exciting changes

Lots going on around here!  I'm imagining there's lots going on around wherever you are, too.  This is just a busy time as the school year comes to a close and long-awaited summer plans begin.

One of the most exciting events of the year took place last week when our oldest graduated from High School.  To say it was bittersweet would be an understatement.  If you follow me on Instagram, (jillegal) you might have seen a couple of the pictures I posted.  I used this one on her last day of school, along with my wish to turn back the hands of time.

And this one the day after graduation with the caption, "High School is history!  Watch out world...my girl is going to do something BIG!"

It's true and I've always known it.  I can't wait to see what she does with her future.  I love her with all of my heart, and I am incredibly proud of her. 

When deciding what to do for the special graduates in our lives, we decided cash was the best option.  I made some envelopes {template found here} and embellished them with an accordion paper wheel  and custom tag.

I sealed them up with a sweet little heart sticker.  They are perfect for tucking a little note and some cash inside. 

After seeing a plaster monogram on Pinterest (that I can't find again and didn't pin!),  I decided I had to make the graduates one to pair with the envelope.
I combined two different tutorials and came up with  my own version.  I bought the small, paper mache letters from Hobby Lobby when they were 30% off, making them just $2 each!  I bought a 25 pound bag of plaster of paris from Lowes (I had lots of them to make) and found that 2 cups of it, mixed with 1 generous cup of water made the perfect amount to fill each letter. I used a steak knife to cut the top of the cardboard off and pulled the filler out, leaving me with an empty form.

Before mixing and pouring the plaster, I lined all the edges with clear packing tape so the cardboard wouldn't stick to the plaster.

Don't skip the tape.  It's an important step, trust me. My biggest hint is to work with the tape in long sections.  Because it's so sticky, it's hard to piece little sections in, so just cut off a long length and have some patience.  Pour the plaster into the mold and then shimmy it a little to make it smooth and get all the bubbles out.  You want to fill it full.  It should be dry in about 4-6 hours.  You can make a starting cut with some scissors on an outside edge and then you should be able to peel off the cardboard and tape in one strip.  The cardboard on the back will come off by rubbing it with your fingers.  I got a wet cloth and worked the rigid edges on the front side to smooth it all out.  They won't look perfect, but that's the point.

I think that coupled together they make a thoughtful gift.  Surprisingly, the monograms look a little like marble.  Sorry I wasn't on the ball enough to tell you about this before graduation, but this gift can be for anyone, anytime!  Baby shower, wedding, birthday, hostess gift?

Want to hear about something else that is SO exciting I can hardly sleep?  It started with this thing showing up a week ago.

It was here to do some leveling because we are getting 80 yards of concrete poured at our house!

A cement driveway might not sound like a luxury to most, but we have had dirt for the past 5 years, so this is BIG news!  You can't imagine how dirty our cars, patios and home is constantly because of the dust.   It was a dream come true when I heard the men outside this morning around 4:30 a.m.  They will be pouring around 5 a.m. every day for the rest of this week.  Suddenly, I'm a morning person!

And, maybe you will remember a little project I started exactly a year ago.  It's called The Bathroom Renovation.

Oh. My. Gosh.

The shower began a little something like this.

 And my dreams were to turn it into something more like this:

Well friends, the shower is D.O.N.E!  And it even WORKS!!!  Yes, I am proud.  No, I will never, EVER do it again.  It was the hardest job I've ever tackled, it took me far too long to finish and my poor kids had to shower upstairs for an entire year.  I can only share snippets of it because the rest of the bathroom is still in shambles.  No, I will not be posting a tutorial on anything because I didn't know what the heck I was doing 99% of the time.  But, I'm going to finish the entire bathroom this summer,  and the reveal is going to be lots of fun.  So stay with me just a little bit longer if your patience will hold out. 

This picture was taken moments after setting the last tile.  My hands will never be the same.

This is the pebble floor set, getting ready to be grouted.  This was a big splurge for me, but I think it's going to completely make the whole bathroom!

Actually, there are lots more exciting things in the works around here.  I'm antsy to show you what I gave myself for Mother's Day this year.  It's nearing completion, and it's one of the best gifts I've ever given myself.  I love it every single day.  I think you'll love it, too.  The only one who doesn't love it is my husband.


That's why I had to give it to myself. 

So, here's to a fabulous summer!  Hope you have lots of fun activities planned, projects to work on, family to make memories with, and an abundance of  {creamed lemonade}.  Isn't that what summer is all about?


  1. jilly, your daughter is beautifulllll, and with eyelashes like that- yes she surely will change the world!!! good luck to her!

    p.s. loved seeing all of your projects too~

  2. I'd say there was lots going on at your house! Can your daughter get any prettier? Those lashes are to die for! Oh I admire you for sticking with the nightmare DIY bathroom. It will be so nice when you are done Jilly. Your house is going to be dust free very soon Mrs. Morning person!

  3. My eldest gradates this summer, too! (my posts http://happy-turtle-deco.blogspot.gr/2013/05/college-exams-update.html and http://happy-turtle-deco.blogspot.gr/2013/05/final-school-days.html ).
    May her star shine bright in your life and may she be a useful person in society.

  4. I'm looking for the post the showed a deep sink (maybe concrete), it was a brownish color. I saw it on Pinterest but can't find it on your blog which it was link to. I was wondering what the sink was made off? Thanks!


We LOVE comments and we read every single one. Go ahead, make our day!
Mia & Jilly

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...