Archives for December 2014

A DIY Gift for the Small Princess in Your Life

Since we are short on funds, I needed a gift for my tiny girls at my daycare on the cheap. And recently, as in, the last I-don’t-know-how-many-months, they all have been pretending to be a princess, playing dress up, and fighting over crowns and wands. So I decided to make each girl a wand of their own and found a cute little tiara/crown to go with… a little Elsa inspired.

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First, I gathered all my supplies from Joanns. 2 3-ft wooden dowels for $.99 each. 2 3-ft Sparkly ribbon and 1 simple blueish/turquoise-ish ribbon. And last but not least, 1 6-ft blue boa. IMG_5639

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First, I used our chop saw to cut the 3 foot dowel in to 3 1-foot pieces. I needed 4 wands, so I cut one more wand from the second 3 footer dowel.

Then I decided it was time for a drink. So my next step was to the kitchen to make myself one. Who does crafts or projects without one?

I then cut off a small piece of the sparkly ribbon to hot glue at the end of the dowel to keep the wood from showing.

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Then I took the same ribbon and spiraled it all the way around to the other end of the dowel, making sure the sides were flesh with each other as shown below. You don’t want any gaps between each level. You will however have some exposed wood at the top, which is fine. The boa will hide all of it.

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Afterwards, I cut the blue ribbon to approximately 11 1/2″. Each wand gets two blue wisps. So I cut 8 in all.

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I took one ‘wisp’, put a dab of hot glue in the very center, and pressed it against the top of the dowel, on the exposed wood.

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Then I took the second wisp, placed another dap of hot glue in the center of it, and pressed it on top of the first one, but in the opposite angle. Making a cross with both ribbons.

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I then cut the boa to 5″. Again, each wand gets two. And let me forewarn you… you WILL get feathers everywhere. Luckily, I have a handheld vacuum, and I vacuumed the floor, the island, the desk, my sweatshirt, my pants, and a few other places. You have been warned….

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I took the first 5″ boa and pulled the feathers back as best I could. I lined about an inch with hot glue and pressed against the top of the wand between two wisps.

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I then did the exact same thing to the other end of that same 5″ boa strip: put a 1″ strip of hot glue and pressed it against the wand between two wisps right next to the first spot the other end of the boa was already glued to. It does make a tiny little loop on top of the wand – perfect!

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Repeat with the second boa and the two remaining spots between the wisps. Creating another loop on top of the wand right next to the other.

After that, you are basically done. But you have one last step. Notice how the end of the blue ribbon frays? That’s just from one little snip.

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So what you do, is take a lighter and move it close to the end of the blue ribbon. And what happens is it ‘melts’ the ends together to create a singe which won’t allow the ribbon to fray ever again!!

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After that, you are done my tipsy friends!!

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Pair it with a one dollar tiara or crown also from JoAnns, and you have a happy tiny person in your life!

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

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I hope with all the hustle and bustle you take a moment to remember what Christmas is all about.

I am so excited to spend our first Christmas as a family of 6, this year adding two very healthy baby girls. Making new memories and seeing the older two enjoying themselves. I love getting to see everyone and relaxing while watching all the youngster’s have fun.

I didn’t get to send out a Christmas card this year, it just wasn’t in the budget. So this will have to do ya’ll!

Here were our out-takes, it only took 5 tries.

Take 1:

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Take 2:

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Take 3:

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Take 4:

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 {Can you believe, this was our FIRST family picture since the twinnies were born? 9 months later. Sad. But true.}

Merry Christmas to All!! And to All a Good Night!!! Ho Ho Ho!

Rustic Glam: Mirror Face-Lift

Part of the Rustic Glam decorating style that I love is the Glam :)

In my last post, I told you how I came to my decision to start decorating my home Rustic Glam style. I love the decor and I love how most of it is pretty DIY-able! I’ve seen some stuff on Pinterest and mmmmmmmmm boy! I can’t wait to start this journey with mi casa!

