Posts by: "Dacia"

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I’m going to confess something up front to you guys today: this post is WAY outside of my comfort zone and I’ve waffled back and forth on whether or not to post it. In general, I avoid highly public discussions regarding politics and social issues.  But I just feel so prompted to write this (Lord, help me) and I can’t get these thoughts out of my head – so I’m following my gut. If for no other reason than to put my thoughts into writing because we all know how cathartic that can be.

In other words, if you have no interest in reading my current stream of consciousness, please come back next week and I promise I’ll be back to my normal topics!

Recently, Indiana has passed legislation that gives business owners the right to deny services to individuals based on religious freedom. I don’t proclaim to understand all the ins and outs of this bill but as one can imagine, this has caused quite an uproar and EVERYONE has an opinion – including me. But I’m not writing this post to share my two cents on the issue. No, this is more about the heartbreak I feel every time I see someone else share THEIR two cents.

In my opinion, social media is one of the most dangerous, divisive tools at our disposal today. In one instant, you can share a piece of yourself that could be seen by hundreds – even thousands – of people, and you can NEVER take it back. Sure, you can “delete” it later, but in all reality, it’s out there forever. Nothing you put on the Internet is ever private. As a Christian, this is definitely a cause for hesitation before I hit that “Post” button.

You see, I don’t want to say anything on social media that might divide me from someone else. I don’t want to post something that might offend someone else. That’s not to say I’m a walk-all-over-me-doormat without opinions. I have them. I just don’t feel like Facebook is the best forum for sharing them. It’s too easy for someone to misconstrue my words and intentions. I feel like those kinds of discussions are much better suited to one-on-one conversations. Because, then, even if that person still ends up disagreeing with me, at least I feel like I was able to thoroughly explain my view and hear theirs as well. THAT’S the problem with Facebook/Twitter/Reddit, etc. The conversation is one sided. You put your opinion out there and it’s done. On occasion, you might get some push back from a lively debater, but for the most part, people that have a differing view point are going to scroll on past and write you off as crazy/ignorant/too liberal/too conservative…whatever the case may be. Social outlets allow us to forget that there is a PERSON on the other side of that comment. A person with thoughts and emotions and, more importantly, a SOUL.

I never want my words to turn someone away from Christ – not before I have the chance to tell them about his unending grace, powerful mercy, and amazing love. Why don’t I post about that? My Facebook page is the only part of me that a lot of people see. Why am I not using it to exalt Jesus at every opportunity? I would much rather have someone say “There goes Dacia, posting another scripture,” than “ There goes Dacia, ranting about {insert rant-worthy cause here} again.” Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (NKJV). Again, this doesn’t mean that you should throw your beliefs out the window to get along with someone else. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t express your beliefs, even defend them if needed.  But do it in an appropriate, loving way that’s representative of Jesus. More often than not, that is NOT going to include posting something to Facebook.

Yes, you have the right to express your opinion. But just because you have the right to do something, doesn’t make it a right thing to do. Pick your battles, people. And, even better, pick the appropriate forum for them. Please, Christians, let’s use our words to point to our Savior instead of what’s going on in this world.

Hello, lovelies! I hope you’re all enjoying some spring-like weather today! It’s gloomy here today, but I’m crossing my fingers that we’ve seen the last of the snow for this winter!

My baby boy is turning 2 on Sunday (how did that happen?!?), so I’ve been deep in the midst of party planning. If you follow me on Instagram (@lemondroplife) you know that we’re doing a Mickey Mouse party, as my guy is obsessed with that little mouse. He can sing the Hot Dog song with scarily accurate pitch. I’ll be sure to share all the party details with you guys next week, but for now I thought I’d show you the adorable invites I made.

DIY Mickey Mouse Party Invites | Lemon Drop Life

Forgive the iPhone photo, but I realized after I started this post that I forgot to take any pictures with my good camera before I mailed all the invites out. Whoops.

These were pretty straightforward – cut the Mickey Mouse head shape out on black card stock, cut a half circle from red card stock, glue together and add a couple buttons! But remember: don’t glue the top of your half-circle down, so that you can slip your invite inside!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend and get to enjoy some sunshine!

Confession: sometimes I struggle with completing a room. I can hit all the major points: color scheme, furniture placement, rug, curtains, pillows…I can do that all day long. But then there are those items that really make the room feel ‘done.’ And more often than not, those items are the things that add YOU to the room. They tell your story and give a little insight to who you are.

