Salsa Dancing With My Paintbrush

Before we start dancing to the rhythm of a spanish techno beat, I just want to thank you all of you who commented, sent emails, and wrote messages after my little heart to heart Thursday.  I think I had tears coming out of my eyes ten times that day just because of the overwhelming love and support.  You have no idea how good it was to hear over and over that, even though my life can come across as always neat, always perfect, and always sunshiney via a “pretty blog”, that you don’t take me as some self-centered, creativity junkie with an immaculate home.  Seriously!  You are all so amazing and I thank God for you!  :)

So, dance with me.  I’ll explain why a little bit later.  It involves the desk and that my friends, is done. desk 025

I LOVE how it turned out.  A big, big thank you to Sarah Dorsey and her amazing blog (seriously, if you click over prepare for hours of gazing) for the inspiration, her coral nightstand in particular.  I wouldn’t normally go to coral as a furniture paint color.  It’s bold, real bold, and I love it! 

Before I get to the details of how I primed and painted and all that jazz, here’s a picture I pulled out of the cobwebs of this old HP of the desk in the state Anthony bought it in:guest3 ip
This is how our guestroom looked a few days after we moved in and threw it together for company.  Pretty, no?  Off-white trim, stained walls, and mismatched everything made for a straight shot to House Beautiful.  I kid, I kid.  Anyway, the desk was stained an ugly blackish color with red streaks…perfect for an Anthony Bachelor in college, not gonna fly with me.

Soon after our guests left, it was one of the first things I tackled.  I wasn’t sold on a color and wanted to wait to see how the rest of the room evolved before I chose that, but I took some primer to it which brightened it up a thousand times.  I didn’t care if it was streaky (don’t they call that shabby chic?), it was tons better than the black-red.  Well, that was four years ago and I never did get around to painting that baby…until now.

Here ‘tis, moved to our room (the new workshop in this casa), ready to be painted:  desk 001

One big mistake I made in priming this thing, way back before I knew any better, was that I used water-based primer instead of oil-based.  Nor did I sand it down even the tiniest bit.  Not sanding wasn’t a huge deal considering it didn’t have a sheen to it at all but I definitely should’ve used oil-based primer because it blocks out stains and wood can tend to have spots/stains that seep right through water-based anything.  (Lucky me they stayed put in this case.)  FYI for any of you looking to paint any wood furniture.  Always use oil-based primer!!!  You can used water-based paint on top of that (but you can’t used oil-based over water-based!) and all will be grand.

So, moving on, before I got to painting I made sure to stick some tape over the backs of the hardware holes so no paint dripped through them and into the insides of the drawers.  Two second protection.  You can also see the existing hardware holes I filled in in the pic below.desk 005

Here’s where things got a little dicey.  I used a pre-mixed sample of Coral Reef by Valspar (Lowe’s) to paint the desk.  At jar’s glance, it looked like the perfect coral color.  However, after I got the first coat on…
desk 003  

I had a desk the pink panther would be jealous of.  Definitely not was I was going for.  (Bummer because then a few days later I came across this desk via Instagram that Krista at Goodwill Glam painted with the same exact color.  Hers definitely comes off as a little pink too but doesn’t it look gorge?)

I didn’t even try a second coat but instead loaded the twins up and off to Lowe’s we went where, after much deliberation, I decided on getting a test pot of Valspar’s La Fonda Spanish Dancer.  Nothing like that name to make you wanna dance, no?  I wish I could say I salsa-ed while I painted but I’m not quite that good…almost, but not quite. ;)

Here’s an in-progress picture that shows the difference in the colors:desk 006

One quick aside, I’m really picky about painting furniture and the direction in which my paint brush moves.  Using a roller is a different story since you don’t see “roller marks” but paint brushes can tend to leave faint lines, which I don’t mind, but which you have to work with.  So…desk 004
The above diagram shows how I do.  Generally, I paint in the same direction as the longest part of the area I’m painting.  Makes sense?

