06 May 2016

DIY Stamped Doormat


I saw the cutest doormat EVER on Pinterest the other day and I just had to try to recreate it. Well, not only did I recreate the adorable watermelon motif but I also made my own version with bees that is the perfect Mother's Day gift for my Mother-in-law who just happens to raise honey bees

The first (and hardest) part of this process was finding blank welcome mats. I thought this would be easy but the only place I could find them was at Home Depot. Everywhere else I looked had welcome mats that all had patterns, colors, or sayings. I also picked up a large sponge in the tile laying section (believe it or not, they only had little ones in the cleaning section.. go figure!) and paint. I got sample sizes of black and yellow for the bee mat and a pretty coral and green for the watermelons. 


For the watermelon mat, I followed the directions from the original source and cut my sponge up into stamps. After drawing the shape out with a sharpie (as you can see in the pictures) and doing a little bit of experimental cutting, I eventually got a watermelon slice in a good size. I then just went to town stamping the mat. When I was finished, I went back over the watermelon with a small paint brush to really get a good layer of paint on there and make the color brighter and more defined. When the pink was dry I drew the seeds on with a little black paint and a small paint brush. 


It turned out so cute!! I was feeling pretty confident after making the watermelon mat that I figured I could pull off a honey bee mat as well. 


I didn't have too much sponge left after the watermelons but I was able to get two different sized hexagons out of my remaining pieces. I also doodled a bee outline on a piece of paper that I stuck to the mat with some pins and then traced with a black paint pen. When I was done tracing the bee I went over it with the black paint and a thin paint brush. Then, just like the watermelon pieces, I simply stamped the hexagons onto the mat and then went over them with a paint brush to define the shape and brighten the color. 



That's it!! It didn't take very long and I gotta say, I think they both turned out super cute. I intended these both to be gifts but it will definitely be hard to let these go. I might just have to make one (or more) for myself. Maybe one with cactus?? Or donuts??? The possibilities are endless!! 


  

04 May 2016

2016 Reading Challenge - Part II


I am love love looooving this reading challenge! The prompts are getting me out of my comfort zone and I'm discovering books and genres I never would have thought I would like. Here's where I am so far with my reading challenge. I'm right on track to finish before the end of the year.

If you need a refresher on what I'm talking about, here's the original post.


A book based on a fairy tale - Briar Rose by Jane Yolen
A National Book Award winner - Fortune Smiles: Stories by Adam Johnson
A book translated to English - The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
A book that's becoming a movie this year - Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
A book with a blue cover - Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

A YA bestseller - Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
A book set in Europe - Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs 
A political memoir - I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai 
A book from Oprah's book club - The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
A book published in 2016 - Noah's Wife by Lindsay Starck
A book from the library - Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty 


What are you reading?? Do you have any suggestions for me? 


29 April 2016

Joanna's Lemon Pie


Time for some honesty... more often than not, when I try a recipe I find online it turns into a disaster. I always follow the directions but somewhere along the way something goes awry. When I saw Joanna Gaines (yes, Fixer Upper Joanna Gaines) post a delicious Lemon Pie on Instagram, my mouth started watering and I knew I had to give it a try. You guys, not only is this pie super easy to make, it's delicious and looks very impressive.

Here's the Recipe [original post here]:

Crust Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers [I used one of those sleeves that comes in the box of graham crackers]
6 tbs butter
1/3 cup sugar

Pie Filling Ingredients:
3 cups Eagle Brand "sweetened condensed" Milk [I used two cans]
3 egg yolks
2/3 cup lemon juice [For me it came out to about 3 large lemons]
1 dash salt

Whipped Cream Ingredients:
1 small carton of heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

For Crust:
1- Combine crushed graham crackers, softened butter, and sugar. Mix well and press into greased pie dish. Bake for 8 minutes at 350.

For Pie Filling:
1- Mix condensed milk, egg yolks, lemon juice, and salt in a mixer for about 4-5 minutes on medium speed.
2- Pour into pie crust and bake for 10 minutes at 350.
3- Place pie in refrigerator for at least an hour to set.

For Whipped Cream:
1- Mix whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy and add to cooled lemon pie.


See what I mean??? It's easy and looks oh so pretty!



What's your favorite summertime dessert?? 