One way I’ve found to add those touches to our home is through items picked up from our travels. And I’m not talking about shot glasses or key chains. I’m talking about meaningful souvenirs that you can display proudly and that bring to mind happy memories. I’ll show you a few examples from around our home.

On the shelves in our living room, live the little nesting egg dolls we picked up while in Russia. They complement the color scheme well and they add a whimsical touch to the vignette.

Adding The YOU To A Room | Lemon Drop Life
Adding The YOU To A Room | Lemon Drop Life
Recently I switched out a print in our stairway gallery wall for the one I picked up while we were in Scotland. I love walking by and seeing a reminder of our fun trip.

Adding The YOU To A Room | Lemon Drop Life
Also on our gallery wall is a fun little art piece I made using some leftover currencies from a few of our different trips (Costa Rica, Russia, Poland).
Adding The YOU To A Room | Lemon Drop Life

Hubby’s most recent trip was to Peru and he brought back an AMAZING tapestry (I’m not exactly sure what to call it) made completely of alpaca fur for Everly. He wasn’t exactly sure of its’ intended purpose – he said “maybe it can be a nice blanket for her to lay on”, but I turned it into a wall hanging and now it lives in Everly’s nursery. It filled a blank space I’d been struggling with perfectly, and I hope it’s something she’ll cherish forever.

Adding The YOU To A Room | Lemon Drop Life
Adding The YOU To A Room | Lemon Drop Life

And, just keep in mind, you don’t have to travel to exotic locations to pick up meaningful travel mementos. Collect cool looking rocks on your next walk with the kids or buy a fun print from a local artist. Important moments happen all the time and I guarantee you’ll love having the reminders in your home!

Happy Friday, Lemon-droppers! I’m sharing a DIY tutorial with you today that you guys are going to LOVE. Seriously. It’s gorgeous. 

My lovely friend, Cassie, shared this photo on Facebook the other day and I immediately texted her and told her I was featuring it on my blog – that’s right, I didn’t even give her a choice. The project is THAT good. {Cassie is blogless, in case you’re wondering – I wouldn’t normally insist that another blogger give me her tutorial to share :)} So she kindly sent me all of her in-process pictures and a rundown on how she did things for me to share with you all today. How lucky are you that I have such crazy talented friends?! Very lucky, indeed. So, take it away Cassie!

I’ve been watching a lot of HGTV’s Fixer Upper (I’m so in love with that show and the country, rustic décor), and I happened to see on multiple episodes the use of a large antique-looking wall clocks with roman numeral numbers. I fell in love. I tried to find them online and you’re talking $$$$. WOW – super expensive. So, since I had a bunch of pallets from our salt supplies {Sidenote: her husband runs a landscaping business and they do snow removal in the winter. Hence, salt supplies.}, I went to town on Pinterest and happened to find a tutorial. I ended up just using the picture for inspiration and making it my own way, though.

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

I found a video on Youtube that showed me how to take a pallet apart. I grabbed our jigsaw and got to work.

1Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop LifeThe blade in the picture is not the blade we used.

We didn’t have as large of a blade as the man in the video (ours was only 5” I think), which made it a little more difficult, especially for getting the middle nails out. For some pieces, I used a crow bar to pry the boards off, but when my small muscles still weren’t getting the job done, I resorted to chopping up the vertical piece in the middle into small sections and then I was able to get the angle I needed to saw through the nails. I went to town and now have a nice little stock pile for future projects :)

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

I measured out a 40”x40” square with the wood, however, since pallet wood isn’t perfect it was something like 38”x41” – either way, it was 11 boards. Then, I sanded them all down. Since pallet wood isn’t the best you can’t be too picky, but I ran my fingers over the boards and when I didn’t get a splinter or get pricked, I deemed them satisfactory.

I put my boards in a line in the arrangement I wanted and then took two pallet boards and attached them horizontally across the back of my 11 boards and glued them in place. The plan was to use liquid nails and wood glue AND nails, but the glue held so strongly, I decided not to add more nails.

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop LifeThis is after it was cut, obviously.

As you can see, my skills at getting things straight is 0%, but this clock is staying in my home so I didn’t care. Be sure to leave enough room between the two boards to put your clock kit in.

To trace the circle, I used a yardstick and measure 19” from the center to the outside edge. I did that all around the circumference and the connected the dots. Initially, I tried tying a pen to a piece of string that was nailed to the center, but the pen kept getting stuck on the boards and it wasn’t making an even circle. It took a while doing it my way, but it gave me a totally uniform circle!

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

He used a different jigsaw than the one we used to take apart the pallet.

