror and statement piece. I pulled those apart (they come in preassembled flower bunches) and plugged in the hot glue gun. Five minutes later- I finally had my perfect headband holder!! I’m so thrilled with how it came out!

     
If I hadn’t run into the broken frame fiasco, my out of pocket costs would have been right at $22. That’s seriously not bad at all! However I did have to spend another $22 at Lowes. That brings me to a total of about $44, which I’m honestly happy with because it is exactly what I wanted.
That said, I already have realized I need even more bow storage. So I will keep you updated on what I decide to do! Stay tuned and feel free to tag me in your DIY pursuits! I love getting new ideas or seeing people’s twist on my ideas.

        
SUPPLIES LIST & PRICING

Goodwill:

  • Frame $5.98

Joann’s:

  • Ribbon $5.99
  • Clothespins $3.49 x 3
  • Paint Brushes $5.99

(I used two 50% off texts coupons on clothespins and one 50% off online coupon for the ribbon- did you know that you could mix online and text coupons! It’s the bomb! So I actually spent less than that).

          
Lowes:

  • Arrow Staple Pack $5.98
  • Bostitch Hand Staple Gun $14.98

Already owned: 





Ps: don’t forget to check in Sunday to see how my StyleBee  10×10 challenge is going! 

DIY Gold Frames 

I really wanted some gold frames to match the accenting on our ADORABLE target lamp. It was surprisingly hard to find a matching shade of gold though! I didn’t want anything too shiny.  So we decided to try spray painting some IKEA frames we had bought a few years ago.

I put it off for a few weeks because I was extremely nervous about it. I have never spray painted anything before! But eventually we went down to Joanne’s and bought Design Master Color Tool spray paint in Antique Gold. We also picked up some sandpaper.


Michael was the true MVP of this product. He did most of the manual labor. First we opened the frames and took the matting and glass out. Then Michael sanded the frames down. I was worried because I thought they were plastic. It turns out they were wood with just a weird plastic paint on top! Perfect for spray painting after we finished sanding.

We then spread out newspaper and Michael sprayed the frames. (I tried and it ended up a little globby… ) They sat out to dry for literally twenty minutes. Then we put the glass back in, “windex”-ed it and then hung! It took like an hour, and they are perfect! I am so pleased with how they turned out. It was a great way to incorporate more gold into the living room without doing anything drastic.


Special shout out to my super talented husband who pretty much did all the work on this. I  love you!! Also, photos framed are by SwakPhotography.

Sometimes We Fight

A few days ago I was talking to an acquaintance.  Somehow Michael got brought up and I made a comment about how great he is.  All of the sudden it felt like this acquaintance was on the attack! The acquaintance quickly snapped “well I’m sure everything isn’t as perfect as you make it seem on Facebook.”

That comment really caught me off guard. At first it hurt my feelings, I won’t lie. It felt so out of no where. I thought about it though, and then I felt really bad. I hope that I never mislead people into thinking Michael and I have some perfect relationship. I wish when I was first married that more people had told me that real couples argue. I had one friend who months into marriage swore they had never disagreed on anything yet. For her sake, I honestly hope that is true. However, for me, it would have been exponentially more beneficial to hear that yeah they argued… but then they laughed it off and made up.

When we first got married I panicked every time we fought about anything, no matter how small. I thought “was this a mistake? Did I hear God wrong? Why are we fighting? What am I doing badly?” Literally every (untrue) negative thought raced through my mind, making every situation more stressful mind you. My expectation was utter and complete honeymoon bliss. My expectations were that it would essentially be a sleepover and we would just be so giddy that we were married nothing would bother us. (Obviously I forgot who I am.) So I was so thankful when someone told me that it was normal. It was so freeing when I realized that every second doesn’t have to be filled with a thousand yellow daisies, and candles, and a horse.
I never want my younger sisters (by blood or by love) to be stuck in this small perfect box of what a marriage should be like! I don’t want anyone to feel like their marriage/relationship is less because you sometimes don’t agree. I would absolutely hate for this person to think that I judge her because she fights with her person. Even worse, I would hate for someone to feel like they couldn’t talk to me because I couldn’t relate to disagreeing with the hubs. 
I’m definitely not saying we should be breaking windows, screaming, and threatening. However, I don’t think it’s shameful if you have the occasional disagreement! I just never would want to mislead anyone into thinking that my marriage is perfect because I would hate for someone to be comparing their relationship to such a high, unrealistic standard. 
So I guess this is me, publicly announcing, that Michael and I fight. We argued last month because he shrunk my dress in the dryer. We argued this month because I was upset that he didn’t read my mind and bring home queso. We disagreed about if the cat should be allowed to sit on the counter and watch me cook. We debated over if we should put matting in the frames I hung in the living room. We bicker. We tease. Sometimes I even throw crackers at him. And you know what else? I’m grateful for it.
I’m grateful that when I’m ninety years old I will have my grouchy old man husband and we will still be arguing over whether I can have another kitten. I would’t trade it for anything.
// Photo by Sophie Davison Photography