So, desk painted and dry, the last step was to put a coat of Polycrylic on just the top of the desk for added protection against coffee mugs, pens, the normal destruction that comes with working at a desk.  (P.S.  I let the paint dry for a whole 24 hours before this step.)desk 007

First I taped off the top. desk 008

Then, using my paintbrush, I painted on one coat of the Polycrylic.  Side note:  Don’t use Polyurethane!  It tends to yellow…I found that out the hard way (sorry Maria!).  Polycrylic does not.  Clear acrylic would also work.

A few hours after I painted the top:
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While the poly was drying I wasted no time in putting the hardware back on the drawers.  I found these pretty silver and white darlings on a 70% clearance end rack at Target a few years ago ($3.99 each marked down to $.99).
PicMonkey Collage

Oh, and I forgot to mention that the desk is antique – dove-tailed drawers, casters, and all – so it’s been roughed up in the past, hence why in the above pic you can see some dents and scratches.  Character is what I call it.  :)


And finally, you ready for this?  My favorite desk of all time:desk 022 

Here’s a sneak peek of the fabric-lined drawers:  desk 028
Tutorial on those coming up this week.  Super easy.

And now, it’s off to freshen up the chair that’s going to marry it.  Should be fun!desk 023


Have a great weekend everybody! 

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P.S.  Anyone else ever painted a piece of furniture?  Have any tips you want to share?  Comment them!  Also, I’m a fool for pictures!  I don’t have time to make this post a link-up so post your pictures on Bean In Love’s facebook page!  :)

Here’s My Heart

Hey Y’all!  So my intention was to pound out a “day in the life” post today, bringing you into my life and the daily realities that come with raising twins but then yesterday I read the post of one of my favorite blog reads and it plagued me almost all day bringing about this post.  In it, the blogger wrote about “mom blogs” and how some mom blogs put out an air of perfection – immaculate homes, immaculate kids, form, fit, and function all rolled into one little perfect world.  I’m not arrogant enough to think she was talking about me buutt, having a a diy blog with “picture perfect” photos of my home plastered across one of it’s pages and “outfit” posts which have me posing in my recent sewing concoction smiling without a care in the world, it made me a little self-conscious.  Typically, I’m not one to care what people think of me.  In saying that, I’m a people-pleaser and I’m very sensitive to the thoughts of others.  I guess what I’m saying is please, please, please don’t ever, ever think that because I seem to always be pounding out projects of some sort or another or always on the go, a super-mom, that that’s entirely what my life is made of.
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I will admit though, my life is pretty darn perfect.  Not in “perfect” as the world defines it but perfect in that I’ve been blessed with a bountiful life, I’ve been given lots of talents my our Creator (we all have!), and I have good people surrounding me.  I have an incredible husband and two amazing adorable little girls with another little scooter on the way.  I love my house and I love filling it with pretty things and making it homey.  That said, it’s not always clean…scratch that, it’s never completely clean.  I have a really good cleaning schedule I’m pretty good at adhering to (AND I married a clean freak…borderline OCD is he) but the pictures you see on “Our Current Nest” are not typical and NOT how our house looks daily.  Proof:
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I’ve dealt with my share of struggles in this life.  We had a miscarriage shortly after marriage followed by four years of infertility (a story I’ll share soon!)  I lost both of my parents at age 21 – one to suicide and one to a crumbling relationship.  I won’t go on because I know that we all have trials and it’s no fun to read about them.  However, I know that out of pain comes beauty, love, and joy when you unite your pain to the cross.  My joys have overshadowed the dark spots in my life one hundred fold and I know that I’m not the only one who can say that.  :)

On a little bit lighter note, two of the most commonly asked questions/comments I get told are “How do you do all you do with twins?” and “Are they adopted?/How did YOU carry and birth two?!/You’re waaay too skinny to birth twins!”, considering that two babes coming out of a stick like me aren’t very likely.  Let me clarify for my own sanity…

