Friday, May 31, 2013

[make] Upholstered Bench Top

I did it! I conquered my first summer DIY project, as I mentioned in this post last Sunday. I followed through: go me!

Here's what I did:

Bench top
Quilt batting
Staple gun
1 yard of fabric
Scissors (not pictured)

Lay out your batting on top of the bench top and decide how many layers of batting you would like to have as your cushion. I had enough to keep the batting folded in half, as you can see in the second picture:

Flip your bench top over and lay it upside down on top of the batting. This is how you will staple the batting into the wood:

Start stapling by pulling the batting tightly so there are no bubbles, gaps, etc. As you staple, you can cut excess batting off from around the edges. Remember, this is a bench top, so it will still need to be able to fit correctly on the bottom part of the bench!

Finagle the corners and their batting by stapling/cutting as needed. These little "nubs", for lack of a better word, keep the bench top sitting snugly on top of the bench, so make sure they are seen!

Ta-da! 1st step down.

Next up, lay your fabric over the top of the bench top, where the batting is, so you can cut it to size if needed. I trimmed about two inches off of the length, just so I wouldn't have as much fabric to pull taut while I was stapling. 

Flip the fabric/bench over. Same step as before: pull your fabric taut as you staple around the edge of the bench. This fabric has a subtle, repetitive pattern, so depending on what kind of fabric you use will depend if it needs to be aligned straight or if you can just cross your fingers and pray it turns out alright. I did the latter and it worked fine :) The fabric is slightly crooked in some places, but if you can point that out, shhhhhhh.... Don't tell anyone!

Finagle your corners again, trim, and admire your work. I'm sure there is an upholsterer (?) turning in his/her grave because my job isn't very neat or professional looking... but nobody will see this ugly side unless they lift the bench top to store things on the inside of the bench... And those people will only be myself or Nate... and we are very forgiving :)

Front side: smooth, no wrinkles, and the pattern looks pretty good!

I put the bench top back on the bench and Oliver immediately approved. What a swell guy.

Chloe wasn't too sure, so she stayed in our bed. And yes, our bed is not made. #keepingitreal

I am pretty proud of myself that I stuck with a project that I said I was going to complete in the same week! Stay tuned to see what next week's project will be... and it will be simple because I am going to Dallas next Thursday-Saturday :) So fun!

Happy Friday and happy weekend!

"Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you." Isaiah 46:4

See where I link up: Monday Made it @ 4th Grade Frolics, Blog Hop @ Naptime Review, What I Whipped Up Wednesday @ Sugar and Dots, Craft-O-Manic Monday @ Craft-O-Manic, Monday Funday @ C.R.A.F.T./Lines Across/Uncommon Designs/That's What {Che} Said/Creatively Living, Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts, Show Me What Ya Got Linky Party @ Not JUST A Housewife, {Wow Me Wednesday} @ Ginger Snap Crafts, Link Party @ Destination: Craft, The Creative Spark @ Clean & Scentsible, Before & After Party @ Thrifty Decor Chick, Weekend Wrap-Up Party @ Tatertots and Jello, What I Wore Wednesday @ The Pleated Poppy

Thursday, May 30, 2013

[love] Rescue

[photo via bloom tumblr]

Do you ever think the following: "Am I doing this right?", "Am I being genuine?", "How does 'so-and-so' have such a strong faith, do I look like that to people?"

Sometimes, the enemy, a.k.a Satan, likes to penetrate our thoughts and make us feel not good enough, not well spoken enough, not genuine enough to have the love, grace, and mercy of God. He wants us to question our hearts, minds, and spirits because that will lead us away from God.

I came across this tumblr photo (above) while on Pinterest and it immediately smacked me in the face. He RESCUED me because He delighted in me. God knows my heart: my faults, my sins, my ill attempts to make it all right even when I am still a complete sinner. But because He DELIGHTS in me, He has rescued me. He sent His Son to cover my sins and make me clean when He knew I couldn't do it myself and I couldn't do it on my own.

