A Howling Staycation

To start the decade right, we finally decided to see what Great Wolf Lodge was all about. In Grapevine, Texas, this wilderness themed family resort sits right in the center of DFW right across from Gaylord Texan. This location debuted an 11 million dollar facelift in 2018 and is the brand’s largest resort with 605 rooms.

Walking into The Great Wolf Lodge is like walking into a giant tree house. There is an actual tree right in the lobby and it looks like a big cabin. Everyone in our party was given a wrist band, the adults’ bands can open the room and be used to charge on. We arrived after lunch and ventured straight to our KidKamp Suite. The girls literally screamed with excitement when they saw their bunk bed tent room! We changed into our swimwear and went straight to the water park. I loved the way that they checked our bands, cut the extra piece off, and then proceeded to measure the girls and give them color coded bands based on their height. The nice lady also told us which slides each girl was not allowed on. We spent most of the day playing in the water park. After eating dinner we came back to find the cutest pajama party and dance party in the lobby. We even went down to the arcade and played for a while. The hotel was popping when we woke up too! There was story time and kids yoga in the lobby. The Starbucks on property was perfect for a morning caffeine pick me up. We made sure to hit up both the arcade and the water park one last time before check out! The girls are dying to go back again soon. I outlined all the hotel details that I learned below and hope you get to visit a Great Wolf Lodge soon.

Rooms for every family

  • Standard
    • Family: Two queen beds and full sleeper sofa
    • Family with Balcony/Patio
    • Luxury King Suite: King bed and full sleeper sofa
    • Luxury King Suite with Balcony/Patio
    • Queen Sofa Suite
  • Themed
    • KidKabin Suite: Queen bed, full sleeper sofa, twin bed and twin bunk beds
    • KidKabin Suite with Balcony/Patio
    • KidKamp Suite Queen bed, full sleeper sofa, twin bunk beds
    • KidKamp Suite with Balcony/Patio
    • Whirlpool Suite: King size bed, full sleeper and private whirlpool in the room
    • Wolf Den Suite: Queen bed, full sleeper sofa, twin bunk beds
    • Wolf Den Suite with Balcony/Patio
  • Premium
    • Brown Bear Suite: Master bedroom with King bed, second bedroom with two queen beds, main room with full sleeper sofa and seating area for 6
    • Grand Bear Suite: Master bedroom with King bed, two queen beds and full sleeper sofa in living area
    • Grand Bear Suite with Balcony/Patio
    • Grand Royal Bear Suite: Master bedroom with Queen bed, queen bed in living area with full sleeper
    • Grand Royal Bear Suite Balcony/Patio
    • Grizzly Bear Suite: Master bedroom with King bed, two queens in second room, full sleeper in main room
    • Grizzly Bear Suite Balcony/Patio
    • Loft Suite: second story loft bedroom with Queen bed, two queen beds and full sleeper in main room
    • Majestic Bear Suite: Master bedroom with Queen bed, two queen beds in main room with full sleeper

Things to do

  • Water Park: This 80,000 square foot facility houses activities for all ages in a comfortable 84 degrees. With 6 water slides, 2 hot tubs, a wave pool, play pool with lily pad rope course, lazy river, water tree house, and little kid friendly zero entry play pool, cabanas, restaurant with drinks, food, and libations, and even an outdoor pool for warmer weather days, Great Wolf Lodge has water play for everyone in the family.
  • Northern Lights Arcade: fun for the whole family, play all sorts of games, for fun or for tickets. Loads of prizes available at different price points. Paw Points are placed on a re-loadable card that doesn’t expire, so you can come back and use your card as often as you want.
  • MagiQuest: explore the hotel with a swipe of a wand. Each quest takes 15- 30 minutes and can be stopped and picked up during your stay. The wand will remember your past quests for the next time you visit. Mini Magi Mode is catered for kids 5 and under.
  • Compass Quest: An add on layer to MagiQuest, this is for school age and up. Use a compass to unlock 9 adventures. Great for groups! Each game lasts 4-6 hours.
  • Build A Bear Workshop: Build a bear just like you would at the regular shop, but you can make Great Wolf Lodge characters as well.
  • Howler’s Peak: Indoor ropes course for children 48 inches and taller. Smaller structure is available for younger children accompanied by an adult.

