Saturday, July 30, 2011

Up-Cycled Kids Bench

When I found this great bench at our thrift store, DI, for $6 I was SO excited to grab it up and turn in into something my kids {and little front porch} would love! The bench was sturdy and very well put together, just not quite my style...

This suits us a little better!

I started by taking apart the whole bench so I could paint each piece the color I wanted (oh and I used spray paint for the whole project). I know I took pictures of painting each part but I can NOT find them on any of the 4 memory cards I have-who knows.

Sooooo, the one pic I have is when I painted the purple and turquoise trim white. I had already painted the body of the bench red, so to not get any white paint on it I covered the body in garbage bags by using push pins to hold the bags in place so only the trim was showing and spray painted away. It worked like a charm!

White trim with no white on the red bench! The outsides of the bench I painted using chalkboard spray paint. I was skeptical as this was my first time using chalkboard paint at all-much less the spray paint kind-but was SOOOO pleased with the outcome.

It came out smooth and black-just what I was going for! ha ha! I just used simple, cheap white chalk to outline the kiddos hands and write a little message. I messed up tracing Kylee's hand and the chalk wiped off just like a chalkboard, leaving no residue-I was impressed!

For the other side I copied an idea I had seen floating around blog land. I'm so sorry that I can't give credit for where I saw it, I didn't save it (didn't have pinterest back then :) ) and now I can't remember!

I think she is oh so lovely and the kids LOVE sitting on little chairs that are just their size so they think it's pretty cool there's something they can both sit on just for them! I mentioned in my last post it's not quite finished in the sense that I feel it's missing something. I love the way it turned out, but it needs....what?!

I have a cricut so I was thinking I could maybe cut some vinyl lettering for it and this is what I came up with (using picnik editing, I'm kinda thinking it would look like this :) )...
WITH vinyl:

withOUT vinyl (as is now):

view from the front WITH vinyl:

view from front as is now:

So I don't know what do you think? Should I leave it as is? Should I ad the vinyl? Just one of the sayings? Both? Something different altogether? A little pillow? Help! ha ha!

Thanks so much for stopping by today! I love my readers and I know you have great ideas so help a sista out! :) Have a sweetly Lovely day wherever you are!

Linking up to these great parties as well as:
UndertheTableandDreaming Beneath the Rowan Tree

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I miss you!

I. MISS. YOU. Is that weird since I don't actually know you. Well most of you anyway. I miss writing and posting and the encouragement I get from reading your sweet comments. And it's only been a little over a week since my last post, but it feels like I'm so out of the blogging loop now! ha ha!

I'm hoping to get better at this balance thing. There has to be a place between posting everyday and only once every two weeks right?! Don't worry, I'll figure it out because like I said... I miss you!!! So I've still been super busy. Like the really good kind of busy, I just haven't taken the time, like I used to, to write up a post about it every night. Instead I've been...watching movies with the hubby, going out on dates (also with the hubby :) ), spending late summer nights outside with the kidlets, having impromptu firework shows with the neighbors, sleeping (WHAT?! I know, am I getting lazy or what?!), spending the weekend with my BF that moved away, having birthday (the BIG 2-8) and anniversary (7 crazy-but good :)-years) celebrations, and reading books!!(it's been over a year since I read a book and I just finished 2 in the last week!)

Oh and during the days (cause all that was just at night) I've been turning our coat closet into my craft closet (not so sure what's going to happen come winter time ha ha!), re-doing/organizing our laundry "room" (not actually a room...more of a closet :) ), summer cleaning (sorta missed the boat on the spring cleaning oops!), and gettin' tan playing with my babies outside all afternoon!

This week my mom and sister are in town so we are having even more fun in the sun-headed up to Bear Lake this afternoon!!! But I just wanted to drop in and let you know that I haven't forgotten about you, or this blog, or your blogs! AAAANNNNDDD I do have a project I finished up a few weeks ago that I haven't shared yet because I couldn't get it exactly right, but I think I'll post it anyway later this week and see if yall can help me "finish" it. It used to look like this:

Can't wait to talk to yall soon! Have a Sweetly Lovely day!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sweet Tute Tuesday-Guest Posting

Hi friends! Thank you so much for your kind and understanding comments on my last post-it's nice to know I'm not alone, lost at sea, in my "trying to find balance" boat. You guys are the greatest!

