DIY Decor | Hendrickson Homestead

Sometimes, I get in a nesting mood and I just want to do ALL THE HOME PROJECTS. And my birthday + a few perfectly-timed days off from work = the opportunity to finally make things happen.

Have I told you guys about how my living room ceiling is SUPER high? Well. It is. I have more wall space than I know what to do with in my entire house, but the living room has stressed me out the most. It’s the room that most guests notice first when they walk in the front door, and the room they spend the most time in. And the first wall you see when you walk in the room had a whole bunch of NOTHING on it for months. I hated it. Daniel knew I hated it. But I didn’t know what to do with it. Instead of being inspired by such a lovely blank canvas, I cowered in the corner and whined and threw things like a kid in timeout.

At the end of February, Daniel decided to remedy this problem for my birthday (and also I think he was just tired of me complaining about the bare living room walls). After taking me out to dinner, he took me to the holy grail of home decorating: Hobby Lobby. That’s pretty much the end of the story, however, as we were the idiots who walked in the store 10 minutes before closing time. :( Since I wasn’t able to find anything that night, he sent me back to browse a few days later. I still had no clue what I wanted to do, but Daniel had given me a certain amount of money to spend, and I was determined not to walk out of the store emptyhanded.

I’m not big into cheesy quotes, but something about framed print just spoke to me:

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I mean…it’s true! My home, ultimately, is my happy place, but especially my living room. Even though we’ve only lived in our current house for almost five months, the living room has already hosted tons of parties, bible studies, wrestling matches with Fitz (our German Shepherd) and conversations, both serious and silly. I love that place. And don’t even get me started on how beautiful the minimalism and fonts are on the print itself. *perfection*

The “Happy Place” print was really what sparked my idea. My mom had given me these two metal wire window shutter-shaped things, and while I was pretty sure that I liked them, I had no clue what to do with them. The print made me think of them immediately: “Ooh…I could put one on each side, and hang something on top of the metal pieces…hmm. Yes.” I grabbed the print off the shelf, mentally high-fived myself for shopping during a 50% off sale in the prints and photos section, and walked over to look at wreaths.

I had seen a few boxwood wreaths that I really liked, but they were always a little too expensive for me. I’ve always been a pretty creative and crafty person though (thanks, Mom!), and I decided I could make my own wreath for much cheaper. The 8-inch grapevine wreaths ended up being $2.50 apiece, the eucalyptus bunch was about $8, the print was originally $50 but half off, the metal pieces were a gift, and I already had a glue gun at home!

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Sorry I didn’t take more pictures during the project itself – the lighting was terrible, and I didn’t have enough hands. *sad music* It really wasn’t difficult; I just hot-glued the eucalyptus on top of the wreath, layering pieces on top of each other for more fullness and weaving the ends into the grapevine.

When the wreaths were finished, I attached them to the metal pieces by looping a piece of twine around the middle metal bar and the back of the wreath and tying a simple knot.

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I’m happy with how it turned out!

Earlier this week, I got the chance to complete another DIY project I’d had on my mind for awhile: filling my Anthropologie mugs! My parents and siblings bought me enough Anthropologie monogram mugs to spell out “Hendrickson” a few Christmases ago, and I’ve known exactly what I wanted to put in them ever since.

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I found these little beauties for a little over $3 apiece at Walmart, and I couldn’t NOT get them! It became the perfect project for a day off from work.

Oh yeah…I also stopped by the library and checked out two movies (for freeeee because I have a library card!) that Daniel would probably never willingly watch with me. (Spoiler: I had already read the books so I knew what would happen, and I still cried during The Fault in Our Stars.)

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I laid everything out on the living room floor and discovered it would be much less of a project than I thought…because the little plastic flowerpots fit PERFECTLY inside the mugs. Go figure! A few were a bit of a tight squeeze, so I just snipped down the back side with a pair of scissors and folded one side of the flowerpot over the other and fitted them snugly inside each mug.

