Monday, January 20, 2014

'Blowing A Kiss Your Way' Valentine + Free Printable!

Well here we are already half-way through January!  2014 is already flying by!  February will be here before we know it, and soon it will be Valentine's Day!  

I always like to do a handmade Valentine for the kiddos to take to daycare. And since this is Hannah's first year of school (pre-K), I thought I would try and do something a little more fun!

We found these lip whistle things on clearance at Hobby Lobby the day after Christmas. They were originally $5.99, and I think I paid right at $2.00 for them.  There are 12 in there, so that's roughly 17 cents a piece - which I thought was pretty good.

They came with some weird Santa beard - didn't use those of course. 

I made up a cute little printable to go along with them.

And then cut them down to four pieces with my paper cutter. 

I used an exacto knife and scissors to cut a whole in the middle just big enough that the whistle would fit but also wouldn't fall out. 

Cute, huh?

Let's just say the parents at Hannah's school are going to love me... :)

You can download the file here.
(I've never shared a printable before, so let me know if you have trouble downloading the file. For personal use only.)

Now to decide what to do for the little man's Valentines...


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Old Dresser Turned Dress Up Clothes Station

Like many other crafters, I tend to pick up random items and pieces of furniture at yard sales with the goal of refurbishing them into something spectacular and new.  And when I bring them home, my hubby usually gives me a supportive nod...but really inside he's probably really thinking "oh lord, not another piece of junk!"  

I think that was the case when I brought home a particular dresser one evening after I stopped by a friend's yard sale.  I think I paid like $7 bucks for it.  It had been stored in a barn and was pretty dirty and had a bunch of lovely mouse pellets inside of it.  It didn't look very good, but it was sturdy - and I had big plans for it.

Now, I forgot to take a before picture (actually I forgot to take a lot of pictures - bad blogger), so imagine this dresser without the piece of plywood on top of the spot for the last drawer.  It started out with four drawers and we kept just the bottom drawer to hold her accessories.  (And actually I kept the other drawers....any ideas on what I can do with them?) 

We cleaned it up well with soap and water and removed the rusty old wheels off of the bottom. Then, the hubby cut down a few pieces of plywood to put around the inside to make it flat (and so nothing could fall through the dresser). 

Now we get into the fun part....the five coats of paint it took to cover this thing.  Yes, I said five coats. 

I had read about Annie Sloan Chalk paint on many of my favorite blogs. A ton of people use it and love it, because you don't have to sand or prime it.  So, that was our plan - go the easy route and use a plain white chalk paint.  Well apparently we had chosen a special dresser with an extra special varnish on it, because we did two layers of chalk paint and it just kept bleeding through. 

So, we gave up on our idea and decided to use Kilz to prime it and then cover with just a plain white semi-gloss paint.  Because we didn't paint it with normal matte paint initially, there is a little bit of 'texture' to the dresser, but honestly, it looks great regardless. Plus, this is a 'play' piece, not meant to be some fancy refurbished dresser. 

So, we (and by we, I mean my awesome husband who did all the painting while I was sick for a week right after Thanksgiving) gave it a coat of Kilz and then two coats of paint. 

Then we covered the insides and lined the drawer with this cute polka dot wrapping paper from Hobby Lobby.  We were going to use contact paper, but it was going to be a lot more expensive. Plus, I liked the idea of being able to change the look of the inside when we re-do our daughter's room in a year or two.

The next step was to add the hardware. We added a rod on the inside to hold her dress up clothes on hangers.

We also added two of these satin nickel coat hooks to either side to hold her necklaces, purses, hairbands, etc. (the ones in the middle). 

Finally, we added a satin nickel pull to the front for easy access to her princess accessories!  

And wa-la!   The final product for Christmas morning!  

She was pretty happy about getting the biggest present of the group. :)

And at it's final spot in her room! We've been having lots of dress up parties in the past couple weeks! 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year 2014!

Happy New Year Y'all! 