Today I'm back to send you over to a FUN Fashionista blog where I'm guest posting for the fabulous Miss JessaJill who is out vacationing her week away! (just a tad jealous!) But, being that this is my birthday week, I thought if I can't be at the beach with her I might as well celebrate by living vicariously through her and take over her blog for the day! Come over and say hello and check out this little beauty I got goin' on!

Love yall! Have a Sweetly Lovely day today wherever in the world that might be!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Blogging-Finding the Balance

Balance. Even saying the word I feel like I'm teetering towards pronouncing one side of the word more than the other. Why is it so hard for me? I think I try so hard to balance that I unequivocally end up falling of the beam just from the pure pressure of it!

I started this blog for one reason. To have a separate place to post my creativity; since my personal family blog was turning into the Angela Craft Show. It (Love Sweet Love) took off a lot faster than I expected it too (and I'm so grateful-this has been SO fun for me!) and I felt the pressure to-and wanted- to keep up with the response. My kids have not been neglected. My house has not been neglected. My husband has not been neglected (I blog at night while he does homework!). My church responsibilities have not been neglected. But I am MAXED out! I feel like such a wimp admitting this, but it's the truth. The more "out there" I put myself and this blog, the more "out there" I am, rather than "right here." I'm not saying it works this way for everyone! I know there are LOTS of people who can juggle 10 different responsibilities with their eyes closed and one arm tied behind their back and still feel good and content at the end of the day. That person is not me.

I PROMISED myself that if this blog started to feel like a chore I would stop. Creating is my passion. My outlet. My sanity when I'm faced with problems I have no control over (like wanting a baby, having a husband still in school, watching my best friend move). But at what point do you sacrifice your immediate wants (crafting my day away ha ha!) for your future wants (a close, happy, loving family)? Where do you create the balance? I feel that it is important for me to continue to develop my talents and pursue things I'm passionate about, but I feel that it is as equally (and lots more in some ways) important to help my children discover and pursue their talents. When I spend all of nap time and all of my evenings crafting and blogging away I feel that I'm not achieving that balance. (please note this is JUST me! I know there are lots of you that find that balance and I respect and admire that!!) And it's not that I feel guilty about this's more of a becoming acutely aware that I'm starting to head down a path I'm sure will be harder to back peddle out of later rather than sooner. So I'm stepping back. NOT going away, just stepping back.

I want to slow down before crafting feels like a necessity in order to have a 'popular' blog. I want to slow down before blogging feels like a chore I have to check off my list in order to sleep good at night. I want to slow down before I stop reading every blog I love for inspiration because there are just simply not enough hours in the day. I need to slow down before I miss my little ones grow up. So thank you for reading. Thank you for coming back day after day. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for liking what I do and following along; it has made this decision all the harder. But this time in my life is not about me. It's about my 2 precious gifts and I am more than ok with that. In fact I love it. I cherish it. I embrace it and thank my Heavenly Father for it every day of my life.

So I am going back to the basics to search for my balance. Back to my one reason for starting this blog and hope that you will still check back from time to time (like tomorrow because I'm guest posting on a FUN blog with a pretty cool project!) to see what I've got going on cause trust me...I still got a lot to say! ha ha! (my husband's still in school for another year so I'm going to need something to keep me busy at nights-we don't have tv!)

P.S. I've had a few experiences over the last couple weeks that led to this decision, but want to know what kick-started my brain wheels a turnin'? This post (which I found through a friends blog). Her experience happens to me almost verbatim every morning (only she writes it 10000 times more beautifully than I could have ever put it into words). That's when my heart told my head it was time for a little change.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thankful Thursday-Learning a Valuable Lesson

Do you have a great memory? You know the kind. A simple, completely unpredictable moment that presented itself in an uncharacteristic way, in an unexpected time, unknowing of the great effect that it would take on you, and the way it would grip your heart, and in effect your mind, forever? A moment that made you feel as though time all around you had stopped; as if you were in a snow globe that had been shaken by the chubby hands of a three year old, and although everything was moving in a blaze all around you, you couldn't see or hear a thing. And just as quickly as it begins, it ends. Your mouth takes a quick, sharp in-take of breath as your lungs remind your brain they haven't had oxygen in over a minute, and even in that moment of pure exhilaration, you know that in that one second everything is going to be different. That you are different. That you now have more than a moment to hold onto. You have a memory.

Although the story I'm about to tell comes from a post that I wrote on my family blog over 2 years ago, it was one of the above described experiences and changed my life. I'm so thankful for the lesson I learned from the eyes of a 2 year old and think about it almost every day. This was my moment...

