It’s Finally Here…Our First New Home

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Well, it’s been hard to keep this under wraps, but this morning we made it official. We’ve purchased our first new home! It wasn’t what we set out to find, but we absolutely love it. Although it’s not quite my country home with big porch and picket fence, it is in a neighborhood out in the country, it has a large patio in the back, and it does have a fence.

The best part is how move-in ready it is. Real, original hardwood floors, wood burning stove, energy-efficient attic ventilation system, real tile throughout the house,  a 22′ x 20′ family room, two sheds, and we even love the interior paint colors! It doesn’t get any better than that. The back has a 40′ x 20′ raised garden bed that we can’t wait to clean out and plant veggies. Right now, it’s full of perennials.

Our challenges? Not many. There’s an under-utilized space adjacent to the garage and family room. Right now, part of the space is used as a small walk-in closet-type utility room. The rest is storage. Our plans? An awesome 22′ x 9′ ultimate utility room! I’ve already found some great posts on utility room makeovers to help us get started.

The other obvious challenge? Curb appeal. We can’t wait to brighten up the front. What do you think? Remove some pine trees? Paint the brick? Maybe just add some bright decor? Here’s to many more posts about building, remodeling, crafting, and recreating a perfect home!

Jenny

Locally Grown Produce Shop Opening this Weekend

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I can’t wait for Double Oak Farm to open this Saturday, at their new location 1120 Washington St., Columbus, Ind. I volunteered there yesterday, helping them paint the new store. They only stock locally-grown produce within a 100 mile radius. They draw from friends and family, largely from the Amish community. And since many of then are in southern Indiana, they get a lot of produce two weeks earlier that other vendors.

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They also are the only CSA program in this area. By paying upfront to cover growing costs, you get a vegetable box each week featuring their best produce at the time. Soooo cool.

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Count on seeing me there Saturday!

Jenny

Take Out Your Pretties and Throw a Party

I’m working with a host who is throwing a wedding shower for a coworker, and she’s not quite sure what she wants yet. Have you been there before? Nothing better than to dig in. She did mention that she wants it to be a sit-down dinner party and would like to keep it simple. So, I created an inspiration board based on settings that you can make with items you might already have at home, or that would be easy to make.

Sometimes the best place to start is in your own cupboards! Get out all your pretties and be inspired by their potential.

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Sources: 1.  The Kitchn 2. Charm Event Design 3. Lollipop Events & Designs 4. Lollipop Events & Designs 5. Lollipop Events & Designs 6. In the Making Design 7. Southern Living 8. Southern Living 9. Lollipop Events & Designs

Jenny

Baristas Need Flair Too

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Handmade pins with coffee cup charms.

Work uniforms can be a drag. But you just got to get creative with the details… I made these by making a flower from green, white, and black fabric. I added black lace and rhinestones to spice it up. I designed coffee-themed charms in Illustrator and printed it on Shrinky-Dink plastic–that stuff is awesome!

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Starbucks pins feature a coffee cup charm that says “Stay Strong”

Jenny

Green and Brown Baby Shower for St. Patrick’s Day

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A baby shower with a subtle Irish theme

I pulled together a successful baby shower right before St. Patrick’s Day for my sister-in-law. The decor set a an exciting mood, guests raved about the menu, and the room was constantly filled with laughter and smiles. My sister-in-law has an Irish background and loves all things Celtic, including St. Patrick’s Day. So my goal was to throw a baby shower with a subtle Irish theme without it being cliche or cheesy.

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Invites were handmade and designed.


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Envelopes featured Pippin’ elephant labels

I started with handmade invitations. There were only 20 to make, so I did everything from scratch using scrapbooking materials and an inkjet printer. I tried to find a subtle Irish-like background paper and paired it with a sparkling brown. Using Illustrator, I redrew the elephant icon featured in baby’s room, Graco’s Pippin.

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Vases are reclaimed glasses from thrift store and spray painted.

The food kept in theme, featuring only green and brown foods. I forgot to take photos of the food! We had basil pesto, a green veggie tray, green deviled eggs (colored with fresh herbs), roasted turkey and herbed chevre spinach tortilla roll-ups, and brownie pops. I bought Wilton’s brownie pop mold at Hobby Lobby and used Trader Joes brownie mix to make the pops. I popped in skewers when they were still warm and dipped them in melted chocolate. Be sure to dip all the way to the stick–it seals the pop and keeps it from falling off. I dipped the pops in crushed pistachios, nonpareils sprinkles, and colored sugars. We made pedestals for everything by stacking glasses under plates, secured with some clear tape.

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Lemon cake with a dried sage wreath.

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Cake table makes a big impact with floral arrangement.

The cake table was a favorite feature. My mother made a lemon cake (as requested by the mommy-to-be) and we made a floral arrangement to go around it. I bought wine goblets and glasses at Goodwill, spray-painted them silver, and then ordered blooms from a florist. The arrangement was cheap since I provided my own containers. The arrangement looked great, but I was disappointed not to get any Irish moss or clover. The felt garland banner hanging above the cake says “Welcome Wee Little Lad” and was made to match the nursery. Mommy-to-be kept the “Wee Little Lad” section and I’m posting the “Welcome” section on Etsy for sale. The gift table also featured a large framed Irish blessing, custom designed for the nursery. There was a peg shelf above the gift table, so we strung coordinating ribbon and used clothes pins to attach coordinating baby goodies as decorations, such as a stocking cap, booties, pacifier, etc.

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Felt garland banner reads

We made the games a little bit too easy, although fun. I picked up cute prizes from Hobby Lobby and The Christmas Shoppe. The first game was placing 10 items in brown bags, passing them around, and writing down your guess of what the bag contained. We had several new mommies who got nine out of ten correct. The only item they couldn’t guess was a little baby toothbrush. I had one diaper and one bib, which confused a lot of people.  The next game was test-tasting jarred baby foods. I only had five, all close in color, but a lot of people guessed all five. The prizes went quick with so many winners! We cut the game list short since we ran out of prizes. We played one more just for fun. We had alphabet letters in a bowl and made everyone draw two. Since baby hadn’t been named yet, guests were to give creative suggestions for names using the two letters they drew. That was fun!

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Answer sheet for games matched party theme.

Other things I made were tags for the paper bag game and an answer sheet for all the games. I love planning parties! It’s so important to focus on Mommy-to-be’s tastes and plans for the baby and then use that as inspiration for the party. It was really hard to find ideas for an upscale St. Patrick’s Day party, but I think I pulled it off. It took making decorations from scratch and incorporating basic Irish elements, like the Irish blessing and greens for the floral arrangement.

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My niece and I wearing green.

Jenny