1)  The girls take two naps per day and they sleep at the exact same times everyday, a routine I established when they were three months old.  That gives me about 3+ hours everyday to do what I want as a stay-at-home mom.  I usually spend their first nap picking up around the house and their second I spend doing something I enjoy – painting, sewing, etc…  Some days, especially since I’ve been pregnant, I spend one of their naps sleeping.  I’m not always doing, doing, doing.  However, I am the daughter of a hard-working farmer and I’d be remiss to tell you that I didn’t inherit that hard-working spirit.  I watch zero hours of TV per week (unless I get sucked in to the “Bachelor/Bachelorette” Monday nights) only because I’d rather be doing something else and probably also because we get 11 measly channels.  If we had HGTV, I’m positive it’d be a different story.  The girls are old enough now where they play with each other and keep each other entertained, meaning that during the morning between their early rise and nap, I now have more time to get stuff done.  I could play with them all day but I love the bonding they get by playing alone with each other…and I love having more time to do my own stuff.  Had we one child, I’m sure that wouldn’t be the case but such is the blessing with two at once.  I know as you browse the pages and projects on this here blog that it might seem that I can conquer the world and paint twenty pieces of furniture in a day but I’ve been writing here for three years and so doing all I’ve done in that large amount of time really isn’t that impressive.  :)
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[Here’s what she thinks of the rug I slaved over.]

2)  I’m pretty thin and I hate talking about it lest you think I’m a narcissistic jerk but I’m going to anyway.  I absolutely HATE when post-partum moms exclaim that they “fit into their pre-pregnancy jeans two weeks after baby!!!!!” because I know that so many moms struggle with even fitting into the jeans they have saved for post-partum.  Sorry if you’ve done that (chances are you didn’t mean to offend) and I know it’s such an area of pride, and rightly so, but being sensitive to others you’ll never hear from me how long it took me to do so.  I am lucky that I slimmed down so quickly after birthing the two babes but guess what?  I breastfed both exclusively and the calorie-burning equivalent of that is like running a mile everyday (don’t quote me but it’s something like that.)  I know I didn’t look like I gained much weight during my pregnancy but believe it or not, I gained almost 50 pounds!  For a tiny-boned girl like me, that’s a lot!  Growing up I was so very thin.  Not because I didn’t eat because I did…like two horses.  Ask my mom.  I drank wrestlers’ weight gainer powder (disgusting fyi) everyday just to look “normal” like everyone else.  I wasn’t teased in my school because of it, thank God, but I can remember walking out onto the gym floor of another school as a cheerleader in middle school and hearing the jeers of some of the girl fans of the opposing team calling me “anorexic”…in my naiveté I had no clue what that meant until I researched it at home that night only to break down in tears.  Later, in high school, I had a saleswoman in Cache relate and tell me she used to be teased for being so skinny but “don’t worry honey, you’ll appreciate it one day” and it meant the world to me.
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  I’d love to steal some of those hips off of any of you or snatch up some of those “curves” but I am what I am and that’s that.  Praise God.  I’m alive, I can walk, see, make…

Anyway, I’m sorry if you click  over here for diy happiness and if I’m boring a hole into your head right now but my chest has been heavy the past day with this junk and it just feels so good to throw it out there.  It’s me.  I’m not perfect.  My life isn’t “perfect”.  But I love it.  I love making things and I love writing and inspiring others.  I never want to show-off, only to show that with a handful of change, you can make your home and your wardrobe pretty too! 

Anyway, we’re halfway into naptime and if you’ll excuse me, my bedroom is a wreck, my kitchen floor is in desperate need of a sweep not to mention the piled up dishes and full dishwasher and the shirt I donned last night that C threw up all over – gag me - so I’ll be going now.  I hope you all have a wonderful, blessed day whether it’s chasing four kids around a messy house, packing your life up to head back to another semester of college, maybe breaking out a paint brush, or just trying to get through another work week.  God bless!

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You are beautiful my beloved, there is no flaw in you – Song of Solomon 4:7

A Maxi from Scratch

While searching through a box of stuff at my Aunt’s recently, I stumbled upon a fab piece of fabric.  My sister got it at the Salvation Army for a hundred  and ninety-nine pennies several years ago but somehow it got lost in the shuffle of moving, marriage, babies…you know how it goes.  Well, finders keepers, right Farrah?  Or, I asked her if I could have it and she said “yes”.  Either way, it’s mine now…har har har. blueorangemaxi 001

My plans?  A maxi skirt.  How I did it?  Read and learn…and then make one yourself because it’s that easy!

