Simply Mrs. Edwards

{just the life of a new wife}


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Son of a Nutcracker!

Since we’re only about 1 day from Christmas, I figured it was high time that I shared about our Christmas decorations! The past few years we’ve had a tree, some garland, and wreath on the door. I’d say my efforts were a mediocre 3 on the scale of Christmas cheer. But this year, gosh. This year is a solid 8.  We upped our game and brought the Christmas cheer in full force this year!

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Thanks to Josh’s awesome handiwork, we added this amazing backlit star this year. We were inspired by this one on Beyond The Picket Fence and couldn’t wait to create our own. Because we had a big open space to work with, we made ours a bit larger and added some sweet backlighting. The wood is from a reclaimed picket fence that Josh found and cleaned up. After Christmas, we’re thinking of repurposing the boards into another art project. Promise I’ll share those details when it’s time!

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

The star is a simple square that Josh fastened onto 2″ x 2″ pieces behind. It’s backlit with a strand of leftover Christmas lights. The only thing we purchased for this project was a $3 spool of ribbon! A pretty great project if you ask me! :)

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. EdwardsI’ve been seeing a ton of fun chalkboard ideas all over, but since my chalk hand writing leaves a lot to be desired, I cheated a bit and used this transfer trick to write the Christmassy message below. If you doubt your writing skills, I highly recommend this transfer technique! The only thing I did differently was use a chalk pen to fill in my lines instead of regular chalk. My finished product may not look as rustic as it could, but I was lacking the patience and steady hand necessary to trace over the whole thing in smear-able chalk. I may re-do this again with real chalk someday, but I’m perfectly happy with the way this version turned out!

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Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Last year I made this fun Christmas card wreath out of a pack of Dollar Tree clothes pins, a little green spray paint, some red beads, some bailing wire, and red ribbon. One of the easiest projects ever! I’m happy to say that since this photo was taken we’ve filled up the entire wreath with fun cards from family and friends!

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Among other fine qualities, our house has a really odd living room with multiple doors on each wall. The only place that our TV fits is right in front of a coat closet that we don’t really use. I got tired of people asking why our TV was in front of a door, so earlier this year I made a curtain to hang in front of the door. This was also the point in which I got fed up with our dark redwood walls and decided to cover 2 walls in burlap. Thankfully both projects turned out great and we no longer receive weird comments or looks when someone comes into our house!

Thanks to some scissor wielding friends who were over one night, we ended up with a stack of beautiful paper snowflakes that were just begging to be displayed. It only made sense to hang them in front of the curtain that’s in front of the coat closet door. Duh, right? Thankfully, that experiment turned out great too!

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

If  you’re on Pinterest, it’s very likely that you’ve seen tutorials on how to replicate mercury glass with mirrored spray paint and a spray bottle of vinegar/water. Well, I took a stab at it with some vases and candle holders and kind of failed. When they say that you MUST use the Krylon mirrored spray paint for it to turn out, they’re not kidding. I used some Rustoleum silver spray paint and my pieces turned out lacking some pizzaz (I’m pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve ever used the word pizzaz…) I honestly really like how these vases and candle holders turned out, but they’re nothing like real or faux mercury glass. I think it has to do with the air temperature I was spray painting in and that I used the wrong type of spray paint. Oh well, ya win some, ya fail some.

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

I really like the arrangement and that I get to display it on some antique doilies from my Mom. The view below is my absolute favorite this year! It’s what I see every night sitting on the couch :)

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Here are a few photos of the living room as a whole (this room is hard to photograph!)…

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards
Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Although we spend the majority of our time in the living room, a little bit of Christmas cheer spilled over into the dining room too. On the china hutch I simply hung some paper garland that I made last year…

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All it is is circle punches of scrap booking paper and Trader Joe’s bags sewed together…seriously, so simple.

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

The other thing I added is a Merry Christmas banner that we got at Target a few years back hanging on an old window from my parent’s house. Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards IMG_3266

My favorite Christmas tradition so far has been buying a Christmas ornament from our travels throughout the year. Hopefully someday our tree will be filled with ornaments from around the country and world! These three are from our trips in 2012:

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

These ornaments and many others were placed on our tree with love and care while we donned our antler headbands and turned on a Christmas movie. Ahh, I love tradition!

So, did you up your decorating game in 2012? What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Can you believe that Christmas is TOMORROW?!

