Motherhood, Uncategorized, Upcycled DIY

Thanksgiving Tradition: Gratitude Wine Corks

Thanksgiving never was my favorite holiday growing up, but as I get older I cherish that day where I can really reflect on what I am thankful for in the year passing. While pumpkin pies, turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole,  and sweet potato casserole (my fav) are all enticing…it’s that question “What are you thankful for?” that is starting to become the tradition I look forward to. It’s our 2nd year of incorporating gratitude wine corks into our Thanksgiving tradition, and I’m already thinking about what I’ll put down this year!

We’re living in an age where much of our “happiness” through the eyes of society is starting to be defined by materialistic things, although it’s refreshing to see that the reality is… most of what we’re actually grateful for has to do with: family, loved ones, good health, and job security. Taking these moments at the Thanksgiving table of looking back on the past year and remembering what we have to be thankful for is sooooo good for our soul.

Last year was Little Johnny’s 1st Thanksgiving. We decided to stay here in Florida as a family and have the traditional meal just the 3 of us. I cooked my 1st turkey EVER (definitely a milestone for me) and I still wanted to “set the table pretty” along with making all the yummy side dishes. I’m a sucker for traditions and the cutesy things we all see on Pinterest. As I was searching online I did have one goal in mind…whatever traditions we were setting for our 1st Thanksgiving as a family of 3, I wanted it to be simple. We all know that if something is too complicated or there’s too much preparation, it probably won’t happen another time. Traditions are set to be simple so that we can carry them on throughout the years.

After doing a google search on “Thanksgiving Traditions’  I came across this image of wine corks with words of gratitude written on them. I wish I knew exactly where I got the idea from, but I can’t seem to remember (#mombrain). I placed 3 wine corks (yes, Little Johnny had one too) at our table along with a permanent marker. (bonus point is that wine corks add a fun decor item to your table setting as well). After we ate I posed the question to our little family…

“What are you thankful for?”

We wrote down one thing that we were most thankful for in the passing year along with our name and date. These gratitude wine corks have been displayed in a mason jar which sits right by our kitchen window for this past year! I love looking at it because it helps me to narrow in on the right perspective on life when things get tough.

I thought this was a great opportunity to share with my readers because it’s simple, but yet meaningful…which I know you all like! So, go ahead incorporate this idea into your family’s Thanksgiving traditions (It may require you to drink some wine too ;)) . I truly wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and I hope we can all take a moment to remember life is about having the right perspective.

So, I ask you… “What are you thankful for?”

P.S. If you want to view more Thanksgiving Traditions, visit my previous post about “25 Thanksgiving Traditions“.

Wishing you well,

DIY Seasonal Decor, Upcycled DIY

DIY Friday~Distressed Pumpkins Made From Mason Jar Lids

Many people have asked me: Where do you get your inspiration from? I have three answers..

1. Pinterest

2. Craft Stores

 3. Magazines

But let’s face it…Pinterest being the absolute #1!

Even as a DIY blogger I “pin” items to boards and dream about all the creativity that is within this wonderful world of Pinterest. (I mean come on, people plan their weddings from it…so it has to be great!) I’ve come to the realization that I actually do have a “creative side” in me, but the reality is sometimes even creative people need some inspiration. I love trying fun (and easy) DIY projects that I come across. While the world of bloggers is very wide and vastly growing I always want to give credit to ones that have inspired me. I have linked below some blogs I came across that inspired me to create this beautiful mason jar lid pumpkin! The great thing about blogging is we all put our own twist to things, which I came up with a few added details myself to make the process a little easier.