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

While he was busy doing that, I went to Amazon and looked for the clock hands. Originally I wanted 14” hands, but I couldn’t find any that came with the battery kit. So, I searched for 12” and found some! They were $26, which isn’t cheap but everything else I used for this project was free to me.

Once the clock was cut, I drew my inner circle using the same method described above. My inner circle was a radius of 9.5”. This left plenty of room for the roman numerals around the edge. Then I stained the whole clock using Minwax Special Walnut stain. I didn’t stain the back because, well, who’s going to see it?!

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

My cheap ways and laziness led me to use primer I had on hand to paint the outside circle. After I started using it, I realized it was a gray primer and not the white I was looking for, but I went with it.

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

The next step was to figure out the numbering. I tried countless fonts and sizes and printed them out and laid them out on the clock. Everything failed. The numbers were too fat, so numbers 8-12 all ran together. Then I had the bright idea to stretch the numbers out. I knew I wanted size 500 font because it was the right height and I liked Big Caslon font. So, in Microsoft Word I typed out ‘I’, ‘V’, and ‘X’, at 500 in Big Caslon. I saved it as a PDF then opened the PDF and exported it to a JPEG. Then I copied it back onto Microsoft Word next to the I, V, and X I already had in the height I wanted and then made the letters in the JPEG skinnier, if that makes sense. I printed out 17 I’s, 5 V’s, and 4 X’s so  I could position them all on the clock at once to make sure they  fit. Yes, it was a lot of paper and no, I didn’t tell my husband how much ;)

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

After laying them all out, I realized I needed to outline the area the numbers would be in so that I could position them all within the same area. So I drew another circle, slightly larger than the inner circle (with a 10.5” radius). And then did two more circle with a 16” and 17” radius. Hopefully the picture below helps you understand all that.

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

Then I colored the back of the all the printouts with chalk, taped the numbers in place, and traced over each roman numeral. This left me with a chalk outline that I then traced with pencil.

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

Originally, I had planned to use black chalk paint I already had to paint the numbers, but I wasn’t loving the idea of that against the gray. I went to Jo-Ann fabrics and perused the acrylic paints – I wanted a deep blue, but not quite a navy. More blue-green. I ended up going with a Folkart matte acrylic called Thunder Blue. But when I put it on the clock, I hated it. It was too bright – so I mixed in some black and that made it perfect. It looks black from afar, but when you’re close up it’s a really pretty blue that compliments the gray so well.

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

 

I outlined the numbers with a very tiny paintbrush, then I used a little bit bigger of an angled brush to fill in the rest. I did two coats to make it dark and even. This part took forever, by the way, but I was extra careful to stay in the lines.

When I finished the numbers, I painted the outlining circles.

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

Then, we drilled a hole in the middle and assembled the clock kit using the instructions and it was finally finished! This project took me a total of 2 months, but I had to take a big break in the middle because I threw my back out. Once we had the large circle cut, I finished it in 4 days. And I LOVE it!

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

Thank you , Cassie! Oh my gosh – doesn’t it look SO amazing?!? The first thing I thought of when I saw it was “That looks just like the clocks JoJo (we’re on a nickname basis) uses  on Fixer Upper!” I’m going to be attempting one of these in the future for sure! 

If you have any specific questions about any part of this tutorial, just post it in the comments and I will be sure to get you an answer!

This post is not sponsored by Skip Hop or Periea, but it does contain affiliate links.

As I alluded to in this post, two babies is a totally different ballgame. And in the spirit of my word for the year (‘discipline’) I’ve been trying to make our lives as organized and streamlined as possible.

Diaper Bag Organization for Two Under Two | Lemon Drop Life

One area that needed some improvement was our diaper bag. When Roarke was born, my mom got me this Coach diaper bag and it worked great – spacious enough for everything I needed, and lots of awesome pocket space (pockets = really happy momma). But when #2 came along, I found that it was bursting at the seams with all the stuff I had to carry.

So, I briefly transitioned to a tote I got from thirty-one (this one, in case you’re wondering), and while it has five pockets on the outside of the bag, it only has one small zippered compartment on the inside, so it was like a black hole of all the baby things. Plus, I was still having to carry a purse for all of my stuff. Two bags + a toddler + a baby in a carseat = momma can basically NEVER go anywhere without an entourage of helpers.

