DIY Yard Games

I'm so excited to share our DIY yard games with you today! We put them out for the Mother's Day Brunch we hosted at our house, and had such a good time. When I was putting together plans for the brunch, I mentioned to James that I thought it would be fun to have some outdoor games for everyone to play and he agreed.

However, I wasn't interested in purchasing the games because they can be so expensive. James is handy and was willing to put his skills to good use so we were in business! :) I knew I wanted to have corn hole and ring toss at least so I went to Pinterest and found several cool ideas.

The corn hole boards we ended up with were made by James from wood we already had from past projects! James can explain what he did better than I could:

After looking around the garage I noticed I had some spare pieces of 3/4" plywood originally purchased for building some drawers I was planning to install under the shelving I built in the garage recently. That idea got nixed after completing the build so I decided to use the wood for corn hole. I had a busy week at work so my main aim in the build was speed. It worked out that the plywood was already cut to 2' x 4' pieces. I also had some scrap 2x4" around that I cut to 4" long pieces (with a 30deg angle)  to use as the feet / riser. I cannot say that's to "corn hole regulation" but it looked roughly correct. I just used some cabinet screws to attach the feet to the main board. 
For the hole I ended up tracing a bucket my wife had that was about 6" in diameter and then used my router to cut out the hole. The hole isn't perfect because I did not take time to setup a proper guide and just eyed the route line, but for a yard game I don't think perfect is a requirement. Once the hole was cut I decided to stain the plywood because it had a very pretty birch layer on top, and I figured that the wood grains would really come through with a dark stain. All together start to finish (minus drying time) it took me about an hour to make the set. Which was just about right for a busy work week.

As you can see he stained them with some stain I had in the garage and I love the look.

Mother's Day was such a beautiful day and it was perfect for hanging outside. It wasn't too hot and there was a slight breeze.

Our nieces and nephew were so cute running around playing all the games. :) It was so fun seeing them enjoy themselves!

And in keeping-it-real territory, you can see where James' dog had a little too much fun rolling in the grass and now it's having a hard time coming back. :) We put grass seed down and are hoping for the best. :)

I also got the idea to make a portable tic-tac-toe board that the kids could play with. We started with a piece of wood we had in the garage. I thought it was the perfect size (it was just a piece of 3/4" plywood) and I started by painting it with some gray paint I had.

After it dried, I painted white stripes on (using a ruler and painter's tape) and then let that dry.

The next step was the actual pieces for the game. We had a long 2x2 and I asked James to cut it with his saw into some game pieces.

After that I painted them 2 different colors with some craft paint to indicate X's or O's. Then I used a white paint pen and white craft paint to actually put X's and O's on them. :)

James had a great idea to put something on the board that would hold the pieces so they wouldn't get lost. He suggested a box of some sort and we found one at Hobby Lobby for a few bucks. It has a magnetic closure, which is perfect!

Of course I had to paint it ;) so I used some teal craft paint for that. Painting everything was quick and painless with the craft paint I had on hand.

The next step was gluing the box to the board. I used Aleene's quick dry craft glue. Then I asked James to put some handles on the board so it'd be easier to move around. I found these chrome handles at Lowe's. I tried to find them online, but they may just be in the store.

The kids loved playing with the tic-tac-toe board during the brunch, which made me so happy!

For corn hole, I knew we had to have bean bags and I decided to just make some. I picked out some fabric from my stash and tried to make the bags about 4x4". I cut my fabric into 5x5" pieces and used a 1/2" seam allowance on all sides. Then I just sewed them inside out on 3 sides and then flipped it right side out and stitched the last edge after putting beans inside.

I made 6 of them total.

I am not an expert sewer, but I was pretty proud of these!

For ring toss, the first thing we did was buy root beer in glass bottles and have family help us drink them. ;)

Then James spray painted all the bottles for me - thanks James! :)

We found this cute crate at Hobby Lobby and it miraculously fit the bottles perfectly! It was unfinished when we bought it and James painted it white for me. I took some chalk and simply wrote ring toss on the cute chalkboard label on the front (which was just part of the crate when we bought it - so fun!).

The rings were made out of small embroidery hoops. I covered them with different colors of yarn and I think they are so sweet.

And me with my bean bags I made. :)

We're so glad we made these! Now whenever we have guests over we just pull out our DIY games and it's nice to have them in the backyard for whoever might want to play them. We are also planning to make our own ladder ball game so check back later for that. :)

Linking up to DIY Showoff Link Party: http://diyshowoff.com/category/other/that-diy-party/

Mother's Day Brunch

Prepare for a crazy long entry! :)

James and I love to celebrate our Mom's all year round, but especially on Mother's Day. This is the 2nd year that we have hosted a Mother's Day Brunch at our home for both our families to come hang out. I think it will be a family tradition!

I had so much fun getting ready for this brunch! One of the first things I did was pick a color scheme. I chose hot pink, orange, yellow and lime green.

Once I knew my color scheme I was able to think about flowers, banners, art and all that other fun stuff.

I found the most fantastic FREE Mother's Day Printables at Amanda's Parties to Go. They matched my color scheme perfectly and were so beautiful and modern. I printed out most of the pages there for banners/art/decor.

I also bought some coordinating papers at Hobby Lobby and made bunting out of them to hang in our dining room. I just love bunting!

For the table I kept things pretty simple. We used our everyday dishes and I put out napkins that matched the color scheme (I have a napkin obsession).

