Colorado Dreamin’ | A Week Itinerary

Colorado Travel Itinerary

When I tell someone about our trip to Colorado, I usually wind up with a bewildered look.  It seems that we were able to pack a lot of adventure into the 8 days that we were out there.  To kick off my recommendations and snaps (that are sure to be different from the scenes I’ve shared on Instagram), I thought an overall look at our week would be a good place to start…

Day 1  

Red-eye flight from Orlando to Denver.  We chose this because it would maximize our time in Colorado without taking extra days off work.  Also, after two flights with Frontier, it’s safe to say we won’t be flying with them again.

Drive to Rifle, CO (approx. 3 hours).  Maybe not the best idea after work all day and a three hour flight that was an hour late.  But, with a two-hour time change and the excitement of being somewhere new, it worked.

Day 2

Rife Falls State Park
Rifle Gap State Park
Drive to Glenwood Springs (approx. 30 minutes)
Iron Mountain Hot Springs

Day 3

Drive to Snowmass, CO (approx. 45 minutes)
White River National Forest

Rocky Mountains, Colorado

Day 4

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
Drive to Boulder, CO (approx. 3 hours)

Read about Days 2-4 here!

Day 5

Rocky Mountain National Park
Estes Park

See some snaps from RMNP, Day 5 and 8!

Day 6

Wyoming Territorial Prison

Pictures from Wyoming!

Day 7

Colorado Springs
Garden of the Gods
Cripple Creek
Victor Mine

Scenes from the Mine!

Day 8

Rocky Mountain National Park
Grand Lake

See some snaps from RMNP, Day 5 and 8!

Day 9

Downtown Boulder
Red Eye Flight back to Orlando.  1.5 hours late.  Making the last day of vacation / Sunday before work starts pretty much useless!

Red Rocks at Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs

Check soon, as I’ll have more to share about our trip!

Make Your Own Flat Lay Backgrounds for Less than $5 | How-to

When you scroll through instagram, are you tired of seeing all of those stark white backgrounds for flat lays?  Me neither, as they look so clean, and a good white background really makes things pop.  But, sometimes photos can use a little more pop of color.  This weekend, I figured out two ways to make a flat lay backdrop for under $5.  Of course, these can also be propped up to use as a background as well.

Flat Lay Backdrop #1.

DIY Flat Lay Back Drop
What you’ll need:
  • Poster board- .97 cents from Target 
  • Drawer liner- $3 from the Dollar Spot at Target
  • Scissors or X-acto knife
  • Credit Card or Starbucks Card
The theory behind this is super easy.  The execution may take some practice.  I made three back drops this way, and truthfully, they all have good and bad spots.  That may or may not be noticed in pictures.
Starting at one corner of the poster board, carefully unroll the backing of the drawer liner and press firmly to the poster board. 
Use a credit card (I used my trusty Starbucks card!) to eliminate any bubbles as you go.  The hardest part about this is getting the liner started.
Once you get to the end of the board, use the X-acto knife or a pair of scissors to cut the paper.  The $3 rolls from Target should have enough left over to finish covering the last four inches or so of the poster board.  I learned some patterns are a little harder than others to match up and keep even.  For instance, a herringbone patter was nearly impossible for me to line up, while the polka dots were definitely the easiest.
DIY Flat Lay Back Drop
Now, flip that .97 cent poster board over for…

Flat Lay Backdrop #2

DIY Flat Lay Back Drop with Wrapping Paper
What you’ll need:
  • Poster board (if you didn’t flip it over) 
  • Pretty wrapping paper –  $1.50 from Michaels
  • Modpodge – $1 from the Dollar Spot at Target
  • Sponge or paint brush
  • Scissors or X-acto knife
Again, super easy theory, and the execution was actually much easier than the contact paper.
Smear some Modpodge glue onto the poster board, and spread it out with a paint brush or sponge.  Work in sections because it dries quickly!
Lay the wrapping paper evenly onto the board and smooth out.  You’re probably going to have a lot of wrinkling unless you get super thick paper.  I learned that having a print that is a little more “busy” should mask the wrinkling.
Once the paper is attached to the poster board, slather another couple layers of Modpodge on top.  It’ll look white and streaky, but dries clear.  This is an especially important step if you had to cut another piece of paper and apply- the glue on top will seal it.
DIY Flat Lay Back Drop with Wrapping Paper
If you notice with each of these options, I decided to use prints that only used two colors.  I think anything more of that (especially with a more wild pattern!) would distract too much from the items you’re displaying.
For under $10, you can get TWO different flat lay backdrops!  Some day, I’ll actually take some [other] photos actually using them!
Linking with Biana!

A Quick Chair Reupholstery DIY | Weekending

While this weekend has been fairly quiet, I did get one project DONE!

Basic Chair Cushion Reupholstery DIY

I’ve had a little desk chair for 3 years that I’ve been meaning to reupholster but never got around to.  Also, I’ve never reupholstered anything before.  But, this looked simple enough seeing as it’s just the seat that has fabric.  It turned out to be a little harder than I thought, but completely doable.  The best part- it didn’t cost a penny!

So, this little chair started out looking like this:

Basic Chair Cushion Reupholstery DIY

Side note:  This will also be a post full of not so great photography.  Once I got in the right mind to do this.  I couldn’t be bothered with stopping and taking millions of pictures!

I’m not sure how old the fabric is on it, but I know that there was virtually NO padding.  An hour sitting in this and it hurt.

First thing’s first.  Flip the chair over and remove the seat from the frame.  I got lucky; it only had 3 out of 4 screws.

DIY Upholstery

Next, use what ever tools you can get your hands on to remove the old fabric from the seat.  I had a flat head screw driver, a paint can opener, and a pair of needle nose pliers.

