Life is Good at the Beach

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It has been a while since I've put anything on the blog. I've got projects to share that I'll be posting soon. Like everyone else, we've been busy and time flies by like clouds passing in the sky. We've had many beautiful days playing at the beach. We've chased birds, built sand castles, and played in the ocean. We've visited with family, gone on many walks, and splashed around in the swimming pool. Recently we went to the pumpkin patch, ran around in the hay and fed the goats. It has been a great past two months. Here are a few pics to capture some of these memorable moments. Love the beach!So much fun playing in the sandRunning aroundFeeding babyMore funLife is goodAt my friend from first grade- Rachelle's wedding in SBHangin with a horse and a few goatsPumpkin patch fun … [Read more...]

Our Trip to the Eastern Caribbean

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We recently got back from being on a cruise and it was 1o days of bliss! I had never been on a cruise and didn't have too many expectations. Our experience far exceeded what I thought it would be. The weather was beautiful, the beaches we went to were paradise, and the activities and everything about the ship was fabulous. I would absolutely do it again! I did miss my little Sophia but I must admit it was nice to have a break. Next time, I think I'll bring her along. I know she would love it! Here are just a few pics from our vacation. This was our first night on the ship after dinner. Happy to be on vacation! It was a little breezy this night (had to hold my dress down!).  Hanging out at the pool after dinner one night. The morning we arrived to St. Thomas.  Laying out on the ship, reading books and listening to music.  Cruising around the ship.  We rented a seadoo in Antigua. This was fun!  This was at the beach in St. Thomas.  The water was perfectly clear and warm.  What a great day at the most beautiful beach in Antigua. A beautiful beach in Tortola.  Departing one of the ports before dinner.  Feeling blessed.  Sunset before departing a port.  Driving to one of the beaches in St. Thomas, looking down at our ship.  Just got off the ship- visiting Nassau in the Caribbean.  Enjoying dinner.  Picture of the ship.  Pictures before dinner. How's the fake background?! Totally cheesy but it was fun!  It was fun getting dressed up.  Tortola  Another … [Read more...]

Repurposed Book End into Shell Covered Door Stop

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I have another simple project to share. There are only two steps and all you need is a plain bookend, white paint, a paint brush, a glue gun, and shells. I painted the brown wood colored bookend white so any open space or crack between shells wouldn't stand out.As you can see, I did a quick paint job. It doesn't need to be perfect. Just give the end a quick coverage of white paint if your book end is a dark color.Use your glue gun to cover the end with shells.Here is how it came out. You don't have to use it as a door stopper. You can do two ends and use them for books.I like the book end used as a door stopper. It works very well.It would make a nice gift. It's fun to make things with shells. I have two other shell projects on the blog you can make if you like; a seashell wreath and driftwood crosses. Both projects are simple to make and make nice gifts. … [Read more...]

Around the Table

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I miss family. You know, the every one sitting around the dinner table kind of family.  Before dinner, kids bustling about in and out of the house, mom yelling, “Just stay in or out! Not both!”  The pangs of hunger racking my guts so bad that I truly believe, “If I don’t eat soon I’ll die!” I yell out! Around dinner time when the meal is simmering, stewing or whatever it’s doing to produce its aroma aloft in the air seems to be a time of congregation around the kitchen.  My two older brothers and I are roaming around the half cooked meal like lions circling their next prey.  Being the youngest of three boys in our family meant that I was lucky if I was tossed a scrap of something ninety percent eaten by my older brothers.  Mom would chase us out of “her” kitchen with a wooden spoon bellowing, “Get outta here! It’s not ready yet,” with all the love she could muster! My mom’s dinners were so good that a lot of times my brothers and I would be perfectly willing to put up with a few swats from the dreaded wooden spoon for a bite of this, a nibble of that.  Actually laughing while mom beat our behinds with her wooden spoon.  It did sting but like I said, Mom’s cookin is Moms cookin!  On the other hand, dad’s belt was something to fear. But thankfully that’s another story on another topic. As the five of us sit down at the table for the nightly feast, no prayers are said, no thankful words.  It’s all business.  My brothers and I are attacking the meal with great fervor.  … [Read more...]

Pottery Barn Look Alike Desk

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This desk that I made over was the bargain of the century. It cost $50 and with a few supplies and a little effort it looks very similar to a Pottery Barn desk you can find in their catalogue for $1169.00 (below). I actually like the way my desk came out better than the Pottery Barn one. This desk below is in the Pottery Barn Catalogue for $899. I didn't get a great before picture because I forgot to take one. This is the best one I got. While it was on its side, I applied feet. The feet had screws already in them. I used a drill to create a hole on each of the bottom of the legs to screw the feet into.Here you can see all the feet are attached.I used a non toxic stripper to remove as much of the paint that was already on the desk as I could.Once the top of the desk was stripped down to the grain wood, I applied two coats of a dark brown stain to the top.Next, I painted the legs and feet black.After the legs and feet were finished, I applied the black paint to the rest of the body.I taped around the edges of the drawers to prevent from getting paint on the actual drawer and then painted the face of the drawers.Here is how the desk looked after the top was stained and the body and legs were painted.I let it sit to dry for about two days. It still needs knobs for the drawers. I think it looks just as good if not better than the Pottery Barn desks above. I really like the way it came out. What do you think? … [Read more...]