We set out place cards for each person. I find it easier to just assign seats so people can go ahead and have a seat when they get there rather than worry about if someone wanted that spot or who is sitting next to who. The package from Amanda's Parties to Go included place cards in it so that part was easy!

I love bright colors so this scene was such a happy one for me! We bought fresh flowers the day before the brunch at a local flower shop. The lady who owns it has been a friend of James' family for forever. She is always so super sweet and lets us pick whatever flowers we would like "a la carte" and then I arrange them at home. They are such great flowers and last longer than ones I used to buy at the grocery store.

I decorated the vases with papers from the package and with ribbon from Hobby Lobby.

For some extra color on the table, I bought 2 different fabric options from Joann's in my color scheme and sewed these little squares. It was a quick project for a pop of color on the table.

I bought 3 picture frames from Hobby Lobby when they were 50% off in hot pink, orange and lime green and I popped the menu in one, and some Mother's Day art in the other 2 as you can see in the middle of the table.

I'll get more into the food we served later, but we did make pink lemonade and limeade for our guests and so people could get refills without getting up, we placed 2 carafes on the table. For a little extra color (and so people would know what that pink stuff was ;)) I added a tag with the name and strung it on the carafe with coordinating ribbon.

This is everything set up the night before:

And the day of! Party time.

I wanted to make some sweet subway art to put in our gallery wall for Mother's Day so I whipped this up in Publisher and popped it in a frame.

If you search for "Quotes about moms" or "Mother's Day quotes", this is one of the top hits.

Now of course, brunch isn't brunch without food! Our menu was as follows:

  • Potato Basil Frittata
  • Hashbrowns
  • Bacon
  • Waffles
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Cheese Board
  • Funfetti Cake with Buttercream Frosting
  • Pink Lemonade and Limeade
  • Coffee

I love, yet can get a little anxious over making menus. :) I enjoy the process of picking out foods and deciding what we're going to cook, but I also want to make sure everyone will enjoy the meal. It's important to me that when loved ones come over, they can relax and enjoy a nice meal while they are there. Cooking for people is my love language for how I show love I think. :)

My handsome husband and I tag-teamed making the food. He is so helpful in the kitchen - I love him!

Here's the food table we prepared:

I made this ribbon bunting for the cake and I was super proud of it.

Speaking of cake, I found the recipe for this funfetti cake on Love and Olive Oil and it's delicious! SO moist and the funfetti really is fun... Instead of the buttercream she recommends, I made my favorite vanilla buttercream recipe. I'll have to share it on the blog one day.

For the cheese board we had brie, swiss and sharp cheddar cheese. We also made Ina Garten's Parmesan and Thyme Crackers. They were so tasty!

In addition to pink lemonade and limeade we served Izze "soda", which we love!

I am still in love with how the lanterns turned out! I told James from the beginning that I wanted to decorate with colorful paper lanterns and I was able to find them for a great price on Amazon Prime so they got here super fast! I am thinking I need paper lanterns for every occasion now...

I made these food labels using the placecards and papers that came with the package I downloaded.

This is my sweet momma and one of my sisters. I love my mom so much. She worked so hard to raise 3 girls and was so strong and selfless. I admire her so much and loved celebrating her with this brunch. She deserves so much more, but this was a start.

And of course, my partner in pulling off parties. This brunch would not have happened without his help!

I'm putting together an entry to show you what we did for entertainment at the brunch. :) We DIY'd some outdoor games and fortunately, it was a gorgeous day so we all got to enjoy them! I'll be sharing that soon so keep an eye out! To all the mommas, I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Linking up to Bloom Designs Link Party.

Mother's Day Preparations

Long time, no talk! April was a crazy month for me with work and lots of sick days, unfortunately. Even with all that, James and I managed to get a lot accomplished and I'm looking forward to sharing all our updates with you all. :)

For now, we are super excited about hosting a Mother's Day Brunch at our home this Sunday to celebrate our amazing moms. :) We hosted a similar brunch last year and thought it would be great to do again so that our moms don't have to lift a finger. We want them to come and just relax and enjoy the day together!

This year I started by sending out this invitation:

I made the invitation on punchbowl.com and then texted it to our family members.

The color scheme I'm using is hot pink, orange, yellow and lime green so I was excited about the invitation since it uses similar colors.

The menu we're planning is:

  • Frittata
  • Hashbrowns
  • Bacon
  • Waffles
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Cheese Board
  • Pink Lemonade
  • Coffee
  • Cake

I'm excited to get cooking! But first, I have so many plans for decor. I don't have anything to show you yet, but I'll be so excited to share it next week after the brunch!

We've been out working in the yard to get it looking nice for everyone to come over and we have been creating some DIY outdoor games for our nieces and nephew to play with (and the adults too, of course) when they come over for the brunch.

Here's one improvement I've made in the yard! This is our front flower bed:

I was already thrilled because we had planted those gerber daisies and hostas last year and they came back and are looking so great! However, I wanted to spruce things up a bit so we bought these stones from Home Depot called Rumble Stone. I got rid of the old brick, which I had only used because it was left over after the house was built. The brick was frustrating because the weeds would grow up through the holes and were hard to get rid of. Sometimes, free is not the best solution. :) I put down the Rumble Stone and then we added mulch.

So much better! I love the fresh, clean look!

In other news I went to Target last night to buy sparkling water and this is how we left:

You know how it is, right? :-S