Basic Chair Cushion Reupholstery DIY

I got a nasty surprise in the form of mustard yellow velour fabric under this… and under that, an old green damask print.  Finally under that was the original.  I have no idea how old this chair is, but I know it probably hasn’t had the fabric changed in like 30 years.

I left the original silky striped fabric in place.  Mostly because this appears to be the only layer that was professionally done, and the staples were rusted and I could not remove them.

Basic Chair Cushion Reupholstery DIY

Here’s where I got creative.  If you don’t have any foam, go buy a couple inch thick piece from the craft store.  I had the remains of a king size mattress topper, which was also used in creating the cushions for the breakfast nook.  I just laid the seat (now basically a piece of plywood with old fabric on it) on the foam and used a utility knife to cut around it.  I cut 3 sides just about exact, but made the front a little longer, so it would curve around the wood where my knees would hit.

Basic Chair Cushion Reupholstery DIY

I stapled the longer side on first, and then pulled it tight and stapled along the top, (back side) as close to the edge as I could get.  Just to hold the foam in place.  So when the seat is in position, the edge with the foam will be the front.

Basic Chair Cushion Reupholstery DIY

Adding the fabric was the most difficult part.  I stapled the left side first, and left a lot of space to figure out how to tightly wrap the fabric on the next side (with the foam edging) and make a clean corner.  After two sides were in place, I went back and stapled the corner in between.  You may be able to notice there are about 12 staples in that corner.  Whoever gets this chair after me will have fun.  With two sides done, it was easier to pull the fabric taut to staple the right side and back.

My biggest tip:  if your corner starts puckering.  Staple the sh*t out of it.  Actually that goes for the sides too…

Basic Chair Cushion Reupholstery DIY

Next, flip her over and reattach with same three screws!  I really need to find a fourth one to work…

Basic Chair Cushion Reupholstery DIY

And that’s it!  This whole thing can be done in about an hour.  Or less, if you know what you’re doing.  But I ran out of staples, then got sidetracked by the pool.  It got done, though, and I love it!  I’m thinking about painting the frame, but I’m not sure what color yet.  White would match my table and bench in the breakfast nook, which this chair sometimes is.  The cushion fabric is also left over from the pillows on the bench.  But, that’s a lot of white in that little area!

So, if you guys have any suggestions on color, let me know!

Linking with Biana today!

5 Quick Stops in the Florida Keys

5 Places to See and Eat in the Florida Keys

One of the biggest benefits of living on the Southern part of the Treasure Coast, is the opportunity to drive down to the Florida Keys for a long weekend.  Scott and I love to explore different areas, but we always seem to be drawn to, and find the most joy out of, the less crowded spots.  These five quick stops in the Keys are no exception- and you will still have plenty of time for relaxing on the beach!

Fort Zachary Taylor, Key West

Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, Key West, Florida

Time to Explore: 1 1/2 hours including lunch.  Fort Zachary Taylor used to actually sit on the coast of Key West, but due to the receding ocean, there is now a nice little beach attached to the park, which was very crowded.  We only ran into a handful of people while exploring the fort.  The dark rooms were a welcome break from the heat.  Swing in for a bite to eat at the small takeout located between the beach and fort called the Cayo Hueso Cafe.  While it’s a little pricier for the portion size, the profits go to the Florida Park Service and you don’t have to fight for a parking spot.

7 Mile Bridge, Marathon, FL to Little Duck Key

View of the US 1 bridge running from Big Pine Key

Time to Explore: As long as you want, maybe longer!  Okay, so this may be a little more well known, because you have to drive it to get to the lower keys!  While probably not much fun if you’re in standstill traffic, we had no problem any of the 4 times we crossed it.  The views from the bridge are amazing, and you can enjoy them from the comfort of your air conditioned car.  Or, if you want to be extra adventurous, there is a section of the old bridge on the north side that allows you to walk, bike, and fish.

Bahia Honda, Big Pine Key

Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key, Florida
Time to Explore: 30 minutes, without sitting on the beach.  Get here early- 8 or 9am to get a prime spot on the beach and enjoy some quiet time before the crowds.  There are a number of short walking trails; the section of old bridge is my favorite for the views.  If you’ve got more stops planned, or don’t like crowds- get out by 11:30! When we left, traffic was backed up on either side of US 1 trying to get in!

Sparky’s Landing, Key Colony Beach

Time to explore/ eat: 1 hour or so.  I seriously only picked this place to eat because the name of it was “Sparky’s!”  Most spots to eat throughout the keys are marinas, like Sparky’s.  The drive out to this little key was easy, but felt less known due to it not being on the main/only thoroughfare.  It gave us the opportunity to see a lady walking her gorgeous golden retriever, who was proudly holding on to a coconut!  The portions and drink were the best we had in the short time we visited the keys.  When the check came, they included a Sparky’s sticker that now resides proudly on my Kindle(affiliate).

World Wide Sportsman, Islamorada

Ernest Hemingway's boat, Pilar, in Islamorda, FL

Time to explore: 30 minutes (more if you’re with a boy!)  Perhaps the biggest surprise exploration came within the Bass Pro/ World Wide Sportsman in Islamorada!  A boat that I thought was just a prop for display purposes, turned out to be Ernest Hemingway’s.  Take a short tour inside the Pilar, which also houses some of Hemingway’s belongings, and try to ignore the racks of clothes on all sides.

These 5 quick stops along the Florida Keys give you a chance to stretch your legs while taking in the history and lifestyle of the area.

What are your favorite spots to visit in the Keys?

Linking with Bright on a Budget /Cup of Tea / Della DevotedSeptember Farm / The Farmer’s Wife, and Meet @ the Barre