Arrggh! I have a simple tutorial to share for “Talk Like a Pirate Day” – how to make your own Beware of Pirates sign.

Beware Of Pirates Sign


  • small wooden board (I used a scrap 10×6 piece we had in our garage)
  • drill
  • 3/8″ sisal rope
  • black acrylic paint
  • polycrylic protective finish (if desired)
  • “Beware Of Pirates” printable
  • skull & crossbones clipart

I confess, I didn’t get a lot of photos of this process when making the sign for Dylan’s pirate birthday party in July, but it’s pretty simple.

Start by downloading and printing the free “Beware of Pirates” PDF. It’s sized to fit a board approximately 10″ wide by 6″ high. You can resize as desired to fit your board. Also download the skull & crossbones clipart here and enlarge by 150%. Position each on the board and trace. I did this the “old fashioned” way with a bit of pencil scribble on the back of the paper before tracing so it would leave faint lines on the board. You can also press a bit harder to leave a slight imprint.

After the words and skull & crossbones are traced, decide where to put the holes to hang and drill holes large enough for your rope to pass through.

Paint negative area around words and image with black paint.

Beware Of Pirates Sign - Paint

After entire area is painted black, let it dry thoroughly. Spray with polycrylic protective finish if desired to help protect. Once spray is dry, thread rope through holes, tie a knot in each end to secure and hang.

The sign is perfect for indoor use or temporary outdoor use today, for a party or for Halloween.

Pirate Birthday Party: Beware of Pirates Sign

Enjoy and, beware of pirates today! Arrgghh!

Looking for more pirate inspiration? See my past posts for how to make a pirate spyglass or a Mr Potato Head Pirate Pumpkin. And, of course, ideas for hosting your own pirate party.

I’m headed to Type-A Conference in Atlanta tomorrow and recently ordered new business cards to take. Realizing I had no good way to tote them with me and, not surprising, I have a good stash of fabric scraps –  I decided to make a fabric business card holder using this tutorial from the Crafty Cupboard.

I found floral fabric leftover from the fat quarter purses I made for my nieces three years ago (see what I mean about having serious stash?). Lucky for me I even had a hair elastic and button in that matched perfectly.

Fabric Business Card Holder

For the pockets, I used fun green dotted fabric from our Christmas tree skirt.

Fabric Business Card Holder

Stashed inside are some of my newly designed business cards. I liked what I created last year for Bloggy Boot Camp but … found the general print to be grainy, some of the text a bit too small and have since changed my twitter, IG and Pinterest handles to match. Meaning the old cards are fully outdated.

New Business Cards

I’m pleased with my new design and the printing came out much clearer. Thinking the white background was a better choice.

Now to finish packing! Will I see you in Atlanta?

Supplies: Heather Bailey fabric (floral); unknown cotton fabric (green dot); Goodie hair elastic; Coats & Clark threads.

Looking for more ways to use up remnants? Check out my Remnant Fun board on Pinterest.

FTC Disclosure Statement: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

When we purchased this house, we were fortunate that all the windows had some sort of blinds – either the 1-1/2 faux wood style or mini blinds. The latter is far from my favorite, but at least we had immediate privacy and one less thing on our to do list during those early days.

Master Bedroom Curtains Arch Window

I ordered new room darkening curtains for Dylan’s room before the move. Those were hung and the mini blinds removed before he arrived. I wanted to be sure he could nap easily at the time and, of course, wanted the mini blinds out for safety reasons. Other rooms we’ve slowly added curtains to as well. We’re far from finished, but we did finally tackle the master bedroom. Truthfully, this mostly came from the fact that we’ll have a new baby next month (getting close now!) and I wanted to be able to darken our room so I could take a nap in my own bed. In the past, I’ve done so in the guest room.

We have 3 pairs of windows in our room, but the main source of light anytime – this arch window overlooking the bed:

Master Bedroom Arch Window Before

I added the white fan style shade within days of moving in to help diffuse the light a bit. This window faces southeast and there is a streetlight directly across the street so it literally has light coming in 24 hours a day.

I searched in stores and online for a couple months before settling and making a purchase. It took me that long to decide what I wanted (print vs solid) and find a room darkening option that fit the budget plus came in 120″ length for the arch window as well as 84″ for the two smaller windows. I purchased Rod Pocket Energy Saving Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtains in navy from Amazon.

We ended up purchasing the rods from Target. I hung the lower two windows and had Trent assist me with the arch window. A tall ladder and pregnant me? Not a good mix.

