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A Little Hiatus…and Baby(s) Make FOUR!

As many of you may have noticed, I’ve taken a little hiatus from posting on the Picklee blog for the last few months…as it does sometimes, life just seemed to get in the way.  Since I’ve come to know many of our readers so well, I feel like I can safely share a bit of personal info on here :)

The Foreword…

Since our wedding in October 2013, Brett & I have been in full baby-making-mode!  I always assumed that as soon as I decided I wanted to get pregnant, it would just happen.  Not true.  This past July (2014), after 9 months of trying, Brett and I finally learned that we were expecting!  I’ll never forget the way I felt when I saw those two beautiful pink lines appear, and of course my ear piercing scream that could have been heard a mile away!  I told Brett immediately and we cried and hugged for what seemed like hours.  We started going to ultrasounds at 6 weeks and watched in excitement as our baby developed.  The excitement, however, came to a screeching halt when I was about 10.5 weeks pregnant.  We had taken a new blood test (Panorama) that screens developing babies for genetic abnormalities; the test alerted us that our baby would have Turner Syndrome, a rare “fluke” condition occurring only in females in which they are missing a chromosome.  The fact was that 99% of these babies would never live past birth.  Sadly, this was the case for our baby.  We miscarried our baby girl at around 10 weeks.  The miscarriage process was beyond devastating for Brett & I, but we tried to lean on the hope that we would soon be blessed with a new, healthy baby.  I thank God for the support of my amazing husband & family; without them, healing would have been near impossible.

The Current…

After the miscarriage I became so focused on having a baby that it practically consumed my life (including my work on the blog!).  I wish I could have just relaxed as everyone says to do, but that’s just so hard to do after a loss.  I started using every (natural) method imaginable to help conceive…if you told me standing on my head while rubbing my belly would help, I’d be doing it!  Finally, after what felt like a lifetime, I learned I was pregnant again on December 3, 2014!  Once again, seeing those two pink lines nearly knocked me out.  I ran around the house screaming, crying, and repeating “oh my gosh” about 1,000 times.  I was speechless, scared, and excited all at once.  Now the question was, how to tell Brett?! Brett and I had just finished making these adorable marshmallow snowmen ornaments for our tree…

marshmallow snowmen-ornaments

As I glanced over at the snowmen hanging happily on our tree, the perfect reveal came to mind.  I quickly whipped together a baby snowman using miniature marshmallows I had in the cabinet; hands nervously shaking the entire snowman-making-process…

baby snowman

When Brett walked in the door from work, I grabbed his hand and led him to the spot on the tree where I had the family of snowmen hanging…he looked at it and said “oh, that’s cute, so whats for lunch?”  He didn’t get it!  I screamed “I’m pregnant, Brett!”  I watched as his jaw dropped to the floor.  We hugged, we cried, we danced.  It was magical.

Two weeks & about 100 positive pregnancy tests later, we found ourselves waiting anxiously on the ultrasound table while the technician searched to confirm my pregnancy…I watched as she squinted her eyes and tilted her head to one side, then she glanced at me with a puzzled look on her face…I thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest…she asked “do twins run in your family”?  I jumped up to look at the screen and saw two perfect little black circles…I was pregnant with TWINS!  I nearly hyperventilated along with Brett, who was absolutely speechless!  I was beyond excited, I felt EXTRA blessed!  Brett’s first words to the technician (when he could finally speak again) were, “there’s definitely just two, no more right?!  She confirmed that we were absolutely pregnant with twins, and there were no other babies hiding in there =)  After the initial 30 seconds of shock, both Brett and I were over the moon excited…we felt so LUCKY to have two beautiful babies on the way!

