ABOUT ME

ABOUT ME

Meeting Monique

Yup, that’s me! It’s nice to meet you!

Monique is a very shy (introvert) person. I’ve always  been since I was a little girl. I mean I do talk, but just around people I’m completely comfortable with. On the plus side, I am a great listener, so if you ever need to vent I am all ears! Growing up, I spent my days tracing and drawing. I guess you can say I have a thing for art. Photography also came into the play, I had an interest in taking photos. At least, I thought I was a photographer back then. I would go to school with my little boxed camera (you know the disposable one that you needed to take to CVS to have the film developed. . .Yep, that’s the one!) My mom would always take me to have the film developed. Being so anxious, I couldn’t wait to share the photos taken of classmates, friends, plants, the sky, and even the ground. 

Hi there!

Interest Sparked

Growing up, my dad worked in concrete construction. He even had his own small business that was named, Heard It’s Smooth Concrete Construction. Whenever he checked on a job site, my little sister and I tagged along in his white chevy pick-up truck. I loved seeing his job sites, but I hated the travels which were most of the time long. For me, it was always such a thrill to see his work, whether it was of a parking garage or the start of a basement for a future home. As we drove around, he would always point out to my sister and I where he completed a job. I may not have known it then, but now I can see how proud he was of his accomplishments.

Blacktop poured by my dad and crew!

Living back  off the road down a slightly long graveled path or as I always told friends “we live back in the woods.” What used to be an old dirt graveled road has become a smooth and less bumpy road, thanks to my dad. He poured our concrete driveway, the back patio, and even the sidewalk leading to the front door. I was in awe of how cool it is to do things yourself and be your own boss. As you can see in the picture below the front sidewalk is a mixture of rocks incorporated with the stepping stones that were there before. 

Oh, we’re off to see the wizard. . .

Why Blog?

Blogging is a new factor in my life. One, I never thought of doing until I remembered I used to have a wordpress account in my early 20’s for another purpose. Then I thought, “Hey! Why not give blogging a try?” Seeing other talented moms of many get it done and excel with their blog motivated me to begin my own blog journey. Though it is not an easy venture, it has been a fun and engaging learning experience.

Personally, the loneliness you may have by being a stay at home parent. If you’re anything like me, a mom who moved away from your family because of your fiance job or lost contact with old friends, then you understand how lonely it can be at times. I thought of using my blog as a personal outlet to express feelings and emotions, but then again who wants to read about my feelings, lol. Though, I do hope to share my artwork, home decor, mini crafts, woodwork, and little home projects with you.

Farmhouse Unique

Originally, I wanted to name my site “Home with Monique,” simply because my time is spent mostly at home with my youngest. Unfortunately, someone already had the name on twitter. So being quick on my toes, I created the name “Farmhouse Unique” with the slogan “Home with Monique.” Farmhouse Unique was created based on the fact that I love farmhouse styles. A little bit of rustic charm and the inspiration from Joanna Gaines had me sold and in love. Who knew shiplap was a thing? Not I, but I love it! It is quite beautiful and I would love to incorporate it into my home one day. As we all know “you must start somewhere and work your way up!”

Ideal Home

On this journey, I will slowly, but surely transition my home into my ideal farmhouse dream home. Though, I fear my ideal dream home won’t fully be displayed in our current home for multiple reasons, I will do my absolute best to achieve the possible.

My ideal home is a one floor ranch style with a beautiful front porch. The front porch would include wooden cedar post, shutters, and frontdoor. I love the look of cedar wood! The cedar look would be accompanied by a navy blue painted stucco, brick, or siding with white, but this is just option 1. Option 2 still includes the cedar wood, but the home would be painted white or  cream. There would be large front windows. Upon entering the home, the foyer would be roomy and open with built-ins for storage and sliding barn doors. Walls of shiplap. On the opposite wall there will be a beautiful farmhouse console with decorative items. A gorgeous open concept living area with a gorgeous mantled fireplace. A large spacious kitchen with a grand island with all the bells and whistles including my farmhouse sink I dream of having. A bright sunroom that could also be my art space. An office space with tons of built-ins for books. The children’s playroom that would also act as their livingspace. A warm cozy master bedroom with a spectacular view of nature’s finest. Omg! The master bath will have my freestanding tub (my ultimate desire) or a claw foot tub would go nicely too. Of course, double vanities will be preferred. Don’t forget the walk-in closet with built-in shelving units and drawers. Oh, and the closet’s secret compartment! To sum it all up, 5 bedrooms with 3 and a half bath. Perfect lighting throughout the home would be lovely! Omg, herringbone pattern is a must either the flooring or with the backsplash in the kitchen and bath. I simply adore it! The gracious green lawn with a beautiful landscape. 

