The Amazing Entertainment Center… So far.

I left you guys hanging… In fact. I left you hanging on a lot of things for over a good month now. Sorry. You would think I have a herd of children, a house that’s too big to keep up with all the cleaning, and a job that is in my home and destroys said home on a daily basis.

Oh wait. You’d be right. On top of all that, the cord that connects my computer to my external hard drive is loose, or something, because it connects for a few seconds than disconnects, and it goes back and forth. So I had to go to Best Buy and get a new cord and now I have access to all my pictures again! For more than 10 seconds at a time :)

And lastly, to be honest. I have just been in a funk. I was so motivated to get shit done back in January and February; then my husband left for England; I did a lot of work around here… he came home, wasn’t too thrilled or impressed… and it killed my motivation. Ugh. And I’m at a standstill with most my projects because I need his help now, but it takes a long while to get him on that.

But when it comes to these scenarios, I think my Aunt Pam nailed it on the head. For her birthdays and Valentine’s Day, all she asks of my handsome Uncle Scott is to finish a honey-do list. Dude! Is that not the most brilliant idea you have ever heard????? Personally, I think she is one smart lady… A lot of people often think “What would Jesus do?”. My motto? What would Aunt Pam do? Much better question. And I usually like the answers that follows it.

Anyway!

I left you with this post. I showed you the samples of what I came up with:

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Ahhhhhh… that’s a beaut right there.

While the hubs was away, I did manage to finish part of the entertainment center, and my awesome cousin painted one of my walls in Sherwin Williams Gauntlet Gray {but in Behr’s paint- it’s amazing paint!}. I helped a tad bit.

And the wall color is perfect.

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She helps me paint all my walls, and always writes a note starting out… isn’t she precious! I especially love the giant MAR {& tiny}issa. MARissa. Ha! Thanks Bethy & love you!

It makes everything on that wall pop! The windows and door suddenly look more white {and they are far from white… they weren’t even white when we moved in!}

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I’m also excited to put up some glam decor in the area between the entertainment center and window… It’s really going to look amazing. I have a few ideas I’m toying with. But that won’t be done for a long while. Don’t look for that post any time soon.

Now moving onto my entertainment center. Isn’t she gorgeous?

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I couldn’t have been more proud and impressed with myself than I was after those boards went up! I am in love!

Wondering how I did this? Wanting to do this with an area in your own house? Well here… let me fill you in on the know-how!

I purchased:

(9) 1x6x8′ Pine boards from Home Depot.
(1) Sample paint of Herbal Tea {green}
(1) Sample paint of Beach Towel {blue}

What I also needed, but already had in my garage was:

Minwax Dark Walnut Stain
Target Diaper Cloths, White
Orbit Sander
Chip Brushes
Chop Saw
Nails
Some manly muscles!

So I started by chopping the boards to length with the chop saw. I needed 7 boards at 7′ long. The last board, I needed 8- 2 ft boards, totaling the 2 remaining boards. The reason for the 2 ft boards is because there is a giant hole in the middle of the entertainment center for the wall mount to hold the TV {because as you can see in the picture below, the mount is connected to the wall… not the entertainment center}. On either side of said hole, is 2 feet to the edge. Make sense? Good.

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Once that was done, I started painting with the chip brushes, beginning with the lightest color paint first. The green.

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I literally slopped it on. But in a very thin coat. A dry brush basically. I dabbed the ends of the brush in, got most of the paint off the brush, and then brushed it on the boards. Repeated until it was covered. With this process, you are still able to see the knots and grain of the wood thru the paint.

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Once the green is on, you repeat that entire process with the blue.

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Isn’t a beautiful turquoise color? Perfect. That’s what I was going for.

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Sorry, this picture is kinda blurry, did not realize that until just now…}

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Then, I sanded most of it off. Yup. You read that correctly. I used my orbit sander and sanded it back down to the wood grain.

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It was glorious.

There were some boards I was absolutely in love with. Some I was nervous about. And some I thought were going to turn out disastrous. You never know. You can’t keep them all the same obviously.