So next up was this mirror:

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I can’t remember their story of how they ended up with it or how our conversation went, but about 5 years ago, our old neighbors had this mirror hanging out in their garage, but didn’t want it, so in the end, it became ours! I was soooo thrilled! I was happy to give this bad boy a home.

I loved it black! It fit so well in our old home as you can see. And it was the perfect piece in that spot.

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And it worked great in our new house. With the red and gray walls plus the black entertainment center.

But with the new wall and the face-lift our entertainment center will soon be getting after the holidays, I knew it was time for a change.

I wanted to make that room brighter because we only have one window that brought any natural light in. I also wanted to balance out the room because when looking at the TV, the white window on the right was so much brighter than the left side of the room with the brown couch, black mirror, and black & brown picture frames. So I decided to go with white to balance out the room and brighten up that side of the space.

So. Jason and I took this giant thang off the wall and drug it outside for it’s new face. My hubster’s is preeeeetty picky about his yard, driveway, and garage floor, so I was nice and put it on top of some giant cardboard boxes we had laying around.

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And then I taped just the edges of the mirror. I wanted to make sure nothing squeaked by and landed itself on the mirror itself. The paint needed to stay on the frame.

After that was done, I started taping newspaper all over and re-taping over the first layer of tape.  It made me nervous painting over paper, so I kept the layers of newspaper pretty thick.

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Then it was time to prime!! I didn’t even sand. Maybe I should have… but I didn’t. I used Kilz Spray Primer. I love this stuff! I love the way it coats so we always have multiple cans on hand at all times.

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Once the first coat was dry, I put on a second coat. And once that was dry, I started spray painting it with Rusteoleum White in satin.

It was starting to get dark and cold & the wind was going to be picking up soon. So we brought it in and put it on the kitchen table to finish drying over night just to ensure it was dry enough.

The next day, I put on a clear coat.

But not just any clear coat. I swear by this stuff. Varathane’s Floor Finish! It’s seriously the bee’s knees.

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This shit is tough as nails. We put 2 coats on for low traffic items and 3-4 coats for items that will be used often with multiple hands on it constantly. Since this is just a mirror that will be hanging up on the wall, we decided to go with two coats.

It started back when it came time to re-finish Kensli’s bed and dresser. We had used so many different kinds of poly crap on prior projects, Most were recommend by other bloggers, and I was so disappointed in all of them. The non-yellowing kinds yellowed, paint was chipping off in giant chunks with others and I was done using them. So with Kensli’s dresser and bed, I was on a mission to find anything else, I just wasn’t sure what that anything else was going to be.

And one day, I was staring at my ugly, God forsaken, stained and scratched to hell wooden floor {that hasn’t been refinished since long before we moved in}, and my train of thought went I wonder the last time this floor has had a clear coat put on it. I bet hardwood sealer is super durable considering a floor is the most traffic’d thing in a house. I wonder if one sealer can be used on all types of wood flo… WAIT!

And that’s when I googled it.

I figured someone, somewhere had to try it on some painted furniture. But I looked and looked and everyone I found only used some sort of Polyurethane. And I refused to use that crap again. Finally, I found one woman who tried it. She didn’t really mention how she liked it or anything, just wrote that she used it. Although, she did mention Holly at In the Fun Lane had recommended it. But all I could find on her page was Varathane Polyurethane. I never found anything that said she used Varathane Floor Finish. So… I decided to give it a try. If worse came to worse, I’d sand it down and redo it.

And I am hooked. I will never use anything else. It doesn’t bubble, it doesn’t yellow, it doesn’t allow the paint to chip. Nothing. And you can feel how tough this stuff is. I couldn’t believe why I hadn’t thought of this before.

So like I said previously, I gave it two good coats and let it dry over night.