Wow - can you believe it's 2014 already?  The last two months of the year flew by so fast! We had a bunch of the yucky stomach flu and respiratory stuff right after Thanksgiving, and that, combined with our goal of a 'handmade' Christmas (more to come on that later), kept us crazy busy over the last month!  So I've been a little absent from the blog, but I can't wait to get back and share some of my crafting adventures with you! 

In typical New Year fashion, I wanted to set a few 'goals' for the upcoming year.  And what better way to be held accountable than to share them all with you (my 7!  Hey - something is better than nothing, right?!)

Let me start off by saying there are quite a few, which is probably a bad idea, and if I only partial accomplish a few of these, I'll still be very satisfied. I think this list was just a great way for me to reflect on last year and think of the things I'd like to see differently in 2014, in order to be a better mother, wife, blogger, Christian, etc.  Acknowledging these things need to happen is the first step in the right direction! we go (in no particular order):

2014 Goals:

  • Become CPR Certified - I've had this in mind for several years and never completed it. Honestly, I am almost scared to do it. But for my children's safety, I need to get it done. 
  • Grow my blog by 25 followers - My blog is still in its infancy, but I want to grow my followers from 7 to 32...or more! 
  • Read 12 books - I used to read every day.  Then I had kids.  And I stopped with the exception of vacations and nights on the road for work. I think I am a happier person when I read - plus it is a great way to unwind at the end of the day instead of wasting time surfing Facebook.  I want to read an average of one book a month this year. 
  • Spend one full girls' day with Hannah - Hannah's at such a fun age and I love spending one-on-one pampering time with her. I want to take a day, go shopping, get pedicures, eat ice cream and go to the movies with her.  Honestly, that would be a PERFECT day.  
  • Have monthly date nights with the hubs - since Lucas was born, Joe and I just don't really go out to eat or movies very often. I want to do a monthly date night. It could even be a night in, but I want to plan something special each month.  
  • Read more books to Lucas- my little man is a total cuddler and loves to read. And too often I rush through books or put off reading to him because I think whatever I am doing is more important. Well it isn't, and I need to cherish this time before he grows out of it! 
  • Meal plan each week - I did this for most of 2013 but toward the end I got lazy, so hoping to keep it going throughout the whole year in 2014! 
  • Have unplugged Sundays - I spend way too much time on my iPhone. When the kiddos are playing, I way-too-often whip out my phone and jump on social media. I am missing out on such special time with my kids. I am going to blink and they'll be grown and I will have wasted more time checking on what my friends ate last night and what my favorite celebrity is up to than I did watching them grow!  So - I want to unplug on Sundays and make sure I treasure every moment with them!  Now I just have to get Joe on board too!  :)
  • Send out more birthday cards - I know this is vague, but I just want to send out more cards to my friends and family. I love getting cards in the mail, so I would love to make others' day! 
  • Finally do a true Project Life - a photo per day and write down journaling in my planner.  I want to capture this time in our lives because it goes SO FAST!
  • Print more photos - Shame Alert: I haven't printed photos for a family album since Hannah's first Christmas. See item above - I want to print weekly, monthly or at some set increment so I can complete a Project Life album and create something fro my family to look back at!  We had professional photos taken last year like 4 times (we do newborn, 3, 6, 9 and 12 with our kids, plus yearly after that) and I think I printed Luke's newborn, 3 month and that is IT!  I pay so much for great photos and they stay locked up in cyberspace and on my CD. Which leads me to my next item...
  • Finish my living room gallery wall - long story short:  we put up photos and I hate the way they look, so I stopped and left it sort of in limbo. I want to finally finish it this year!
  • Buy a new bible - I want to finally buy a 'study' type Bible so that I can do more than just read a chapter/verse, and instead truly understand what I am reading. 
  • Complete a Will for Joe and I - this is pretty simple. We don't have one, and we need one, especially now that we have two kids. 

Wow - that is quite the list. Honestly, it is scary and intimidating to think about what I want to accomplish this year. But you know what?  You've gotta start somewhere!  So, I encourage you to make a list of your goals for 2014. Don't be afraid to put them out there for others to see - we can hold each other accountable!  

Wishing you and yours a Happy and Blessed 2014!