Thursday, March 26, 2015

Instant {removeable} Backsplash for $30

Okay... maybe instant is a little bit of a stretch.
But I DID do it during naptime, so I consider that's pretty darn fast in my book.

BEHOLD--THE BACKSPLASH.


Yeah, I know--ideally the quartz strip wouldn't be there, and the backsplash would go all the way down to the counter, and blah blah blah. But here's the deal--eventually we'd like to install a subway tile backsplash. Probably in a similar color to this. But it's not in the budget right now, since Mr. Handsome is working on finishing the basement. But I reeeeeallly wanted to get some color in there, because I didn't exactly realize how close in color the countertop was to the wall color we chose when designing our house. 

See?

I almost cried when they first put the countertops in. Once everything else is there it's not really a big deal, but we chose things with a blue backsplash in mind. I just didn't realize how much the lack of color there would drive me crazy in the meantime.

Well.
CONSIDER ME CRAZY.

On a completely related note, I spend a lot of time in Target these days, since my daughters' preschool is right around the corner from one, and who wants to drive all the way home for an hour and a half just to drive back out to pick up the tiny human, when that time could be spent walking around the haven that is Target? 

My point is that I stumbled upon this aisle while looking for their command hooks.
"Oooh! Pretty colors!" my mind said... and I naturally gravitated towards the blue diamonds (Devine Color Diamond Wallpaper in "Horizon"). 
Which, ironically, are not in this photo because they were all sold out when I went back to get a product shot. Go figure. 


I had to give it a try, though. I figured it would be a nice, fast, way to add some color. It's wipeable (vinyl, not paper), so when I spray cake batter from my mixer all over the wall, it's no big deal. It's supposedly easily removed, without any damage, which is awesome--RENTING, ANYONE!?!? And it's repositionable (peel-and-stick!), so if you don't get it perfect the first time, you can gently pull it off and try again. HOLLA!

(I can't actual testify of this quality, since I haven't tried to remove it. When we actually get around to replacing it with tile, I'll let you know. Figured I had nothing to lose, since when we actually DO remove it, we'll be covering the area back up anyway.)

So I got a nice fresh squeegee and a roll of wallpaper, and once the kids were snoozing I went to town. I had to reposition a few times, but it was a lot easier than I expected. the cuts aren't perfect. If you look close at the top ends (which no one with ever see unless they feel the unquenchable urge to squat down in my kitchen) it's not particularly pretty, which you can see below:


But again. Who really cares, right?


 I'm really liking the way it looks behind my spice jars.





I chickened out and didn't put it on the wall with the window. There would be a LOT of "cutting around" stuff, and I'm not sure what I would want to do along the top edge. Maybe a strip of thin moulding? Hmmm. It's suddenly sounding a lot less scary. What do you guys think? Overall, it was suuuper easy to put up, and it makes a HUGE difference, for only $30. I consider that a huge win. 


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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Free Printable: Thanksgiving Placemat

 
Hey everyone!  Thanksgiving LOOMS.  It's one of my favorite holidays--a time to laugh with my family and eat all the best foods together.  But let's be honest, it can add a teensy smidge of stress--especially if you're trying to make it special.  I was trying to figure out how I could add my mark to Thanksgiving at my Mom's this year.  After playing some Thanksgiving-themed games with friends, I knew I had my answer: a placemat we could write on.  The perfect thing to help us focus on being thankful, instead of being distracted by stuffing our faces with our favorite goodies.


Not that I'm dissing the goodies, my friends!  In fact, I was pretty tempted to cook a full course Thanksgiving Feast so I could photograph it with the placemat.

Someday, once I learn to cook a turkey like an actual grownup, I'm going to bust a move like that.


Here's a close-up of the game: Thankfulgories (You know, like Scattergories)!  Everyone tries to think of 10 things they are thankful for that start with the letter "M."  Then, one by one, family members read their list.  Any duplicates get crossed off, and the person with the most blessings listed at the end WINS!!

