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,

Keeping Up with the Kids

From NB diapers to pull ups, or crib sheets to night lights, there is always something new that your kiddos “need”. Sometimes it’s just a fun bedroom refresh. Other times it’s necessary items like a toddler bed or forward facing car seat, because as our kiddos grow their needs change. This phase of life moves rather quickly and there are so many products that are available to help us make those moments as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

Walmart has always been the go to place for a great deal, but lately I’m not the only one who has noticed that they’re one of the leading places for baby items! There is a whole page dedicated to baby savings month and it’s even categorized by age. Think Black Friday, but all month long. That item you’ve been meaning to grab, or snag some good Christmas goodies!

Love love love our Hatch Baby and new unicorn lamp! Linked both below.
I took a lot of time curating this list of items below. Some items I have, some I wish I had. Other things are items that I’ve heard good things about or look like a great deal for what you’re getting aesthetically. Swipe through the links below or check out the Baby Month event yourself!

On the go

Diapers + wipes

Activity

Health + safety

Furniture

Feeding

unicorn lamp // fluffy blush pillow // hatch baby sound machine // wire and wood tray // wire caddy // bath rug // unicorn dress // how to catch a unicorn bookHappy shopping!!!

Mommy, how do babies eat?

This question has risen before, more recently when a friend is over feeding their baby the way the woman’s body was made to. As we all know, fed is best, but breast is a very celebrated option. I myself only lasted a short while breast feeding with my first child, but I have the utmost respect and admiration for those mothers out there that had the ability and endurance to breast feed. For whatever period of time from not at all, a minute, a day, a week, a month, or even a year and over. So, Happy National Breastfeeding Awareness month to all!

Because of Breast Feeding Awareness Month, Walmart has been showcasing this national event by having deals on all sorts of breastfeeding and feeding items. This is your chance to grab some essentials at a very good roll back price (some with a gift card bonus as well)! Below you will find items that my friends and I stand behind.

Breast Feeding // Pumping

Bottle Feeding

Feeding

read on

Book Club: August 2019

A Stranger in the house by Shari Lapena

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 really liked this book! When it first arrived, I kept putting off starting it. I just couldn’t tell if it was scary or not from the title and book cover and I just wasn’t in the mood. One day I picked it up and within the first two pages I was hooked. That night after the kids went down, I read until I finished. For me, it was a pretty quick read. My mind couldn’t be quieted, I had to know if Karen had actually killed her ex-husband. I kept going back and forth. Once I started sensing that Brigid was crazy, I really wanted to believe it was her! I was even sure at one point that she was pregnant with Tom’s child or even Karen was, while she was knitting that yellow sweater for “her friend”. Granted, this is not the BEST thriller I have ever read, but it did the trick. This would’ve been great on a plane ride or an interesting book to read while lounging at the beach.

I definitely recommend it to people who like suspenseful books like The Girl on the Train. Tell me what you thought! It’s OK if we don’t have the same opinion, that’s what makes this fun! Who did you think was the killer??? I was pretty sure Brigid did it until we found out that Karen is one really good liar and con artist. I sure hope there is a second book too!

Hope you join us next month!

DIY Fall Door Mat

Fall is just around the corner, and I don’t know about you, but my Pinterest page is full of fun door mats that celebrate everything PSL, pumpkins, and fall y’all. I have always been interested in having a fun and personalized mat but, honestly I haven’t wanted to spend the money. They’re pricey, but trust me those people earn it. One afternoon I did a one stop shop at Target and grabbed all the materials to make my own door mat. Of course, there are better options for all the things I bought, I’ll link those too. However, if you have an itch to switch, this is for you.

Warning: this is an advanced project that needs a steady hand and lots of patience to succeed. If this is a bit too intense for you, scroll all the way down. I have linked all the amazing rugs I found inspiration from that are only one click away from your doorstep!

Materials

All items with *, can be purchased in store at Target 🙂 I also had most of these items below, already in my craft room.

