Vintage Car Nursery

While mama has been quickly expanding around the mid-section (and other areas), we have been getting everything prepared for our quickly expanding family!

It took a while to get around to it (this is, of course, the 2nd kid), but we finally finished the nursery!  Luckily, big sister was so excited to move to her purple, big girl room, that she willingly gave up her old room to her little bro… No drama for this mama!

Since my hubby’s first car was a vintage ’67 mustang, we decided that a car themed nursery would fit us just right!  We even framed a couple pics of my hubby’s first car to hang in the room.

Nursery Collage

Luckily, we had enough time in advance to refurb at least one piece in the nursery.  My mom found this “well-loved” dresser at a garage sale.  We just taped off a few areas and painted it with matte gray-blue paint.

Nursery B-A

We found a plastic grill at a local swap meet, and decided to “faux” it to make it look like rusted metal.  This is seriously so easy, and you can do it on cardboard letters or anything you want to look like old metal.

All you need:

  • Metal colored spray paint (or just acrylic paint)
  • Paintbrush or sponge brush
  • Cinnamon


  • Spray or paint your item. While it’s still wet, sprinkle cinnamon on the paint, heavier on some parts, lighter on others.
  • Take a paint brush or sponge and lightly press in the cinnamon.
  • Layer with paint and cinnamon as you see fit
  • You should probably seal it after… I haven’t done that yet…

No before pic, but it was shiny silver plastic…

Nursery Rust

Lastly, as a very special present, my mom made a custom cross-stitch pillow that says our boy’s name! (big sister also had a custom g-ma pillow in her nursery too!)

Nursery Bear Pillow

We are happy to get this checked off the list! Next item…. labor I guess….


Custom Coloring Books

C Book Crayons

My first born is about to turn 2.  This year has flown by.  I really wanted to throw a party, but with so many other events and preparing for Baby #2, we decided to nix the b-day party and go to Disneyland at the end of the month instead! Let’s be honest, she’ll have way more fun riding rides and seeing Minnie Mouse…

But, since I still had to do something for her and her little friends, I decided to make cupcakes for our Life Group that meets during the week, and do a little impromptu early birthday singing.

Along with the cupcakes, I made these super fun and simple party favors:


I absolutely love this idea and how the books turned out! What made them super special was that all the coloring pages were actual pictures of all the kids in the group!  It’s so fun to color your friend’s hair green!

C Book Collage

There are a lot of tutorials out there for this kind of thing using various softwares and methods (some that can even make a coloring page for you!).  I used Photoshop.


  • Open a new doc with the picture you want to turn into a coloring page
  • Double check and make sure your colors are set to black and white (the squares in the bottom left of your toolbar)
  • The go to the “Filter” menu and click on “Filter Gallery” and then click “Sketch”
  • Select the option “Photocopy”
  • You will have slide bars where you can change the detail and darkness of the picture
  • To clean up or erase unwanted black splotches (like on the face, clothes, or background), take your paint brush, set to white, and brush over what you don’t want.
  • Boom.  Custom coloring page.

(After that, I created a new 8.5×11 doc and copied over the picture on one half, and added the kid’s name and fun shapes on the other half)

coloring pages

To assemble:

  • Print out your coloring pages. Again, I used 8.5×11 paper, one half of the page with the kid’s name and some shapes, the other half with the picture of the kid.  That way I could just fold the pages down the middle.

(I didn’t have time to double side the coloring pages, but feel free to get as fancy as you want)

  • I folded each page in half, and stacked them together to form a book.
  • Made a simple cover page
  • Hole-punched two holes on the folded sides and tied them all together with butcher’s twine
  • Then I tied on a couple crayons with each book.

They are so fun, and the kids (and parents) loved to see themselves and all their buddies! (and scribble on their faces, of course)

(I might have made another coloring page of grandpa’s face for my daughter to color for his birthday present from her! So easy and he loved it! And my daughter loved coloring Papa’s beard!)

Happy early birthday, my sweetie-bug! Can’t believe you are almost 2!!



Summer Strawberry Crafts

Strawberry collage

I don’t even like strawberries….

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t like to “craft” them!!

My mom’s birthday was right around the corner, and I got it in my head to make her a tea towel.  I don’t know why, but I decided that nothing else would do.  And it should be strawberry related, because… sure.