Daily Activities around hotel

  • Character meet in greets are available throughout the day.
  • Wake up with Wiley and friends in the lobby in the mornings with Yoga Tails. Walk around the lobby on your Wolf Walk and see the Northwood Friends Show.
  • Party in your PJs every night. Meet one of the Wolf Kids, enjoy story time, and dance party with all your new friends.
  • Throughout the day enjoy an animated woodland show at The Great Clock Tower Show.

What to pack

  • Shampoo and conditioner– You’ll be in the water often and the one’s offered don’t cut it after all the chlorinated waterfalls you’ll be enjoying
  • Swimsuits and cover ups
  • Flip flops or water shoes
  • Beach bag if you want to bring anything extra down to the pool
  • Pajamas and slippers for the kids to wear during the night time activities
  • Sneakers if you are wanting to enjoy the ropes courses

Til the next one,

Letter Ledge DIY

We’ve all seen these instagrammable walls with funny phrases, from Pine & Birch to LollyJane. I’ve loved these for over a year now, but did not want to spend the money on buying one. Also, I get nervous putting something up that is so trendy, like will I like it by next Fall? This is why I decided to make a letter ledge that can double as a classic picture ledge for when my itch to switch comes along.

Materials

  • Per ledge: (2) 1x3x8, (1) 1x2x8 pine
  • Trim nails
  • Hammer (if you have a nail gun, that would be easier
  • Bar clamp
  • Sandpaper or sander
  • Stain or paint. We used Varathane Wood Stain in Weathered Gray.
  • Paint brush
  • Damp rag
  • French Cleat, we used 100 lbs rated 12 inch wide. 1 per ledge
  • Marquee Letters: 6 inch letters on 6 7/8 inch clear plastic

Directions

  • Cut down all pieces to desired width. You can have this done at both Lowes and Home Depot if you don’t have the tools at home.
  • Attach and clamp one 1×3 piece to the 1×2 piece like shown in the picture.
  • Use a hammer and nail (or nail gun) to secure both pieces together flush. Make sure that you nail goes in straight so it doesn’t come out through the wood.
  • Attach the second 1×3 piece to the back like shown in the picture and clamp.
  • Nail together like above
  • Sand down all edges and make sure it is smooth
  • Paint or stain all sides, except the back, of your shelf
  • Center french cleat to the top back of ledge and screw on using hardware provided
  • Center bottom part of french cleat to the wall, accounting for that the bottom of it is basically the bottom of your shelf. If you are not going into studs, make sure that you use anchors
  • Once you place your shelf on the wall you may notice minor misalignment. You can unscrew a little to move the plate on the wall up or down and then try again. We had to do this with the bottom shelf a couple of times.
  • Place your marquee letters and voila!

It can be a one person project, but two people make it go a lot quicker. I am VERY happy with how this came to life and I cannot wait to change up our wall letter ledge ALL THE TIME.

Tis the season,

Giving Guide 2019

Yes, this is one more gift guide. Sorry (not sorry). I wanted to help the procrastinators and our stumped friends find gifts for those they love. Below you will find 12 gifts for men, women, and toddler girls. These are pretty general and the prices vary. The idea is that you can find something for your dad, husband, aunt, bestie, co-worker, or secret Santa. There is something for everyone!

