Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Christmas Recap | Sharing our memories & laughter

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!!!  This year was super calm around this house… well by calm I mean was owned by two children.  It was just the kiddos and I Christmas Eve day, and for most of Christmas Day.

Christmas Eve Day we just hung out, relaxed, appreciated the nice weather.. I took advantage of the sunny day and got some cute shots of the kids by the tree.
Then Jaxy got to skip nap time to decorate cookies for Santa.  I love his little brain and things he remembers, he asked if we could do it this year because we did last year and remembers such specific details of doing it last year.


This moment made me tear up a bit.  Some of my FAVORITE memories of childhood were leaving Santa cookies and writing him a letter and than getting one back from him in the morning.  Seeing my son being able to write a message to Santa and the excitement on his face while doing it.  Bless his heart.  
Not all moments captured can be picture perfect --- they are children right?
”KIDS NO- sit and smile.. no makenzie don’t move… Jackson don’t hold her so tight… makenzie.. MAKENZIE no Jackson keep looking at me… wait no don’t let her grab the milk… JUST GIVE ME ONE SMILE!”
Then came Christmas morning…. AND THIS KID WAS ALL SMILES1
Gifts, Gifts, and more Gifts!!!
Um… YEAH….. guess who is going to Disneyworld in a few months… THANKS GLAMMA & COOKIE!!!

These two are so loved…and spoiled.
I hope everyone had a wonderful, memory filled and happy Christmas!!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

A DIY Christmas Light up Marquee Sign

This post is brought to you by Modern Masters, without them this sign wouldn’t be as shimmery in all its glory!
DIY Marquee Sign with metallic finish
This project gave me a couple headaches in the beginning… but I powered through it and so happy I did!  The great thing about this sign is you can take the concept and really make the sign your own.  Originally I was going to do a 6’ tall vertical sign, but changed at last minute to this set up.  You could use a variety of materials for the letters too.  But keep the paint – the paint is PERFECT for it Smile

DIY Marquee Sign with metallic finish

 Wood surface for the backboard (Mine is just planks of wood held together by two support planks on the back, I had this laying around already painted dark for quite a while so just put it to use finally)
Letters to spell phrase of choice (I found these chunky block letters at JoAnn Fabric in the clearance bin. Originally I wanted 3D chipboard letters but couldn’t find any but so happy because I LOVE the look of these afterwards)
Paint brushes, roller brush, etc
Modern Masters paint
Duct Tape
String of white Christmas lights
Drill with 1/4” drill bit
DIY Marquee Sign with metallic finish
This project started out with a few hurdles.  I wanted a metallic rustic background to the sign and thought that I could just use the metallic paint of Modern Masters over the dark and it would be perfect.  Well I did two layers of their Champagne color first and this was the result.
DIY Marquee Sign with metallic finish
Not bad… just too opaque for what I was looking for.  When I originally used their paint in my daughter’s nursery I was painting onto white and the depth of the metallic was PERFECT. So I started over and painted the whole board white to give a fresh background for the metallic paint.

DIY Marquee Sign with metallic finish
Then I did two layers of Statuary Bronze Once that dried I wanted do apply a dry brush effect, so I dry brushed with Champagne over the darker metallic paint.

DIY Marquee Sign with metallic finish
Once I achieved the look I was going for, I did the same effect to the block letters background piece, and then just painted the actual letters with white acrylic craft paint.

DIY Marquee Sign with metallic finish
I just used wood glue to attach each letter to the board and used a T-square to keep my base line straight.

DIY Marquee Sign with metallic finish
Once I allowed enough dry time, I used a 1/4” drill (technically an auger bit) to drill through the block letters and the back board.  This made for a big ol’ mess in my house… but nothing a vacuum didn’t suck up.

DIY Marquee Sign with metallic finish
Next is stringing the lights!  No real beautiful science here, just stick the lights through the hole and duck tape them in place.

DIY Marquee Sign with metallic finish
I just LOVE how it fits in perfectly with my holiday décor on these shelves.  It’s such a centerpiece and fits the color scheme beautifully. 

