DIY Yardstick Box

Monday, July 22, 2013

A few months ago there was a yard sale at the Hutslar house. My parents gave me some stuff to throw in the sale, but when I saw several bright red yardsticks in a pile of their "junk" I immediately snagged them for myself. They were beautiful to me and I knew I could give them new life. 
Lately, I've been attempting to brighten up my work space / craft room so I knew I wanted to use them in that space, but wasn't exactly sure how to incorporate them. I actually brought them up from the basement and stared at them for a few minutes just trying to decide what they would be. I realize that is a little cray-cray... welcome to the world of a DIY-er! Eventually (as usual) the light bulb above my head switched from off to on. As a crafter I can never find enough cute ways to organize and display my pretty supplies. I needed to make a cute little box out of these yardsticks! And so it was born...

I am a little smitten with the finished product as you can probably tell by the gazillion pictures I'm sharing! And it was pretty simple to make which I always love! I used a piece of thin board to make the bottom of the box. I used the same piece of board to make the compartment dividers. I had my hubby use his handy-dandy saber saw to cut the pieces of wood. After the wood was cut, I spray painted the pieces to match the yardstick. If you are using a regular wooden yardstick or ruler you could just stain both the wood and yardstick to make them match. Lastly, I used an electric staple gun to assemble the box. I tried using wood glue, but it turned into a total disaster. It was probably an issue with the assembler and not the wood glue, but I just found the staple gun to be 10x faster and easier. I was able to wedge my divider pieces into place and got them to stay in their spots without using the staple gun. To make the staples less obvious I colored over them with a red marker that matched the ruler. And that's it! 
PS - I love this yardstick box in my craft room, but it would also make the perfect gift for a teacher or child going back to school! How would you use it?


Things I'm Loving Thursday : Berry Baskets

Thursday, July 18, 2013

What would summer be like without fresh berries? I'll answer that for you... it would be horrible and it would be even more horrible without adorable little baskets to put them in. Aren't berry baskets seriously the cutest?! To make them even better people keep coming up with the most fab colors and uses for them other than storing berries. These ideas are so cute I can barely stand to look at them. I want them ALL!

Berry Basket Craft Supply Container
Berry Basket Bouquet
Painted Berry Boxes
Berry Basket Housewarming Gift
Ceramic Berry Baskets

9 Things Infertile Women Want Women with Children To Know

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


>>> If you are new to Lovely Little Life and haven't read my story you may want to start HERE and HERE to get a little background on me and my journey before reading this post. <<<

To all my readers, 

The same is true of this post as is always when I talk about infertility. I have chosen to share this part of my life not to complain or gain pity, but rather as an attempt to be an encouragement to others who may be going through something similar or for that matter anyone going through trials. My ultimate goal is just to give the glory to God, and try let him use me during this time of testing. Thank you so much for visiting! I sincerely pray this blog is a blessing to everyone who reads it!


Please let me begin this conversation by saying that I mean only good to anyone reading this post. I pray that God takes my words and uses them for good and not for evil. I want you to know that the #1 reason I have chosen to share my experiences of infertility is to try to help other women who are in my shoes know they are not alone. The second reason I talk about it is so that others who want to help may be able to gain insight on what women with infertility go through day to day. I am not looking for pity however, I covet every prayer you send up for me and my husband during this time in our life.

This post has been weeks in the making. The general idea came to me out of the blue (I'm pretty sure that was God) and has gradually evolved into what I'm sharing today. These are not solely my thoughts and opinions. These are the shared feelings of women who are currently enduring infertility, those who are finally expecting after years of trying, and those who went through it in the past and are now mothers to multiple blessings. With all of that said, I apologize for the length of this post... I really did edit as much as I could! I know this is a tough subject and it may be hard to read to the end, but I hope you will feel it has been worth your time when you are done.

1.) I'll just come out and say it... we are jealous of you.