Things you’ll need:
-Sewing machine (or your hands, a needle, and thread if you’re that good)  I used to use a hand-held machine I bought at Wal-Mart for $15.  That’d work too.
-Elastic – at least 1/2 inch thick
-Measuring tape
-Pins – stick and one safety
-A piece of fabric (read on to determine measurements)

First, I cut my newly-acquired fabric to the desired size.  I didn’t mess with the length but did have to cut some off the future waistline.  All cut my fabric measured 60 by 44 inches.  (Detailed measurements below.) 
blueorangemaxi 002

Then, I sewed a straight stitch up the side, connecting the two cut ends and making one large tube of fabric.  I finished that off with a zig-zag stitch for fray protection.   blueorangemaxi 003

Next, I grabbed a package of two-inch wide elastic I purchased awhile ago at JoAnn’s for this exact purpose.  (It should read “Underwear & Pajama & Maxi Skirt Elastic”…note to Dritz.)  :) blueorangemaxi 004

Then I folded and pinned down a hem at the top of the skirt into which would fit the elastic.  Since I was using 2 inch wide elastic, I made a 2.5 inch hem.  You want to make sure the pocket that houses the elastic fits around the elastic snugly so that, once installed, the elastic doesn’t have room to twist.  (Side note:  the top and bottom ends of this fabric didn’t need to be hemmed since I was changing the length of the skirt.  I just left them the way they were – you can see how they looked in the above picture.  If your piece of fabric is cut on either of those ends and needs reinforcement or if you just want a sewn hem, you’ll have sew that in now before you continue to the next step.) blueorangemaxi 005

Starting close to my sewn side hem just because, I sewed a straight stitch all around the top of the skirt, making sure to leave a 3 inch opening through which to feed my elastic.  I also made sure to backstitch at each end…very important if you want your stitch to stay intact.  This just involves sewing a few stitches, reversing over them, and sewing forward.  At the end of a hem it’s the same – reverse a few stitches and go forward a few stitches. blueorangemaxi 006

After cutting my elastic to the desired length, I attached one end close to one side of my hem opening and to the other I attached a safety pin.  Attaching the safety pin helps you feed the elastic through the hem.  
blueorangemaxi 008

You just push and pull the elastic through while holding onto the safety pin through the fabric, like so: blueorangemaxi 009
(Just make sure you feed the elastic through without twisting it!)

Eventually I maneuvered the elastic all the way through until the ends met once again. blueorangemaxi 010

I sewed those together…blueorangemaxi 011

…and then sewed the opening I left to thread the elastic through closed, making sure to backstitch at each end again.blueorangemaxi 012

Just in case you want some measurement technicalities to make your own:
The piece of fabric I used measured 60 inches (hip/waist and bottom hem) by 44 inches – a big rectangle.  I’m 5’9” so without cutting the length, 44 inches allowed me a 2.5 in hem at the top to house the elastic with the bottom of the skirt grazing the ground just a tad…just the way I like it.  I cut the elastic to 27 inches long, allowing a 1 inch seam overlap once the two ends were sewn together.  So, the finished elastic piece measured 26 inches.  I’m a size 2-4 generally so this length fit snugly around my hips and will hopefully accommodate a growing belly…thank God for elastic.  For each size up I’d say add an inch, however it’s always best to pin it around your hips first before cutting.  I tend to wear skirts on my hip vs. my waist.  Keep how you wear yours in mind when figuring out elastic length.  :) 

I did all of this in a half hour time period yesterday morning and wore it to church last night like this:blueorangemaxi 058

Top:  Goodwill – altered
Skirt:  Home.Made.
Flips:  unseen but Wally World
Baby belly:  Well, you know.  ;)
-Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple for (drumroll) What I Wore Sunday!-

But hold up!  I’m not stopping there.  I got a little crazy and went all “How We Wear It” with Shana and Camille

I typically wear maxi skirts with a form-fitting shirt, tucked in.  See?  So blahzay, I know.  But, to amp up my plain jane pairing, I figured out a few ways I could “maximize my maxi.”, if you will.  Here’s how:

> > >By adding a sarong over the top.  If I had an orange or even a yellow piece of extra fabric lying around, I would’ve used it for a blast of color with a hint of pattern buuuuut, all I had was the excess fabric.  So, I grabbed it and tied it around, creating a multi-layer skirt.
blueorangemaxi 031

(Throw an intermission into the photo sesh…a twin awoke.)

