Newborn Photography Moon Prop Tutorial DIY {Sawdust and Embryos}
Plant a tree the year your baby is born, then take pics if them with their tree each year on their birthday! {Sawdust and Embryos}
One Board Challenge ~ 3D Illusion Wooden Mosaic Artwork! {Sawdust and Embryos}

DIY Playhouse / Swing Set Update {Part 2}

A few weeks ago, we shared the slow but steady… ok fine, JUST SLOW… progress of the playhouse we’re building from scratch for our girls.

Building a playhouse {Sawdust & Embryos}

As usual (at least for us), it’s turned into one of those things that’s taking 3 times as long as we originally planned. How is it August already? It feels like summer’s gone by like a time-lapse.

We’ve found time here and there to put a few hours in on this sucker. And by ‘we’ … I mostly mean Nick since it’s his design/vision. And, somebody has to watch the minions.


I left you last time with the progress we made on getting all the support beams in place, and both the main and second level flooring.

Building a custom playhouse - playground for the littles {Sawdust and Embryos}

Next order of business was to get some walls in place. We cut full sheets of 1/2” plywood to size, including cutouts for windows and doors, and screwed them into place.

Building a playhouse - fort from scratch! {Sawdust and Embryos}


Remember how I was lamenting to you about how complicated Nick’s designs are, and how unnecessary stairs are in a playhouse? Well I’ve gotta say… it’s pretty nice now that it’s done. And it didn’t even take that much more time. I’m learning more and more that I just need to trust his vision!

Building a custom playhouse with a fort on top {Sawdust and Embryos}

The girls found lots of creative ways to have fun on this structure as-is. But one thing they kept begging for was the swings. For some reason, summertime whining is worse than whining other times of the year (can I get an amen?). So the swings became the next thing on the priority list.

Nick borrowed this manual auger-thing from our neighbor, and got digging for the support post for the swings.

Using an auger to put up support beams on a DIY Swing Set {Sawdust and Embryos}

The reason to auger a super deep hole is because Nick wanted a single post for the swingset opposed to the typical A-frame. His reasoning for this is because it’s one post to mow around instead of two. But I think he just likes the challenge… and clean lines.

Building a playhouse with an adjoining swingset {Sawdust and Embryos}

The swings we bought on sale at the end of the summer last year on sale, and the tandem glider swing (which the girls can’t quite figure out how to use) is a Lowes find here. The girls are constantly wanting us to push them on their swings, but we’re also trying to help them learn how to pump so they can swing on their own too. You know the phrase: give them a fish and feed them for a day; teach them to fish, and feed them for a lifetime. I think this principle applies to swinging too, right?

OH. And I found a cheap/crappy plastic play kitchen at a yard sale for $5 buckaroos. They spend so many hours using their play kitchen indoors, I figure their vacation home could use one too. Spoiled much?

Playhouse with sqwings and fort on top! {Sawdust and Embryos}

The next order of business will be getting some railings on the ‘fort’ above the playhouse part. We’ve got a start on it, and you can get an idea of what it’ll look like in this pic.

Building a playhouse with slide, swings, and fort on top! {Sawdust and Embryos}

It won’t be long now! Translation: I HOPE THIS GETS DONE BY THE TIME IT SNOWS.

But really? Sometimes the girls would rather dig holes and collect sticks then play on a designated ‘play area’ …so that contributes to our slow-and-stead philosophy. It’ll get done when it gets done! High fives! Chest bumps! Group nap?

Do you guys have any projects that are taking an eternity? Or just seem completely stalled? Well know that you’re not alone!


Disclosure! As mentioned in Part 1 of this build, we partnered with our friends at Lowes for this project! We weren’t compensated for our time, but they did generously provide the slide, glider swing, and much of the lumber… and we’re so grateful! All opinions, designs, experiences are our own.

DIY Newborn Photography Prop {Moon Prop}

Newborn Photography Moon Prop Tutorial DIY {Sawdust and Embryos}

A few weeks ago, I was talking to Molly (at Molly Long Photography) about photography props and how expensive they could be, and she mentioned that she really wanted a wooden moon with a place to put a newborn. This got my wheels turning, and I saw an opportunity to play with power tools and use up some scrap wood! This is KIND OF a tutorial. But not super thorough... because I’m sure there aren’t a ton of you that have been dying to make a big wooden moon. But maybe it’ll get your … [Read More...]

