Free Printable Father’s Day Cards For Nerds & Moms!

FathersDay (1)I used to celebrate Father’s Day. I would give my dad small things I made in school, cards, little trinkets. One year in college I got him sea monkeys. The kind that you grow yourself, they become little creatures and you keep them on your desk. I thought that presents were bandaids and reasons to be happy, which is what you think when you’re a kid.

I have a new reason to celebrate Father’s Day, I have in-laws who are funny and nice and I have my husband who will one day be the best father, but every year I celebrate my mom on Father’s Day, which is why I have included a card just for moms. There’s a reason, which you can read all about below, but for now here are some printable Father’s Day cards for nerds and mom’s who play the role of dad and mom:

 

Why I Celebrate My Mom on Father’s Day:

It wasn’t until around 23 when I realized there was a reason for my father’s actions. It’s never easy to admit yourself or anyone that your parent has a mental illness/personality disorder, it’s embarrassing…but you know what…so is being dragged up the stairs by your hair and your t-shirt because you got a B- on a paper, so is spraining your wrist playing softball and having your dad tell you to suck it up and that you were embarrassing him as you fight off tears and then your coach calls the school administration because she is concerned, so is finding pictures of women who aren’t your mother on your family computer and having to try to explain it to your 7-year-old sister, so is coming home from school to a old trunk with a note that says “you’re going to military school” because you got a B in math, so is standing in line at the Bursar’s Office because your father has sworn up and down that the college you worked your ass off to get into was paid for with your college fund, but he actually spent it on women who weren’t your mother.

He told me that I was his least favorite, I was a failure, I was worthless, and my mom got even worse. It wasn’t until I was in the car with my father and he sped up his car to pull into a gas station just to stop short as he unbuckled my safety belt and I flew into the dash, that was the moment I gave up completely. Many nights I slept with a knife under my bed because I didn’t feel safe. Sometimes I dared him to hit me in the face instead of just toss around and accost my mom and I, that way I would have evidence and could call the police, forcing him to leave. I knew I had to leave and I did. Then my sisters and my mom did as well. Now, he only calls to tell us he will never ever talk to us again, that he hates us…or he calls to tell us that he’s going to kill himself or find my mom and hurt her. I learned at a young age that you can literally kill everything you are trying to save someone else. I don’t think that’s a lesson you should have to learn at 23.

People will tell you “it could be worse” and it can–but that doesn’t make your pain any less substantial. People will tell you to get over it, but what they don’t realize that your most powerful relationships (or the lack there of) shape who you are as a child into adulthood, and finally (and arguably, most disgusting), people will attribute your toxic parent’s attributes to you, they will tell you that any disagreement or conflict you have with them can be written off bad “behavior” and that you use your childhood to as an excuse. They are dead wrong. Stand your ground, if “bad behavior” is standing up for yourself and that is finally something you can do after years of not being able to, do it…and make no apologies. Especially because people that have something to say about your family and childhood when they know how challenging it was, are terrible, disgusting people to begin with.

Over the winter, I saw a Pantene Pro V commercial that featured NFL players doing their daughter’s hair. They insinuated that girls that have present fathers that spend time with them grow up to be better in all kinds of ways. I completely reject this notion. Maybe our moms just worked that much harder! I am not the only person in the “no/not great dad” club, countless people are, including the President of the United States. My sisters and I all have degrees, we are all with great, driven men, and we all work hard and continue to advance in our careers. In fact, I just got an amazing new position that is a huge, HUGE step up for my career and my family. This is because of my mom; she took the worst of it from my dad so that we didn’t have to. She is responsible for all of my best qualities–her compassion, her drive, her work ethic, her unrelenting nerdiness—these are all things that inspire me.

So, if you don’t have a father for whatever reason this Father’s Day, know I’m thinking about you. Also, celebrate your mom today if she is in your life. She deserves it.

 

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Furniture Flip: Vintage Night Stand

Title-2It’s not too often I find something stellar for the right price at the thrift store down the street from where I live, but when I saw this cabinet I knew I had just met my new nightstand. It was vintage, solid wood, only a few warped parts that could easily be fixed, nice hardware and details—considering its size, for just $9.00 it was a steal.

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Bedroom color inspiration found on Pinterest!

Because my bedroom isn’t finished, I had to finalize the color palate I would be using and then choose my colors from there. I knew I didn’t want a simple stain because I had this beautiful paper liner that would look great as a pop of color on something a little more muted.

