Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Trip to Brandywine Falls


The other day Mike, Lincoln and I went to Brandywine Falls. It’s a beautiful waterfall in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. There is a short walk down to the the falls on a boardwalk. Lincoln only did about half the walk on his own but loved watching the water.

I got to practice taking pictures of moving water and I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out. Maybe some art for the walls? I’m no pro but I finally figured out the settings for flowing water. A tripod is a must and not too much light. This location had the perfect amount of light. It’s a super popular spot for wedding pictures and we even saw the cutest couple getting theirs done.

We are really loving the Cuyahoga Valley National Park this summer. It’s so beautiful and we’ve spending as much time exploring as possible.

Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Friday, August 21, 2015

How to Update a Headboard


How to update a headboard with chalk paint

We’ve been doing a little spruce up in our upstairs bedroom. We had a headboard for years that Mike has built but were feeling like it was time for a change. We wanted to update an older piece to make it more modern. It took a little bit of scouring at our local used furniture stores to come up with some that would work. Finding a queen headboard was harder than we originally thought. We found this headboard at out new favorite furniture thrift shop for $40. It was definitely feeling very dated but it was solid and had lots of potential.

How to update a headboard with chalk paint

We started by painting it with Annie Sloane Old White Paint. We weren’t trying for an exact perfect finish but did put two coats of paint on it over two days to allow for a good drying time. I actually kind of liked it like this but Mike had bigger plans for it.

How to update a headboard with chalk paint

After the paint was dry, Mike lightly distressed it with fine grade sandpaper. He focused on the edges to give it a naturally worn look. Next, he wiped the piece down with a soft cloth to remove all the dust. To finish it off and seal in the chalk paint he went over the entire piece with Annie Sloane clear wax and then buffed it with a soft cloth.

How to update a headboard with chalk paint


How to update a headboard with chalk paint

We moved the headboard into the room and Mike screwed it into our existing metal bed frame with some large screws and washers to keep it secure to the bed.

It completely transformed the look of our room. I have to admit I was bit skeptical about how it would turn out but I really like it now. Another confession is that I am not 100% sold on the distressed look but Mike has been experimenting with it and has been having fun working with that paint technique so I don’t mind trying something new for a little while. The “farmhouse” style is so popular right now I do see ways in which I like it.

How to update a headboard with chalk paint

How to update a headboard with chalk paint

Monday, August 17, 2015

Crochet Granny Square Blanket



I actually completed a crochet project! It’s been way too long and it was really fun to get out my crochet hook again. Mike’s niece is having a baby in September and her shower was recently. I really wanted to make her a baby blanket but in my true fashion I started the project much later than I should. I had one week to be exact to get this blanket completely finished.

My first thought was to make a chevron baby blanket because that is my one my favorite patterns. The last time I made one though it took me two weeks of working my fingers to the bone and there just wasn’t enough time. I decided to go with this adorable granny square blanket from Daisy Cottage. I like it for two reasons, one I had seen it on another blog I love, Maybe Matilda and loved how it turned out. Two, it is square so I it would easy to stop when I ran out of time instead of being stuck with a strangely uneven rectangle.

This pattern turned out to be awesome since it worked up so quickly. It’s also super easy to make a granny square since it is just double crochet clusters. I opted to go with four colors to match a picture of the color scheme for the room. I ended up using Aqua in Vanna’s Choice, Navy in Vanna’s Choice, Radiant Lime in Vanna’s Choice and Pewter in Red Heart with Love. I already had the navy and grey at home so I only had to get two new colors. I could have gone with all Vanna’s Choice but I was trying to avoid buying more yarn and use some from my stash. I ended up needing one skin of navy, two of radiant lime and two of aqua and one of the grey. The grey skein was much larger than the other colors so if I had used Vanna’s choice I would have needed two.

I should have measured the size but I didn’t think about it until just now. I did have a little helper who thought this was a mighty fine “blankie” so you can kind of get an idea of how big it turned out. (He cried when I wouldn’t let him lay on the blanket when I was trying to take a picture.)


I love how this color combination turned out and since I still have quite a bit of the yarn leftover maybe it will end up as a new hat. I won’t get ahead of myself though because this was a major feat to get something crocheted with a 20 month running around. I had a slight delay in the middle of crocheting to unravel a giant knot because Lincoln still thinks playing with a skein of yarn is too much fun.




Monday, August 10, 2015

June and July Garden Blooms


So these pictures are from June through the beginning of July. I haven’t taken any new pictures since then and these have been hanging out on my computer for a month. Even though July and August are one of the most brilliant times in the garden its due to the fact that the Black Eyed Susan and Purple Coneflower blooming for so long.

