Summertime Activities

Well it’s summer vacation time at HNC and it’s been a tradition of ours to take the kids someplace special for their last day as a fun way to start off the summer.  We’ve taken them to many places but we’ve also kept it simple and treated them to a special lunch at their favorite restaurant.

But alas, no sooner are the kids home do I hear “Mom I’m bored” or “Mom there’s nothing to do”- which I start hearing that by the end of the week.!

I do my best to have them join summer camps and do activities, but this year we have been placed on a waiting list and I’m truly not sure if they’re ever going to be able to join.  *keeping fingers crossed that they get in.*

While we wait to hear from our local Rec. Center I came up with this Summer Activities List. It’s been a real life saver and helped the kids find something to do.  If your looking for something fun for the kiddos to do, just click on the image below and to download my printable.

Summer Activities

What about you?  How do you keep your kids entertained over the summer? Do you have any suggestions you’d like to share.  Just comment below and let me know what you’ve done to help fight the summer time boredom blues!  Have a great day!

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DIY Rustic Coffee Table

Hip 'N Creative |DIY Ana White Inspired Rustic Coffee Table via hipncreativewordpress.com

Hello my friends!  How are you all this lovely day?  Me.. not too shabby.  Here at HNC we’ve been very busy with end of the week school events and getting our summer groove on!  Hopefully it won’t be too hot this week and I can get a lot done before the kids are off for summer vacay (which means this Mama is gonna be even busier!)

I did want to show you this really awesome project that Tan and I worked on last weekend.  It’s our very own rustic coffee table!  GUYS I’m in love!  It is perfect!

Tan and I have been on the hunt for the perfect coffee and end tables since we first bought our home.  I’ve seen some nice tables out there but they were way too expensive.  So we talked about trying a D.I.Y project ourselves.  With Tan’s mad skills and my ‘can do’ attitude (if I could, I’d DIY everything) ;) we decided to give it a try.

I searched Pinterest and found this awesome coffee table that we both loved and began planning.  We started working on this table last week using plans from Ana White’s website.  It’s super easy and the plans were laid out for us to follow.

To be honest neither one of us have any experience in wood working but we thought, why not?  We bought all the necessary tools, crossed our fingers, and hoped for the best.   And here she is in all her glory!

DIY Rustic Coffee Table inspired by Ana White

DIY Rustic Coffee Table inspired by Ana White | Hip 'N Creative

Now I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here and re-list the plans, but I will share with you some awesome photos of Tan in all his woodworking glory!

4 harvey1 harvey2 harvey3 jig woodframe

When we began this project, I wanted to stain the wood a natural dark color but it didn’t come out quite the way I wanted it to.  After a few failed attempts-on a scrap piece of wood -we decided to go for a gray stain.  We went to our local home improvement store and selected Weathered Gray from the Varathane Wood Stain collection.  Using a clean rag we lightly wiped the coffee table and removed the excess giving it that rustic look. (We wanted some of the natural wood to peak through).

We got to work on staining it and only used about 1/4 of the stain for the coffee table (the rest will be used on our future end tables).

We actually had a blast building this table and are very proud of how it all turned out.  I have to admit that I’ve been bit by the DIY bug again and am now on the hunt for future wood working projects!

I hope this inspires you to work on a project you’ve been wanting to try.

Until next time!

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DIY | Repurposing Old Wood Frames

DIY repurposed wall frame | hipncreative.wordpress.com

What up my peeps!  Today I thought I’d show you this super easy, super fun way to re-purpose some old wood frames you may have laying around the house.   Giving them a new look will make them feel like new frames!

It’s super easy and I think it came out cute!  I’m happy with it and so is my hubby!  Let’s get started..

What you’ll need are:

  • 3 old frames (either from you stash or flea market)
  • wool pad
  • spray paint (your color choice)
  • print out of your favorite sayings, quotes or important dates (like wedding or birthdays)

Other tools needed are 3M picture hanging strips or if your frames are heavy hook shaped picture hangers of your choice (these are smiliar to ones we used).

This is what the old frames looked like before…

DIY repurposed wood frames via hipncreative.wordpress.com

Not bad but I had them for about 10 years and was getting tired of looking at them.  We bought them on sale back then and pretty much just added a pic of our baby girl and hung them on the wall and called it a night.  Fast forward to today and I am ready to give them a bit of an update.

The first thing I did was grab my husbands wool pad and lightly sanded the frame, just to remove the varnish sheen it had.  This will help the spray stick.  You can’t see in the pictures but these were shinny frames.

DIY repurposed wood frames via hipncreative.wordpress.com

We had a black matte spray paint, which is exactly what we needed and quickly gave it two coats.  Making sure to allow enough drying time between the coats.

