Handwritten Message Wall Art

photo9I was inspired by a $400 piece of Pottery Barn handwritten wall art the other day and decided that it would be pretty simple to get this same look for free with items I had on hand. I wanted to make 2 different pieces that went together. I happened to find 2 wooden blocks that were the same size sitting out in our shed, but you could use any type and shape of wood and still get this look.
photo2Supplies Needed:
-Wood ( I used 1 1/2 inch thick square blocks)
-2 paint colors, you can use acrylic ( I used Annie Sloane Antionette Chalk Paint so it would match Ella’s room)
-Large paintbrush & small paintbrush to “write” with
-fine to medium grit sand paper or sanding block
-hardware to hang your art if you want it to go on a wall (I used hooks off the back of an old picture frame)
photo3Directions: Paint 2 coats onto your wooden blocks of your base paint color and allow to completely dry. The Pottery Barn art has a base coat of white and black lettering. I went with a pink base and white lettering. Practice writing with a small paintbrush on paper or wood until you get the look you want and feel comfortable writing with a paintbrush. As you can see, perfection is not required.
photo1Now you are ready to go for it! Start writing whatever phrase you would like to have. I like the way “I love you” looks. If you really mess up, no worries…you can lightly sand off the area you don’t like, but wait until it is dry.photo4photo5After the words have dried take a sanding block and lightly sand over the words to give them an uneven grungy look. This will “fix” any mistakes you made and smooths out any paint globs to make it look like a “printed” flat finish. If you sand too much, you can go back and repaint over the spots that need and and repeat the sanding process again. I also sanded the edges of the wooden block to give it a distressed look.photo6photo8This was a very budget friendly, easy and beautiful project to add to Ella’s room decor. I love that I created my own personal art in the form of a messages to my daughter. It makes it way more special and something she can see everyday. So now I want to put personal love notes though out my house as art. In case you are wondering, the other block says “Dear Beautiful, True beauty is kind…it shines from within…You are truly Beautiful” I will have photos of it once I finish the display wall in her room. Have a wonderful day ♥Christina

Dominican Republic: Be the good in the world.



There are so many people out there that are living good lives, who are striving to be good people who do great things. Yes, there is a lot of bad in this world also, which unfortunately, is very easy to focus on. Seeing the good in the world is what makes a difference though, not focusing on the bad. There are so many opportunities to help people in need, to be that person that changes somebody’s day and to spend your life serving and giving back. It’s becoming a common theme among our society – GIVING BACK – I want to be a part of it!

I recently went to a work conference in Dallas Texas where I had the pleasure of being taught by Roy Spence – a big-time marketing guru. You would think he would talk about…. marketing…. right? Wrong. He talked solely about “purpose”. He talked about giving back and “love culture”. I loved every second of it. It is vital to have a purpose; to stand for something you believe in and to never back down from it, no matter what. Without a purpose we have nothing – nothing worthwhile anyways.

I had the most amazing opportunity of my life back in November and I want to share some of it with you. The dental office I work in is, to say the least, awesome. Dr. Allan Thomas is my boss. He is, of course, a dentist, but beyond that he is a really good person. He is always looking for ways to serve the community and to give back. We take part in a charity campaign called “Smiles For Life” every year and again, to say the least, it’s awesome. It’s a great cause. (If you are curious or interested, click here for more information.) Long story short, the money we raise goes to helping children in need. There are many ways the money is used but one of them is by sending people to the Dominican Republic to do free dental work. There is a huge need for the help down there and I was so blessed to be able to go on this 10 day trip with my team.

It truly changed my life.


Yes, oral health is important… (don’t even get me started)… but even more important is service and love for your fellow man.


The entire trip we heard this catchy little phrase: “It’s not about the teeth, it’s about the people”. At first I thought, “oh that’s cute” but soon it became real to me. Yes, we were there fixing people’s teeth, but more importantly, we were there to love them. I truly fell in love with these people. We were there to show them we care, give them our time and hopefully help their lives – but I guarantee they helped me much more than I helped them. They showed me what it is to really love with a selfless love.
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I didn’t realize how much I had until I flew 2,894 miles to the Dominican Republic and saw with my own eyes how different our worlds were. These people have “nothing” in a worldly sense, but really, they have everything. They are so happy and so full of love.
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Although I couldn’t speak their language, I was able to say exactly what I wanted to say to them through actions. I loved every moment that I had to serve these people (even though it was very hard at times). I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

This is Sony, he is 13 years old and he was one of my favorite patients.

One of my favorite moments of the trip happened on the 3rd day. It was Monday and we were working in a small batey (a batey is a small village where sugar cane workers and their families live), outside Santo Domingo. It was a very poor community. We were told that the people there were only able to eat once a day, if that, because that is all they could afford. The men would work in the sugar cane fields harvesting for only a few months out of the year. On average they harvest 2 to 3 tons a day and get paid $1 per ton. It had been raining the night before, and continued to rain almost the whole time we were doing clinic. The rain made for better temperatures to work in, but also resulted in a lot of mud. Personally, I can’t imagine living in those conditions. They live in shacks with no running water or electricity and are constantly trudging through mud – might I mention with a smile on their face. I found myself feeling very grateful for what I have, but very sorry for what these people were faced with. I wanted to do more but didn’t know how or what.