Women’s Gift Guide

  1. USB/Lightning Cable Key Chain: Never leave the house without a charger. This super cute monogrammed leather tassel keychain secretly hides a USB to lightning cable cord. Black Friday Sale: 20% off and free shipping code FRIENDS
  2. Quip Toothbrush: A trendy yet practical gift. I love this toothbrush so much, its not only cute, but the case/holder design is genius. Black Friday $10 gift card with purchase
  3. Velvet and Pearl Headband Set: These Lele Sadoughi knock offs have been a fan favorite. I get compliments every time I wear them, and I just love how it elevates any outfit. Black Friday down to $11.99
  4. Personalized Hand Stamped Jewelry: I have been a Rightly Royce fan for a year now. Not only do I love all of their hand stamped and personalized jewlery, but I love supporting a hard working family. Use code CATALINA15 for 15% off. Last day to order personalized goods is 12/15/2019. Black Friday, use my code but get 20% off!
  5. OTG247 Bags: I LOVEEEEEE these bags so much. There is a bag for literally every single occasion and need. I am a total OCD organized person and these bags help me stay that way. Favorites of mine include: card case, #7 Foodie (which is a cooler bag and fits in your purse), #9 with strap that is perfect to replace a briefcase or laptop sleeve, and #6 Nudie which is stadium approved! Use my code LIFEWITHCANDG for 10% off! Black Friday is on until Sunday and everything is 20% off using code GRATEFUL on orders over $100
  6. Digital Frame: Skylight has been a hit in our house for about a month. This digital picture frame has a matted border and touch screen. I easily send pictures to it via email and my girls swipe and “like” the pictures daily! Us code CATALINA19 for $10 off. It would be great for any family member in your life. Same deal as their Black Friday sale
  7. DNA Ancestry Testing: 23 and Me has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Both Ancestry and Health + Ancestry are on major sale right now. Get $100 off through November, no code necessary.
  8. Skin Care Sets: No matter your age, taking care of your skin is an important step in a beauty regimen. Splurge on BeautyBio GloPRO Microneedling Set , save on The Ordinary No Brainer Set.
  9. Corsi Air Fryer: This top rated air fryer is the perfect gift for the techie/cook in your life. You can cook healthier meals and monitor or control it from your phone or Alexa device. There is this cheaper version too!
  10. Get Cozy: Grab a WoodWick Candle, an Amazon favorite and great price, this wood wick candle smells and crackles just like a cozy fireplace. These Trendy Slippers are a blogger favorite, these cute and comfy slippers come in 8 colors. Would be a great stocking stuffer or secret santa gift.
  11. St. Anne Tote: This beautiful Barrington tote is fully customizable. From Louis knockoff to Goyard, or cow hide to plaid. Monogram with a stripe or just letters in just about any color. The possibilities are endless.This bag also come without zipper. Black Friday through cyber Monday get 10% off $150, 15% off $250, 20% off $300 with code THANKFUL.
  12. Customizable Door Mat: The new trendy mat that is every farmhouse lover’s dreams. There are two sizes large and small. This mat is great because you can change it out for every season or occasion.

