Best Find Ever

Have you seen this?  Have you tried this?  If not, you are missing out.  It works. It works.....and it's FREE and LEGAL.  I was so excited I had to share!

Another room remodeled

So this remodel project is what has taken me away from blogging and other various activites for the last little while.  I decided I had to change the paint color of my basement family room to a color that was a little more me.  For years I have seen my friend's cute house and it was painted this beautiful yellow color that I was absolutely in love with.  I got the name of the color and instantly bought 5 gallons to paint our newly finished basement familiy room.  I got it on my walls, and new right away that I didn't love it.  I tried to decorate differently, add accent walls,  you name it I did it.  But I could not get over how much I hated the color on MY walls.  I got to dislike it so much, that I didn't even enjoy going down there anymore unless we were going to watch a movie and the lights were off so I didn't have to look at it. I hve learned through this ordeal, that things you like in other's houses, will not always look good in your house.  I still love her house color, but it is just not me and it is certainly not the color for my house.
So, after the holidays, I decided to change the color to something I liked more.  My upstairs main rooms were painted a beautiful Camino Gray (Ralph Lauren color) and I loved how calm they made me feel and how neutral they were to decorate with.  So, I took that color downstairs as well.  And then combined it with what I like to think is my signature color, Fire Engine Red!!  I want to share a few tips with you about buying gray paint.  There are a million different grays out there and I have learned (the hard way) that you have to be careful how you choose the perfect gray. 
Gray paint has three different base tints. You can get it with a base color of purple, blue and green.  The purple and blue may look pretty together, but once you get them on the wall and the walls start reflecting off each other, you will see that they will look lavendar.  But, gray with a green base tends to give you a true gray color. Just FYI.
I decided to make a focal wall as a faux board and batten square pattern. I did that in my little boy's room and you can find that tutorial here.

I then found some great fabric at a local home fabirc store who sells fabric at wholesale prices.  It took 10yds to do make 4 - 84" panels.  I paid $40 total for the fabric.  I feel like I practically stole it!! The window cornices were featured in a tutorial way back when and you can find that here if you like that look.

And then those super cute frames, I made them.  I have no tutorial on them as it took me forever to get from start to finsih becasue lately I have a serious problem with starting 5 or 6 projects and finishing 0 of them.  Because of that, I have no insructions for how I made them, but I did find instructions here, so you can make your own.

And I did another faux board and batten square pattern at the end of the hallway.  One day I will get around to hanging some really cool and colorful pictures but again....I have become the crafter who doesn't know how to finish a job. So that will have to be for another day.
All in all.....I think the room turned out amazing!!! And it was a remodel that with a little time and effort, cost very little to do.
It's all about being a litte daring.....and a little crafty.

Pass the Pig

Holy Cow it's been a long time since I have been on here.  I took a little break to do some painting/remodeling, and then just needed time to debrief from the holidays.  But now I am back and have some fun new ideas and projects to share with all of my friends. 
Since the beginning of the new year, my husband and I decided our kids were in need of some training in how to have better manners at the dinner table.  They have always been pretty good and respectful, but there were some things we were trying to stop and we were having a hard time getting through to them.  One day, I was browsing Pinterest, and saw this idea that someone had posted.  We decided to give it a try at our house, and to our surprise, it worked better than anything else ever had. With such good results, I could not keep quiet about this much longer.
We found this little toy pig which we placed on the dinner table each time we sat down to eat.  Whoever did something that we considered "bad manners" they were passed the pig.  If, by the end of the meal, you were left holding the pig, you would be in charge of doing the dishes from the meal the whole family had just finished.  Because I have a 4 year old who is a bit young still to load the dishwasher, we made him clear the table by himself.  I have come to realize that kids are okay doing chores if they can do them with others. But if you make them do those same chores alone, they seem to grumble more and more.  That turned out to be a good thing for us.  The table manners in our house have never been so good.  One day, we will ween the pig from our dinner, but for now, it looks like the pig may be a permanent guest.

A permanent snowball

So here we the days past the festivities of Christmas.  Where all houses have taken the lights down, put the wreaths away and we are left with the doldrums of winter.  But just because there's not a great holiday to really decorate for until next month, does not mean that our porches should lack some character.  Am I right?  So here's a crafty little thing that I did to help spruce up the blah, lifeless porch on my house. 
I made permanent snowballs.
It couldn't have been easier.  All over the place, at every store you enter in right now, Christmas ornaments are clearanced to next to nothing.  So for $1.00 per package, I picked up 4 packages of various sizes of non-breakable plastic ornaments.

And a visit to the Dollar Store provided me with 2 lbs of Epsom salt.

I took a little craft glue and added water to it until it was thin enough to spread around my ornaments but not too runny so that it would slide right off.

I rolled the ornament in the glue solution

and then rolled it in a bowl full of salt.

Let them dry overnight, and there you have it.  A snowball guaranteed not to melt.

Stick them in a cool bucket, an empty flower pot, or whatever you choose. And now you have added a bit of "winter" personality to an otherwise bland porch.

I'm thinkin' that it's all pretty crafty!  Don't you?

What to do with all those cards

I LOVE getting Christmas cards from all of my friends and family.  It's always good to hear from those who we love and see the cute pictures of their family's that are growing and changing from year to year.  But what do you do with those cards when they come?  Unlike some, I don't have room to stand them up in display, or I don't care to hang them on the wall or on the back of the door.  Nope, instead, I use them as a decorating accent in my very plain and super un-festive garland that adorns my stair railing.
Tie a bit of string, ribbon, whatever you have lying around, and add those cards to that boring old garland.  There, the cards are out of the way, but not thrown out as soon as you read them. 