Singing loud for all to hear,
Mrs. Edwards

P.S. Here’s our 2012 Christmas Card! Designed by the one and only, Josh Edwards :)

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards


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Fall Rosette Wreath


On Monday of this week our outdoor thermometer hit 100 degrees. On Tuesday, I placed this wreath on our front door. And on Wednesday, our temperatures dipped back down into the low 70s. I’m absoulely sure that by placing this Fall Rosette Wreath on our front door I was solely responsible for this lovely fall weather that we’ve been experiencing the past few days. Yep, no problem. You’re welcome!

This wreath was so, so, easy to make. And cost less than $10.00! Want to try making one yourself?

Supplies Needed:

  • Grapevine wreath
  • Scissors
  • Felt cut into 3″ x 3″ squares (I used 8 1/4 of the 9″ x 12″ sized sheets to make 100 squares total. I found this color at JoAnn’s)
  • Fabric glue
  • Hot glue gun

First, begin by trimming the edges off of your squares to make a round piece. By no means does your circle need to be perfect, it just needs too be round-ish.

Next, cut your circle into a spiral, leaving a small tab in the center. This tab will become the bottom of your rosette.

Begin rolling your felt from the outside edge of circle inwards towards the center.

Once you have your piece rolled up, place a dab of glue on the bottom and fold the tab over.

Ta-dahh…you have a rosette!

Now just repeat this process until you have about 100 of these (depending on the size of your wreath). This is a great project to park yourself in front of the TV to work on. It’s pretty mindless and actually doesn’t take too long once you get a rhythm going.

Once you have all of your rosettes made, begin hot-gluing them to your wreath. There really isn’t any scientific way to do this. Just place a dollop of hot glue on the bottom of your rosette, stick it on, and hold it in place for a few seconds. I would, however, recommend placing newspaper underneath your wreath to prevent glue from dripping onto your work surface.

Continue placing the rosettes on your wreath until you have completely filled the front side. You can place them as tight or as spread apart as you prefer. I placed mine pretty close together and really like it!

Hang your wreath on your front door and enjoy! This is a great way to way to welcome fall to your home and neighborhood. Maybe your weather hasn’t quite caught on that it’s already October. I hope that once you place this on your front door you begin to experience cooler temperatures and the loveliness of fall :)

Lover of all things fall,
Mrs. Edwards

P.S. This project was inspired by this one  by Stelabird :)


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Green Thumb

V is for Vegetable...Garden

Growing up I spent hours upon hours playing in my Grandparents acre sized organic vegetable garden. Their garden yielded enough to sustain themselves throughout the year and share with others. They grew tons of crops (figuratively and literally): potatoes, corn, asparagus, squash, zucchini, peas, peppers, green beans, tomatoes, carrots, raspberries, apples, etc. I remember spending lots and lots of time with my Grandmother in their garden, learning to tend the plants, playing with earth worms, and picking flowers that probably weren’t supposed to be picked. One of my favorite things about their garden was their green bean tunnel. It was a wooden trellis tunnel that was about 7 feet tall, 8 feet wide and probably 20ish feet long (as a 5 year old, it seemed HUGE). The plants would grow up and over the top to create this fantastic tunnel with green beans hanging everywhere just begging to be picked. It was a curious child’s paradise. My Mom tells stories of when my Brother was little and she had him in the baby back-pack while she was in the tunnel picking beans. She says that she was picking along and my brother kept reaching out and pulling green beans off and eating them raw. To this day he still eats raw green beans. He probably has many more memories than I do of that garden, but I do know that we both learned a lot from our Grandparents there.

My Parents and Brother all have fantastically green thumbs. I’m still doing my best to find mine…and the project below is a testament to that. Since we moved into this house I’ve been wanting to plant some sort of vegetable garden in our side yard. Neither Josh or I have had the time (or money) to invest into one in the past 2 years, but this year we made some time (and budgeted for it)! This isn’t anything like my Grandparents magical oasis, but it’s something. And something is better than nothing! Our first attempt at a garden is in the form of two raised garden beds.  We absolutely didn’t have the budget to go out and spend upwards of $250 on new redwood lumber to build two 3′ x 6′ boxes, so we improvised and used some awesome reclaimed redwood lumber. Not only was this wood free, but it has some cool history to it. We are blessed to work and live at a Christian Camp in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Josh works on the Maintenance Team and recently helped a group of volunteers replace a portion of Victory Circle, our outdoor amphitheater. The portion of wood that they removed was about 30 years old and was not sturdy enough for people to sit or walk on anymore, so it was just going to be tossed. My brilliant husband swooped on the stuff he could salvage and brought it home to build the boxes. How cool is it to think that our vegetable gardens are built out of wood that people have been sitting on for 30 years, sharing how their lives have been transformed by Jesus in this place! That gives me chills every time I go out to tend our garden. God is good to remind me of Himself in the small things!

