Celebrating the 4th! {In My Own Style}

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Hey friends!  

Well , we got our sweet little girl on Sunday, and let’s just say that we are all totally smitten with her, especially Cy.  :)  She already has him wrapped around her finger!

I can’t show you her face online, but I can show you side and back views of her, so I will be sharing pictures with you in each post. My favorite picture is when we stopped at McDonald’s on the way home yesterday, and the boys were trying to teach her to say words like “straw” and “ketchup.”    They adore her, and she fits right in with them.  She is all girl, but is a little bit of a tomboy too!  

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Be sure to follow me on instagram for more updates. :)


summer spectacular

I am so excited to have Diane from In My Own Style her today!  I met her several years ago on a trip with The Home Depot.  She has such a sweet and humble spirit even though she is loaded with a TON of talent!  I love her projects, her style, and her made photography skills.  If you do not follow her blog, you should.  :)  You will love it!


Thank you, Diane, for sharing your Fourth of July celebration ideas with us!



A big Hello to all!

When Traci asked me if I would like to share a project for her Summer Spectacular I couldn’t decide on just one. With the 4th of July this Saturday…YES!!!…. It is THIS Saturday. The calendar turns to July this week.

If your family is anything like mine, we always have a party at our house on the 4th.

Here are four easy ways I add the spirt of red, white, and blue to the festivities.



1. Instead of flowers in the door basket to greet our guests, I place 3 small American flags in the basket.

2. When it is time to eat, I tie plastic utensils to paper plates to make it easier for guests to fill their plates along the buffet line. One less thing to hold. Tutorial here.

3. One Dollar Store item is always fun, but putting two together with a little DIY’ing makes for one perfectly festive cake stand.

4. It is always hot on the 4th, so I serve up something red, cool, and refreshing to add to the celebration. Red, white, or blue striped straws are one easy way to make any beverage say…

Happy Fourth of July!

I hope yours is filled with lots of good food, family, friends and fun.

XO Diane

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Spray Dyed T-shirts Tutorial!! {Pretty Handy Girl}

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summer spectacular

We are back for another SUMMER SPECTACULAR  guest post!  Today I am featuring my sweet blog friend, Brittany from Pretty Handy Girl!  I love Brit!  We met through blogging about 5 years ago, and she is a rockstar in my eyes.  What I love about her the most is her huge, generous, loving heart!  She would do anything for anyone.  I am so blessed to have her as a friend!

Today she is sharing a project that would be great to do with the kiddos this summer!

                             Welcome, Brittany!!



Do you have the kids home for summer? Looking for something to do with the children before you pull your hair out? Get them outside and hand them some spray bottles full of RIT dye! This is a fun activity that allows those crazy kids to make their own spray dyed t-shirts. All you need are some spray bottles filled with dye, painter’s tape and blank t-shirts. The results are beautiful and unique!

Hi! I’m Brittany, the DIY tutorial guru over at PrettyHandyGirl.com.


I’m excited to share with you this fun summer project to create with the kids. They were easy and fun to make and certainly a project that you can customize to your style. Best of all, the kiddies get outside and do all the work!


  • Painter’s Tape
  • X-acto knife
  • Cutting mat (or plastic cutting board)
  • Print out templates
  • T-shirt
  • Paper grocery bag
  • Clothespins
  • Clothesline
  • Dropcloth
  • Spray bottles
  • RIT dyes
  • Hot water (not boiling)
  • 1 tsp. measuring spoon
  • Safety eye goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • White vinegar


Lay out an 11″ strip of painter’s tape. Then slightly overlap (about 1/8″) another strip next to the first. Continue until you have approximately a letter-sized rectangle.

Cut free hand designs or print out this graphic to use as a template. I used one with stars (you can download my star template by clicking on this link).

Lay the graphic print on top of the tape mask rectangle. Tape the corners of the paper to hold it still during cutting. Use a very sharp x-acto knife to trace and cut through the graphic shapes. Remove any tape that you won’t be using in the mask.

Slide the shirt over a paper grocery bag. This will keep the dye from bleeding through if the back of the shirt gets saturated (notice I didn’t mention “if the front gets saturated.”) Let your child place the tape masks on their shirts. Or assist them if you want some measure of control over the final product.

Heat a pot of water until it is hot, but not boiling. Pour 1 tsp or more of dye and 1 cup of hot water into each spray bottle. Screw on the lid and swirl the dye to mix. You may need to experiment and add more dye depending on the color intensity you desire. (Remember the shirts will always look darker when wet.) Make sure your plastic spray bottles will withstand the heat before carrying them outside (that would be a huge mistake if they melted and leaked all over your expensive carpet! Then again, if you want a new carpet, go for it!)

