Easter Things

First off, a quick, haphazard project. I had a canvas drop cloth leftover from when I painted the office and for some reason I kept trying to think of some way to reuse it besides the obvious. And then I started thinking about how I needed new place mates for all the visitors we would be having for Easter weekend and that’s where I got the idea for chalkboard place mates. I googled/pinterested the idea to see if anyone else had tried it but came up with nothing. Everything out there used a hardsurface as their base, which is certainly more practical, but I was set on using what I had already. So I winged it. Wang it? Wung it? Winged it.

I cut my drop cloth into 12″x18″ rectangles and thought about hemming the edges for about 3 seconds and then I was like, nope, too much work. So I got out my chalkboard paint and gave each rectangle a coat. I was too impatient to do multiple coats and I wasn’t sure the cloth could put up with much more. Since I only did one coat, this pretty much means that I can’t erase the chalk on the placemat, but that’s fine because I had a design in mind that I liked and I can’t image doing much else with them.
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I just gave each one a nice little border and then drew an outline of a plate and the fork, knife and spoon. Btw, forks are really hard to draw with chalk. Thank God you can’t see the full-on fork drawing because it’s just laughable. Most of them ended up looking like pitchforks. Oh well. Here’s the table all set for our weekend visitors:

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We had a great Easter weekend and got plenty of use of the new place mats. Matt’s dad, stepmom and brother all came to visit and it was great because my brother and dad were in town as well. Family weekend! Once Matt’s parents got here on Friday night, we headed to The Boathouse on Isle of Palms for Randy’s first birthday celebration and had fabulous meal #1 of the weekend. Between all of us we had oysters, crab cakes, fish, sirloin and gouda mac & cheese. Delish! I topped my meal off with a glass of really delicious champagne, Freixenet. All you locals out there, head out to the Boat House for a great view of the water, great service and a great meal. On Saturday we took advantage of the beautiful weather and had lunch at Vickery’s on Shem Creek. It was a little windy to sit outside, but we enjoyed a drink on the deck while we waited for our table. How beautiful is this city? We are so blessed!


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A mere four hours later I was back at our house setting the table for a gigantic combined birthday dinner for Randy and my dad. Matt grilled some delicious Filet Mignons for us. That boy can grill, y’all. Yum yum. And it’s not a birthday without cake so I used this recipe for a delicious dessert. It truly was the most amazing chocolate cake ever. If I do say so myself. It was a great night with family and we had so many laughs together. God is good.

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Our church had a beautiful outdoor mass for Easter Sunday and it was so nice to share it with Matt’s dad and stepmom, as well as Matt’s brother who is Catholic, too. We had a beautiful weekend that involved lots of eating and laughing. Can you ask for much else?

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xoxo, p

All Natural Cleaning Things

Y’all, the most amazing thing happened in our house yesterday, and it involves the Internet, a few basic household supplies and some veryyyy dirty, slimy, grimy windows.

When we first moved in our townhome about a year ago, the window in the den that faces out onto the street was all smudged and smeared. So I casually grabbed a bottle of Windex and gave that grime a few spritzes. La de da, nothing out of the ordinary. Grabbed some paper towels and started wiping away. And then I wiped some more. And then I put some muscle in it and wiped some more. And then I scrubbed. And scraped. And yelled. And nothing worked. So frustrating!

After a few weeks, I noticed that it was getting worse and that’s when I realized the grime is actually dried doggy slobber from when Bentleigh (and the two adorable golden retrievers that lived here before us) likes to sit at the window (for hours at a time, literally) and stare out into the street.

So for anyone out there who is struggling with windows that are coated in years worth of dried doggy slobber, look no further! I have your solution!

I started getting into the homemade, all-natural cleaner trend back when Pinterest became all the rage and I realized that there were better, cheaper, healthier options out there for our house. Cleaning solutions are expensive, y’all. It’s crazy. And half the time you don’t even know if what you end up buying is actually going to work.

I didn’t even know how dirty and grimey our bathtub/shower was until I used this recipe for homemade shower cleaner. Get ready, it’s real tough. Have you cleared enough space in your brain? Ok.

Homemade shower cleaner: 1/2 part Dawn dishsoap, 1/2 part white vinegar. Pour into spray bottle, shake gently. Spray on grimey-ness, let it sit and then scrub it off. I often spray this stuff on about 15 mins before I’m about to take a shower. I just bring my little scrub brush in the shower with me and take about 5 minutes to scrub-a-dub my bathtub. Easy peasy.

So, back to my windows. I was in the middle of my Spring Cleaning yesterday, that grimey, opaque window was glaring at me the whole time just daring me to try to find a solution to it. I’m not sure why it took me this long to think of it, but I just decided to sit down and Google homemade glass cleaner. Well along comes this same list.

Homemade glass/window cleaner: 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup alcohol, 1 TBSP corn starch, 2 cups warm water. Pour into spray bottle and shake gently.

Now, my spray bottle wasn’t big enough for these measurements, so I did a little adjusting. Also, I didn’t have any rubbing alcohol so I just omitted that and doubled the amount of vinegar I used.

Y’all. THIS STUFF IS A GIFT FROM THE GOOD LORD HIMSELF! Take a look at our window before:

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And here is literally 3 minutes later after I sprayed that beautiful nectar from the gods onto that grime and used the smallest amount of muscle to wipe it off:

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I wish you could have seen this transformation in person because these pictures are doing this miracle about 15% justice. I’m pretty sure if I’d had rubbing alcohol on hand, it probably would have taken one minute instead of three.

Matt came home and the only thing I said to him was, “Check out the front window” and as soon as he glanced at it, he was like, “OMG. I can see through it!”

Seriously, the only downside of this stuff is that I can no longer justify walking around our den in the buff because the window is no longer opaque. Dang it, Google! This is all your fault.

Hope everyone has a great holiday weekend. Matt and I will spend Good Friday doing a little relaxing, going to the Stations of the Cross and waiting for his family to arrive so we can celebrate Easter and also my fabulous Father-in-Law’s birthday!

xoxo, p