Window Treatments for $10 {Tutorial}

Up to this point I haven't done any window treatments in my house.  I figured we'd move out and wouldn't be able to use them, plus window treatments can be pricey!

However, for the nursery, I thought I might be able to scrounge up some window treatments on a budget.  And I did!  I only spent $10 total, including fabric.

I did two windows, this size and one double this width (I only pictured this one because the lighting coming through the other window was too hard to photograph during that time of day). Sorry the photo isn't cuter, but I don't want to picture any of the other parts of the nursery yet, it isn't ready for it's reveal!

These curtains only took me a couple hours from start to finish, including purchasing supplies.  I found the fabric at SAS in Tempe, where they sell remnants of fabric at discounted rates.  I spent less than $5 on the fabric, which was a steal!  It ended up being a great color, and is a popular print that will match the nursery "nautical" theme very well!

Then I headed to Home Depot and got an 8 foot board and had them cut it to size for me.  Between both my windows, I was just under 8 feet for the total width.  I also added on an extra 2 inches to each window, allowing myself an extra inch on each side when they were hung.  Home Depot folks are super helpful (it also helps that I stick out like a sore thumb there...especially with my pregnant belly!), they'll cut anything for you that's bigger than 12 inches.  Take advangtage!  The board cost a total $2.34.

After purchasing these things, I cut my fabric to size, and hemmed under the bottom. 

Then, I stapled the fabric around the board once, going halfway down the board and pulling tight. 

I flipped and did this two more times, to get the exact desired length (I would hold it up to the window to see if I thought it needed to be shortened a few inches, which I did). 

To do the ends, I folded the side similar to a present.  It's easier just to look at the pictures:

Now they are ready to be hung! 
Brett and I went to Home Depot again, and he found some metal framework pieces called rigid tie brackets, that are often used for building things by keeping joints together.  But he thought they would work great, and they were just 75 cents each!  We needed 4. 

He drilled them to the wall.  And at first we thought we would place the curtain in it like a hook, and then nail it, but once we placed it, it felt plenty secure, that we never nailed it down.  But you could if you wanted to. 

And there you go!  Window treatments on a budget!  They really add color and texture to the room.

The Nursery Furniture: A $20 Deal

Well, Brett and I have been working on getting a vision for this nursery.  We live in an adorable small house that is probably around 70 years old, but it's only two bedrooms and they are both teeny tiny.  It's caused a dilemma seeing how we have no place for my "craft crap" and a desk for the lap top, printer, etc. if we use the extra bedroom for a nursery. 

Well, we've been doing some organizing and rearranging and it's looking like we might manage to have a nursery afterall, yipee!  So we've been scouring Craigslist (my mom sends me ideas from Craigslist daily, it's awesome!) and thrift stores to find the perfect nursery furniture and decor...on a shoe string budget. 

It's starting to come together and making me really excited for all the pieces to be finished.  Thank goodness for my handy-man husband who is innovative and loaded with good ideas.  Just on Friday, he texted me that he had an idea for the dresser and that he'd tell me about it when he got home.  Little did I know that he had already perused the Lowe's near his work during his lunch break, for a price point check and to make sure they had it in stock!  Isn't that awesome?!  And since I'm wary of painting while pregnant, I've been helping to sand down the furniture and he's been doing most of the work. 

So just to give you a sneak peek... here is a lot of the furniture we've been working on, and I got all of this off of Craigslist for a whopping $20 total!  And if you are frightened by how awful the furniture looks in this photo, just know that they looked a million times worse up-close and in-person (yes, that was a pencil sharpener attached to the top of the small bookshelf)!  But it was a risk worth taking!  Most of the furniture pictured is made of solid wood, which is even better!  It gives me a thrill just thinking about the deal and how well it is all coming together. 

It might be a few more weeks until all of the final touches are added, but just think along the lines of some beadboard, galley molding, and some loving care--are turning these into our very own "custom" nursery furniture!

Plus, I'll have some "before" and "after" photos of another $12 dresser deal I got, to add to the mix!  And I've been finding bargains on all sorts of accessories--we are going for a "nautical" theme, using maps and sailboats for our inspiration!

Baby Boy Burp Cloths

For those of you that didn't know, I used to work at a ribbon store in college, called Ruffler's Roost, but it is also widely known as Ribbons and Lace, which is exactly what they sell! 

I love making baby girls adorable hair bows and other accessories with ribbons, and sadly you just don't have as many options when it comes to boys and ribbons.  But there are options! 

I whipped up a few burp cloths and binkie clips for our little guy, and I have to admit they are equally adorable and "boyish"!

I love finding the little buttons to go on the clip of the binkie clips, especially the tractor one that says "Save a Horse, Ride a Tractor".  Too cute!  If you don't know how the binkie clips work, there is a clip on one end and a velcro loop on the other that you can secure a binkie through.  Clip it to the baby's shirt, and if it gets spit out, it's never far or on the ground. 

