Summer Fun Ideas on a Budget

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Since we live in the Nashville area, one of our local Philanthropists comes out with a list at the beginning of every summer of FREE things to do in the area. It is so nice because there are so many things that you do not think about. We mainly have to do our fun stuff on the weekends, but it is so nice to have lots of different things to do! Below I am going to share with you all some of our favorite summer activities that are free or SUPER CHEAP! I realize that not every city will have all of these amenities but if you are local to Middle TN, be sure to check out some of these!

1. Have an ice cream party at home! 
2. Outdoor concerts in parks that are usually FREE
3. Stop by a local park with food trucks and grab a late lunch
4. Visit local art museums. Our's has an entire section dedicated to kids and it's FREE
5. Set a fire in your backyard/fire pit and cook some smore's 
6. Take a trip to your local splash pad our aquatic center. Our splash pad is FREE and our aquatic center is cheap to get into!
7. FREE MOVIES. Most theaters offer a summer special with free movies, or movies that only cost $1 to get into!
8. Take a trip to the library on a rainy day and let the kiddos pick out a few new movies to watch
9. Turn on the sprinkler at home and let the kids run through it!
10. Build a fort in the living room and watching movies all day! (When it's raining of course!)
11. Find some medium size rocks, paint them, and let your children hide them around town for others to find!
12. Visit the drive in for a family night out! 
13. Pack dinner and take the kids to the playground one evening as a special treat!
14. If you have a zoo membership, taking them to the zoo to walk around every so often can be so fun and a great way to get outside!
15. Go on the hunt for a snow cone!

We are always down for a fun, inexpensive time! If you have any other ideas, I would LOVE to hear them!

DIY Wood Shelves Made Easy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

I haven't shared much of our playroom yet because it is still a work in progress, but one thing I couldn't wait to share is the easy peasy DIY wood shelves that C and I put up in the playroom. 

The total cost for these bad boys was around $50 and that includes a can of stain that I bought. 

My MIL had gotten me a gift card to Home Depot for mothers day, so I knew I wanted to use it to make shelves for the playroom.  One day on my lunch break I went to Home Depot to see what kind of brackets they had, not expecting much. To my surprise they actually had a decent selection of good quality brackets for very reasonable prices!

I decided I wanted 3 shelves so I bought 6 of these black brackets. They were a little less than $5 a piece. 

I then went and bought one 8 foot long board that was a little wide than my brackets, and had it cut into 3 equal sections. I also decided to go with a natural color stain just to seal the wood as I really liked the color of the wood itself. 

Once I had them stained, we simply screwed the brackets into the wood and hung them up. They were so easy to hang and install and have made such a statement in our playroom! 

The best part about these, is that they are totally customizable to the space you need them in. If you need them shorter or longer, all you have to do is buy different size wood! This is such a simple and great project to do if you're on a budget and need a change!

Gunner's Lumberjack First Birthday Party!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

I realize that I am SO behind on sharing little man's first birthday party with you! I cannot believe he is already 14 months! We had a blast celebrating him and I love how his little party turned out! His party ended up being fairly budget friendly. Since it was a Lumberjack theme I ended up using some of my Christmas decor as decorations. I also bought a ton of cute little decorations at Hobby Lobby over time using my 40% off coupon, and the DOLLAR TREE was my jam ya'll. I got so much cute stuff from there to top off the decor for his party! 

His cake was my favorite and turned out so cute! I got so much of his stuff for his party from the dollar tree! Those moscow mule mugs? $1 at the Dollar Tree. The candy bar including the little tin bowls all came from the Dollar Tree! We even had a pinata for the big kids who came and an Easter Egg hunt since his party was on Easter weekend! 

Updating Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

Monday, June 11, 2018

Trying to choose the right hardware for your kitchen is HARD. I love the long T-Bar style, but knew drilling the extra holes in the cabinets would be a nightmare. Especially since I already knew I was going to have to drill an extra hole on my drawers for the pulls I had been eyeing. So that left me with not only trying to figure out a style of a pull, but the color as well. 

I literally spent over an hour in Lowe's picking up and putting back, picking up and putting back. I have always loved gold hardware on kitchens, but I just wasn't sure that the brassy gold look was going to work in our space. That's when I came across the color "Champagne Bronze". 

You guy's this color is stunning. I know it would look amazing on both dark and light cabinets. They had an entire section dedicated to this color, so several different styles to choose from.

I decided to go with a simple but elegant style knob

I also must add how EASY these were to install. I literally just twisted the old ones off, and put these right on! And for only $3.47 a piece, they were a steal! 

Next was trying to decide on a pull for the drawers. Our house originally came with all of the same knobs on every thing and I just felt like it didn't add much character that way. 

Lowe's also carried these pulls that matched the knobs I picked out perfectly!

You can check out all of the different styles they have in the champagne bronze color here

I am eventually going to be replacing the ones in our bathrooms to be this champagne bronze color as well to give it a more unified look throughout our home! 

And just so you can see the difference a little update makes, here is a before and after photo:

This space transformed for less than $100 and I am in love with how it turned out! 

House Tour: Kitchen

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Today I am sharing one of my favorite spaces in our home, the kitchen!

When we first looked at this house, this kitchen was NOTHING that I wanted. I wanted white cabinets. I wanted a big island in the middle, with light countertops. I wanted a HUGE kitchen that was great for entertaining. 

But for whatever reason, when we walked into this house, I just really loved the kitchen. I had actually written this house off at first because of the brown cabinets. My mom convinced me to at least go look at it. I am so glad we did because we love our home.