Change

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I myself have spent the last 13 years hovering in the clouds.  Living at high elevation seemed to be my calling.  Actually it has been my passion for small mountain life and the snowboarding that comes every winter.  I recently saw a bumper sticker in my town of Mammoth Lakes that simply red “My life is your vacation: Mammoth Local”.  It Couldn’t be better said than this.  Can you imagine living in a town where everyone knows you?  The checkers at the super market call you by your first name. I see my friends daily whether they are strolling down the the “main drag” in town or pull up next to me in our “four light” town.  Four traffic lights!  That’s right…four, Quattro.  But of course with any good comes the not-so-good. Get pulled over and everyone knows.  Get injured or seriously ill, everyone knows.  Marital problems, everyone’s a therapist.  Kid on drugs, you’re totally screwed.  Go to 12 step meetings…well, that could go either way I suppose.  My point is that choosing a life of intimacy in a small town has been part of my life, our lives, and the only life Sophia has known for her duration of eighteen months.  Change is coming. Through life’s circumstances my family and I will soon find ourselves in the clutches of another small town surrounded by another small town and so on and so on.  Life in San Clemente, California.  How can a town call themselves “small” when it is surrounded by a megalopolis?  What am I going to do?  Will I succeed at the supermarket … [Read more...]

More Captured Moments

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The biggest reason I started My Sophia Ryan was to document Sophia's memorable moments. I've been distracted with sharing my DIY projects. So here are just a few photos from this last month. Okay, more than a few. Time flies when you're having fun and I'm really glad I have all these photos to look back on in the future. I love capturing and preserving these precious moments, they fill my heart, they help me remember. How adorable are they? This is Sophia's best friend Timmy. He's four months younger than her and the cutest little boy you've ever seen. It's been so much fun watching the two of them grow and change month to month.Out for an afternoon walk, enjoying beautiful Mammoth.We spend a lot of time at the park. Sophia loves the swings, the slides, the other kids, and everything else that comes with going to the park. When we drive up to the park, she starts kicking her legs and waving her arms with enthusiasm. It's so cute!To the side of the park is this beautiful creek. She loves the creek-she really loves anywhere where there is water.Another park day.Watching her favorite movie, A Turtles Tale.These pictures didn't come out very good but I'm so glad I got them. She was sitting with her baby and feeding her on her own (middle picture). It was so cute because I didn't tell her to do this. Then I told her to give her baby a hug. I had never told her to do this before and she surprised me with giving herself a hug (first picture). It was so sweet. … [Read more...]

Fabric Covered Diaper Wipe Cases

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Yesterday I realized it had been days since my last DIY project. I know this sounds kind of silly. I can't imagine saying something like that a year ago. I was never really into craft projects until Sophia. Anyway, I've mentioned this before that these simple little projects I do on here really do something for me. They are fulfilling. It's fun creating things and I like sharing my projects on here because I hope to inspire others to create as well. So yesterday I felt the need to create. I came up with these fabric covered diaper wipe cases. I didn't have any expectations. I just thought I'd give it a shot. I really like the way they came out. And very little effort was involved. I think that's what pleased me the most. It was a quick and easy project with pretty good results. Anyone could make these, seriously. You should give it a shot and let me know how they come out. A Few Supplies Needed glue gun, scissors, fabric, travel size diaper wipe case, and some sort of trim like ribbon.I forgot to take pictures of the first step but it's basic. Cut 2 pieces of fabric about 9 in x 4 1/2 in. As you can see in the bottom left picture I made the pieces a little bit smaller. They don't reach the edge of the case. I did this because I used ribbon to trim the edges and it came out better this way than having the trim go all the way to the edge. It was too thick when I put the ribbon on top when I  had the fabric reach the edge. Once the fabric is cut, use your glue gun to glue … [Read more...]

Driftwood Crosses

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Last time I was down south at the beach I collected a bunch of driftwood. I was thinking about framing a mirror with layered pieces of driftwood. I didn't have enough to do this though. Maybe I'll make one in the future. Anyway, I like simple so I came up with driftwood crosses decorated with sea shells. These are very simple to make. I feel like I say that with almost every project I post on here. It's true most of my projects are simple and these crosses definitely fall into that category. What You Will NeedDriftwood, Seashells, Rope or Twine, Glue Gun There isn't much to this. Just cross two pieces of driftwood and tie the rope around the middle to hold them together. Tie a knot in the back or create a loop for hanging purposes. Use a glue gun to attach shells to the center. You can use store bought shells and coral as seen in this one above. You can use a bunch of shells and layer them or just lay a few shells across the front. I think they came out pretty and would make a nice gift. What do you think? … [Read more...]

Linen Matted Photos

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I love the look of these framed pictures. I especially like the look of the linen mattes around the pictures. I came across these on Pinterest the other day and was inspired to make something like this myself.I think these are really pretty linen matted photos.I used two large Ikea frames I used the same spray paint I used for the hamper basket makeover project. It is Rust-Oleum gloss protective French Roast.I sprayed the frames with 2 coats and allowed them to dry about 24 hours.Using poster board, the 8x10 photo, and a tape measure I created a rectangle opening slightly smaller than the size of the photo.I cut the opening out with a razor blade.As you can see above, I cut drop cloth (a material I use often because it looks similar to linen) around the cut poster board.I used glue stick and some masking tape to tape the drop cloth down on the back of the matte.Here is the finished product.They actually came out a lot better than they look and were very easy to do.Something else you could try is to use the same drop cloth material for the matte but make the pictures black and white rather than sepia and paint the frames black.I really like the way they came out. Like I said, they look better in person than in these photos. … [Read more...]