DIY Octopied Sign

Are you excited for the weekend?  I am.  We’re going camping; the kids are pumped.  Oh, by the way, we bought a truck camper.  I’ll have to do a post soon with pictures of it.

Anywho, I’m back with a quick tutorial for the Octopied sign I made for our bathroom.  If you want to see the whole bathroom re-do, click here.

This was a simple sign to make and took me all of 10 minutes.

First, I printed my letters off the computer and cut them out.

I spray painted the board black since this was the color I wanted my letters to be.

Then, I applied a coat of this Crackle Medium.  To use crackle medium, you put a coat of it down, let it get tacky but not dry and then paint over it.  As your top coat of paint dries, it starts to crack and look aged.  In the past, I’ve always done this with acrylic paint, but this time I tried it with spray paint.

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After putting the Crackle Medium down, I placed my letters on the sign.  The Crackle was sticky enough to help the letters stick.

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Once the Crackle was tacky, I spray painted the sign with white spray paint.  Let it dry a couple minutes and then used tweezers to peel off the letters.

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You can see, the sign isn’t perfectly coated in white.  It has an aged effect.  That’s all because of the crackle.  :)

It seems that the crackle works better with acrylic paint. It still worked just fine with the spray paint, just not as much crackling.

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Have a great weekend!

-Brooke

Ocean Themed Bathroom Re-do

Our second bath has been the same since we moved in.  The only thing I had done was paint the vanity a while back- and that was just to get some practice before tackling our kitchen cabinets.

This bathroom is the kids bathroom as well as the bathroom that guests use in our house. I wanted to make it kid-friendly, but not crazy kiddish since guests would be using it too.

Khloe and I decided to go with an ocean theme.  (She’s my new design consultant and apparently my style consultant when it comes to clothes.  I walked out wearing a green dress the other day and she said, “Mommy, are you wearing that??”  hmmm… if it’s this bad now, I’m not looking forward to the teenage years.)  Here’s the before.

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I didn’t go with any major changes in this room.  I kept the wall color (Sherwin Williams Chopsticks) and kept the cabinet color.  I even kept the same shower curtain.  Basically I painted the trim and added some accessories.  The whole makeover cost only around $10, but the change is dramatic.  It went from an unfinished space to a bathroom I’m proud for guests to see.  On to the pictures!!

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Since this is the kid’s bathroom, I spray painted a cheap dollar store basket with silver spray paint and put their books in it.

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I made this print with Psalms 93:4.  I spray painted an old frame I had for some color.

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The jelly-fish prints are pictures I took on our last visit to the aquarium.

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Khloe and I made this Octopied sign (I’ll have a tutorial in a later post).

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I had originally bought this mason jar holder when I decorated Gunner’s nursery, but decided not to use it in there.  It works perfectly as a toothbrush holder.  I put a command hook on the wall right at the bottom to hold a hand towel.

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I spray painted this stool to match the bathroom.  Khloe has always used this stool, but it was just a rough, brown box.  She loves it now that it’s painted.

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It’s amazing what a difference some finishing touches can make.  Nothing like some spray paint for a quick transformation.

-Brooke

Topsail Island 2016

Last week we spent a week at Topsail Island.  It was our first time being there and we absolutely loved it.  We had a house right on the beach and it was beautiful.  I took the opportunity to take pictures of the kids on the beach.  I love these two little ones.🙂

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-Brooke

I’m Back

Hey guys!  It’s been a while, a long while actually.  It’s been a rough year and I’m going to be very honest about it.  Everything was great until we went through Chris’ health scare.  I wrote about it in my last post.  Everything turned out great and in my mind I thought that would be the end of it.  Everything would go back to normal and we would be happy and worry free.

The thing is, when you go through something like that and allow your mind to go to a place it has never been, it’s hard to just snap out of it.  I feel like it’s kind of like PTSD.  I feel awful saying that because I know what we went through is nothing compared to families with serious illnesses or soldiers who return from war, but we had great stress and now we’re on the other side of it…. and it’s not easy to go back to normal.

At  first I was thrilled that everything turned out well, it felt like we had our life back.  Then I got a simple sinus infection.  This threw me so hard into anxiety that it was almost crippling.  See, my mind had just been in this place of “what if my kids have to grow up with only one parent” and this little sickness threw me right back to that place.  My mind switched to “what if they still have to grow up with one parent?”  “what if something horrible happens and all of those fears that were relieved are revived?” I had a horrible reality check that life is not guaranteed and suddenly everything was scary.

I’ve actually been to this place before.  It was right after my Grandfather past away.  I believe that my anxiety, fear, health anxiety all stems from depression.

I feel like I’m coming out of it now.  I’m almost on the other side of it, but I get swept down with it again every once in a while.  I’ve decided that the next 30 days will be spent trying to regain positivity and reduce the stress.  Here’s my plan.  For the next 30 days, I will be following these rules.

  1. No social media- I’ve discovered that the deep dark hole of social media does nothing good for me.  There are constantly stories of people who are sick or awful diseases that can overtake you.  No thanks.  I don’t need that. (the one exception to this is that I will post pictures of our beach trip for my mom, but I won’t be reading, just posting the pictures)
  2. No Googling any symptoms or any other health or body related things.
  3. No seeking reassurance from friends or family that I’m not sick and these “symptoms” are normal.  Reassurance doesn’t work anyways.
  4. No poking or prodding at anything on my body- everyone has aches and pains and poking at them to see if they still hurt just makes it worse and makes me freak out.
  5. Write down 5 things a day that I’m thankful for in my journal.
  6. Set aside a daily prayer time.
  7. Take lunch break and eat outside or go for a walk outside- a lot of times I skip lunch and sit at my computer working instead.  I need sunshine to bring me out of this funk.
  8. Get back to things that distract me and things I love- blogging, decorating, photography

Anyways, I’m working on me.  We all go through things and I hope you don’t mind me being completely honest about them.  I’ll post later today with some pictures from our recent beach trip to lighten things up🙂

-Brooke

The Past 2 Months

I’ve been noticeably absent from the blog for the past 2 months.  Ever since February 9th, our lives have been full of worry.