So I created a little design, and thought that I would try the super cheap “print on wax paper” way to print on fabric.  All I can say is that it requires many tries and a lot of… ehemm….patience.

You basically mirror flip your image, and print it out on wax paper.  The ink doesn’t dry, allowing you to press it on to your fabric.  Sounds fantastic!! The problem is that wax paper wrinkles really easily (even when you tape it down to card stock!!!). You anxiously wait as your wax paper prints, eyes getting wider as it starts to come out looking perfect, and just when you are at the end, about to rejoice, it smudges. Ruined.

And after a few too many let downs, someone (not ME) might have said out loud, “Eff this!!” and stormed off to the kitchen to preheat the oven for a pizza pity party.

I documented a couple attempts.  You might call these “pinterest failures”…

Too light….


Too wet…..


Too much work…. Over it.

Since I don’t have the ability to screen print at the moment, and time was not on my side to cut out an intricate stencil, I broke down and bought image transfer paper and ironed my design on the towel….

Yes, it’s a little shiny, and yes it bugs me a little bit…. but all that aside, I think it did turn out pretty cute. I added some trim to glam it up a bit for mom’s sake…

What you need:

  • Flour sack tea towel (from your local craft/fabric store)
  • Iron on transfer paper for light fabrics
  • Ribbon or trim (if you want)
  • Fabric glue (for those who don’t have time to sew!)


  • Create your image – you can create your own in photoshop, or even use clipart in Word, or find some free graphics online
  • Once your image is created, mirror flip your image (this is VERY important!)
  • Print out your image on your transfer paper following the package instructions
  • Cut around your design
  • Iron on to your fabric following the package instructions
  • Add trim if desired

Done! A quick and easy way to dress up your oven! Also could be a fun way to display your little one’s artwork!

Strawberry towel copy

For the rest of the present, I found a little berry container, filled it with shredded paper, and stuck in some fancy strawberry jam and a matching mini notepad.

Strawberry present

Since I had extra transfer paper, I saw online that you can use transfer paper on wood too! (It’s supposed to be just for fabric).  I thought, “What the heck, might as well try”.

I found an old wooden box lid, and ironed that sucker on.  It went….ok.

You know…. there’s a fine line between “crappy” and “rustic”.  For my sanity, I’m calling the sign rustic.  It’s all in the staging, people….

Strawberry sign

Probably the cutest berry craft goes to my lil’ toddler who made Nana a card for her birthday.

I printed out a little saying that matched the present theme.

I squished a toilet paper roll into the shape of a heart and held it in shape with a hair band.

Then I let her, “dip! dip! dip!” in her paint.

The perfect way to paint with certain little lady who does NOT like paint on her hands!


After she was done, I added the little seeds and stems to make the hearts look like berries.

Strawberry Art

“Oh no!!” (for the twentieth time)

Me: “Yes yes, let me get the wipes…”


A “berry” happy crafting day to you all!!! Enjoy both the failures and triumphs and just call it… “RUSTIC“.

GIANT Marquee Tutorial

Giant Marquee

Marquee Signs: all the rage, and ragin’ expensive.

I’ll admit it.  I LOVE them.  I’m on the band wagon and I don’t care!

For those of you who want to join me, here’s my DIY: LOVE Marquee Tutorial

I created this sign for THIS SWANKY SOIREE.  Check out all the other party fixins’! 

OOOOkkkk…. here we go.

Disclaimer: I’m still getting used to mapping out detailed tutorials and I’m incredibly impatient when it comes to making stuff, so my “process” pics aren’t the best.  Just deal 🙂

Supplies Needed:

  • 4’x2′ piece of thin plywood
  • A total of 4 1x4s – 2 pieces cut at 4′ and 2 pieces cut at 2’2″
  • Drill and a 3/4″ “Hole Saw” drill bit attachment (we bought a “Hole Saw” kit)  (size of your hole will vary on the size of lights you choose)
  • Nail gun
  • Strands of old fashioned (or any kind) of lights
  • Acrylic Paint (any color you want) (you could even stain the wood first… I would have if I wasn’t lazy)
  • Painters Tape

Step One: Paint plywood

I chose to do a very simple white wash: White Acrylic Paint and water to thin it out.



