Thursday, June 28, 2012

Big Changes

I've been a horrible blogger, I know. I feel terrible about it because there have been lots of things I want to make sure I remember from this spring and summer and I just haven't been blogging about them. I am emailing notes to myself though so eventually I'll play catch up.  For now, we are thankfully all healthy and happy and enjoying our summer break.

Speaking of summer break, I spent exactly 2 days after I finished work relaxing before I realized not running a daycare with 6 kids under the age of 4 leaves me with a LOT of extra energy. So instead of laying on my couch every evening watching DVR'ed reality TV I started tackling cabinets and drawers, purging and organizing as I went. Productivity was a satisfying feeling.  Yay me!

Then like any good DIY junkie I needed a bigger fix than clean cabinets (crazy?) and in 24 hours, with about 9 hours of sleep in there I went from this...when I asked TG "Hey honey would you care if I start ripping up this nasty carpet?"

to this with some help sanding from my gorgeous hubs.  Did I mention I LOVE having him home over the summer?

We took a break to let the little man run free at the park in this beautiful weather and had frozen yogurt with friends before I came home and did this.

While every other painted stair dried I grumbled and groaned as I taped off the second bannister, angled spindles and all.  Good-bye 1980s oak color (thanks a lot for that super modern finish by the way Pulte).

After a quick family dinner and little man's bedtime routine I came back and diligently worked until the view from the top looked like this.  WHOA!

It's that good, but even with 11 solid hours of work I still have to:

1.  Polyurethane everything
2.  Give the white trim a fresh clean coat to match the shiny new CARPET FREE! stairs.
3.  Come up with a solution for the risers which remain unfinished.
4.  Convince the floor guys that are coming to finish the landing for us.

So much work and still so much more to go - this is not for the faint of heart DIY'er.  You will probably look at the mess and want to quit halfway through (I asked TG if the project magically finished itself overnight), but if you're an instant gratification/results now type of person like me it's worth the sore hands and aching back.  The change even in it's unfinished state is insane!

Oh, did I mention we also had this happening today?  Big changes around here people, I'm telling you, and personally I'm thrilled.  

Exhausted, but thrilled.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Our Month In Instagram Pics

I finally got on the Instagram train the Friday before Mother's Day.

I know, I know, I'm a latecomer.  I was holding out, not because I didn't like it, but because I had a crap-tastic Samsung smartphone that could barely manage phone calls much less pictures.

The week before Mother's Day I became eligible for my Sprint upgrade and we used it to get an iPhone. 

For my husband.

Yes, I gave the man my phone upgrade because it's impossible to count the upgrades he's given me in life.  Seriously, I'm typing this post on the MacBook Pro he got me for Christmas.  A measly phone upgrade is the least I can do.  That and clean laundry for him.

Anyway, I became the new owner of his HTC phone and it's lovely. And completely capable of supporting my new Instagram addiction. If you don't have it. Get it. And follow me so I can follow you. Sometimes when I'm having a crappy moment in my day I look at the pics of people I know and they make me smile again.

So here's our month in Instagram pics!
1.  Flowers for me from the park.
2.  Enjoying a meal and evening in our backyard.
3.  Ice cream date with Mom on Mother's Day.
4. Winery picnic with friends.

5.  Scrapbooking night with my girls.
6.  Cupcake face at a first birthday party.
7.  First basil pesto sandwich of the summer!
8.  Showering with googles on.

9.  Lazy mornings in bed with the little man.
10.  Hot enough for some sprinkler fun!
11. Riley and I made a lego neighborhood.
12.  "I'm so proud to be your darling"

13.  Chickys!!!  At Frying Pan Farm.
14.  The time we all wake up on the weekends.  COME ON SUMMER!
15.  Pinterest idea of glow stick tubby time.

I can't take credit for the awesome collage layout idea.  I've been reading Jess of the Mac's Instagram posts for some time now.  She does Insta-Friday's which is such a cute idea.  

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Kid's Workspace

"I'm just a girl who wants a beautiful home, motivated by a lack of decorating funds."

That's how I responded to a dear friend's flattering Facebook comments about my DIY projects. I'm not a designer or interior decorator. I'm a mom and wife who wants to make our small space a beautiful place that we love. While I love being creative, it's also kind of mandatory that I be creative with funds and use of space.

Which leads me to our kids' workspace. Listen, given the space and money I would go for something like what the talented Shaunna at Perfectly Imperfect created. The floors, the soothing blue, the storage, the homemade x table...I swoon.


I had a limited space to deal with when creating workspace for our kids, but big dreams for something functional and cute.  I'm in love with how it turned out.

Our kids' workspace is in the kitchen, between the counter and the dryer and directly below the window.  The tables and chairs fit perfectly there and since it's on the main level of the house I can keep an eye on them while they work or help them out when they need it.

The two white tables are IKEA Lack tables that I bought for 7.99 each last summer.  They are the perfect size for kid tables and durable too.  We've had daycare kids and preschool hordes alike use them for all manner of projects and activities and they look almost new.

The two matching chairs are from IKEA as well.  They are the perfect height for the tables.

All their coloring books, drawing pads and stickers are in the pink file holder on the right.  It works well for now, but I plan on adding a file sorter directly below their workstation.

The workstation as per usual with me was a combination of ideas over a long period of time.  The tables are small and I wanted to be able to give my kids all the work space I could.  In order to do that I knew I needed to put all their supplies somewhere where they wouldn't be in their way, but they could still access them.

Originally, I had just nailed plastic buckets from Target's $1 section onto the wall.  It was a temporary solution that ended up staying for a year because I couldn't think of something that would fit.  Then I started seeing all the pegboard craft storage ideas on Pinterest and I knew that was how I could best utilize their space.

After some searching to find the right size frame for that weird section of wall I finally found one for  $5 at a yard sale last month.  The poor woman selling it saw me checking it out and came over to tell me about the artist and the print in hopes of making the sell.  Her face was priceless when I said, "Oh that's okay I'm going to rip the print out anyway, because I just need the frame and it's the perfect size!"  Not only was it the perfect size, but it also had the perfect depth for the pegboard to be framed and still have room for the hooks to hang in the back without being blocked by the wall.

Like all my projects this one came together slowly.  I gave the frame four good coats of Rustoleum Summer Squash while the kiddos played outside one evening.  Hubs took the matte from inside the frame to Home Depot one weekend to get a piece of pegboard cut to the exact size.  I picked up 4 yellow metal buckets from Target's $1 section on a weeknight shopping trip.  I bought the wire spice rack at a local antiques store on my Mother's Day outing.  And after two trips back to Home Depot we finally discovered they actually have a pegboard supplies section where we got all the hooks we needed to hang everything.

The wooden word was something I had purchased months ago with plans to hang it on the wall in the playroom, but I thought it was perfect for this frame.  I used a kids watercolor set to paint the letters and affixed it with my trusty hot glue.

I labeled the buckets with scraps I cut from leftover chalkboard labels I got on GroopDealz.  They are hanging from the pegboard hooks, but for extra support they also have small velcro pieces holding them down.

The spice rack originally purchased as mini wildflower vases became the perfect vessel for easy to access finger paints.  It hangs perfectly with the help of two pegboard hooks.

They have been using it for three weeks and I love it and so does Riley.  The first morning she saw it after I put it all up she grabbed both cheeks, gasped, turned to me and said, "Oh Mom.  Its wovewee."

"Wovewee" is exactly what I think it is too.