How to make a light up marquee sign
Notice the pallet flower box?!  I switched out the hydrangeas, filled it up with tree trimmings and some ornaments and graced with a black bow.  Perfect switch out for the Christmas season.

During the day:

How to make a light up marquee sign
Christmas Decor  | PBJstories
Then all lit up at night:

Marquee Sign | PBJstories.com
Marquee Sign | PBJstories.com
DIY holiday marquee sign | PBJstories.com

Huge thanks to Modern Masters for the opportunity to use their products again.  I originally used their paint in my daughter’s nursery and LOVVEDDDD it so when the chance came to work with them I jumped at it! 
Modern Masters

(Here’s a close up shot of Modern Masters paint.  They have SUCH a huge line of colors and products… endless ideas happen when I hit their website.  Side note: The really great thing about Modern Masters metallic paint is it’s forgiving of flaws because of the shimmer.  You really don’t have to be an expert to try out new effects with this paint.  And you can see the HUGE range of projects you can use it with from this sign to using it directly on walls to so much more.  )

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Deck the Halls | A fancy, but not shmancy Christmas style

Black Gold and White Christmas Decor
Well it’s the weekend before Christmas, what do you say I finally share what my house has been looking like for a couple weeks. 

Decorating for Christmas is always fun… but can be a LOT of work.  It’s a complete transformation of your home.  We store all our Christmas décor in boxes up in the attic and when it was time to bring it all down that was a LOT of up and down trips I had to make by myself.

Last year I concentrated on the outside a lot more, but this year I kept it pretty simple.  Typically I use silver, white and gold as my “staple” Christmas colors and then I add in a fun accent color. In previous years I’ve done red, purple, blue and then this year I decided to do black.  I think by far --- this year has been my favorite. 
PB&Jstories | Black, Gold & White ChristmasI love the glam look of it all.  Black and gold are the perfect colors to jazz up with glitter and sequins so when I saw those pillows at Home Goods I knew they were coming home with me. 

The colors have such a modern vibe to them I almost feel like I need a white deer head with antlers sticking out of that wreath. 
PB&Jstories | Black, Gold & White Christmas
I just love how a lit up Christmas tree makes you feel.  All is calm, all is right.
PB&Jstories | Black, Gold & White Christmas

PB&Jstories | Black, Gold & White Christmas

PB&Jstories | Black, Gold & White Christmas

PB&Jstories | Black, Gold & White Christmas
So little secret about me… I HATE wrapping presents. Hate it. I’m not sure what it is about it but I’ve never enjoyed it.  But I suck it up every year Winking smile
PB&Jstories | Black, Gold & White Christmas
Beyond the couch and tree area, I decorated above our media cabinet.  This is actually usually a hard area to fill as it’s the tallest point in the living room, but you can see it first thing walking into our home. 

I do it almost every year – but filling buckets and vases with an assortment of ornaments = beautiful and EASY decorating.  My kinda style.
PB&Jstories | Black, Gold & White Christmas
PB&Jstories | Black, Gold & White Christmas
Back to the tree.

I loved the idea of topping the tree with a big sparkly bow instead of the typical star.  That idea is actually what spawned the style of decorating I did.
PB&Jstories | Black, Gold & White Christmas
I also decorated the front entryway, but because of the time of day that area sees light I’ve been unable to take any pictures.  I hope to also squeeze in another post before Christmas of décor I have up on the other side of the living room once I finish a project I’m trying to DIY. 
Again – if you follow me on Instagram you’ll always know what I’m up too and you’ll have seen the sneak peek’s of the sign I’ll be making!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It’s official–I have a 5 year old.

My husband has always said – once your kid is 5 .. that makes you have OLD kids.  Like 5 year olds are little humans.  They have their own thoughts that they can voice.  They know what they want – and know how to express that (to our happiness, or NOT).  They can make their own decisions based off their own logic.  They’re capable of getting themselves ready and dressed for school, and for bed.  They are little independent humans…. well in my case, a little independent super hero.

