Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Halloween Craft

They have these adorable pumpkins at the Dollar Tree. I scooped up 3 of them to make a cute Halloween topiary.

First I chopped off the stem on 2 of the pumpkins to make it easier to stack.
Then I busted out the Heirloom White spray paint and gave all 3 a good coating.
My wonderful husband screwed nails into the pumpkins to stack them.
I used my cricut to cut out the vinyl letters and Halloween Decor.

And the final project...

Isn't it adorable? I think I will put it in the entryway, but still not sure of the final spot. Will post a picture of it later with the rest of my Halloween Decor.
Now run off to Dollar Tree and buy these cuties up!!

Monday, September 13, 2010


Have I ever told you how much I love fall decorations?? Well I do...like really!

Today I started with a few bins of my fall decor for inside the house. It prompted me to do an entire deep clean of the house too, which made my husband very happy.
I love the harvest decor for several reasons, the first because the entire house starts to smell like cinnamon. The second because I don't have many holiday decorations for the summer, so this transforms the house from a boring, every-day house into a festive Fall house!
Lastly, I love decorating for Fall because from now until February, my house is filled with coordinating holiday decor (Halloween is my absolute favorite). Doesn't it put you in a good mood to see all the decorations?
Here is what my mantle looks like everyday (booooring....)

And here's after I attacked it with fall stuff:

And now the glass table in the foyer..

I took the cloche from here (that I made from a GW cheese dome and candlestick) to display my ceramic pumpkin. Isn't it cute?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Snap Shot Saturday

I have got to get better at keeping up with this blog!! Do you ever feel like the day just passes so quickly and nothing was crossed off your to-do list?? I am feeling like that a lot lately since I have started my photography business. Any free time I did have, is now dedicated to editing client pictures. I love love love it, but it is still a learning process. Hopefully the more I practice, the less time it will take to edit.

So on to a favorite photo from the week. Here is the original straight from my Nikon D60:

First I edited the eyes to make them "pop" more and then I made the mosquito bites disappear (if only I could do that in real life). Then I cropped the picture to get this...

Brightening the eyes is just a little technique that really adds a nice touch to the picture!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Entertainment Facelift

As the end of the summer quickly approaches, I figured I would feature one of my husband's projects. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law recently purchased a new television. They already had a very nice entertainment system, but with a bigger tv it just wouldn't work. So, they purchased a tv cabinet in the discounted section at a furniture store to match the existing towers- regular $400 marked down to $50. Then they enlisted my husband to build a new "bridge" between the towers.

This is the before. The cabinet the tv is sitting on was $50.

This is the after. Isn't is perfect? My sister wanted something where she could still decorate above!

It only took my husband and brother-in-law a few hours to build and it gave the whole entertainment system a new look!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Snap Shot Saturday

Today is SnapShot Saturday and I'd like to share with you one of my favorite pictures ever.

I love this picture for many reasons, but mainly because when you see it you immediately know that soft, kissable, chubby feeling of a 3 month old!! It makes my heart melt every time I look at this picture.

Here is the original raw picture from my camera.

And again.. the after!

What do you think??

Grab my button and share some photos!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hobby Lobby Love

So a few weeks ago, in between Vacation Bible School, making shirts for the charity walk, and starting up my photography business, I managed a little bargain shopping at Hobby Lobby.
Boy, do I love their bargains!! I found quite a few things, but here's my favorite.

This adorable tin sign was down 80% to $3.76.

I decided the perfect spot to put it was under my cabinet in the kitchen.

What do you think?
What have treasures have you came across lately??

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sneak Peek Into my life

I find that it is a lot harder to keep up posts during the summer. Between the nice weather, and later bed times, my "ME" time barely exists. So, I thought I would give you a sneak peek into the life of Tristen.