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It says to wait 3 days, however, since it is being hung up on the wall out of reach, I just thought it could cure there. I am an impatient woman. It dries so quickly anyway and I didn’t have the patience to wait 3 days when it already felt dry after 20 minutes.

And I couldn’t be happier with how the mirror turned out.

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The space looks much better… still kinda awkward with non-matching picture frames and an awful looking couch. I’m in the process of making some cute frames, thinking of another decor in addition to the frames, and eventually we’ll get some new, matching furniture. Eventually. When I have plenty of extra money. And after Moose goes…

{That’s said all out of love old man.}

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See… he has destroyed our furniture. No point in purchasing new while he’s here.

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Loving my ‘new’ mirror :)

Next up is the entertainment center. But look for that post in January-February.

But I have some small projects in the mean time I can’t wait to show you!

Love and Toodle-os!

Rustic Glam: Wall Paint

Back when we moved into our house in 2012, it was stuck in 1990. The year it was built. Everything was added in when it was originally installed and never changed again. And I knew that when we bought the house. It has built in blow dryers for crying out loud…. ya. It was that awesome.

But we loved the bones of the place. The giant kitchen, bedroom suite, and the almost acre was what sold us on this place. But we knew we would have to update most everything eventually. The good news? It was all livable. Everything worked, it’s just everything was old and blue. They really liked blue… {Yes those are blue counter-tops}

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So when we moved in, we instantly took the built in’s down. It was too much. Even if we used them, it would make this place feel so cluttered. And the space they had for the tv fit an old boob tube that weighed as much as a small child. So we took them out carefully, and re-installed them in the garage for storage. Which worked perfect!

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The walls were also nasty. Everything was painted white except one random wall in the formal living room and the closet wall when you walked in. And those white walls showed everything from the last 22 years. So we decided step one to a homier home was to paint. I love the cool neutrals such as gray, so that’s what color we picked for the main walls. But I was dead set on red as an accent color wall in the living room. Since our living room and kitchen share walls with no breaks in between, I wanted a normal accent color that works well with kitchens.

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And I found this post from my favorite bloggers ever and decided that would be fun for the accent wall. I thought having a cool design in high gloss over the flat paint would make the space, especially with the red. So I bought a can of flat red paint, and a small can of high gloss in the same color.

We painted the red… and I was just not in love. At all. It may have been the flat paint, or the red, or the dungeon-y feel. But in all honestly, I hated it. And since I knew I was going to eventually paint it again, I decided to not follow through with the gloss paint. It may have looked a little bit better, but I still don’t think it would have taken me to my happy place.

It became even worse when we added the entertainment center that my husband built {I designed}. It was a shiny black {worst of my ideas yet: shows every handprint and spec of dust ever!} on top of the dark red, and it made the room seem so dark and elongated. I just was not satisfied. And ever since, I had an itch to change it.

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I really, originally, wanted to turn the red accent wall to just another gray wall. But no one liked that idea. Everyone turned me down. And I also wanted to take out that entertainment center and replace it with something else. But that was soooo much work & money, and not to mention, Jason put soooo much time & effort into it and he did a great job! My design just wasn’t what I thought it would be… So I was really struggling with the idea of just tearing it down. And besides, I couldn’t come up with anything that I wanted to replace it with.

But. Between myself and a few other peeps, we have come up with a new solution. A solution that involves a very low budget and far less work. New and cheap and easy. I’ll take it!

Part of my problem was I was “updating” things in the house without a real idea of how I wanted the end result to look like. I didn’t take a glimpse at the bigger picture. So after some serious thinking and researching, I decided I wanted to go with a Rustic Glam style. I love, love, love the feel of Rustic Glam. The colors, the decor, the style. It makes a house feel like a home but welcomes the rustic accents perfectly.

So first step was of course paint. I started with really wanting some sort of turquoise as the accent wall. I found this picture as an inspiration:

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And I was hooked. So once again, I was dead set on this said color. My cousin had suggested a coral, and I quickly dismissed it. I’m on a turquoise kick and I just thought it would be perfect.

