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!
All items with *, can be purchased in store at Target 🙂 I also had most of these items below, already in my craft room.
- 23×35 mat* $19, 24 x 35 mat $10,
- Acrylic paint in coal* $2, Outdoor acrylic paint in black $4
- Brush variety pack* $3
- Oramask Stencil vinyl $17, Cricut stencil vinyl $7 OR poster board*
- If using stencil vinyl you will need transfer paper or I use contact paper*
- Painter tape or packing tape
- Weeding tools
- Ruler or measuring tape
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.
- Place transfer paper or contact paper on top of weeded out words and trim
- Peel up transfer paper or contact paper carefully ensuring that all the stencil pieces, including inside of the letters, come up
- 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.
- Place everything else without transferring to ensure that it looks right.
- Place piece of poster board and inside of letters onto mat. Organize and center.
- 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
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.
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.
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
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))
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!
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,
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,
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,
I am finally past the half way point! I have definitely tripped up a couple of times and gotten frustrated more times than I’d like to admit. However, all in all, it hasn’t been that terrible. I’ve been on a vacation from my life, escaping to my room, which is pretty nice. Being alone in my room is easier than being around everyone and not getting to participate. I get to be quiet and not talk about anything, which is a nice change of pace. I have officially finished two books and one whole season on Veronica Mars. I’d say I am making great use of my time!
Have I mentioned how amazing my mother in law is? Seriously, god blessed me with that woman. She has been keeping the girls so happy and entertained. Today she took them to Gaylord Texan for their Summerfest series which is The Adventures of Peter Pan. She took the girls a month ago to Wendy’s Journey to Neverland, but they weren’t yet versed in all things Peter Pan. Since then, they really got to liking the whole story and this time around they enjoyed it even more!
Last but certainly not least, I have continued to rest and read in bed. I have to say thank you to my sweet husband who is cleaning up, mowing the lawn, doing the laundry, cooking the dinner, and doing everything while my MIL continues to be awesome with the girls. Tonight they’re making brisket and have invited my dear friend over. It’ll be interesting hanging out without talking, but it’s better than not having people who want to be around. Well the wine and snacks are out, and I can tell you I am thankful I can enjoy those things still!
Half way thereeeee,
Friday was so much fun that I didn’t have time to write about how it went! Really this whole experience hasn’t been the worst. We’re loving that my mother in law is here to help out while I’m on voice rest, and to celebrate Georgie’s birthday. We are so fortunate to have family that will travel to help us out!
Day two started out with a trip to Walmart to find a bicycle and helmet for the new 3 year old in the house. Georgie was more than excited to pick out her new toy and to literally be pushed out of the store riding on it. I have been dying to see the new live action Lion King so that was next on our list.
The Lion King did not disappoint. It is insane how CGI has advanced in just a couple of years. It’s truly unbelievable that everything we saw wasn’t actually real. The music was awesome, and I think the only part that sucked was the fact that I couldn’t sing along! Also, if you’re in Texas and you haven’t been to an Alamo Drafthouse, you’re missing out. We love going for a matinee with the kids. We get to eat lunch and drink beer all while watching a movie in comfy seats. Afterward the movies we took my MIL to The Sound for some Eno’s and frozen wine. We enjoyed ourselves too much despite the fact I can’t talk, and everyone ended up in bed early!
Day 3 started off great. My mother in law made the most amazing Hash Brown Egg Bake from Taste of Home. The only thing she did different was use Simply Potatoes Southwest Style hashbrowns. Seriously, so dang delicious! Next up we all went outside to watch the kiddos ride their bikes. Georgie and Charlie were so excited to be riding together like big girls.
Later we went to Target! Georgie received some gift cards and money to go shopping. Charlie and her had so much fun getting to choose toys from the aisles. It brought me back to the good old days walking through Toys R Us. They picked some cool things. If you have a girl that likes American Girl dolls then the accessories in Target are definitely for you! They got the coolest jeep, a barbie dream car, and Ariel and Prince Eric (can’t find the link for some reason).