Step 2: Once your board is dry, stencil or tape off your letters. I just free-handed it for time’s sake, but usually I would print enlarged letters and cut out my own stencil



Step 3: Paint inside your letters.  Paint THIN layers, as to decrease your chances of paint bleed.  It’s no good.



Step 4: Let paint dry and then remove tape.  Step back and marvel at your crisp edges.


Step 6: Take a pencil and map out where each light will go


Ok, the next few steps I don’t really have pics for, because my husband and I were either working against the clock (i.e – a napping baby) or working in the garage in the dead of night.

Step 7: Attached the hole saw attachment on the your drill (pick the size you need to snuggly fit the size of your lights) and begin drilling your holes

You can kind of see the holes in this pic….


Step 8: Measure and cut your 1x4s to sizes listed above, and nail gun them to your board to create a frame.  Sorry… no pic of the process 😦


Step 9. I painted the outside of the frame black, and went back and painted the inside the holes we drilled for the lights

Step 10: Unscrew the light bulb, and insert the back of the light (what is attached to the cord) through the hole, and re-attach the bulb. Continue with all the lights.  Tape down excess cord

Plug in and say YAY! That was hard, but it looks awesome! (deer head optional, but pretty rad.)


Bridal Showe dessert

Easy Kid Craft for Valentine’s Day

Valentine Craft

Crafting with little ones is fun! Well, sometimes.

Sometimes it’s incredibly frustrating, but you fake it and pretend it was fun.

That was the case on this particular crafting day, when my “particular” little one, decided she didn’t want her hands messy….  Um, hello… you’re a kid, right???

Luckily, the craft turned out super cute! And for all who don’t know the “craziness” that happened behind the picture, will hopefully think it’s cute too and try it with your own kin.



  • Paper
  • Non toxic paints
  • Printer and Scanner (not totally necessary)
  • Picture frame of your choosing
  • and a WILLING child!! ha…


  • Let your little one loose on some awesome finger painting
  • Let their creation dry
  • Because I wanted to KEEP the original art piece and not cut it (and make copies for the grandparents), I scanned in the picture on my computer
  • After I scanned, I moved the pic in to an art program where I was able to type over the picture (I chose “X” “O” for Valentine’s Day)
  • Print the pics of the finger painting and the “process pic” to the size of your frame

I think what makes kid’s artwork cute is seeing pics of them creating their masterpiece!

Here’s the little artist before the meltdown and the final product!


Valentine Craft

What great about this is you get to be super creative and can make any holiday (or not even a holiday) you want!

And since I mentioned that this craft was less than perfect….Here’s how it REALLY went down! G-ma doesn’t have to know!

After taking out my camera and realizing this was going down hill:


After pretending to sneeze to make her laugh:


One second later:


Ahhhh the art of faking a fun time.  Us moms are pretty good at it.


“Winter Glam” Bridal Shower with a Twist!

Unique parties are the best kind!

This one happened to be a bridal shower, planned with love by my mom, aunts, and myself,  for my wonderful cousin, a unique and edgy girl herself!

We wanted to do a nod to her wedding theme, a  “winter glam” mostly white wedding,  but didn’t want it to be christmasy.  Oh and we had to add the element of line dancing for the after party, but didn’t want it to be western-y…. an easy task. Ha!

Here was the result.  A little edgy. A few “snowy” elements, and a whole mess of old fashioned lights and DIY marquee signs for the dance floor!

(Linens, chairs, lights, etc. provided by Party Plus Rentals)

Bridal Shower Table 1

My mom created all the flower arrangements, and coffee filter flower votives.

Bridal Shower Round Table

bridal shower head table

My favorite part… the dessert table!

My “LOVE” marquee DIY coming soon!

Bridal Showe dessert

To add a wintery touch, we DIYed these simple snow globe cookie bags made from CD sleeves.

Bridal Shower Sugar Cookie

Snowball Martinis” aka doughnut holes, dipped in white chocolate, and rolled in coconut…

Bridal Shower Snow Balls


Bridal Shower Dance Sign

For the dance floor, I made this super easy marquee sign from a store bought canvas!

To make your own, all you need is the following:

  • A canvas of any size
  • a strand of christmas lights
  • paint
  • a pencil
  • a skewer or sharp pointy object


  • Paint your canvas with your desired word
  • take your pencil and mark out where you will be punching your lights through the word
  • poke the holes with your skewer
  • pop your christmas lights through the holes
  • Marvel at how easy that was!