DIY repurposed wood frames via hipncreative.wordpress.com

While the frames were drying, I went on my computer and using Microsoft Word, I quickly typed out three phrases, making sure they were centered to the page and printed them out.  I gave the glass from the frame a quick cleaning and when all was dry, I put everything together.

Here are what my frames say: Our Wedding Song, Our Wedding Date, and a cute quote I found online.  And that’s it.

DIY repurposed wood frames via hipncreative.wordpress.com

Total cost for us was ZERO Dollars!  We had everything we needed and I think it came out lovely.  What I love about the frames are that each frame was a different style but by painting them all the same color, they look like they kind of match.  Without being too matchy!

I’m thinking of having a master bedroom tour.  If your interested let me know in the comments section.  I’ll start working on the rest of the room organization.  Who knows, Maybe I’ll post it on YouTube in the near future.

Until soon!

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20 Reasons Why I LOVE My Home

Hip 'n Creative | 20 Reasons Why I LOVE My Home

Hi friends!  So this morning I was up doing my usual routine of making breakfast for the kiddos as well as packing their school lunches, when I heard this beautiful little bird singing it’s morning praises.  I’ve heard it’s song every morning and thought to myself that’s one more reason why I love my home.  That inspired me to share with you 20 reasons why I LOVE my home. Obviously there are way more than 20 reasons but I didn’t want to over do it.

Mind you I am sharing my thoughts in no particular order.  Ready?  Here we go!..

1. I absolutely love our neighbors/neighborhood, the people here are all so nice!  I get to wake up to a gorgeous view every morning no matter the season!  My neighbors are sweet and help each other out, which is a win!

2. We are literally 2 houses away from a beautiful park/baseball field.  Which is awesome for my girls to burn off some energy, play with friends and when my nieces and nephews come over it’s a quick trip to the park for some entertainment.

3.  We have three bathrooms!  THREE!  And with three girls (a teen, a tween and a school grade girl) believe me when I say this is a must!  Getting ready in the morning has been a lot less stressful.  In our previous home poor Tan always had to wait his turn while us girls hogged the bathroom getting ready every morning.  Now he’s ready 20 minutes before anyone else is.

4. I am three minutes away from the Mall, up to 7 minutes away from three craft stores, a dollar store and my local supermarket! Yay!!!

5. I love that we have a 2 car over-sized garage.  It’s huge! When we first bought our house we immediately took all of our stuff from storage and dumped it in our garage (a great money saver) and it sat there for almost 8 months while we updated and renovated parts of our home.  This passed weekend, Tan was working hard cleaning and organizing the garage and really making it his own. The best part is that once he’s done, we’ll have our garage back and can store my SUV, his car, all his tools and he’ll still have enough space for a work station!  WooHoo!

6.  We have a laundry room!  When we lived in the city, we used to do our laundry in our basement.  Every week I would haul all our laundry down our steps and sort, clean, fold and haul it back up the steps.  With my back issues it was really difficult and I would sometime have to leave the laundry in the basement until Tan or the kids could help.  Now that it’s one small flight of steps, laundry is a breeze.  And you know what the bonus is?  Our laundry room is so big it doubles as a craft room!  Yeah baby!

7.  I love hearing bird sing every morning.  We also have seen deer, foxes, ground hogs, rabbits and even a beaver (but I’m not sure since I’ve never seen one in person before).

8. I love that we have a front porch!  Although I haven’t yet furnished it, so we could enjoy the outdoors (haven’t found anything I like yet), it is a beautiful thing to have.  Once we do find something we love, I’m spending nearly everyday outside.

9. We have a beautiful enclosed back patio. It’s huge and it’s all ours baby.  We can sit on one side of the patio and dine on the other side.  It’s actually great, we can enjoy the outdoors without the hassle of bugs.  Awesome sauce!  Did I say ‘awesome sauce’? Yeah I did.

10. We have a family room/office.  It’s great, the kids use it all the time as their play room.  Tan and I use it as our home office.  I can listen to them play while I work.  It’s great!

11. We actually have a dinning room.  Our previous home was an open living/ room dinning room.  Which was fine and I liked it.  But there is something about dinning separate from the living room.  That’s our family time.  No distractions from TV or other electrical devices.

12.  We have a dish washer!  The girls are happy about this one lol.  I don’t mind doing dishes and I find it to be therapeutic but there are times when we have company over or are in a hurry or just too tired.  That’s when the dish washer is my friend!  Unfortunately, our dish washer is on the fritz and we agree to replace it when we remodel our kitchen, ’cause that kitchen is a hot mess!

