Friday Wrap: Show & Tell

Y’all, this has been a crafty kind of week. You know the kind where the tips of your fingers are caked in glue and your kitchen table is a forest of ribbon strands and paper scraps? It’s my personal little heaven.

I haven’t stopped long enough to blog about it all, but I plan to give you a sneak peek today (like foreshadowing) and I’ll go into more details in some upcoming posts.

So, as always on these cheer-filled Fridays, here are a few highlights of the week…

{ONE} Corsages by Kate

Remember how I told you my son recently turned 13? Well, he hit the teenage ground running. He has not only seen every PG-13 movie he can get his hands on, but also asked a girl to his first school dance!! Precious.

He agreed it would be a nice gesture to give his date a corsage. Friends, have you seen the prices on corsages lately?! The basic is $30 a pop. For a middle school dance, that feels a bit much. In my usual “I can totally make one myself” approach, I googled how to make one myself.

Next thing you know, and less than $6 a piece later (thanks to greens from the garden), I made not just one, but three wrist corsages for Evan and his friends to give to their sweet dates. Look how they turned out! (Brandon thinks I should make a business out of this.) Lol!

DIY corsages

The arrangement in the lower right was a little treat for myself. The garden roses began blooming this week, so I snipped the first bloom and tucked it in an antique vase from my mom – along with sprigs of flowering thyme and velvety Lamb’s Ear.

{TWO} Lemon Balm & Lavender Bath Sachets

While I was putzing in the garden – and looking for things to stick in corsages – I harvested a few lemon balm leaves and lavender. I read somewhere this makes an awesome bath soak, so I thought, “What the heck?”

I have a stash of organza jewelry bags that I use to store my earrings and delicate necklaces. Turns out, they also make great sachets. I filled the bag with my garden goodies and dropped it into a hot bath. I also added some Epsom salts, which is an awesome way to get your Magnesium, btw. Anyway, it smelled like sweet lemonade and was perfectly relaxing after a long day.


{THREE} Nail Polish FOTD (flavor of the day)

While we’re on the topic of treat-yo-self… After I removed all of the craft glue from my fingers and had a nice soak in the tub, I re-painted my nails with this darling color from Essie called A Splash of Grenadine. It has just the right amount of purple to pink ratio for me. Love this so much for spring!


{FOUR} Slug Traps

Okay, so here’s something to file away in the “good to know” category: the slugs are in full effect! I have a ton of pansies blooming in the front garden at the moment, and many of them started showing signs of stress this week. You can see slug-nibbles all around the edges. #notcool


Poor pansy!

I’m not about to let a slew of slimy bugs who “got no shell over here, baby” ruin my garden. I posted some tips awhile ago, and I’m going with the beer trap method. I used the good stuff, too, because I’m like, “One sip for you, one sip for me.”

I whipped up several of these traps and tucked them all throughout the garden. Let’s hope and pray this works.

beer traps for slugs

Notice the darling little mushrooms next to the terra cotta saucer of beer? I’m using those in the fairy garden I’m making. More on that project next week. Eeep!!

{FIVE} Yay for Arbor Day!

My PSA for the day is to go plant a tree, if you can! Today is National Arbor Day. Now, it seems some areas also celebrate this holiday at different times. You can check this handy map to see when it falls in your area. Either way, today is a good day to breathe fresh air and thank our lovely trees.

Have a weekend to remember, my sweet friends!




The Diary of a Real Housewife



Friday Wrap: More Doing

fridayHappy Friday, friends! We made it through another week. As I was reflecting on what to share today, I decided to think in terms of verbs instead of nouns or things. It’s a subtle shift, but it challenged me to focus on what I did that was meaningful, exciting, restful, or interesting.

Here are a few highlights…

{ONE} Celebrated with Evan


I’m happy to report Evan and his friends had a blast at his 13th birthday party. It started with a game of outdoor laser tag at Modern Mission followed by pizza at Mellow Mushroom and an ice cream cake from Cold Stone Creamery. Then it was back to the house for a backyard campout. The boys ended up putting the tent ON TOP OF the trampoline, which was an event unto itself. I’m still laughing just looking at the pic. Good times.