So, I stopped in at Lowes, grabbed a few paint samples, and once Jason went to bed {to avoid any disagreements :)}, I plopped those bad boys up on the wall. Because like my cousin said, if I put those samples up on the wall, then I have to do something with it, otherwise I would never force myself to cover that red wall of gloomy-ness.

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I took a step back and admired the three different colors. And I wasn’t in my happy place with any of them.

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The next morning, Jason walked into the kitchen and living area, and was not so thrilled. :) Good thing that man loves me…. The things I get us into… you would not believe.

If I recall correctly, his words were “What the hell is that?!” Just paint colors hunny, now pick your favorite.

I took the vote from all my daycare kids’ parents, all my school age kids, and even friends and family via the above picture message.

But even after listening to responses and opinions, I still felt absolutely no tug for any of them. And that miserable ache was starting to settle into my stomach, that same feeling I had after we painted the red.

And then. Then I saw it. A photographer had posted a newborn baby she photographed that was laying on a turquoise blanket and had a coral headband, and it went together perfectly! I fell in love and knew my cousin was right. {I tried like hell to find the picture again so I could show you… but with zero success} So I text Bethy right away and told her I changed my mind and that she was right.

Coral it was.

I got on the Sherwin Williams Visualizer , searched coral and it suggested the color Coral Reef. I instantly knew that was the color I wanted. It looked perfect against the gray that was already on my walls, and looked okay with the black entertainment center (which will also be getting a face-lift soon).

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So that day, I went to Lowes with my cousin so I could get her military discount, got a gallon of Coral Reef, and we went to work.

Beth does the trim… and will probably have a permanent job here when it comes to painting. Lord knows I am not patient enough. I can mural up almost any design and roll the heck outta those walls… but trim? Hell no. I get paint on every thing in close proximity to what I’m supposed to be painting. But Beth is amaze balls and doesn’t even need tape!! But I can hardly watch her do it… she moves so slow because she’s so careful… and I just want to take her brush and do it for her… but then we’d end up back at square 1.

And I love how it turned out! It seems so much homier than that damn red!

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Eh. Look at all those finger prints and smudges. It’s got to go, pronto!

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What’s even better??? Shortly after, I received an email from Sherwin Williams telling me the color of the new year 2015 is…. drum roll please…. Coral Reef!!!!

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Boom.

We’re just that good over here.

 

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Now that the gloomy red is gone, now is this giant mirror’s turn.

Step 3: the entertainment center. (After the New Year)

It’s gonna be awesome sauce!

Stay tuned!!

Love and Toodle-os!

Children are like Sharks in Blood Infested Water

The title of this post may sound confusing, but if you are a parent of any kind… I know you know what I’m talking about.

Let me tell you a story. I have a weakness for Reese’s. I’m not much of a candy or dessert person, but oooooh those Reese’s… they get me every time. A week or so ago, during daycare, I found one in my kiddos’s Halloween Candy bucket {don’t judge me. You know you do it too.}, so I snuck it into the front pocket of my sweatshirt to save for a later time. I can’t eat it in front of them because then I would have to explain how I am the only one to get one, they don’t get candy right now, blah, blah, blah. None of which would make much sense to a 2 to 4 year old.

So while they were watching something on tv, I snuck into the laundry room to open my peanut butter milk chocolatey snack… waiting to be devoured by me. And suddenly I hear 8 little feet running towards the laundry room.

“MOM! What are you doing?!”

“Marissa!! Where are you?!”

“ISSA! Ah you?!”

So before I could even tear the wrapper, I was shoving it back into my sweatshirt.

5 minutes later… They had just headed down the stairs to the playroom. Perfect time. Brought out my Reese’s and was in the process of ripping the plastic and the basement door swings open.

“MOM!!! I bumped my head!!”

Followed by another tiny person. “I fell on my bottom!”