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Ahhhhhh I just LOVE IT. I love finishing things that have been on my list for awhile.

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While I worked (for all of 10 minutes) and watched the movie, Fitz fiercely and loyally guarded the house/me and stared at the squirrels running around outside. He’s been doing this a lot lately – posting up by our downstairs windows. It’s cute. :)

The finished mugs now sit on top of the piano in the dining room! I’m thinking about changing up the decor on the wall a little bit, but I’m not sure how just yet. The framed sheet music with our names was a Christmas gift from my dad a few years ago, and I definitely want to keep it there. I’m not sure how I feel about the candleholder pieces, but it’s one of those things where you’re poor and newly married, so you put stuff on the walls whether you like it or not because it’s SOMETHING to put on the wall.

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After finishing with the mugs, I watched the movie and was thankful that Daniel was not there to make fun of me while I cried.

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And also Fitz reeeeeeeally wanted my jelly beans.

I don’t know how you are, but I feel so much more comfortable in my home when I’m able to finish projects like this and I finally see things coming together. It took me a little while to feel at home in our house, but I think I’m truly settling in.

Happy Thursday, y’all!

30 By 30

Uh…….. I’m turning 26 in two days.

Let it be known, first of all, that I LOVE my birthday. I’ve loved every single one of my birthdays. I love my birthday so much that I kind of maybe irrationally expect everyone else to know when it’s my birthday, and if someone who knows me doesn’t wish me happy birthday, I’m disappointed that they forgot about my birthday.

That said. Turning 26 is weird.

Turning 25 felt exciting, like I became a new kind of grown-up. I felt important in a more sophisticated way. “Oh, me? Yeah…I’m 25.” (Cue the smug smile.) Turning 26 feels a little like waking up the day after you run a marathon: you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished, but also a little bit ready to just die already.

To cheer myself up, I’m taking a leaf out of a fellow blogger’s book! My friend Caitlin Boswell from Absolutely Bositively created a list of 30 things to do before she turns 30, and I’ve decided to do the same! I’m obsessed with list-making, and I like having stuff to look forward to.

30 By 30

1. Have babies.
This one makes me go “…….whaaaaaaaaa!??!?!!?!” a little bit, but it belongs on the list. :)

2. Take an Alaskan cruise.
Daniel and I have had this on our list for awhile! We loved the Caribbean cruise we took last April, but the next one we go on will have to include mountains, snow, and whales.

3. Pay for someone’s dinner anonymously.
Someone did this for us once and it was so neat! I want to make someone else feel the way I did.

4. Go on a big adventure.
I’d love for it to be some crazy awesome vacation, but I left this one vague for a reason because with Daniel as my best friend, who the heck KNOWS what shenanigans we’ll get into in the next 4 years.

5. Throw someone a surprise party.
I. LOVE. SURPRISES. SO. MUCH. And I love throwing parties, so this is pretty much a necessity.

6. Read 10 new books.
First on my list is a gift from Daniel: Bossypants by Tina Fey!!

7. Learn how to curl my hair.
I know…I know. :( I’m stylistically challenged, but my bestie got me a curling wand for Christmas, so I have no more excuses.

8. Make a complicated recipe.
You know what I’m talking about – the one you’ve had pinned for four years but never attempted because you’re daunted by the ingredients list alone? I’m gonna do it.

9. Complete the 52-Week Money Challenge.
Seems easy enough! And it’s enticing to think about getting to the end of a year having saved that much so simply. The hard part will be not dipping into it for spontaneous unnecessary purchases, like a dog sweater that Fitz would destroy before wearing it but it would look so cute OH MY GOSH.

The Color Run - the happiest 5K ever. I will do this.:

10. Participate in a Color Run.
I hate running with my whole being, but this looks really fun.

11. Deliver meals to new parents.
Because allllllll my friends are having alllllllll the babies. And also because I love to give gifts that they’ll actually appreciate and use!

