Tulip Wreath: Take II

Remember the tulip wreath I made a couple of years ago?  I pulled it out of the attic this spring but didn’t hang it because, hello, bright orange-red door + hot pink floral wreath = clashboombang  But, I had a plan.  I’d go to Hobby Lobby (where I bought the pink tulips), grab the same number of white tulips, pop the pink heads off and replace them with white.  Sounds easy enough, right?  Right.  Only it wasn’t that easy.  Is it ever? 

Why?  Because apparently Hobby Lobby now sells a different brand of tulip stems than they did two years ago so not only were the stems a little thinner this year (boo!) but I had a really hard time getting the pink heads off the old stems without ripping the flowers.  I was so bummed.  So what did I do?  I just made a whole new wreath.

[Don’t worry, our ceiling isn’t actually slanted as it appears in the above picture.  It’s just the curve of the camera lens playing its tricks…I haven’t yet learned how to reign those in!]
I made it a little differently this time though.  The old one held up great but there were a couple of tulips that slipped out while I was moving the wreath because they had become unstuck.  I needed something a little more durable than hot glue.  After a quick brainstorming sesh I came up with the perfect thing; a thing I wasn’t sure existed.  Zip ties!  Those would hold my flowers on!  But, not any zip tie would do.  I needed some really small ones.  After a quick internet search, I found that, not only do mini zip ties exist, they also come in a plethora of colors.  I search the big box stores first (Lowe’s and Home Depot) for the best prices but then stumbled upon this pack of 100, brown mini zip ties on amazon (affiliate link).  They were cheaper than any other mini zip ties I could find and my hope was that they’d blend in with the brown grapevine.  I bought two packs and anxiously awaited their arrival.

They came, my friend Jesse came over with some vino, and we had ourselves a little wreath-making party.

Want to make one of your very own?  Here’s how! 

First, I followed my earlier tutorial by cutting the tulip stems off the bunches so I had a lots of individual stems.
[I used three bunches of tulips, just like last time.  Each bunch had about 11 blooms on it.]

Then, also per my other tutorial,  I stuck tulip stems in and through the wreath, all the way around.  When I had all the tulips in and where I wanted them, I carefully turned the entire wreath over so that the tulips were face-down on the table.
Here’s where the zip ties come in.

I attached each piece of stem that was sticking out the backside of the wreath with a zip tie.  I wove the zip tie underneath each tulip stem plus a few of the grapevine twigs closest to it.

Then I zipped it shut, making sure it was nice and tight.  See how well the brown is camouflaged?  I circled it to make sure you wouldn’t miss it.  ;)

After I had zip tied all of the stems to the wreath, I went along and cut the excess plastic off all the zip ties.

The stems of the tulips were sticking a good three to four inches out the back of the wreath so I grabbed a needle-nose pliers and shortened them with the wire cutter at the base of the pliers.

After I was finished zip tying and trimming stems, I plopped a blob of hot glue over each zip tie for extra reinforcement and to ensure all of the stems were stuck and stuck good.  If a hurricane every breathes it’s strongest breaths upon this house (praying that never happens but…), you’ll find this wreath in one piece wherever it lands.  I guarantee it.

We have a screw on our front door in prime position to hold a wreath…I’m guessing that was the previous owners intention when they put it there and left it.  So, all I did to hang the wreath was tie a piece of twine to the back and hook it right up on that screw.
And that’s a wrap wreath!

Here’s my friend Jesse’s:
How great does her porch look?!  She not only made the wreath but also whipped up those uber cool planters!

Hannah also sent me a picture of the two wreaths she made using this tutorial and look how great they look!
Her double doors are amazing, no?
And then came more wreaths.  You see, I’ve a had a bunch of floral stems stashed away for projects and decor that I recently took out of hiding to sell and they sat on a resale site without any interest whatsoever.  So, I grabbed a medium-sized, grapevine wreath from Hobby Lobby and these two from a yard sale…

…and turned them into these:

My favorite is the pink and white one!  I really want to keep it but then I’d back right into the whole pink and bright red dilemma I just escaped.  Maybe next spring I’ll duplicate it with something more coordinating.

.           .           .