Okay, okay… shoved the dumb thing back in. But took a mental note it had to be eaten soon, because the wrapper was now ripped open.

A few moments later, they were back downstairs. Okay good. They should be fine for a few minutes.

I hurried up and took it out and started working at where the rip was. I could see the chocolate and my mouth was watering. I could already taste it as I chewed the edge first… then I eat the….

“MOM!! I am soooo thirsty!”

“Me too. I’m thirsty too.”

“Me too! Me too!”

What? I didn’t even hear the basement door open! I must have seriously been daydreaming about this damn Reese’s.

They decided they wanted to watch tv again. Fine… no biggie. But I’m going to the bathroom this time. Wahahaha.

I don’t even need to go. I just put the lid down and sit down. By this point, the chocolate has melted just enough it’s starting to get on my finger tips.  I finally got the Reese’s out of the wrapper. I’m looking for the brown wrapper that cups the Reese’s when the bathroom door flys open, hitting me square on the knee bone.

While I’m holding my breath, hunched over because clearly squeezing your knee and breathing in and out helps the pain go away… I use my other hand to put that damn treat back into my sweatshirt. AGAIN!

“Mom, what are you doing in here? Why are your pants on? Why are you just sitting on the toilet?”

Eh. The curiosity of a 4 year old. So.. I make my way back to the living room. I’ll just get to this damn thing later. At this point, I’m just contemplating eating it in front of them. And making them watch me eat the gloriousness they call Reese’s. But I’m not. I’m nice…. and  decide to wait it out.

I sit down on the couch and my daughter jumps into my lap. Landing directly onto the reese’s in my sweatshirt pocket. Then proceeds to wiggle all over… And I just close my eyes. I just picture my amazing treat smushed into a tiny billion pieces in my sweatshirt… what it really looks like at it’s present state.

That’s it. I head to the bathroom and LOCK IT! Take that all you tiny people! Try to get to me now!!!

I pull out my poor, poor, pitiful snack. And it is smushed. And let me tell you something. Since I can remember, I eat my Reese’s a certain way. Every time. I nibble off the zig zag edge. If there is only one Reese’s, I usually eat it from there. But if there are two, then I use my teeth to peel off the chocolate top. It usually comes off in a little sheet. Repeat the process for the second one. Then I put the two peanut butter sides together… so it’s like a milk chocolate and peanut butter sandwich. Like a double cheeseburger.

Well… when it’s smushed flat, there’s no removing that zig zag edge…. or peeling off the top chocolate layer. Or no double cheeseburger.

I just, instead, placed the peanut butter pancake in my mouth.. and ate it as a whole. It was a strange… strange feeling.

Now do you know what I mean? Literally, they are like sharks that got that sense of blood somewhere in the water. And then go crazy. And that blood, my tipsy friends, was my Reese’s.

They also turn into sharks when I’m trying to read a book and have a half hour to myself. When I”m trying to take a nice warm bath.

And another blood moment? When I’m trying to eat. I will get my food gathered, get my drink ready, my silverware all set up. And as soon as I pick up my fork to stab a piece of food… one of the twins cry. And I hate eating while listening to them whine or cry. I like to eat in peace and enjoy my food. This is why I normally don’t get breakfast and lunch while running a daycare. I mean. I don’t want to eat anyway… right?

Every time Jason and I have a few minutes to smooch, Moose instantly pushes his 150 lb body in-between us while someone pulls at our shirts because they need something. It’s seriously a group effort around here.

When you’re going to the bathroom and you hear a loud crash. You know the kind. The kind that just does not sound good… no matter how hard you try to imagine it was just a stuffed animal?

I can almost guarantee when I think I have a few minutes to myself, I either hear “MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!! I NEED YOU TO WIPE MY BUTT!” or they come running like bats outta hell.

But that’s just one of the many joys of children. Can you wait for the stories when my twins are walking…? OH, Lord help me and may the alcohol be plentiful.