12. Turn MONAT into an actual job.
This is a biggie, and I kind of scared myself by putting it on here. But this is something I really want.

13. Host a backyard dinner party.
I’ve wanted to do this for years, and now we F I N A L L Y have an awesome backyard to do it in! Come on, summer!

14. Plan a “stay-cation.”
How delicious does it sound to take an entire day off from work, dress up your bedroom like it’s an upscale hotel room, and do nothing but watch movies and EAT? Ahhhhh.

15. Take Fitz on a trip.
I’m not 100% sure that including this one wasn’t a huge mistake, considering he never stops moving right now and is a hyper terror on walks…but after all, he is still a puppy. He’ll grow up eventually and I would love to travel somewhere fun with him as a sidekick!

16. Create a new annual family tradition.
Any suggestions?? What’s one of yours?

photos from each state they visited - glued onto a giant map and cut to fit the shape of the state.:

17. Make a map of places we’ve visited.
I really like this one, this one, and this one. Can’t wait to make one and put it on the wall!

18. Take anniversary pictures with Daniel.
I told myself “Oh yeah, we’ll take pictures every year after we get married!” and that definitely hasn’t happened. Time to be a woman of my word.

19. Spend a long weekend tucked away in a cabin.
Nothing is for sure yet, but we *might* be able to check this one off in a couple weeks! Eek!

20. Update my home decor.
Since we got married, my decorating style has been a weird combination of re-purposed wedding decor, homemade gifts we’ve been given, and odds and ends I’ve bought on clearance from random stores. I’m ready for everything to go together so I feel happy and comfortable when I walk in a room.

21. Make our backyard fun.
I am bursting with ideas, and first on my list is globe lights!

22. Grow the blog.
To be completely honest, I’m not really sure what I mean by “grow” yet. Maybe it’s monetizing, or extending my reach, or writing content that goes viral. Or maybe it’s none of those, and it’s simply learning to create without apologizing for it. We’ll see!

23. Take a group vacation.
When Daniel and I took our Caribbean cruise, we kept thinking the whole time how fun it would be to go back with some of our friends. Fingers crossed that this one happens soon!

24. Give away a few blessing bags.
I discovered these via Pinterest and they are SUCH a neat idea. I hate driving by homeless people with nothing to give them. My goal is to make a couple and always keep one or two in my car.

How To Host A Favorite Things Party! | Twin Cities Moms Blog

25. Have a “Favorite Things” party.
This sounds like so much fun! I think the most complicated part will be deciding what my “favorite things” are – I have wayyyy too many favorites.

26. Visit 5 new states.
It’s really sad how few I’ve visited. The west coast is completed untouched, so this one will be really easy. Especially if we make that Alaskan cruise happen!

27. Go on a fancy dress-up date.
There’s something about a dress that really fits, scarlet red lips, and a good pair of heels that makes a girl feel sassy. We went on one in Dallas about a year and a half ago as part of a marriage retreat weekend. We were the most dressed up we’ve ever been (besides wedding clothes, duh), and we STILL didn’t feel quite fancy enough to be there. We had a blast!

28. Really establish a cooking/cleaning routine.
I’m convinced I’m the worst wanna-be housewife in the entire world. I really really want to be good at things like cooking and cleaning and scheduling, and SOMEtimes…I am! I do like to cook, and I love organization. But somehow I just haven’t mastered the art of housewife-ing. And I want to. So bad. My poor husband.

29. Publish my book.
O     M     G.
Those three words together are terrifying. But it’s honestly long overdue. I need to quit kicking the idea around and actually do it.

30. Take a road trip.
I love the idea of having an ultimate destination in mind but just hopping in the car and driving without too much of a plan, stopping whenever we want, and finding funny little things to take pictures of along the way!

What do you think of my list?? Any suggestions?

To find out how I’m doing at crossing things off, visit my 30 By 30 page.