Are you a wreath-maker or a wreath-buyer?  Or maybe you’re just not a wreath person at all which is totally cool.  A lot of people down here in the South hang big monograms on their front doors to mark their territory.  Form and function!  :) 

The $22.95 Outfit(s)

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A dream post of mine is to hit up a thrift store or two and take pictures of all the things I see that have potential to be great!  Furniture, decor, linens, lighting, clothes, and shoes…they’d all qualify.  It’d kinda be like a glance into my brain upon walking through a thrift store door.  But, I haven’t gotten around to it yet because I definitely can’t do it with the kids in tow and when I do get out of the house, I’m usually running to the grocery store or to hang out with friends.  But, I did go to a couple of our local Goodwill’s in the past week so that I could participate in their Spring Fashion Challenge.  (Read more about it here.)  I always find pieces of outfits when I stroll their aisles but I don’t think I’ve ever found an entire outfit…until now.

I went out last Sunday afternoon while Anthony was home with the kids and spent about an hour in the Goodwill closest to my house where I found the dress/skirt, the crop top, and the capiz necklace.  The crop top is the same color as the dress (even though it looks a smidge more neon in pictures) and is a couple of sizes bigger than my norm so I was planning on taking it in but then ended up liking the looser look over the skirt.  I went into the store that day figuring I’d have to do some sort of altering to whatever I bought, so I was surprised to have found everything without having to pull out my machine!  It is possible!

The dress is my size and has a ruched, elastic top to make it the strapless dress it is but that elastic made a great waist-line too!  It hit me at an awkward length as a dress though so I just knotted the end to disguise the awkwardness. I found the hat and shoes at other Goodwill's.  The hat is just your average wide-brimmed hat but I couldn’t resist the black and white.  It had one loose strand that I glued and now it’s good to go.        gesfashionchallenge (69)

The shoes are leather-soled and have one wide, beaded strap on top, a burlap strap behind the ankle, and thin leather straps that tie around the ankles.
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I think I’ll switch out the straps for some wider ones later on but for now, they’re great and really comfortable.  Oh yeah, did I mention that they’re a size 6.5?  That would usually be a moot point except that I wear a size 7.5!  Moral of that story (and of the crop top), don’t just thrift within your own size!

I might’ve taken one-too-many pictures during naptime one day this week…
goodwill fashion challenge
…but I blame it on the hat.  There’s something fun about seeing how many ways you can work the hat.  ;)

Anthony told me the whole outfit reminds him of Downton Abbey.  At first I was like “wuttheheck?” but then…
[image from here]
…maybe baby.  Just maybe.  He did preface that by saying he liked my outfit though so the reference had the best of intentions backing it.

Anyway, if you’re down with what I found and if you have a few extra seconds, you can “like” my photo on Goodwill’s Facebook page or on Instagram!  There are prizes for the most likes!  :)

So, all you thrifters out there, what have you found recently?  I swooned over Mandolyn’s recent find…and the rest of her closet is amazing too!  If you need a little inspiration, look to Ana and go grab yourself some thrifted sweatpants and a dress/long shirt and whip up a new skirt!

The sky’s the limit!   
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Made by Kely & Dave

I don’t have many issues with the diy/interior design blogosphere…usually.  One issue I do have and have often though (and one huge reason why I blog), is seeing these beautiful rooms and then finding out that hundreds, and many times, thousands of dollars went into the before to make it the after.  While that’s all great and grand, it leaves budgeting folk like me hanging.  I mean, I have lots of before’s I’d love to stamp after’s but I definitely don’t have hundreds much less thousands of dollars to do so.

That’s why I love love love so very very much when I see beautiful rooms made beautiful on a dime (or a few…but you get my point).  It’s also why I tried not to sound too please-please-please when I asked my college friend Kely if I could share her recent makeover on the blog.  She and her husband, Dave, recently redid their daughters’ room for their eldest’s birthday and they did it on a budget…and it’s gorgeous!

On. A. Budget.  You can pick your jaw up off the table/floor now.

Here’s what the room looked like before:
Maybe you could argue that it had a ombre vibe going with the light blue paint meets blue sponge paint meets blue carpet but maybe you’d be arguing from the 1990’s.  Painting the walls was an easy and cheap update but swapping out that blue carpet was out of the question so Kely and Dave just worked with it; incorporating it into the room to make it feel like it belonged by adding some other, more 2015-ish blue accents.


And let’s talk about what I think might be my favorite part, the chandelier!  This is the boring fixture that was:11136886_827940195500_1363965512_n

But Kely spray painted a chandelier, up it went, and boom!  Amazing!


They also painted the long dresser and hung a gallery wall of sweet little frames over it. 11210083_833186691480_1283506594_n
Inside the frames are pieces of the blue fabric that Kely used in making the bed pillows…yes, she did.  She sewed the pillow covers and curtains.  She’s good.