On the other side, I have listed questions to take turns answering--things like, "What do you appreciate most about the person sitting at your left?" and "Describe something that happened this past week that you are grateful for, and tell us why."

Mostly, I can't wait to see my grumpy uncles' faces when I tell them they have to play along.  It's going to be GREAT!!

Oh, and the back is blank--perfect for the kids to draw the things THEY are thankful for!

You can download the Placemat HERE.

I took the file to a local print shop and had it printed on 11 x 17 cardstock.  Cheap, easy, love it!

As always, I would love, love, LOVE to hear how it goes if you use these!! Drop me a line in the comments, or upload a picture on our Facebook Page

And tell me, please: what Thanksgiving traditions do you have in your family?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Operation Organization: My Craft Space

Dear friends,

We are about to get up close and personal.  Those of you with weak stomachs for disorganization may need to avert your eyes.  I am about to share one of my MANY greatest weaknesses:

I am prone to clutter.

There are other, not so nice ways of saying this, but I prefer not to think of myself as a slob or a messy! Really, I don't know what happens, but it's not very long after I clean my craft space that it looks like this:



The leftovers from former craft projects pile up around my computer and start to take over my husband's space too.  I'm sure the poor dear often feels he's being eaten alive!  The pictures simply cannot communicate the feeling of utter chaos that I start to feel in my space.  It's just sad, because that is not how I want to feel in my creative space!

I want to feel Inspired.   Empowered.   Free.

As I get to know myself better, I have realized that it is my perfectionism that causes most of my problems (say WHAT?!?  Perfectionism can make you messy?!?).  In this case, I become overwhelmed trying to tidy a space when I have to decide, as I go, where to put things.  If everything had a place, I wouldn't fizzle out trying to clear up.  But I am reluctant to jump in and organize an area until I have a plan for the ENTIRE room.  WHAT IF I DO IT WRONG AND HATE IT LATER?!?

But I have four kids who keep me crazy busy, and a mild case of ADHD which keeps me from focusing on any one project for very long, so a full blown plan for any part of my house has yet to happen.  If I want to keep my sanity, I'm going to have to let go of my desire for a perfect plan, and get moving. 

Before my clutter starts eating family members.

I will be researching Pinterest-y ways to organize my various supplies.

Because piling it on my kids' train table isn't working...  for some reason...

I will be adding shelves, drawers, and more counter space one piece at a time (I love you, Ikea!) and slowly but surely making enough places to put my ever growing craft supply (I love you, Pick Your Plum!) and turning this chaos into order.

Will you join me, my friends?  Will you lend me the strength of your listening hearts?  Because if I know you are waiting to watch my journey, I will push myself further.  It's going to be grand--a joyful rebellion against self imposed shackles--and against entropy too.

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P.s. How do you impose order on your craft supplies?


Does keeping your creative space tidy come easy, or is it a constant struggle for you, as it is for me? 

How have you been able to conquer your inner perfectionist?

Tell me all of it in the comments below.  I need your help!!

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Celebrate You Glitter Dahlia Card


I wish I had the photography skills to share this card in its true glory.  How does one photograph glitter?  Teach us how, Lauren and Jamie!!

At any rate, this was my first time playing with Silhouette's double sided adhesive and I'm in love!  I used this shape and the font is Amatic!


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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Getting My Stripe On :: DIY Striped Magazine Boxes

So.


You know when there's a giveaway that you REEEEAALLY want to win, so you jump through all the hoops and like all 700 people on instagram, facebook, pinterest, etc. etc. etc.? 
I entered one of those once.

I don't do it often, because I'm kind of a streamlining freak, and I get all OCD when my instagram feed gets all cluttered with people and companies I don't really care about. But I thought to myself, "Maybe I'll really like one of these new people/companies/brands--who knows!?" Well, I ended up un-following most after the giveaway ended, but there was one who's posts I enjoy, and I loved THESE from her site. 

Only problem?
I love navy.

That's not the problem.
The problem is that navy (and gold, for that matter) and my color scheme don't hang out all that much right now.