The first step to getting a piece of furniture ready to flip is to study it. This particular piece needed some help due to water damage. The top was warped and the inside of the cabinet was a little warped as well. There was also some thick stain on it, which meant I needed to whip out my sand paper.

Here are all the steps I followed:

IMG_20150524_1442321) Because this piece was older, I had to wash all of the dust off and fix all of the warped pieces. This was easily fixed with some time and some wood glue.

2) Remove all of the hardware and the drawers from the body of the cabinet.
3) Sand. Depending on how many times something has been stained or what kind of paint is slapped on there, this could take awhile. I had a sanding block just lying around so that is what I used and it took a long, long time. I recommend using a hand sander if at all possible. Especially for a bigger piece of furniture.

IMG_20150524_1553304) Paint away! The paint I selected had a sealant in it, so I didn’t have to worry too much about a million layers of paint and a top coat to seal it. I gave the entire body and drawers two coats and let it dry.

5) While I waited for the paint to dry, I took a pizza box, tossed all of the hardware inside, and then took my coral spray paint and managed to coat all the hardware. This actually takes more time than paining because the hinges and handles are moving pieces. Dry. flip. dry. flip. repeat.

IMG_20150524_2121226) I grabbed the thick paper liner I got from Home Goods on clearance and measured out what I would need to line the inside of the drawer and the cabinet. All you will need is a ruler, an exacto knife, wood glue or rubber cement. When you go to glue the liner to the cabinet, make sure you are in a dry area—too much moisture and the paper will wrinkle. Additionally, once the liner is fastened, use the ruler and gently scape it across the drying liner to force out any wrinkles or air bubbles.

7) Once everything is completely dry, reassemble everything and clean! There you have it, your new cabinet/nightstand.

I absolutely loved the finished product and it ended up being the perfect height for a nightstand. The little details and the vintage hardware were exactly what I was looking for. The quirky colors will be perfect in my bed room and this project was far cheaper than buying a boring nightstand.

Here’s the math:

  • Nightstand: $9
  • Liner: $3
  • Paint: $6
  • Spray Paint: $3

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For a grand total of $21 as opposed to the $175  one I had my eye on, this was a great investment, is totally unique to my house, and almost completely upcycled!

 

DIY Keepsake Shadow Box For Under $15!

Some people love to decorate with keepsakes and traditionally I have never been one of those people. Perhaps because growing up, my family never had a ton of pictures ticker taped around our house. We lived in this beautiful, old Victorian home built in the late 1800’s and my mom kept everything on the inside very traditional; no big pictures, just a few pieces of art here and there. The same thing went for my late grandmother’s home, but for a very different reason.

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Thanks internet, for this picture of my childhood house.

IMG_20151029_215735My grandmother suffered through terrible postpartum depression after my mother was born—so naturally, there were not a ton of pictures of my mother and aunt around. I took a little inspiration from my mom and grandmother for this project, especially my grandmother. When my grandmother passed away at the impressive age of 92, the funeral director gave me a flower from the bundle on top of her casket. I dried it out and decided to keep it—and I have for quite awhile.

I was walking through HomeGoods one day and saw a really beautiful shadow box on sale for $12 and was inspired to craft something that wasn’t just another boring picture, but at the same time paid homage to my grandmother.

The inspiration for your shadow box may be different from mine, as I am remembering a lost loved one, but the concept can be applied to any keepsake. Grab reclaimed, scrapbook, or any kind of paper really, push pins, and your keepsake, and get ready to be creative.

IMG_20151029_220755Materials: 

  • Gold calligraphy Pen
  • Scrapbook Paper
  • Shadow Box
  • Push Pins
  • Quote (I found one on my huge Inspirationals board on Pinterest)

Directions:

  • My shadow box came with push pins and burlap to pin things to. I suggest adding material to the back, that way if you aren’t content with your final product a few years down the line, you can change it out easily.
  • Remove the pins and place them in an area where you won’t lose them.
  • Measure your paper, I left about a quarter-inch of fabric showing around the outside of the paper. Which meant I had to cut my scrapbook paper down some.
  • Grab your calligraphy pen and give your quote a practice run before you try the real thing. Also, when you apply the actual quote to the paper you plan on mounting I would use a ruler—when you are drawing in cursive it’s really easy to write crooked!
  • Once your paper is dry, arrange your paper and keepsake inside the shadow box. I was able to do this with 5 pins, however, you may need more depending on the weight of your keepsake. Mine was just a dried flower, so it really only took one pin to hold up.

