The Todd Nest : Composing the Built-Ins with Color & Themes


We were so excited to walk up the stairs in our new split-foyer home and see these lovely built-ins just waiting for a special touch of lovely.

Here is a "way before" photo from the first time we looked at the house with our realtor. Beside it, you will see a simple "before" photo of what the built-ins looked like as I unloaded our boxes and tried to gain a little inspiration.


As I was procrastinating from packing at the apartment one day doing research, I saw this post from Young House Love and decided we MUST paint the backs of these built-ins. 

I gathered a few vintage inspiration pieces and decided on the color "Cooled Blue" from Sherwin Williams. 


I turned on some awesome jams and began painting away. 

Then they sat there for a few days. Some shelves were empty, some lined with bottles. It was a mess. In between dealing with plumbing issues, utility transfers and all of the other luxuries of home ownership, I kind of gave up on decorating for a few days.


{notice there is no logo on this photo. that's how embarrassing it is.}

Fortunately, my mom would be making a special trip up to Huntsville for a few days to help rescue us from the overwhelming stress of unpacking, organizing and cleaning up the messes we had already made.

First priority? 

Unpack the boxes in the living room, store the painting supplies and decorate the built-ins.

One of mine and JD's favorite things about moving has been to unpack boxes and find things we had completely forgotten about, such as all of our vintage cameras we bought for crazy cheap at a yard sale.

 

Mom and I pulled those babies out, cleaned 'em up and used them as one of our themes. 


My awesome mom was the megamind behind the themes and most of the setting up process. Could I have done this all myself? Probably. But would it have looked nearly as amazing? Absolutely not. At least, not in the state of mind I was in. 

Not sure if this happens to anyone else, but I get stuck in the same decorating process as I was when we lived at the apartment. I want everything to be placed the same way and have the same themes. It's so annoying. When you move, you have all of the freedom in the world to redecorate how you'd like but I was really stuck. 

The world needs great momma's and I'm so thankful for mine!!

She helped to get my out of that rut pretty quickly when she swiped my bottles off the decorating list (except two wonderful milk vases).

But back to the built-ins....


Here, we used a vintage Westclox, a chalkboard I repurposed, the TODD letters Chase and Jackie gave us as a wedding gift, an old Polaroid, a Mason jar with an old camera lamp sitting in it, and (to the far left) a mixed media piece I made. 


We carried the theme of the vintage clock, Mason jar / camera lamp, and mixed media piece to the third shelf for cohesiveness. 


The top shelf has a small, vintage chandelier piece and my two favorite birds plates on display. 


The bottom shelf displays a couple of pieces from our wedding - the chalkboard and the rice jar from our rice ceremony. Of course, we carried the theme of the nest and birds throughout, as this is, after all, the Todd Nest. :) Both of those pieces are stacked on vintage greeting card boxes and Reader's Digest books. 

[photo by Kike Morales] 

[photo by Kike Morales]

If you haven't stopped by our wedding page, check it out here.

We are still getting our annual Jitney CDs ready so be on the lookout for a giveaway on that in the very near future. 

In the meantime, head on over to Ruthy's giveaway at Discovery Street. You can enter to win a $60 gift card to one of our favorite stores, Target!! If you follow Jitney's Journeys on Bloglovin' or any of the other amazing bloggers sponsoring the giveaway, you will automatically get 3 entries for each blog you follow. Oh yeah!!!

So do the happy dance and go enter!

DIY : Exhilarating Bath Salt Soak


Need a quick last-minute gift idea? 

This bath salt recipe is easier than spreading peanut butter on crackers. 

Grab a carton of Epsom Salt, some food coloring and your favorite essential oils (use the ones from your sugar scrub or try a new scent).


I'll be using my go-to essential oils: Lavender and Eucalyptus.


These gel food colors from Wilton have lovely colors. I used the green (left box), and teal and purple (right box). You can use whichever colors you'd like though! Get creative. :)


Step 1: Measure out how much Epsom salt you will need in correlation to the jar you will be putting the bath salts into. I used these half pint jelly jars, so I filled one up to the lid and poured it into a big bowl. (I used three jars for the green food coloring, so I did this three times.)


Step 2: Add the food coloring. I started out with a few drops but thought it was too light green.... so then I added a few many more drops.


Step 3: Add a few drops of the essential oil...


Step 4: Mix the salts, food coloring and essential oil together.

Step 5: I decided the eucalyptus smelled too "VapoRubbish" for my liking, so I added some lavender to even out the aroma. 


Step 6: Smellin' awesome and lookin' good... but still too light green. So then I added some teal food coloring to the lime green salts to add depth. 


Step 7: Wipe out your bowl and repeat the steps with the lavender and purple food coloring. 



Step 8: Perfection. :) Put a lid on it and tie a pretty bow around the lid. 
Sprinkle a tablespoon of bath salts in a warm bath. Inhale. Exhale. Soak. :)

DIY : Sugar Suga' Scrub


So you wanna make some sugar scrub? 