Master Bedroom Curtain Install

I knew the difference would be great, but wow the impact these new curtains have made visually as well as blocking out the light and heat. They are thinner than you might expect and not lined, but work well. We’ve only been closing the one over the arch window overnight (the other windows have a different placement and don’t get as much light overnight). Our room is tremendously darker and we are both sleeping better. We’ve left it closed on some of the hotter days as well and noticed how much cooler our room is when we get home at the end of a long day. Another plus.

Visually, the room just looks more finished (although it’s far from it and really gets the last attention after the main rooms downstairs and the kids’ bedrooms). The pair at the arch window really draw your eye up and show how high the ceiling is in the room.

Master Bedroom New Curtains

We’ve been in the house almost 2 years – a full update of our last 12 months is coming later this month.

FTC Disclosure Statement: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

I constantly find so many creative ideas on Pinterest. This one is no exception.  I came across a pin earlier in the year of a photo book from Team Studer blog. The idea was to include text messages received when your child was born along with photos from those early days. I thought this could be a sweet idea for a book to give to Dylan around the time of his sister’s expected arrival. Something special about him and a way to talk about little babies and what to expect.

First Month Photo Book cover

Now, admittedly, 5 years later, the phones we had then along with any text messages (which couldn’t have been many since texting wasn’t as big back then) are long gone. Instead, I went to Facebook and used the timeline feature to find messages from friends and family during his first month.

The photo book I created at Shutterfly arrived a few days ago, but we’re not showing it to Dylan until next month. I am sharing a peek here of a few pages:

First Month Photo Book: Birth

First Month Photo Book: Going Home

First Month Photo Book

Want to create your own photo book using the Facebook timeline feature? It’s easy to jump “back in time.” Start by scrolling down on your own timeline until you see the timeline menu bar. Click on “Recent” and the select the year you want.

How to use the Facebook timeline feature to jump back in time to a specific year.

Now select the month from the Highlights menu.

How to use the Facebook timeline feature to jump back in time to a specific month.

Then scroll through to see posts. Copy & paste to add to the photo book. For me, this was fun looking back and seeing all the notes written that I had mostly forgotten since then. Of course, now I have an easier way to read them all – by simply grabbing the book off the shelf.

I’m sure Dylan will love this. He loves looking through all of our photo books and, of course, seeing more photos of himself when he was younger. I’m also planning on a “big brother” shirt for him and a gift from his sister to him when she arrives. Any other big brother gift ideas for me?

Shutterfly Photo Books 468x60

I mentioned last week that I had been pulling together ideas for our little girl’s blue, yellow & coral room. I had purchased fabric at my local quilt shop with the intent of making a duvet cover for Dylan’s crib comforter. Then I realized I had some crib size batting in my sewing stash so I thought I might make a simple quilt with a single fabric on each side.

Then I found a quilt idea on pinterest of a Herringbone Quilt by Alexis Middleton at Persia Lou and my semi-crazy pregnant self decided to attempt to make my own. I started over Labor Day weekend. Admittedly, there were several moments where I nearly tossed the entire thing in the trash. I used the seam ripper more times that I can count. And had to take a couple of cool off moments.

But, I did it. It has it’s imperfections, but overall, I’m quite proud of my first ever quilt.

Floral Herringbone Quilt

The photo above shows the quilt hanging on the changing table I found on Craigslist and painted to match the yellow dresser in the room. I’m debating either a solid navy cover for the changing pad or, if I have some leftover fabric after I make the crib skirt and teething rail cover, to make a matching cover for it. Yes, I’ve gone crazy nesting!

An up-close photo of the quilt details:

Baby Girl Floral Herringbone Quilt detail

My finished squares were 4×4. I stitched a similar pattern to the one used in Alexis’s quilt – leaving off one row of stitching as my design is smaller than hers. Completed quilt is approximately 32″x40″.

Supplies: Moda fabrics – Sunnyside by Kate Spain (blue floral); Robert Kaufman fabrics – Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander (leaf pattern); white cotton fabric from my stash; yellow dragonfly print for binding; Coats & Clark threads.


What a fun surprise we had recently when Dylan had the opportunity to “open” the Disney Store with a little magic!

We set out for the mall to buy some new shoes for school and accidentally arrived before most of the mall stores opened for the day. Strolling around to pass the time, we were walking by the Disney Store when I remembered having seen photos on social media of other kids getting to “open” the store. Without telling Dylan (in case I was wrong), we convinced him to wait outside the store. We spent the time encouraging him to search out hidden Mickeys in the window display.

So glad we waited! I’m not sure when we’ll get this chance again and it was such fun for the 3 of us. Dylan got to dress up like Sorcerer Mickey and do some “magic” to get the book to light up. Then one of the Cast Members gave him a special Mickey lanyard as a gift. He wore it the rest of the day and it now proudly hangs in his room with one from our visit to Walt Disney World last year.

