Wednesday, July 7, 2010

July 4th weekend

I absolutely love July 4th. I love the patriotism and the fireworks and the relaxed family time and the yummy food and the quintessential summer feeling that it is to me.

This July 4th did no disappoint. My one party foul was that I stink at taking pictures and this post/record of our memories severely suffers because of that, but I promise I am really trying.

One cool thing about the weekend was how spread out it was, since the 4th was on Sunday we had three days of celebrating!

Saturday, we went to the fireworks in our nearby town. The highlight of the time was that we brought, Z. He was the man of the hour. Seriously, throngs of people were coming up and petting him. He was so sweet! We ran into a family from our church. They have two sweet kiddos and they absolutely loved Zero.
How sweet are they?

And theeeeen my camera battery died :(.

But I will tell you that the rest of the night involved a lot of smiles, some frisbee, some my heart melting because Jason is so great with kids (our friends asked me if I rented him out, ha), one large sno cone, and some great fireworks.

Maybe the cutest part of the night was when the fireworks started, Zero was not a fan. He cowered under the chairs with his head down. Jason was able to get him up into his lap, and calmed him down. He kept looking at me with his sweet puppy eyes. So sweet.

Can you tell we love him? Cause we do. 

Next was Sunday, the actual 4th. We got up and went to church. I love church! We sang some of the great patriotic songs. One that I loved was the Star Spangled Banner. Many people probably don't even know there is a second verse, but it is my favorite. It says...

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

I love this nation, and I feel so blessed to live here. I am eternally thankful for those who have sacrificed selflessly in order to make our country what it is today, and I pray that we can individually praise the Power that hath made and preserved us as a nation.

After church, we went to the hospital to see my father-in-law, who is still in the hospital due to complications after his open heart surgery. He was having a really great day and it was good to see him acting more like himself. Afterwards, we went with Jason's sisters and their familes to the lake and swam and had a cook out. Perfect quintessential summer.

The fun didn't stop there. Madison, true to form, asked begged and cried to spend the night with us. And who can say no to this snaggle-tooth grin? 

So, home with us she came!

Monday was a full day of fun with Madison Ann. We slept in, finished painting the backsplash (she painted the paper towel holder!), let Zero swim in our lake, saw a snake (eeek!), and gave Z a bath! That afternoon, Jason went back to the hospital to help his parents and Madison and I had some girl time (as she lovingly called it). We went to Books-a-million and read and she LOVED it. I had to pry her out of there. Then we went to Target (because what is girl time without Target?).

Next we came home and made this masterpiece:

I've seriously always wanted to make one of these. Like, I feel like I just crossed something off my bucket list, haha.

And making it with this cutie? It couldn't have been better. :)
love, love, love her.

Then, Jason's whole family (minus his sweet parents), plus my whole family, plus my sister's boyfriend's family all got together for desserts and a huge fireworks show our neighbor but on (seriously $3000 worth of fireworks, insane!). It was a great time!

Just perfect! Happy 4th of July!! Go America!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

DIY Countertops & Backsplash Make-Over on a Budget

When we moved into our current abode, there was one aspect that I really didn't care for. Meet our pink (yes, pink) countertops/backsplash:

These were installed circa 1993 by my Grandmother and she even said after they were installed that it wasn't really what she picked out and that she didn't really like them herself.

Finding a way to economically change these out was my number one summer project. So, off I went to blogland where I found several great ideas, so when my week off between summer school and vacations came, I was eager to start!

First, the countertops. Many thought I was crazy, but for our situation the best cure I found was....
spray paint.

Yes, spray paint. But stay with me here. 

First, we sanded the existing countertops with a fine grit sandpaper and cleaned them well. Then, we choose a grey base color and sprayed away.

The point of no return.

Then comes in the true secret ingredient: Stone Effects spray paint, modeled below by our lovely vanna  Zero pup!

After the first coat of this magic spray, I was already liking what I saw!

Then it was just a few coats of some tile sealant and viola, goodbye pink countertops!

Next, it was onto the backsplash. I looked into several different things, but kept coming back to the beauty of beadboard. I was originally going to use beadboard wallpaper which is very popular on several decor blogs, but after some encouragement from my husband, I went with the real true beadboard (I think he just wanted to get to use his power tools).

See what I mean?

So after much measuring, cutting, nailing, and two coats of white paint, we had our new finished product.

We totally love the results!



And for all my fellow budget lovers out there, here is the cost breakdown:

sandpaper: 2.99
base spray paint: 6.93
Stone spray paint (x2 cans): 16.38 
glaze spray: 8.17

Beadboard: 20.74
Trim: 20.24
paint: leftover=free
paint supplies: 10.62

Total: $86.07

Hey, maybe it isn't granite, but it is definitely home...for now! 

Check out
for more fabulous frugal makeovers!