DIY Menu Chalkboard

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I finally bought a fiddle leaf fig tree!!!! I have been wanting one of these for SO long but have been nervous to pull the trigger because they are spendy and I have what you would call a black thumb as opposed to a green thumb. Now, I didn’t re-pot the plant because as I was driving it home with a giddy smile on my face, my mom texted me and said “is it poisonous for dogs?” Well, crap! It is!! The woman at the plant nursery said it is only toxic if the leaves are ingested and not in a fatal way but that I can return the plant if it makes me nervous. I am going to talk to my vet today but I really hope I don’t have to get rid of my new favorite décor item!

I have also wanted a large chalkboard for my dining room for dinner party menus for quite some time and in this house, I have so much room, I decided to make it happen. I got the idea from my mama, of course, she turns old windows and doors into chalkboards for her store all the time. It is such an easy DIY, anyone can do this.

Supplies
old door or window
sandpaper
paint in color of your choice for the frame
black Chalkboard paint
old handle or hardware to cover the hole from doorknob (if using a door)
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Step 1: This is the door I started with, I wanted on with a beveled edge leading into one large center square with no other design so I could use the entire center space for the chalkboard. I get things like this from Habitat for Humanity Restore, it is a great resource for used EVERYTHING when it comes to the home.
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Step 2: I used Heirloom Traditions chalk paint in A La Mode to paint the edges of the door. I decided to leave the old hinges on the door because they were so covered in old paint that it was going to be such a pain to take them off and because I knew they would be somewhat hidden by the plant where I was placing the door. You leave them on, take them off, add different old hinges to match the door knob, whatever you choose.

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Step 3: Use black chalkboard paint to make your chalkboard, I used Valspar Interior Matte Chalkboard Paint in Black. I’ve used this chalkboard paint before and it works really well, goes on smooth and levels itself out pretty well.

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Step 4: Add your hardware. I got this handle from my mom’s house, whenever I’m there I tend to go shopping in all the knick knacks and unpainted furniture she has waiting to be used. It’s a gold mine there! I’m not sure where she got this one but Hobby Lobby, Anthropology and World Market are great places to find cool old knobs and handles.

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Step 5: Just some basic chalkboard chalk and dream up your perfect dinner party menu. Enjoy and happy Saturday!!

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Lamb chops w/ fresh fig pan sauce

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I’m a little crazy for figs right now. Also, I found myself searching for fall décor on Pinterest the other day. It’s not even the end of August! Normally I would be avoiding the idea of fall as much as possible, but this year I’m really excited for it to get here…fall t.v. shows, cozy sweaters and boots, football, fires in the fireplace…I’m really not sure when my “favorite” season changed from summer to fall! Must have been a slow transition when I realized that summer doesn’t necessarily mean being lazy and doing nothing but laying by the pool all day.

Lamb chops w/ fresh fig pan sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
8 ozs fresh figs, stemmed and cut into pieces
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shiraz or other spicy red wine
1/4 cup unsalted chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp honey
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
12 (3 oz) lamb rib chops, trimmed

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil; swirl to coat. Add shallots; cook for 7 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add figs; mash with a potato masher to break them up. Cook for 3 minutes or until figs start to break down, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/4 tsp black pepper.
3. Increase heat to medium-high. Add wine; boil for 1 minute. Stir in stock and bay leaf. Reduce the heat to medium-low; simmer 10 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. Add honey and vinegar; simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; discard  bay leaf. Stir in rosemary; cover and keep sauce warm.
4. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Brush lamb with remaining 1 tsp oil; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Add lamb to skillet; sear 2 minutes on each side. Place pan in oven; bake at 400° for 4 minutes (for medium-rare) or until desired degree of doneness. Remove pan from oven; remove lamb from pan. Let lamb stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with sauce.

Original recipe from Cooking Light Magazine

Inspired by…home of Joanna Gaines

I love love love this post! I may be mildly obsessed with Chip & Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper…that’s not a secret, right? Their remodeled farmhouse is my dream, every single detail and corner of the home is perfection. So now, I just need to go find a farmhouse to remodel, who’s with me?

Go follow Joanna’s blog, if you don’t already, for amazing farmhouse inspiration.

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DIY Yard Yahtzee Scoreboard

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These scoreboards were a bit of trial and error in terms of the paint markers I used as well as the spacing of all the boxes but I think I finally nailed it.

I started with plain 12×12 pine boards that I got from Michael’s. In store, they carry different sizes and boards with different thickness. I bought the 3/4″ thickness.

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I used a matte black chalkboard paint to paint all sides of the pine boards. To write on the content of the scoreboards, I found these great permanent chalk markers at Target. They worked so much better than the paint markers that I originally bought.

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Next I used the chalk markers and a straight edge ruler to create the scoreboard grid. The marker set comes with 1 bold tip marker (which I used for the grid) and 2 fine tip markers (which I used for the words).
From top to bottom, the boxes are 1/2″ tall, with the exception of the “Yahtzee Bonus” box, which is 1″.
Across the top, from the left to right, the boxes are 3 1/2″, 2 1/2″, and the rest are 1″.

Use regular chalk to write in scores and wipe away with a wet rag.
See DIY Yard Yahtzee for dice instructions and have fun!

