Happy Easter Banner {Updated}

I just love a white fireplace mantle, but sadly, when I first created this Easter Banner, ours was not a gleaming white focal point, but a 90's medium stained brown box that sat atop A LOT of dark red brick.

Yikes!  For a lot of reasons, yikes!

So I thought that I would give you a new look at this cute Easter banner.

So much prettier, right?

The original tutorial is here on the website.

The banner was made from cardstock (that I painted with craft paint to get the colors I wanted) and scrapbook papers (the cute pastel circles) that were sewn together on the sewing machine.  Then I attached it to the mantle with regular tape.  

If you are thinking that the 'S' in Easter looks upside down, you are correct; a fact I didn't notice until the second year we had it hanging.  Stay humble folks, no one is perfect!
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The Best {Little} Azaleas in Houston

You know those people that post thousands of pictures of their cat as though you care about their cat?  I apologize in advance, but today I am that person.  But I have a strong dislike of cats (you know the whole life-threatening allergy thing), and so today, dear reader, I give you azaleas.  I know you care far more about what is for snack than about my flower beds, but having azalea beds has been a dream of mine since I read my first Southern Living, so your going to have to smile and nod here for a second.

If you are familiar with Southeast Texas, you know that these are shrimpy little baby azalea plants, but they have survived a couple of drought summers and freezing winters in their early years, and now they are a-bloomin'!

...in the morning sunlight.

And be honest, a little pretty never ruined your day.
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St. Patrick's Day Banner

It all started on Pinterest (as it always does), when I pinned this little St. Patrick's Day flag to my Holidays board.  I am a sucker for anything from Pottery Barn, but I thought I might be able to recreate this little flag, instead of spending a gajillion dollars $40.

Original Pottery Barn Version
So I grabbed the extra burlap (I know you have it lying around, too.), the Irish-ist craft paint I had in my stash, and spent way too long trying to trace the image of the Pottery Barn shamrock off my computer in a size that would be useable.  Don't worry, I will give you the template so your daughter doesn't have to remind you that "Pencils are for paper, not the computer, Momma!"

I cut out the template, traced it onto the burlap and painted in the image.  I hand-lettered the "Happy St. Partick's" since there was no way to quickly and easily transfer lettering onto the burlap.  I used the Sharpie first, and then traced over it with my thinnest paint brush.

Once the paint dried, I grabbed a piece of spare wood sitting in the garage.  I was clearly going for fancy, but you can use a dowel, or anything that seems about the right size.  I wrapped the burlap around the wood and stapled it with a staple gun (small hand-held one), and stapled on some cotton twine to hang it.  Pretty simple.

After all was said and done, I have to say that I like it.  It was a momma & three-year-old daughter/artist craft project, so of course there were a couple accidental green paint blobs outside the shamrock that I not-so-sneakily tried to cover with tan paint.  But mistakes are memories, right?  

You are pretending that you don't see those two huge tan blotches aren't you.
See, that's why we are friends.
As promised, here is the Shamrock template, so that you can make your own banner, and wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Roll over the image and click on the arrow square in the upper right corner to see it larger and print it.

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My Favorite Little Girl's Nursery

As we are nearing the big first birthday for our sweet boy, I keep thinking about how much has changed in the last year.  Just a year ago, Court was in the nursery; in the crib.  Nathan wasn't here.  I was huge.  It seems so foreign to me, and yet is was only one year ago.

So when nostalgia strikes, I do what any weepy mom does when she realizes her babies are growing up, I scanned through hundreds (if not thousands) of baby photos while pounding animal crackers (well, the Girl Scout cookies haven't been delivered yet, and slide shows need snacks.  Don't judge.).

I also realized that I never showed you Court's nursery.  It is no longer hers.  She is now a big girl, occupying the big girl bed, in her big girl room.  But the pictures are still here as evidence that she was, in fact, once my tiny little bundle.

The sign above the bookshelf: "I want to help you to grow as beautiful as God meant you
to be when he thought of you first." -George MacDonald.

I added trim to plain white curtains to match the crib skirt I made.
The bookshelf was a hand-painted shower gift.

'Little Poet' sign painted by a friend.  Court's middle name means little poet.

A lamp I had in my room as a child.

A rocking chair I have had for a decade.  Spent hundreds of hours there in the last three years.

The twigs were from the gorgeous tree that used to stand outside her window.  The letters are fabric on wooden blocks.

Hand-cut butterflies above the crib.

I'll post new pictures of the nursery and her big girl room soon.

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5 Great Winter Books for Kiddos

The holidays are the coziest time of year, and nothing goes better with all that hot chocolate and cuddling under blankets than a few good winter stories.  We all know the classics, but here are a couple newer ones that we love to read when the temperature dips down.*

*Temps dipping down is a relative term here in Southeast Texas, where anything below 50° calls for scarves, boots, and soup for dinner.
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