Native Texan Livin': March 2016

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Disney Monorail Countdown Calendar (+ Free Printables)

Prepping for Disney World is like prepping for the end of the world or the zombie apocalypse...but like, way more involved!


We are roughly a month away from being in the Happiest Place on Earth & I decided we waited long enough to start our countdown calendar! (I think last time we went in 2012, I started our countdown at over 2 months!)  Most of the countdown calendars I see are the chain links you tear off daily but I wanted to do something different.  Something more...Disney!  And what's one of the most iconic things about Disney World?  The Monorail!

Disney Monorail Countdown Calendar


We made a Monorail course with a Monorail train to move from day to day, counting down our days & ending at Cinderella's Castle.  I found this really cute Monorail template & they had so many different color options.  The girls both decided on pink so we printed & cut it out, attached some popsicle sticks to the back & our Monorail was complete.


I found this pack of Disney scrapbook paper pack to print the rail & pillar templates on. (all templates listed below)  We mixed & matched and picked the paper we thought was cute & went with it. :-)  For Cinderella's Castle, I just found a picture I liked on the internet & printed that out.


Since most everyone knows how to cut on a straight line, I didn't do a step-by-step of that process.  (You're welcome!)  Instead, here are some pics of our completed project.


Disney Monorail Countdown Calendar
We just taped the rails end to end to make our Monorail course

Disney Monorail Countdown Calendar

Disney Monorail Countdown Calendar

Disney Monorail Countdown Calendar
Slide the monorail down behind each pillar for each day you countdown


Monorail & Rail Printables:
Monorail cars - multiple color options  I grouped some together on 1 sheet so it would be easier to print & choose the one you want.  Or you can always cut the Monorail in half & mix/match the colors. :-)
Monorail Rails - no color
Monorail Rails - gray
Monorail Rails & Monorail Pillars if you want to save some paper & tape them together.


Do you have a Disney trip coming up?  How far out do you start planning?  I'm wondering if it's too early to get our suitcases out!  ;-)

nativetexanlivin.com

Friday, March 18, 2016

Easy DIY Bird Feeder With Diet Coke "It's Mine" Bottle

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyFavoriteIsAllMine #CollectiveBias
Easy DIY Bird Feeder made from It's Mine Diet Coke bottles


Spring is just about here & that means 2 things... the temps are quickly rising here in Houston & the birds are coming out in full force!  The girls put out a bird feeder shaped mold about a week ago & it was gone within a day or so!  Those little birds are hungry! (at least we hope it's the birds eating it!) ;-)  Then a few days ago, one bird was even trying to crash through our window! :-)


Since we were in the midst of our Spring Break, we thought it would be fun to make a bird feeder of our own.  We found this really awesome display of Diet Coke It's Mine bottles set up at Randall's & could not pass them up.  Did you know no 2 bottles are the same?!?!  We found our most favorite bottles that we felt represented Spring...or just liked the most. :-)
It's Mine Diet Coke bottles at Randall's used for Easy DIY Bird Feeder

It's Mine Diet Coke bottles at Randall's used for Easy DIY Bird Feeder


There's a really fun sweepstakes going on now too!  Who wants a chance to win 1 of 10 VIP prize packages for 2 to Los Angeles to see Primetime TV's Biggest Awards show in September?!?!  Um...me please!  Packages include: hotel, travel gift cards, pre-party reception, exclusive gift bag & tickets to the awards show!!!  From now until April 26, 2016, you can snap a selfie with your favorite Diet Coke It's Mine bottle or can & submit it on Twitter &/or Instagram with the hashtag #ItsAllMineSweepstakes for a chance to win.  Winners will be selected around April 27, 2016.
Note..... your Twitter & Instagram accounts need to be set to public or unprotected in order for your entries to be viewable & valid.

Click HERE* for more information on the sweepstakes and to discover your entry.

*Once your entry is submitted, your entry picture will be added to this microsite.  If your photo doesn't appear within 24 hours, your entry did not submit appropriately.  You can check for appropriate hashtag & whether your Twitter/Instagram was made public prior to your submission.