But then it was time to stain. And turns out, staining is my new favorite thing! I’ve always heard how awful and dreadful it was… but I personally found it fulfilling… maybe because it was bringing my vision to life? Who knows… maybe because I’m just weird. My only suggestion… get gloves. Or your hands look like you just walked out of a coal mine, for a long time.

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I did one board at a time. Literally slapped stain on the entire board, then took a white, diaper cloth and wiped it all back off. Now, I did quite a few practice rounds and tried a couple techniques. I experimented with leaving the stain on for 5 minutes or longer and then did the opposite and wiped it off immediately. And I found that it doesn’t really make a difference with this stain color choice. But I did note with each sample I created {when wiping off immediately}, the stain turned out a different color for each sample, even though I was leaving it on the same amount of time. But I loved that! I loved the un-perfection in this perfect piece of furniture.

Then, it was time to hang my boards. The moment of truth. My daddy-o and cousin Travis were huge helpers. The day Jason was to come home felt like the final day of a House Crasher episode.. ya know the Crasher series on the DIY network? Where it comes down to the wire in the last few hours and everyone is scrambling to get things done before the home owners come home??? Ya. That was us.

But they were my Rustic-Board-Hangers. Ya… that’s a thing.

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But just a friendly reminder… this was the black wall before the new planks… the wall that showed every imperfection in the construction… and my husband even did a great job building this thing!

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One board at a time… I chose which board was next. They would pick it up and nail it in… And the process would continue. As I watched it come together, my heart leaped! I couldn’t have been happier!

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The above image makes the room look so tiny… but I promise it’s not as tiny as it seems here!

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It ties so much together! The new wall color, the other gray wall. The coral wall. The newly painted mirror, my picture frames… Everything! It was perfect. Even my babes were perfect… they didn’t even notice anything was going on around them. Just played with each other. Good girls.

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Every time I would walk into the living room, I would stop and just observe. What a difference an entertainment center can make! As I mentioned in my other post, I loved the construction, my husband did an amazing job, and the storage! It’s what I wanted… but my design element was awful. {Hey, gimme a break, I’m learning as I go here.} And now that I know what style I’m wanting for this house, it comes together much easier.

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Next step is the 3 long and skinny compartments just under the plank wall. Where the receiver, Blu-ray player, internet modem, etc is all located. Time to get those bad boys hidden because my twinnies are pulling themselves up and this current set up is just not going to work!

Stay tuned, because it’s almost done! :)  In the mean time, here’s a sneak peak!!

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Until then, Loves and Toodle-o’s!!!

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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Kensli’s Room Part 2

Hello my peeps! I know I kept promising this post… but! There’s good reason it took so long! First of all- the twinnies. Duh! It takes awhile to get them both changed and fed. Then during nap time when I do all my projects/chores that get done faster without children, Kensli is napping… in her room, where I needed to paint. So. It didn’t happen as fast as I needed. I just needed a couple hours to finish, but just didn’t have that all at the same time.

So then I realized, I could move her to my bed during nap time and then I’m golden. So while I was painting, this was going on in my bed:

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Isn’t she so precious? Especially when she’s sleeping :)

Do you remember this post showing the paint job we did? Well I thought I would touch base on that a little and show the update thus far. It’s still not done completely, there will be a part 3… but knowing how long it took between part 1 to part 2.. know it may be awhile.

Well, we have finally moved on from just paint on the walls. But I wanted to show you what the before looked like. Are you ready? It’s glorious and you maybe overly jealous. Try to contain your envy.

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Do you see why it was hard to give this room a makeover?

But we fought the urge and did something to it when we decided to move Kensli into it.

And this was step one. Removing the ugly wall paper border and painting:

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My cool cat cousin helped :) Along with my handsome husband! It’s nice having handy helpingtons.

Anyway. Moving on.

So that was the first part.

The second part was actually getting her bed and dresser redone so she had somewhere to sleep. Yes, I know. Most kids are in a big girl bed by the time they are 2 anymore…

But A) I wasn’t pushing it. I enjoyed her living in a jail cell crib because she stayed there and couldn’t get up and wonder the house or her room when she wasn’t supposed to. I also knew there wasn’t going to be any toddler eye balls looking me in the eyeballs that very moment I woke up in the morning. That can give a lady a heart attack! Yes, she could climb out the last few months of being in the crib… but just never did. And for that very selfish reason, I kept her there until she was 3 1/2. And it brought her no harm.