{TWO} Shared lovely gifts

gift card jar

Remember when I shared a few fun ways to wrap a gift card? Well, the twins were invited to a birthday party this week, and we used one of the ideas. We filled a jar with Skittles and tucked a gift card to Hobby Lobby down in the middle. Then we tied a satin ribbon around the rim and personalized the lid with a “J” for their friend Jazzy. She. Loved. It.

{THREE} Opened this book


I’ve had this book on my dresser for a few weeks now, and I finally cracked it open this week. It’s a hand-sketched journal full of prompts to get you thinking, writing, drawing, and most importantly moving along your personal journey.

The first prompt was: Name five things that make you instantly smile. A few that came to mind for me were hearing my favorite song, seeing my kids right when they get out of school, getting a bear hug from my husband, playing with my pets Rosie and Leo, and drinking coffee on my back porch where I can see the lake.

What would you have answered?

{FOUR} Exercised like I meant it

running app

With swim suit season just one-monthly calendar page away, I have a new burst of motivation to get out of my seat and onto my feet. In fact, I decided to take up running. Well, more like walking/jogging (walging). I’m not looking to enter any races. I just want to drop a few lbs and have more energy.

I found this app called Running for Weight Loss. I started using it yesterday, and you can see my map on the right. I trucked along and finished a 2.60 mile loop. (I mean business!) What I like about the app is that it guides you through intervals of walking and running, which is apparently the way to burn more calories. The app also has a great selection of music to listen to while you workout. Wish me luck as I continue!

{FIVE} Planted some culinary herbs


We’ve had gorgeous weather, so I’ve been in the garden as much as humanly possible. One of my projects was planting an herb garden. In the picture above you can see I added dill, lemon thyme and oregano to the mix. I can’t wait for them to get a little bigger so I can snip and get cookin’.

I believe today is Earth Day, so it would be the perfect time to get back out there and plant more goodies, recycle trash, use less water, or do any of these incredibly helpful acts.

Here’s to a lot more “doing”!!




The Diary of a Real Housewife



Friday Wrap: Teen Birthday

The big news around our house is that my son turned 13 this week. How the heck did that happen so fast? I promise not to get too sappy, but it’s hard not to feel a twinge of nostalgia and a longing for my sweet little boy to be, well, little again.

I have always loved this picture. Evan was about a month old and was chillin' in his swing on the back porch. The sun was setting, which made a halo on his fuzzy head, and his hands were folded in "prayer" like an angel. For the most part, he still is! ;)

I have always loved this picture. Evan was about a month old and was chillin’ in his swing on the back porch. The sun was setting, which made a halo on his fuzzy head, and his hands were folded in “prayer” like an angel. For the most part, he still is! 😉

This is Evan today. He loves soccer, which is why he's wearing the US men's national team soccer jersey.

This is Evan today. (He loves soccer, btw, which is why he’s wearing the US men’s national soccer team jersey in his school pic.)

As my first child, Evan’s birth day changed my life forever. I became Mom. And like all other moms who were created before me, I experienced a level of love, joy and fear I never thought possible.

happiest day

{My forever message to sweet E.}

Now that I have a child who is officially old enough to see a PG-13 movie, not only do I feel old and wonder if I’ve outgrown headbands, but also feel unsure about what to buy for his big day. (His party is tomorrow!)

He wanted to update his room, so we bought a handsome new comforter and rearranged his furniture. Other than that, he just wanted gift cards or cash. Sigh. At the very least I will wrap those gift cards like nobody’s business. It’s a celebration, and there will be things to rip open. With that said…

Here are five ideas I’ve gathered for making gift cards and cash an exciting thing to behold.

{ONE} Glitter Balloons

I love the fact that someone has to pop this balloon in order to retrieve their gift. I imagine money would be easier to stick into a deflated balloon than a gift card. This balloon has been painted with glue and dipped in glitter after inflation, which is super cool.

{TWO} A Hidden Gem

There’s more to this jar of M&Ms than meets the eye. There’s a gift card hidden down in the center of this chocolately goodness. The original idea says to include a poem and give this to a teacher, which is a darling idea that I might also have to do. For a birthday treat, you could wrap the jar with tons of curly ribbon and tuck it into a gift bag.