`

Okay! Stop Dreaming and Wake-up to Reality. . .

Sighs! Yeah, that’s definitely not happening with this home, but hey it’s okay to dream. This home may lack the space that’s required to build my ideal home, but it does offer minimal projects I can tackle just to make it a little more homey and a little more farmy. Decor is always a game changer and my go-to to improve our family’s home. Now you know more about me, feel free to drop a comment below and share a little about you. Thanks for meeting Monique!

Simple changes can make everything right!

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My Top 5 Valentine’s DIY Crafts: Part 4

My Top 5 Valentine’s DIY Crafts: Part 4

Happy Sunday beautiful people! We are getting close to the end of our Valentine’s diy craft decor. Our next craft is , The Golden Arrow. This diy craft is one of my favorites simply because the color palette used. Now, presenting, “The Golden Arrow.”

The Golden Arrow

Materials & Tools:

  • Heart Valentine’s day sign from dollar tree
  • Heart Valentine’s day sign with an arrow from dollar tree.
  • Scrapper
  • Sandpaper or sanding block
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Gold spray paint 
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Twine
  • 1 Flower
  • Goo be gone
  • Scissors
  • Putty knife
Valentine’s sign removed. Saved for another project.

Step 1: Using the putty knife remove the sign, and then use scissors to remove the ribbon.

Step 2: Using sandpaper or a sanding block, sand the blotchy spot until it’s smooth, then wipe the sand dust away.

Step 3: Apply your paint using a paintbrush (I use white chalk paint.) It may require two coats of paint. 

Gold arrow.

Step 4: While allowing it to dry, I sprayed Goo be gone onto the arrow and let that sit for 5 minutes. Next, I scraped the glitter off the arrow cleaned it with soap.and water, let it dry, and then spray painted the arrow gold.

Tip: After lightly dipping your brush into the black paint, wipe excess off onto a paper towel before brushing onto the heart.

Step 5: Letting the arrow dry, I used a dab on black paint and dry brushed paint onto the heart to that get the weathered look.

Step 6: Take the arrow and hot glue it onto the edges of the heart. 

Step 7: Add a flower (this is totally optional,) and then add twine to hang it.

This is beyond my favorite and I am simply pleased with how this craft has turned out. Look love, you made it more than halfway through our Valentine’s crafting journey. One more day ahead, it’s bitter sweet! If you are just tuning in, have a look at craft #1, craft #2, and craft #3. Until tomorrow, my loves!

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My Top 5 Valentine’s Day DIY Craft: Part 2

My Top 5 Valentine’s Day DIY Craft: Part 2

Hey loves! Who’s ready for day two of the Valentine’s day decor diy? Me, me! If you’re new here, welcome! Today, I’ll be sharing my next Valentine’s day craft. I’m calling it “the heart box!” Shall we begin…

The Heart Box

Materials & Tools:

  • Art decor box (dollar tree find)
  • Metal heart (retrieved mines from a dollar tree sign)
  • Twine (dollar tree)
  • Ribbon (dollar tree)
  • Paint (your choice)
  • Paint Brush 
  • Hot Glue Gun 
  • Gluesticks
  • Sandpaper or Sanding Block
Decor box found at The Dollar Tree in the Valentine’s Day seasonal section.

To get started, take the box and scrap the flower off (your box may differ as there are different prints sold at The Dollar Tree.) I used scissors to complete this process, but I suggest using a putty knife. Grab sandpaper or a sanding block and sand the area so that it’s smooth. Be sure to wipe the area clean, free of dust. 

Sanding to smooth the area. Don’t forget to wipe the residue off.

Next, I mixed my three paints together as I did in my previous post (see here) to get my desired pink color. Use a paint brush to brush on the paint, then allow to dry.

After drying, add a dab of  hot glue to secure the tip of the twine to the back of the box. Next, wrap the twine around 4 times. Cut, and then glue the twine to secure in place. Repeat for the remaining 3 sides. 

Applying hot glue to the metal heart, place it to the center of the box. Cut your desired length of the ribbon of your choice and make it into a bow. Add a dab of hot glue and place the bow at the top of the box. There’s your beautiful Valentine’s Day diy decor piece! Another simple and easy win!

I hope you all enjoyed! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out “The Love Sign” in my previous post. Tomorrow, I will introduce my next diy Valentine’s Day decor! Until next time loves!