Shout Out to These Blogs! 

thecountrycook.com

craftsbyamanda.com (great name too! 😉 )

Now, onto all things pumpkin! 🙂

Distressed Mason Jar Lid Pumpkin


First off, let’s talk about how easy it is to make anything related to pumpkins! The good news about these beauties is that not one of them looks the same! Every pumpkin has it’s own unique shape, lines, and distinct characteristics (hence why you probably see so many things made into pumpkins!) Mason jar lids are perfect because they have that round shape, along with allowing that “distressed”  feature to stand out. You all know how much I love the shabby chic/distressed look, so this was a perfect opportunity to go ahead and attempt just that! Plus, I found a new love of spray paint color! (Antique Gold is my new fav!)

{Supplies} 

  • 15-20 mason jar lids (the outer ring part)
  • 1 center part of the mason jar lid
  • hot glue gun
  • lace, ribbon, or string (your preference)
  • Antique Rose Gold spray paint
  • sand paper
  • two wine corks
  • optional (decorative leaves)

{Steps}

1. Start off by spray painting all the mason jar lids with the Antique Gold finish!

2. Wait about 15 minutes to let it dry and use sand paper to lightly sand off the edges to reveal the “two tone” look.

3. Grab your lace, string, or yarn and thred all the lids through

*****NOTE: Make sure all mason jar lids are aligned the same way.*****

4. Pull tight and tie a double knot.

5. Take 1 wine cork  and place it into the middle so that the lids are sitting upright.

6. Use the center part and hot glue it to the bottom so that it acts as a base.

7. Once the base is dried, flip it over and hot glue the 2nd wine cork in the middle, which will act as the “stem”.

8. Either cut the excess string/lace off OR use it as a decoration on top.

9. OPTIONAL: Add decorative leaves on top to give it a pop of color!

Here’s another video I did with a tutorial of all the steps! 

How cute are these?! You can use them all over your home AND they can easily transition into your Thankgiving decor, maybe even as a table centerpiece! I hope you all enjoyed this fun project and it inspires you to get your creative juices flowing!

Cheers to the weekend!

Wishing you well, 

~Amanda

DIY Home Decor, DIY Seasonal Decor

“Budget Friendly” Fall Inspired Coffee Table Centerpiece

Have you ever hear the statement-“When you build up your spices in the kitchen cabinet, cooking becomes easier and more cost-efficient.” Well, we can apply this same idea to crafting/DIYing! Although, it’s more like fabric pieces, gems, hot glue gun, ribbons, and the list goes one… I have built up solid “basics” of craft supplies and I thought it would be fun to use what I have and create a “fall inspired” centerpiece for my coffee table.

The Florida Morehouse family had a stay at home kind of weekend. Little Johnny came down with a cold, which he needed rest days to recuperate (although, he had all the energy in the world, just with snot hanging down his nose! haha) This led me to getting a few fun projects done around the house. (Especially all things pumpkin related!) October is my all time favorite month (it may have something to do with it being my birthday month, just saying…) To me it marks the time of year where the “seasonal activities” are embarking. 

There’s quite a bit to offer in this post, and I should probably break it up into two parts, but here’s the honest truth…I’ve tried doing that before which it’s quite hard for me to come back to it later. My motto is get it done all at once, mainly because I tend to be scattered brained where my mind gets off track to other projects. Although, it’s a great post that allows you to pick and choose different decorating techniques to incorporate in your home, especially since they’re easy and budget friendly!

You may think I’m a bit crazy with decorating while there are little hands and toys spread out around our home, but I’m a mama that like to decorate and while I realize our little guy may rearrange things, I’m totally okay with that. It’s these small decorating moments that give me that boost of excitement in life! (Along with  $2.99 mums at Aldi!)

“I have pretty areas in my home that I admire, but I also have toys spread across the floor along with a trail of snack crumbs…and I’m okay with that. It’s a season of my life that I will one day miss, but that’s not stopping me from fulfilling my love of decorating!”

Anyways, grab a hot cup of coffee and get cozy (or in our case, turn up the air conditioning and “pretend” it’s fall weather) and follow me as I take you through this tour of my “Budget Friendly” Fall Inspired Coffee Table Centerpiece.