He knows that I will continue to mess up.

He knows that I will continue to fall.

But because of His love, mercy, and grace, when I CHOOSE to continue to follow His path, His Word, His ways, even when it seems hard, when it doesn't make sense, when it feels like I am doing it all wrong, He will RESCUE me and carry me through it all.

Jesus says in John 16:33, ""I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."" He knows this world is tough. He knows we will stumble and fall. It is our job to cling to Him even when it doesn't seem all clear, or that we are "doing it correctly", or that our heart is not in the right place. He lived in this world and knows all of the temptations and junk that can go through a person: physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally.

He RESCUED us because He delighted in us.

He RESCUED us because He delighted in us.

He RESCUED us because He delighted in us.

Beautiful, beautiful words. Thank you, Lord, for giving us these continued promises when we so often fall, fail, and question your ways for us. Forgive us, Lord, when we fail you. Please continue to draw us closer to you in all that we do so that we may glorify Your name in all that we do. Let us be a light for you in this world so others may come to know You. Thank You for Your love and for Your Son. Amen.

Happy Thursday!

""I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."" John 16:33

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

[make] BBQ Chicken and Citrus Angel Food Cake

Confession. We do not own a grill.

I know. And we call ourselves Texans...

We are actually holding out to buy a nice, substantial grill: we used to have one of those rinky dink charcoal grills until we left it outside for three years and it became rusted. Seeing as Memorial Day, a traditional day for grilling, was yesterday, Nate was not a very happy camper... to be without a grill on a grilling day left him feeling down in the cooking dumps.

Not until he found a recipe for BBQ Chicken. Baked.

We are huge fans of BBQ chicken and always wonder why we don't make it more often. It's so easy and relatively cheap. I'm not sure where he found the exact recipe, but this is what we did:

Four chicken quarters (legs and breasts are what we had, I believe)
1 bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce

Pan sear your chicken quarters. Wrap a sheet pan in foil, place your chicken quarters on the foil and generously coat with the BBQ sauce. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, taking the chicken out every 15 minutes to re-coat with BBQ sauce. Once they look nice and flavorful, and your meat thermometer says 165 degrees (the desired temperature of poultry), you're done! Finely chop cilantro and sprinkle on top.

We served with sauteed squash and pickles (both picked fresh earlier in the day by our neighbors).

Oh my, YUM, was it good!

For dessert, I whipped up a box of Angel Food cake (Duncan Hines box). However, there was a recipe on the side for Citrus Angel Food Cake with Fresh Citrus Sauce. Um, yes please. I followed the directions on the box, adding orange and lemon zest to the cake batter. The only other ingredient for boxed Angel Food cake mix is water: why have I never made it before?! It is so easy and delicious.

The sauce called for sugar, corn starch, orange juice, lemon rind (I used zest), and salt. Mix together until it gently boils. Put on top of your sliced cake... wow!!!

So, even though we didn't have a grill, our Memorial Day dinner did not disappoint. What were your Memorial Day plans? Swimming? Grilling? Do tell.

Happy Tuesday! My first "official" day of summer and I am at home with a stuffy nose. Ready to be able to breathe again, but at least my cough is gone, for the most part! It was suggested to me to not go to the doctor since I am not running a fever. Just let it run its course... but I am so impatient! So prayers for a quick recovery so I can breathe (and taste/hear) again would be greatly appreciated!

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Monday, May 27, 2013


Today, we are thankful for the heroes who have, currently are, and will serve our country to defend our rights and freedoms.

We are thankful for these heroes and are proud of all they do for us and all they sacrifice when we take so much for granted.

We thank God for these men and women and are blessed they have been called to serve in this way.

God bless you and God bless America!

[image from Jessica Marie Design]

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5

Sunday, May 26, 2013

[make] Weekly Inspiration: Upholstered Bench

Hello there, happy long weekend and happy Memorial Day! Thank you to all of the veterans, past and current, who are working to keep our families and country safe. You are a blessing from God and we thank you for your service!