TUTORIAL for bird feeder using
Diet Coke "It's Mine" bottles ----

1.  Clean out & dry your Diet Coke It's Mine bottle & gather your supplies:
(empty bottle, dish to hold bird seed, wire, wall plate holder, funnel, hole punch & bird seed)
Easy DIY Bird Feeder Supplies

2.  Hole punch 4 holes along the edges of the plastic dish
Easy DIY Bird Feeder Supplies

3.  Attach wire thru the holes of plastic dish, slide the plate holder onto the bottom curve of the Diet Coke It's Mine bottle & then attach the other end of wire to the plate holder (leave a small clearance between opening of bottle & the plastic dish so bird seed can flow out)
Easy DIY Bird Feeder

4.  Fill the Diet Coke It's Mine bottle with bird seed
Easy DIY Bird Feeder using Diet Coke It's Mine bottles

5.  Slide the wire frame over the bottle to the bottom curve of the bottle & hang your beautiful bird feeder in the perfect tree & feed some birds!
Easy DIY Bird Feeder using Diet Coke It's Mine bottles

Easy DIY Bird Feeder using Diet Coke It's Mine bottles

Pretty painless, right?!  And cute too!  The best part is that when it's time to refill, you can just pull the bottle up through the springs of the plate holder without having to remove any of the wires!


What fun things have you come up with for using these Diet Coke It's Mine bottles?  Happy crafting everyone!
nativetexanlivin.com

Thursday, March 10, 2016

10 Reasons You Should Visit the New Cabela's in League City, TX



I got an opportunity last week to tour the new 72,000-square-foot Cabela's store opening in League City, TX on Thursday, March 17th.  This is the first Houston-area Cabela's store so you can imagine how excited everyone is...and how packed it's gonna be on on opening day!


You walk in & it's so welcoming.  A huge fireplace off to the left, a giant mountain replica straight ahead, wood & stonework all around, hand-painted murals, vintage outdoor photos & taxidermy mounts every time you turn your head.


I had never been in a Cabela's before & it's pretty safe to say that this will now be my go-to store for all things outdoorsy.


Top 10 Reasons to visit Cabela's League City


1.  Longest gun counter in any Cabela's.  Well, you know, because....TEXAS!
And this isn't even the whole thing!


2.  Their cafe & grill serves fudge & Elk, Bison & Boar Subs.  Nuff said.


3.  Each department has Outfitters that are experts in their field.
Outfitter Garrett & Ed were really impressed with my turkey calling abilities. ;-)
(Just kidding, I was terrible!  Sounded like a dying turkey! :-) 
Luckily for Bo, I didn't have this when he shot a turkey last November.  
They would've scattered like...wild turkeys!) :-)


4.  There is an indoor archery range for you to perfect your shot.
Outfitter Chris found out you can't teach an old dog new tricks. ;-)
You can see the arrow flying...and the 2 X's where I hit!
BULLSEYE!


5.  Fly fishing demos from an expert Outfitter like Ronnie, who has been making fly fishing lures for over 40 years!


6.  Interactive Mountain with sounds & facts about different local animals.  Outfitter & Marketing Manager, Leah showed us how it worked & said this would be a great location for field trips.


7.  Biggest salt water fishing selection in all Cabela's stores (this is their most Southern store)


8.  Aquarium at the base of the mountain stocked with local fish. (no, you can't fish in it!) ;-)


9.  Amazing murals are all handpainted & taxidermy displays are set up to be specific for our area. Did you know you can't hunt deer with a feeder in every state? Yeah, you probably did, but I didn't.  Basically, the League City store has displays that will appeal to Texans.  


10.  Because they have a SUPER AMAZING Grand Opening weekend planned!!!  There will be live entertainment, giveaways, demos & more.  For more information on all the fun please click here!  Don't forget to click on the Giveaways, Outdoor Experts & Activities tabs for even more info.


Fair warning now...line up early because these Cabela's Grand Openings are no joke!  They're expecting people to camp out so get your tent ready!  Make a plan to catch some of the Grand Opening festivities next week & maybe I'll see you there!


What are your favorite outdoorsy things to do? (besides drinking on patios!) ;-)  My girls got really into their archery set after seeing my attempts last week.  Guess I have my work cut out for me. :-)


Friday, March 4, 2016

Building a Pool - Step by Step With Pictures

You know when you have a plan to post about something...and then 3 years later you remember it & decide to post about it?  Well folks, that's where we are today!  :-)
See how we build our pool step by step with pictures showing every phase


It's almost pool season again people!!!  Well, I guess in Texas, it's pretty much always pool season!  Not gonna lie...it helps if you have a heater in those "cold winter months" but it seems like NOW is pool building season!  A lot of people have hopes that their pool will be done by Spring Break, but for us, our goal was to have our pool be completed by Easter of that year.


I have a lot of friends that are building pools right now so I thought now would be as good a time as any to post about our own pool building process.


We started our dig on the Monday of Spring Break 2013.  Up to this point, we had already interviewed a few pool companies, we chose our pool shape, picked out our tile, plaster, coping & cool decking color.


