Sunday, October 24, 2010

It was a DIY weekend in the Coates home.

Hobby Lobby had a sale (they always have a sale) on fabric. So I took that as an opportunity to do some DIY projects I have been thinking about for a long time :). I absolutely have loved making things for our home since moving to Spring Hill, not only because it saves us a lot of money, but I also really really enjoy doing it. In the next few weeks, I'll give tutorials on some of the things I made this weekend. I hope you're inspired :).

First up - Upholstered headboard for our bedroom (cost approx $35).
What to purchase:
Plywood - I bought it at home depot. I picked the 3/8" thick plywood because it was the cheapest. I had it cut (for free) at Home Depot to 60" by 36" for a queen sized headboard. It cost $11.
Fabric - 2 yards of fabric bought at Hobby Lobby. I think it was $8. I bought the thicker fabric (not sure what it's called) so it would hold up longer.
Foam-I bought the 1" thickness foam from Hobby Lobby. This was the most expensive item. It was $13. I probably should have waited until I had a coupon or until it was on sale, but I am not a very patient person and I really wanted to get it done this weekend. Learn from my mistakes. You can also buy this at JoAnnes and it might be cheaper there.
Hanging Hooks - $3 at Home Depot.

Things I used that we already had: Fabric scissors, glue (I used carpenters glue but I think there are way better choices for something like this... it was all I had and it ended up working ok), drill, hammer, and a power stapler.

Step one:
Glue the foam to the plywood. My foam wasn't quite wide enough (because it was cheaper:), but it was way too long, so I just trimmed the length and used the scraps to fill in the rest. I let the glue dry for about 3o minutes before putting the fabric over it.

Step two - staple the fabric to the back of the headboard. I had about 2-4 inches overlap of fabric. I lined up the fabric how I wanted it (so my pattern wouldn't be crooked), and stappled in the center on each side first, pulling it as tight as I could before stapling. Then I put a staple every couple of inches, pulling the fabric very tight as I stapled.

Step three - Brian put the hooks on the back of it. The wall hooks I used hold 50 pounds each. We put three of them on the headboard, spaced out evenly, about 1/3 of the way down. Then we put hooks on the wall to mount it to. Here is Brian hard at work... and a picture of the hooks we used.

Step four - mount it to the wall and make sure it's level :). And with those few easy steps... you have yourself a one of a kind headboard.
Please excuse the ugly paint color on our walls.... we haven't repainted our room yet.

And there it is folks. We finally have a headboard.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


While Brian's dad was in town last weekend, we decided to try out Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint in Nolensville. Before moving to the South, I thought bbq was sloppy joes on a soggy hamburger bun (growing up it was the hot lunch meal that I always dreaded. I would try to remember to bring a bag lunch the day it was served). Well let me tell you.... sloppy joes is not barbeque. It is so so much better. Northerners, please make sure you experience some good southern barbeque at some point in you life. You will not regret it. If you are in the Nashville area, you have to experience Martin's. It's super yummy. I just had the traditional pulled pork (which was really good), but some friends of ours said the red neck taco is amazing, so next time we go (hopefully in the near future:), I will be trying that. Martin's was even featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. If you have a queasy stomach.... the video might gross you out :).

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sweet Sleep.

This weekend I had the privilege of helping raise money for orphans in Uganda through an awesome organization called Sweet Sleep. We sold jewelry made out of recycled magazine paper and other items made in Uganda at the craft fair in Bell Buckle, TN. To find out more about sweet sleep check out their website:

All the profit that was made this weekend went directly to help 700 orphans in Uganda! These orphans are currently living in refugee camps (and most of them have lived there their entire life). Sweet Sleep is helping these orphans get back to their villages and provides them with their very own bed, mosquito net, a Bible, and other necessities. In just two days, $2200 was raised to go directly to help these orphans!! God is good. I was truly blessed by the opportunity to spend a few hours of my Saturday working with Sweet Sleep. Here are some pictures from the weekend:
2 of our high school girls came to help out as well.
Thanks Abbey and Victoria! (We are all wearing the magazine bead necklaces:)

The picture on the left is from the craft fair display, and the picture below is one of the necklaces made out of magazine paper. They make each bead by hand... one bead at a time. Amazing and so so beautiful.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Chalkboard Craze

So I have a new obsession.... chalkboard paint. Maybe I should have been a teacher. My house is suddenly covered in chalkboards.
The picture wall now has a little chalkboard accent : ). I used chalkboard contact paper for this one and put it over the glass. It went on very smoothly. I found the chalkboard contact paper on amazon. (sorry the picture quality isn't the best... I took them with my phone).