Men’s Gift Guide

  1. Face Socks: The best gag gift ever. Add you face, your kids faces, you pets face, or anything you can dream of. You can gift this to any family member or even person you work with. Such a funny or cute little gift.
  2. Bear Paws: The original meat shredder claws. We LOVE these so much. So great to shred and pull chicken or pork.
  3. Quip Toothbrush: We are all know that a man in your life could use this hygiene gadget. It is a great toothbrush for someone who travels often because of its handy carrying case that doubles as a holder that suctions (over and over) on a shiny surface like a mirror. Black Friday $10 gift card with purchase
  4. Master Outline Tool: This as seen on TV or facebook ad gadget is the perfect small gift for the handy person in your life.
  5. Shaving Gift Set: My hubby LOVES Harry’s products! If your man needs a new razor, gift him this great set. Black Friday 30% off shown in cart
  6. Suede Slippers: A really good looking and comfortable classic. I love that you can monogram these but they look perfect without without it. On sale for 50% off right now use code BLACK
  7. Weather Tech Mats: This is a splurge item but the man in your life that receives this will be so grateful and impressed. These mats are laser cut to fit your specific model vehicle. They are great for anyone who loves to keep their cars looking brand new.
  8. Charging Station: This wooden charging station doubles as a landing space for for coins and a wallet, it has a spot to hang a watch, glasses, and keys!
  9. Weekend Bag: This Florentine leather bag is a beautiful gift that is useful, classic, and will stand the test of time. It is a bit of a splurge, but is a great gift for a special man in your life. Black Friday get 10% off $150, 15% off $250, 20% off $300.
  10. Travis Mathew Goodies: I think it is safe to say that this brand is almost every young golfer’s favorite brand. Nordstrom Rack tends to have items at a discount. I love this fun shirt that is 50% off. Another funny gift would be these Christmas boxers! Travis Mathew site has everything up to 50% off
  11. DNA Ancestry Testing: 23 and Me has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but also gift to my husband and father. Both Ancestry and Health + Ancestry are on major sale right now. Get $100 off through November, no code necessary.
  12. Digital Frame: Skylight has been a hit in our house for about a month. This digital picture frame has a matted border and touch screen. I easily send pictures to it via email and my girls swipe and “like” the pictures daily! Us code CATALINA19 for $10 off. It would be great for any family member in your life. Same deal as their Black Friday sale

Little Girls’ Gift Guide

  1. Sound Limiting Headphones: These headphones come in a bunch of different colors and even a couple of fun designs. They are inexpensive and work wonderfully for our little ones. They fold down and we loved having them on our last flight.
  2. Quip Toothbrush: The trendiest toothbrush company just came out with a kids option! It may not be on your child’s wishlist, but it is always nice to get them something they need!
  3. 3 Wheel Scooter: If you’re looking to save on a good gift, this is a great option. My girls loveeeee their scooters so much. This particular kind is on amazon (primeeee!) and is designed to have no sharp edges.
  4. Scooter Accessories: We first saw these accessories on our neighbor’s scooters. This unicorn attachment is so cute and even comes with matching streamers. Spruce up any old scooter with this gift!
  5. Frozen Wet Brushes: My girls saw these at my salon the other day and I was forced to secretly buy them! I didn’t even realize that our very favorite brush had cute kid friendly designed. I also found these Disney Princess Wet Brushes!
  6. Good Vs Evil Set: If the little girl in your life is anything like mine, then the Descendants series is top on their list. We have watched every movie in the series but the girls reallllly love this Mal and Audrey thing going on in the third movie. If this is the case, then this is a must grab set!
  7. Mercedes GL450: We are kinda into fancy cars, and this one has caught my eye every time I have been at Target. It is sooo cute and sooo extra. If you can swing it, I think this would be perfect for a little girl in your life! Black Friday deal 38% off until Saturday
  8. Frozen Palace Lego/Duplo: Frozen has been at the top of everyone’s list for years, with Frozen II out, it doesn’t surprise me that every little girl is wanting even more Frozen items. These sets are great to teach hand eye coordination while catering to the child’s interests. Lego is for 2 and up whereas Duplo is great for 6 and up.
  9. Frozen Palace Little People/Doll size: More Frozen merchandise that my girls’ want! Elsa’s palace is great for imaginative play. The Little People set is super cute and great for kids between 1-5. The Disney Arendale Palace is great for kids who love to play with Barbie sized dolls. It is a little more expensive, but could be a good alternative to the Barbie Dreamhouse.
  10. Boogie Board: This simple little writing and drawing tablet has been a favorite in our house. We got it for our recent air travel and the girls use it daily, in the house and in the car. Great stuffing stuffer or small gift.
  11. 18 inch Doll Bunk Bed: My girls are really into American Girl dolls and all 18 inch accessories. This bunk bed is on both their lists and is much cheaper than anything from the actual American Girl store. Black Friday 30% off until Saturday
  12. Magnet Tiles: This is my only attempt at a STEM gift. It is very important to foster a analytical thought process in our little girls’ minds. These tiles are a fun educational tool that they will surely enjoy (and their parents will appreciate)!