Annual Fam Camping 2015


First things first? The winner of our RYOBI Jigsaw Giveaway is Korin! Check your email and send us your info Korin!!! And congrats! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Recently, on our Facebook page, I posted this... Well, I’m here to come clean and admit that I was actually asking for myself. And a ton of you piped in and gave some awesome tips... including BRING LOTS OF WINE. You read my mind. If I was a good blogger, this post would be a comprehensive guide to camping with small … [Read More...]

Palm Branch Inspired Art Panels


If you guys take anything away from my blog posts each week, I hope it’s that YOU CAN GLEEN INSPIRATION FROM ANYWHERRRRE! When I post a project... even if it’s not your style, skill-level, or you don’t have the tools, I hope at least it gets your creative wheels turning and you start having ideas and noticing things in your everyday life that that trigger project ideas, little crafts, furniture transformations... ETC! For me, part of the fun of composing a blog post is sharing how I came up … [Read More...]

4-Year-olds and Annual Willow Pics

Plant a tree the year your baby is born, then take pics if them with their tree each year on their birthday! {Sawdust and Embryos}

We’ve had a whirlwind couple of weeks, and I have sooooo many pictures to go through (and corresponding blog posts to write)...but today? It’s important to share that: THE TWINS TURNED 4! Like, they had a birthday. And now they’re 4. And I’m a mother to four-year-olds. And soon they’ll be asking to wear deodorant. And then they’ll move out and I’m ugly-crying right now. Among a few other (small-ish) things, Nick felt it was important for the girls to have a rocket for their … [Read More...]

One-Board Challenge ~ Geometric Art

One Board Challenge ~ 3D Illusion Wooden Mosaic Artwork! {Sawdust and Embryos}

On this day, I’m a little foggy and sleep-deprived. You might assume that it’s directly related to having a 4-month-old baby... BUT NO. Della (4 years old) awoke in the middle of the night CONVINCED there was a kangaroo in her room. We’re talking blood-curdling screeeaming as she flailed down the hallway to find us. Luckily she didn’t wake up Cypress... or Paisley for that matter (who was sleeping 6 feet from her). But after this happened 3 times in a half hour period, I just took my pillow in … [Read More...]

Easy Wrap-around Pinafore Dress or Blouse

Simple wrap pinafore dress for little girls and toddlers {Sawdust and Embryos}

I may be a ‘creative-type’, but nobody ever accused me of being a skilled sewist. Sewer? Seamstress? yes seamstress. Here’s a screenshot of me texting Nick while trying to thread my bobbin. Yet somehow, miraculously, this post I wrote last year demonstrating how to make a wrap blouse (or dress) has been wildly popular. At least a couple times a week, I get an email from someone asking for the PDF pattern... which of course doesn’t exist. I was just proud of myself for sewing … [Read More...]

The sibling connection

dell and cy1

Having twins, we had a unique parenting perspective of having siblings from the very beginning. Sibling love is probably one of the cutest things everrrr. But throwing a new baby in the mix is always a big question mark. Will they love her? Will there be jealousy issues? Will 3 be a crowd? Well, we have the next 17.5 years  to figure all that out. But I’m happy to report that... so far so good. Since Cypress was born in February, I’ve learned a lot about each of the twins and … [Read More...]

Custom Playhouse / Playground {Part 1}


Nick and I have always planned to build the girls a their own custom playground area. But when we found this plastic Little Tykes thingamajig a few years ago on our local ‘for sale’ page, it seemed like a good thing to tide the girls over until we had the time and funds to ‘do it right’. They’ve gotten sooooo much use out of that thing. But these precious toddler days are OVER (collective tearful gasp) We tossed around a few ideas for where the ideal spot on our acreage would be … [Read More...]

S’mores Magic Bars

S'more Magic Bars 2

Its Meghan from Cupcakes with Sprinkles! Have you every made magic bars? They have lots of layers and they all melt together into one delicious magic bar. One of my favorite flavor combinations is a S’more. These bars are a sweet, gooey, combination of a s’more but tweaked with the an extra layer of sugar cookie goodness! These are the next thing you have to make so let’s get our ingredients and bake! Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 cake pan with non-stick spray. In a small … [Read More...]