{THREE} Personal Touch

Wouldn’t this be a sweet gift idea from a sibling? I might have Avery & Clara pose for a picture with their hands out to their sides (like the one on the right) and then tape a gift card on top. I would then put this in a small gift bag, so there would be some “opening” to do.

{FOUR} Paper Tube Money Holder

This idea gets two thumbs up because 1) it recycles a toilet paper tube and 2) it’s easy and cute – which could actually qualify as three thumbs if I had them. I’m thinking it would be easier to fold money into the center of this packaging, since the tube is a tad smaller than a gift card.

{FIVE} Creative Money Card

This is another creative way to give cash. Roll some bills into the shape of birthday candles, and put string through the center as the “wick”. Then tie them all to a card. Voila!

Now that I have Evan’s gift figured out (with plenty of ideas on how to wrap it), and all of the party supplies are purchased and ready to roll, I can sit back and remember with a full heart, the moment I met my son…

on the night you were born

Happy birthday, Evan. Momma loves you to the moon and back.



The Diary of a Real Housewife



Cute Ways to Organize Pet Stuff

According to some calendars, today is National Pet Day. I’ll take any excuse to talk about my furry babies. If you’re a pet owner, I’m sure you feel the same way. So take this as an open invitation to share your pictures and stories with me. (I LOVE pet pics!)

Here are a couple of my faves of Rosie, our bunny, and Leo, our mini Goldendoodle. I promise I’ll get to the cute organizational tips here in a sec.

rosie at the office

Rosie was helping me with my writing one a rainy day. It was also right after Leo was neutered, so he had a cone on his head. That meant Rosie was free to roam our home. #happybunny

Leo with treats

This was taken after Leo passed his puppy training class. Note the treats sitting on his paws. He’s showing off his “wait” command. #goodpuppy

Okay, now for some ideas on how to organize all of the food, leashes, toys, treats and other pet-loving accoutrements we’ve collected…

Note: while most of these look like ideas for dogs, they could easily be adopted for cats – or bunnies!

grandinroad pet bin

This adorable piece of furniture holds food, bowls and a basket for toys. I also love the leash hook on the side. You can find this at Grandin Road for $300.

pullout food bowls

How clever is this? It’s a built-in drawer that pulls out to feed your pets. The cabinet directly above could hold bags of food and other supplies. If you have space in your kitchen or laundry room, this would be an awesome addition.

food station from desk

If you don’t have the space (or don’t want the commitment of a built-in) you could take an old dresser and turn it into a feeding station. You could also attach a hook on the side for leashes, like the first option!

pet bed plus organizer

What a great way to organize your pet supplies in an entryway or mudroom – and it even makes room for your best bud. This piece is from Pottery Barn for $400.


Speaking of making room, check out this hideaway that sits inside of a cabinet. The door slides up and reveals a cozy nook for naps. And I love the giant baskets on the right for storage.

cupboard for pets

This has DIY written all over it. It’s just an old armoire that has been given a fresh coat of paint and a few hooks on the inside of the doors to organize all-things pet.

hanging organizer

If you don’t have space for a large piece of furniture, this is a handy over-the-door organizer for about $50 that you could hang in a laundry room, mudroom or the inside of a utility closet.

leash holder

If you just want to create a smart little “walking station” by the door, this is would be an easy project to try. It uses a wipe container for waste bags, and it’s attached to a piece of wood – along with a few hooks for leashes.

Those are just a few ideas I thought were simple, darling or just dang smart. Let me know how you organize all of your pet supplies! In the meantime, go love on those furry friends of yours. Today is an extra special day for them, you know!




Friday Wrap: Diggin’ the Dirt

katie daisy

{In case you haven’t noticed, I adore Katie Daisy designs.}

We’ve had sunny days with 60-degree temps this week, which means this girl has been totally diggin’ the dirt. It also means this week’s Friday wrap is all about gardening in some form or fashion.

Here are a five faves from the week that fell into the “must share” category.