Below you’ll find the pictures with links and detailed descriptions on how I managed to create the staging of my coffee table centerpiece.

This is an upcycled project! Here I have a tiki torch where I took out the tin and replaced it with a mason jar along with artificial flowers and a foam ball to give it more height! I love the frame of the torch and the height it gives.

Any guesses as to where I purchase this artificial plant? YES, the one and only Ikea! I have had this plant for about 4 years (and probably the only one I will ever keep “alive” this long…haha!) Here’s a great tip if you’re seeking budget friendly advice…use just a few pieces from the plant and disburse throughout your house. Seriously, no one will ever know! This picture was taken after I pulled off the pieced I needed…can you tell?! (I didn’t think so…) 😉

The above picture is a “no-sew” pumpkin that I created within 15 minutes. It was so easy and it adds great detail along with adding different textures immersed in the display. (I’m a big fan of decorating with textures if you haven’t noticed…haha) Click the link below to watch a youtube tutorial that helped me!

>>>No-Sew Pumpkin Tutorial<<<

This pumpkin is another upcycled project using mason jar lids! Stay tuned for a DIY Friday post where I’ll take you through the steps!

love decorating with books or magazines! Here’s a trick…checkout hardcover magazines from the library depending on the season you are in! It adds more color along with height to your display.

What’s your favorite “fall inspired” decor item?

Let’s get to decorating!

Wishing you well, 

~Amanda

Upcycled DIY

DIY Friday~ Upcycled Wood Frame

Not sure if it’s the release of Hearth & Hand by Magnolia that will be coming to Target soon, OR just the simple fact that I love upcycling items. (especially when they’re free) Recently I created my now favorite upcycled DIY project. Much of the inspiration came from Joanna Gaines. (gosh, I love this lady, anyone else?) I needed to find out how I could make my own wood frame wreath decor, but at a low cost (because have you gone to the store lately and seen the prices?!)

My inspiration

(source: https://www.etsy.com/market/birch_bark)

I have been on the search for rustic wooden frames (or old wood window frames), but I haven’t had any luck (mainly because I’m looking for them to either be free or at a very budget friendly cost!) A few weeks ago I was at Ace Hardware picking up primer and I spotted the paint stir sticks sitting in the corner. Here’s the great thing about stir sticks….

1. They’re FREE

2. They’re WOOD

I had this notion that somehow I could turn these into a decor project for my small home. So…I asked the cashier if I could take as many as I wanted and her response was “Of course, they’re free aren’t they!” (My kind of cashier!) 😉 I honestly didn’t know what type of project I was going to create at the moment, but I knew something great could be made out of these simple stir sticks. I saw the p o t e n t i a l.

It was the week after Hurricane Irma when our power was still out and I was getting restless. Little Johnny was napping, my house was dirty, and starting to smell, but it was impossible to clean in the FL heat…so, I decided I needed to release my tension by getting my creative juices flowing. I went outside and stared at these stir sticks for a while, then it hit me (probably because I’ve been watching Fixer Upper lately…) these sticks can be used as a frame! I pulled out my stain, wood glue, paint brush, and away I went in creating a wooden frame!

So much joy I found the moment I brought this frame inside of my house where it hung perfectly in my kitchen. I honestly felt the release of some stress flow away from me…We all have our “things” that help us to feel better and I finally have found mine. I focus so hard on these DIY projects, which for those moments, the fear, anxiety, and overall life problems seem to just drift away…

seriously gloat over this beautiful frame every morning when I drink my coffee and remind myself of that “stress free” moment I had when creating it. (I know, “it’s just a frame”, but to me it was the actual experience in making it.) If you’ve been wondering about the name of my blog (capturing life’s gifts) much of it has to do with the fact that I have finally “captured” my own personal gifts that life has to offer…one of them is pulling out my inner creativity…

Upcycled Wood Frame: Using Stir Sticks 


{Supplies}

  • 4 wood stir sticks
  • wood glue (or a hot glue gun)
  • stain
  • very accent paint color (I went with a slate blue)
  • paint brush

{Steps} 

This time I created a video that includes the steps, since it was such an easy project. If you like the video, let me know so I can plan on doing more videos on easy DIY Home Decor projects!

