Thursday, June 27, 2013

Third Thursdays with Tash: Vents need updates too!


Remember, on the third Thursday of {almost} every month, my Sis-in-law, Tash, writes about her recent crafty adventures. Take it away, Tash!


Hello friendly stalkers!  Sis-in-law Tash here with another cheap home improvement idea.

As you know Preston and Ashley, and Spencer and I now have new houses.  When we bought it the house was a perfectly blank canvas.  So blank I thought matching straight jackets should have come with the house.  Fortunately they haven't been needed...yet.  When it came to the walls and ceiling every last inch was flat dirty white paint.  Except for one thing.

Original up-dux in the kitchen.
Meet the very yellowed up-dux.  Don't worry I had no idea what it was either.  Now that I know I don't know how I lived without them.  If you have a swamp cooler you have to open a window so the hot air leaves the room and the cool air can envelope you.  An up-dux is like the open window.  All of the hot air on your ceiling gets vented to the attic when the cool air comes in.  And because our cooler turns on and off automatically I don't have to run around the house opening, and closing, and opening, and closing, and.... you get the idea.

Just imagine how the aged yellow would have marred the pristine white.  
After instantly falling in love with our up-dux, Spencer and I decided to make them look just as lovely.  We ordered a decorative aluminium sheet online.  The kind with holes...for the air to pass through.  Just so I'm clear, the holes are important.  Ours was a 1x2 foot sheet for $20.  Then we popped over to our local home improvement store for molding, nails, screws, and other things that made sense to Spencer, but not to me.  What can I say?  I designed the appearance, and he made it functional.  Husbands are infinitely useful like that.

The functional part.  In the winter you can cover the holes to prevent the warm air from escaping.
Sorry for the lack of before and during photos.  I woke up one day to discover that Spencer got up early and put them together.  The conversation went something like this.  "Aw.  You're so sweet to me.  You let me sleep in and you're putting the vents up.  Oh! I should go get my camera."  "Okay Dear.  Before you do, could you make breakfast?"  I totally fell for it.  The only vent left to beautify is the off centered one in the kitchen.  That's going to be a little more work.  Okay, a lot more work to correct.

See ya next month!
~Tash






Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WIWW - Red White and Blue

Because I spend so much time shopping, thrifting, altering clothing and thinking about what to wear, I thought it might be fun to post weekly of what outfits I've put together throughout the week for me or my daughter. I plan to have a WIWW (What I Wore Wednesday) post every week displaying either my style, Widget's style, or both.

Independence Day is swiftly approaching---is your style ready for the hot holiday? Maybe my outfits this week will give you a bit of inspiration!

 Top: Target, Shorts: Maurices, Wedges: Old Navy
 
I love a good t-shirt, one that has great details and interest AND is comfortable to wear anywhere. I now own two of these ruffle-esque shirts from Target, one in red (above) and one in a dusty blue (worn here). Pairing a t-shirt with denim shorts is nothing new, but dress that combo up a bit with some strappy wedges and you've got a great, and easy, ensemble.
 
And how about family pictures in Red White and Blue? Or maybe you want to coordinate, but not look too matchy-matchy? 
 
Me - Top: Banana Republic (navy/ivory stripes), Skirt: Old Navy (charcoal), Heels: Payless (nude)
Widget - Top: Walmart (white),
Dress: Old Navy (red/white/blue floral), Shoes: Payless (off white mary janes)
Hubby - Mens Wearhouse from top to bottom: black pinstripe suit, white collared shirt, black/blue/navy plaid tie, black shoes
 
Widget was the only one wearing red (besides my glasses), but that is what made our coordinating outfits so subtle...perfect for church or a semi-formal family gathering, or just because. We used one strong pattern on each person, which turned out okay for us because the patterns do not compete with each other when it is broken up this way. I like that together we give off a themed vibe without a blinking neon sign that says, RED WHITE BLUE, GO US!  
 

I also kept our footwear pretty neutral. I was wearing nude t-strap peep-toe heels with a funky flower detail across the toes. These shoes have a lot going on, but because they are nude, they are not so overwhelming. I especially like to wear them when my toe nails are painted bright colors :)

And because this is just too awesome not to post it...

 
Widget's face is definitely the best part about this picture (although the best part about taking this picture was really locking lips with my handsome Hubby! I'm so lucky!!!). Anyway...
 
Do you have any Red White and Blue ensembles in your future wardrobe?
 
Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Make Along Monday Link-Up --Wreaths




Welcome to the very first Make Along Monday!
 