Mini Brownie Sundaes

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I came home from work today, put on my workout clothes and was ready to get a productive workout in. First I needed a snack, something healthy, because I was going to workout after all. Once my pre-workout snack was complete, I realized I needed to take some blog photos and should do so before the daylight went away. One of the photos I needed was of this delicious mini brownie sundae which meant I needed to make a mini sundae first. Photos were finished and I was left with a delicious mini brownie sundae which I OBVIOUSLY wasn’t going to throw out, plus it was topped with ice cream so I couldn’t save it for later…now, not only am I not working out but I’m eating a brownie sundae for dinner. Finally, I’m finished with photos and the sundae, maybe now I should work out? Hmm…I should probably just have a glass of wine and blog instead. I mean, wearing my workout clothes while taking photos, eating a sundae and drinking wine has to count for something, right? Seems perfectly logical to me!

Mini Brownie Sundaes
1 box store bought brownie mix
ice cream of choice (I used Vanilla Bean)
sauce topping of choice (I used Stonewall Kitchen Maple Honey Caramel Sauce)
2 muffin tins

1. Prepare brownie mix per package directions.
2. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray. Pour brownie batter into cups of a muffin tin, filling cups 2/3 full. Bake brownies per package directions.
3. As soon as brownies are done (when a toothpick comes cleanly out of the center of the brownies) take the 2nd muffin tin (sprayed with non-stick spray on the bottom side) and place it on top of the brownies, pushing it down to form the brownie cups. Place something heavy on top of the 2nd muffin tin, such as a heavy cookbook, and allow the brownies to cool like this.
4. Once cool, remove brownie bowls from the muffin tin. Use 1 brownie bowl, 1 scoop of ice cream and a tablespoon of sauce for each mini sundae.

Enjoy!

Inspired by…home of George Clooney

For some reason, I’m obsessed with vacation homes right now! Maybe because it has been so hot out and I’d love nothing more than to be at the beach, everyday. This Mexico vacation home belonging to George Clooney is exactly where I would like to be. If this doesn’t make you want to book a plane ticket, I don’t know what will!

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DIY Cornhole

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I got to spend the day, Saturday, watching one of my good friends say “I do” to her best friend in the most beautiful backyard, DIY, setting. The look and feel of the ceremony and reception couldn’t have been more perfect for Jessie & Kyle.

This was also the wedding I was making the DIY yard games for, such a cute and personal touch that Jessie wanted to add to her big day. I think, of all 3 games I made, Cornhole was my favorite, probably because I created a personalized monogram and painted it onto the cornhole boards so it would feel just a bit more special.

Supplies
4 – 2x4x8 studs
4 – 1x6x8 boards
2″ hinges
wood glue
2 1/2″ nails
2″ finish nails
jigsaw
pencil
straight edge
measuring tape
stain or paint color of your choice
polyurethane top coat
8 bean bags

1. First, you will cut the studs to make the frame
cuts – use your 2x4x8 and make the following cuts
-4 pieces cut to 43″
-4 pieces cut to 15″
Set the rest of your 2x4x8 aside for later use

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(This photo just shows the cut pieces for one cornhole board. Keep in mind, you will have double this amount.)

2. Use wood glue and 2 1/2″ nails to attach the boards together to form the frame, 43″ boards will sit vertically and the 15″ boards will sit horizontally inside the 43″ boards.

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3. Now for the top boards, you will simply cut your 1x6x8 boards in half at 4′.

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4. Next, I laid the 1×6 boards side by side to make sure there were no major bows in the wood and that they laid flat, rearrange the order of the boards if necessary. Once you determine the order the boards will lay, you are going to draw the hole on the 2 center boards. The center of the hole should be 9″ from the top of the board and the hole should be 6″ in diameter. I used the lid of a 1 gallon paint can to draw the circle for cuts.

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5. Use your jig saw to make the cutout for the hole

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6. Now, make a couple of marks to determine the placement of your center 1×6 boards. Find the center of the frame by making a mark at 9″, this is where your center 1×6 boards will meet. On your 1×6 boards, measure and mark 2 1/2″ from the top and bottom. This is where the 1×6 boards will meet the edge of the frame. Use wood glue and 2″ finish nails to attach the 1×6 boards to the frame making sure to line up the edges of the hole, NOT the top and bottom edges of the boards. If the boards aren’t completely even at the top and bottom, don’t worry, you can use the jig saw once all 4 boards are attached to even out the top and bottom cuts.

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7. Use wood glue and 2″ finish nails to attach the outside boards to complete to top of the cornhole boards. Once all 4 boards are attached, use your jigsaw to even out your top and bottom edges if necessary.

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8. Now you are going to flip your board over and attach the retractable legs. Use your remaining 2x4x8 to cut the legs, cut 4 pieces at 11″ each. On the underside of your board, place the legs about 1/2″ from the side edge of the frame and flush with the top edge. Attach the legs with the 2″ hinges so that when you are storing the game boards, you can fold the legs down and under the frame.

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9. Last step is to paint and seal! I used Minwax stain in Walnut and sealed with Minwax Polyurethane top coat. Before sealing, I also added a custom monogram with the couples initials. If you want to do this, you can use a stencil, I did the monogram freehand and it’s much easier than you would think. I used a piece of string measured to the width of the boards, minus 1″. I held one end of the string in the center of the boards and attached the other end to a pencil and drew a complete circle to contain the monogram. Then using pencil, I sketched the outline of the letters. I used Heirloom Traditions chalk paint in “a la mode” to paint the monogram. Once it was dry, I went over the monogram with some fine grit sandpaper to rough it up a bit. This also helps with the edges of the lettering, it doesn’t need to be perfecting straight if you are going to sand it for a rough look.

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I’ll be honest, I didn’t make the bean bags because of time constraints. You can find bean bags at most sporting good stores or if you want cute colors or patterns, try searching on Etsy for custom made bean bags. Maybe one day I’ll give that a DIY shot too!