As I mentioned in my recent family post, my in-laws were in town for Jackson’s birthday.  Last year my mother in law, sister in law, and niece were able to celebrate with us too here.  - Sad fact: My husband has only celebrated one birthday with Jackson.  Thanks a lot Military.

The only BIG birthday party he’s ever had was his first birthday, otherwise it’s just been him and I and anyone else that made it into town that year.   But we never disappoint as he gets showered with love and gifts. 

He started his day off right with 5 pancakes, and we even put a candle in them for him to make his first wish of the day!
Birthday Pancakes
A few days later I saw this on Pinterest and was happy we did it for our him before seeing it on there!  I’ll give myself ANY credit for ideas not given by Pinterest haha.
birthday pancakes(source: weheartit.com – original source unknown)Then we dove into the presents – oh and did you notice we’re celebrating with Superman?! He is a costume fanatic! He changes into about 3 to 10 different costumes on the weekends and has one incredible imagination for thinking of different ones with what he has.

Birthday Boy opening presents
Then I let him pick if he wanted to go to the Bounce House or Chuck-E-Cheese for his birthday… thank goodness he picked the Bounce House!  Sometimes the craziness of CEC can be “a bit much” haha.

The Bounce House 1
The Bounce House 2
virgina 84
The Bounce House 3
The Bounce House 4
Ohhhhh gotta love children in their elements.

After a long day we came home for BIRTHDAY CAKE! This was a fun and simple idea I came up from Pinterest.  It was super easy to make and I just LOVEDDDDDDDDDDDD his reaction!

Birthday Boy
This isn’t the reaction I’m talking about yet – that’s just for his seeing his cake!
5 year old birthday cake
5 year old birthday cake
5 year old birthday cake
He is READY for some cake (looks like he’s going to attack it)….Jackson are you ready for this cake? It’s going to be legend……………wait for it…………..
Surprize M&M Birthday Cake

His reaction = priceless.  See that M&M surprise goodness???

Surprize M&M Birthday Cake
Surprize M&M Birthday Cake
Surprize M&M Birthday Cake
Surprise M&M Birthday Cake
The cake is super easy to make:

Candy Filled Surprise Cake
2 boxes of cake mix
1 bag of candy of choice – I did 1 bag of big M&M’a and 1 bag of mini M&M’s
1 can of frosting of choice

Each box makes 2 9” round layers of cake.  Originally I was going to make it a 4 level cake but one cake layer didn’t turn out… and that ended up being totally okay because this was a big cake as it was. 

I just baked all 4 layers of cake and let them cool completely (for a couple hours).  As I said I ended up tossing one layer so I only used 3 layers.
On one of the layers I placed a bowl upside down on the middle of the cake and cut around it to make a perfect circle.  There was about an inch and a half “cake ring”.  re
Then on one layer of the cake I spread some icing on top, this is the layer I’ll use as the bottom.
Next I played the “cake ring” on top of that layer and filled the entire whole with the candy.  I filled all the way up as full as I could without the candy spilling over.
Then on the last year I spread icing on the BOTTOM of it and placed that on top of the other two layers to “seal off” the candy filled hole.
Finally just spread icing around the complete cake as usual!  I topped off with some sprinkles and left over M&M’s. 

Now I just wanted to share a little letter to my dear sweet Jackson Jude who is now 5 years old.

Dear Jackson Jude,

Thank you.
Thank you for being the biggest change in my life that was the biggest blessing I never knew I needed or wanted.
You changed me for the better in ways I never knew possible.
You have made me a better person as I want to be the best role model to you I can.
We will not always be the best of friends.  Sometimes I have to be a Mom first, then a friend second. 
Your safety, your health, your education will always be the most important aspects of your life I hope I can teach you to live the best life you can.
You have one of the kindest and sweetest spirits I’ve seen in a child.
You’re the greatest big brother Makenzie could ever dream of.
You’re the greatest son your dad and I could have ever imagined.
You are full of life, full of imagination, full of patience and eagerness to make the most of every day.
Keep those qualities as they will help you live a life of creativity and happiness. 
Happy 5th Birthday Sweet Child of Ours.

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