We started out with a hilly portion of our side yard that was overgrown with weeds that were waist high. It didn’t start as much, but it’s the sunniest area of our place! It gets about 6-7 hours of sun per day, which for being in a redwood forest is like finding Narnia.

Raised Garden Bed via www.simplymrsedwards.wordpress.com

Josh did a number on the area with the weed whacker, and it turned out looking something like this (that’s my cute Mom helping us clean up the junk!):

Raised Garden Bed via www.simplymrsedwards.wordpress.com

We worked on removing the weeds and leveling two spots for the boxes (that’s our neighbors house next door):

Raised Garden Bed via www.simplymrsedwards.wordpress.com

Once we got the space cleared out, we went to work on the boxes themselves. My handy hubby whipped up a few boxes pretty quickly out of our lumber. Because portions of the wood were beginning to dry rot, we had to be selective in which pieces we used. Thankfully, we had just enough good pieces to patch together two 3′ x 6′ boxes. We built the boxes out of 2″ x 6″ lumber.

Raised Garden Bed via www.simplymrsedwards.wordpress.com We began by laying chicken wire down first to combat any unwanted moles or gophers. We actually laid two layers that were offset because those sneaky pests can weasel their way through a standard chicken wire opening. Once we got the wire laid, we placed the 6 ft. pieces at the back of our leveled out area and pounded stakes into each corner to give it some stability. The corner stakes were about 3 ft. long; we pounded them into the ground about 2 feet and then stacked two 2″ x 6″ boards to create a 12″ deep bed. Raised Garden Bed via www.simplymrsedwards.wordpress.com

Raised Garden Bed via www.simplymrsedwards.wordpress.com

Because we were building on a hill we ended up with the uphill side having two 2″ x 6″ planks stacked and the downhill side with three planks to keep the dirt from sliding out from the bottom (not sure if that makes sense, you’ll see it in the other pictures). We tried our hardest to keep everything level and square, but I’m sure it’s not perfect. It holds dirt and that’s all that really matters, right?! :)

Once we had the boxes put together I laid weed fabric in the bottom and stapled it in. We hope that with the combination of chicken wire and weed fabric we won’t have to deal with too many digging pests or weeds. Here’s to hoping!

Raised Garden Bed via www.simplymrsedwards.wordpress.com

After a few hours of hard work, this is what we had to show! Pretty awesome if I do say so myself!

Raised Garden Bed via www.simplymrsedwards.wordpress.com

We visited our local landscaping supply store and picked up a yard of top soil. We then mixed in two bags of manure, one steer and one chicken.

Raised Garden Bed via www.simplymrsedwards.wordpress.com

My brother-in-law introduced me to a concept called Square Foot Gardening. It’s exactly what it sounds like- growing plants within a square foot! This is a pretty simple concept that is user friendly, very efficient, and pretty productive. Depending on the crop, you can plant 1, 2, 3, 4+ plants in each square foot. There are various recommendations on how to section off your box, but we chose the option of using 1″ish slats of wood (Josh cut them from a piece of scrap wood, so their size is approximate) and attached them directly to the box.

Raised Garden Bed via www.simplymrsedwards.wordpress.com

We chose to plant a variety of things to see what grows best here. We currently have pole beans, bush beans, corn, cilantro, basil, and lemon thyme in one box and yellow squash, broccoli, carrots, and peas in the other. I started the broccoli, peas, and corn indoors in peat pellets about a week before I planted them in the ground.

Raised Garden Bed via www.simplymrsedwards.wordpress.com

Square Foot Garden via www.simplymrsedwards.wordpress.com

Square Foot Garden via www.simplymrsedwards.wordpress.com

Fast forward about 3 weeks and this is what we have now…

Square Foot Garden via www.simplymrsedwards.wordpress.com

Square Foot Garden via www.simplymrsedwards.wordpress.com

Square Foot Garden via www.simplymrsedwards.wordpress.com

Square Foot Garden via www.simplymrsedwards.wordpress.comPretty good, right!? We had bird netting over the boxes until today when we put the stakes in for the beans and peas to climb up (the shorter stakes in the corners of the boxes were to hold up the netting). I’m crossing my fingers that the birds and squirrels don’t get curious now that we’ve taken the netting off…we’ll see!