Now that I am OFFICIALLY on summer break (yee-haw!), I have decided to focus on at least one project a week, unless we're on vacation or something, that I can share through the blog. I'll share the inspiration Sunday night/Monday morning and hopefully get it done by the end of the week.

This week, I plan on turning a coffee table into a upholstered bench for the foot of our bed.

We have this coffee table from Ikea:

The top comes off as a lid and the inside of the table can be storage. We plan to put it at the foot of our bed and store blankets, throw pillows, etc inside of it, OR maybe turn it into a dog bed with some hinges and handles... we'll see. For now, a bench will do. This past week, we got a new coffee table (which I'll have to share photos of later this week: it is so beautiful!) so now our old one can be turned into something maybe like this:

from here:

from here:

from here:

I plan on using quilt batting, fabric, and a staple gun :) Maybe even stain the bench or paint it? We will see! Have a great week!

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." 1 John 4:7

Thursday, May 23, 2013

[make] Two Mexican Favorites

*Sorry I've been MIA this week: I've had sinus congestion like no other this week and have been crashing as soon as I get home from work due to pressure headaches, sore throat, and nasal congestion.... UGH! Hoping to kick it soon...

Our church holds monthly luncheons following the morning worship service as a time of fellowship for our congregation. A theme is set and everyone is invited to bring a dish, potluck-style, to go with the theme. This past Sunday, we had a Mexican theme: a few members brought enchiladas, dips, beans, and rice, but we opted to go another route with two Mexican favorites... well, one is a favorite of Nate's (I don't eat it because it has beans and I don't like beans... Or olives... Or sour cream... Ha!) and the other was a Pinterest find from here.

This casserole dish uses the following:
2 lbs. ground beef
Rice (I used one package of the Taco Rice made by Fiesta Sides... I think)
Onions (1 cup)
Enchilada sauce (1 can)
Doritos Nacho Cheese chips (1 bag, depending on how much you like)
Grated cheese (There's is no such thing as too much cheese!)
(it also has beans, but I don't like beans, so feel free to add them!)

Saute the onions with the beef. After it's done cooking, combine, in a bowl, the meat, onions, rice, sauce, chips, and cheese. Put mixture in a baking dish: top with more chips and cheese. 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes! See the Pinterest link above for more details.

This is Nate's favoriteee thing. Layer refried beans, black beans, sour cream, salsa, grated cheese, olives, green onions. You can also add guacamole but we didn't have any avocados at the time. Easy peasy!

And Nate and I like to pose with our creations... Yep, we're those people.

Who loves Mexican food? Favorite dish?

Happy Thursday! TOMORROW'S THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL! 10am and it's HELLOOO SUMMER TIME! Can't believe it!

"I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul." Psalm 31:7

Monday, May 20, 2013

[make] My Favorite Go-To Dinner

There are some nights when Nate and I don't see eye-to-eye on dinner, so we will fix our own meals to fill our own cravings. Ever since I saw this recipe on Pinterest via famfriendsfood, it has become a staple for our, well- at least my, meal times. I've modified it a bit, so here is my very similar version:

 Use these ingredients...

And it's really just a matter of taste on how much you want. On this certain day, I added a bit too much olive oil, so try to limit your use of that so it doesn't get so oily. I also used two lemons this day, juiced them both and also used some zest. You can't have too much lemon! Same with Parmesan cheese. There is no such thing as too much Parmesan. A sprinkle of the seasonings, and I used one clove of garlic. Sprinkle breadcrumbs and more cheese on top after you've mixed everything with the pasta... voila!

 And P.S. do you own one of these?

Best citrus (lemon/lime) juicer of all time. And it's adorable!

Happy Monday: sorry for the late post, I crashed after school today until 7:45pm!!! Life of a teacher. I have two more "recipes", er, Pinterest finds that I copied, to share with you this week. We were cooking fools this weekend!

"Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction." 2 Timothy 4:2

Friday, May 17, 2013

[love] Featured Post

Just popping in to say that I hope everyone has had a fabulous week!