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B) We re-did her dresser and bed so it would match and look like a set. I just never got it done in a timely manner. So until at least her bed was done, she had no where to sleep if I moved her out of the crib, except for the floor.

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But she was so incredibly happy on that cold December day we moved her. She actually had bed sheets and a comforter. Much warmer. :)

The next step was to get her closet done. Seriously… it was needed. The spare room was the smallest bedroom in the house and also had the smallest closet.  Which made for no storage. So we went from this:

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Before

To This:

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After

See, much better.

{I’m posting a follow-up post to this one on where I got all the supplies and the how-to’s on the bed. Sometime… So look for that post hopefully in the near future.}

Then my final surprise. The reveal that I was making you all wait for!

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I love to paint murals. They take a lot of time so I don’t do very many often, but I still love painting them. It’s kinda therapeutic for me. I love just painting away on a wall or a canvas and letting my thoughts run wild. I have done a few in my day… and decided my children should have some in their rooms to make their room different from anyone else! And since Kensli’s mom loves animal print.. that’s the theme of her room.

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I found this picture on Pinterest from this webpage and it was my inspiration. I love it, everything about it. And I decided I wanted Kensli to have something similar on her walls.

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Do you want a cheetah print wall? Well, let me fill you in on the how-to!

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First, I started out by drawing cheetah prints on the wall in the pattern I wanted. If you look closely, you can see the pencil drawings. It doesn’t have to be perfect at all. Once it’s painted, I promise, it’ll look like cheetah spots.

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Then, you fill in the spots with black paint.

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I loved the look, however, I wanted it to look more ‘furry’ if that’s possible. So I decided to blur out the edges. All I did was took a round sponge brush and tapped that ass wall.

Unfortunately, I was put on bed rest just after I stenciled half the room out. So my amazing brother and future-sister-in-law {September Cowboy wedding-can’t wait!} helped out and got what was stenciled painted in black! It was a huge start to the room and I couldn’t have been happier with the work they did! Thank you both!!!

Once you’re done painting in the lines and blurring out the edges with the black paint, it should look something like this. I love it! Exactly what I was going for… except I just didn’t feel it was finished. I felt it was missing something.

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So I decide to make it real girly. I went and grabbed my silver glitter and mod podge and headed back to her room. I bought both at JoAnn’s, and I’m pretty sure any glitter will work for this project.

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I mix about 1 part mod podge to 2 parts glitter in a bowl. And I use it as my glitter bowl. This isn’t my first rodeo at glittering things up!

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It looks kinda ‘glue-y’ but you want it to look like that. That means it’s mixed in pretty well. You do not want any lose glitter. Trust me when I say that, and for good measure. I’m going to repeat it. You DO NOT want any lose glitter. Or it will be everywhere for weeks following your project.

Once it’s mixed, I took another round sponge brush, dipped it in the bowl, and patted away in the middle of random spots.

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Once I was satisfied with the glitter spots, I decided to add splashes of pink. And that was exactly what was missing. I poured a little bit of pink on a plate and this time just painted pink in the middle of other random spots. So as you can see, there was a hard line with the pink where it met the black. And that was what I didn’t want.

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So back to the black, I took the round sponge brush I was using before, and went around the spots where the pink met the black. And I realized I forgot to blur a few spots completely , like the spot on the right in the above picture, so I went back and did some touch ups.

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And that was exactly what I wanted! I loved the outcome as did Kensli. She kept telling me “This is so beautiful mommy!” “I love this paint, it’s so pretty!” “The glitter is gorgeous, mommy!”

So easy to impress her!

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My Aunt Tammy sent her this cute sticker and a frame to add to her new room and it goes perfectly! So I put the sticker on some white paper, and then cut the paper to fit in the frame. Smacked that bad boy on the wall, and voila!

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I love how it turned out, and it matches her personality to a T. I can’t wait to show you the completely finished room. I have a few more decorations to add and it will finally be completely completed! Sooooo close I can almost taste it!!

I’ll be done… only to move on to finishing the next two kiddos’ rooms.

Loves and Toodle-os!