> > >By adding a belt.  It’s as simple as it sounds.  Throw a belt around the elastic.  Could work for a grocery run but since I hate, hate, hate those, I’ll wear it to Target instead.blueorangemaxi 071

> > >By tying a scarf around the waist.  This might be my favorite.  All I did was grab a coordinating scarf (really any color would work) and tied it in a big ‘ole knot under the 19 week fetal bump.  Bam!  Ship me to Barbados, I’m ready!
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How do you wear a maxi skirt?  Head over to Ain’t No Mom Jeans and Life In Mod and share (or use hashtag #howwewearit on Instagram!)  And, as always, comment with any questions or send me a line at!  I won’t ‘skirt’ around any issues you might have, promise.  ;)

Drilling & Filling

I’m sorry if the title of this story has you hearkening back (or forward) to the treacherous scenes of a dentist’s office but I assure you, I’m not going there.  I (with a knock on the table at which I’m perched) have never had a cavity so I’ve avoided that which I’ve heard such bad tales of thus far.  To go the rest of my life without saying so is I’m sure arrogant…Lord help me on the day my teeth meet that sort of metal.

Anyway, I digress.  The desk.  It belonged to Anthony in college.  He purchased it at a local thrift store for 10 beans and now it’s traveled the country with us.  It’s an antique and was missing one handle, sporting a rope strung in it’s place.  Well, way back when I primed the thing, I scored some super cool knobs and handles for it on super clearance at Target.  The only problem was that the new handles were shorter than the original handles which meant I had to drill new holes.  After feeling gutsy one afternoon and too impatient to wait on Anthony, I decided to break out the drill and do it myself.

I’m sure there’s a much better and smarter way to do this butttt…first I measured and made marks where the holes needed to be drilled.  Then I grabbed a drill bit that fit through the existing holes since the new screws fit in them just peachily.  Next, holding the drill as vertically straight as I could, I drilled myself four new holes.

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(Old holes on the outside, new on the inside…in case you’re a curious feline.)

Next step was to fill the holes.  First I placed a piece of tape on the backs of the holes, inside the drawer, to hold in my filler.  Then, using some paintable wood filler, I simply pressed it into each hole until they were over-filled.  After waiting a few hours for them to dry, I took a fine-grit sanding block and sanded over them until they were smooth.  If for some reason you need to fill more, you’d have to repeat this process  - over-fill and sand.  

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Here’s the wood filler I used:
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I got it at Wal-Mart awhile ago and my only complaint is that the filler in the nozzle dried so that I couldn’t squeeze anymore out.  So, I had to cut off the end of the tube and now tape it shut when I’m done.  It’s seemed to keep well so far.

This next step is optional but since wood filler tends to dry a little less smooth (however it’s not very noticeable except to these perfectionist eyes) due to the fibers in it, I sanded a little more and filled in the very tippity top of my holes with some spackle.  I also used the spackle to fill in a few dents in the face of the drawer.
 holes 001

The last thing I did was swipe some primer over the areas I filled before I got to painting.   holesf

A couple of things: 1) if you’re planning on staining something you’ve filled in holes on, you wouldn’t be able to get things ultra-smooth with spackle…I don’t thing it takes stain well (not sure on that though) and 2) also if you’re planning on staining vs. painting, make sure you use stainable wood filler.  Your holes/dents/cracks should blend right in.

And that’s that.  I’ll have the finished desk up next week (with just maybe a sneak peak on Instagram…check the sidebar over there ---->
or follow @beaninlove). 

Have a great weekend all you folks out there!

They…Are…Numba One

Cause two we’ll  have another and three…well, at the rate we’re going, probably another.  But, back to the present because who wants to think about the chaos of three under two much less the possibility of four under three (shudder with a smile…if God giveth, we will taketh).