Thanks for following along and I hope this inspired your creativity!

Happy DIYing!

Wishing you well,

~Amanda

DIY Items for Little Ones, Upcycled DIY

Weekend Recap & Part 2 of DIY Kids’ Chalkboard Table

Sometimes you need a good Sunday outing to get yourself back into high spirits. With the passing of Hurricane Irma life has been chaotic and nerve-racking. The built up of anticipation and preparation drained everything out of us (especially me). I am thankful that we didn’t endure any significant damage as I know so many people have (continually praying for them everyday). We were without power for a few days, but that was nothing compared to what other went through.

Now we are s l o w l y  trying to get our lives back into the groove of things. This past Sunday was a much needed time to get away for a bit. Little Johnny just got over being sick and he was restless (as was I). While Big John was at work for most of the day I decided to treat Little Johnny and myself to a day out in Mount Dora, FL (the cutest little town I have yet to come across here in FL).

My intention was to attend an event held by Renninger’s Florida Twin Markets, although it ended up getting cancelled due to the damage from the hurricane. So, instead I discovered the best Antique Market and spent some time strolling down the Marketplace and soaking in all the beauty from the old treasures. I did not end up buying anything, but I sure wanted to! 🙂

After a while Little Johnny was getting antsy, which what better way to fix that than ice cream, right?! 😉 So, we ventured over to an ice cream shop and found an amazing park for him to play at. In my terms that was a Sunday Funday  for us! We even found time in the evening when Big John got off work to fish over at Lake Ivanhoe. Little Johnny is becoming a pro as casting! I loved seeing his little hands “reel” in the fish (lots of support by daddy). 🙂 It’s truly the small joys in life that help to lift up your spirits up nowadays.

Onto the DIY Kids’ Chalkboard Table…

A while back I started this project and all that needed to be done was painting the pallets (which are used for the legs) along with attaching the table top. Well..it’s been a few weeks now and I have yet to post about my “part 2”. (Here’s the link for “part 1” if you missed reading it!) They say that completing a project in “mom time” takes you double the time, I can attest to this! Most days it’s hard to find moments for my DIY projects, but I’m not letting that stop me from actually completing them. I have come to terms that it’s just going to take me a bit longer, and that’s okay.

Here’s a secret…I’m still not actually done, but it’s “done enough” where Little Johnny can use it and I can share with you all about it. What’s missing is I need to fill the holes on the table top where Big John helped me attach it to the pallets. Not sure why I’m holding off on this, but eventually it will get done.

On my social media accounts I had people vote for the paint color of the pallets, which butterfly wings was the winner! I’m glad it was because I was leaning toward that choice too! This paint was leftover from Little Johnny’s nursery, which painting the pallets with a traditional brush  would have taken much longer (and like I said I’m in “mom time” mode), so instead I was given this amazing gift by my Aunt…a paint sprayer! Best thing out there, hands down! If you’re a DIYer like me, please but this on your list of tools to purchase (no, this is not sponsored…I just really like it!)

What do you think? Is this something you could see yourself making?

Here’s to the week ahead!

Wishing you well,

~Amanda

DIY Home Decor, Upcycled DIY

DIY Friday~ Upcycled Hook Hanger (DIY Fail turned into a SUCCESS!)

Here’s the honest truth about DIYing…it can be messy and does not always go as planned, which is probably why many people shy away from it, am I right?! Although, call me crazy I actually have fun problem solving and figuring out a way to fix what I screwed up in the first place. 🙂 This Friday I’m presenting a DIY FAIL that actually turned out to be a successful project. I was the lady running around my house literally rummaging through everything to see what I can upcycle as “hooks” for my wall hanger. It paid off because I found the perfect solution! Tiki torches…YES, that’s right!