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How to Build a Baby Gate: 10 Step Process

How to Build a Baby Gate: 10 Step Process

Welcome to the new year of 2020! I hope you all had a great New Years Day! I’m starting the New Year’s off by finishing the build of my second baby gate.

I was in desperate need of a gate since my little mister has successfully climbed over and through everything I’ve used to block his way; a chair,  a large basket filled with blankets, a large pillows, and even bean bag chairs. All were epic fails!

Honestly, I’ve been putting this off for a while now. With so much to do and so little time, things just haven’t been getting done. Now that the holiday season is over, I was finally able to build the gate and can’t wait to start my next project.

Mommy’s travel buddy and I took a ride to Home Depot to gather supplies. We gathered about 6 common boards, hinges, and a lock only to find out that I purchased the wrong boards and lock this time, (this is what happens when you’re short on time and in a rush.)

The lock is smaller than the one I purchased last time, while the boards are much wider and longer than the common boards I used in the previous build of my first  baby gate.

Sighs…No matter though!
I just improvise. 

Different boards mean different gate and I’m fine with that! 

Let’s build!

Materials used:

  • 6- 1 x 5′ x 8′ Common boards
  • Hand saw (suggest a mitre saw or circular saw)
  • Nails & Hammer (Brad Nailer if desired)
  • 2 Hinges
  • 1 Lock
  • Wood stain of your choice
  • Polyethylene (if desired)

Tools used:

  • Hand saw (suggest a mitre saw or circular saw)
  • Sander
  • Drill and/or screwdriver
  • Sponge and/or paintbrush

Step 1: Measure the length between the wall of your stairway or wherever you choose to place your baby gate. Then subtract an inch or 2 off to compensate for the board(s) that you will be attaching to the walls to help hold up the gate. 

Note: This is where I made a mistake by not examining and remeasuring the area before I measured and cut. It wasn’t too much of a disaster,  but it would have saved me from cutting one less board.

Step 2: Measure and cut the boards as you need to equal the width. 

Note: I used the same measurements from my last baby gate diy, but this time with lesser boards and a different style gate.

My Measurements:

39″ width × 33″ height

Step 3: After cutting, sand each board before assembling. 

Note: You could wait to sand until after you assemble. It’s your choice, but I chose to sand everything now.

Step 4: Lay the backframe and spread each board out as equally as possible. Then lay the front frame across on top, making sure they’re aligned with the backframe. 

Note: For the front frame, one board at the top, while the other is at the bottom. See picture below for layout.

2 boards for the front frame; 5 boards for the back frame.

Step 5: Use wood glue and apply a small amount to one board on the back frame. Next, hammer 2 nails to secure the front frame to that board. Repeat the step for the remaining boards.

Step 6: Stain your wood if you dare. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label and allowed it to dry 24 hours before applying polyethylene. 

Note: I used Rust-Oleum American gel stain.

After apply the stain, I allowed the gate to dry 24 hours before apply polyethylene.

Step 7: By following the instructions on the label, apply polyethylene. Also allow 24 hours to dry.

Step 8: Depending on the placement of your gate, you may need to screw one or two board to the wall using 3 drywall screws on each. 

Note: Based on the placement of my gate, I only needed to use one board.

Step 9: Use a drill or a screwdriver to attach the hinges.

After attaching the hinges.

Step 10: Last, but not least, use a drill or screw to attach the lock bolt. 

Note: Based on my placement of the gate, I only used one board for the wall to latch the gate onto. I then attached part of my lock to the gate and then the door frame of my kiddos playroom. (See picture below.)

Lock attached to gate and door frame. Yes, I know it’s a little crooked, but it works!

It was definitely time for another baby gate. I am so thrilled to have finished this project and I’m ready to take on the next one. So with the New Year finally here, I hope to plan accordingly and finish projects one at a time. The bigger projects may occur once a month, while the smaller projects can vary from once a week to every two weeks. Stay humble, plan, and enjoy your year of 2020!

The finish product! As you can see, one board is used to hold up the baby gate, while part of the lock is attached to the door frame.

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Blue Christmas.

Blue Christmas.

Good Evening to all and Merry Christmas. I am glad to say that I enjoyed a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with some of my family.  This weekend I’ll be visiting the rest of my family. Unfortunately, I received some sad news. A distant relative was shot and killed. Part of my family’s Saturday morning will be to attend the funeral, while I travel to visit a little later on. 

It is very disappointing to hear that someone’s life has been taken, especially around the holiday seasons. Why do we humans hurt one another? What purpose does it serve? What power does it give? What are you gaining from harming another? 

Though I never had a relationship with my distant relative or knew them very well, l feel sorrow in my heart and wish the family my very best. Knowing that someone is no longer with us can be difficult to grasp and will take time to cope.