So I decided to hack it. I was walking around IKEA and found these magazine file boxes and knew I had to try. At 2/$5 it wasn't much of a financial risk. I picked up some cheap acrylic paint at Michael's (it was on sale for 6/$2) and some painters tape and totally winged it.

Tip: look closely when buying the file boxes. Sometimes the silver strip across the top isn't perfectly straight, and it will make your stripes look a bit crooked.


I slapped some paint on there--two coats of the coral, three of the robins egg blue.
Tip: Make sure to be slow and careful taking the tape off around the corners where the top coat of cardboard is thinner, or you'll rip it off.


Once the paint is dry, assemble. Which, basically amounts to un-flattening it and putting the corner trim on. 


 Now I just need to label them. I'm still deciding which magazines to put where. 


 I love how they turned out! They're not perfect, but they were fast, cheap, and they give me that extra pop of pattern and color that I wanted.


So tell me--what color will you try?



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Friday, September 19, 2014

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Party


We threw this birthday party for my son who is a big fan of Jake, Izzy, Cubby, Scully, and Bucky. It was very simple, but after all, a five year old doesn't care as long as he gets to eat cake and open presents!



What pirate party would be complete without a treasure hunt?  The kids swung through jungle vines, conquered the Never-Peak, slid down the Never-Falls, and collected coconuts, following instructions "from Jake himself!"  I printed up some treasure maps from the Handmade Home and placed them before each activity. Notice the low-key "coconuts" and the buckets we threw them in.  If you wanted to dress things up, you could cover the buckets with wrapping or butcher paper.  Make sure you say "Oh coconuts!" Cubby-style if you miss the buckets!!


I thought the final treasure was rather clever: the kids got to decorate their own treasure chests and fill them with gold (chocolate) coins and ring pops!!  They had a blast gluing jewels on and covering everything with markers.



They did turn out rather marvelously, don't you think?

If you'd like to play along at home, I've uploaded the Silhouette files:
Box Bottom
Box Top
Simply cut them out attach the top pieces with gold or silver brads--very piratey indeed!


We ate "X Marks the Spot Rice Crispy Treats, Pirates Treasure (popcorn, chocolate and M&Ms), "Scully Want Some Cheese and Crackers" and Jello and orange slice sailboats.


And of course, the exquisite Jake cake!  Perfect it is not, all I cared about as a kid were the plastic characters on top.  Check and check, my friends!  Add to that the delicious chocolate frosting covered rice crispy ship and island?  This was quite tasty!  I have to shout out to my friend who shared her Jake cake on Facebook--she was actually the inspiration for this whole party!

I've made you a Bucky sail, if you would like to build your own Jake cake. It is slightly different than what I have--it has a Happy Birthday medallion on it!
Bucky Sail Download

What other games or food would you have at a Pirate Party?  Do tell!

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Free Printable: Lunch Box Love Notes

It's that time again, and we are up to our necks in the back to school frenzy!  New teachers, new schedules, and blessedly, a return to routine.  I'm hoping one of these days I'll be able to keep up with it all...

Last year, I started sending little love notes in my oldest's lunch box.  At one point he told me how "embarrassing" it was, but I didn't stop because I kind of like to annoy him...When I volunteered in his classroom, I started leaving them at his desk as well.  His teacher let me know how much he loved them, and when he brought home his pencil case this summer, I found a bunch of them that he'd saved.

Can I get an Awwwwww?

Sadly, I got out of the habit of sending the lunch notes.  I was pregnant and tired and my husband started taking care of the morning routine while I...dealt with my morning sickness.

Excuses, excuses...

This year, I am determined that I will send a note every day and see how much I can "embarrass" the child.  And to make it easier, I made a few to print out.  I can fill out a couple ahead of time and if I am busy with the baby in the morning, it will be easy for the husby to slip one in the lunch box.


It occurred to me that perhaps you might like to make your littles feel special too, so feel free to snag the download and print away!

 Free Printable: Lunch Box Love Notes
Click here for the Printable
 
Click here for a borderless version of the Printable

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