Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer is Knocking Part 2

It's official...the boys are out of school for summer!  Yikes, I better finish this weekly schedule thing before Monday!  I should probably just start tomorrow considering today they were already bored (wow, it's going to be a long summer for us).  Luckily, we go back at the end of July so I'll be able to grocery shop again soon...ha ha!  Although seriously I should have stocked up because going to the grocery with them gives me a splitting headache.  I thought it was bad when they were little, but I had no idea what I was in for later!

Anyway, on to the good stuff:-)  Yes, I did it - the binder of activities is complete.  I created a cover and a spine label so I can easily identify it:

To actually follow a schedule I need the activities on hand that the boys have the option of doing.  At first I thought I would have them pick from this binder, but after some more thought I realized it needs to be random.  My oldest could probably take an entire day to decide on an!

Here is what the binder looks like on the inside:

At the front is the weekly schedule and behind each tab are the activities we have to choose from.  The first tab is cooking and in that section are ten recipes that the boys are interested in making, the second tab is artist and has ten art projects, and so on.  We have seven weeks of summer so ten in each section will work.  There will be a few extra in case something is a flop or a "re-do".

The boys will not choose directly from this binder, but from a jar.  Each day they will randomly pull an activity out of a jar (the jar labeled for whatever day we are on).

Be on the lookout for the final post about the jars.  I think the boys are really going to enjoy it!  What do you think?  Do your kids like to do games and activities?  Can they agree on what to do? 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Teacher Gift

I took a quick break from my binder project to make a cute end of the year teacher gift.  Inspiration hit me in the grocery when I spied my favorite tea on sale...yes...perfect timing!

Thanks for being an awesome teacher:-)  I also picked up some Bigelow herbal teas to throw in the mix.  Deciding on a container was pretty easy.  I had found a cute white chalkboard container on clearance at Target a couple of months ago and guess was still sitting there waiting to be used!

Use the cute container or a plain clear container?  Cuteness won out and I decided to use the white container for the gift (even though I thought this particular piece would be so cute in my house).
Here are the supplies I started with:

Framing this cute saying was pretty simple.  I found this adorable printable from Bitsy Creations and adjusted it to print the size I wanted (a little smaller than 5x7).  My frame is this 5x7 frame (in light blue) from Ikea ($3.99 for 2) what a steal! 

I cut out the printed saying and found some scrapbook paper I had on hand to place behind it.

I think it turned out really cute...I love the orange and blue together!

Last, but not least I made a tag to put on it.  Once the tag was made and printed I cut more cute scrapbook paper out and put the tag on it (much more fun and colorful).  I am not sure how to make a free printable yet, but when I figure it out I will simply add it into this post for you.  It's not the best, but whenever you can save time it's awesome right?

What stinks is in my rush to finish (before the ice cream party started), I took awful pictures (I just have to laugh or I may cry...ha ha)!  But hopefully you get the idea from the pictures I did get.  I couldn't fit all of the tea in (oh darn...guess I'll just have to drink it!), but I did use my favorite and opened the Bigelow box to put a variety of the herbal tea in.  On the chalkboard part I put the teacher's name (of course it's covered in this picture by the tag).  Everything was placed on top of blue confetti paper (I happened to have extra from Christmas projects).

If I did it again it probably wouldn't look the same (because I have this little perfection thing going on), but it was fun and turned out pretty good.  Did you do anything cute for a teacher end of the year gift?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Summer is Knocking

The boys have two days of school left!  Oh man, how does that happen?  To love my space (and life for that matter) the boys I need some help getting through summer.  Before I know it they will be with me all day every day, all day every day, all day every day...just breathe...ha ha!  If they didn't fight (or insist on being on electronic devices all day) it wouldn't be all that bad, but sometimes I just can't seem to force help them get along.  

I found this awesome idea on Pinterest (of course) of a summer schedule.  This schedule is cool because each day there is a simple idea or topic to look forward to (not that my boys look forward to much of anything except sports), but we are going to give it a try!

The schedule didn't quite work for our family so I just tweaked it and added some different ideas.
Here is our finished schedule:

To let the boys have some choices, all the activities will be organized in a binder so they can pick which one they want (they'll either have to take turns picking or agree on an activity).  My prediction, they'll have to take turns (we can't seem to agree on much of anything around here)!

In the next couple of days be on the lookout for the binder information and the activities.  Anything special you do to make the summer work for your family?
If you would like a copy of this schedule you can find it here: Summer Schedule

Friday, May 25, 2012

Once Upon a Shelf

In our home the laundry room is the crazy space where tons of  things happen.  Backpacks and school papers get put here, mail gets sorted, lots of things get stored, and unfortunately of course laundry has to be done too! 
Getting a handle on the school work and mail are two of the most difficult things for me to conquer.  I tried an organizer I thought would work, but it just looked like a mess!  The colors were oh so fun, but in reality all it created was something I hated looking hoo!

Great colors, but what a mess!
This is on the laundry room floor while in the process of "fixing" the mess

So it was onto my next plan.  There is an awesome space between the bottom of my cabinet and the counter that I thought would be perfect for a floating shelf:

And I had to paint first since the plan is to paint the entire room and it would be a complete pain to paint around the shelf once it was in. 

 Ok, Ok, it wasn't really my was the Ikea catalog that gave me inspiration.  There was one photo that caught my eye and had me thinking like crazy.