I’m now 14 weeks pregnant with a due date in August!  We’ve had 5 wonderful ultrasounds that reveal nothing but healthy heartbeats & two adorable bouncing babies…the most beautiful site I’ve ever seen =)  We officially announced our pregnancy a couple weeks ago…here’s a peak at our twin announcement photos (all taken by Brett, using a tripod =) )…

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I hope you’ll enjoy following this new journey on Picklee!  I’m super excited to start sharing fun baby updates & of course our DIY nursery projects!  Stay tuned =)

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ikea hack nightstands before and after

Ikea Hack! Gilded Gold Hemnes Nightstands [DIY]

It’s been a bit since we’ve shared a post here on Picklee (sometimes life just gets in the way of things!), but we are back today with a fabulous “Ikea Hack” transformation!  Though they have some great pieces, I don’t usually buy much in the way from furniture from Ikea, mostly because everything I have is antique or vintage.  However, about a year ago I found myself in desperate need of two matching nightstands (I don’t mind if they don’t match but Brett was a sticker for a matching set).  So we picked up an inexpensive pair of Ikea Hemnes nightstands.  Of course I can never leave anything as is, so I decided to make the set pop with a little gold gilding!

ikea hack nightstands before and after

Ikea Hack! Gilded Gold Hemnes Nightstands [DIY]

YOU’LL NEED:

  • furniture of choice, a boxy, clean lined piece works best for this project
  • Rub n’ Buff Metallic Wax in Antique Gold
  • foam dabber for application

METHOD

Decide where you’d like to accent your piece with gold.  I added gold to the edge, feet and around my drawers to give my nightstands somewhat of a campaign style.
ikea nightstand hack

Use 1″ painters tape to mark off the area you’ll be adding gold to.  I chose to wax the edge of the nightstand, to make a 1/2″ wide box around the outside of my drawers, and then a 2″ section of gold to the feet.

ikea-nightstand hack-2

Use the foam dabbing tool to apply the Rub’ n Buff to your piece.  I found that my surface required two coats of wax for full coverage.  Since the wax dries so quickly, I was able to apply the second coat within 10 minutes.

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This turned out to be a super quick project!  I was done with the first nightstand in under an hour!  Here’s how it turned out…

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The gold gilding definitely adds a level of sophistication & character to these otherwise basic & simple pieces!

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Looking for even more inspiration? Find more furniture flips here!

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diy driftwood beach sign

Wax Printed Driftwood Beach Sign [tutorial]

I have a complicated relationship with art.  I absolutely love painting/reviving furniture & home decor, but when it comes to creating an actual painting everything I know flies right out the window.  I’m terrible at painting figures & objects on my own, yet I have the desire to create art for my home.  I’ve found that there are plenty tricks around covering up my lack of artistic ability.  In the past I’ve used objects as painting & photos as aids, like in the case of my fish stamp prints. Today I’m doing something similar with wax paper image stamps & chalky finish paint!

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Wax Printed Driftwood Beach Sign [tutorial]

MATERIALS

METHOD

Select an image you’d like to print onto your driftwood, I chose a basic red crab.  Cut a piece of wax paper into an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet.  Feed your wax paper into your ink jet printer and print the image.  Since the wax paper is so thin, this step took me a couple tries…I found that its best to hand feed the paper into the printer.

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Place the “wet” side of the wax paper face down onto your driftwood…

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Use a flat object press and rub the ink off onto the wood…

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This should leave you with a nice outline of your object printed onto the wood…

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Now you’re able to fill in the object with paint, if you can color in a coloring book you can complete this painting!  I used chalky finish paint for this step because it has more depth & is super simple to distress (perfect for the vintage art look).

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After about 30 minutes I lightly sanded the painting with a medium grit sand paper to give the sign a more vintage feel…

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Creating driftwood art is as simple as that!