I have linked everything I found above, some are affiliate links, some are not. My goal here was to plan my own shopping list, and if it helps anyone along the way, then I am thrilled!

Happy shopping!

Holiday Outfit Ideas

I absolutely loveeeeee Red Dress for all my shopping needs. I went online and did some “window shopping” for those of you who want to dress cute for the holidays at home, a holiday dinner or even for a holiday party!

Enjoy!!

Tis the Season for Elves

Are you an Amazon mom or a Pinterest mom? I am a Pinterest researcher, but definitely fall more into the Amazon mom, prime things 1 day before I need them kinda gal. If you are like me, good intentions and not a lot of motivation, then The Confetti Box’s Elf Box is for you! I found them last year and was immediately obsessed. The Confetti Box sells different box sets for various occasions, but the Elf Boxes are by far my favorite.

There are two kinds of Elf Boxes: Silly Elf and Kindness Elf. The Kindness Elf Box (which is unfortunately sold out) features 25 days of spirit of Christmas and kindness activities. The Silly Elf Box features 25 days of fun, funny, and memorable poses. The boxes come with or without an Elf, and also girl, or light haired or dark haired boy. You can also add on an extra elf if you need one more! The boxes come with 25 days of directions, 25 days of supplies, and even ideas to embellish. The boxes will be mostly different from last year, but do include some fan favorites.

We have the Silly Elf in this house and its always so much fun to set up. I love using the Elf Box because my kids enjoy looking for Violet (our elf) in all her funny business and I don’t have to work so hard to make their December memorable. Honestly, just remembering to move Violet every night is enough work for me, I love not having to plan and purchase everything separately! The boxes are $70 with the elf, or $65 without and you can get 20% off if you use the code CATALINA20. That comes out to $2.24 a day! I think that I would spend much more than that trying to come up with innovative and fun ideas for Violet. That is why this is suchhhhh a steal.

Make sure you follow @the.confetti.box on Instagram, Lindsey (and her sister Taylor, who has stepped back since becoming pregnant with number 4) created this business and continues to work hard to keep it amazing! Above all, I love supporting small businesses. So, get to it, you will not regret it!

My Hair… Gee Thanks Just Bought It

From the obvious Kardashians and Ariana Grande, to the not so obvious mom blogger or girl next door with luscious locks, someone you know or admire has hair extensions. There are tons of options on the market these days from clip ins, halo, tape ins, keratin bond, microbead, and sewn in– there is something for everyone. Some people use extensions for length, others for thickness, and some for both. Over the past 12 years I have tried just about every type to no avail, until now, but more on that later.

Below you will see a picture of all my hair extensions over the years:

  • My first experience was with clip ins was for my wedding (this was in 2012). They were so beautiful and I admit there is something to be said about being able to just TAKE THEM OFF! Clip ins are annoying because you have to put them all around your head and really can’t do high pony tails, pig tails, or any hair do’s that lift sections of your hair. The price range is pretty reasonable though, starting at $20 on Amazon or if you plan on using name brands like Luxy Hair, they can start at upwards of $150.
  • I then moved on to Halo Couture extensions. There are many different brands, but I think that Halo is the original of its kind. It is a weft that sits on the back of your head attached to a clear fishing line type string. It lays on your head like a headband, or halo, and adds length without it being permanent or being too difficult. Love this option for the people that love the length or thickness but just cannot commit to anything permanent. Way easier to use than clip ins and I think more realistic. A downside (but also maybe not), is that you have to be fit by a salon professional who sells Halo. My girl Nicole, at The Beauty Hive Salon in Roanoke TX, happens to be a Halo Couture salon. Halo extensions can run around $500 and up depending on style and custom color.
  • Fall of 2018 I became obsessed with Mermaid Hair by Katie Rogers @mermaidhairxo. I actually won a full set of Mermaid Hair via one of her Instagram contests! This was my first experience with a more permanent type of extension. Back then Katie’s salon, The Mermaid SEAlon, only offered bead hair extensions (they are now doing some sort of hand tied weft, but in thicker chunks and many more rows). They pride themselves in doing full, thick, and long mermaid hair so each chunk of hair is heavy and put on using a large metal bead that is crimped using a plier. If you look above, you can see that the tip of each “strand” is as thick as a shoe lace end! They attach these 100 TIMES ALL OVER YOUR HEAD. It was heavy, painful, and the hair tended to clump if I didn’t brush often. I only lasted a month with the full set, another month with half to 1/4th, and on Christmas Eve morning I begged my husband to remove the rest with pliers because I just couldn’t take the discomfort anymore! These specific types of beaded extensions cost anywhere from $1500 for the hair and installation.
  • I have never tried, nor wanted to try, Keratin bonds. It is basically gluing chunks of hair onto chunks of your hair. Google it, it looks scary as it grows out. It also seems very difficult to get out without messing up your hair.
  • I will admit that I have been tempted to try tape-ins. I feel like just about anyone can do them, because you literally just tape a piece of hair onto a piece of hair. From what I understand, consumers love them, but hair stylists don’t recommend them. If you want a more real look, where you can do a high pony tail or even move your hair around without worrying about seeing a tape in, then this is not for you.
  • Fall 2019 I finally swallowed down my extension PTSD and tried hand tied wefts from The Beauty Hive Salon per a good friend’s recommendation. I am going to go more in depth about this process, because it is by far the best format I’ve ever tried. Pricing varies on how long you want the hair, how many rows you need, and if there needs to be any custom color. Look to spend around $500+.

A good friend of mine got hair extensions right after I got my mermaid hair in 2018. She has now had them for over a year and continues to love them. After I had my husband remove the last of the mermaid hair on Christmas Eve, I decided hair extensions weren’t for me. Not even a year later and I was super jealous of how gorgeous, long, and full my friend’s hair looked. I decided I should give extensions one last try, if she could do it, surely I could too. I went into The Beauty Hive to see Nicole (the owner), with a lot of PTSD. My first reaction was, “these beads are tiny!” Seriously though, compared to the mermaid hair beads, these really were micro. She assured me that we would only do one row of beads in order to place the weft. I was still pretty nervous, so Nicole even put in some beads for me to get a feel for it. I didn’t feel bad at all, I hardly felt a thing. We went on with my consult and she put in an order for my 18 inch wefts, that she planned on smudge rooting for a seamless ombre look. A couple of weeks later I came back for my install, and the results were fantastic. The little row of beads really didn’t hurt, it just felt like a small braid or corn row of some sort. She even suggested taking a pain reliever and loosened the beads up for me so that I would have the least discomfort possible. In total the install took about 45 minutes. Nicole and one of her employees, Adrienne, really just put that hand tied weft in like the pros that they are. There was some sort of needle and thread type contraption going on, and from what I understand they sort of sew the weft around the beaded part. As the hair grows it all moves down seamlessly, you should continue brushing the root and everything! After the install was complete, the ladies made sure that the roots were colored to match my natural roots so that no one sees that there is a weft when the wind blows! Lastly there was a blowdry, dry cut, and style. Oh and lucky for me, I even got a fancy braid done!! I’m scheduled to go in about 7 weeks to push up my hair and do any color maintenance necessary. I was able to sleep on my hair just fine, I put it up in a high pony today and it didn’t bother me, and brushing is super simple. All in all the experience has been easy and painless, and if I do say so myself, I think that the results are stunning!

I am so thankful for the Nicole and all of the super sweet ladies over at The Beauty Hive Salon in Roanoke Texas. They are perfectionists and professionals. I recommend this type of extension, and them specifically to anyone looking to get longer and/or fuller looking hair!