We are SO pumped that you are here!! Let's get started!

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Go ahead and link-up a few of your summer wreath creations and then pop over and check out a couple of your faves! Don't forget to leave them a little comment love...because who doesn't adore a nice comment!?!

Click on the link below to add your project to the list.
An InLinkz Link-up

Thanks for linking up!







Saturday, June 22, 2013

Make Along Monday - Monthly Challenge Reminder

Just a BIG reminder...

Feel like there are million things on your “wanna make list” or that you’ve pinned something on Pinterest but have never made? Wanna little push to get those things done? Love a challenge? Or all of the above? Join us in Make Along Monday!

On the 1st Monday of every month the Make Along Monday Crew will post something to make along. It could be a project, recipe, or theme. This month it’s Summer Wreaths!! Need a little inspiration? Check out all of our projects!

On the last Monday of the month, (June 24th) post your pictures on Facebook {link up your Facebook page here} on our link up party. *Don’t worry we will remind you!

We will post our favorites on our Make Along MondayPinterest Board so don’t forget to follow!  
So have fun and be creative! Can’t wait to see your Summer Wreath!

Friday, June 21, 2013

InstaFriday - Family Reunion // Where to Find Me

Where to Find Me:

I am guest posting on One Little Momma today with a tutorial on Designing Your Own Applique Children's Clothing. Hop over to take a look, and feel free to hang out for a little while...Kilee's blog is so fun and creative, AND (since she just had a baby) she has a number of guest posters with other fabulous ideas/tutorials on babies and kids. Enjoy!
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InstaFriday:

Want to see what I've been doing this week? Most Fridays you can check in on my life with a little phone-photo glimpse here at applesbyashley.com. You can also follow me daily on Instagram at @applesbyashley.
 
We went on vacation, last week, to attend a Family Reunion in St. George, Utah. We had a blast! Here are a handful of our wonderful memories. I plan to elaborate on a few of these events later, so for now, here is a photo glimpse of our week:
 



 


 
Hope you have a photo-worthy weekend!
 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

WIWW - Denim Vest, Skinny Jeans, and Flutter Sleeves

Because I spend so much time shopping, thrifting, altering clothing and thinking about what to wear, I thought it might be fun to post weekly of what outfits I've put together throughout the week for me or my daughter. I plan to have a WIWW (What I Wore Wednesday) post every week displaying either my style, Widget's style, or both.
My Mom-in-law had warned me about the humidity in Kansas and Missouri. She said all she could wear, after moving here from the dry state of Utah, was woven shirts (they 'breathe' better than knit). A few short years after they moved here from Utah, we did the same thing. Now, I still wear lots and lots of t-shirts and knit fabrics, but on occasion the humidity is especially high...so I pull out a button-down shirt (which is woven).


This shirt is mostly black and white, but some of the floral print is in a sepia tone (hints of brown). I grabbed my black cropped pants to emphasize the black in the floral print, and metallic sandals for a polished look.
 Top: IZOD Outlet, Pants: Gap Outlet, Shoes: Kohl's (a couple of years ago)
 
Speaking of humidity: I flat ironed my hair the other day, but I just couldn't keep it from going frizzy (see the hair on the left side of my head in the picture below). I know I'm not the only one with this problem...Anyone know of a good hair product that truly fights the frizz but doesn't make your hair smell funny? I'm taking suggestions!
 

 Top: Camila Clothing, Undershirt: DownEast Basics, Jeans: American Eagle, Shoes: ? (now I can't even find where these shoes are in the house--what's up with that? I can tell you that they are probably older than my daughter, whose 5), Bracelet: One Little Momma
 
As I was putting laundry away, I saw my skinny jeans in the drawer, and do you what they did? They started singing to me! It was a beautiful thing :) So beautiful, in fact, that I decided to wear the skinny jeans for the day. I also wanted to wear some heels, but err on the side of comfortable as well. Add a flutter sleeve blouse with flowers on one side of the neckline, and the ensemble was complete.

Widget likes to jump in when the Hubby is taking a picture of me. We let her pose for a couple of shots, then directed her attention elsewhere...sneaky parents, we are! I wanted to include her outfit in today's post, though, because I absolutely love her vest (I really wish I could find one in my size!).

Top: Old Navy, Vest: thrifted (Old Navy), Shorts: Thred-up online thrift store (Faded Glory), Shoes: Skechers
 
I am curious...What's the weather been like in your neck of the woods?
What do you wear to stay comfortable day to day?