I started reading some books and have been lazy all evening reading or watching Veronica Mars. It’s not too fun to hang around people and not be allowed to speak!
Since I haven’t been able to talk in 12 hours, I figured now would be a fun time to put some words out in the world. God knows, this is hard for me and I still have six days to go!
Ryan drove me to the surgical center, or so we thought. We accidentally drove to the wrong place and ended up arriving a little later than we were supposed to. More talking time for me though so, winning! I finally went back to surgery around 7:30 and I think the procedure took no longer than 25 minutes. I definitely had no urge to talk once I was awake. My throat felt like I had something less than strep. I was however, extremely sleepy and woozy on my feet for a long time. I’ve basically been sleeping all day and stopped to eat some food and drink a smoothie. Nothing too exciting today, but I’m glad its one day almost done!
I’m so thankful for my mother in law keeping my girls busy today and helping them understand why I can’t talk to them!!
Things that made today bareable:
- Smoothie Factory- strawberry, apple, kale, cinnamon (omg tastes like apple pie!)
- Vanilla pudding with crumbled Nilla wafers
- Pretty faux eyelashes and my blow dried hair (thanks Revlon brush) that everyone complemented me on
- Homemade paper link count down with the kids (thanks Jennie)
- Alone nap time!
- Some semblance of ASL (but mostly me so maybe not so much)
- Text to Speech app. It’s not the best but its better than nothing
- Alexa app to make announcements via text on all my Alexa devices
Here’s to hoping Day two goes great. Thanks to everyone who reached out to me last night and today. It’s been so nice to know people love you.
Little Miss. Georgia turned three over the weekend. Her little party was a huge success, if I do say so myself. In the south we love to have beautiful parties and that includes children parties as well. The first step is to come up with a theme, then everything else falls into place.
G’s birthday is in July, she is really into The Little Mermaid and we live right next to a splash pad. It took me no time to come up with the idea to have a mermaid party at the park. We invited our friends over using this Paperless Post invitation, tweaked to the wording I wanted. This has been my first paperless invitation for a birthday party, and I have to say it was fantastic. Not only were we saving some trees, it was super simple to invite guests, and track and change details using the app from my phone!
We all know the devil’s in the details, so here they are:
- DIY mermaid sensory kits ((my how to inspired by the absolutely incredible Young Wild and Friedman @youngwildandfriedman if you want to shop some beautiful creations please do it from her!))
- Mermaid cake and cookies from @doughbakeshoptx, she cannot deliver per Texas law so these are only for our DFW friends to enjoy
- Party decor:
- Balloon garland DIY kit or I would recommend making your own by purchasing balloon tape and balloons and using this guide.
- Purple and green tablecloths and plates, mini glitter birthday candle, and plastic flatware purchased in store only at walmart for really great prices.
- Fishbowl snacks
The party was a total success. Children are easy to please. Throw on their swimsuits and give them treats and they’re happy as clams! The rest of the fluff is really for the adults. For example, our perfectly curated outfit details. Obviously when planning this soiree, I had to make sure the family was picture perfect for the occasion.
Outfit details linked:
Edit: I forgot to mention this incredible table my husband and father made for the party. It was a simple idea that a friend had shown me. She knew someone who had purchased a piece of plywood and put it on cinderblocks so the kids had a place to eat. Of course Ryan and my dad couldn’t just have plywood on cinderblocks! They immediately came up with a simple idea and let me tell you, it was a hit! If you find yourself needing a little party table for kids here’s how to do it:
- Buy plywood and a wooden fence pole
- Cut the pole into eight, 11″ pieces
- Drill in each pieces of pole with 3″ nails from the top of the plywood into the pole
- Sand down edges and/or place table cloth on table
Georgie’s birthday was such a wonderful day. We are forever grateful to the friends and family that make days like this so special. More important than the details and outfits, is the fact that we were all together celebrating this little one’s life. Now, it’s time for all of us to rest because dang this day was a lot of work!!