We still have quite a bit of work to do in the side yard, but its slowly getting there. We want to build some stairs down to the boxes and spread some woodchips around the area to keep the dust down. Hopefully we’ll get to that within the next few weeks. Although it’s still a work in progress and we haven’t actually harvested anything from it yet, our garden brings me so much joy! There is so much to be said about doing hard work with someone you love and literally seeing the fruits of your labor in just a few weeks. I’m thankful that my Grandparents, Parents and Brother have all continued the tradition of home-growing and that I’m getting to enjoy this process, too. I’ll keep you updated on how this garden does over the next few months! :)

Now with a green thumb (whoo!),
Mrs. Edwards


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Mrs. Edwards, How Does Your Garden Grow?

An Afternoon in my Bed 4.1.12 {via Instagram}

How did the flower bed above come from something looking like the one in the next picture?

A ridiculous amount of sheer determination and brute force, that’s how.

This flower bed is one of the only areas around our house that gets enough sun to grow much of anything. Living in the redwood forest has pros and cons…cons include the cave-like sunlight. Sunny flower beds are a rare gem in Mount Hermon and finding one that can grow anything is like finding gold. For the past 10+ years, this flower bed has done a wonderful job of growing ivy. Lots and LOTS of ivy. The kind that has roots to Timbuktu and back again. I’ve been mildly successful with potted flowers on our deck, but I’ve been dying to get this bed cleaned out and ready for planting. A few weeks ago, my mom and I spent a day and a half starting the job and last weekend, Josh and I spent another day finishing up clearing half of it. Yep, that’s right…it took us 2 and a half days to clear out only half of the flower bed! Its about 40 ft. long and 5-6 ft. deep, so clearing half of it was quite the undertaking.

Once we pulled the ivy, sticks, leaves, bottles, rusty metal, and old junk out of the area, we planted some boxwoods and golden euonymus along the newly discovered/uncovered fence. I love the look of the uneven old fence and I think it’ll look even better once the bushes grow up just a bit!

Just in front of the bushes we put in some lily and dahlia bulbs and to the right, some iris and clematis. I can hardly wait to see what they look like in a few weeks!

Because I’m really a bit impatient and wanted a splash of color sooner than the bulbs will provide, Josh took me on a date and spoiled me a bit. Home Depot was having a sale on marigolds- $.99 for a six pack! Hard to beat that- so we got 6 packs :) Josh was feeling generous so we threw in some ranaculas and an azalea bush for another project. This was the first time in history that we left Home Depot with a cart full of stuff for me, and nothing for Josh…crazy, right?! I’m pretty sure that won’t happen ever again.

I planted the marigolds the next day and gave my tired gardening hands a rest.

Our goal is to clear out the rest of the bed and continue the planting party down the street. We’re thinking something pretty hardy that won’t need too much tending- maybe some lavender or something. This corner is seen by tons of cars and pedestrians every single day, so its been really fun to hear from neighbors how much they love it!

If the other half of the planting bed is anything like what we’ve cleared out so far, we’ve definitely got our work cut out for us, that’s for sure!

It’s been fun to get my hands dirty through this project. I think that I may be on to a new hobby! We have another sliver of sunshine on the side of our house that is just begging for a raised vegetable garden. Maybe our next date to Home Depot will include some lumber for a raised garden bed?? :)

The Gardener,
Mrs. Edwards


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Mega-Desk

It is my pleasure to introduce something so profound, even Dwight Schrute has one.

Two words: Mega. Desk.

You know when you start a project with a hope and a dream of it looking like something you imagined or were inspired by? And typically it falls a bit short, but every once and a while you hit a home run? Well this is that outta the ballpark home run for us!

(Sorry for the not so stellar lighting in these photos. I tend to only have time/remember to take photos at night…blerg)

Pretty awesome, right!?

We started with a room that has uh-mazing natural light and a small-but decent amount of space. We had great intentions for it to be an office, but it never really lived up to its name.  It was more of a catch-all room. When guests would come over, we tended to throw everything that didn’t have a home in here. Let’s just say, after a year and a half of living here it was about knee deep in junk. We had mismatched desks, two disorganized bookshelves and zero organization. It was ugly. In fact, so ugly that I didn’t take a before picture (whoops!)