Head on over to Katie's blog at ...for Lauren and Lauren, where she is featuring my blog along with two other fabulous bloggers! Katie is one of my absolute favorite bloggers and someone who I know I would be friends with in real life if she didn't live so far away! Stop by and tell her helloooo for me!

Have a great weekend! Only FIVE MORE SCHOOL DAYS until SUMMER BREAK! I can't wait.

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." 1 Peter 2:9

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

[make] Tissue Wrapped Flower Pots

As the "pastor's wife" of our church, sometimes I take it upon myself to plan and coordinate holiday and special event functions for the church: a job I LOVE! If I could be a party planner or event coordinator, that would be my dream. job.

Anyways, for Mother's Day, I knew Nate didn't want to make a big fuss during the actual church worship service because our focus is not on our mothers at church (yes, even on Mother's Day): our focus is on Christ and worshiping Him alone and making His name famous. Nate did have a small recognition where he had all of the mothers' stand up and he gave them a small commission on raising their children. But I knew I wanted to have at least a small token from the church's behalf to wish the mama's a Happy Mother's Day! So...

Enter $1.69 potted flowers from WalMart (not the best selection, but work with what ya got)
Pink tissue paper
Pink tulle
Scrapbook paper
Computer printed card
Craft scissors

With the help of my family who was visiting for the weekend, we were able to knock out 30 of these tissue wrapped flower pots in about 30 minutes. Time flies when you're having fun!

They are so easy to create: Wrap the tissue paper around the base of the flower pot (they were plastic), use tulle to tie around the tissue paper to hold it in place and to also make a fabulous bow, add the card created with scrapbook paper and craft scissors, and ta-da! Hard to tell in this picture, but they were pretty adorable. The ladies at church were very appreciative! I had my tween bible study girls pass them out to the moms as they walked into church on Sunday.

The card created for each plant and then adhered to colorful, floral scrapbook paper as a backing.

What did you give your mom for Mother's Day? Do tell, love to see all of the fun gifts! Not that gifts matter, but you know what I mean!

Happy Tuesday!

"Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you." Deuteronomy 5:16

See where I link up: Monday Made it @ 4th Grade Frolics, Blog Hop @ Naptime Review, What I Whipped Up Wednesday @ Sugar and Dots, Craft-O-Manic Monday @ Craft-O-Manic, Monday Funday @ C.R.A.F.T./Lines Across/Uncommon Designs/That's What {Che} Said/Creatively Living, Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts, Show Me What Ya Got Linky Party @ Not JUST A Housewife, {Wow Me Wednesday} @ Ginger Snap Crafts, Link Party @ Destination: Craft, The Creative Spark @ Clean & Scentsible, Before & After Party @ Thrifty Decor Chick, Weekend Wrap-Up Party @ Tatertots and Jello, What I Wore Wednesday @ The Pleated Poppy 

Monday, May 13, 2013

[love] Happy Mother's Day!

I was so glad that my parents, brother, and sister in law were able to come visit us this weekend for Mother's Day! We had a great weekend of relaxation, eating good food, putting together a puzzle (our favorite past time as a family), assembling flower gifts for all the mom's from our church (a different post for a different day), and watching the pups play together: my brother and his wife have two dogs too, so we call all of the pups "the cousins". Yes, we're that kind of family! We gifted my mom a photo book containing photos from our last cruise vacation: she loved it!

After church, we headed to eat some yummy Mexican food and commemorated the day with a photo: love my family, so incredibly blessed by them all!

Other photos from the weekend:

Snippets of my mom's Mother's Day gift: a photo book from our cruise vacation!

Nate cuddling with our pup-niece, Bella: she has the prettiest eyelashes!

Bella and Ralf, the pup-nephew!

Getting kisses from Ralf

We love puzzles!

I hope all of you who are mothers had a fabulous day of being spoiled and pampered! You are all fabulous!

Happy Monday!

"Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her..." Proverbs 31:28