Archives for October 2017

10.28.17

Orb Chandelier

We have been living in our home for over a year now and we have made several improvements. We bought the house with a lot of little changes in mind. We are taking our time updating our home painting, changing lights, and decorating. I like to DIY whenever I can but that becomes a big challenge when you have young kids. Which is one reason why it’s taking so long to re-do things. Our most recent update is this beautiful Y-Decor Rustic Bronze Orb 6-Light Circular Foyer Chandelier by Y-Decor.

We used to have an ugly, shiny gold pendant light hanging in this foyer. It was an eye sore. I couldn’t stand it and I honestly don’t know why it has taken me so long to replace it. Well……choosing the new light was a bit challenging because there are SO many awesome chandeliers out there. I ended up falling in love with the Orb Chandelier though. Pinterest was my best friend during this process. I found our chandelier on Overstock.com. It was a really good price and I got an additional 10% off PLUS 4% cash back through Ebates. The chandelier came mostly assembled. We had to hang some of the crystals on the chandelier, but it was easy.

We hired an electrician to come hang it since our foyer is 22 feet high. He had the tallest ladder available and it almost didn’t make it. He had to stand on the very top….scary! The electrician was actually more than the chandelier! Unfortunately they also charged for travel time which doubled what it would have cost. I’m still happy that we decided to hire them to hang it. There would have been no way we could have gotten up there and done it ourselves safely OR successfully.

I constantly second guessed my choice in this chandelier until it was hung. Now that it’s up I love it so much. It’s perfect for our foyer. It really opened my eyes to how much changing a light fixture can update a space. It’s even easier than paint!

Now I am shopping around for a chandelier to hang in our dining room. There is another large gold one in there that desperately needs to be replaced or painted. I have been toying around with the idea of painting it because the style of that chandelier is still nice. I don’t know yet. Pinterest here I come!

10.24.17

Hamilton Pool, Texas

While we were camping at Inks Lake State Park we spent a day at Hamilton Pool since it was nearby. This place is definitely a site to see. It is incredible. Pictures do not do it any justice. It’s much larger and grander in person. It’s $15 per car and after October 1 they don’t require reservations anymore. You have to check ahead of time to see if they are allowing swimming because sometimes they don’t. The parking lot is very small and they only allow a limited number of visitors. We went on a Thursday morning in October so there was not too many people there. We got in right away without any lines. The short hike down to the pool is pretty steep and uneven. I was shocked that they haven’t built better steps down considering how many visitors come every year. I had Elliot in a baby carrier and there were moments that I was worried about falling with him. We packed down a picnic and inflatables so we had our arms full.

Once we got down the hill the trail splits. You can go right to the pool or left 0.6 miles to see¬†Pedernales Falls. The beach for Hamilton Pool is very small so its clear why they can only allow a small amount of people in every day. There isn’t much shade and the beach is gravel instead of sand. Here are some things I recommend bringing with you on your visit:

  • Inflatables
  • Blankets to sit on (you can leave towels in the car)
  • Shade if you don’t like the sun
  • SPF
  • Snacks
  • Water Shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera

 

These pictures are not the best quality since I only had my GoPro with me. If you google Hamilton Pool you’ll see some amazing pictures. I hope you get a chance to visit soon! Texas amazes me. Just when I think we’ve seen every place to visit more keep popping up and blowing us away. Now I’m itching to get out and see more. Have you visited Hamilton Pool? What did you think?

10.21.17

Inks Lake State Park

I have a new Texas State Park review for you guys this week! We recently went to Inks Lake State Park North of Austin. It’s a nice lake for fishing, swimming, camping, and well whatever you imagine a lake would be good for. We camped her for 3 nights and we enjoyed out time. Actually we wished we could have spent more time around the lake. We had planned outings to near by sights so we didn’t have enough time at Inks Lake. When we arrived it was a little stressful because we were trying to find a spot that was wooded, close to a bathroom, and with lake access. The 200+ loops were pretty wooded but all the spots on the lake were booked. I can’t wait until TSP add the function that you can pre-book spots online (Jan 2019).