Their daughter loves Edgar Degas’ work so one of his prints went up on the wall opposite the beds.11225773_833507308960_1836043015_n



Are you as amazed as me?  Seriously, I couldn’t stop looking at the after pictures when she sent them to me.  Beauty can be attained on a budget and here is some serious proof!

Let’s take a gander one more time because it’s just that good.kelyanddave


*heart-eyed emoji*


The State of Toddleropolis

Happy Monday ever-ee-buddy.  I know I’m a stuck-at-home, no wait, that came out wrong…stay-at-home mom and all so really I shouldn’t be that affected by Manic Monday and her infectious drab but, I am.  Every Monday I sit down and make a list of things I want to get done that week – which room I want to deep clean, which project(s) I want to finish, and what posts (lately it’s been post, singular) I want to get up on the blog.  That all really never amounts to much when I figure I have a whole seven days and roughly about 15+ hours of nap and bedtime to complete it all.  But then you throw in making sure we get in our one big grocery run, keeping the rest of the house fairly livable, and, oh yeah, making sure the three tots are busy, happy, and nourished.  Throw in the random incident here and there and sitting down to plan on Monday morning becomes sitting down to make a list and just getting really overwhelmed.  Why am I telling you all this?  I haven’t the faintest.  I guess I just thought you might all like to know what a ball of nerves I was this morning and hope that someone can relate even though most will probably just check off the “Sheena’s crazy” box.  I won’t deny it.

But, let’s move on, shall we?

I like to give updates on how our diy projects are hanging in there and so today, let’s zoom on in to two of our biggest diys to date.  These two:

First, let’s get down and dirty with an update on potty training

You might remember we used a three-day method to potty train the girls when they were 25 months old.  If you don’t, now you know and if you want to read all about it, you can check out this post.  Well, we went cold turkey with diapers day and night and while we considered the girls officially potty-trained after those three grueling days, they still had accidents.  Daytime wasn’t bad and rarely did the girls have accidents then, but night-time?  We were averaging almost 50% there for the first few weeks.  Both girls’ bed-wettings got fewer and fewer over those first few weeks though and a month out, they were waking up dry every day.  Actually, Cecilia has gone every night since then with a dry bed but Seraphia is another story.  A month after training, she was doing great.  She’d maybe wet the bed once a week.  Maybe.  And then January rolled around and she started wetting the bed every night.  This is after three whole months of barely ever wetting the bed.  We were dumbfounded.  There weren’t any big changes happening in our family, no traumatic events to speak of, and no difference in personality.  We finally caved after about two weeks of changing sheets every night and bought pull-ups.  She’s been in them ever since and ever since she’s woken up with a wet one, with the exception of maybe ten nights.   It’s just so bizarre.  Please, someone tell me what the deal is?  The only thing we’ve thought to blame it on is her very heavy sleeping.  But did that heaviness just increase one night?  Doubt it.  Just, seriously, dumbfounded.

Whatever the reason, potty-training in three days worked and let me tell you how nice it’s been to just have to worry about one in diapers.  I do still wipe the girls after they’re done doing their thing only because I don’t feel like they do a good enough job but I’m thinking we’ll probably start teaching them that in a few months. 

Side note:  I mentioned above that we ended up putting S in pull-ups overnight to curb the sheet cleaning and, while it’s been great to not have to clean sheets, I feel like they inhibit the overnight learning process.  When we ask her if she’s “dry” while she obviously wearing a wet pull-up, she says “yes” because she can’t feel the wet.  Needless to say, we’re not big fans of using pull-ups to train and we’d encourage the cold turkey method any day! 

Next up, toddler beds.  We’ve finally made the switch.  We went to Denver a month ago and, knowing that the girls wouldn’t be sleeping in cribs there, we took the opportunity a month before that to convert the girls’ cribs to beds so they could get accustomed to the change.

Well, we’re still getting accustomed.  While they sleep great in their beds, they don’t go to sleep so great in their beds.  We’ve moved their beds every which way in their room and still, they’d be up and playing .057 seconds after we laid them down for the night.  To be expected?  Probably.  A hindrance to our post-bedtime life?  Surely.  Should I stop whining about it?  Definitely.  So goes life, right? 