I still love white cabinets. I think eventually we will end up putting white cabinets in here, but since C ended up talking me out of painting them, I knew I needed to add white, somewhere. So we installed the large white subway tile backsplash (only took us a day!) and it made a huge difference in our kitchen. Then I decided to change out the cabinet hardware (I will share more about that tomorrow!) and now I really really love how it all has come together. 

As far as not getting my dream Island, I compromised since we did get the bar seating area. And since the kitchen itself is wide, I was totally ok with the galley style. I also love that the kitchen opens up to the dining and living room for an open concept look! 

Just a little side note on brown cabinets. If you are trying to decide between lighter color cabinets vs. darker color, don't let the fact that white shows everything deter you. BROWN SHOWS JUST AS MUCH. It is so hard to keep these cabinets clean and it drives me crazy!

Tomorrow I will be sharing what we chose to update our cabinet hardware with! 

House Tour: Entryway

Thursday, June 7, 2018

When we bought our house, I had all of these visions about where I was going to put this, or where I was going to put that. When it's empty and there is no furniture in it, it looks huge and I honestly thought I was going to be able to park a semi in my living room. Once we moved in, I quickly realized just how selective I was going to have to be with my space, mainly because the layout is one that is super hard to decorate with as there is a lot of unused space. 

So that brings me to the entryway. I always wanted a long hallway with a hall tree and hooks that I could neatly style, but unfortunately, that didn't happen. While I love our home and I am thankful that we do have an entryway wall, it can be challenging to style it. 

I am currently on the hunt for some amazing lockers that will eventually be used on this wall, but until I find them, I am really enjoying the styling of how it is now. The bench I got from Home Goods for around $100 but I had some gift cards and store credit so I think I paid a little under $20 after all was said and done, and I love all of the different tones of wood in it. The wall hooks came from Target as a set of three. They are a pain to hang and don't hold anything heavy, so if you are looking for hooks for more of function and less for looks, I do not recommend these. The pillows, poufs and plant also came from Target. Here is a tip if your looking to save some money. I was wanting two poufs but online they were easily over $100 a pop. So I checked out the outdoor section at Target and found these and they work perfectly! They were only $49.99 a piece and I love that if I decide not to use them in the house anymore, they can be used on our patio. My favorite part about this space is the large picture. I had this printed as a poster print at Walgreens for less than $15. The clips came off of two windows that I purchased at Kirkland's. I didn't like the clips on the windows so I took them off and kept them because I knew they would make a great re-purpose one day! This size canvas was over $100 so only have to spent $15 was a total budget saver!

I also eventually plan to shiplap this wall, but that is going to take a lot of sweet talking to C to get him on board with some more house projects! I will keep you updated as this space changes but wanted to share with you all what it currently looks like! 

A Day in the Life

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

I saw one of these "day in the life" posts on another blog that I read and I was intently intrigued by just how chaotic everyone's life is. Sometimes it is nice to know that we aren't alone in feeling rushed and scattered all of the time. So even if my "day in the life" helps just one person realize it's ok to have a busy life sometimes, then I'd say giving you all the nitty details of our day was worth it.

4:45- First alarm goes off. I say first alarm because it really takes me 3-4 snoozes before I actually decided to roll myself out of bed.

5:15- Wake up, check my phone/social media/Varage Sale 

5:30- Shower and get ready for work. Most days my hair either goes in a bun or gets scrunched because unless I plan on getting up at 4:30 am I just don't have time to dry and style my hair, and if I do it at night, my hair looks terrible the next morning. So bun it usually is. 

6:00- Get lunches packed, get breakfast made, get both kids up and ready, let the dogs out, run around like a total crazy person, and forget at least 1 thing every single day. 

6:20- Leave the house

6:50- Drop the kids off at school. Finally turn my music up and get my jam on. 

7:15-4:45- Work. Work. Work. Eat lunch. Work some more. 

5:15- Pick the kids up from school. I always have to have a snack with me because they are down right starving by the time I get them. 

6:00- Get home, listen to Gunner fuss because he has to be put down to play on his own. Fix dinner. During the week dinner is something quick and easy, a crock pot meal, or fend for yourself which is usually cereal. Working full time I don't have time to cook amazing meals during the week so unfortunately we don't eat that great during the week. The kids also play inside or outside depending on if what I am cooking is something that has to be watched or not. 

7:00-7:45-  Clean up the kitchen, give the kids a bath, try to get everything ready for the next day.

7:45- Gunner goes to bed

7:45-8:15- Get my stuff ready for the next day, sometimes I take a shower at this time, sometimes I fold a load of clothes, sweep the floors, etc. 

8:15- We go to bed! 

I usually lay in bed from about  8:15-10 or 210:30 watching my tv shows. This is the only me time I get in my day so I enjoy doing it! 

Needless to say, there are days where I definitely miss the stay at home mom life, and not having to be in a hurry to do anything, but having a routine has been so good for all of us. I am also super thankful for my job and that I get to have adult time in my day because it makes me enjoy getting to see my kids in the afternoons so much more! Something that someone shared that I thought made so much sense was making time for  your spouse, which is something I am terrible about. I get so caught up in doing everything else, I honestly feel like I have no time for him. And with us being on polar opposite schedules, it makes making time for each other, extremely difficult. So that is one of my goals to work on these next few months is learning to make more time for us, even if its just eating dinner together after the kids go to bed some nights. 

What are some ways you help prioritize your time during the day? I would love to hear some tips!