Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lovely Lanterns

I finished my garden project! It was super cheap, fast and easy and I'm so glad I took the time to figure it out and do it. I have been collecting aqua Ball jars for awhile now, so those were free, as well as the candles I already had. All I bought was some wire and sand at Joanne's (on a gift card!) So it was fa-reee! Here is how it ended up (in daylight): Here is the early evening glow:

I ended up getting the sand because I wanted the candles to stay put. I wiggled them down in the sand so they wouldn't shift around and get by the glass and break it. It also helps me reach the candles in the bigger jars. In the biggest jar I first put a bunch of rocks in the bottom to save on sand. I wrapped the wire around underneath the threads and then looped it over to make a handle before securing it on the opposite side.

Here's what it looked like from the ground later:

And of course, the pictures don't do it justice. It is really pretty and it made us want to linger as we sat underneath.

I really wanted this to be a low maintenance project. Something I could put up and leave up all summer without having to worry about rain or bugs. I spent a day racking my brain trying to figure out a way that I wouldn't have to take them up and down. And then I realized, duh, put the lids back on! Now they'll be super easy to care for. Another advantage to these lanterns is that they are totally kid proof. We don't have to worry about Ava getting into them.

So there they are--our romantic, free, ambient lighting for these beautiful summer nights!

Linking up to the Lettered Cottage

Friday, May 27, 2011

Yay for spring! It's finally starting to be consistently pretty nice outside (despite freezing temps the last two nights) and I'm trying to be really proactive about being outside a lot. So last night I was driving back from teaching my class, and even though it was a little chilly outside, I decided I'd invite Mr. Wonderful for an outdoor date. We took out the lawn chairs, grabbed a couple of blankets and sat right in front of these guys: Lilacs have always been a favorite of mine. In fact, in high school my mom and I redecorated my room with one of those ridiculously HUGE wallpaper borders with lilacs on it.

Anyway, I have been wanting to make our backyard a little more interesting and romantic in the summer, and last night's date gave me the motivation to start DOING something about it. I don't have all the tools and materials I need yet, but here's a sneak peek:

I'm excited to see how it will turn out and how it will encourage us to spend more time outdoors this summer!

Speaking of lilacs, we also have a white lilac bush in the front yard. (how awesome is that?) It doesn't look like much from the front:

But my favorite part is that it always seems to have the best blooms in the back, right outside my bedroom window. It's so wonderful to sleep with the window open and smell those beautiful blossoms!

So there's a little spring tour of my favorite parts of the yard! I'll post more pics of my new project once it's done!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Update on our *almost* 2-year-old

Time for another episode of pictures for Grandma!

Ava had a run in with the driveway this week. Poor thing had a lip out to here! She's doing much better just three days later. One of Ava's new hobbies is putting shoes on. Putting my shoes on me, putting her shoes on her, putting her shoes on Papa, no one is safe!

She was really into sitting on the potty and even went poopy once! So, I got her some big girl underpants. But she's over it now. Totally not interested.

Here she is on Easter! Amazingly, she wore the same 12 month dress she wore last year. We pretty much squeezed it on her.

Ava got some Easter eggs to paint from Auntie Jen. She definitely favored the blue paint and...sampled it. Found blue paint on her teeth.

Her new signature look. Pigtails!

Okay, so we've been considering a major bathroom project and this is the biggest reason why. I used to just take her in the shower and she liked it first, but gradually began to dread it. So we moved operations to the kitchen sink. She barely fits!

Completely unintentional artsy pic:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Free Lantern

Last summer I scored this lantern for free at a rummage sale: I took this pic after removing the glass. Anway, he said I could have it 'cause it doesn't work. Psssh. Details. I had it on our front steps, but it couldn't even be seen because our steps are black, too. So I bought some yellow spray paint at Joanne's....and I brought it back. Almost as soon as I got in the car, I knew I should've gotten red. When I brought it back, I found some red on sale for $.97!!!!

I used lots and lots and lots of thin layers. Many trips out to our (very ventilated!) garage.

I don't know exactly what to do with it. But I've been meaning to paint it forever, so thanks Sarah for the motivation!