Category Archives: Crafty

That one time I forgot to tell you about the cookies

It was brought to my attention a couple of weeks ago after I posted my Christmas recap that I failed to show you guys Christopher’s fabulous cookie artwork. He reads my blog (everyone say “Hi Christopher!”) and has never once said that I left out an important detail to a post. So clearly this one is a big deal. I would hate for you guys to miss out on the incredible talent of my dear Mr. Vendetti so I’m making this right today!

cookiesChristopher with our niece and nephew working away on decorating their cookies!

cookie collageLook at his snowman! The “carrot” nose is even sticking straight out. He’s so creative. He also made the elf on the plate. The more basic cookies are my doing, haha!

On a more serious note… my husband really is incredibly talented. Not only can he make adorable looking cookies, but he also custom builds so much stuff around our house. In fact, as a Christmas gift from him to my sisters this year, he built two sets of reindeer for them.

reindeer2

Are those not adorable? He built a set for me a couple of years ago and my sisters have admired them every time they see them. So he decided that he wanted to build them each a set. Which is just precious to me. I love that he has that brother/sister relationship with my sisters. 🙂

Our current project is our kitchen and it is looking pretty incredible. We got held up with counter tops (long story that I’ll explain when I show the before & afters), but we are making progress again! Hopefully it will all be finished soon so I can share it with you guys (and so I will have counter top space again, ha!).

When you decorate cookies, do you get super creative or stick to the basics? 

Do you build things? Or do you have someone who has built things for you?

Love Rach

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A fresh coat of paint does wonders

Remember earlier this year when we bought that dilapidated nightstand off Craigslist for $10? Here are a couple of shots of it in case you don’t:

nightstand collage

Right so, that nightstand. It needed just a little TLC. A little glue here, a little hammer action there. A little shaved inch or two off the uneven legs. Because the handles weren’t saveable and were an unusual size we ended up removing them, filling up the holes with wood putty, sanding it down and then drilling new holes for new handles. And then a couple of coats of paint. And VIOLA! New nightstand!

night stand collage

Typically with DIY projects that Christopher and I do, he does the building and I do the painting (like with Oreo’s organizer that I shared with you guys). But I hadn’t gotten around to painting this one yet because I was waiting for warmer weather before braving the elements (I usually paint outside or at least open a window) and what do you know… that sweet husband of mine did the work for me. Other than picking out the handles at Hobby Lobby and choosing the paint color (which was one we already had left over at the house), I didn’t lift a finger to refurbish this gorgeous nightstand. That husband of mine is a sweetheart. 🙂

before and after

I love, love, love how it turned out! We’ve been slowly redecorating one of our guest rooms and this lovely nightstand will be living there. Once the room is a little more put together I’ll share some before and after photos of it as well. Though it might be awhile before it’s finished. Projects like this are usually pretty slow going because we have a general vision in mind, but take our time with finding good deals on things (like the Queen sized blanket I found for FIVE DOLLARS at a thrift store – one good wash and it was PERFECT!).

Tell me about a project you’ve worked on lately! 
Love Rach

Getting Crafty for Valentine’s Day

A couple of my girlfriends and I decided to get crafty this past week with Valentine’s Day as our theme! We started by making homemade Valentine cards to hand out at a nursing home near our church (which we did this past Sunday after service).

homemade valentinesIt was so sweet to see how excited the residents of the home were as we walked through the halls handing out cards and chatting with them. 🙂

Next up we hit Hobby Lobby over the weekend to pick up frames, burlap, and buttons. We made these precious little heart button frames. Look how cute this is:

valentines day craft: heart button frameAh, I just love how this turned out! I just hot glued buttons onto burlap in the shape of a heart and then put it in a frame. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

valentines craft: button heart frameThe frame sits on our mantle (in our fireplace room that has no natural lighting so forgive the color of these photos) in front of the photo of us from Rome. Ah, romance. Love this! 🙂

valentine's mantleMy mantle all decorated for Valentine’s Day. Isn’t that banner precious, by the way?! I’m going to do a whole blog post on it later this week, but for now just know that Allison is super talented and super sweet! 😀

Love Rach

DIY Christmas Card Books

It’s nearly February. Which means that if I were to talk about a holiday I should probably be talking about Valentine’s Day. However, I just realized that I never shared with you guys what I decided to do with all of our Christmas cards. So pretend it’s still Christmas with me for a minute and let’s pull up a picture of what we do with our Christmas cards every year:

christmas cards displayed on christmas treeChristopher’s family always put their Christmas cards on the tree when he was growing up so that’s a tradition we’ve adopted into our family as well. Except that we have two Christmas trees. One for all of our travel/unique decorations and one for that year’s Christmas cards. By the way, you guys might recognize a few faces on that tree! Like Allison, AmyRachel, Janna and Katie. 🙂

Christmas CardsAll our cards from years past just sit in a little basket on the hearth which is just fine, but I wanted to organize them a little better after Christmas this year. So when I came across this idea for a Christmas Card Book from Eighteen25, I knew it was perfect!

christmas card bookSo I bought these adorable binders from Target, got my hole puncher out, and went to town!

Christmas CardsSince I have cards saved since 2008 (our first married Christmas), I needed two binders. And I really crammed that second binder full, haha! I’ll need a third binder for next year for sure.

