Sunday, November 24, 2013

DIY Upcycle Chandelier | Baby shade grows up

With the recent addition of a loft bed (see earlier post) in my daughter's room came much needed space that we were able to "double up" on. I wanted to turn the cubby space into a reading and play area where she could actually enjoy her room without all the clutter. We made her a reading bench (see earlier post) and I've moved her dollhouse bookshelf under there, next to her bright pink chair. The project that would complete her girly space was a little shabby chic hanging chandelier. I priced those suckers online and they cost waaay more than I wanted to spend. Plus they just weren't little-girly enough for my liking.

So, 'Project Chandelier' was born. First, the frame. I found the perfect thing: the old lampshade from the lamp we used in the nursery for both of our babies. It was one of my favorite lamps. I know... it's a lamp - what's the big deal?? You just don't get it. This thing was perfect for a baby's room... it was small, cream colored, had a 3-way touch base... I could turn it on to the lowest setting for those middle-of the-night diaper changes and rocking sessions. It saddened me the day it kicked the bucket. Now this shade will come full circle and be transformed into a shabby chic chandelier for the now 5-year-old little girl whose hiney it shone on last.

So here we go! This is how the shade looked before...

Then I had to get that cover off. It was glued on there to last 3 lifetimes! Took me about an hour to get it all off. This was the result...

Next, Papa welded the pieces together for us. Then Allen added the socket and wiring and painted it... pink, of course!

Now it's my turn! I get to decorate it and doll it up. I ordered some glass hanging bead crystals from Amazon for $11 for 6 ft of crystals. Yes, I found some cheaper, but these were glass and I knew they're be so sparkly. I mean, who wants a dull, somewhat sparkly chandelier? I wanted this thing to be blingy like diamonds.{I ended up ordering another set of them after applying the first set so it would be fuller.} Once I got the crystals on, I put a drop of hot glue on the ring at the top to secure it to the shade frame so they wouldn't move around. Here it is with the beads on it...

Time to add the pink ribbon and white feather fringe. I got both of these at Joann Fabric for pretty cheap. A little hot glue around the edge of the frame and that's all it took to secure them {my apologies for all the background clutter - the LR was a mess!}...

Allen put the chain on it so we could hang it and here it is!

Needless to say, she LOVES her little space now! Here are a few more pictures of the space now that it's done.

She actually slept on her sleeping bag in the cubby space last night. I woke up this morning to her doing a math workbook by the light of her new chandelier.

I'm sure my next post will have something to do with sweets... besides eating, baking is what I do best. :)


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Give a man some plans

Change is good, right? That's what I hear people say sometimes anyway. I'm not thrilled about a lot of major changes, but this minor one is MAJOR to me and I'm so excited about it!

A new view for Abigail
I'm always wanting to change things up in the kids' rooms. Mainly because their rooms are not very "roomy" in the way of space, yet they have so much stuff. Move this here, change this space up, add some storage bins here, etc. Just never really satisfied - especially in Abbey's room.

A while back I came across an amazing (did I say AMAZING??) site that has all kinds of free construction plans for whatever your heart desires. Allen has made me a buffet style cabinet from this same site. Fast forward to a couple of months ago when I saw a picture of a loft bed (probably on Pinterest) that would be so awesome in Abbey's room. I go to the link and it's THAT site I found a while back! Well, I sent him the plans immediately and the thought started to grow legs. I love the idea of the loft bed mainly because it doubles the space of the area! This quickly turned from a "I love this - how cute!" to a "We NEED this!" And so it began...

The original plan is for a twin bed, but I wanted something that would carry her through for several more years and have room for a friend to sleep over. So Allen had to convert the plans to a full sized bed instead. No big deal for him, thank God. {Side note: I have been blessed with a handy hubby.}

After he got everything measured, cut and clear coated, construction began. First, he got the frame put together. Papa was lending a couple of hands and Seth is supervising the activities.

Then he added a few more pieces (with some helpers)...

Now he's getting the platform and stair area added on...

Platform and stairs are done!

And below you'll see that Project Loft Bed is COMPLETE!

*Notice in the picture below, her old headboard is leaning against the bed. Her Dad made that from an old door and I painted it with a pretty purple 'A'. We are going to find a way to incorporate it into her room! Maybe even as a headboard of sorts. ;)

What a cute play area this creates under the bed! Every kid loves a place they can hide away and create a fort of sorts. The little reading bench Dad made her (Mimi and I made the cushion) a few weeks back is so cute under here, along with her little pink chair. :)

At this moment, the happy new bed owner is asleep with the butterflies (they hang from her ceiling).

If you want to venture out and make your child their very own loft bed, go to to check out these great plans!

The next project on my plate is to make a cutesy little chandelier from an old lampshade that was used in her room when she was a baby. It will hang from underneath her bed, over her chair. I've already started on it... stay tuned for a tutorial on that soon!

Until next time,

Monday, October 7, 2013


<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Trying to join Bloglovin'... you can ignore this post!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sit a spell and read!

Abbey's in Kindergarten. I know, seems impossible to me. Five years have flown by and I'm wondering what I've missed along the way. Anyone who knows me well knows my memory is good when it's good and non-existent otherwise. I can, however, clearly remember taking her to my OB's office to show her off, just a couple of weeks after she was born. To show off her natural golden highlighted hair that she was born with.... and her petite little painted toenails.