Such a fun night!

Big shout out my to fam who helped plan, coordinate, cook, and rock the shower! It’s nice being apart of such a creative family!!


The Braums Go Fall {And FREE Printable}

The pumpkins are here! The pumpkins are here!

Fall Printable

It’s Fall ya’ll and that means this mama is happy! I love it all… maybe even MORE than Christmas!! (gasp!!)

I’m so thankful that summer is over and I can get to more serious matters at hand:

  • Wearing over-sized sweaters
  • And more importantly, squeezing my daughter into overalls that are too tight around the middle and plopping her in hay (or a field, or dirt) for necessary photo documenting purposes

I stress again, pumpkin patch pictures are a must (MUST) in this household.  All future children of mine will have to suck it up and deal!

Because I’m feeling a little Fall crazy, I’ve jam-packed this post with the following:

  • My daughter in a pumpkin patch (reason enough to keep reading)
  • Fall decor from around our home
  • A link to an awesome warm vanilla cider adult beverage recipe (equally warming and delightful sans booze) (link at bottom of page)
    • DISCLAIMER: it IS a Martha Stewart recipe and I did NOT make it as fancy as she did.
  • A link to a cute “Ghosty” Halloween craft for you and the kiddos, made by my buds at Fox and Bear
  • And finally a  FREE PRINTABLE  for your quick Fall decorating needs because… why not!

I hope all of this gets you in a festive mood!


{I call this series of 3:  “Pumpkins: Evoking Joy and Happiness, but also Sorrow” }

Joy P Patch 2

Joy P Patch 3

Joy Patch 4

Love those overall rolls…

Joy P Patch 5

Joy P Patch 6

Work that beanie Little Miss!!

Joy P Patch 7

Joy P Patch 8

And a family pic for good measure…

Joy Fam P Patch

Mantels are probably my favorite things to decorate. To be honest, a lot of those objects (birdcage, candlestick, and vase) are up year round! Don’t feel like you have to take EVERYTHING off just to decorate for the seasons. Just take off a couple big items and replace them with the seasonal. Ex: taking off my white candle and replacing it with a pumpkin. ha!

Also, I had to include a pic of our awesome deer head in the background!

Fall Mantel

In an effort to keep costs down, I refashioned my daughter’s “1st Birthday Wreath” into one fitting for the season.  Sorry, no DIY… I just popped off the white flowers and added some orange and burlap…

Fall Wreath

CLICK HERE for the Warm Vanilla Cider recipe


CLICK HERE for your free Fall printable

Pumpkinful Print

Joy’s Bright, Bright Sunshiny Birthday!

It was also a HOT, HOT sunshiny birthday! I guess that’s what happens when your child decides to make her arrival in the smack-dab middle of August in SoCal!

Because we have had a particularly hot summer out here, I decided to run with it and make the theme something bright and sunny!!

Enter sunflowers.  Too many to count. Everywhere.  Overboard?… ppssh no way!!

As stressful as it was, with months of planning in advance (meaning: buying all the summer things before the stores put out Fall/Christmas stuff!) , I had so much fun crafting and decorating for this special occasion!  (Also, royal blue makes my baby’s “baby blues” pop like crazy!)

There’s only one First birthday!  Right?!

I had a blast working on my photoshop skills and making the party invites.  I think they turned out pretty cute! (if we actually lived on Sunny Lane, in Brightville, that would have been very helpful for the theme! ha)



A wonderful, talented friend of mine made all the cupcakes for the party, topped with adorable candy sunflowers! (what else!)

The party favors were little sunflower growing kits!

Another amazing, crafty, talented lady friend made a ton of paper flowers and assembled our “flower fence” outside!


My mom sewed everything for Joy’s highchair.  The bib was just a last minute thing… She’s ridiculous.  I should really work on my sewing skills…


We had an empty shed on the side of our house that was of no use to us, so we decided to break it down.  While my husband was feverishly ripping it apart, being the craft hoarder I am, I told him I would still like to keep all the pieces (much to his dismay…)  We used the back piece of the shed as a photo backdrop and put out one of the doors by the front door as a welcome sign!  Endless possibilities! (Ya hear that honey? Endless!!)


