Category: DIY

Surprise & Success!

Finally, my mom’s big day arrived! On my very first blog post I announced that I would be hosting a chic, outdoor surprise birthday dinner for my mom. The original plan was to have a simple dinner, however, that soon evolved into a Pinterest backyard extravaganza! After weeks of planning, writing ‘hand written’ personalized invitations, coordinating with her BFFs, and purchasing /DIYing the perfect decor–the day had finally arrived!

My husband and I cleaned and prepared the lighting one week prior to the party since we knew we started back at school the following week. We hung items from the tree and created my floor table made from plywood and cinder blocks.

After a long first week at school, I took my eager 9 year old daughter and tantruming toddler to what seemed like every local grocery store in Dallas to find the best floral arrangements to set off my apple green and white chic decor.

The hubs and I then cleaned and moved all three dining tables to the backyard until 1:30am, woke up at 5:30am to re-hang the lights and finish decorating. Finally, after another 8 hours of preparing food and adding the finishing touches, it was showtime.

Her guests arrived promptly around 6:30pm dressed up in white, just as I requested. I told my mom we were having a small group church meeting that I wanted her to attend so we could take family pictures in white. The best part was that she had been complaining for weeks about having to wear white, how she had to work, and how tired she’d be. Finally, she arrived fashionably late, as always, and was truly blown away as her guests screamed out, “Surprise!” My mom has lived in Texas for just a little over two years now, and she has already formed such a wonderful group of friends that truly adore her.

I must say that the long hours of set up and clean up was well worth it, however, it will be a LONG time before I ever do something like this again!


If you look closely behind me, you’ll see three “Kokedama Spider Succullent Balls” hanging in the tree. These beauties were created by the talented, Cactus Momma. If you are a Dallas local, you’ve got to check out her creations on her Facebook page, or at the McKinney Trade Days.

My hubby’s teriyaki burgers… <3

DIY Ombre Dinner Napkins


I found an awesome pin on Pinterest giving a tutorial on how to DIY your own ombre napkins for a chic beach themed wedding reception. I thought the same thing would be cool for the next party I’d be hosting, which will be a summer chic gathering, with the colors apple green and white. Anytime I see this color combo, it makes me feel refreshed and relaxed. So my party next month will be just that!

So here’s the recipe that I modified a bit…

  1. You will need this… IMG_4908
  2. Prep your water first. I simply kettle boiled water, dumped it in a bucket using 1 part dye to 8 parts water. I was limited to using the liquid RIT dye since the color I wanted was only available in liquid form, however, I hear that the powdered form is the best.
  3. Before I began the dying process, I prepped each napkin by wetting it with hot water. I then folded my napkin in half, dipping the bottom 1/3 into the dye for 5 seconds, leaving the top folded edge untouched. I then repeated the same process except dipping about 2/3 into the dye for 10 seconds.
  4. I then squeezed out the excess dyed water and laid it out on a towel.
  5. I repeated this process until all of my napkins were dyed.
  6. Next, I took each napkin and once again dipped only the very bottom in the dye for about 20 seconds, just to give it that extra dark contrast.
  7. I squeezed out the excess dye again, and set it out to dry.
  8. I let the napkins sit out to dry over night.
  9. In the morning I rinsed all the napkins in cold water and hand washed them with only a small amount of mild detergent.
  10. I squeezed out the excess water and threw them in the dryer as a normal load.
  11. Next, I ironed each napkin, folded them to my desired look and viola! Chic ombre dinner napkins!

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My DIY Rustic Wall Art

The days of over swiping my credit cards are over. The hubs has been watching me like a hawk so I don’t spend money like crazy. And although he is doing a wonderful job at managing our budget and paying off debt; he is also doing a wonderful job at making me a little crazy. So crazy in fact, that I’m coping by becoming more creative–but I guess that’s a good thing… It’s just so much dang work!


sashaagent.comAnyhow, we’ve lived in our home for pretty much exactly three years now, and I’ve been waiting to come across the perfect wall art for our paneled walls. I used to be, what I like to call, an instant decorator. During my single days, I would decorate my apartment with a few mini shopping sprees at IKEA, Marshalls or Target, and be done. Most of those impulsive purchases have now made homes via garage sales and Goodwill. This time around, I’m being more patient and trying to make long-term decisions regarding my home decor.

I recently showed the hubby two pieces of art that go perfectly in our native american/rustic family room. I already knew the answer was no, but I still insisted on sashaagent.comasking because every blue moon, he says yes. Well, the moon definitely wasn’t blue, so that option went out the door. However, last night I was straightening up the house and it suddenly dawned on me, that I’ve had the most perfect piece of wall art for this home and didn’t even realize it!

sashaagent.comOur home was custom built back in 1969, and all of the owners since then have passed along the original blue prints. I’ve had the prints rolled up as rustic decor on a book shelf, however, I never thought to frame them. I had two “not so chic” pieces of wall art that looked like they were from a cheap hotel in 1998. Both pictures were framed in large, yet cheap, IKEA frames. I simply removed the pictures, distressed the frames by wiping tan chalk paint along the edges, trimmed the blue prints–and presto! My very own personalized masterpieces that are meaningful to our home.

sashaagent.comSo here it is folks… The perfect rustic wall art I’ve been waiting for. The best part… It was totally free! So I guess I should thank the husband, or I can say that I’ve actually saved us a lot of money, so now we can buy something else! Ha! Nope!

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