The twins turned the big ONE YEAR OLD and on that blessed day we went to the zoo.  A week or so later we threw a little birthday shin-dig for them with family that was in town.  I know maybe some of you expect my party planning skills to be detailed and cute and all that jazz considering my diy loving heart but that is just not the case.  I had a very teeninsy (think $10) budget to work with so I threw up some dollar store tablecloths as ceiling decor and laid out a tablecloth, napkins, and paper/plastic eatery provided by me madre and called it a par-tay, capital P.  I love me a cute little themed party but into planning them I am not…I’d rather be painting junk.  :)

Anyway, the party went off with a few hitches and all was great, grand, and wonderful.

The twins were adorned in the cutest birthday suits ever, consisting of lots and lots of pink and lots of tulle, courtesy of their Auntie Debbie.

Presents were a hit and mostly clothes (much needed for these growing weeds) until somebody turned all party pooper but since it was her party, we let her cry if she wanted to, cry if she wanted to.


We haven’t exposed the girls to many sweets but this day we went all sugar overload - funfetti cupcakes with rainbow chip frosting (theee best eva).  Everything was running like a smooth, oiled machine until Daddy lit the birthday candles and Seraphia grabbed her flame, sending her into a fit of tears (do you blame her?), a lifting out of her high chair, some halting their musical notes and some fighting forward creating a clash of Happy and youuuuu…, Cecilia wasting no time digging into the cupcake in her face, me just trying to get a good memory shot, and well, I’m sure you get the picture.  Oh look!  Here she is (top and left) a split-second before charring her tiny phalange:

We did manage to “fix” the broken finger and the birthday party ensued.  I think they liked the cake, no? 
They get their sweet teeth from mwah.

Funday Sunday, truly.

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At one neither of the girls have yet to take steps however, Cecilia can stand without support and without any motivation to do anything else.  They both climb and stand on whatever is in front of them though and as a result, have had plenty of crashes and bangs.  I had to stop breastfeeding the girls three weeks before their big day due to a decrease in milk supply at 13 weeks pregnant so we switched right then and there to whole milk.  They get about 16 oz. per day – four in the morn upon waking, five around two in the afternoon, and seven at night.  As far as eating solids goes, I never knew how much I would love the day that they could basically eat anything under the sun.  I never minded making baby food but my life has become ten times easier know that I can just cut up little pieces of our dinner and serve it on the platter of a high chair.  They’re big eaters in little bodies, shoveling in a cup or more of bits at each meal before they’re finished.  You’d never know.

We haven’t been to a one-year check-up yet, I blame busy summer, but I expect much of the same – tall for their age, lean for their age.  They still nap twice a day and sometimes me too.  :)  They babble like it’s their job.  They’re into EVERYTHING.  Cecilia is the ring leader when it comes to trouble-making and thinks “no” is a joke, giving me a four-toothed grin and laugh when she hears that word and sees my stern face.  Seraphia listens like an angel and moves on to other trouble.  We just got some cabinet locks in the mail today and I can’t wait to get them on.  My daily exercise regimen of picking up scattered tupperware, cleaning supplies (no solutions, don’t worry Grandma), and pan and pot lids is 16 screws from over.

They sleep through the night most nights, sprinkling a few I-lost-my-pacifier crying sessions in the mix that bring one of us into their room, groggy as all get out, and usually on our hands and knees groping the carpet under one or both cribs, which reminds me, I really need to make some crib skirts.  Maybe that would help the situation.

Anyway, I don’t know what else to bore you with.  I like to type down details in case another mother out there is wondering about the “whats” of certain stages but I realize most of you probably could care less.  If you have any questions, send me a line or just wing it.  It’s worked for us thus far.  ;) 


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P.S.  If you’re wondering about progress on the desk, it’s sitting pretty with one coat of paint except I’ve had a little bump in the road to smooth out.  The plan is to be done with it and all details spilled to you and yours next week. 

P.P.S.  Also in case you’re wondering, all of the above picture collages were made with Pic Monkey (  I recently discovered this site and let me tell you, it’s amazing!  Making collages has never been so easy peasy!  Go there.  Use it.  :)

P.P.P.S.  How do you like the blog’s new design?  I’m really excited about it!  It’s still in tweaking stage but coming along as fast as my very amateur html/css skills can move!