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diy driftwood beach sign

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diy simple cake toppers

12 Simple & Chic DIY Cake Toppers

Like just about everything, half the battle is presentation.  That statement’s especially true for cakes.  Most of us aren’t skilled bakers or cake decorators, but it’s nice to know that there are plenty of SUPER SIMPLE & chic cake decorating options out there!  I’ve put together 12 of my favorite simple DIY cake toppers for a little inspiration…

diy simple cake toppers

12 Simple & Chic DIY Cake Toppers

Gold heart stick cake toppers [source]

gold heart cake toppers

Rainbow candy cake topper [source]

rainbow candy cake topper

Water balloon cake topper [source]

mini balloon cake topper

Tightrope walker cake topper [source]

tight rope walker cake topper

Balloon animal cake topper [source]

balloon animal cake topper

Fresh rose cake topper [source]

flower cake topper

Sprinkle number cake topper [source]

sprinkles cake topper

Pom pom cake topper [source]

pom pom cake toppers

“Eat more cake” cake topper [source]

eat more cake topper

Candy necklace cake topper [source]

smarties cake topper

Fabric garland cake topper [source]

 

flag cake topper

Beach day cake topper [source]

beach cake topper

white plank walls

Fresh Picked Friday [Vol.81]

fresh picked friday

June 13, 2014 [Vol. 80]

Add coastal charm & brighten up your space with…DIY plank walls

white plank walls

What’s for dinner? Chicken & Veggie Pasta Bake

 

chicken vegetable bake

When new becomes old…DIY Vintage Crates

vintage crate

Whats the best brow shape for your face? How to shape your eyebrows

perfect eyebrow face shape

For your sweet tooth…Cherry bread with cherry almond glaze

cherry bread

Because [almost] everything gets better with age…DIY aged terra cotta pots

diy aged terra cotta

Kick off your Friday with this…Skinny Blueberry Mojito

skinny blueberry mojito

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Skinny Blueberry Vodka Mojito [cocktail]

Whats more relaxing than lounging outside & sipping on a refreshing cocktail at the end of a long day?  Not much.  Except maybe getting a massage while lounging outside & sipping on a refreshing cocktail…ahhh, now I’m just dreaming…Now that the warm weather has graced us with it’s presence, I’ve been concocting lots of new yummy (and skinny!) cocktails like my latest obsession, the Skinny Blueberry Vodka Mojito, which is sort of a twist on my original Smashing Skinny Vodka Mojito =)

skinny blueberry mojito

Skinny Blueberry Vodka Mojito

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 oz vodka (optional: use blueberry vodka for even more flavor)
  • 4 oz. Sprite zero
  • 2 sprigs fresh mint (reserve on sprig for garnish)
  • 1 tbsp fresh blueberries (reserve a few for garnish)

METHOD

Muddle vodka, mint and blueberries together in a shaker.  Add one cup of crushed ice and SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE!  Pour into a cocktail glass and top with Sprite Zero, garnish with remaining min & blueberries!

blueberry vodka mojito skinny 2 skinny blueberry mojito 1 http://www.picklee.com/wp-admin/post-new.php

Enjoyed this Skinny Blueberry Vodka Mojito?  Find more skinny cocktail recipes here!

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individual-veggie-dip-cups

Confetti Veggie Dip Cups [party recipe]

I’m back on my sister’s wedding shower today! So far, I’ve shared the DIY champagne/mimosa bar & the super festive fabric scrap banner from the shower I hosted last week, so now I’m moving along to THE FOOD!  Since the shower took place during the day, I served a cold lunch spread (sandwiches, pasta salad, potato salad etc.), but before that, we munched on lots of yummy appetizers!  One of my favorite appetizers we served were the Confetti Veggie Dip Cups.  I definitely stole the idea from catered events I’ve attended, where they serve individual mini portions of popular dishes…it just looks so fun & chic!  Here’s how I made them…

individual-veggie-dip-cups

Confetti Veggie Dip Cups [party recipe]
recipe makes approx. 20 individual veggie dip cups

INGREDIENTS

  • one packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix (simple, but the BEST)
  • 16 oz. reduced fat sour cream
  • assorted vegetable, cut into long strips (I used 1 bunch of celery, 4 carrots, 1 red, 1 yellow & 1 orange pepper, 1 English cucumber & a package of grape tomatoes)
  • sun dried tomatoes (optional for dip)
  • clear plastic cups

METHOD

Mix veggie dip according to package instructions.  I also added chopped sundried tomatoes to give the dip more color & depth (adds great flavor too!). Dip can sit covered in refrigerator overnight.