Remember those who have remembered you this holiday season, and enjoy the cards and sentiments all season long.

Christmas Countdown

So we are all ready to start counting down to the most magical day of the year.  In years past, we have done this in many different ways.  One year, we did count down blocks.  They were cute and reminded us of how much longer we had to wait, but they weren't really fun.  Then we tried one with candy and that was super fun, but really, do we need more treats at this time of year?  So, this year we are trying one that's a bit more interactive.
For each day we count down, there is a card we pull off of the advent that gives us an activity to participate in.
To make the advent calendar itself, I just found a large frame at the local thrift store for $0.50.  I sprayed it red and added string across it to hang the cards from.

I secured the string with staples and then covered those with hot glue just as a reinforcement.
I went to Kmart and found these cute gift tags to use.

And on each one we wrote an activity that we would like to do this Holiday season.  Examples are: drink hot cocoa with lots of marshmallows, watch a Christmas movie, have a family sleepover under the Christmas tree and make Christmas cookies.  We also have some fun ones like take a drive to see the Christmas lights, do a Christmas service project for someone in need, attend a Christmas concert, and wrap gifts for others.  Think of activities that are age appropriate for your family and repeat specific activities as desired.

Now we are all ready to select our activity and get ourselves in the Holiday spirit as we countdown to Christmas!

Bring on the Elf

By now most of us are gearing up for the holiday season. I know I have been searching for ideas. I came across this idea during the summer (when I went back to the source it was no longer available. Please message me if this is your idea and I will give credit where it is due).

Most of us know the story of Eli the elf… Little elf that creates fun messes at night while you are sleeping to keep kids on track for the Christmas season. Great idea but… Christmas needs to be about Jesus. As we all know he is the reason for the season.

So here is the letter to go along with the Eli the elf. (However, our elf is named if yours is named something other than Eli, substitute the new name in.
Dear ...................................,

First off, I have to tell you that I think you are all very special children. I know you are filled with love for each other, your parents, but most importantly, you are filled with love for Jesus, and I know that He lives in your hearts. He lives in mine too, that makes us all especially special!

I have to let you know something important. You know that whole naughty and nice list that you hear everyone talking about? Well… truth is, that’s not really true. I don’t have a naughty and nice list. Because I know Jesus, I also know a lot about grace and getting what we don’t deserve. I know you know all about that! Like when you make the wrong choice and when you choose to sin, Jesus gives you grace and loves you still! And sometimes I know that your parents even give you grace too… like when you deserve to be disciplined, but they give you another chance!

I know that kids are not perfect. I know that you guys are not perfect. But I know that Jesus loves you all the time, and I do too. So you don’t need to worry about being on my naughty or nice list. If you believe that I will come to your house on Christmas Eve and leave you some special surprises, then I will come!!! That’s all you need … is to believe!

To help you remember about grace and about love even when you don’t deserve it, I wanted to send you a very special treat for this Christmas season. Since it’s the first day of December, the month that we celebrate Jesus coming to earth to be our Rescuer, I thought you might enjoy a little visit from a very special friend of mine.

This is Eli the Elf......

He is a dear old friend of mine, but he tends to be a bit naughty. I have explained grace to him many many times, when he chooses to sin and be a stinker. I have told him that is why Jesus had to come… to rescue him. Because he has sin in his heart. He is beginning to learn, but I thought that if he stayed with you for the Christmas season, then you might be able to teach him some more about the way Jesus loves us even when we sin. I know that you both are learning that you get to obey and love God because He first loves you so very much. I love Eli so much and I want him to understand and believe Jesus and know that his heart can make good choices too because Jesus loves him so very much!!

One important thing about Eli… he is an Elf, and elves are not the same as humans. Eli stays still all during the day, but he comes alive at night. You can talk to him; play with him just like your other toys. Eli is quiet during the day, but loves to play at night once everyone else is sleeping. That’s usually when he can get into some trouble, so you’ll have to watch him carefully!

When I told Eli that he was going to stay with you guys, he jumped up and down in excitement! He really things you guys are so fun.

Have fun! I’ll be back to pick up Eli on Christmas Eve when I come to drop off some surprises for you!

I love you guys so very much!

 And Santa has his very own stationary for this!
We are having the letter delivered to us in the mail and that day, Harris will show up to spend the season in our household.  I can't wait!!

An Indoor Snowball Fight

Who doesn't love a snowball fight?  Being outside in the freezing cold, getting pummeled with icy cold "rock" like objects that always seem to hit you in the face?  Well, I love a good snowball fight; when I am the one that stays warm and out of target range, but I especially love the idea of having one indoors.  So, since my kids and I love to have these snowball fights, but aren't too fond of the icy cold either, we decided to bring the snow indoors.
I found these little metal buckets at the dollar store

and with a paint pen, added some embellishments to the front.

I then went over to JoAnn's and found me some fluffy white fabric....on the clearance rack of course.  When I got home, I cut the fabric into various sized circles, and with right sides together, sewed them up leaving small hole so I could turn them right side out and add stuffing.  When they were stuffed to my liking, I simply hand stitched the small hole together.  And that's it, a homemade, fluffy warm snowball.

I decided to take it one step further and add faces to these snowballs.  Perhaps it would make getting hit with them a little more fun.  So, I embroidered little black eyes, an orange carrot nose, and a mouth with cold rosy cheeks to make them look fun.

Put a bunch (my buckets held 6) together in a bucket and then, you are super well equipped for the best snowball fight ever.

Now isn't that crafty?