Easy breezy, my friends.

This stuff will do wonders for your skin. Better yet, it will make you feel so fresh and so clean.

We made the scrub during the Life Skills class (per recommendation of my assistant for the class, Amy) and the girls LOVED it. In full disclosure, I became a bit obsessed with it. I couldn't stop rubbing my hands together because they felt so soft... And I may have washed my face with it that night. The next morning was the first day I have ever woken up with a glowing complexion. 

Enough enticing already....

Grab a few of your kitchen staples:
*Coconut Oil
*Brown Sugar
*Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
our EVOO is in a Mason Jar because our bottle was leaking all over our cabinet shelves. When all else fails, fill up the Masons...

And your favorite aromatherapy essential oils:
*Lavender (calming) and Eucalyptus (exhilarating) were our choices.



Step 1: Pack 1 cup of brown sugar into a measuring cup and put into a large bowl.


Step 2: Pour in 1/2 cup EVOO.


Step 3: Measure out 3 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil and add to the mixture.


Step 4: Mix the brown sugar, EVOO and coconut oil with your fingers. Add more ingredients as you see fit. I added more brown sugar to make the scrub more coarse rather than oily.

Step 5: Add a few drops of essential oils until it smells pleasantly aromatic. 


I mixed lavender and eucalyptus simply because they smell so good together, but you should definitely try out other ones. Jasmine would be rockin'! In fact, I'm going to get some today to experiment later. :)

Side Note: Keep a bottle of essential oil in your shower and sprinkle a couple of drops at the bottom of a hot shower for a super soothing sauna experience! 


Step 6: Continue grinding up the mixture with your hands until nice and coarse. Grab a few Mason Jars and fill them to the rim. *You may want to whisk the mixture to make it fluffy before putting the mixture into the jars. 

Step 7: Tie a pretty bow around the jar...


Step 8: Exfoliate with a jar for yourself and gift a jar to someone else! 
*These make awesome Mother's Day, birthday, Christmas or hostess gifts!! 

Which essential oil will you experiment with?

Tutorial : Mason Jar / Pin Cushion / Sewing Kit


Aloha!!
JD and I are finally back from our three and a half week trip to Hawaii! This means I've been postponing my teaching duties for an entire month now. I'm so excited to get back to the homeschool co-op next week. We will be starting our two-week lesson on how to sew an apron. I'm so excited, in fact, that I put together these little pin cushion - mason jar - sewing kits for each student. These are super easy to make (I made 13 within a few hours). 

I hope they love them as much as I do!! 


Want to make one for yourself?

I've seen quite a few Mason Jar pin cushions on Pinterest. I've taken the best ideas from other blogs and came up with this step-by-step tutorial with a number of Jitney's Journeys bonus twists.

Here's what you will need for the kit:


Seam Ripper
Tailor's Chalk
Measuring Tape
Sharp Pair of Scissors 
Needles
Pins
Buttons
Spool of Thread (not pictured)

*Fortunately, Hobby Lobby is holding a 50% sale on all Sew-ology items this week. Whew!


And here's what you will need for the pin cushion mason jar:
Mason Jar
Scissors
Tag Punch (only if you have one laying around)
Cardstock
Hot Glue Gun
Super Cute piece of Fabric (measuring approx. 5.5" x 5.5")
Poly-fil (see image below)


Ready?

Let's do this...


Step 1: Punch out a circle from a piece of cardstock. You will glue this onto the back of the Mason Jar lid next. This tag punch measures 2.5" in diameter. If you do not have a tag punch around this size (should be 2.5" or smaller in diameter), you may freehand a circle with the approx. diameter or trace the lid and cut about 1/8" off. The tag punch is, by far, the quickest and easiest solution.


Step 2: Hot glue the circle to the back of the Mason Jar lid. The cardstock helps to adhere the fabric. 


Step 3: Cut a 5.5" x 5.5" square of fabric. 

Thank you, Hobby Lobby, for selling super cute fabric. 


Step 4: Lay the front of the Mason Jar lid onto the wrong side (or back) of the fabric. Place a dollop of hot glue one side and adhere. Don't glue anything else yet. 


Step 5: Grab a handful of Poly-fil. You can use as much as your heart desires, but a handful was sufficient.

I tried to take photos of every step but it got a little tough here, as I only had one hand to work with while the other was snapping photos. Multi-tasking at its best. ;) 

Step 6: Place the ring of the lid upside down on a flat surface. Stuff the Poly-fil in between the fabric and lid in as much as a puffy ball as possible. Push the stuffed fabric-Poly-fil through the ring and align the lid into the ring. You may want to add or subtract some of the Poly-fil here.

Step 7: Try to pull the fabric around the ring while holding the lid in securely, so that there are no cinches of fabric. Now your lid should look similar to the bottom right pic above.  