Tie the clothesline between two supports and lay out a drop cloth underneath. Use clothespins to pin the paper bags to the line. If you pin the shirts, make sure to move the clothespins to spray underneath them. Outfit the kids with eye goggles, rubber gloves, and old clothes. Hand them the spray bottles and step back while they have fun!

That’s my resourceful 6 year old using two bottles at once.

They had so much fun that they even decorated the backs!

Let the shirts hang on the line until they are not dripping anymore. About 30 minutes.

After the dye has been on the shirts for at least 30 minutes, rinse them out. It’s a good idea to use water and vinegar mix to help set the dyes.

Wash the shirts separately and dry them in the dryer. When you take them out, watch the kids grab them and put them on faster than you can say “heat wave”.

Our shirts definitely turned out lighter than they looked while wet. The red looks a little fushia, but my boys think that real men wear pink and I tend to agree ;-).

I am in love with the results and might just have to make one for myself now.

The star shirts would make great 4th of July or Memorial Day outfits.

How fun to have a shirt with your monogram on it. Wearing it is bound to make your child feel like a superhero!

If you want to see my video for fixing some of the bleed, watch here:

Have a happy rest of your summer!

P.s. Have any questions about the tutorial? You might want to watch the video to see how we made our spray shirts. I need to warn you, my boys decided to get a tad crazy silly during the taping:

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Patriotic Centerpiece {Southern Hospitality!}

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Hey friends!   I am so excited to have my sweet, dear friend, Rhoda here on my blog today!  Rhoda holds a special place in my heart because she was one of my mom’s favorite bloggers, and one of the first bloggers that my mom told me to follow over 6 years ago.  Little did Mom know that sweet Rhoda would become one of my closest blog friends and that we would one day plan a blog conference together!  She took me under her wing when I was a new blogger and really introduced me to this wonderful blog world.  Rhoda is like the “matriarch” of home bloggers because she was one of the pioneers in our niche.  I LOVE her!


Welcome, Rhoda!


Happy Summer!

I’m Rhoda with Southern Hospitality, and I’m so excited to be here at Traci’s blog sharing with all her readers. Hope you are all having a wonderful summer so far. I love summer, although the heat this year is already getting to me, but as long as there is a pool nearby, I can stand it.

Since our nation’s birthday is right around the corner, I thought I’d share a patriotic project with you today. This is a cute little project I did last summer for the 4th of July, a patriotic clay pot centerpiece using stripes and stars and of course, red, white and blue, the colors of our American flag.

I’d love to share with you how I did it and invite you back to my blog, Southern Hospitality, for all the details.


Plain clay pots can be painted and decorated for so many special occasions and they are inexpensive and easy to work with.


I started by spray painting all of them white.


And here’s how they turned out with stars and stripes forever! They make a great centerpiece for the 4th of July. That’s the day to show your colors! Stop on over to my blog, Southern Hospitality, for all the details on this project and find lots more inspiration!

Thanks Traci, for having me guest post for you today. Traci is a dear friend of mine and I adore her.

I wish all of you a wonderful summer with family and friends. Summer is the time of year to get outside and enjoy all that this time of year incorporates!


Have a blessed day!

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DIY Patriotic Decor {The Golden Sycamore}

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summer spectacularI am so excited about my next guest poster!  I have never met Allison in person, but I have loved her blog for a while now.  She has the best ideas and her pictures just make me smile! 

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Let’s give her a big Beneath My Heart “Welcome” and be sure to click on the links above the pictures

to visit her blog to see even MORE  inspiration!


Hey guys! I’m Allison from The Golden Sycamore! I’m so honored that Traci asked me to post on her blog today! I’m sure she’s enjoying every minute with her sweet family this summer!

Speaking of summer, I can’t believe it’s here already! I don’t know about you, but when the 4th of July comes around, I feel like we can officially start the summer off. I love spending the 4th with friends and family. Just relaxing, having fun, grilling hotdogs and s’mores (of course!), going to parades and fireworks, and celebrating our beautiful country’s freedom! I’m getting excited just thinking about it!

The 4th is one of my favorite holidays to decorate for, too. It just feels so easy and natural. I always love sharing my patriotic decor ideas this time of year! Here are some of my own personal favorites.