13. We live in a safe neighborhood.  My kids can go outside and actually be ok.  Granted no one is ever truly safe but when I sit outside on my little folding chair and watch my girls run around and have fun.  It’s a good feeling.

14. I love that we are in close proximity to our family.  My sister is about 10 minutes away and my in-laws are even closer.  I hope to have them over more often and spend some summer days out and about.  Having fun and creating memories. Love it!

15. I love that I have a walk up attic.  Great for storage space and who knows maybe in the future we might make it into another bedroom or office space… maybe a gym room or studio. Hmm…

16. I love that we have closets.  In our previous home we had a huge master bedroom closet but the girls didn’t have a closet (their rooms were too small) so we had to make do with small dressers.  Which was fine at first but once the girls started growing so did their wardrobe.  Their rooms were getting cramped.  Which leads me to the next thing i love…

17.  Our bedroom!  Each rooms is actually good sized room.  Tan and I have have a nice sized bedroom with a half bath that is a life changer!  But the girls also have great room sizes.  They can actually fit 2 twin beds, 2 dressers and have a closet and still have room for shelves and decorative accents.  My oldest girl has an actual closet and window in her bedroom.  Which she loves.  Which means I LOVE it!

18. Our living room is a great size.  Our furniture fits well and we have enough space to add more pieces.  We are currently working on a coffee table and two end tables. Which I’ll share with you in another post.  But more exciting projects are coming soon!

19.  We have central air conditioning.  I have to say we’ve been blessed to have central air throughout our home and on those hot summer nights, I will be using that bad boy fo’ sho’.

20. Last but not least is my kitchen. Although the kitchen is a bit outdated, it is a blessing to be able to cook a meal in a working kitchen (believe me there were days when I had to make dinner on a hot plate, not easy or fun).  I have a double oven, a dish washer, a cook top and enough space to add a kitchen table.  It’s a cute kitchen with a gorgeous view of the baseball field in which I get to enjoy third graders play ball and root for my favorite teams.  I also get to enjoy nature as I watch deer, foxes and many other of God’s creatures walk across my yard.

Every morning I thank God for my many blessings.  I thank Him for my beautiful family, my wonderful friends, my sweet neighbors and my Happy Home.

How about you?  What do you love about your home?

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Update: Home Tour

Hey friends!

A while back I told you about our home adventures and that we were updating our new little home.  Well a lot has happened since then and I’m happy to say it was all good changes.  The house is coming along nicely and we are currently doing some finishing touches to our current home project.

Although we have LOTS more home renovation to do, we are so stoked to be this far into the game!  Here are some pics of our living and dining room.  The bedrooms are done as far as updates to it but I’m currently in the process of decorating the rooms to suit our styles.

My two younger girls share a bedroom and have two totally different tastes in style and every time I want to do something to their room it’s a huge struggle to get them to agree to anything.  Lucky for me I have veto power and will be moving forward with some design elements I think will be perfect for their room.

My older girl’s room is a totally different challenge.  She knows what she’d like to do with her room the problem is that her room is so small we’re having a hard time finding furniture and decor that doesn’t make the room too cramped!

As for the master bedroom, Tan and I seem to be in agreement with most of the decor elements, finding the time to implement them, however, is another challenge.  I’m sure everything will work it’s way out *fingers crossed*

Anywhoo, enough yappin’!  I’m sure you’re dying to see some pics of our home in the “during” phase of the before and after renovation job!  (Just a quick heads up, I took the current photos on my cell phone and did a rush job, I promise to post better pics as soon as I can!)

Living room {Before}

livingroom3

…and {After}

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Dining room {Before}

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….and {After}

diningrm1

I hope you enjoyed the pics, trust me when I say, it looks even better in person!  My friends and family are very happy for us and have commented on how beautiful everything is turning out!

I truly feel Blessed!

Until next time
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Chobani Coconut Yogurt Cupcake

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I love Superbowl Sunday, and not just because of the game.  I love the great snacks, foods and desserts that we enjoy on game day!  Today I thought I’d share a super easy and yummy Coconut Yogurt Cupcake made with Chobani yogurt!

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UPDATE:  I totally flaked and forgot to take pictures of the vanilla cupcakes, so when I made the chocolate version I used these babies as reference.  Sorry!

This recipe will give you about 20 cupcakes:

For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 cup of Chobani Greek Yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

For the Frosting

  • 1/3 Cup of Chobani Yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup of Store bought Frosting

Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line your cupcake pan with cupcake papers.
    2. Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl; set aside.
    3. Whisk together egg yolks and add butter and sugar.  Fold yogurt and vanilla into egg yolk mixture.
    4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy.  Combine yolk mixture and egg whites.  Gently fold in flour.
    5. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
Frosting Directions:
  1. Fold store bought icing and Chobani Yogurt until well blended.  Using a sandwich bag or a piping bag if you have one, pipe icing onto cooled cupcakes.