For this one, I bought a black poster frame and spray-painted it cherry red. I then painted the cardboard (that came with the frame) with chalkboard spray paint. I might buy a piece of plywood in the future and use that instead of the cardboard (so it will last longer), but for now the cardboard is holding up great!Another example of chalkboard contact paper (and of my chalkboard obsession:).

I think Brian might have thought that I took this new obsession too far when I spray painted the white board :). I couldn't find any of my dry-erase markers, so instead of buying new markers, I just made it into a chalkboard. I think it was an obvious solution and it was cost effective since I already had the paint.

I hope this post has encouraged you to love chalkboards too. Enjoy your weekend. We will be busy painting book shelves, shooting hoops, selling sweet sleep necklaces at a craft fair, hanging out with my father-in-law (who built the book shelves), church, and having our life group over. I love weekends.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

All to Jesus I surrender

We are going through a series called "Enough" right now at Station Hill, and I have been processing this past Sunday's sermon all week. My heart has been so heavy. I have been deeply challenged by the truth that Jesus is more than enough, and this past Sunday especially, convicted of not living like I truly believe this. Believing Jesus is enough is so contra-cultural to living the American dream.... the culture we are living in encourages us to live the most comfortable (and self-centered) life I can while here on earth, but Jesus calls us too so much more. Comforts here on earth will bring us no where. Surrendering all to Jesus will bring us joy everlasting and will have eternal significance. He is worthy of our all. Go here and listen to podcast from this last weeks sermon and be challenged to live this week believing that Jesus is enough.

All to Jesus, I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to Thee, my blessèd Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

All to Jesus, I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

All to Jesus, I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Weekend fun

I am so thankful that I do not have to work weekends any more (except for the occasional "on call" shift). All the other nurses out there understand how to rare it is to find a hospital job that does not require you to work weekends. The best part of my weekend is that Brian has off as well... except for on Sundays of course :), so we get to spend lots and lots of time together.

This weekend we stopped by the Habitat for Humanity building project in Spring Hill. Our church has been providing lunch on Saturdays for the builders. Our friend Shantel and Brian and I dropped off dessert and soda for the workers on Saturday... next week we might head over there and actually help build. The coolest part of this particular project was that it was a "women build". The women did almost all of work! They even put up the siding on the house. I was super impressed with all the work these women have done. The house looks beautiful, and it will be such a blessing to the family that will move in soon. It was so great to see the love of Christ shown in this way. It was great also see so many women giving up their Saturday to do what looked like some super hard labor in order to serve others.Another great part of our weekend was a visit from my grandparents! They live in Wisconsin during the summer and then head down to Florida every October (I don't blame them; Wisconsin winters are brutal!!). Nashville is now one of their stops on their drive back to Florida :). It was so great to spend time with them, and have them stay in our home. I took their visit as an opportunity to do some baking. My grandma has something called celiac's disease so basically she can't have ANYTHING with wheat flour in it. One of my co-workers gave me a super yummy gluten free recipe for apple brown sugar coffee cake from taste of home. I had to buy gluten free all purpose flour, but the rest of the ingredients were all things I normally keep in my pantry. I wasn't sure how it would turn out since I haven't ever used gluten free flour, but it was so tasty!! I might try to make again sometime with normal flour and see what the difference is. Here is the recipe below. You will love it!

Penny's Apple Brown Sugar Coffee Cake
  • 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons gluten-free all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (1-1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large apples, cored, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces


  • Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly grease a 9-in. round baking or springform pan. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 2 teaspoons flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, chocolate chips, walnuts and cinnamon.
  • In another small bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar and remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in the oil and vanilla. Stir into the flour mixture until just combined. Pour half the batter into prepared pan, top with half the apples and half the crumb mixture; repeat with the remaining batter, apples and crumb mixture. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes.

And here is the final product. It was seriously so good. Apples and chocolate are a great combo (I left out the nutritional facts... they are a tad bit depressing). Enjoy :).

Friday, October 8, 2010

Welp.... I decided to start a blog. I have no promises on how often this thing will be updated. Everyone who has known me for longer than a day knows that I am full of ideas, but not always the best at carrying them out :). I am really really going to try to keep up with this. I was thinking about having a theme, but I couldn't narrow it done to one, so I think this blog will end up being a smorgasbord of how the Lord is working in our lives, recent crafts/projects I have done, decorating ideas, recipes, our travels, cute pictures of our puppy, books I am reading, and many other fun things :). The number one reason I made this blog is too stay connected with our family and friends that are far from Nashville. Enjoy!