These photos are after we relocated the junk-n-stuff to our dining room/living room/anywhere we could stash it.

As you can tell, this room is small…7ft x 11ft to be exact. Though its small, it is the perfect size for an office/craft room. We had to get creative in order to turn this baby into something that was functional and appealing to the eye. So, to Ikea we went! We picked up four Vika Amon table tops  in white (two of the 39 3/8″ x 23 5/8″ and two of the 47 1/4″ x 23 5/8″…crazy Swedish sizing!) We also picked up twelve of the Vika Curry legs in the silver color (we had 4 from another desk to make the 16 we projected using, but we only ended up using 10. Anyone want some legs??). The combination that we settled on came to a grand total of $87.00. That still kind of blows my mind…$87 for a room sized desk!? Yes, please!

We painted the room a color called Spring Hill in eggshell enamel by Behr. We stick to Behr paints because it’s what we know and love and we haven’t been let down yet! The color is a nice mellow green in the sunlight and has a muted greenish/blue color at night. These photos don’t do it justice at all, but trust me when I tell you its nice :)

We figured if we were going to put some good time and a little bit of money into this space that we should do it right. Enter: ridiculous wall-to-wall shelving above one side of Mega-Desk.

We picked up these three Ekby Gallo brackets at Ikea for a whopping $5.00 each and three 1″ x 12″ x 8′ white board planks at Lowes for about $12.00 each.  Josh sized the boards to fit our space and a few wall anchors and a whole lot of patience later, these puppies were on the wall (lets just say that three 7ft. boards + 3 brackets + working after 12 AM isn’t always the best combination. Yet, my husband is ever patient and loves me more than I deserve).

One thing we kind of splurged on was the under shelf lighting you can see in the pictures above and below. We figured it could only make the space better and that we would be thankful we spent the extra $ and time on it. And yep…we were right! Its so so nice to have good lighting on my main workspace!

One of my most favorite parts about this room is that I can have my sewing machine and crafting supplies at my fingertips at all times. It’s already proven to be motivating and super handy (see those organizers to the right on the desk? Made outta 3 cereal boxes and less than a yard of fabric. Tutorial coming soon! :) )

(Again, not the best lighting…sorry!)

Josh put a few nails next to my sewing area to hang my cutting mats, rulers and straight edge.

On the other side of the room, we condensed all of our books into one bookshelf that hides behind the door

And the closet looks…pretty much the same as it did before. A whole lotta stuff we need to find homes for. Our plan is to install a hanging rod in half of it to serve as a coat closet and build some permanent shelving in the other half for various items that don’t need to be accessed or seen all the time (board games, air mattress, wrapping paper, etc.). We’ll finish it off by adding a new curtain to cover the space.

We’re slowly but surely getting there! This room still has a long ways to go and quite a few more little projects, but it is WORLDS better than it was a few weeks ago! I am giddy with excitement of how well this turned out. My next project in here is to turn some plain-ol’ mini blinds into roman shades. I found this tutorial (among many others) and we have a friend who has done it successfully. Here’s to hoping I come out with the same results! Next time you see these window’s they’ll be clad with some fancy new dressings :)

Budget Breakdown (so far):

  • 4 Table tops: $52
  • 10 table legs: $35
  • Wall brackets: $15
  • 3 wall shelves: $36
  • Under shelf lighting: $40
  • 1 gallon of Behr Spring Hill paint: $22
  • Behr Swiss Coffee trim/door paint: already owned
  • Total: $200

This was the first time I added everything up and I’m definitely surprised myself! I think $200 for an entire room makeover isn’t too shabby at all…

Here are a few other things I’d love to knock out in the next couple of weeks:

  • Turn cheap mini-blinds into roman shades
  • Acquire another office-like chair & two chairmats
  • Create a station with some cork pieces, hanging organizers and a calendar for paying bills (maybe looking something like this, or even this)
  • Add some mason jars, cause you can never have too many (I really like this idea)
  • Add some additional overhead lighting
  • Organize the heck outta that closet. Sheesh, it needs some lovin’.
  • Work on better organizing my craft supplies on the shelves.

I think that to-do list will keep me (and hubby) busy for a little while! I’ll be back with more (better) pictures of the progress and a tutorial or two.

Loving this room,
Mrs. Edwards