8 Moving Tips to Preserve Your Sanity

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“I just love that glorious feeling when you’re moving into a new house and everything is going smoothly, and you have plenty of boxes and packing materials, and you can’t believe your luck because you haven’t hit a single snag!”

Said nobody, ever.

I haven’t moved a ton, but I’ve moved enough times to know that things never go as smoothly as you hope they will, and it always takes longer than you expect it will. BUT. I’ve also moved enough times to pick up a few neat tricks to make the process slightly less torturous!

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#1: Know where to find boxes.
Before you go spend a bunch of money, take advantage of your surroundings. Tons of places give away free packing boxes, including liquor stores, bookstores, and grocery stores. These boxes typically have thick bottoms and are great for supporting heavy loads. They also tend to be the best size for dishes and cookware – big enough to pack a decent load, but small enough that the box isn’t too heavy to pick up. And don’t be afraid to ask smaller local businesses if they have boxes too! A much-deserved shout-out goes to Bliss Boutique, a downtown clothing boutique that filled up my car with 15 huge boxes!

#2: Organize packing supplies.
Gather up everything you’ll need and keep it together in a basket so you don’t have to go looking for a new marker every fifteen minutes. My go-to packing items include: boxes (duh), scissors, heavy duty packing tape, Sharpies, oversized labels, and any useful packing materials like newspaper, towels, tablecloths, foam peanuts, and bubble wrap.

#3: Label absolutely everything.
Self-explanatory. It helps SO MUCH. Don’t leave a single box unlabeled. You might be able to look at a box and know where to put it, but if other people are helping you move, they won’t. When you write a label, include both the contents of the box and the room the box should be taken to in the new house.

#4: Pack non-essentials first.
I have to be honest…I didn’t really follow this rule this time. We had a little over a month between the day our offer was accepted and our closing date when we got the keys, and because I didn’t want to sit in an empty house for a month, I refused to take down any wall decorations until this week (much to Daniel’s chagrin). However! I did pretty well paring down the rest of our stuff and packed away most of the things we don’t use as often. Don’t play the “what if I need it?” game with yourself. Look at the remaining amount of time you’ll be in your current house and make reasonable decisions about what meals you’ll fix, what clothes you’ll wear, and what household items you’ll actually need to use before you move out (like cleaning supplies, clean sheets, etc.) – then pack the rest.

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#5: Get rid of stuff.
What’s the point of boxing up and unloading a bunch of stuff that you don’t like or don’t need? Take advantage of the fact that you’re already going through literally everything in your house and get rid of some of the mess. Purge every room; nowhere is off limits. Go through your dishes, your small appliances, your clothes and shoes, your books, your office supplies, your games, your decorations – seriously, everything! Toss something if it’s broken, dirty or stained, or even if you just don’t like it anymore. And don’t forget to allocate a big box for “give away or sell” items.

#6: Make a million lists.
Make a list of bills you pay, mail you receive, services you use, and subscriptions you have so you can change your address for each of them. Make a list of things you’ll need to have readily accessible when you move in so you can pack them separately (toiletries, phone chargers, medications, etc). Make a list of people who have helped you move so you can take them to lunch to say thank you. Make a list of things you’ve already done so you can cross them off and feel better about your life in general.

#7: Pack a suitcase.
Regardless of how short or long your moving process is, you eventually reach the day when you move your bed out and finally spend that first night in your new home. To make the transition easier, pack a separate suitcase with things you’ll need easy access to while you’re unpacking boxes, including shower stuff and a few changes of clothes. Pretend like you’re staying at a friend’s house for a few days – what would you need to pack? Along with your suitcase, pack a bag with clean sheets, pillows, and blankets so you can make your bed as soon as it is assembled in the new house.

#8: Leave room for grace.
I stole this lovely phrase from my friends over at The Unedited Movement, and it’s worth repeating over and over again. If you run out of boxes or bubble wrap, it’ll be okay. If something breaks, it’ll be okay. If you have to keep a giant refrigerator in your laundry room for a month before you move, it’ll be okay. Leave room for grace. Our lives aren’t perfect, but God can handle all the messy details, including the chaos that is moving. Take a deep breath, and then let it out and keep moving forward.

