Sunday, November 24, 2013

Minted.


Have you heard of Minted?

I hadn't until a few days ago.  Now I'm obsessed.

Minted is an online stationary store that features independent designers and their designs which are chosen solely by the consumers. Each month they host a contest for independent designers and they ask you, the consumer, to vote for your favorite.  So why am I so excited about it?  I'm excited because they just launched their 2013 holiday card collection, and I've found so many cards that I'm in love with already!

I don't know about you guys, but I was a Shutterfly fan from the beginning, ordering my holiday cards from them every year for several years.  But, as the trend of sending out photo cards became a huge hit, it seemed as if everyone was sending out the same old Christmas photo card or some variation of the same-ole, same ole.  So, when I took a look at minted.com and saw one unique card after another I got excited.  Now, my only problem is trying to narrow down all of my "favorites" to just one card we will claim as our 2013 Christmas card.

Their website is crisp and orderly, making it very easy to navigate and find your perfect card too...that's important when you've got a million other things to check off your holiday to-do list! I also love that you can edit many of the cards to better suit your liking.  So many times I find a card that I love but it says "Happy Holidays" when I'd rather it say "Merry Christmas."  Deal breaker. {I know I'm not alone on that one, right?!}

Another thing I love about minted.com is that they allow you to purchase now and create the card later.  That's a great feature because many times other photo card websites are advertising a sale but you many not have chosen which photo of the family to use. {That's a big choice, afterall!} Right now minted.com is having a sale that ends on Tuesday: 15% off holiday photo cards + free recipient addressing....but I haven't decided on which photo I want to send out this year. That's not a problem! I am going to purchase a card by Tuesday and add my photo once I've decided. Problem solved! 

I know you're going to love minted.com for so many reasons too, so check them out and let me know what you think.  You'll be glad you did!



Disclaimer: I was compensated to write this post but the opinions are certainly my own and I meant every word! 


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Board and Batten Bathroom Transformation {Under $30!}


Last week, on a whim I decided to undertake a project that I have been wanting to attempt for years.  Never, never, never have I ever done anything remotely like this, so I'm not quite sure why I believed I could do it.  But alas, the pins on Pinterest got the best of me and I decided that I would just go for it...while the hubby was out of town...without telling him my plans...without consulting anyone {except the nice guys in Home Depot}.

When I first felt the urge, I googled the "how to" and read a few blogs of others who had attempted it in the past.  That's when I landed on one of my all-time favorite blogs, Young House Love, and decided to use their method as my guideline. I made a few changes along the way, but in the end it was as easy as 1,2,3{4,5,6}.

Here is my 6-step process:

1. Gather your supplies.  This is what I used:
    ~ "Decorator's White" paint                    {already had this on hand from baseboard touch-ups}
    ~ Primer                                                  {already on hand from other projects}
    ~Paint roller and tray                               {already owned}
    ~ 3 Lattice Boards, 5 feet each*                     $10.65
    ~ 1, 1x2 Pine Board, cut to 57.25" long*         $4.87
    ~ 1, 1x3 Pine Board, cut to 57.25" long*         $2.87
    ~ Level                                                    {already owned}
    ~ Liquid Nails                                                   $4.98
    ~ Caulk                                                            $2.28
    ~ Caulking Gun                                        {already owned}
                                                                _______________________
                                                                  GRAND TOTAL: $25.65

     *Since the hubby was out of town, I had the guys at Home Depot cut my boards to size.

2. Make it easy on yourself by priming and painting your lumber and wall, first thing.  This saves a lot of time as it is much easier to slap on a coat of paint on an empty wall than it is to try and "cut in" with the paint at all the nooks and crannies.


3. Measure then check and recheck your desired board placements.  Be sure to use your level...if your house is like ours then your walls will not be even.  I used a pencil to draw a line along where I wanted the boards.

4. Apply Liquid Nails to the area where you will attach the board.  If you marked lines with your pencil then just place dots of it along the lines.  Be careful not to gob too much on there or it will seep out and you'll have a mess to clean up...trust me!  Then press the board to the wall and hang out for a minute while it does it's magic.  {I used the three latice boards as my vertical "batten." The 1x3 pine was used as my horizontal plank and the 1x2 pine created the mini shelf to top it all off}


5. Grab your caulk and gun then get to work on filling in all of those gaps. Like I said, our walls are not even so I had a lot of hefty gaps to fill in.

                     ***Here's a useful tip from Diane at In My Own Style:
                          "Keep a bowl of ice water nearby when caulking. Frequently dip your index
                          finger in the water and run the tip of your finger over just applied caulk to
                          smooth. You can also run an ice cube along the line of caulk to smooth into the
                          joint or gap."