Friday, June 14, 2013

InstaFriday - Moving and Plywood

Want to see what I've been doing this week? Most Fridays you can check in on my life with a little phone-photo glimpse here at applesbyashley.com. You can also follow me daily on Instagram at @applesbyashley.
Life, like usual, has been a bit disjointed for our family lately. We've been in all sorts of directions for the last little while, so I thought I'd use today's InstaFriday to catch you up ;)
 

We moved into our new (to us) house the last week in May. My In-laws dropped off the two youngest boys on our doorstep and waved goodbye as they hastened to drink up two weeks of Bahaman sunsets. Lucky for us, this meant we had 4 extra hands to pack boxes and help move furniture. Unlucky for them, I'm pretty strict about allotted TV and wii time in our home (mostly for them specifically) because electronics make them utterly useless. The above picture was taken when the boys were moving our king bed. We have a gel honeycomb type mattress that is really heavy and quite floppy. To make the mattress easier to carry, the boys folded it and then wrapped it with shrink wrap.


I love when my brother-in-law comes to visit! Since he is now a registered driver, he usually comes with a mini van (which he also drives to high school during the year - I know, super cool (feel the sarcasm dripping from the screen). I love having the mini van on hand to run random errands...like picking up a sheet of plywood for quick project to be completed the week we were moving. DONE! Although, my bro-in-law had to cuddle with the plywood all the way home from Home Depot :) But it fit!!!


My cousin's husband flew into Kansas City to look for housing for the fall. Yay! We are making all sorts of strides in getting our family to move closer to us :) He will be going to school near KC, so he toured a couple of apartment complexes during his short two day trip. While he was here, my Hubby and I went out to eat some good ol' fashion Kansas City BBQ. We had an idea of a place to try, but only knew the name, Oklahoma Joe's. Turned out this restaurant was actually located in the backside of a gas station AND, at 5 pm on a Saturday, already had a line wrapped around the building and into the parking lot (probably like 60+ people in line, and lots more walking to the line from their parked cars). I only got a picture of the front of the line, but it still looks pretty impressive considering there are probably another 10-ish people standing in line inside the door. Needless to say, we didn't brave the sunny weather in a line, but we did get our fill of barbequed meat at Jack Stack BBQ, located downtown at The Plaza.


After taking possession of our new house, we had about a week of unpacking box after box after box. Then we headed to Utah for a Family Reunion. But, before we drove to the airport, we made Widget take a nap...then we had to wake her up (but not before I snapped this picture). She looked so serein and cherub-like that I just couldn't help myself. And the picture shows off the quilt top I made over a year - and now that I finally placed it on her bed, I'm not so in love with it. Don't you hate it when you work long and hard on something, then it just doesn't fit your vision (which probably changed half way through the process, anyway)!?

Hope you have a photo-worthy weekend!

Friday, June 7, 2013

InstaFriday - Ties, Goats and Ice Cream

Want to see what I've been doing this week? Most Fridays you can check in on my life with a little phone-photo glimpse here at applesbyashley.com. You can also follow me daily on Instagram at @applesbyashley.


I worked an a custom order (with my Etsy Shop: ZLilly Accessories). It's a bit hard to see in this picture...the customer needed matching shirts with ties using the colors ivory, coral and teal. I found a fat quarter at Hancock Fabrics with a coral floral print and I used teal thread to stitch around the applique.

The kids hung out with a couple of kids, of the goat variety, for Play Group. We visited a local relative to one of our Play Group members, and the kids had the opportunity to tour a chicken coop and feed the little goats.


Grandma and Grandpa drove into town to use our local airport (to fly to their yearly Bahamas vacation--lucky, right?!?!). The night before they flew out, we went for ice cream. Watching Widget eat an ice cream cone was rather funny. I had to explain how to keep it from dripping, how to 'get to' the ice cream below the top of the cone, AND that the paper comes off the cone. It was almost like a 'bad mom' moment; I thought we had covered all that information throughout the last 5+ years...well, better late than never, right?

Hope ya'll have a picture perfect weekend! See ya next week :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

WIWW - Cool Spring Weather

Because I spend so much time shopping, thrifting, altering clothing and thinking about what to wear, I thought it might be fun to post weekly of what outfits I've put together throughout the week for me or my daughter. I plan to have a WIWW (What I Wore Wednesday) post every week displaying either my style, Widget's style, or both.

My style...
Last week was a bit chilly, so my style reflected the weather change.