Keepsake

I would have completed this project much sooner, but I took a really long time trying to figure out what quote I could use that would epitomize my grandmother. I ended up with something that sounds so much like her and my mom.

“Life is tough my darling, but so are you.”

My grandmother was an amazing lady. She tested as having one of the highest IQs for a female in Ohio when she was a young women. As I mentioned, she battled terrible postpartum depression and because mental health was very misunderstood in the 50s (and now), they tried a lot of things with her, one of which was a treatment that caused her to lose all her hair. She wore her wig with pride, had a sassy demeanor, was one of the most well read people in the world, and took guff from no one. Her best qualities rubbed off on my mom, who is amazing and one of the toughest women I know.

Coming from a family that didn’t believe anything less than exceeding expectations wasn’t always fun, especially when I was younger. Someone once made a comment (not to me, but definitely about me) that “at least their family loved and supported them.“—or at least that was the gist of it, you know how weird social media can be. I…was…furious. I took a hard look at my family, which isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I decided that I come from amazing minds; lawyers, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, pediatric surgeons, farmers, teachers…how could I not be proud and encouraged by that?

I am blessed to be from a long line of smart, independent, tough women—and this shadow box will be a reminder of that and my grandmother. ❤

Thrifty DIY Makeover: $13 Mirror Upcycle!

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I am the first person to admit I entered into the home-buying process with delusions on grandeur, but I will save the majority of that story for another day. When my husband and I purchased our house I believed that we could tackle the decorating processes and our new house would feel like home within a year. This would have been fine if I hadn’t committed to finding unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that I could upcycle and fill my house with. Also, here’s a simple math equation:

1970’s wallpaper in every room

+ 45 plus hour work week

+ my husband’s 50 plus hour work week

= a challenge.

There was no way our 4 bedroom, 3 bath house would come together as soon as I had imagined.

To give you an idea of just how bad it was, here is a before picture of our dining room:

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This is currently the only room we have given a real makeover, and even though we’re still not completely done–it is the most complete room in our house. Once it’s completely done, I will do a before and after, but I have one more project for the wall before I do that :).

One of my favorite pieces in this room is this vintage junky mirror I found at the thrift store.

I saw it and knew it had potential, so I scooped it up for about $8 bucks. My color pallete is an ocean blue, coral, tan, and stark white. Because the wall was blue I decided to make the mirror white with a coral accent.

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Before ❤

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After ❤

Here is what you’ll need to dress your thrift store find up:

  • Mirror
  • Fabric Flowers
  • Spray Paint
  • Screw Driver
  • Pizza Box
  • Hot Glue Gun

IMG_20150323_181128Instructions:

  • First, you’ll need is to disassemble your mirror. Usually the mirror itself is screwed into the frame. Take a screw driver and unscrew the frame and wipe everything down—then let dry.
  • Next, disassemble a pizza box. I didn’t have one, so I used a garbage bag which I DO NOT recommend. the paint will dry and make a weird patter on the edge of your frame. Place your mirror on the pizza box in a well ventilated area.
  • Spray paint away! This particular mirror needed 3 coats. This process can take the better part of a day including dry time, so be sure that it’s a sunny day if you are doing this outside.
  • Once your spray paint is completely dry, start to glue gun your flowers. Tip: The glue is HOT and your flowers will probably have plastic stems, try to glue the fabric to the mirror instead of the plastic pieces. I added flower bundles in the top left and bottom right corner, as to not overpower the pretty frame. In my opinion, the more flowers—the tackier it will look.
  • Lastly, reassemble the mirror, wipe it down, and hang!

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A bunch of these little finds and upcycling projects have gotten me to the point where I feel great about tackling the bigger projects in my house—so stay tuned for more how-tos and a few personal decorating taboos that I hate! (bold gender specific colors in children’s rooms, purple paint [reminds me of the creepiest McDonald’s character, Grimace], nautical everything, and fuzzy toilet seat covers—sorry Grandma ❤

Have a great rest of your Sunday and enjoy the Super-Blood-Havest Total Lunar Eclipse!

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Nom nom nom

Why Being An Anti-Bride On My Wedding Day Was Pretty Awesome!