We ultimately decided to keep their beds open towards each other so they’d be close minus any crib railings since it didn’t matter where in the room the beds were and just because we love that they can look at each other at night.  For a week after the switch, we’d just let them play until they finally stayed in bed after the 40th time we went in and put them back there but they were staying up hours after their bedtime with little to no intention of ever sawing logs.  Their play kitchen is really the only toy in their room and even when we removed the play food and utensils, there was still invisible food and utensils courtesy of little imaginations.


So, for the past several weeks, we’ve just been taking turns sitting in their room, between their beds, rubbing their arms or heads or backs (whichever floats their boats) until shut-eye is attained.  Thankfully, Sebastian has no qualms about being set in his crib and going to sleep on his own (as of two weeks ago) but before that, it was a little rough balancing the three kids by myself at sleep times…a little rough as in fairly traumatic for mom here.  It was either, leave the youngest to cry himself to sleep while I coaxed the girls to sleep or lay with Sebastian until he fell asleep while the girls roamed free (and usually loud) in their room during naptime.  Hello rock.  Hello hard place. 

At first it was really hard for me to sit in their room with them during that precious chunk of time I had to myself everyday, but now I love it.  I love sitting in there with them and rubbing their heads; having some quiet time all to ourselves.  No matter how rough mornings are with them, being able to sit with them while they are nice and sweet and relaxed is so redeeming.  And the view ain’t too bad either:
Unconsciously, I think I hung a huge gallery wall on the wall opposite the crib for mine and Anthony’s sake.  Our eyes needed anything but a blank wall.  :)

Last on the agenda, the “adult table”.  We just moved the girls from their high chairs to the dining table.  I know, we’re a little late to that game.  Cleaning up the food messes one kid makes is tough enough; add two more and it’s even more fun.  (You moms of even more kids than me are my heroes!)  High chairs are great at containing messes to one area so we milked those as long as we could.

But, surprisingly, moving the girls to the table has been super easy.  Nothing like what I thought.  I pictured smeared food all over the table and upholstered chairs, puddles on the floor, and crumbs in every single crevice.  I have Nuby and Vero Chef to thank for the ease, of that I’m sure. 

Right before we made the high chair-to-table switch, Nuby sent us plates, cups, and utensils from their Flower Child line (link is our affiliate link but you can also find them at Buy Buy Baby, Kohl’s, and diapers.com, online and/or in store).  The day they came and after I saw how cute they were, I was so excited to give them to the girls to use.  But I didn’t because bribery is the name of the game folks.  I told the girls that if they ate at the big table and didn’t make big messes, that I had a surprise for them.  A couple of days later, after several meals at the big table without incidents, the girls got their Flower power.
I love everything about their new stuff!  The utensils have bigger handles and they’re not too long – two critical things I look for in kiddie utensils.  The plate has an edge on it that keeps food on the plate and not on the placemat/floor/table/clothes…  And the cups, they’re no-spill and they really mean it.  They’ve been dropped (and thrown) multiple times with nary a spill in sight.  On top of that, they are so cute!  What else could you want?  :)

I also bought these baking mats from Vero Chef (affiliate link) off Amazon to use as placemats.
Our table has two seams where a leaf is inserted and one of those seams happens to be right where the girls eat.  The thought of getting food stuck down in that seam is not a clean one, so the mats have been amazing to prevent that and overall to keep the girls places clean.  I ordered these baking mats because I wanted something inexpensive and the only regular toddler placemats I could find that fit my silicone placemat wishes were $10+ each.  These mats come in a pack of two and the pack cost us $13.  And they are seriously awesome.  We highly recommend them if you’re in the market for toddler placemats.  They stick to the table since they’re silicone and hold utensils and dishware in place.  Also, they’re super easy to clean (dishwasher-safe when a simple rinse won’t do!) and when we want to store them, they just roll up.  Ten thumbs up from the Tobins!

Goldfish anyone?

On another note, they say that mannerisms are inherited.  Funny though because I’m pretty sure that when Anthony and I eat, we look graceful and becoming.  So, I’m not positive where these -isms have trickled down from:
 IMG_6055 IMG_6057

And then there’s this kid:
I’ll have more on him one of these days, including how he needed me or Anthony to lay on the floor next to his crib to fall asleep (which he just grew out of thanks to this toy [affiliate link], stolen from the girls!) and how for a week during that time I built a fake “me” with pillows and blankets to lay on the floor and then skipped out when he wasn’t looking.  Worked like a charm.  


Disclaimer:  We don’t endorse lying to your kids but a little deception with the best of intentions is never really that bad……………right?  ;)