Thanks, Disney, for helping us turn an ordinary day into something magical!

Supplies: Storyboards 1 template and Digi Essentials by Karla Dudley; Bermuda Triangle collaboration from Pixels & Co; Create Something Beautiful kit by Sweet Shoppe Designs; Dude kit by Robyn Meierotto; Peachy Keen kit by Dawn by Design.

The weeks are starting to fly by and we’re beginning to put together the nursery for Baby Girl.

Same as when Dylan was an infant, the nursery and guest room will be combined. We have the space in our new house to split them up, but there were a few times when he was little when I really appreciated having a full size bed in the same room. The guest room is larger than our other remaining bedroom and also quieter & darker.

Having an existing room to build off of gave me the inspiration for the colors. The comforter on the guest bed is navy blue. The dresser is one I found on Craigslist a year ago and painted yellow. I’ve recently acquired a changing table also from Craigslist and painted it the same yellow. Adding navy and coral elements such as the new fabric for the crib bedding to help tie it all together.

I’ll share more photos as we make progress. Hoping to start sewing the bedding and new crib rail teething cover this weekend.

One of my favorite things each spring and fall? A local kids consignment sale – Kids EveryWear. I’ve been selling and buying clothes, toys, and gear at this bi-annual sale for the last 4 years. It’s definitely helped me “keep down the cost of growing up” as their slogan says. I can clear out old stuff from our home and outfit Dylan for an entire season for as little at $60. The average price I pay per item is under $2 and this is offset (sometimes completely covered) by my own sales depending how many items I sell each time.

I typically make at least 90% of the possible highest amount I can return. How do I know this? For starters, I created a spreadsheet that I update as I price my items. It totals up all my prices plus subtracts out the consignment costs (i.e., Kids EveryWear has a single fee of $12 and then return is 65% of your earnings). I’ve built these amounts into the spreadsheet calculations. This way I can see that my efforts are worth it and have an idea how much money to expect afterwards.

Find my full post on everything from pricing to presentation to get the biggest return possible in kids consignment sales on Mom in Chapel Hill today: Consignment Sale Tips.

Do you shop or sell at consignment sales? Feel free to share any thoughts or tips you have in the comments.

When it was time to move Dylan from his toddler bed to a twin bed, I knew it was time for a change from the zoo themed nursery decor of the toddler room to something a little bit more grown up. I wanted to create a room that would grow with him. Lucky for me, he actually helped make the decision when he picked out a fun metal wall art of a baseball player. That was the start recreating his bedroom with a sports theme.

Some of the details have remained from his rooms in both this house and our previous house. The triptych over his bed, for example – he still likes all three elements and now regularly asks me to read the Dr Seuss quote to him (find the canvas quote art tutorial here).

Kermit the Frog and Scout were also “friends” before the transition (as well as Seahorse who was on vacation with him when I took these photos). We added a plush soccer ball to help pull in the theme on the bed with the new striped quilt & pillow sham.

On the opposite side of the room from his bed, is his dresser, larger toy & plush toy storage (beneath table) and a shelf of sports memorabilia.  I had fun pulling together a few items we owned plus a few extras to create this mix. We also purchased on a whim the fun basketball goal wastebasket to use for a hamper (perfect size for his small clothes). When he gets older, we can actually use it for intended use.

Home Goods: Quilt & pillow sham; Ikea: plush soccer ball; Pottery Barn Kids: letter ‘D'; curtains; Target: curtain rods (Umbra), bed skirt, plastic bin with wheels, & monkey bean bag; World Market: bookcase; Hobby Lobby: metal wall art baseball player; BJ’s Wholesale: basketball goal hamper (waste basket); Land of Nod: red shelf; The Container Store: acrylic canister for baseballs; Carolina Hurricanes: foam finger; Durham Bulls: Section 120 sign & Durham Bulls hat sculpture; Autographed baseballs – single a gift; grouping in jar were signatures I got at Richmond Braves games growing up; Consignment sale: light; Thrift store: small table, trophy (repainted); Gift: ceramic baseball piggy bank; Canvas wall art: DIY project. Tutorial here.

I’ve seen so many first day of school photos in my social media feeds this week. Hard to believe Dylan’s first day of kindergarten was over a month and a half ago. I took a few minutes last night to look back and put together a page for his yearly photo book of this latest milestone:

He’s currently on his first “track out” break from the school year and won’t be back in class until early September. The first quarter went well so while we’re enjoying a break, we’re also looking forward to seeing what the second quarter has in store.

Has your child (or children) started the school year yet?

Supplies: Road to Success kit by Karen Funk; Right Now brushes by Karla Dudley; Bugaboo elements by Deena Carter.