The burp cloths are just cloth diapers that have the strips of ribbon sewn on the bottom.  It is a bit tricky to get the ribbon perfectly straight, even with pinning.  I am getting better but I can't lie, it bugs me when I notice they aren't perfect.  But I guess no one will look as closely at them as I will!  And they are "handmade" so perfection is usually impossible!

And of course, I also have to share a girlie one I whipped up for a friend...
That's a binkie clip, burp cloth, and bow all tied together.

Now aren't those fun?  That is one thing you can do with ribbon for a baby boy! 

Anniversary Weekend

Brett and I just celebrated our anniversary weekend.  It happened to be the culmination of our first year together, along with my graduation from ASU, and Mother's Day!  So we decided to make a quick get-away and go on a "stay-cation" at a resort in Scottsdale.  We had a great time!  And seeing how it is "off season" time for the resorts here in the valley, you can score some really good deals! 

We started off the celebration with dinner at Cheesecake Factory (thank you Aunt Kaye for the gift card!). We spent the rest of the evening relaxing, talking, and of course...indulging in some sweet treats--chocolate covered strawberries and some bubbly!

It was nice to have an evening away from "regular" life and have time to reconnect and relax together. 
Brett has been an incredible support to me and has loved me unconditionally.  He makes me laugh often, he works so hard, and he listens to me when I need a sounding board.  I can't imagine where I'd be without him, I am the luckiest girl to be married to him!
One year down...Eternity to go!

A Baby Bump and a Flower

Mother's Day has new meaning this year, seeing how I feel little kicks and squirms in my stomach daily, from our adorable baby boy on the way! 

But I have to admit, I've always loved Mother's Day, even as a young girl.  That's because my dad (and, made sure that every year on that special day, all the girls and women in our family had a corsage--including me!  I can't remember how old I was when this tradition was started, but I was young, probably around 6 or 7 years old.  My sisters and I, along with our mom and grandmothers have always worn a corsage to church, and I remember how special it made me feel. 

Mother's Day
May 13, 2012 (my one year wedding anniversary!)
Wearing my Orchid Corsage
My parents taught me that motherhood and womanhood was part of my divine nature, even though I wasn't a mom yet.  That I should be respectful of that calling I had been given.  I knew early on what a special role it was and am so grateful I did at such a young age.  Even those who are not yet "moms" or have not had the chance in this life to rear children, we are all still mothers--it is our divine role. 

I remember in 4th grade, my class had to draw a picture of what each person wanted to be when they "grew up".  After we finished, they were on display in the bulletin board in the hallway leading in to the library.  I drew a picture of me as a mom!  That was always my response of what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I was instantly teased by a lot of the boys in my class, and they called me "mom" ever since.  Which I have to say, wasn't nearly as offensive to me as they probably intended.

Some might think that this is a ridiculous thing to aspire to, even at such a young age.  I think it worried some of my teachers at the time.  But I always knew it was my biggest goal.  Now here I am, I just received my degree from ASU, and I'm so glad!  Working as a Recreational Therapist has been so rewarding and I hope to continue to grow and progress in that field.  I love working on new things, learning new hobbies, developing friendships and new relationships.  But I'm sure as I look back on my life, I'll feel that being a mom was my most important (not glamorous) job, and for that I am so excited!    

So here's to the beginning of my newest and most important chapters in life!  I'm scared and worried, but I am also very excited!

Grilling Weather

For most people, the grilling season starts in the summer. 

And while we still BBQ in the summer, it isn't enjoyable to lounge outside because the heat is just awful. 

So springtime means we've been grilling up a storm around here lately!  Summer is creeping up on us, but we don't see our grilling habit stopping anytime soon.

We tried teriyaki burgers the other night...

The patty was wrapped with bacon and topped off with a piece of grilled pineapple.  They were yummy and a nice variation to try!

We also love making kabobs, with fresh produce and chicken.  We love the Rosemary Ranch Chicken recipe from The Sisters Cafe.  It is so simple, and you probably already have all the ingredients on hand!  We use the marinade for kabobs, and just regular grilled chicken.  Here's the recipe, for your grilling pleasure!
Rosemary Ranch Chicken Recipe
1/4 cup ranch dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tb Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dry rosemary
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp white vinegar
fresh ground pepper to taste

Combine marinade ingredients. 
Place meat, veggies, and marinade in Ziploc bag.
Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour. 

Told ya--so simple and so delicious!  Definitely need to try it!

I've also been into cheesecake lately (I'm starting to think it's a pregnancy craving...but let's be honest, I always have had a love for cream cheese!).  I made some lemon blueberry cheesecake bars for our picnic to the Easter Pageant.  They turned out delicious, but were so time consuming, and our house felt like a furnace after using the oven for such a long time!

So I tried this "mock" (no-bake) cheesecake in a springform pan, and it turned out fabulous!  I think this is the kind of cheesecake I will stick to during the summer months.