June is actually a really pretty month too and there is lots going on. We had tons of rain and cooler weather so everything was super happy to be soaking up the moisture. I also loved it for the fact that I didn’t have to water for weeks, although rain all the time did get a little old.

I think the rain and cooler weather slowed down the veggie garden because my tomatoes are just now getting ripe. We’ve had some zucchini and green beans already. Lincoln loves to go in the garden and pick the vegetables. My peppers have been really slow to grow too but they are finally starting to produce tons of baby peppers.

My Asiatic lilies didn’t do very well this year. The black eyed Susan was starting to choke them out so I had to do some pulling this spring. I still got a few blooms but not as many and not as big.

Asiatic lilies

I love these long blooming Stella D’Oro day lilies. They started blooming in June and I still have a couple of blooms in August.

Stella D’Oro day lily

My royal candles or Veronica always looks so pretty when it starts blooming but by the end it’s a dried up mess. I like to remember it this way.

royal candles or Veronica

I tried out petunias this year when we found a clearance deal at Lowe’s. I have had mixed results in the past but these ones have been amazing. I think they will make an appearance next year as well.


This astilbe looks so fuzzy and is very different from the white variety that blooms in May.


My one lone hydrangea bloom. This winter was hard on the hydrangea plus we divided it last year so I wasn’t expecting too much.


Drumstick allium with coreopsis in the background.

Drumstick allium with coreopsis

A close up of the drumstick allium.

drumstick allium

My purple coneflower really took off this year. It’s much taller than ever before and has produced tons of blooms. This was the beginning of July and it’s still going strong.

purple coneflower

I saved the best for last as this is my favorite picture of the bunch and also the last one I took. This was either the first or second day of blooming for this day lily and it was really beautiful this year.

day lily

Monday, August 3, 2015

Lincoln’s 20 Month Update



This update is much belated but I figured I better get it out before Lincoln turns 21 months old. Blogging is very much taking a back seat to all our summer activities. We also have been doing some painting around the house so my nightly schedule has been looking like this: Pick Lincoln up from the sitter, play with Lincoln in the house before dinner, prepare dinner, eat dinner, play with Lincoln outside, put Lincoln to bed, paint, watch one show on tv, go to bed. Not sure where to fit in much besides that. Also our weekends are pretty much jam packed all the time.

We have been really enjoying ourselves though this summer and Lincoln would rather be outside than anywhere else. He is developing quite the tan lines. The weather has been fairly cool with lots of rain for weeks and then this past week it got really hot so we have been having fun with our hose mister and the water table. Lincoln decided the other day he should sit in the water table instead of stand and play in it. He such a little dare devil climber. He has learned to climb out of the pack and play at his sitter’s and I am dreading the moment when he figures out he can climb out of his crib. He has made a few partial attempts so I feel like the moment is coming much sooner than I would like.

The amount of words he can say has really started to increase in the past week. He is a little parrot too and Mike loves trying to get him to say stuff. He has also learned the real meaning of “no” and loves to tell us when he doesn’t want something. He has started saying some three word sentences. He knows which cars we own. “Mommy car” and “Daddy car” are frequent point outs. He also loves to talk about his friends at the sitters, his grammy, and of course his puppy Abby.

He is such a little animal lover and has developed a mild obsession with kitties. There are a couple that live in our neighborhood he loves to point out all the time. He will look for them when we go out. Of course he still loves doggies too and calls them “foo foos” his way of saying woof woof.

Something I’m not super thrilled about is his new obsession with watching tv and particularly Wild Kratts. He asks to watch it all the time now, starting in the past week or two. He actually will sit and watch for about 15 minutes but then will start playing with something else. If we try and change it though then he immediately wants it back on. He also loves watching minions and we will watch mini videos on you tube.

On a not so fun note we all got sick with the summer flu that seemed to last forever. I am very grateful that we are all better now. Having a well Lincoln is so much better than having a sick Lincoln. His appetite is back in full force and this kid continues to be an eater. He loves fruit, cheese, yogurt and crackers. He literally can not get enough. After we went shopping the other day he wanted to eat everything I brought home and ran around to all the grocery bags pulling food out and asking to have it in his cup. I really don’t know what we will do when he is a teenager. I think he will eat us out of house and home lol.


Wearing daddy’s shoes


Matching mommy


Loving some corn


Family picture at the Gorge waterfall


A little nervous at first about the fast water


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