Though everyday in life, someone’s life is taken or someone has suddenly passed, it’s never easy to deal with. Whether it’s a lost of a family member,  a lost of an old school mate, or a lost of a relative of someone you know. How do you cope with it?

Do get angry and become mad at the world? Do you reach out to help those grieving? Do you just move on and ignore the fact that someone is no longer living?

As I am writing, I realized I have not been a good person. A year or so, someone I was friends with in high school lost a sibling. I found out through my sister since I no longer had any social media accounts at that point in time. I remember telling my sister to send a message basically saying, “I’m sorry for your lost and if you would like to talk here’s my number.” There was never a response and that was okay. Was I wrong for having my sister, send the message?

I understand people grieve in their own way and I’m sure there were many people to help aid through the process. Even still, I attended the vigil to show support and respect, but I was unable to attend the funeral.

A funeral is not a place none of us want to experience. It’s also not a place I want my children to experience. When I was a child, my dad’s youngest sibling had passed away. She was my aunt, an aunt that I did not know. While attending her funeral, there was so much sadness. People mourned everywhere. It was overwhelming and too much to bare. I cried for someone I never met. I cried because I saw the pain and hurt from others all around. That environment full of sorrow and pain is not what a child needs to experience at any age.

I am grateful for my family and love them so. Be sure to wrap your arms around each of your loved ones and hold them tight. Let them know how much they are loved and how grateful you are to have them in your life. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and keep your loved ones close always and forever.

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The Kiddos Made a Christmas Countdown Calendar!

The Kiddos Made a Christmas Countdown Calendar!

Hi everyone. It has definitely been a busy week getting to share a few mini diy crafts and activities with you. If you recall from one of my previous post, The Kiddos Made a Stocking Ornament, I did promise to share their next workshop. This weekend, the girls made a Christmas Countdown Calendar. 

Unfortunately, I had over scheduled some outings and couldn’t take them to the workshop, but I was able to pick up their kits from Home Depot so we could tackle their project at home.

The kit includes:

  • 1 tree shape
  • 2 side pieces
  • 1 base 
  • 2 date blocks
  • 2 long nails
  • 4 short nails
  • 1 sticker sheet

Materials required:

  • Fine sandpaper (optional)
  • Wood glue (optional)
  • Hammer

To be honest I did not use sandpaper because it wasn’t necessary. I forgot about the would glue, but the project is holding together just fine. Before assembling I allowed my kiddos to paint.

After the pieces dry take the base, and place it on it’s side. Next, take one of the side pieces and align it with the side of the base, then hold while inserting one of the long nails. Allow your child to hammer in the nail with your assistance. Do the same for the other side piece.

Flip and lay the project down flat. Add glue if you desire and place the tree shape on top making sure that all sides are aligned. Again, with your assistance allow your child to hammer in the 4 short nails.

Lastly, apply the stickers and insert the date blocks. Just like that the girls have their beautiful Christmas Countdown Calendar! Thanks for enjoying this kids craft from Home Depot. I’ll be writing you soon so stay connected.

Christmas with No Tree!

Christmas with No Tree!

How do you have Christmas without a tree? 

As I mentioned before in Christmas Decor Home Tour , our faux snowed Christmas tree mysteriously got destroyed while in storage. It sucks because I really loved that tree and we only had it for 2 years. Now with the holiday season in full affect, trees can be expensive.  

So What Now?

The mister and I are contemplating on getting a real Christmas tree this year (sap and all), and then after the holiday season purchase another faux tree when they’re much cheaper.  

While that thoughtful solution is still simmering. I came up with another solution. A corner wall Christmas tree made with lights! Haha! It’s truly something new since I had no idea what to do with these extra lights. So, I thought of hanging the lights on the wall.

Materials needed:

  • Christmas Lights 
  • Command strips light hanging clips for outside

To get started, I eyed the layout of the Christmas tree as I placed the command strips on each side of the wall.

Just peel and stick!

Note: To make it easier, use painter’s tape to layout the christmas shape tree before adding the command strips .

After completing that process, I then hook the lights from left to right.

Corner wall Christmas Light Tree

It may or may not be temporary, but it works! It’s beautiful and the kiddos loved it!

To help bring Christmas in for the girls, I purchased two small trees from Target so they can decorate and call their own. Each tree cost $3. The Christmas bulbs cost about$3 from 5 below.and the string of garland with bells cost $1 from The Dollar Tree.

Thank you for taking this Christmas tree journey with us. Happy Holidays and safe shopping!