Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

So the basement "face lift" is nearly complete (click here to see reveal). In fact, the room is being christened this morning as we host a playdate for some of Peanut's school buddies.

But there is a very special section that will be off limits to these young lads…Belle's club. Seeing as how most of the basement is "man space", we felt it important to designate a special area just for the princess of the family. And here it is in all its pinkalicious glory.

The Girls' Club, as she named it, started off as a cedar closet under the basement stairs.

Belle & I set to work painting the bland space from ceiling to floor the perfect shade of bubblegum pink. To achieve this, I simply mixed and matched paints I had on hand until we found the shade of pink that was princess, tutus & cotton candy all rolled up in one.

I held to my DIY resolution and with some ingenuity, the whole project turned out to be free…just repurposed what was already laying around the house (plus the borrowed quart of magenta paint--thanks YiaYia and Bopi).

After the "room" dried, I banished Belle upstairs as I prettied up the place. Mainly this is a safe space to keep American Girl dolls and all their tiny and tempting accessories. So I treated it as a walk-in dollhouse, designating a dining, kitchen, and dressing area.

The club also features its own gallery wall.

Our family portrait Belle drew after Bear was born. I love how she drew the baby laying down:)

Along with a repurposed lampshade chandy and area rug.

Belle's reaction was worth every hour I spent crammed in the tiny closet.  Love you baby!

Linking up to:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

100 Day Project + Potato Stamps

This past Friday marked the 100th day of school for Belle. And to celebrate not only this milestone, but also Star of the Week, Belle decided to make a shirt bearing 100 stars to wear for the day's festivities.

I had seen, but never used, potato stamps & figured this would be the perfect occasion to test one of these spuds out. So armed with my star shaped cookie cutter, I went to work creating a stamp.

Belle then went to work creating a shirt.

Doesn't she look like Flo from the Progressive insurance commercials?

Belle was pleased as punch with her new shirt (which I neglected to photograph her in) & the potato stamp was a workhorse. I will be doing this craft again for sure. How about you, have you ever made potato stamps?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Star of the Week

Last week Belle had the honor of being "Star of the Week". To a first grader, this is the end all be all. So I took the extra minute (ok many, many minutes) to sprinkle her lunch with stars all week long. I only needed to prepare 4 lunches instead of 5 due to the holiday break on Monday.

Day1: A large star badge graced the top of her lunch.

Day 2: Star cut outs on the top of her PBJ sandwich. 

Day 3: Today we took it up a notch with star shaped strawberries & a star burst sandwich (or flower depending upon your interpretation).

Day 4: The grand finale featured mini star sandwiches, star shaped apples & peppermint dipped star pretzels (I stumbled upon these at the grocery store…Christmas clearance).

I hope when Belle opened her lunch & saw these little tokens of love, she knew that we were just as excited for "Star of the Week" as she was. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Night cap

Today sweet Bear turned 11 months. He and I spent the day under the weather, but before bed I got a chance to snuggle up with all 3 of my babies. I am so awesomely blessed!

Friday, January 25, 2013

DIY Valentine Mailbox Personalization

So in keeping with my DIY resolution (you can read all about that here), I opted to personalize the kiddo's Valentine's mailboxes myself. On top of saving some money, I would be guaranteed that the personalization would be correct and centered.

Sadly Ladies and Hubby, ( I'm pretty sure he is the only gentleman who peruses these pages)  I've spent a small fortune on personalization at Pottery Barn Kids. Everything from monogrammed baby clothing, to bedding, to housewares and each time it has either been misspelled or completely off center. So if you want something done right, DIY!

I danced my fingers over to and created these sweet little name tags.

The process when something like this:
  1. Create a collage and paint the background your choice of colors. Save
  2. Return to homepage & click Edit Picture
  3. Upload the collage you just created
  4. Select overlays (5th option on lefthand side) and the heart design
  5. Add name via the Text tab (4th option)
  6. Save
  7. Print

So in total it cost me 19 cents to personalize each of my little cupid's mailboxes. Sure beats the $21.00 PBK wanted to charge.

PBK personalization

Anyone else used pic lately to do something other than edit photos?

Oh, and the mailboxes are on sale at PBK for $14.99 plus free shipping. Not sure how long that will last.

Linking up to Metamorphosis Monday

Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Random Mind

Over the past few weeks I've found myself taking note of a few unrelated, yet noteworthy observations:

I am completely convinced that men are born with a gene that causes them to stare at a live television  no matter what the station. Evidence, Peanut at Costco. We were grabbing a highly nutritious, all organic (insert sarcasm) lunch last week and despite multiple attempt to engage him in conversation, he passed the time like this: staring at the flat screen across the aisle airing a looped Costco commercial. Seriously! I apologize now to his future wife.

The TV show Gator Boys. Where do they find these people!?! Who in there right mind would jump into murky water to catch an alligator? My family has become enthralled with the show and has yet to miss an episode. If you haven't checked it out, it is on Animal Planet, Sunday's at 9 pm eastern time. This week's episode they catch a 15 foot gator…no lie! 

Lord only knows why I felt the need to do flip over the faucet one day, but I did & this is what I found.
After 20 minutes of soaking, scrubbing & de-grimming it with a toothpick I can now say it is sanitary once again. Seriously folks, someone should do a PSA on this.

And while we are on the PSA, be sure to check your dryer lint trap. The kiddies have been draped in fleece everything now that we are in the middle of winter and that means lint galore. It only takes a minute, and be sure to remove lint from both your vent trap and the hose as well. 

And I leave you with this last thought. I ran across a study that reported the average stay at home mom completes 2.5 hours of house work a day. I would like to know where said woman lives & if she would trade with me. I think I clock in 2.5 hours in the kitchen alone on a daily basis. Not to mention laundry, mopping/sweeping, vacuuming and the non-stop "tidying". Perhaps it was a typo that meant to say, "The average stay at home mom only has 2.5 hours away from housework a day…at which time she sleeps."

Happy Thursday everyone…one day closer to the weekend.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Easy Peasy Pancake Mix Donuts

Since we weren't in a rush to get out the door Monday morning, it was the perfect time for an early morning treat. The kiddos presented Hubby with this mini donut maker for his birthday last summer (thoughtful or self-serving…I'll let you decide). 

As I was compiling the ingredients needed to make one of our favorite donut batters, I got the idea to use pancake mix instead. And to my surprise the results were quite tasty. (Note: The donut texture is more cake than a yeast donut.)

After we indulged in two apiece, we promptly packaged the remaining goodies. The tray on the left went to Theo N, still recovering from appendicitis, while the tray on the right we sent next door.  Our 3rd grade neighbor B is nursing a broken nose he got playing football during recess.

Gifting mini donuts was a nice change of pace and they looked scrumptious wrapped in cello and tied with a bow. Seriously folks, using the pancake mix made whipping these together a cinch. They would be a lovely way to surprise your sweetie on Valentine's Day too.