On February 8th, Chris went to the doctor for a regular old physical that was required by his insurance.  While he was there, he mentioned that he was having some pain in his upper left chest/ shoulder area.  Chris’ dad has heart issues, so to be safe, they did an EKG and a chest x-ray.  The EKG was fine and they said the chest x-ray was fine.  However, the next day, we received a call saying the radiologist had spotted something in the x-ray and wanted him to have a CT scan.  On February 10th, he went in for a CT scan.  On the 12th, his family doctor called and said they had found multiple nodules (spots) on his lungs.  The doctor’s exact words were “I don’t know much about lungs so I’m sending you to a specialist, but, they aren’t ruling out cancer and if they can’t figure it out they’ll send you on to Cleveland Clinic.”  Talk about a freak out.  We were devastated.  Seriously doctors, if you don’t know anything about something, don’t say anything.  And never, ever mention the word CANCER if you don’t know!  Oh, and he also told us that one of the nodules was a 1”.  Turns out it was 1 cm….big difference.  We will not be returning to this doctor.

The following week we went to a pulmonologist and she said it most likely wasn’t cancerous.  He’s a non-smoker, he’s only 29 years old and wasn’t having any symptoms so his odds were very low of it being lung cancer, but an otherwise healthy 29  year old man should not have lung nodules.  She named off about 10 possibilities that it could be and scheduled him to come in for another CT scan in 2 months.  She said if he would get sick to call and they would escalate the timeline.  If the next CT scan showed that it had grown, they would do a biopsy.  We were relieved that she didn’t think it was cancer, but we were still on edge knowing there was something there and we didn’t know what it was.

It was a full 2 months of worry.  There were times when we felt somewhat normal, but then the thought would sneak back in and the worry came along with it.  I was constantly on edge.  Every time Chris would say he was tired, my mind went to cancer.  Any time he would cough, I would pay attention to make sure it wasn’t a persistent cough because that would mean we would have to move up the timeline on the testing.  There was nothing but worry on our minds.  All we could think about were those 2 precious babies of ours and what would happen to them if our nightmare came true.

Chris and I turned our eyes to God.  We prayed like we’ve never prayed before.  We turned our lives around.  Not that we were doing anything bad, we just weren’t really doing anything good either.  We adjusted our attitudes and started being friendlier and more helpful to everyone around us.  We were really trying.  I believe that you can ask God for specific things that you need, so I began getting very specific with my prayers.  I not only asked that God wouldn’t let the nodules grow, I asked that he take them away completely.  I prayed this prayer nearly constantly.  I prayed with all of my heart and God slowly built my faith.  By the time we went into the appointment, I was confident that the doctor was going to say they were gone even though she didn’t even tell us that was a possibility.

Chris had his CT scan last Friday.  We went into the doctor’s office Monday for the results.  We were both silent when she walked in the door, fear gripping us both.  When she walked in she said, “Good news! The nodules are gone. And when I say gone, I mean completely gone.  No scarring, no nothing.”  She went on to read us the radiologist report that listed about 17 things and all were normal.  She said there were only a couple of things that could cause lung nodules to come and then disappear and he didn’t have symptoms of either of them.  I told her we had been praying and she just smiled at me.  His lungs are so clean that she told him he doesn’t even need to follow up with her; there is nothing to follow up on.

No one can tell me that God isn’t real.  He healed my husband and I will never forget it.  Thank you Jesus.

-Brooke

Curly Hair Challenge

Okay- completely random post ahead.  You’ve been warned.

I have curly hair.  You wouldn’t know it.  Even if you saw me every day, you wouldn’t know it.

 

Since I was in middle school, I have straightened my hair almost every day.  There have been random days when I didn’t, but I felt self-conscious all day and very rarely if ever have there been pictures of me with curly hair.

I’m trying really hard to be a more positive person and I think along with that comes embracing what God gave me.  God gave me curly hair, I should be happy with it and I should love it.  Plus, on a complete side note that is far less deep… dude, it takes way too long to straighten my hair every morning. I’ve got 2 kids and a full time job… ain’t nobody got time for that!

So, this morning I wore my hair curly for the first time in probably a year.  Shortly after I got to work, I was talking with a co-worker and they said “Do you have something special to go today?”  I said no and asked why. “Because your hair is all fixed up”.  What the what?  I thought this was my 3 minute hairstyle that I ONLY do when I oversleep.  And that wasn’t the only comment on my hair today.  I had not 1, not 2 but 3 people compliment me on my hair today.  I’m so confused.

So in an effort to be more comfortable with myself, honor what God has given me and gain more time, I came up with a challenge for myself.  Starting on Monday I’m going to start my #LGRCurlyHairChallenge (Life on a Gravel Road- Curly Hair Challenge).  I’m going to wear my hair curly for 2 weeks.  Longer than I’ve ever gone before.  I’ll be posting pictures of my hair everyday on Instagram with the tag #LGRCurlyHairChallenge and #LGREmbraceTheCurls.  Feel free to post your curly hair pictures and tag them and while you’re at it, let me know what your favorite curly hair products are!  I’m hoping by the end of the 2 weeks, I’ll be more comfortable with my hair and learn a little something about how to style my unevenly curly hair.

Let the challenge begin!  EMBRACE THE CURLS!

-Brooke