Fourth of July:

I made these delicious cake balls for our first annual Neighborhood Cookout.
The recipe is super easy-->
1 cake mix
1 can of frosting
Vanilla Almond Bark

First you back the cake as directed on the box in a 13 X 9 pan. Let cool 5 min.
Take the entire cake out of the pan and put in a mixing bowl with the entire can of frosting.
Mix together to make it mushy.
Form into 1 1/2 inch balls. Refrigerate 1 hr.
Melt Almond Bark per package.
Dip balls in to coat. Then decorate if you wish. Let cool before serving!!

This time I made strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting. It was a huge hit!!

Last month, my friends and I participated in a walk for the Kidney Foundation in honor of our friend's son, who was born with kidney failure. I wanted to do something to help, so I volunteered to make the team shirts. They were really easy to make and you can see how here.
Our team name was "Evan's Angels".

I just love the angel wings on the back of the shirt. It was so amazing and emotional to see the sea of blue shirts with wings walking for this little guy!! He definitely has a lot of love surrounding him.

Another new thing that I have been trying to keep up with, is a craft day once a week with my girls. Here is one of their favorites...FINGER PAINTING!!

Presley rubbed it all over her hands like lotion and Maddy said "You look like an Avatar!"

This is right before Presley decided to rub the blue paint all over her belly. Madysen was concentrating too hard to look at the camera. Even though craft time usually involves a lot of clean up on my part, the girls LOVE it. It breaks the monotony of the day and helps them expand their level of creativity.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Snap Shot Saturday

With the recent start-up of my photography business, I decided to dedicate Saturdays as my photography day! So on this day I will share a favorite photo, or technique and invite all of you to do the same!

My favorite shot this week is of my daughter Madysen. She has grown into the stage where she doesn't want her picture take (makes me CRAZY), so to get a good shot of her is pretty rare.

Here is the original shot:

And after a little Photoshop magic:

I really love this one in black and white because it softens the face to create that true innocence and beauty of a child.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Vinyl Love

Hello, my name is Tristen and I'm addicted to vinyl!
There, I did it-- I admitted it.

I also must admit that I'm a sucker for monograms too. I mean how many S's can I have in one house?? With such a busy week for us, I was still able to complete a project off of my "To-Do" list. I have been wanting to do this for awhile.

Remember this adorable mirror I scored on sale at Kirkland's? Well, I love it on my mantel and use it display my holiday decor. But, when we are between holidays, it looks a tad bare. So, I didn't want this beauty to be naked any longer.

Enter my addiction to monograms!

What do you think? I cut it out using my Cricut and black vinyl. The font is from the Elegant Cakes cartridge!

Monday, June 7, 2010

New treasures = new projects

This past weekend was our town's annual garage sales. I absolutely love having a garage sale and watching people buy your old stuff. It's funny, every year I am surprised by the true "junk" that sells first! The stuff I would think is a true treasure, ends up being packed away for the next garage sale!

Either way, as always, I sold a lot of our stuff, but I also acquired some more from scouting out the sales with my sis-in-law and mom-in-law.
Check out the awesome things I bought:

This adorable accent table for $3. Stay tuned for the transformation.

These gorgeous urns were only $2.50 each. I absolutely LOVE them and now am trying to find the perfect spot for them.

Now this cute, little desk for my daughter was only $.50!!!! Can you believe it? I even asked the lady, "Are you sure you only want $.50 for this?" So this was by far my best steal of the day.

Keep checking back to see what I do with all my new treasures!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

April Showers bring May Flowers

FINALLY, I am done with transforming the front flower bed. At least, for now I am satisfied. Sadly, it took a bit longer than expected, but I love the outcome. I have to admit that I am a bit picky, so when I have an idea in my head, I can't stop until I have it exactly that way. So, that explains the delay!
Here is a before picture from last year:

It is such a big space and I tried to make the best of it but was never happy with it.
So this year, my project was to do a complete overhaul on a tight budget.