After a long drive writing down desirable spots and learning that they were all booked, we settled for spot #45. This was was wooded and bit and really close to the lake. This campground does not offer sewer hookups as far as I know….. That really stunk. We did have water and electric though. The spot was nice and level. We had a good campfire ring and picnic table. It wasn’t as great as some of the other sites we saw, but it was OK. I would rate it a 3/5.

The bathrooms were OK too. If you are sensitive to creepy crawlies you will not like the bathroom. I took Audrey to shower there and there were bugs and spiders all over the place. There was plenty of hot water though – silver lining! Our shower was actually pretty cool because it had a short shower head and a tall one so we could both shower at the same time. The con was that the drain didn’t drain quick enough so we were soon standing in a pool of floating bugs. Some were dead and some were backstroking near our feet. I am not too squeamish about insects, especially when we are camping. We are on their turf after all. But the floating bugs in the shower were kind of gross. So I would rate the bathrooms 3/5.

One thing I really like about TSP is that they usually have a playground for kids. It’s really helpful when you get back to camp and your kids still have a full tank of energy. They also had a volleyball net! I should have taken more pictures of the camp store because it was better than most. They had a small food truck that sold hot dogs and root beer floats – although I never saw it open. The store has a deck that you can sit on and eat your meal. You can also rent kayaks and canoes for a good price. I think it was $15/hour but the longer you rented the more of a discount you received.

We did go fishing and the kids caught a crappy! We all wished we could have fished more, but we had our days planned. Inks Lake is super close to Longhorn Cavern State Park and that place is beautiful! I will post separately about our tour in the Cavern. The next day we drove an hour to Hamilton pools. We had an amazing time there. Texas has some really beautiful spots in places you’d never guess. I’ll post pictures of these places for you soon!

I would give this visit to Inks Lake State Park a 3/5. I think our spot could have been better and that did effect the rating I gave. I hope we can come back and get one of the more wooded spots by the lake. We arrived Monday afternoon so I was shocked we weren’t able to get one yet during the week.

10.17.17

DIY Hanging Ghost Halloween Decoration!

Halloween is almost here guys! Are you as excited when the Holidays come around as I am? I LOVE decorating. It starts with Halloween and doesn’t end until New Years. This year I felt like we were missing something though. We have a lot of low hanging branches that are perfect for hanging decorations on. I went to Walmart and their hanging ghosts were $14-$30 EACH! They were basically pieces of plastic with a cloth hanging over them so I thought I would find a quick and easy way to make them at home.

Fabric is pretty expensive now days so I decided to use gossamer. I bought a whole roll on Amazon for this project.

I had some scrap wood in our garage that I used the circular saw to cut into stake size pieces. If I didn’t have so much scrap wood I would have gone to Home Depot and bought some 1×1’s.

You’ll need:

  • Gossamer
  • Wood 1×1’s (I used scrap wood)
  • String (I used cotton cooking string from my kitchen)
  • Scissors
  • Drill
  • 1 inch Screws
  • Drill bit for large holes
  • White spray paint

Start by cutting your wood into 10-12 inch pieces. Then screw them together like a “t”. I used a single screw and it worked fine. Now drill a hole with a drill bit large enough to fish your string through. It helps to have your wood painted white because the wood will show a bit through the gossamer. Mine scrap wood was already painted so I was able to skip that step. Luckily spray paint is simple enough.

Once you have the “skeleton” of the ghost built I rolled out the gossamer. You’ll have to decide what look you’re going for with your ghost. I didn’t want my fabric hanging down too long so I cut about a 7 foot sheet of gossamer.

Next is probably the most tricky part of the whole ghost! You have to puff out the gossamer enough in the shape of a ball. I thought my ghost looked better with a head so this is why I did this. Once you have a semi round shape tie it off tightly with your string.

Now cut a one inch slit at the top of your ghost’s head so you can reach the hole you drilled. Now fish the string through the drilled hole and tie it in a double knot.

The best part about this DIY is that it cost me less than $30! I only made 10 ghosts but if I needed to I could make many more. That’s only $3/ghost which is pretty darn good as far as I’m concerned. Are you guys ready for Halloween!? What are you’re favorite things about this Holiday?

I hope you enjoyed this DIY!