The family gave this recipe a thumbs up (literally) and I think it was pretty tasty.  So go on and make yourself a batch and watch how your team ;) will eat this up!

xxoo,
Awilda

Crazy For Christmas 2014

Did I ever tell you how much I like Christmas?  Really liked Christmas?  Well I do.  I absolutely do.  Growing up we didn’t have too many traditions, but one tradition we always had was decorating our Christmas tree.  My Mom would bring out all her Christmas decor and my sisters and I would help her decorate.  By the time we were tween’s we had it down to a science.  Christmas music was playing in the background (mostly in span-glish) the tree would come up and on with the decor.  Now that I’m a proud Mama of three I get to have this tradition with them.  Over the years Tan and I have created our own family traditions we hope to pass to our kids.

With that being said I decided to share some questions and answer with you my awesome friends.  Here it goes:

  1. When do you start your Holiday Shopping?  I typically start right around November 1st.  Although I decided that my future holiday shopping will start in July ;) – too much to do too little time)
  2. What’s your favorite Christmas movie?  Hmmm… let see Elf is a good one, no wait Scrooged, yeah I like that one but I also like  Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, I mean come on with those fun misfit toys!…
  3. What’s your favorite part of the Holiday Season? I would have to say seeing my family.  I love to see them and laugh and eat and listen to music.  Good times.
  4. When do you put up your Christmas Tree?  Who decorates it?  Usually the day after Thanksgiving and it stays up until January 6th (Three Kings Day) -it’s a big deal in our family.  We all participate in decorating the tree.  Tan has the honor of every Christmas Eve placing our star on top.
  5. Do you have any Holiday traditions? Yes, lol.  Hmm… there’s the baking cookies for Santa every Christmas eve and decorating our tree, but one of my absolute favorite thing to do is to Drive down to Shady Brooke Farm and see the Holiday Light Show.  Every year we do this and every year I love it!
  6. Would you rather live in a gingerbread house or Santa’s Workshop?  The Workshop of course!  I get to play with all sorts of cool toys and be with Santa!
  7. What type of tree do you currently have?  I have 2 fake trees.  I would love to have a real tree but unfortunately I’m allergic :(
  8. Would you rather eat a gingerbread cookie or a candy cane?  Hmmmm… tough one.  I’ve never had a gingerbread cookie but I’d like to try one.
  9. What’s your favorite Christmas/Holiday song?  I pretty much like all the holiday songs, but if I had to pick one, I’d say “Baby It’s Cold Outside” (the Bing Crosby/Doris Day version)… my favs!
  10. Have you ever made a snowman? Yes I have and every chance I get I build one with my family.  We freeze our tushies out there but it’s great fun and afterwards we enjoy some Hot Chocolate! Yum!

Now it’s your turn!  I would love to know what your holiday traditions are!  Here is a blank list for you to copy and paste!  Please comment below with a link to your blog!

  1. When do you start your Holiday Shopping?
  2. What’s your favorite Christmas movie?  
  3. What’s your favorite part of the Holiday Season?
  4. When do you put up your Christmas Tree?  Who decorates it?
  5. Do you have any Holiday traditions? 
  6. Would you rather live in a gingerbread house of Santa’s Workshop?
  7. What type of tree do you currently have?
  8. Would you rather eat a gingerbread cookie or a candy cane?
  9. What’s your favorite Christmas/Holiday song?
  10. Have you ever made a snowman?

Thanks for stopping by and Have a Merry Christmas and a Wonderful Holiday Season!  See you in the New Year!

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I’m BAAACK!

Guess who’s back, back again!  Awilda’s back tell a friend…. Ok enough of that!  Hi guys!  I’m sooo happy and excited to be back!- can you tell?  I cannot believe that it’s been 4 MONTHS since we last chatted!  A lot has happened over the passed few months and let me tell you it has been one heck of a ride!  I would love to sit down and chat with you about the many crazy shenanigans that has happened here at Casa de HNC but it would probably take about another 4 months to say it all – and Oh honey I don’t have the strength!  So I’ll just give you cliff notes version of what’s been happening.  Deal?  Ok. First go ahead and grab yourself a cup of coffee (or hot chocolate ;) ) i’ll wait…. ready?  Good, let’s get started….

