Motivational Monday Link-up Party

Monday, October 20, 2014


This is what I have been up to this week...sharing all the party details for my Grandma's 80th birthday! The theme was "Having a ball since 1934"...hope you have a ball!



Ready to share what motivates you? Link up a recent post of yours something that motivates you to create or just be awesome! Our goal is for this link up to focus on craft, DIY, & home posts so please try to remember that when linking up. Please limit it to three links per week and remember to link directly to your post. Do not link stores, giveaways, or other link parties. Also, hop around some of the other posts that have been linked up to share the love and get motivated by what others have been up to...because of course, this is Motivational Monday after all.

Each week, each hostess will feature their favorite post from the previous week. By linking up, you agree to let each host share your photo and link back to your site. Link party goes live Monday and ends at 5:00pm PST on Friday.



This week I am excited to bring you this fun little craft for the upcoming October holiday...Glittery Halloween Pumpkin Jars, by Kim from Life is Lullaby




Make sure to grab this button and boast away!
Kent Heartstrings

3 Reasons Why A Fantastic Photographer Was Our #1 Wedding Budget Priority


I was married in 2008.  Before Pinterest...(yes, it once did not exist). Before DIY weddings were a thing. Before taking pictures outside the church was really popular.  So when I chose a photographer that had an artistic approach it was still a new thing. 
When looking at our wedding budget, and it was a tight budget, as most are, we had to prioritize what was important to us as a couple in order to place the most money on those things. 
What was at the top of the list? The one item, that had a aster-ix **whatever it takes, we will pay**
A Photographer. 
Numero Uno. Moy Importante. (busting into spanish for extra emphasis)
Just to note, it wasn't just any photographer because we wanted something very specific. A photographer that had an artistic approach to their work (remember this was still fresh back on 07/08). A photographer that had a laid back disposition, because as a bride I did not want a high maintenance egotistical schmuck adding to the stress of the day. A photographer that understood the religious significance of this day (because that is the most important thing to us- our faith), and could really capture that in the church ceremony pictures.

So why did we value a good fantastic photographer pretty much above everything else??
I am guest posting over at The Wetherills Say I Do, so hop on over there for my 3 reasons....

Meal Swap

Saturday, October 18, 2014



It is no secret- I hate cooking. I am not very good at it, I am not passionate about it, its a chore, something that has to be done.  Mike is the Chef. He makes the yummy stuff.  I make food that is tolerable for surviving.  He makes food that is for thriving. I am always looking for ways to make meals more simple, EASY, appetizing, and basically spending the least amount of time in my kitchen as possible...

I am guest posting over at Life Could Be a Dream, hop on over there for all the deets on how to do a meal swap and free up at least one night a week of slaving away in the kitchen!


Heartstrings :: Share.Grow.Love - Making it in the Mountains

Friday, October 17, 2014



Heartstrings is place which introduces you to a post from a fellow blogging buddy that will hopefully inspire you and tug on your heartstrings.  I love connecting people through my blog and when I find a post that makes me want to jump out of my seat I couldn't be happier to share it with my readers. My hope is that this series will allow us to share new perspectives, stories, projects and inspiration that will make you want to connect with other bloggers. Just one simple way to connect minds, souls and hearts.

If you have a specific post that you feel would be great for this series, please contact kentheartstrings(at)gmail(dot)com! The post can range from a unique DIY project to thoughts on marriage and family...all aspects of our lives are important and we want to hear about all of them! I look forward to hearing from you!

Today I am pumped to bring you Kristi who is the voice behind making it in the mountains where she writes about all things DIY.  I love all her great tutorials on how to make fabulous pieces of furniture and statement pieces of decor for your home. I hope you enjoy her and this fantastic tutorial on how to make these ladder shelves, you will see what I mean!



Follow along as she journeys through making her boring new house a rustic mountain retreat.