Patriotic Chalkboard Gallery Wall

Vintage chair makeover and patriotic decor - thegoldensycamore.com

Fourth of July gallery wall - thegoldensycamore.com



USA Vintage Decor

The Golden Sycamore: Vintage Patriotic Decor

The Golden Sycamore: Vintage Patriotic Decor



Home of the Brave Vignette

4th of July Decor - Home of the Brave chalkboard and lots of reds, whites, and blues

Independence Day decor - red, white, and blue patriotic decor

How do you celebrate the 4th? Do you have a big party or is your celebration more low key? I’d love to hear about your traditions in the comments below!

* * *

Want to keep up with what else I’m up to this summer? Be sure to find me on Facebook, Instagram, or on my bloghere!

Allison sig

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It’s a Summer Spectacular!! {The Lettered Cottage}

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Welcome to my Summer Spectacular series!!

summer spectacular

I have an amazing line up of some ROCKSTAR bloggers that will be sharing their favorite summer projects with us!

First up is my bestie, Layla, from The Lettered Cottage!

Layla and I met at a blog conference in 2010, just a few months after my mom passed away.  An instant friendship began, and I am so grateful to have her in my life!  Over the past five years, we have had a lot of fun hanging out in real life.  Our WHOLE family TREASURES Layla and Kevin (and soon to be “Sweet P makes Three!”  :)

Beneath My Lettered Cottage

Welcome, Layla!

Hello, fellow Beneath My “Hearters”! :-D

I’m so excited to be here today! I thought I’d share a simple DIY project that I had fun adding to one of our summer mantel displays a few years back.

Summer Mantel | The Lettered Cottage

It’s an easy-to-make sailboat, that will add so much coastal charm to any vignette!

DIY Wood Sailboat | The Lettered Cottage

All you’ll need is chunk of wood (one that’s pretty flat…especially on the bottom side), a twig (that’s at least as long as the chunk of wood), a piece of scrapbook paper, and two little triangles of fabric. (I cut mine from a of my old pairs of jeans). To create the base, I drilled a hole in the middle of the chunk of wood and filled it with hot glue. While the glue was still wet, I stuck the twig down in it and held it in place while I waited for it to dry. Last but not least, I cut out the paper sails and denim flags, and attached them all with hot glue. And that’s it! Easy, breezy!

Happy Crafting!

Layla Signature





Check out the rest of Layla’s AMAZING blog by clicking on the button below!

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How to Build a Window Box


I wanted to share another project we completed during the Lowe’s Home Makeover in Nashville last month!

How to Build a Window Box 1

I have always loved the look of window boxes!

So I was thrilled to hear that our homeowners in Nashville wanted window boxes on their windows too!  It gave Cy and I a chance to make some, and it gave us practice for the window boxes we will be making for our own home soon.  :)

They are so much easier to make than you would think.

Here are the supplies we used:

 1×8 poplar boards

1/4 x 2 inch poplar trim piece

18 gauge nailer with 1 1/4 inch nails

wood glue

compound miter saw (to cut wood pieces)

Black support brackets (we got ours at Lowe’s)


Important tips that are not included in the video:

1.  Be sure to drill holes in the bottom of the window box to allow for water drainage.

2.  Be sure to let the glue completely dry and set before adding the dirt and flowers.   

3.  You can use “liquid nails” and screws instead of nails to increase the durability of the window box.



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How to Build a Raised Bed Garden


How to Build a Raised Bed Garden

In the four years we have lived in this house, I have always wanted a vegetable garden.  Like really, really, reeeeally wanted one.

In our previous home, my dad and I planted a beautiful big garden, and we watched it grow in anticipation of the deliciousness in store for us.  And then literally in ONE night, some beast of an animal (I think a raccoon) came in and destroyed our beautiful garden.  It looked like a tornado went through our garden.  

It was devastating, and I never had the energy/enthusiasm to plant another garden at that house. 

The first year we moved into this house, I tried to plant a small garden, and it was like the hottest, driest summer in a hundred years (I may be exaggerating just a little bit,) and my poor little garden was a pitiful, dry mess.


So for the past three years, I have been just dreaming about a garden, until now!

Now, I have a beautiful Raised Bed Garden!


Isn’t it great?!

Remember when I told you about my plans last month?

Well, I used the step by step plans and videos from Craftsy and Lowe’s to build my garden beds.


If you have ever wanted to build a raised garden bed but didn’t have the confidence to try it, these courses will definitely solve that problem!  Lowe’s has teamed up with Craftsy to bring you online classes and materials to help build your skills and inspire you to grow something great.  YOU CAN DO THIS!

I was able to print out the supply list and take it directly to Lowe’s with me so I knew exactly what to get. 