Spoon a tablespoon of dip into each cup and fill with assorted veggie strips, serve immediately.  I displayed mine on plates with ice to keep the veggies fresh during the party!

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Find more simple appetizer recipes here!

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Fresh Picked Friday [Vol. 79]

fresh picked friday

June 6, 2014 [Vol. 79]

Happy Friday!  We’re switching things up this week, with a guest curator!  Today’s Fresh Picks have been selected by local (RI) artist, Samantha Anselmo…we’re lovin’ her style!

Bring the outdoors in…[DIY twig votives]

candle-holder-diy

Summer style [sequin headband]

cute-headband

What’s for dinner? [Honey Lime Chicken Skewers]

honey-lime-chicken-skewers

What does your floral arrangement say about you? [source]

what-arrangement-means

Every girl needs to know… [how to contour]

makeup placement

Why don’t you…paint a plywood floor?

painted plywood sub-floor-diy

Have a wonderful weekend!

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painted plywood sub-floor-diy

DIY Painted Plywood Subfloor

One of our most popular posts on Picklee features a wide plank farmhouse floor made from plywood planks.We used the simple plywood planks as flooring at the Picklee shop two years ago and they are still holding up wonderfully!  In fact, we get questions and compliments on them from customers constantly!  I love the plywood floor look so much at the shop that I knew I would eventually do something similar in my own home…well, I finally did!

Brett & I bought our new home this past August and have been working on renovations ever since.  One of our projects was to the remove carpeting from our office (carpeting just DOES NOT belong in an office) and add a hardwood floor.  By now you can guess that we didn’t end up installing hardwood floors, we saved a ton of money by working with something we already had…the plywood sub floor!  Here’s how we did it…

painted plywood sub-floor-diy

It’s hard to imagine a plywood sub floor looking like anything BUT a plywood sub floor, but I can assure you that its a wonderful option if your going for a look with more character & charm.  We were aiming for a chic, coastal farmhouse feel in our office so the painted plywood floor worked out perfectly for us!

This project is super simple, just a bit time consuming.  Here’s how our office looked before we began transforming it…

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Yep, that’s white carpet…definitely not on my list of “wants” in a home…

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First things first, we cleared out the room and ripped out the white carpet (along with the under pad)…

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Next, we had to pull out each and every carpet staple from the sub floor.  I used a small pair of pliers along with a flat head screw driver, it was a tedious process but it went by quick!

painted plywood subfloors

After the sub floor was cleared of staples and nails, we gave it a GOOD vacuuming.  This step is super important before painting the floor, for obvious reasons… Yes, that’s a painted heart on the floor, Brett expresses his love in strange ways sometimes… ;)

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Oh yea, we painted the room a deep, ocean blue (to go with the coastal new feel) at this point too!

painted blue walls

Once the floor was clean, it was time to begin painting!  We wanted our painted floor to look a bit shiny, so we decided to use a semi gloss floor paint in a creamy shade of white.  First, I cut in the entire perimeter of the room using a large brush…

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The next step went super FAST.  Brett took out the roller and rolled a solid coat of paint over the entire floor.  There are plenty of bumps, nail holes and imperfections on a sub floor, but we embraced them in the name of creating character!

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As Brett rolled the paint on, I followed him with a paint brush, touching up any deep holes that didn’t fully cover…

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Since this was a floor paint, it didn’t require any top coat, so we simply let the paint “cure” for about 36 hours before putting our furniture back!

painted plywood sub-floor

Even though the room is a deep, dark shade of blue, it feels so much LIGHTER with the crisp white floor!

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It now been 4 months since we painted the sub floor and I’m still LOVING the look!  It’s held up great too!

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Yes, you can see lines and tiny holes, but that contributes to it’s charm =)

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The best part, it that it’s supposed to look “imperfect” so we never worry about damaging it or messing it up!

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Here’s a little peak at how our transformed office turned out…there will be many more details on it’s transformation coming soon!

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Now that’s MORE proof that a plywood floor can look absolutely beautiful!  Find more information on plywood floors here!

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