***So lately I've been really trying to become better about just going with the flow of things and accepting that everything in my life does not have to be run on a schedule. There does not have to be a written script for everyday of my life and it's okay if everything doesn't go exactly as I planned for it to. Some days we have naps, some days we just play all day. Some days we do laundry and some days we let it pile up. Some days we make our little boy eat well balanced meals and some days he lives off McDonalds chicken nuggets and french fries. I've tried to be better about setting up my priorities in a way that what's best comes first (my family), what's better comes next (my church responsibilities) and what's good comes last (housework). So far it's working out okay and I seem to be able to balance things a lot better when I'm not trying to make everything a "best".

A couple days ago it was pouring rain outside (well almost everyday the past 2 weeks it's rained, but this one was a really good downpour!). We were coming home from running errands and it was already an hour later than our little ones usually goes down for a nap. We had been out all morning and I still had more errands to run once I put them down for naps before I had to be home that night to babysit for a friend, so I was eager to get him inside so I could be on my way to accomplish the next thing on my list. (BTW-To Do lists and I are becoming quite good friends) Mr. Sweet Love ran the baby girl from the parking lot to the porch by our house and I was left to bring our little boy. I put him down on the sidewalk so that he could walk because I was carrying armfulls of groceries. The second I put him down he was off, running the opposite way we needed to go and jumping in any puddle of water he could find (in his flip-flops!). I was yelling at him to stop and please come with me but he would just laugh and run farther away, thinking it hilarious that his mother was getting drenched, waddling after him with jugs of milk and chicken breasts. I finally just set the groceries down and ran after him pretty angry grumbling, "Why now?! I have too much to do!". Then right when I was about to catch him he jumped into a huge puddle of muddy water, totally splashing me, and started laughing so hard he fell down. I then had what you might call an 'Aha' moment because I realized what I was missing out on. I was focusing so much on this little event in my day that I was ignoring the big picture-and more importantly the importance of the big picture. Here was my little 2 year old boy, enjoying his life to the fullest. Begging me, without using words, to play with him. To enjoy the world from his perspective. To let go of the responsible adult in me and, for just a couple minuets, be a child again.

So I jumped in the puddle right next to him and sat down and laughed with him as the rain soaked us. Mr. Sweet Love came out and looked at us like we were crazy, but I just told him to go up and grab the camera. I wanted a picture that would remind me that sometimes it's more important to say "Why not?" than "Why now?"

And just a couple other pictures of his fun!


This little one stayed nice and dry :)

He was SOAKED, and freezing!

But it was SO worth it!

Love this boy!

Thanks for teaching me a great lesson little one. I love you!***

Thank you for popping over for a visit today! Have a sweetly lovely day and remember to say, "Why not?!" :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Drive-in Movie Cars

Happy WEDNEDSAY everyone! The middle of the week already?! I can't even tell you how much I am loving our summer!! It doesn't last very long where I live so we are taking FULL advantage and are playing outside all day every day! Today I wanted to share the post I put up over at Momma's Kinda Crafty a couple weeks ago in case you missed it! It's one of my favorite projects because it's for my kids and they LOVE it! We call it:

Drive-in Movie Cars!

The great thing about this project is that it can be as simple or as fancy-shmancy as you want it to be! All you need to start is a cardboard box!

We (mr. sweet love and I) decided we wanted the car to have a little "hood" of sorts as you can see above, so we cut a separate, small strip of cardboard, folded down the edges of the board to make a table-top shape, and hot glued those edges to the inside of the box.

And since these fun little cars will be hounded played with by toddlers we thought it might be good to give it a little extra piece of support by hot gluing another piece of cardboard under the "hood" and to the front of the box like so:

Had our box been a typical brown box I wouldn't have painted it, but the only box we had was white and yellow with writing all over it, so I decided to give it a quick coat of Rustoleum's semi-gloss white spray paint. A perfect canvas!

Next I added wheels using paper plates lightly spray painted black.

And Mr. Sweet Love added a tail pipe using a roll of toilet paper spray painted silver and then cut in half.

And what drive-in movie would be fun without snacks?! With kids that's a definite MUST, so I added a snack box to the side of the car using the bottom porion of a baby wipes container (I spray painted mine red but you could totally leave it white!) and attached it using office clips.