In addition to my own ideas, I got some fantastic suggestions from a few readers that deserve to be shared too:

From Christina (Life With C-Bev):Don’t take your clothes off hangers…just put a slit in the top of a trash bag and pull the bag over 20ish clothes at a time. Then when you get to unpacking…all you have to do is rip the trash bag off and hang up the clothes already on the hangers.”

From Susan: “Pack one box (or laundry basket) with things you will need first, or may even need while you are moving: toilet paper, paper towels, light bulbs, a shower curtain, cleaning supplies, hand soap, trash bags, a small first aid kit. Also, pack an overnight bag with sleepwear, two changes of clothes, and basic toiletries. That will save you rummaging around trying to find your clothes when you are tired and haven’t unpacked yet. And, don’t forget a couple of bath towels!”

From Dianna:Label,label,label. Try to have an idea of where you want things to go before moving in. Breakables= over wrapping. Make sure you and Daniel are on the same page of the moving plan. Unpacking bathroom and bedroom and then kitchen. My kitchen is almost always last since I like bathroom and bedroom essentials first. You have toiletries and bedding. I don’t know if you are moving with lots of help or no help, however, I would still do it the same way. My heirloom pieces I do myself. If something breaks then your helpers aren’t devastated they broke something that can’t be replaced. Dolly’s are an important tool(if you have one). Extra blankets or towels for protecting furniture. I could write you a book. hope this helps.”

From Jacklyn: Dollar stores tend to always have a rack outside of their broken down, sturdy boxes, with a variety of sizes. Since they are broken down, it makes it easier to get home with & place some in each room to be packed w/out taking up a lot of space. You could also have an ice chest packed with water & sandwiches/snacks etc.. That way no one has to stop to take food or drink orders & have to leave or come up w $$ for a delivery. This way everyone can eat & have something to drink whenever they need to. This would be especially good for any diabetics helping out.

From Nicole: The best places to get boxes are liquor stores. The boxes are sturdy and have removable dividers inside. And they always have an abundance. Second, grocery stores on their load days. Find out when those are and ask them ahead of time to save them for you and pick them up before noon. Also, local newspaper printing places have their leftover ends of roles of printing paper for sale for cheap. It’s the best way to go for packing paper! Oh, and always remember what box you packed your silverware and salt and pepper in. And buy new toilet seats.

From Jessica:Don’t bother packing up clothes from your dresser. Just remove the drawers and load the dressers in the truck, then out the drawers back in. You may want something to cover your intimates drawer though. :) Make sure you bring a grocery bag with hand towels, hand soap, toilet paper and a plunger. You will need all of these. It’s a good idea to make this the first thing you add to your new house. My big job is always making sure I know where the bedsheets, covers and pillows are. We usually agree on a bed frame placement before we move things, so it’s the first thing that gets out together. When you’re exhausted and know that you have to unpack the kitchen tomorrow, nothing beats flopping into your already-made bed. We move a lot.”

From Hannah:Label everything!! The room and what is in the box. It will make it easier to find the essentials when unpacking. Also, when unloading try to put the boxes in the rooms that the stuff will be unpacked and put away/displayed in.

From KyLeigh:I would suggest taking the time to go through and get rid of stuff while packing up! This ensures less clutter and time spent doing it in your new home! I would also suggest loading the kitchen stuff last and unloading it first.If you have enough help when unloading I always suggest to start unpacking the kitchen while people continue to unload boxes and bring them in. That’s less bodies in the way and the easiest place to know where you want to put things! You can usually be about done unboxing the kitchen by the time everything else is in and you’re already 1 room down and it tends to be a good amount of your boxes that are out of your way! Lastly, I also suggest labeling every box on at least 2 sides and the top with what’s in it and what room it goes in at the new house! That way whoever is helping doesn’t have to ask a million times “Where do you want this box to go?” Good luck! Moving isn’t easy, but a little bit of organization goes a long way!