When we last spoke Tan and I were putting some hard work into updating our lovely home when the powers that be decided that it was time for us to jump ship and move in to our home in mid-renovation.  Crazy right?! Although I won’t go into the boring details as to why we had to move (long story) I will say that it was the BEST decision for our crew.  Immediately there was a shift in the air -all positive- we were able to devote more time in working on our home and are a lot further ahead than we have dreamed possible.  I’m not gonna lie and say everything is perfect, but I will say I find it to be a bit easier.  While we are still in thick of it as far as renovations go we are so much closer than we were 4 months ago!

Aside from our Home Reno Projects, the kids are doing great!  They each love the neighborhood, love their school -shocking, I know- they actually get up every morning energized and excited to start their day.  Of course I still get the occasional “Can I stay home Mom?” request but it beats hearing how much they hated their old school on an almost daily basis.  Let me tell you, I used to struggle with theses kids, now my oldest is up before me and my younger two are actually helping me pack their lunches!  Awesome I tell you!

We had our very first Halloween parade at their middle school and the kids went trick or treating with their cousins and neighbors that night.  I actually gave out candy for my first time ever and had a blast!

My youngest celebrated her 7th birthday at Chuck E. Cheese with her family and my second baby celebrated her 11th birthday.  We took her out to eat at Ruby’s Diner and her grandparents surprised her with a visit.

My oldest girl has made some new friends and they immediately all clicked!  I’m so happy for all three of my girls, they were each worried they wouldn’t fit in or have friends but they each have made a very happy transition and I see many more great adventures for each of them.

As for Tan and myself we each are also doing pretty well.  Like I mentioned in the beginning of this post, we are still working hard with the home renovations and there are times when it feels like it will never end.  So far the bedrooms are done with the exception of some room decor that I’d like to add.  The living room and dining room are closer to being completed as well.  We are putting down trim and will be painting the walls as well as redoing the floors to give it a but more oomph!

As soon as I can I’ll try to post some pictures of our living room and dinning room.  As for the rest of the house we still have a lot more to do.  We haven’t even tackled the kitchen -that’s a monster left for another day.  The family room, laundry room, front and back patios and three bathrooms all need some love as well, but Tan and I both agreed that we’ll be taking a break from any major remodeling for at least 6 months.  Don’t worry thought I’ll still be sharing some awesome DIY home decor, craft and cooking projects as well as any cool shop findings.

Thanks so much for reading my long post, you my friend are definitely a rock star!  Until next time… stay awesome!

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Taking Stock

July is my birthday month as well as Tan and My Anniversary (woo hoo!)   I have to admit, the beginning of last year was not the best year for me but I have been doing a lot better.  I try my best not to be a negative person.  I feel that when you focus on the negative you miss out on the positive, (Can I get a Amen!)…  Although we have had our share of bumpy rides, I truly believe that God has big plans and we are now in a better place.

The other day I was reading one of my favorite blogs when I came across this post and thought I’d join in on the fun.   For the original post please go here.

Making : wire bracelets
Cooking : sandwiches ;)
Drinking : coke
Reading: Heaven is For Real
Wanting: to finally move in to our home and start projects that are stuck in my head
Looking: for bedroom furniture
Playing: board games with the kids
Wasting: time
Sewing: nothing… yet!
Wishing: to see my family more often
Enjoying: the summer with my girls :)
Waiting: for my hubby to come home
Liking: cool drinks on a summer day
Wondering: if I’ll ever be organized
Loving: my family and life
Hoping: summer doesn’t go by too fast
Needing: some space for my stuff
Smelling: clean linen
Wearing: pink lace tank top with jean shorts
Noticing: how big my girls are getting
Knowing:  everything is fine
Thinking: about my future goals ;)
Feeling: happy
Opening: email

Hope you all have a wonderful day!  Until soon!

xxoo Awilda

Fun 4th of July Round Up

I love summer and I love celebrating the 4th of July!  To help celebrate the 4th I created a fun 4th of July round up with fun and easy crafts, snacks and decor:

How nommy is this Cracker Jack party snack by Pizzazzerie:

crackerjacksnack

Refresh yourself and your guest with these adorable patriotic drinks by In Katrina’s Kitchen:

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I love chocolate covered pretzels and I love these from Oh My! Creative:

patrioticpretzels

I think I’ll be making this vintage banner for my next Patriotic Holiday by Catch my Party:

rusticpatrioticbanner

Enjoy these awesome Free printables by Bird’s Party:

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Stars on the lawn is a fun activity my kids love!  Via Sunset:

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These are some pretty cool topiaries from Simply Designing:

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Pretty and Simple is what I call these sparklers in a jar from Kara’s Party Ideas:

sparklers

Until next time!

xxoo
Awilda