I was fed up with the overgrown irises, so I ripped them out and added some small shrubs.
My wonderful husband and daughters bought me the fountain for Mother's Day. I added a bag of slate rock around it. Then the hubby made a berm in the front to add some dimension.

(Sorry, I had just watered).
The berm isn't total love just yet, but it's getting there!

We added landscaping edgers to keep the mulch contained better and give it a more finished look. I love the way it turned out!

I thought adding some stepping stones would be a great way to fill up some of the extra space.

For each side of my garage, I wanted huge urns, but they were soooooo incredibly expensive. So, I opted for a cheap alternative and LOVE the new planters. Someday I'll get the expensive, beautiful urns, but for now I'll love my affordable, plastic planters!

So again for the before:

And the after:

Now I'm looking forward to painting our front door. Any suggestions on a color? I was originally wanting black, but now I'm not too sure.

Monday, May 10, 2010

My Mother's Day

Mother's Day is such a fun day to celebrate all the wonderful mother's out there. It's a day to pamper, spoil, and appreciate moms. I love this day because it reminds me what an honor it is to be a mother and how I'm blessed with such a great family.

This year my oldest daughter was able to really understand the day. In her class at the library the teacher had all the kids make little baskets for their moms decorated with stickers. Then, they each planted lettuce in a pot and gave it to us at the end of class. It was by far, the sweetest thing EVER!!!
All week my husband told Madysen that Mother's day was coming and that she had to be extra nice to mommy. It was so cute. He used our new Flip video camera (total love) to get a video of the girls wishing me a Happy day and posted it to my computer in the morning. The best was that he let me sleep in -undisturbed until whenever I decided to wake up. It was AMAZING!!!! And my big present was a water fountain for the front flower bed of our house. All in all, it was a great weekend and I was truly spoiled to the core with love and kisses!!

I hope all the mothers out there were able to enjoy their day however they wished! Anyone can carry a child for 9 months, but it takes a special heart to be a mom. It's not always easy, some days are frustrating and difficult, but it is the MOST rewarding job ever created.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Flirting with Organic

Since watching the documentary "Food Inc." I have started to make conscious efforts in changing the Smith Family's food habits. Part of that change has also included finding alternatives for all the chemicals I use everyday to clean. I have been in search of an All Purpose cleaner to use in the kitchen that actually works. I have tried other Organic products with disappointment, but I came across this in the clearance bin.

Introducing my new love :

Drum roll please.......

Seventh Generation All Purpose Cleaner!!
It was on clearance, so I figured I was wasting $1.98, but I had to give it a try. Had I discriminated against this just because it was thrown in the "not cool" bin, I would have missed out. I should have known better than to judge...

This stuff actually WORKS. Tonight while cooking, I made my usual mess on the stove. After dinner I decided to play with the girls instead of clean up right away. So, needless to say the grease had become one with my stove. I sprayed a bit of this on it, walked over to the sink to get a sponge.. and poof.. GONE!! No lie...
You must try this out..
The best part is that it is safe for the kiddies and pets. It's non toxic and biodegradable.
What could be better?? Good for the environment and it WORKS!!

I highly recommend watching Food Inc. too for all those that haven't seen it yet. It is very informative about our Nation's food system. I promise you...it'll make you think next time you are in the grocery store!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Baby Shower gift

Aren't baby shower gifts so fun??
My friend is having a baby girl soon, and for her shower gift I really wanted to make something different. So, I decided to make her a bow holder for the nursery to organize all the tiny hair bows.
I know these are all over blogland, but they are so adorable and easy to make! We all know one of the best parts about having girls is all the adorable bows to decorate their hair...what a perfect way to add to your nursery decor while organizing at the same time.

I also had the privilege of shooting her maternity pictures, so I thought a collage would be a cute personal touch.

Add some pink dresses, put it all in a cute pink basket, tie up with some pink ribbon and attach a cutesy girl poem and you have the perfect baby shower gift.

A girl can never have too much pink.