Rupunzel signing off,

Gifting for the New Parents

Being a new mom is rough, its more difficult than I could have ever imagined. There are so many new things happening, from experiences to information. It can be incredibly intimidating! Gathering information and ideas from seasoned parents who had already done the trial and error before me was such a blessing. One of the best gifts you can give to a friend that is becoming a new parent, is the gift of information!

I’ve teamed up with Walmart to show you all the name brand products that they have to offer, as well as showcasing Parent’s Choice and their 20 years of trusted products. Here is a list of products that seasoned parents love and at prices that you’ll love too!

Mama Essentials

When you’re having a baby, hardly anyone remembers the challenges that mothers go through. Pamper your mom to be with items that will help her smoothly transition into motherhood or enhance the mothering experience for the growing family.

Diapering

Your child’s tushy is something you didn’t realize would be so important! When it comes to diapers the choices are infinite. Walmart has all the name brand choices as well as trusted favorites like Parent’s Choice and Hello Bello organic products.

Bath

Now that the diapers are coming off, cleansing your little one’s body is essential. There is no better way that organic products that are safe and work well.

Feeding

From formula to breastmilk, baby food to pumping products– here are some of the most reliable brands to feed your child of all ages.

Travel

Strollers and carseats and joggers, oh my! Going anywhere with kids requires equipment. Check these name brand deals out!

Safety

Taking care of your child is your number one job. These products will give you peace of mind while keeping their best interest in mind.

Nursery

I bet you didn’t know that Walmart has beautiful nursery essentials. The cribs and cradles are gorgeous and the price will shock you!

Whether you’re a friend buying for a new mom or a seasoned parent growing your family. Walmart has some great deals for baby products that cannot be beat. Help a friend out and give them the gift of knowledge with products that will allow them to enjoy the motherhood.

From this mama to you,

Pampering Princesses

I have been jealous before, of the fun life my girls live. Yesterday, however, may have taken the cake! Party N Glow invited Charlie and Georgie to spend a day seeing everything that this splendid spa has to offer.

Right in the heart of Southlake you’ll find this little girls’ dream. It is a beautifully lit gem of all shades of pink. When you first walk in, you’ll find a pink flower wall topped with a beautiful balloon arch, perfect for all the pictures. Among the pink round settee and crystal chandelier you’ll find a cute boutique of curated items. Past the entrance there are six little girl size pedicure spa seats, a nail station, as well as two salon chairs for haircuts, updo’s, and make up needs! In the back you’ll find a changing station, complete with robes and slippers, just like mommy’s spa. It is such a beautiful space that you can hardly believe that it was built for little girls.

Party N Glow isn’t only for the day spa experience, it is also an incredible party venue! We’re excited to book Charlie’s 5th birthday party here in December after this visit. Past the boutique you’ll enter into a precious party room decorated ready for tea, (or to your decor preferences). This long table seats 18 guests and during the party has pastries and fruit on tiered serving trays. Events at Party N Glow include, the above mentioned plus pizza, 2 hosts to run the party, spa treatments, like nails and updos, and dress up and karaoke on stage.

Whether you choose to take your princess for a spa visit or to entertain a court of little ladies, this place is THE place to be. We are so excited that DFW has a venue for our little girls. Trust me, it’s an experience you and your littles will not want to miss.

Til our next adventure,

DIY Faux Laundry Butcher Block

On another episode of DIY with Ry, we take on a laundry room refresh. We bought our house brand new in 2018 and love it. However, it is builder grade. We are very much into homes with character, so decor and additions are what do the trick for us. We’ve been wanting to redo the laundry room a bit and finally took our first big step. We added a faux butcher block counter above our front loading washer and dryer.