Okay, back to my Kindergartener. She's reading already. I know this isn't unusual for a lot of children but Seth really didn't get going well on reading until he was in 1st grade. I thought for a while Abbey was just "reading" books from memory, but I've watched her pick up a new book and sound out words. She's read Green Eggs and Ham 5 times since yesterday. It's amazing to me how their little minds can learn new things!

I've been wanting to get her room fixed up a little differently for a while now, and saw a cute reading bench on Pinterest that I wanted her Dad to make. He got it made and he and Seth painted it yesterday. Bright pink, of course. So today after church, Mimi and I made her the cutest, hippest cushioned bench topper for it with a few things we picked up at Joann Fabric yesterday. It's so adorable and it was really easy to make!

I can't wait to get the next project done in her room! I'm most certain it will warrant its own blog post. Stay tuned. ;)


Monday, September 30, 2013

It's feeling like fall, y'all!

I don't remember hearing the word "pumpkin" as much growing up as I have the last several years. Maybe it's adulthood that makes your mind recognize that pumpkins are actually something more than plastic tubs you collect candy in or the big orange balls you scoop slimy grossness out of in preparation of a good carving. Once September hits, there's nothing you can't find in pumpkin flavor!

Well, the coolness has made it to the morning air here in North Central Florida, so I was ready to smell my house up with the fall scent of pumpkin pie. Only I didn't want to make a pumpkin pie. I saw a recipe on Facebook, but it was too detailed and complicated... too many ingredients or steps are turn-off's for me when it comes to baking. So I found one similar and tried it out. It's really good!! It was delicious warm (I was supposed to be letting it cool completely... nobody's got time for that).  It was still just as good this morning after chilling in the fridge all night. When I paired it with my hazelnut coffee with Cinnabon creamer, it was yummy in my tummy! Here's the recipe for anyone interested in trying it:

Pumpkin Cheese Bread II ~ from


Cream Cheese mixture
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 Tbsp orange zest

Pumpkin mixture
1-2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease 2 8x4 loaf pans (I used one large loaf pan).
  2. In a medium bowl combine all ingredients for the Cream Cheese mixture. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together 1-2/3 cup all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  4. Place pumpkin, vegetable oil, 2 eggs and 1-1/2 cups sugar in a large bowl; beat well. Stir the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture just until combined. At this point, you can fold in some chopped pecans if you feel like it. I don't put nuts in my cakes, cookies or brownies.
  5. Pour 1/2 of the pumpkin batter into your loaf pan(s). Spoon the cream cheese mixture on top of that and then add the remaining pumpkin batter on top.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick (or bamboo skewer) inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool bread in pan(s) for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Or, make you some coffee and cut into the masterpiece after about 15 minutes because it smells just that good. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Brown Sugar Caramel Pound Cake... say whaaat?

I had to share this recipe with y'all. It is the best pound cake I've ever made or eaten! It's warm, moist, and the caramel drizzle is exactly what it needs to make it outstanding. This will be my go-to recipe to take to parties, pot-lucks and... okay, just to make for home.

Brown Sugar Caramel Pound Cake

1 ½ cups butter softened
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1 8oz bag toffee chips
1 cup pecans, chopped (optional - I don't use)

Caramel Drizzle:
1 – 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

*Note, the drizzle recipe makes a LOT, so I would recommend poking holes in your cake before drizzling it so it seeps into it. Believe me, it will only make it better.

Preheat oven to 325 spray a 12 cup Bundt pan with cooking spray with flour.

Beat butter until creamy. Add sugars beating until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mix to batter alternately with milk, beat until just combined. Stir in toffee bits and pecans. Spoon batter into pan and bake 85 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean. To prevent excess browning, cover cake with foil while baking.

Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Spoon Caramel Drizzle over cooled cake.

Directions for Caramel Drizzle
In a medium saucepan, combine condensed milk and brown sugar; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently. Reduce heat, and SIMMER for 8 minutes, whisking frequently. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla. Let cool for 5 minutes before using. NOTE: Make sure you drizzle the caramel while it’s still warm. When cooled, the caramel does somewhat harden.


Rewind one year

One year and two weeks ago I had a new baby. No, not a warm-blooded bambino (we would be quite rich, however, if that happened), although she was clothed in bright pink duds and I had some of the same new-Mom jitters I had when both of my kids were born. Susan's Plexus was born on September 7, 2012. About 6 weeks into my journey of taking these awesome products, I decided this was a product that could help so many people get healthy and I wanted to help spread the word. Hopefully I could make some extra money on the side, but I wasn't expecting more than maybe $200/month at most. Hey, that dream of $200 was incentive enough for me to post a few before & after pictures and keep taking the products to drop more weight. I was about 10 lbs down at this point and feeling excited about where this was taking me.

Fast forward.

Today, in honor of my 35 lbs, 22" and 2 sizes that Plexus has helped me get rid of, I'm baking up a new blog recipe. Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Pink Life
  • 1 cup of Munchkins
  • 1/2 cup of Recipes
  • 1/4 cup of Funnies
  • 1 Tbsp of Exercise
  • 2 tsp of Miscellaneous
  • A splash of Sass

Combine all ingredients and and you'll get my Sweet Gators blog. It'll be bringing you something sweet and sassy on a regular basis. Taste and enjoy!

And by the way, that $200 hope has been dramatically blown out of the water each month. :)