Day 1 - 3/11/13 - Dig, Rebar
Let the digging commence!  The first thing a pool company will do right before they dig is to mark your yard with the exact shape you requested.  This includes the steps, any ledges, where the light will go, drains, etc.
Informative step by step pool building process with pictures showing every phase

Informative step by step pool building process with pictures showing every phase

Informative step by step pool building process with pictures showing every phase
Form boards were put up soon after the dig began to mark & 
maintain the pool's shape

Informative step by step pool building process with pictures showing every phase
Watching the bobcat was our favorite part!  It's crazy how quickly
it zooms in, digs, turns & zooms back out!  I mean, they even formed all
of the steps with this machine!
Informative step by step pool building process with pictures showing every phase
Some pipes were placed & rebar went in before the night was over

Informative step by step pool building process with pictures showing every phase
Day 1 is done & it already looks like a real pool!


Day 4 - 3/14/13 - Gunite
After all that work on day 1, they had to give the ground time to settle before they could add the gunite.  We don't want any cracking or settling after the fact!

The gunite was a loud process.  They put up tarps all over the house so none of the gunite would get on the windows & they pump this stuff into the pool & form it all around.  After this, you have to water your pool like a flower bed a couple times a day. :-)  This will help the gunite to cure properly.
Informative step by step pool building process with pictures showing every phase


Day 6 - 3/16/13 - Plumbing
Now this was the messiest part of the process!  They dig up & around your whole yard...around the pool, down the back side heading where the pumps would be placed, down the side & to the front to where the overflow pumps would be placed.  This phase is a disaster!  (Don't fret, they will clean it all up!)
Informative step by step pool building process with pictures showing every phase


Day 9 - 3/19/13 - Electric
The pumps & timers were placed on the back side of our detached garage.  My husband took the lead on all things pool, but if I'm remembering correctly, I'm pretty sure we got to suggest where we wanted the pumps to be located as long as it wasn't too far from the actual pool.
Informative step by step pool building process with pictures showing every phase


Day 13 - 3/23/13 - Cutting coping & rocks
We chose flagstone for our coping, which is what you call the top layer/edge of the pool & hot tub.  The workers cut them to size & put it all together like a puzzle.  We also chose to get large rocks for the backside of the pool.  There would be 3 pipes running through them so the water could flow down the rocks when on.
Informative step by step pool building process with pictures showing every phase


Day 15 - 3/25/13 - Tile & Coping
The flagstone has been set in place around the pool & they have started adding some of the tile around the hot tub & just under the edge of the pool.
Informative step by step pool building process with pictures showing every phase


Day 16 - 3/26/13 - Rebar the deck
The pool company includes X amount of concrete/cool decking with your pool.  They will rebar all of this area prepping it for cement to be poured.
Informative step by step pool building process with pictures showing every phase


Day 17 - 3/27/13 - Tile, Coping & Rocks done
All of the coping, tile & rocks are on!  They even added little inlay tiles on the edges of the steps.
Informative step by step pool building process with pictures showing every phase

Informative step by step pool building process with pictures showing every phase
This little baby 3rd step is the one thing I'd do differently if we could.
You need that last step & everyone always thinks there's a full step there, 
they step off on the far left & fall in.  Whoops! :-)

Day 18 - 3/28/13 - Cement poured for deck
The cement has been poured for the deck & the cool deck will be sprayed once the pool is complete.  It's crazy to think of how much grass we used to have!
Informative step by step pool building process with pictures showing every phase


Day 19 - 3/29/13 - Deck done
The concrete is dry & we area ready for this pool to be filled!
Informative step by step pool building process with pictures showing every phase

Informative step by step pool building process with pictures showing every phase


Day 20 - 3/30/13 - Plaster
This looks like a fun art project!  We chose a blue plaster so the water could appear more blue once it was filled.  Other options were white, black, tile...or even adding a decorative design!
Informative step by step pool building process with pictures showing every phase

Informative step by step pool building process with pictures showing every phase


Day 21 - 3/31/13 - Filling the pool
We finally got to start filling our pool Easter morning!!!  Hours & hours and thousands of gallons of water later, it was finally full!
Informative step by step pool building process with pictures showing every phase

Informative step by step pool building process with pictures showing every phase


Day 22 - 4/1/13 - IT'S DONE!!!
The pool is full & the cool decking has been sprayed!  Nothing left to do but jump in!
Informative step by step pool building process with pictures showing every phase

Informative step by step pool building process with pictures showing every phase


I didn't think it would be possible to build a pool from start to finish in 3 weeks but they proved me wrong!  I'm sure it was a combination of the weather behaving, a hard working crew & a pool company that kept on top of  everything.


I hope this step-by-step helps yall to see & understand the pool building process.  It's really not as bad as you think & is totally worth it in the end!  Just make sure to do your homework & choose a good pool company...that will make or break your pool building experience!

nativetexanlivin.com