This pic of our barrel coffee tables (and couch) are just a sneak peak of our awesome outdoor DIY projects to come! (Also our new backyard reveal!)


All in all, it was a crazy day.  But it was an awesome day with family and friends! But I’m also glad it’s over! Ha.  Love these two!  Now to start planning next year’s theme!


My dainty cake smasher.  Such a lady….


Moms and babies…


And for good measures, if you didn’t get enough blue and yellow, here’s a couple pics from Joy’s ONE photo  shoot!




For a little freebie, I made some corresponding printable  “thank you” notes if you are in a pinch to send someone a sweet note!!


Now, enjoy the rest of summer!

Money Dress

A while ago (like over a year) I started a Pinterest board of just little crafty things I’ve made over the years. It was mainly just a board for me.  Well a couple of them have actually been making the rounds online, and a few people have asked for the website or instructions.  I had neither of these because I just made it…. BUT in an effort to help ( I know how mad I get when I find cute things without a link) I have tried my best to come up some instructables for my “Money Dress”.

This was actually my mom’s idea for my sister’s friend who was graduating high school and going to fashion school…

Money Dress


1. Small Dress Form that you can stick pins in (I think we found it at Hobby Lobby or HomeGoods…. probably in the jewelry or girls room section).  If you can’t find them in any stores, I’m sure you can purchase online!! Yay technology!

2. Small push pins

3. As many dolla’ bills as you are willing to spend

4. Optional Ribbon


Unfortunately I have no progress pics but I will explain as best I can…

For the skirt portion of dress: fold a single dollar bill into a point at one end, however big or small you want.  With the excess part of the bill (the part that’s not pointed) fold it down once, so it isn’t as long.

Then, starting at the bottom of the form, take the bill and pin it to the form.  Then you basically keep creating points and pinning them around the form, working your way up in a shingle pattern. (Since you layers will basically lay on top of each other, it will cover the pins and imperfections)

Here’s a close up pic.  Hope is makes sense.  It’s really an opportunity to be creative and fold however you want.  The point is to make layers so it looks like a cute cocktail dress



For the bodice:

I wrapped and pinned a couple bills around the waist of the form, so it looked more like a corset.  I then crinkled folded a bill or two to create the top portions.  Pinning and hiding things as I went.  Like I said, be creative.  I just moved and pinned things wherever I saw fit.


Once you’re done pinning, feel free to add ribbon or embellishments.  Hide what you don’t like.  Your grad will just be so happy to get money!!! Ha!

This is more creative then just giving cash in an envelope!

Clothespin Wreath for $10!

I am a crafty lady.  It keeps me sane.  With a teething baby, a girl’s gotta do something to keep her mind right, amen?

There was a plain wall in our laundry area that needed some love.  With indoor and outdoor renovations in our near future, I needed something cheap (but also cute, duh!)

I’ve seen the idea of a clothespin wreath all over Pinterest, particularly the ones with the old school clothespins.  But I didn’t really like any of the DIYs, so I decided to just roll with my own version…



What I didn’t like about the DIYs I’ve seen, is that the pins were always facing the side that showed just the wood (“Like a drumstick” as my husband put) with a cardboard ring reinforcement.  I prefer being able to see the slits, makes it seem more “pin like” and also adds a bit of visual contrast.  I also didn’t really see the need for a cardboard ring…


Ok. Here’s this list of what’s needed:


1. Vintage Style Clothespins (You can find these at your local craft store or online) (I used roughly 50)

2. Embroidery Hoop (the INNER ring) Whatever size you want

3. Your favorite ribbon

4. A handy dandy hot glue gun



1. DRY FIT your pins around your hoop!! I did this and found that if I glued each pin touching each other, I would have been short about 10 pins… So I spaced them about a quarter inch apart and ended up with extra… This step could save you a trip back to the store!

2. Lay your hoop on a flat surface

3. Take a pin and put a bead of hot glue on each side, and glue it to the hoop, keeping the pin as straight as possible.

4. Continue around the rest of the hoop. Easy peasy..


5. Add your favorite ribbon to hang! ( Or don’t for a more modern look)





Now for me, the wreath cost $10… you can splurge or cut back, depending on what supplies you already own.

What I love most is that it’s neutral and the ribbon can be switched out with the season!