I did the mat stencil two different ways to see which I liked best. I’ll explain pros and cons in a second. Whether using Cricut or Silhouette, it is important that you measure out your space and then create an object of the same dimensions in your program. This helps you ensure that the file is the correct size in real life. Cut file and weed the letters out making sure to keep the insides of the hollow letters like “p” and “o” and parts of “k” that are necessary to make the letter.

Transfer Stencil

  1. Place transfer paper or contact paper on top of weeded out words and trim
  2. Peel up transfer paper or contact paper carefully ensuring that all the stencil pieces, including inside of the letters, come up
  3. Place transfer paper or contact paper with letters onto mat. Use the dimensions from your cutting program to figure out which letter falls in the center and start there. For this mat the “T’ in there needed to be right at 17.5 which is the middle and the top of the “T” needed to be 4 inches away from the top of the mat.
  4. Place everything else without transferring to ensure that it looks right.

Poster Board

  1. Place piece of poster board and inside of letters onto mat. Organize and center.
  2. Tape down all the edges, pin down center of letters or place in correct spot

Continue For Both

  • With thicker paint brush dab inside the letters with paint. Hold down edges to avoid bleeding lines. Carefully ensure the center of letters like “o” stay hollow by holding down the center and dabbing the edges of that section first before continuing.
  • Once an entire word or section of a word is marked remove stencil
  • With smaller flat brush darken the outlines of each letter by dabbing down into the coir rug
  • Continue filling in letters by dabbing in. If there are thinner sections, use smallest brush and dab sections in. The more paint you have the easier it is to saturate the coir
  • Finish each word section and continue with next until finished filling in
  • Let dry and fill in parts of the word that did not fully saturate or edge well
  • Allow rug to dry a full 24 hours and the acrylic becomes water resistant
Voila!

Pros and Cons

This is an interesting project for many reasons. It isn’t your regular run of the mill: cut, weed, place. The sizing piece is very important, and because the mat is bigger than any cricut mat you will need to play with sizing and slicing a bit. Also, the painting part is a bit complex. You have to be comfortable painting within lines and potentially correcting them by just looking. Overall it was a fun project that the end result definitely outweighs the means.

Stencil Vinyl

Pros: Easy to cut and weed. Sticks onto mat for easier painting. Simple to remove

Cons: Not as easy to transfer onto mat. Sticks but not wonderfully. Expensive in the sense you have to buy both the stencil vinyl and transfer paper if you don’t already have it.

Poster Board

Pros: Inexpensive and easy to find anywhere. Cuts easily and weeds easily.

Cons: Doesn’t stick to mat. You have to tape down and hold down while dabbing and tracing.

Easy Links For the Pinterest Drop Outs

Home Football Team // Come Back with a PSL // Happy Fall Y’all // Shoes Off Witches // I’m 100% That Witch // Hello Pumpkin

A is for Autumn and Animal Print

Target (& everyone for that matter) is having a leopard moment. So, I decided the girls and I should go do a mommy and me try on sesh, ASAP. I don’t think it’s necessary to say, but I will anyway. Get all the leopard, just don’t wear all of these prints at the same time. You can match the kids, but one accent piece at a time, please.

This is what we found!

((Click the pictures for aff links or itemized links below each picture))

Leopard Print Family Matching

toddler dresses // leopard belt // high rise frayed shorts // knotted headbands // women’s tank // women’s round neck crepe shirt // pearl knotted headband // women’s faux birkenstocks // toddler cozy sweatshirt // toddler corduroy skirt // women’s halter // women’s T-shirt dress // corduroy jumper dress with shirt // toddler hooded tank // toddler distressed shorts // knotted headbands // toddler maroon dress // faux toddler Birkenstock’s

faux toddler Birkenstock’s // toddler dresses // mustard tie long sleeve // toddler leggings // pearl knotted headband // women’s round neck crepe shirt // women’s high rise frayed shorts // toddler jean jacket // toddler cozy sweater // toddler corduroy skirt // women’s halter // women’s T-shirt dress // corduroy jumper dress with shirt // toddler hooded tank // toddler distressed shorts // knotted headbands

Some items aren’t available online, and some aren’t available in store. I’d say stick true to size for adults and for kids. Target doesn’t usually stray from normal sizing. Some of it is already on sale in the kids section and I feel like things will be going quick. The transition from summer to fall and is real and it’s coming sooner than you think.