Step 8: Pull the fabric in small amounts (may need to be twisted or trimmed in some areas so it won't be too bulky) and begin hot gluing. Once you have almost finished a semi-circle, take the other side and glue it so that there is a straight line across of fabric. Take the bottom of the semi-circle and twist it just enough to a point where you can tuck it into the straight line going across. It should look like the bottom right picture. Hot glue that baby in.

Tip: Toothpicks are a great way to tuck in the fabric without getting the scolding hot glue all over your fingertips. 


Step 9: Admire your new pin cushion and get super pumped about sticking some pins in it! 


Step 10: Adorn it with lovely colored pins, fill it up with sewing essentials and get ready to host a sewing party!!


*You can use a thread and needle instead of hot glue, but I've found that the backside of the lid doesn't look so nice if you do it that way. No worries, we will not be using hot glue when sewing aprons for the Life Skills class. ;)

The Epic Shabby Chic Bridesmaid Luncheon for a Dear, Dear Friend

My mom and I hosted a bridesmaids' luncheon for my first "BFF", Emily Perry. We met at the age of two and have been friends ever since... yeah, 22 years. THAT is sisterhood. Her and her sweet new husband, Brian, dated for eight years and have finally TIED THE KNOT!!

Anyways, I have been so. stinkin. EXCITED. to show you photos of all mom and I put together. Among many other things, Mom (referred to earlier posts as "Mama E") set up all of the centerpieces and decorated the mantel; while I made the chargers, mason jar glasses and table runners. 

Meet Mrs. Gardner...


Mama E: "Tomorrow, call me 'Mrs. Gardner'."
Me: "No mom! We're not going to call you 'Mrs. Gardner'. That's going to be Emmy's new name."
(I was thinking it was a game she was wanting to play.)
Mama E: "Yeah. Call me 'Mrs. Gardner'..."
Me: "No, mom. Seriously, we are not calling you 'Mrs. Gardner' all day."
Mama E: "I'm talking about what you should write on the chalkboard!!"
Me: "Hahaha - oh. Well, maybe we should write, 'Tomorrow we shall call her Mrs. Gardner' instead...?"
Mama E: "Oh yeah. That would be much better."


The bride and bridesmaids' table. 
Notice there is an old school desk to the bottom left-hand corner. That's what you throw in when you miscount the number of guests coming. 


Mom used kitchen towels for the napkins to provide a more aesthetically pleasing presentation.

The bridesmaids and bride sat at the "groom" table, and the families of the grom and bride sat at the "bride" table. Thank you, Scrabble.


These lovely monogrammed jars with a chalkboard lid will be sold in our Etsy shop SOON!!


Drink Options:
Cucumber Water 
water with slices of cucumbers and branches of mint and rosemary - this refreshing water ran out QUICKLY
Virgin Mimosas
orange juice and sparkling grape cider
Coffee


The "marriage" mantel. Mom set all of this up. Isn't it lovely? We threw the vintage book wreath together in no time!


Menu Options:
Various flavored muffins
Mini pecan pie muffins
Heart-shaped fruit with dip
Egg & bacon casserole
Egg & sausage mini casseroles
French toast casserole
Italian cream cheese cake

My parents' neighbor, Amy, helped out with some of the delicious menu options!



The entire luncheon was a HUGE hit! 
Brian & Emily's wedding took place Sunday night. 
The wedding was beautiful and flashbacks of our childhood created kiddie pools of tears in my eyes.
Emily is such a blessing to my life. 
JD and I wish them both a lifetime of pure bliss!!


"This way... to happily ever after."


New Etsy Arrivals Coming Soon to Jitney's Journeys!!

You've asked for it and we are about to rock your face off with some new amazing stuff in our Etsy shop


Prepare yourself.

And your wallet. ;)


Mark your calendars for August 20. We will have an awesome Release Party going on right here at Jitney's Journeys where we will introduce all of our new handmade products. 

In the past two weeks, we've added a new member to our team... Mama E [my mom]. Talent truly flares from her fingertips like a freshly-lit sparkler. It baffles us. We're thankful for her inspiration and the joy she takes in sharing her creativity with our shop. 


Are you dying for a sneak peek yet?! Ok. Ok. Here's a few snapshots to tickle your fancy...



People always come to our little home and ask, "Where did we get that awesome LOVE banner from?" We made it. And now you can have one too! It's on super heavy duty cardstock... as in, I had to put on safety glasses just to use the scroll saw to cut out these letters. In fact, I don't think I would even classify the backing as cardstock. It's that intense. :)

These other pieces were created by Mama E. We (especially, I, Whitney) are infatuated with birds and nests. They have such a sweet spirit about them, but at the same time, scream freedom. That's my style.


Glass-etched, monogrammed Mason jars


And this. Oh. Isn't it just lovely? I have officially created burlap napkin rings. It was a far cry from an easy task, but we're really hoping people will fall in love with them as much as we have. 

Who wants some fantastic Chevron napkins? This girl does. I think we'll put some of those up in our shop too. 


Follow us on Instagram for more sneak peeks over the next two weeks.
@jitneysjourneys