6. Grab your paint brush/roller to freshen up any areas that need it. Once the paint dries you can add the hardware, if desired. I added two hat and coat hooks for our towels.



This project was fairly simple and well worth the money and time {about 4ish hours....wee-hours of the night as the kids slept...spread over two days}.  I only wish I had done it sooner!



Linking up with:
Savvy Southern Style
DIY by Design
Open House Party

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Extra 10% off zulily for Happily Mother After readers!



Hey Loyals!

Good news! I am an affiliate for Zulily and they have a special deal for all of my readers!  Now, through August 18th, they are having an affiliate only Back to School sale with items marked off up to 55% off...PLUS they are offering all of my readers an additional 10% off purchases of $60 or more!

Click on this link to get to the sale:  zulily 72hr Back to School Sale

Enter this code at check out for 10% off your purchase of $60 or more:  SCRTSALE54
Note: This code can only be used for this event, with product only from this event, and a minimum purchase of $60 is required.


Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Vanessa's Baby Shower

One of my besties is having her baby tomorrow morning!!! I'm beyond excited for my dear childhood friend, Vanessa. Side note: she hates when I call her a childhood friend because she says we didn't stop being friends now that we are adults. That's a given, in my opinion, so I still call her my childhood friend. It implies a deeper bond, right?! 

If you know me {or read my blog enough}, you know that as soon as I heard she was pregnant my mind immediately began planning her baby shower.  I have thrown many showers for friends over the years and have truly enjoyed each and every one....but this one I enjoyed on an entirely different level.  This was, by far, the most heart I have ever poured into a shower.  I shed many tears as I planned and prepared for this special event.

You see, Vanessa and her hubby waited over eight years for this precious little girl that is making her arrival in just a few short hours! {Pause, and scream joyfully with me here!}  This couple has an incredible heart for children and has been such a sweet blessing in my own children's lives.  I watched them with Brody and Adelyn over the years and my heart just ached for them to experience the joy of their own children.  I prayed many, many times that God would bless them with a child; and, praise the Lord, Elliana Grace is almost here!!! 

But, their story is not mine to tell, so if you'd like to know more about this one-of-a-kind couple check out Vanessa's blog, Daily Delivered.   What I will share with you is some pictures from the shower I threw for her with the help of my mom and two other friends.  I couldn't have pulled it off without those girls!

Our main focal point and where Vanessa opened all of her baby gifts.

Simple flower arrangements in mason jars with vinyl pregnant silhouettes
were sitting on baby-themed books to create a centerpiece for each table.

I made the backdrop for the beverage table from three different sheer curtains that
I cut into 6" {ish} strips and hung on a spring rod with fishing line from the porch ceiling.

Water bottle labels created by Gaia Design Studios and printed by one of the co-hosts {my sweet mom}.

The guest of honor.

The yummy food spread was provided by Christy, one of the co-hosts.

This sign was ordered through Gaia Design Studios.

Elliana's very own ELLIphant on top of her diaper cake.

Nail polish for all the guests in various shades of pink and glitter. Sign created by Gaia Design Studios.

All the guests signed a framed copy of the baby shower invite.


Vanessa, what can I say except I love you and I am praying that all goes well tomorrow morning. I cannot wait to snuggle my little ELLIphant! :) See you soon, Momma!!!




Linking up with:
Savvy Southern Style
DIY by Design
Things I Can't Say

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Friend Connect Blog Hop

Hi Friendlies!

I'm co-hosting this week's Friend Connect Blog Hop with Melissa at The Life of a Not So Ordinary Wife.  I hope you'll link up below and find some new blog friends with me.  It's easy, fun, and always rewarding. You never know what amazing new bloggers you'll stumble across!

It's Tuesday again which means it's time for the Friend Connect Blog Hop!

It's the time to meet new friends and find new blogs. You can choose to follow the cohosts in whatever way is best for YOU! Here are some of my favorite ways: GFC, BlogLovin', HelloCotton, RSS, Twitter, Facebook.


Ok, so let's get to the party, shall we?

RULES are simple:

1. Follow your host 
The First link below

2. Follow your co-hosts 
The Next 6 links below

3. Link up below using your main blog url not a specific post.

4. Make sure to visit some of the blogs in the link up and follow them 
and if you want to leave them a comment, I'm sure they'd appreciate that as well.

5. Tweet about this blog hop

6. Share about this blog hop by grabbing a button and putting it on your sidebar!




I have cohost spots available! Email me if you're interested at melissa@thelifeofanotsoordinarywife.com








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