For Play Group, we met at a park (the beautiful backdrop to my photo shoot). I put on some shorts and wedges, but before heading out the door, I ran for a long-sleeved shirt. Good thing, too, because it ended up being quite windy.

 Top: Old Navy, Shorts: Maurices, Shoes: Famous Footwear, Sunglasses: Old Navy, Earrings: Gap, Necklace: Walmart, Bracelet: ONE little MOMMA
 
 
On another chilly day, I donned my teal maxi skirt and a fun cardigan.
To 'fancy-it-up' I added a long strand of pearls.
 
Sweater: Old Navy (years ago), Top: DownEast Basics, Skirt: Kohls
 
 Earrings: ZLilly Accessories (I made them),
Necklace: garage sale or thrift store (I can't remember which)
Shoes: Target
 


What has your Spring felt like? Hot or not so hot? How are you coping?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Blog Hop Monthly Challenge: Make Along Monday Announcement


Feel like there are million things on your “wanna make list” or that you’ve pinned something on Pinterest but have never made? Wanna little push to get those things done? Love a challenge? Or all of the above? Join us in Make Along Monday!

On the 1st Monday of every month the Make Along Monday Crew will post something to make along. It could be a project, recipe, or theme. This month it’s Summer Wreaths!! Need a little inspiration? Check out all of our projects!

On the last Monday of the month (June 24th) post your pictures on Facebook {link up your Facebook page here) on our link up party. *Don’t worry we will remind you!

We will post our favorites on our Make Along MondayPinterest Board so don’t forget to follow!  
So have fun and be creative! Can’t wait to see your Summer Wreath!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Easy Interchangeable Wreath

 
 
Long time, no see peeps! I hope ya'll excuse my short absence. We were finally able to take possession of our NEW house, and I took a break from blogging as we hauled all our junk my craft room our belongings from our rental to our new place.
 
Once our beds were usable again, then the crafting began. And what was a crafty girl to do with a pretty blank (red) front door? Make a wreath, of course! But not just any ol' wreath...I wanted something that could be used for more than just one holiday (like my Easy Anytime Wreath--which has gotten lots of use, btw).
 
The best part about this wreath is the big fabric bow. The bow is tied onto a vine-style wreath (I picked up at JoAnns) and can be removed/replaced at any given time; thus making this Easy Wreath in to an Easy Interchangeable Wreath.
 
 
Want to make an Easy Interchangeable Wreath, too? It really is easy, I promise ;) So easy, in fact, that I put the fabric bow together in a total of 8 minutes (which means I didn't stop to take any pictures--sorry :( my bad). But, I'm confident you can make one after reading my convoluted simple instructions below. 
 
What you'll need:
 
1-1.25 yard(s) fabric of your choice (mine is 45" wide)
Sewing Machine
Thread
Pins (optional)
Scissors
Iron and Ironing Board
 
There is definitely more than one way to make this fun fabric bow, but this is the way I did it:
 
Start by ironing my yard of fabric in half length wise (hotdog bun style). Then use the scissors to cut down the fold--which will make two strips of fabric with the selvage on the short sides. Pin and sew together the strips *only attaching one end of each strip, creating one really long strip.
 
Then iron the long fabric strip in half lengthwise again -right sides together- (hotdog bun style). Pin the fabric together along the raw edges -right sides together-, then make a straight seam down the raw edges (creating a long tube).
 
Since the ends of your tube are the selvage edge of the fabric, they will not fray. But you can choose to finish off the ends of your tube any way you like, for example: sew one end closed then flip the tube right side out and hand sew the other end closed (turning the edges under), flip tube then sew the selvage ends together along the outside of the tube, or after flipping the tube right side out, iron the ends under and seal them using a hot glue gun. I left my ends as is.
 
Flip the tube, right side out, and iron flat. Wrap your double-sided strip (ironed flat tube of fabric) around your wreath form (I used the vine-style form) and tie a bow. Fluff up the loops of the bow to your liking.
 
At this point, I grabbed a few straight pins and pinned up the edges of my bow at an angle...to add a bit of character. This step is totally optional, and will vary by the way you decide to finish the ends of your tube.
 
Hang the wreath on the door (or any other surface you want to decorate). Then, stick a fork in it...YOU'RE DONE!
 
Step back and admire your Easy Interchangeable Wreath...then go grab another yard of fabric and make a second/third/forth fabric strip to change out your original bow (later down the road).
 


How do u like them apples?

Fluster Buster