27 April 2016

Wore


Oh Spring, I am so happy you're here!! I tend to be pretty cold natured so I love this time of year when I can be comfortable outside in sandals and some cute layers. In reality, I have my lovely readers to thank for this outfit. See that top? You guys helped me pick it out in my last Stitch Fix post. So, thanks!!

Also, I just want to warn you. I have a feeling you'll be seeing a whole lot of those gold Salt Water Sandals over the next few months. These are definitely my go-to this year. They're comfortable, cute, and go with just about everything.




I seriously can't get over how beautiful this Angel Oak tree is!! I included it on my list of amazing things to do in Charleston.



Linking up here .  here . here . here .

26 April 2016

Folly Beach


Yesterday I talked about how much fun we had in Charleston. Well, the way we planned this trip was pretty much perfect, if I do say so myself! After a few days of sightseeing and spending time in the heart of Charleston, we packed up and drove twenty minutes down the road to spend the rest of our vacation at Folly Beach, the sweetest little beach town ever.

Now, I will mention that we were there before the actual season began, but I'm sure the charm that we found is there no matter what time of year you visit.

There are plenty of restaurants and activities but it didn't feel touristy. It had a beachy laid back vibe that was exactly what we needed for a few days before we headed back to reality. I'll be honest, I don't really have much to say about Folly Beach except you really have to experience it! We stayed at the Tides and it was the perfect place right on the beach to get some much needed R&R.



I mean, just look at these pictures! It truly is a beautiful place that I know we will visit again.

25 April 2016

5 Amazing Things to Do In Charleston


For years I've been hearing all about how amazing Charleston is and that if I ever went I probably would never want to leave. I had heard about the charm, the delicious food, and how historical it was. Well, let me just say, we had a chance to visit last week and all those things I had heard? Yeah, Charleston was so much more! If you've ever been, I'm sure you understand. If you have not had the chance to visit, I suggest doing that sometime soon. There are so many fun things to do, see, explore, and discover. I already can't wait to go back!

Here are 5 amazing things we did during our few days in Charleston:

<> Visit the Angel Oak Tree

While not located in the central hub of Charleston, the Angel Oak is worth the short drive. It's an absolutely beautiful and magnificent oak tree that really has to be witnessed in person. Pictures truly don't do it justice.




<> The Charleston Tea Plantation

The Charleston Tea Plantation is the only tea garden in North American and on a sunny spring day, touring this plantation was just beautiful! For a small price, you board a trolley and drive around the grounds while the most adorable tour guide explains the process of growing tea. It's interesting, picturesque, andddd you get to sample lots of different types of tea. That's a win-win-win if you ask me!



<> Eat

I decided to put all the amazing places we ate into one category. One of the best parts of discovering a new city is finding all the delicious places to eat! Charleston has no shortage of dining options. Thanks to some recommendations we received before our trip and some places we just happened to find, every single meal we had was memorable. These are some of my favorites:

Callie's Hot Little Biscuits -- Southern biscuits. I mean, I don't think I really have to say anything else but this was the perfect place to stop for breakfast. We also may or may not have gone back after dinner one night and enjoyed some late night biscuits!

Leon's -- This place really had it all. It had atmosphere, a killer vibe, and the food was absolutely amazing. Truthfully, I wish this was in Memphis so we could go back all the time!

Brown Dog Deli -- We spent the day wondering around Charleston and just happened to stop into the Brown Dog Deli for lunch. It's a great spot for a quick bite and it turned out to be one of my favorite meals.




<> Deep Water Vineyard

Sometimes the best activities are unplanned. While we were at the Charleston Tea Plantation, our tour guide mentioned that there was a vineyard close by. After a quick google search, we found Deep Water Vineyard and decided to go. Basically, it feels like you're hanging out in someone's backyard. Someone who just happens to have vineyard and a moonshine distillery. There were food trucks, live music, tastings, and bunnies!



<> Exploring

It's incredibly difficult to choose a favorite part of the the trip, but the part that's towards the top if my list is simply the walking around and exploring. We spent a good chunk of our trip just wandering up and down the gorgeous streets of Charleston. I love the houses, the shops, and all the history. If you visit Charleston, I highly recommend just getting lost in the beauty of the city.



After spending a few days in Charleston, we went to Folly Beach for the rest of our vacation. More on that tomorrow.


Have you ever been to Charleston?? What did you enjoy the most?