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I was an Anti-Bride…and I am admitting this for a few reasons:

  1. Weddings, weddings, everywhere! We are having so many weddings at work, like three a weekend.
  2. I just had my five year wedding anniversary with Mr. JD and my friends/coworkers keep asking me what my wedding was like.
  3. People assume that because you know a lot about special, formal events that you must have planned one for yourself, right? I was helping run an event last night and even the ice sculpture guy asked me where I got married and what my reception was like.

For all these reasons (and more) I am embracing my anti-bride status and am kind of really proud of it. Not that I hate brides—I don’t. Many people I love dearly have been brides, I was just not a typical bride—nor did I want to be.

My husband and I were married five years ago in Columbus, Ohio in a hit-and-run ceremony that lasted about 5 minutes. Nothing was planned except for paperwork. We didn’t have rings or personalized vows—we didn’t even have time for vows—and I wore a pretty yellow sundress that I had bought from a thrift store.

My idea of the perfect wedding dress. Very Tim Burton. Non-traditional, but I love it!

My idea of the perfect wedding dress. Very Tim Burton. Non-traditional, but I love it!

Sounds like the opposite of what everyone else experiences on their wedding day, right? Well here’s why…I didn’t care. I didn’t care that I wasn’t wearing a $1,500 dress or had a table adorned with rustic tablescapes and clever programs (I’ve had to proofread enough programs to last me a lifetime). What I can tell you is that on my wedding day I got to give my full attention to my husband without worrying about the caterer, the reception, or writing 100 thank you cards for gifts I registered for.

As a little girl, I never dreamed about having a wedding. More so, I just wondered who I would end up marrying. After dating for a few years, Mr. JD and I were living together, very young, in school, and working full time with no help. We had been engaged for quite awhile and didn’t want to be irresponsible and go into debt or spend $20,000 on a wedding (we have student loans and wanted to buy a house, after all). Some people are lucky enough to have their parents chip in; they buy the dress, spring for the invitations, the venue, etc. My parents we’re headed for a nasty divorce, I was pretty estranged from my father (so I didn’t have anyone to walk me down he aisle) — so I couldn’t ask them to do that — and I never would have accepted their financial help anyways. Honestly, my parents probably couldn’t afford to participate in a big hoopla and because my friends from New England would have to travel, I didn’t want to put that burden on them. Just to complicate things more, my husband was about 9 months away from taking the bar exam, the hardest exam he would probably ever take.

IMG_20150912_172054So..what to do? Get married in the most unapologetically, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants way! I get asked a lot if I regret basically having a court house “wedding”. My answer is always, “It depends on the day”. Sometimes I see “pinspiration” that gets to me a little bit, but at work I am always helping to implement/plan events and fundraisers, so I have an outlet for that.

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Themed cocktail table

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formal fundraiser

For-Kelly-182Though I didn’t have a wedding, I do deeply appreciate things my friends have done at their weddings. The special things. There’s nothing more boring than the standard rustic, wedding. My Rentals Manager at work says she hears the words whimsical, rustic, and fairytale so often when people talk about their wedding themes. I do, however, adore seeing things at special events that are unique and meaningful. My friend Denise, who is Malaysian, hand folded 1000 paper cranes because in Asian cultures it brings good luck to the person who folded them. They made stunning decorations with fun pops of color at her reception. It was a great nod to culture and an inexpensive way to decorate.

So, what would I do if I went back and had more time and support? Probably nothing significantly different. My husband and I hate being the center of attention and we don’t subscribe to the notion that, “it’s our special day”. In fact, my husband said, (not too long ago) “I didn’t need a self-congratulatory party to marry you.” I guess I know where he stands!

I do, however, personally believe that asking people to celebrate a moment in your life shouldn’t mean putting yourself on a pedestal. No head tables, no wedding showers, no 40 minute speeches about how great the bride and groom are. My husband and I know we’re perfect for each other. If I could go back all I would want was maybe a fun, early fall night, a bonfire with all my family and friends, and a movie marathon on an outside projector—sitting on blankets just hanging out. Simply appreciating a moment when I have everyone important to me together, because as an adult—it happens so rarely.

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But hey, to each his/her own! Long story short, you won’t see any pictures of my “wedding” on here — there were really none to take. However, you will see fun crafty things you could incorporate into a wedding…and a lot of love between my husband and I, because that’s truly what’s important in the end.