I remember the moment I saw it. Someone from the group said, “TOMS really does work!” I looked down at the children’s feet and saw them wearing black TOMS, covered in mud. It was one of those moments you don’t forget. It made me so happy to see that this idea someone had to sell a product but also give aid to those in need was a success. People that buy a pair of TOMS shoes are also buying a pair for a child in the world without. How cool is that.
Photo credit: Jordan Smith

I feel like I learned so much about our world and about myself on this trip. Yes, it was hard, but it was also fun. Sunday was a day where we were able to go to church and enjoy a day of laughter and relaxation with friends before the hard work began. I’m grateful we had Sunday. It was much needed.
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Above everything else, above all the great memories I was able to make, I think most importantly, this trip taught me how important it is to think of others. It taught me that service and being generous with your time and talents is truly what matters in this life. Not everyone is able to travel 3,000 miles to go help people in need, but I realized when I came back to the states that we have plenty of need for help here. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of life and forget the feelings that I felt 5 months ago, but I hope I can always be the kind of person that is willing to try.

At the end of the week, we were able to spend one night at a nice resort, get a fairly “normal” shower and relax on the beach… and in my case, get stung by a jellyfish! It was a time set aside to think about our week. I’m happy we had this time. The Dominican Republic is a beautiful place – the land and the people.

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I want to be a bigger part of this LOVE CULTURE that is trending. Although, I hope it isn’t just a trend. I hope this sticks around long enough that it becomes a part of our everyday culture as human beings. There is so much good in the world and so much NEED for good in the world.

Be the good in the world.


Design Inspiration: Fun Accent Walls

ellasroom20I have been completely in love with the idea of creative accent walls lately. I have not been able to get enough of them after doing Ella’s Fabric Lace Wall. My brain has been working overtime thinking of ways I can “break rules” and create awesome walls in my home. Growing up, I was the perfect, straight A, don’t walk outside of the crosswalk, teacher’s pet sort of girl. So now I find myself really having fun breaking some “rules” of design. Who says what you can or can’t do anyway? I feel that you should design a space that makes you smile and that you can be proud of. So today I wanted to share some great accent wall inspiration by some crazy awesome “rule breakers”.
Beth of Sawdust & Embryos - I am in LOVE with this wall…I actually love the entire room. So creative and fun…the possibilities to accent walls are endless.

Elsie of A Beautiful Mess - Elsie is one of my most favorite bloggers EVER! The accent wall she created in her bedroom with her handwriting is very inspiring. I love how unique and beautiful it is.

Comfree - I have noticed that I find great inspiration while browsing reality websites. When I stumbled onto the photo above I thought that the windows were a wall of photos for a few seconds. Then I realized it was windows, of course. If you don’t have the option of having an entire accent wall of windows with the most beautiful view ever, then you can follow this tutorial that I found below to print out any view you want to create for your space. I love the idea of an entire wall being covered in a scenic photo. I would love feeling like I am in my favorite vacation spot every day. What photo would you put up on your wall?

Chelsea of Lovely Indeed tutorial on HGTV

Mandi of Vintage Revivals- This accent wall is crazy awesome! P.S. If you are not following these bloggers that I am featuring, you should because they seriously rock.

KariAnne of Thistlewood Farms- Seriously genius! Covering a wall in shutters is so unique and beautiful. It brings such a fun but peaceful feeling to this space. Now to go find some shutters…

Sarah M. Dorsey Designs- Sara designed her own stencil and used it to paint this fun wall. I love the idea of using an over sized pattern. It seems to give the space a more open feel.

Carrie of Lovely Etc. - I have never been a fan of wood paneling, but when it comes to putting reclaimed or distressed wood on a wall, I’m all in. This wall was done beautifully!

Diana of Our Vintage Home Love- I truly feel that you can never go wrong with a chalkboard accent wall, especially one that has cute handwriting or fonts all over it. I can’t wait to share my latest chalkboard paint projects with you…stay tuned!

Emily of A Well Dressed Home- I found this book page wall to be very inspiring. It makes me start to think about all of the possibilities I have for accent walls in my home.
Tim and I have officially decided to start working on our master bedroom while finishing up Carter’s nursery. We are both feeling the need to have a space that is calming and our special place to go relax. You can follow our bedroom inspiration board here. Note: I have officially convinced my husband to get a Pinterest account. Horray! So now he can pin to our house design inspiration boards to give some input on what he likes too. Even though he is mostly using it to pin cars, motorcycles and manly things. Yes, that is the secret to getting your husband to get an account, just show him that it’s not all weddings and crafts. Have a beautiful day! ♥Christina