Grab some leopard print for you and your littles, so you can transition in style!

Roar,

Finding Fair Park

Today I discovered that Fair Park is more than just the home of the State Fair of Texas. Now before anyone in DFW freaks on me, let’s remember we’ve only been here for a year and a half. The only times I’ve been there were to see Hamilton and to go to the State Fair. Both times it was crowded and truly I didn’t think twice.

As soon as we entered the grounds, I was confused because I was driving on all the “walkways” that we walked on during the State Fair. I thought my dad was sending me to drive on a sidewalk! I don’t know how I didn’t realize then, that there was so much more to Fair Park than just the State Fair. On top of the 1,200 events and fairs they hold year round, it is also the home of the African American Museum, Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park, The Hall of State, Texas Discovery Gardens, and South Dallas Cultural Center.

First we ventured to the Children’s Aquarium. It’s a cute little aquarium that is perfect for a half day or a short visit before or after lunch. This historic Art Deco building houses thousands of aquatic animals, among them: sharks, sting rays, a snapping turtle, electric eels and more. Entry is extremely affordable at $8 for adults and $6 for children 3-11. If you are a member of the Dallas Zoo you get two dollars off your admission. Annual passes are $20 for adults and $15 for children 3-11 and if you’re a member of the Dallas Zoo you get $5 off.

As we were walking out of the Children’s Aquarium a nice lady asked us if we had visited the Butterfly House at the Texas Discovery Gardens. We figured, since we hadn’t, that we should walk on over and check it out. Entry for adults is $10 and children 3-11 pay $5. There are a wide range of tiered memberships that start at $50 to $1200 that offer various add-ons at each level. We ended up only visiting the Butterfly House, but it was worth the admission. It’s a beautiful two story, glassed atrium filled with a tropical landscape that mimics butterflies’ native habitats. Every day at the gardens, they hold Toddler Talk at 11 AM, Butterfly Release at 12 PM, and Critter Encounter at 2 PM. Our favorite part of our visit was looking at the emergence chamber and touching the little butterflies that have lived their lives out. Next time we will plan to stay long enough to explore the Snakes of Texas and gardens. I have also emailed Whitney Mahan to schedule a butterfly release in memory of my mom on what would have been her 55th birthday. They are $50 and gives entry to two people and you get to release two butterflies into the Butterfly House.

All in all, it was quite fortunate that we discovered all these little gems in Fair Park. They were inexpensive, a cute little walk from each other, and small enough to keep littles entertained. If you’re looking for a little activity to do in the heart of Dallas with the kiddos, this is the ticket.

Until the next adventure,

No Speaking- Day 7 and done

My last full day staying silent was Wednesday, but I was supposed to go a full week. Thanks to my rule following husband, I was told to stay quiet until around 8 am Thursday. So officially I am home free today.

Yesterday was pretty fun! We took the girls to see Toy Story 4 and ate lunch at the theatre. I have always loved the Toy Story movies and was pretty upset when Toy Story 3 ended. I remember I went with my husband (then boyfriend) and was hysterically crying when it ended. See, I have a toy that I still keep, she’s been with me since I was two and I just cannot imagine being Andy and playing with my toys that one last time. Nowadays, Georgie actually sleeps with Pulgi and claims she’s hers, so I guess the reigns have been passed. That’s the beauty of children’s toys. They bring so much joy and importance to childhood and then they get to be with someone else and help them too. Toy Story 4’s ending really gutted me. I won’t spoil it for anyone, but it is just sad to see such a childhood legacy come to an end.