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 8.38.12 AM

I also watched several of the very helpful videos on how to build the beds, what type of soil to use, how to plant your vegetables, and even irrigation.  I’m one of those people who like to watch exactly how someone did something on a video.  Are you?

Jonathan and I went to Lowe’s one day to get all of our supplies.  Some of the pressure treated lumber was pretty heavy, so it definitely helps to have an extra hand.  I love that my boys are getting to an age where they can help me with the heavy lifting. :)






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Jonathan built all five our garden beds all by himself. 

Then Eli helped him line the beds to keep the grass and weeds out.


I love that this is something the whole family can work on together. We used organic soil from Lowe’s, and it took a ton of bags to fill up our garden beds.  I am so glad I didn’t have to do this by myself.  Jonathan dumped the bags of soil, and Luke raked them smooth. 


There are a lot of critters on our property, so we put a fence up to keep them out.


I am eventually going to fill up the spaces between our garden beds with gravel and add some pretty flowering plants along the outside of our fence.

We still have some more planting to do, but so far we have strawberries, tomatoes, green beans, peppers, cauliflower, lettuces, and herbs.


I’ve planted 6 tomato plants, and I plan on planting two more cherry tomato plants.


We also got some squash and cucumbers, but I haven’t planted those yet.  I think I am going to make some dirt mounds in the space between the beds and the coop to plant those. 


We connected our garden fence to our coop fence to save some time and money.  I love seeing my garden right next to my coop.  It makes me feel all homestead-y and old school.  :)


We have 8 chickens, and I am looking forward to some great fresh eggs in the future!











The boys and I are super excited about the strawberries!  We already have a few popping up!


It is going to be so fun watching our garden grow.  I am hoping to can some tomatoes and green beans this fall, but I have never done that before.  My sweet “gift-mom,” Janet is going to show me how.

It’s not too late to build your own garden bed!  Click HERE to get started on this FREE online course!


How to Build a Raised Bed Garden

*This post was sponsored by my favorite home improvement store, Lowe’s.  All opinions and ideas are 100% mine.


























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How to Build Board and Batten Shutters


Yesterday, I shared the Lowe’s Exterior Makeover Reveal with you, and today I wanted to show you how we made the board and batten shutters.

How to Build Board and Batten Shutters


We had the most amazing team of Lowe’s volunteers to help with the makeover!

They helped us build, sand, and stain the board and batten shutters for Grant and Beth’s house.  

Lowe's volunteers

Steve, the assistant manager, was helping us make the shutters, and I put him on the spot and asked him if I could video him making one of the shutters.

Without any practice at all, Steve whipped out this 3 minute video tutorial with complete perfection!  He nailed it in one take!

As soon as he finished, all of the volunteers erupted in applause!  It was so fun!  I told Steve he was giving Mike Holmes a run for his money and that he was better than most guys on HGTV!   

You are going to love this video tutorial!  Steve does such a great job!  :)  Please give him mad props because he deserves it. 

Here is our supply list:

  • 1×6 poplar boards
  • 1×4 poplar boards
  • compound miter saw
  • wood glue
  • nail gun and nails (1 1/4″, 18 gauge finish nails)
  • tape measure
  • sanding sponges
  • stain  (We used MinWax Dark Walnut.)
  • rubber gloves and cloths for staining
  • paint sticks to use as spacers between boards



If you have any questions at all, just ask!  

Have a blessed day!

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Lowe’s Home Exterior Makeover Reveal


Y’all, I am BEYOND excited to show you the exterior home makeover that Cy and I did with Lowe’s last week near Nashville, Tennessee.   

Cy and I LOVE a good makeover, and this one made a HUGE difference in the exterior of a home.

Now let me back it up a little bit….

Remember last month when I told you how Lowe’s was sending bloggers out to the 10 Bleakest Cities of 2015 because of the harsh winter weather?

Well, Cy and I were assigned to Nashville, and we looked over a bunch of projects that readers submitted in that area.  It was hard to decide which project to tackle, but we ultimately decided on Grant and Beth’s brick ranch home.  


It might have been because it reminded us so much of our own brick ranch?

Or it might have been because of the way Grant wanted to surprise his wife with the makeover and how he gushed about his love for his family?

Or it could have been because we wanted to show our readers how easy it is to change the look of your home with just some paint (and a little sweat equity)?

Or it could have been ALL OF THE ABOVE!

Cy and I both agreed that Grant and Beth’s home project was the one for us, and we eagerly got to planning.   We had a chat with Grant and Beth via the computer and talked about plans for the house. 