The picture is on page 124 of the 2012 catalog...can't seem to post it here...drats!

An Ikea trip was in order...I couldn't go alone, so I took my BFF along and we only spent a couple of hours in there!  Of course while in Ikea we found all kinds of other fun stuff, but I guess that would be another post.  Anyway, here is the shelf I picked up for this project: 
This is the Ekby Tony shelf from Ikea - $29.99

We (actually hubby) started by adding the Ekby Tony shelf from Ikea.  Once the shelf was in I added these baskets from Target (I had hubby hold up the shelf so I could see if the bins would work...and yes awesome!).
I love, love, love the final outcome!  It turned out exactly how I envisioned I can't see all that mess and the colors make me smile.  Each bin has a label I created using my Cricut.  I also laminated them for durability.  One is for mail that is to file, one is for Andrew's completed work he brings home (just the stuff we are keeping), and one for Cade's completed work.

This simple shelf has made a huge difference in the laundry room.  I'll be honest, there are times when this place still looks like a tornado (shhh, don't tell anybody), but having these bins helps a ton!  Plus, it puts a smile on my face...I'll take joy anywhere I can find!   

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Awesome Mail Sorter

I have come to love, love, love spray has opened up a whole new world.  Find something perfect, but not the right color, nothing a can of spray paint (or two) can't fix!  Finding things at Goodwill or other thrift shops that I can reuse or re-purpose makes me smile inside (and we all need to smile inside right?).  I found a simple wire wall mounted hanging rack (not sure how to describe it) at Goodwill one day and was sure I could find some use for it.  Plus it was only $3.99...score!

Very cool piece, but not the right color

I found a color I absolutely love - Rust-oleum/Satin Lagoon  - and decided to give it a try.  First, I cleaned the entire piece with a wet cloth and then let it dry in the sun.  To make sure there was no dripping, I continuously moved my hand back and forth about 10-12 inches from the piece.  I did very light coats (at least 3) about 5 minutes apart to make sure it was completely covered.

As I was painting I came up with a perfect plan.  Our laundry room is right off of our kitchen and it is where we keep mail/bills, papers, backpacks and other supplies we need regularly.  There is a narrow piece of wall next to the cabinets that fit this lovely little piece perfectly:-) 

Totally off topic, but you can see I have started making some changes to the paint color in our house (the upper left corner shows the old color), but of course it's not finished yet...someday:-) 

I chose label titles that would help keep the bills off of the counter.  Apache Bills - our rental home bills go in this slot, Our Bills - all of our home bills and checkbook go in this slot, and Address - address labels so they are close at hand if I need them.  Most of the bills are paid online, but there are always a few where I need those crazy address labels (now I don't have to go searching in a drawer for them).  The labels I printed and laminated are from Better Homes and Gardens website and are the rectangle tag labels bhg labels.

Pretty simple, but it puts a smile on my face:-)  Found any good pieces at Goodwill lately or re-purposed something old?  Doesn't it feel good...or am I just crazy?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Spray Paint Addiction Begins

Home Goods is one of my most favorite places to wander.  I could spend hours in there without even realizing it!  And of course I never miss the clearance section;-)  I was looking for some kind of sunburst mirror (just like everyone else), when I stumbled onto some kind of strange flower looking mirror.  The colors were not my style, but I kept wondering if there was something, anything I could do with it (it was on clearance for $15 after all)!  I finally decided to bring it home.

Here is the way I found it:

Not too bad I guess, but the colors were all wrong.  I was working on my master bedroom and really wanted it to work in the space so I decided to spray paint it.  I had never spray painted before so this was going to be tons of fun!  The master bedroom is white and black with pops of color here and there so I decided on silver.  I just knew deep down silver was going to make this mirror much happier (and me too).  First, I took the mirror out instead of covering it, that way I could spay that weird white part right by the mirror.
Take a peek behind me - see my kiddos?  They couldn't resist the spray paint either!  I let them test it out on the tons of acorns we had found that afternoon.  Don't worry my hubby was supervising the acorn spraying!

Once the mirror was out I just went for it:

And really, why on earth am I barefoot?  Anyway, it took a couple of light coats and it was super completely addicting!  

Here is its new home - our master bedroom:

What do you think (besides the fact that it needs to be  Better...worse?  Not bad for a total of $20!  I like it (right now), but you never know, I may feel like "fixing" it in the future:-)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What Time Is It?

Have you ever bought something with a terrific plan in mind and then have it sit "not done" forever.  Well, that's exactly what I did with this clock.  I bought 6 of them in different colors planning on using them in our playroom.  The only problem, I also needed the perfect world  map to go with them.  Here is the clock (in silver), purchased from Target (and of course they were on sale...yippee!).

So these clocks sat in a closet for over a year.  Yes, over a sad is that?  I guess I am lucky I didn't just get frustrated and donate them to Goodwill (this happens frequently in our house).  After many attempts the map(s) were literally driving me crazy!  They kept looking like something from my room when I was a teenager...yikes! Walking through Ross (love the randomness), I found this dry erase, peel and stick wall made me perfectly happy!  The price - $8.99 - awesome!    
Finally, after over a year I have used the clocks...Yes!  I love the way it turned out.  The boys love it too, not only do they have a map at eye level, but they can see what time it is all over the world.  Hopefully it will stay this way for awhile.  But there will be no promises, I have a habit of making "fixes" around our home quite often!:-)