From Rebekah: “IPOD -have techno or energetic music going even if on low…I believe it magically gets everything moving quicker.”

From Christi (Christi Gulley Custom Floral):Wardrobe boxes and lots of them…they are the best. Also, use that cellophane on a roll stuff to bind up drawers and doors on armores etc…you literally do not have to box all of your stuff in your drawers…just remove drawers and wrap them with the plastic wrap and load up the drawers…make sense? We even left our silverware right in the caddy…just wrapped it up and stuck it in a box. also, i did purge and organize our office supplies (which were already in little organizer caddies, but then we just wrapped them right up too…so much easy.”

From Cindy:Pack clean sheets, towels, bath soap in your dirty clothes hamper or laundry basket…that way no matter how tired you are at the end of the day you can take a shower, make the bed, and go to sleep. Everything is better in the morning. Label boxes with the room and 1,2,3. 1 needs to open first to be able to function, 2 would be nice to open this week, 3 is decorative or just needs to be stored.

I also love this 8-week comprehensive list from Good Housekeeping – wish I had found it 8 weeks ago!

I’m so ready to be done with the whole moving/cleaning part – but I’ve been a BIG fan of the unpacking part. I love starting fresh in a new place. And I’m so thankful that we’ll be moved in just in time for the holidays.

Have a happy day – I’m off to unpack more boxes!

The Little Shop

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In October of 2015, I did something a little nuts: I launched my own small business and became a MONAT Market Partner! Read this post to find out more about the products and the business. Click here to check out my products.

In addition to MONAT, in an effort to simplify my life and make a little extra cash for new threads, I invite my interested readers every so often to gather ’round and shop my closet! Come back often for new additions! To purchase something, just comment below or email me. (P.S. If you want multiple items, I’ll discount prices! $5 flat shipping rate to anywhere outside my area.)

DIY Wedding Gift Basket

I’m such a big fan of gift-giving! It’s my strongest love language, second only to words of affirmation. I love coming up with creative, thoughtful things to give people. And lucky me: I’m at the point of life when everyone I know is either graduating from something / getting married / moving / taking a new job / having a kid / doing something else worth celebrating. I have lots of people to shower with love!

My latest gifting opportunity was this last weekend at my friend Phillip’s wedding! Wedding gifts are easy – all married people need a lot of the same things to start their new life together. Places like Ross, Marshall’s, and TJ Maxx make it a BREEZE to put gift baskets together too.

Here’s my last creation. All the pieces were found at Ross. Total cost = less than $50!

IMG_4297[1]White tub + measuring cups/spoons + garlic-infused olive oil + wooden spoons + salt and pepper shakers + Herbes de Provence + wood plate + kitchen towels. 

After I found the white tub, I started walking through the store and picking out little pieces to add to the collection. In each basket I’ve made, I try to strike the perfect balance between ‘useful’ and ‘cute.’ I always seem to gravitate toward natural wood inspiration, so that divided-square food plate and the wood spoons were no-brainers. The spice blend and the olive oil are necessities in my own kitchen, and everyone needs measuring cups and spoons. And those mini-Mason-jar S&P shakers….right?? I almost kept them for myself. Sometimes, I have a theme in mind for a gift basket before I put it together. But this one was inspired by these towels:

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Aren’t they cute??

After I finished shopping, I went to my in-laws’ house, plopped on the dining room floor, and starting playing around with the arrangement. Once I tucked everything in place, I had an idea for a cute note and taped it on the towel.

“May your marriage be full of FLAVOR! We love you, Fords!”

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Happy wedding and even happier marriage, Phil and Kamie!

Also – if I’m coming to your wedding this year, just pretend you’re surprised when I give you a gift basket that looks just like this one.

What is your go-to gift to get (or make) for other people?