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Today, I am SOOOO excited to share with you our very last DIY project for the Outdoor Makeover Challenge! If you missed anything, you can catch up on all of the details here. In keeping with this Outdoor Makeover Challenge , we've been tackling all sorts of fun DIY's through the month of June, my favorite of which would have to be this DIY Pottery Barn Knockoff Table. This weekend, we finished up the last piece of the puzzle ... this DIY Ladder Shelf.     DIY Ladder Shelf @ making it in the mountains     It all started with this soon-to-be empty corner of our courtyard deck (we intend to move the BBQ to the backyard, so that we'll have access to it directly from our kitchen doors).   Deck Makeover - Before @ making it in the mountains   This corner gets a ton of sun, so I knew right from the start, that it would make the PERFECT spot for a plant stand. And so, off to Pinterest I went in search of some inspiration. At first I was picturing a potting bench style table, but then this bright shelf by none other than my favorite handy-gal, Ana White, totally caught my eye. Knowing we eventually want to build a small bar table in another corner, it seemed like a much better idea to go with something completely different for this space. I also really liked the idea of having a bit of a ledge around each shelf to help keep everything contained and safe from any wind. My mind was made up the moment I saw it ... I needed this shelf! Following these plans, Brady got to work building the shelves and the frame in just a couple of hours. We did make a few changes along the way, the first of which started with the lumber - because our little hardware store didn't have any 1x3 available, we decided to use 1x4 in it's place around each shelf.   DIY Ladder Shelf @ making it in the mountains   DIY Ladder Shelf @ making it in the mountains   Brady followed the instructions screwing the ends together, but decided to use finishing nails along the bottoms of the shelves to avoid having a zillion screws show across the front.   DIY Ladder Shelf @ making it in the mountains   DIY Ladder Shelf @ making it in the mountains     And then it was my turn to get to work with some painting. Thinking it might be easier to get into all the nooks and crannies, I wanted to tackle this part before it was all put together. First up was a good coat of primer because, let's face it, I don't want to have to repaint this thing every year! I slapped on a generous coat of Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 heavy duty primer and let it dry overnight. The next morning, I did a really quick all-over sand as recommended on the back of the primer can and then I was finally ready to paint! With some help from my friends on Facebook and Instagram, I decided on an absolutely GORGEOUS paint colour (Benjamin Moore Origins's Sweet Turquoise OR-368) and I just couldn't wait to see it on my shelf!!! Because this baby is going to live outside, I was sure to pick up an exterior paint to help protect it from the elements. Here's how everything looked after some primer and the first coat of paint:   DIY Ladder Shelf @ making it in the mountains   DIY Ladder Shelf @ making it in the mountains   DIY Ladder Shelf @ making it in the mountains     And the second coat:   DIY Ladder Shelf @ making it in the mountains It was definitely LOVE at first sight! In fact, I smiled a HUGE, this is the prettiest colour ever, smile with the first brush of paint!!! Even more ... I loved it SO much that on my walk back in from the garage to our main level, I found myself looking for more things that I could paint! Perhaps this will be the summer of Sweet Turquoise (I couldn't possibly regret that, right?)!     Finally, it was time to put it all together! Brady went his own way with this part too - the original instructions called for the shelves to be offset a bit, but he really wanted the shelves to all line up along the back. So, to do this, he simply placed the shelf frame with the back down on his workbench and, after marking the suggested distance between each one, he set the shelves in so that their backs rested on his workbench too, creating a flush back. Lastly, he attached them all to the frame with a couple of screws on each side. Here's how it all came together:   DIY Ladder Shelf @ making it in the mountains   DIY Ladder Shelf @ making it in the mountains   DIY Ladder Shelf @ making it in the mountains   DIY Ladder Shelf @ making it in the mountains  
 What do you think? I hope you are just as in love with it as I am (and I'm not just talking about the colour)! Clearly this shelf isn't just made to hold plants outside ... where could you see putting one of these to work in your home? Would you paint it a bright colour, a classic white or black, or maybe stain it? I CANNOT wait for you to see how the whole space comes together in our Outdoor Makeover Challenge!!! Follow along with me on Facebook and Instagram to catch all of my sneak peeks and be sure to check back first thing Thursday morning for the full reveal! *UPDATE: See how I put this lovely ladder shelf to work in our finished space here!*

Thanks for being here today Kristi!

Having a Ball since 1934: Grandma's 80th Birthday Party

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


This lovely woman has been on this earth for 80 years and gosh darn it that should be celebrated! My Grandma is an extrodinary person that has a heart I think as big as the ocean, loves everyone she meets profoundly and is not afraid to speak about Jesus any chance she gets. I am happy I was able to think up the small details of her big day that hopefully made a big impact.  Hope you have ball...






beach balls for decor and for all the kids to play with!




Gumballs as a  little "thank you" favor for people to take as much as they wanted! String mini beach balls to make a garland. Served my grandma's favorite drink, a Manhattan and also Margaritas in mason jar drink dispensers to keep up with the "ball" mason jar theme.


So Happy to have my friend Kevin's business, Dang Brother Pizza, cater this event! We had 80 people crammed in my mom's backyard! 80 people for 80 years, I thought that was pretty profound!


To light up 80 candles on a cake would be a little crazy, but we wanted to create a real visual of the 80 years of life my Grams has celebrated. SO I made these birthday candles/protectors and distributed them to every guest at the party, right before we sung happy birthday (have to give props to the hubby for this idea, it was completely his, when he has a good idea, its a grand one!).  They were all lite, and I was able to squeeze in a few words of how Grandmas is a light in so many people's lives. These candles only represent a fraction of people she has touched. We sang Happy Birthday....and.....

 She had to blow out all the candles ;) I think she was touched, it was a really cool sight. 


The moment the kids were waiting for, "Happy Birthday" and cupcakes! These ones were lovingly 
decorated by the great grandkids!





Love you so much Grams! Looking to many more years of having a Ball with you! xoxo




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