Please know that we in no way hate you for being able to bear children and would never wish this hurt we feel on our worst enemy. But there's no use in denying it... infertile women are jealous of women with children. We see the connection, the love, and the amazing bond that you have with them. We see the joy they bring to your life every day and we want that for ourselves more than anything. We would give up everything for it, spend our last dime to get it, and die to know what it's like. We aren't mad that you're happy... we just want some of that happiness too. So there... now you know. Ok, let's not kid ourselves - you already knew, but now it's out in the open so we call all stop pretending we can't see the green monsters sitting on the shoulders of all the infertiles. LOL!  :)

2.) Cards, emails, words of kindness, and caring acts are appreciated more than you know.

Infertility breeds tons of self-esteem issues, insecurity, and feelings of being on "the outside". One little handwritten note, text, or thoughtful action could make our entire week. Mother's Day is an especially hard time for women who want to, but are physically unable to become a mother. I will NEVER forget the handful of friends that sent me a message this year on that day. I went from feeling extremely depressed to feeling overwhelmingly encouraged and touched that someone was actually thinking about me and took the time to let me know. Though Mother's Day is one of the more difficult days for childless women, infertility is always looming no matter what day it is. One simple thought could brighten one of those days.

3.) Don't take it personally if we decline a baby shower invitation.

Honestly, our not being in attendance is doing everyone a favor! Seriously... do you really want us to look sad the entire time and risk a sudden outburst of tears? Nah... I think not. You're safer to accept the fact that we are truly happy for the lucky lady, but don't want to ruin her special day by being a gloomy guest.

*NOTE: Personally, I do ok at showers. However, I have talked to many ladies that don't handle these types of events as well. This point is for them.

4.) We are constantly hurting.

I'm sure that sounds like an overstatement to someone who hasn't been in our shoes. For those that have, you know EXACTLY what I mean and can probably still feel that bitter pain every time you think about that time in your life. Things the average person would never think about add to our hurt every day. Something as simple as a commercial about diapers with a baby crawling across the floor or seeing a mama out with her little ones or even just walking by the baby clothes in Target are all daily reminders of what we are missing. It feels like a huge knife is stuck in your chest and every time you are reminded of your emptiness that knife gets pushed deeper and deeper. The pain, though less intense at times, never goes away.

5.) Telling us to "just adopt" doesn't help.

Adoption will not magically erase the pain of infertility. It is definitely something that most infertile couples consider, but the desire to bear your own children won't just disappear by adopting. Then there's the money aspect. Here is my response to that... "Sure! After we have spent thousands on infertility treatments let me just pull out that extra $25k that I have stashed under my mattress and 'just' go adopt!" I won't go into greater detail about that, but financially, legally, and emotionally it's really not an easy fix as some might have been led to believe. 

6.) We still want to be friends with you even though you have kids. 

I understand it can be awkward at times. You might feel bad about inviting a couple dealing with infertility to an event involving your kids or a birthday party for a child. Yes, There are times where we will decline the invitation when we may feel emotionally unable to be in that environment, but please don't assume that we never want to attend if your kids are present. We already feel isolated because of our circumstances... please don't add to that by excluding us from your lives because you're worried about us feeling uncomfortable.

7.) Please don't give us advice on how to get pregnant. Believe me, we've already read, heard, and tried it all!

We do understand that you are sincerely trying to help, but more than likely everything you say to us we have already tried (and more!). We have heard every story, researched every option, and we really don't want to hear about how your cousin's best friend's sister-in-law knew a girl that tried such and such and magically conceived. That's great for them, but we aren't that girl and you probably don't know the details of her situation or ours. I'm sure that sounds hateful... you might be able to tell that I've heard one too many words of advice from people who have no idea what is medically wrong with me.

8.) Understand that we can't empathize with you when you complain about pregnancy or your children.

I think part of the "infertility rite of passage" is making a promise to God and/or yourself that you will TRY as hard as you can not to complain about pregnancy or your children if that day ever comes. In fact, I would wager that 99% of the women affected by infertility will know exactly what I mean when I say that hearing someone complain about morning sickness, lost sleep, or whiney kids can literally make you cringe inside. When you wait, hope, pray, and shed countless tears as we have you simply can't relate to women that take the miracles they have for granted. We would gladly trade your worst day with children for our best day without them.