I’m not any different from anyone else and let me just say…I have many fails, but the good news is I learn from them and they help me to grow in my hobby of DIYing. Why would I write about a failed project? Because it shows the real life side of things behind blogging (especially when you blog about DIY projects). I have always made it my goal to be honest & real with my followers. If you want to read another one of my fails, check out my DIY Fail photo wood transfer.

Let’s move onto the project, shall we?!

My original plan was to use wine corks and rocks as the “hooks”, well long story short it definitely wasn’t strong enough to hold objects like bathroom towels, which was the whole purpose of me creating this! I used gorilla glue to attach to the corks and rocks. They were attached securely (or at least I thought) to the wood, but as soon as I went to hang a towel on…the cork fell off…:( So obviously, gorilla glue wasn’t the trick. I had to find something that I could actually screw into the wood.

^^As you can see in the above pictures, it does hold things that are very light, but nothing that is heavy.

Let’s back up for a second and talk about the wood I used…this was a cut off section of a pallet I found a few weeks ago! It was perfect for this project.

I decided I wanted to go with a “white wash” look. I have been watching Fixer Upper lately (I just found out that the new season is on hulu! YES!) and recently they had an episode where “white wash” was a topic of discussion (you know the episode?) I have learned a lot about the process and event though I’m not loving the end result it’s something I can live with. The problem with my wood is it’s too light. I should have stained it a darker color so the white would appear brighter.

Here’s how I accomplished a “somewhat” white wash look:

  • I mixed 1 part white paint with 2 parts water (helps to thin out the paint)
  • paint the wood going with the grain
  • use an old rag to wipe off any access paint and bring out the character of the wood

Here’s a great blog I found while researching with more details on creating a “white wash” look.

homestead128.com

Are you ready for the big reveal of what worked for my “hooks”???

The cover for the top of a tiki torch! Yes, that’s right!

It adds so much character and they’re so simple. I attached them with screws (I just “hand” screwed it in.) so this time I’m not left with my hooks falling off, haha… As for attaching the actual wood piece to the wall, I chose to use a very strong double sided tape that holds up to 30lbs. It works well, but you can definitely screw it into the wall!

Here’s to DIY fails! We learn from them, and create even better things!

P.S. Wish all the wonderful dads out there a Happy Father’s Day from me! Enjoy your weekend!

Wishing you well, 

~Amanda

DIY Home Decor, Upcycled DIY

DIY Friday~ Upcycling Mason Jar Lids As Coasters

As a DIY gal you always tend to have a bunch of unused mason jar lids lying around. Recently I was researching on how to reuse them, and the idea of coasters popped up. If you’re looking for a fun way to be creative, but just don’t have much time to dedicate, let me just say…I’m pretty sure this project was meant for you! No tools, paint, nails, or screws are required. This one is easy peasy folks!

 DIY for busy mamas.

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If you have been following along for a while now, you will know this is project #3 from my Orchard Supply Hardware DIY shopping haul. I have it linked for you right here just in case you missed it! =)

{Supplies}

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  • hot glue gun
  • cork board
  • mason jar lid
  • sharpie
  • scissors

Optional

  • stamp (I choose to go with a monogram look)
  • acrylic paint (or ink pad that is waterproof)
  • paint brush, only if you’re not using an ink pad

{Steps} 

1.Take the inside part of your mason jar lid and use that to trace a circle on the cork board using the sharpie. Then cut it out.

img_6327

2. Use your hot glue gun to glue the two pieces of the mason jar lid together.

3. Take your cut out cork board circle and hot glue the side that you want to place on the lid. You may need to push down a little in order for the cork to fit.

img_6332

4. This part is optional, but I choose to use a stamp and add a little monogram to the coaster. I just used black acrylic paint.

img_6338

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Happy DIYing!

Wishing you well,

Happy Mama, Happy Wife, Happy Life

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