Christmas Cards I kept the cards separated by years with these little dividers that I printed off from Eighteen25. The first binder has 2008, 2009, 2010 in it and the second binder has 2011, 2012, and 2013.

christmas cardsThis is what the cards look like inside the binder

photos i took!And as a fun bonus… I TOOK THESE PICTURES! 😀 You guys, it makes me smile so much to get Christmas cards (or really any mail in general), but when I get a Christmas card that hosts a photo I took I feel so honored. 🙂

So, that’s what I did with the past 6 years of Christmas cards! It is so fun flipping through the books and seeing how much kids have changed over the years and watching our friends’ families grow in yearly photos. 🙂 Merry Christmas a month later. 😉
Love Rach

Maybe This Is What Heaven Sounds Like

{Scroll down for Chocolate Gingerbread Cookie Recipe}

Still playing catch up  here, haha! Every year St John’s Episcopal Church hosts the Memphis BoysChoir and the Memphis Chamber Singers for their Lessons and Carols (which tells the story of the birth of Jesus). It is always phenomenal. I pieced together some footage from this past Sunday and am sharing it here. If you don’t have time to watch all 3 minutes, at least watch the first 45 seconds.

 Those little boys’ voices are just unbelievable. As I sat there on Sunday night taking it all in I wondered if that might just be what heaven sounds like. 🙂

Every year we try to make some sort of homemade gift for our friends. Just a little something to spread some Christmas cheer. This year we decided to fill up little Christmas tins with goodies. Here’s what was in each one:

dip mix tutorialRanch Herb Dip inside Christmas ornaments. I used this tutorial from Bubbly Nature Creations.

painted salt dough ornamentsPainted salt dough ornaments from this tutorial at Delighted Momma. I used a foam stamp that I found for $1.99 at Hobby Lobby to make the impressions on the salt dough. And then a can of spray paint for the color. 🙂

chocolate gingerbread cookiesA little bag of Chocolate Gingerbread cookies. Christopher has fallen in love with these cookies so we’ve actually made 4 batches of them in the past two weeks. They have been a hit with our friends too. 🙂

chocolate gingerbread cookies

chocolate gingerbread cookies{Original recipe from Karen Sue Garback on the Taste of Home Website}

christmas goodiesAll the goodies tucked away in each tin

christmas tinsTins ready to be delivered! 🙂

Love Rach

Mistletoe Merchants

This past weekend a couple of my girlfriends and I went to Mistletoe Merchants together to shop and get ideas for the holiday season! Boutiques from all over the south set up booths at the Agricenter here in Memphis to show off their best stuff. They had tons of absolutely adorable clothes which I completely failed to take photos of, but! I kind of fell in love with this whole printed yoga pant trend (see here and here). There were a couple of pairs of chevron ones that I really was loving. Anyway, I actually walked away without actually buying anything, but I also came away with LOTS of great ideas!

accessoriesSo I didn’t get shots of the clothes, but I did get a couple of pictures of some of the accessories. I so love the infinity chevron scarves with monograms. It’s like a trend + a trend + a trend! A lot of times if you start putting too many trendy things together it seems a bit extreme, but I really liked those!

artThere was SO MUCH cute art! The whole place was like walking through a real-life Pinterest. It was pretty fabulous!

DSC_0329Is this not just absolutely precious?! It’s a little cuddle friend for a kid to leave his/her tooth in the pocket for the tooth fairy!

DSC_0334So many gorgeous picture frames! And easily customized to the size and colors you wish.

christmassy stuffAnd of course there was plenty of Christmassy stuff!

DSC_0321 Baby hands and foot to make a little reindeer! So presh!

DSC_0349I just love this! Pretty sure I will be making something similar to this.

DSC_0341And my favorite! Definitely planning to make something similar to this one!

We were there nearly all day on Saturday and not only did we have a great time together, the girls I was with both came away with some great finds! And I have a plethora of new ideas for decorating and gifts! 🙂 Definitely a great day!
Love Rach

An Explosion of Pink

Today I hosted a baby shower for my friend, Whitney. Prepare yourself for a bit of a pink explosion… in case you can’t tell, she’s expecting a little girl! 🙂

decorationsWelcome, Madeleine Clare! 😀

cakeSo let’s just discuss how I have obviously not made just a whole lot of cakes, haha! I definitely need to work on my icing skills. 😉 The bottom layer was strawberry and the top was traditional white.

cake popsI made cake pops and put them in a little gift bag to display them.

pink lemonade cookiesAnd I made pink lemonade cookies. Friends brought fruit trays, veggie trays, and dips, but I totally failed to get a picture of all of that, haha! Many of these pictures were taken before the shower actually began because I got pretty busy once people arrived. 🙂

prep helpersHeather, Melissa, Lilly, Mandy and Courtney (not pictured) showed up early to help me prep all the drinks!

drinks Pink lemonade in mason jars, chilled water, and watermelon flavored water.

pink lemonadeI used cupcake liners as “lids” and poked the straws through them. And then we filled a bunch of extra mason jars with pink lemonade and stuck them in a bucket of ice. Oh! And I premade tons of ice out of pink lemonade so the drinks wouldn’t get watery as the ice melted. I just loved how cute these were!

wishes for babyI set up a little table so the shower guests could write a note for both new baby Madeleine and her big sister, Cadence.

wishes for baby2Wishes for baby table

wishes for baby4Shower guests writing down their wishes for baby. 🙂

giftsWhitney sharing a laugh with her mom and Ashley while opening gifts 🙂

friendsFriends! I’m pretty sure I have a photo of me with Heather and Mandy from nearly every baby and wedding shower we’ve attended over the past two years, haha! I just love it!

with whitney2Me with Whitney! Congratulations, friend! I’m excited to meet little Madeleine next month! 🙂

Love Rach