The only thing left is to go to town decorating the front in whatever car style you can come up with! I used a black marker to draw on the designs and can lids for the headlights.

And just to personalize them for the kids (my kids love to see their name everywhere! ha ha!) I added some quick license plates to the back with their name and age using cardboard wrapped in foil and then hot glued to the box!

Toss in a fluffy pillow and a comfy blanket, and you're ready to throw a movie up on the projector outside (or inside!!) and have a fun family movie night!

Now go have yourself a WHEELY good time in your DIY drive-in car!

Thanks for coming over for a looksy today, I appreciate all your kind comments and sweet thoughts, yall are the best!! :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sweet Tute Tuesday-Bacon Wrapped Smokies!

I do not cook. Like ever. Well...I used to cook. There was a period a few years back where I was determined to be Mrs. Betty Homemaker.

I only had one baby, who was just a couple months old, I had just recently quit my job to be home full time, and had a husband who was balancing work with school, family and church responsibilities, and I knew that it was time for me to step-up and fully embrace my roll of wife and mother by becoming the epitome of perfection in every area that entailed. Sewing {fail}, baking {fail}, nursing my child {fail}, being all dolled up with dinner on the table at 5:00 when the Mr. came home {fail}, cleaning {pass-I LOVE to clean :) }, cooking {A for effort, but C- for quality}.

After a couple of months of me trying my darnedest to be what every 1950's woman could somehow achieve without batting an eye, and my husbands earnest attempts to be sweet and kind towards my cooking (he would often say during dinner, "this is really good, but I bet if you added a little bit of _____ next time, or just a teaspoon of ______, it would be perfect.") I was finally fed up and said, "Fine, if you think you can do it better than do it!" And so he did. (He is REALLY REALLY good too!) And from that moment on I have never cooked again.

Okay, like the random meals here and there if he can't cook dinner but let's be honest my meals typically consist of frozen lasagna's (hey don't knock 'em, Stouffer's knows what they're doing), frozen pizza's or McDonald's. I can also make a pretty mean quesadilla so... boo yah.

Now all that being said, there is ONE thing I cook that Mr. Sweet Love has never tried to take over from me, tell me to add anything to, or change it any sort of way. Yall should fell real cool that I'm about to share my one and only cooking talent with you-Bacon Wrapped Smokies. Meat on top of meat? Heaven on a toothpick is what they should be called.

If you take these to any function where men will be present these (and you) will be the HIT of the night. If you're single...ladies this will get you a man guaranteed! I've made these for Halloween parties, thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, SuperBowl, birthdays, and every party for my husband's work. And for summer BBQ's these would be the perfect addition! The original recipe is from, and here is my version with some step-by-step pictures.

1 lb bacon sliced into thirds
1 package (14 oz) beef cocktail wieners
brown sugar


First I pour the entire package of smokies into a ziploc bag (juices from bag included) and pour about a 1/4 cup of brown sugar on top. Shake the bag so the brown sugar coats all the smokies and put in fridge to marinate for at least an hour (sometimes I leave it overnight).

Next cut your bacon into thirds like shown. (I like to stick my bacon in the freezer about 15 min. before I cut it to firm it up a little because it is MUCH MUCH easier to work with when it's cold!)

Oh, and for as many times as I've done this, I've found that Hormel's Black label original bacon is the BEST kind of bacon to use (taste and ease wise) for this recipe.

Next, I take one strip of the cut bacon and lightly coat both sides with brown sugar.

Then I take one smokie and roll it up inside the bacon and place a toothpick through it to hold the bacon.

I put them all into a bowl and then drizzle the brown sugar marinade from the bag of smokies all over the wrapped smokies and let it sit in the fridge (covered) for a couple hours.

Set the oven to 325 and line a pan with foil (this makes clean up a snap!) and place the smokies evenly spaced on the pan. I then sprinkle just a {tad} more brown sugar over the tops of all the wrapped smokies and cook for 40 min.

I like my bacon crispy so when they're done cooking I kick the oven onto broil and let them cook about another 5 min to really crystalize that sugar and make them a dark golden, bubbly, brown!

If they're not going to be eaten right away, I put them in a crockpot on warm/lo to make sure they stay nice and tasty!

Please please make these, your bellies (and your husbands) will thank you! ha ha! That being said, you will {probably} never see another recipe on here again! Thank you SO SO SO much for checking out the Sweet Love over here today! I hope you're having a beautiful summer day wherever you are!!