{ONE} Feeding the Hummingbirds

hummingbird feeder

My glass hummingbird feeder somehow cracked over the winter, so I knew the day was coming that I’d need to replace it. I found this darling mason jar feeder at Lowe’s. It was the only one on the shelf, but you can get them here. Once I got it home, I boiled up some of this sweet nectar, filled the jar and then hung it in the garden with care. Now we wait for those magical birds to appear. <3

{TWO} Repelling Bugs – Naturally

bug repellant

I love a good natural remedy when I can find one – especially if it enables me to keep Deet off of my skin. Remember the time I posted this recipe for homemade bug spray? Well, I found essentially the same thing in the Handmade Market here in Fayetteville. I went ahead and bought some of this, since it was already brewed and bottled. And I’m stocking up on it now, because I have a feeling we’re in for a bugpocalypse this year. We had such a mild winter, the bugs didn’t freeze. #winterthatneverwas

{THREE} A Bee & Bug House

bee and bug house

Okay, so not all bugs are bad. The girls are in a garden club at school, and when I spotted this interesting-looking house near their project garden, I asked Avery what it was. She had all of the details. “Each of the spots attract different kinds of friendly bugs that are helpers in the garden – like ladybugs. They go in the smaller hole, and things like bees go in the bigger holes.” Very cool, and P.S. someone was listening at school.

Speaking of friendly bugs and bees, I spotted this sweet bumble in Mimi’s garden yesterday. He’s so fluffy!!


He was so busy drinking from all of the flowers he didn’t even care that I was this close.

{FOUR} Fresh Veggies

fresh carrots fresh lettuce

While I was in Mimi’s garden yesterday, we pulled up a handful of carrots and snipped some fresh lettuce. Oh, so yummy! It made for such a delicious lunch. I actually didn’t intend to hop right into her garden and bunny-nibble through all of the produce. The real reason for my visit was to gather some Black-eyed Susans for my front garden. Mimi offered to share some of her spouts, and I left with three boxes full of plants. Such a happy day all around.

{FIVE} Garden Hands

hand cream

The only real “side effect” of gardening (other than a few bug bites, potential sunburns, and gardening elbow – which is a thing, but we still love gardening anyway!!) is the dirty hands. I use a natural nail brush to scrub the dirt away and then treat my skin to some luxury hand cream.

While I was in the Handmade Market getting the natural bug spray, I found this “perfectly perfect hand creme” made in London. The girl in the store said it reminded her of a spring day. I completely agree. And I’m a sucker for good marketing.

That’s a wrap! Here’s to a fantastic weekend, my friends. If you need me, I may be back in the garden – or at the garden store…

garden happiness




The Diary of a Real Housewife



Five April Fool’s Pranks to Pull Right Now!

How perfect that a ‘holiday’ like April Fool’s falls on a Friday this year. It’s already a day we feel relaxed, silly and excited for the next two days ahead. With that said, here are some of my favorite pranks that are easy – and harmless. So let’s get started…

{ONE} Fruit Punch, Anyone?

jello prank

These drinks are made with Jello, so they’re impossible to sip, but guaranteed to surprise!! You could totally make these for dinner. Insert a straw right after you pour the Jello mix into the glasses and let them cool in the refrigerator until it’s time to serve.   {source}

{TWO} Air Horn Surprise

air horn wall protector

When you duct tape an air horn to a wall, you’re sure to give someone a giant surprise when they walk in the room. This would be funny in a bathroom or office. Air horns are usually in the Sports & Outdoors section of stores like Walmart.  {source}

{THREE} iPhone Cat Apps

cat apps

Turn all of the app icons on your friend’s iPhone to crazy cat faces! This would require some logistics getting your friend or co-worker’s phone, but it would be worth the laugh. This is the link to make it happen.

{FOUR} Shadow Bugs

bug in lamp

This would be an easy way to freak out anyone who turns on the lamp!! Cut out the shape of a very large, creepy bug and tape it to the inside of your shade. {source}

{FIVE} Googly Eyes for the Win

googly eyes

Add self-adhesive googly eyes to everything – and I mean everything. Lol! {source}

lunchbox prank

This would make the perfect lunchbox prank. {source}

Enjoy the day indulging your inner prankster!




The Diary of a Real Housewife