Today I am taking it real easy on my voice. It feels a little strange to talk and it bothers my ears a little. I feel like I learned a lot on this little healing journey. It’s easy to feel like something is impossible. It isn’t you just have to be committed and also have people around you who are committed to your goal. Another interesting takeaway was feeling how it was to not be understood. It is easy to think that, because deaf and hard of hearing people know ASL that they can get by. The problem is they know ASL and virutally no one else in their day to day knows it. I felt like a complete weirdo not being able to say hello back to someone when I walked into a store. Or having to write everything down to make a simple transaction. I know some ASL and that made me feel confident, but as soon as I was trying to have a conversation with my husband, I realized it did me no good because he didn’t know what I was saying. Another thing is, people kind of dumb down they way they talk to you. Just because I can’t talk, doesn’t mean I don’t understand or have a perfectly healthy brain. It’s just weird the things you notice people do and how they pretend to understand you and then kind of just stop talking to you. I have a whole new outlook on the deaf and hard of hearing world. I want to learn more ASL so that when I come across a person who wants to speak in ASL, I can confidently understand and speak back without looking away, dumbing things down, or just making them feel any less than they are. It’s been quite a week and I have to say I am really happy it is over. Now I need to take it easy and let my voice heal all the way!

Thank you for following me along and supporting me the whole way. It really was nice to have people cheer me on all week!

Hoarsely but speaking,

No Speaking- Day 5 and 6

We are FINALLY in the homestretch!

Monday was spent in full throttle. Honestly, I was so exhausted I couldn’t even commit to getting on my computer to write about it. Georgie has speech on Monday mornings so we started with that, next we did another Target run (oops) and headed to the mall for their favorite lunch spot, The Rainforest Cafe. I blame that on my mother in law, but the girls love it and we can have beer with our lunch, so win-win. The girls got to go spend Georgie’s birthday Disney gift card at The Disney Store Outlet. That was quite the experience to say the least. Explain to a 3 and 4 year old (without a voice) that they can only spend as much money that is on the gift card. Georgie finally ended up getting a Snow White Dance Party Set, Belle Dinner Party Set, and Cinderella dress. While we were out, I thought why not check out the rest of the outlets. We hit up crocs and I got the girls new shoes they can use at the splash pad or on the daily. I also decided to hit up the Abercrombie Outlet while Mimi and the girls played on the carousel. I wish I could link the cute items I got at clearance pricing! The trick to Abercrombie is to go up a size from what you are at Old Navy, don’t feel bad about the size difference because you look better when your clothes isn’t cutting off circulation. Last but not least we hit up H&M to go check out what $4.99 dresses they had in stock. I’m so excited about the cheetah/leopard trend coming back because we were able to snag some long sleeve dress for the fall (there was also a tank dress option). Anyhow, as you have read our shopping day was a success and my exhaustion spoke for it.

Tuesday was switch day. We dropped off Mimi at 8:45 and picked up Papa at 9:15. They didn’t get to see each other but they basically passed the baton. Now my dad is here to help me with the last couple of days without talking. We decided that since there was a lot of transitioning that we should keep them happy. So, off we went to chick fil a for nuggets, ice dream, and time in the play room. After that we went to our local Suffolk dance store to get the girls ready for dance next week (NEXT WEEK?!?!?). That was quite the pretty woman moment. They tried on many tutu leotards and were very very entertained. Finally, we just came home and rested. Mimi goes full throttle and the girls are definitely worn out. Happy, but worn out. I did tons of laundry and made dinner and life slowly starts falling back into place.

Oh… I almost forgot. I have two wonderful friends who sent me books that arrived on Tuesday. My love language is definitely gifts and I love books. These women know me well.

One more full day of not talking and then I’m home free!! Who is nervous to hear what I sound like? I am!

Your shopaholic friend,