My mission became to find a bag big enough for everything, but that looked less like a traditional diaper bag and more like a large tote, because, well I’m vain and don’t want to carry an ugly bag. Oh, and did I mention I also didn’t want to pay an arm and leg for it? I started searching Amazon and quickly discovered finding all those things in the same bag was not an easy task. Until I came across this one:

Diaper Bag Organization for Two Under Two | Lemon Drop Life

It’s the Skip Hop GRAND CENTRAL bag. I was immediately drawn to the look of it, and when I clicked through and saw more details about the bag itself, I was sold. So let me give you the rundown on the bag (plus the little secret weapon) that has been a game changer for me.

Let’s start with the outside. The bag is made of a nylon-polyester blend that’s easily wipeable in the event of any spillage. There are two large bottle pockets on either side. I use one for Roarke’s sippy cup and the other for Everly’s bottle. The pockets are quite roomy so I’m able to also slip a bottle of water alongside Everly’s bottle.

Diaper Bag Organization for Two Under Two | Lemon Drop Life

The bag also has two clips that you can use to attach the bag to a stroller – no more trying to stuff the bag down into my stroller’s storage compartment!

Inside, there are 3 main compartments, which is my happy number, because 1) Roarke, 2) Everly, 3) ME! I can keep all of our stuff separated and organized so there’s no more digging around for Everly’s diaper cream and pulling out Roarke’s granola bar.

I think I’m a peeping Tom at heart, because I TOTALLY love seeing inside people’s purses, closets, pantries, etc. I just really enjoy seeing the products people use and how they organize their stuff. So, I’ll give you a closer look at the must-haves I carry with me.

Let’s start with my littlest bebe: Everly. I corral all her stuff in the compartment closest to the outside pocket that houses the changing pad (which was included with the bag), since she’s the one I would use the changing pad for. That probably seems like a ‘duh’ thing, but that’s how my brain works. I store her diapers in the pocket with the changing pad so that I can grab both quickly when needed. Inside her section, I keep the following

  • Diaper cream and some plastic bags for dirty diapers/clothes (both stored in the clear zipper pocket for easy access)
  • A formula dispenser
  • A burp cloth
  • A toy
  • Baby powder
  • Extra change of clothes

Diaper Bag Organization for Two Under Two | Lemon Drop Life

One other feature worth mentioning is the snaps on the two outer compartments. I don’t know if this was intentional, but I’m able to slip my finger behind the snap, so that I can easily close it up with one hand, which makes me happier than it probably should. #momsdoeverythingwithonehand

Diaper Bag Organization for Two Under Two | Lemon Drop Life

The compartment on the opposite side of the bag is Roarke’s. I carry a few snack things for him in the built-in zipper pocket, and inside the main pocket I pack the following:

  • A diaper clutch containing his diapers and some wipes. Again, I can quickly identify it (it’s the green chevron pouch) in my bag and grab it for those on-the-go diaper changes.
  • A small zippered pouch that contains a notebook, stickers, and crayons for those times when I need a distraction, like, NOW.
  • Spare change of clothes

Diaper Bag Organization for Two Under Two | Lemon Drop Life

Last but not least, the middle compartment is for moi.

Diaper Bag Organization for Two Under Two | Lemon Drop Life

In it, I carry all of my essentials (more on that in a minute), plus a zipper pouch with some general first-aid items.

Diaper Bag Organization for Two Under Two | Lemon Drop LifeKleenex, band-aids, Neopsporin, thermometer, sunscreen, Tylenol (adult and children), ibuprofen, and teething tablets.

And now for that little secret weapon I mentioned earlier:

Diaper Bag Organization for Two Under Two | Lemon Drop Life

Diaper Bag Organization for Two Under Two | Lemon Drop Life

My Periea Handbag Organizer. This baby has been total gold for me. One major pain of trying to simplify and carry everything in one bag, is that when I go to work or somewhere else without the babies, I switch to carrying a smaller purse for just my stuff. But, inevitably, my chapstick, for example, would be buried somewhere in the diaper bag and wouldn’t get switched over. {If you know me, you know that I will turn around and go home, no matter where I am, for exactly 2 items: my phone and my chapstick. It’s that important.} But now, that problem is totally solved. I keep all of my essentials in this adorable organizer and I can easily lift it out of the diaper bag and drop it down inside my purse! It saves me so much time and changing bags is no longer a hassle at all!

I’ve been using this bag regularly for about a month now and even took it on a small roadtrip – I still have no complaints! I’m sure some of you might be thinking this bag weighs as much as a small horse , and it’s definitely heavy. But, everything that’s in it is stuff that I would’ve carried with me one way or another, so I’d just prefer to have it all in one bag!

So because I’m nosy, please tell me – what’s in your bag?