*NOTE: We understand that motherhood is hard. We aren't expecting every day with children to be perfect. The point is that we can't relate to women who make a habit of complaining about something we give anything to have.

9.) We covet your prayers. 

I personally feel this is the most important thing that you can do to help and encourage us. There can never be enough prayers going up for women and couples dealing with infertility. Not sure how to pray? Pray for our emotional and physical state and for our faith in God to stay strong. We are dealing with the reality of possibly never being able to have a family, with the physical problems associated with the cause of our infertility, and are on a constant emotional roller coaster month after month as we continue to try to conceive. In addition to all of that, most infertile couples are dealing with extreme financial stress since insurance does not pay for ANYTHING related to infertility. All of those things can be taxing on our relationship with God so prayers for our spiritual well being are welcomed as well. I came across Galations 6:2 while writing this post this week. Don't you love it when God says things so simply, but perfectly?!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this to the end. I've said it before and I'll say it again... I have the best readers! I love you guys! Thank you for making me feel comfortable enough to share my heart.

Simple DIY Canvas Art

Monday, July 15, 2013

How was your weekend, my lovelies? Mine was filled with upcycling, crafting, and house remodeling... it was beautiful!

One of the projects I tackled was this canvas makeover. I had the original black and white "Paris" canvas hung in my office a few years ago when I first purchased my home, but had since removed it as my office evolved into more of a workspace / craft room. The black and white theme just wasn't inspiring me anymore. I have been itching to revamp this piece, but just wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it until this weekend. I remembered that I still had quite a bit of the coral colored paint that I had used on my birdhouse makeover (HERE) and realized it would be perfect in our guest room.

First I spray painted the canvas white. After it was dry I just used a brush to paint a few vertical strokes of the coral color onto the plain white. 

It is super simple, but I love that it is something that I created. Handmade is always so much more meaningful, isn't it? It also adds a great pop of color to the room which I love. From start to finish (minus paint drying time) this project took under 5 minutes, but I'm pretty sure I love the result just as much as if it had taken me 5 hours. TOTALLY my kind of craft! Here is the canvas in the room with a little Rhonna Designs iPhone app fun to go with it! Happy Monday, my friends!


Things I'm Loving Thursday : Summer Stripes

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Wearing and accessorizing with stripes during the summer never goes out of style! They are classic, sophisticated, fun, and trendy all at the same time. Plain and simple... nothing beats a stripe.

Happy 4th of July!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

I'm so proud to be from a country with such an amazing history and heritage! May God continue to bless America. Happy 4th!



My Infertility Journey : Dealing with Emotions

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Every woman is emotional. It's part of who we are... but when you add infertility and hormone medicine to the mix it's kind of scary to watch what kind of crazy feelings can just spew out at any moment. My poor husband... he doesn't know what's hit him half the time! These emotions can range anywhere from sadness, anger, denial, little to no self esteem, and more. Part of it is obviously attributed to the mental trauma of knowing that you may never bear children, but another part is completely physical. I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). The definition is literally "a hormone imbalance that causes weight gain and depression". Lovely, right?! As if being infertile weren't enough let's just add being fat and depressed to the mix. Sounds perfect! Just go ahead and pour me a double of that, please.  :)

And that's how I have to deal some days... I joke, I make fun, I laugh. Of course, I pray mostly... I know without my faith in God I wouldn't be able to have those moments of peace where I can laugh about it and know in my heart that it's gonna be ok. It probably sounds kind of awful that I'm saying I can laugh about my infertility... please know that I don't think infertility is "funny". It's not... it's horrible, but I decided a months ago that I wasn't going to let this thing define my entire life or who I am. That means at times I have to lighten up and make a joke about all of this so I don't lose my mind.

Everyone deals with negative emotions in their own way and if you're like me then you may even deal with them differently depending on the situation or day. Just know that it's ok to throw up your hands every once in awhile and say "Why I am taking this so seriously?". Some of the best advice I've received from women who have traveled the long journey of infertility and made it through the other side is this... "One day you'll wish you had worried less and laughed more." So laugh, smile, and keep going. You won't be in this stage forever.

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