Depending on your budget a butcher block might be beautiful, but out of the question. I was shocked to find how expensive these were. Anywhere from Ikea, to The Home Depot, to Menard’s, they still run you anywhere from $200-$900 depending on size. I was getting very discouraged when suddenly I stopped mid scroll on Instagram. A friend of mine was making a coffee table top in a workshop with three wood planks and voila, the idea came to me. Let’s make out own butcher block counter!

Materials

  • Pine planks, we used (4) 2x6x8s but really you will have to figure out what width will work best for you.
  • Pine (1) 1x3x8
  • Wood Glue
  • Minwax Polyshades— we used the color tudor. (This was easy to do, but did come with a shinier finish than I would have liked, you could opt for a regular stain but would need to seal it somehow so that laundry detergent and other things don’t eat away the stain.)
  • Shelf brackets (4) that hold up to 200 lbs each, however if we were to do it again we would use 1×4’s along the wall like this
  • Anchors and screws
  • Wood Filler
  • Power Drill
  • Screw Driver
  • Power Hand Sander
  • Power Hand Planer (optional but we’re so happy we have this tool now!)
  • Wood Clamp
  • Foam brushes
  • Level

Directions

  • Measure width and depth of space you want to build counter top for
  • Cut down pine planks at 1/2 an inch less of the width of your space
  • Cut pine 1x3x8 down in to 3 pieces that are 6 inches less of the depth of your space
  • Double check that all your planks fit correctly in your space
  • If you have a planing tool you can plane all the sides down so that they are as square as possible
  • Glue all planks together and clamp until dry
  • Using the three cut 1x3s secure the wood planks with short screws. Place one piece perpendicular in the center and two on either side in the same direction.
  • Flip over the table top and sand with electric hand sander.
  • Notice gaps and dips and fill in with wood filler. Allow to dry
  • Sand table again until smooth.
  • Use foam brush to stain table top. Allow to dry and continue to stain until reached desired outcome
  • Place shelf brackets on walls only about 1/2 more than the width of the tabletop including the 1×3 underneath. Use anchors included. Make sure all brackets are level.
  • Once tabletop has dried for 24 hours (or like us, dry enough to grab) place on top of brackets.

BEFORE + AFTER

This project was really fun and not terribly difficult. I am so happy to have the first step of my dream laundry room complete! Next up, wallpaper, maybe some tile work (or faux tile work). I want to remove that bar (because it is not useable! Maybe come up with a different option to air dry clothes and definitely want a new hamper. Cannot wait to show you guys how this all looks when it is actually complete! Don’t hesitate to message me or comment if you want any help with your own DIY butcher block.

Until the next project,

Book club: September 2019

The art of racing in the rain by Garth Stein

This post will contain spoilers. If you wish to see what books we are reading go to our Book Club page. This space is meant for discussion once you have read the book.

I will admit that it took my a while to get into this book. It was a little strange at first, to get into Enzo’s doggie mind. Once I got comfortable with it though I started to enjoy it more.

When I got halfway and Eve had passed, I wasn’t sure where this story was going to go. I didn’t expect for the “twins” to be so terrible. Honestly most of the book I wasn’t sad, I was stressed. Enzo was the best character overall, he’s the one I felt the most connection with. The ending was the only good part for me, and even then to me it felt lacking. The entire book felt like it was a drag, the racing terminology was cute but sometimes felt like overkill. I enjoyed the book, it was one I could pick up and equally put it down, my life didn’t revolve around knowing what happened. I liked the book but it never was something that I was obsessed with. Maybe I wasn’t in the right mind space to read this book, because I’ve heard so many people say to get the tissues and i don’t understand why. I almost cried at one point, but I didn’t overly connect to it. Maybe I compared it too much to Marley and Me, maybe I was expecting more. I was just so disappointed in Eve’s actions with her own health, and mad at her parents actions with Zoe.

What did you think? Did you love it??? Please tell me why because I just can’t wrap my mind around that!

Get ready to grab Where the Crawdads Sing for October

Happy reading,