The main things we wanted to accomplish were:

1.  Paint brick exterior.

2.  Add new landscaping.

3.  Build and install new shutters and window boxes.

4.  Build and install new porch columns.

We knew we would have to do some more minor changes as we went along, but those were the main goals of this makeover. 

I have a ton of posts planned that will show you all the steps we took to complete this makeover, but today we are focusing on the amazing BEFORE and AFTERS.  :)

Here is what it looked like when we arrived…

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And here is what it looked like when we left…



HUGE difference, right?

The homeowners were wanting to paint their brick because you could see where an addition had been added on to the back of the original house.  We contracted the paint job out to a professional painter.  We knew he would be able to paint the house more quickly, and we needed all the time we could get since we had to complete this makeover in two days!

“Paul the Painter” was amazing!!  We changed the colors on him a couple of times during the first day and he didn’t even flinch!  He handle it all like the PRO that he is, and we were THRILLED with the results!  I told him I was going to share his information with my readers because he was THAT GOOD!  So if you live near Nashville and need something painted, you will be very happy you contacted Paul!

Paul Chisenhall
Genesis Coatings Inc


We started out with the color Accessible Beige (which is gorgeous, but too light) and ended up with Balanced beige SW7037.  We had the employees at Lowe’s tint the original paint color to the darker beige color, and they did it awesomely.  :)


The Lowe’s Heroes ROCKED the landscaping!  They spent the first day ripping out all of the old landscaping and getting the ground ready for the new plants. 



Didn’t they do a great job?  These plants will look gorgeous as they grow over the years.


They also added beautiful flowers to our DIY flower boxes!  (Tutorial on the window boxes coming next week!)

Steve, the Lowe’s assistant manager, helped us make our DIY board and batten shutters.

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 8.19.28 AM

He created a video just for my readers on how to make these shutters!  I will be sharing it next week, and you will not believe how easy it is!

Steve’s wife was a ROCKSTAR too!  She doesn’t work for Lowe’s but volunteered BOTH days to help, and she was a workhorse!

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We could not have done it all without the AMAZING Lowe’s Heroes!  They worked so hard, never complained, jumped it to help whenever it was needed, had great attitudes, were funny and sweet, and were such a JOY to work with!

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Here is what the left corner of the house looked like before…

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 7.47.08 PM


And here is the AFTER…



One of my favorite “touches” was the turquoise blue door.  We painted it SW6486 “Reflecting Pool” in Semi-gloss by getting the color matched at Lowe’s.   It really makes the front porch a focal point!



We hadn’t planned on removing the vinyl ceiling on the front porch, but ended up having to when we installed the new wood columns.  We were able to put the wood bead board ceiling up the second day, but the homeowners were not sure if they wanted to paint it white or stain it.  So we decided that they could make that decision later. :)



 We also prettied up the right side of the house with more shutters and window boxes.frontMy talented husband built the beautiful wood columns.  I will share more of that next week too! ;)  Lots of great posts coming up, y’all!

We LOVED working with Grant and Beth!  They were so much like Cy and I, and our boys had a great time hanging out with their boys.  Again, more on that later. ;)


A HUGE thanks to Lowe’s and their amazing Heroes that helped with this makeover!  We couldn’t have done it without them!

Lebanon, TN Store #1692
Stephen H (Store Manager)
Steve P (Assist Store Manager)
Karen P (Steve’s wife – not Lowe’s employee, but after seeing her work she should be! LOL)
Jason P
Laura W
Ronnie K
Jamie G
L.J. W
Alex D
Robert K
Steve D
Chris T (last initial t, not j)

Mt. Juliet TN Store #2654
Brad W (Store Manager)
Bernie A (Assistant Store Manager)
Brett S

*This project and post was sponsored by Lowe’s, my absolute FAVORITE home improvement store!  All ideas and opinions are 100% mine.





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How to Stain your Patio to look like Tile {#tbt}


 Hey Friends!

It’s throw back Thursday here at Beneath My Heart, and I wanted to share with you one of my FAVORITE Spring projects that Cy and I complete at our previous home!



How to stain your patio to look like tile


This project was pretty easy and very inexpensive, but produce HUGE results!

As you can see in the “before” picture, we had a dull, ugly, concrete back patio like many homes do.  We brainstormed ways that we could change the look of our patio inexpensively, and staining the concrete to look like tile did the trick!

To see the complete tutorial of how you can do this yourself,



You can also see how we decorated our back patio by clicking on the picture below!



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