Tuesday, February 28, 2012

DIY Penny Keychain

Another Pinterest Project! This was one of my very first pins...I'm not sure why it took me so long to do!

Here's the link to the original pin:

I went with pennies from my husband's, mine, Rhyse & Lucy's birth year, along with our anniversary year. I went through my wallet, which was bulging with change, and came up with all five pennies that I needed! What are the chances of that happening again?! After pulling out the pennies, I soaked them in a vinegar and salt concoction for about five minutes, then removed them and scrubbed them with an old toothbrush. After they were nice and shiny, hubby drilled a small hole through each of them and threaded them on an empty keychain ring. Took all of about 20 minutes and it's so cute and personal!

Have you done any Pinterest Projects lately??


Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Morning Check In

It's more like a "Monday Evening Check In" but you get the idea. :) Since I gave up spending money for Lent, our weekend was quiet and relaxing, compared to our normal way of doing things. It was actually kind of nice, but definitely couldn't become a norm for me. I'm not a home-body by any means. Here's what we accomplished this weekend:


  • Something free & fun with the kids. We had their cousin stay the night Saturday and had a family movie night. Sunday Rhyse went with my parents to the cabin - one of his all time favorite places!
  • Valentine's day photo shoot. Ugh. Still no.
  • Three tooth fairy pillows. I was low on patience this weekend, so I didn't even attempt the sewing machine.
To Finish:
  • Pallet coffee table. We started on this. Hubby decided he'd rather just build his own pallet's then use other ones. Now we need to make a trip to the lumber store for wood.
  • Move sconces in living room. I left most living room tasks for this week.
  • Touch up paint in hall. Check!!
  • Finish Lucy's glider. Half check. The painting of the glider is done, as well as the seam ripping of the old upholstery. Still need to sew the new. Again, no patience.
  • Stencils in Lucy's room. Check!! And utter fail. I give up on the stencils. It's so hard to do with plastered walls and honestly, the stencils were a little small anyway.
  • TV Outlet cover in toy room.
  • Vinyl on Lucy's trash can.
  • March planning & budget.
  • Sort paperwork.
  • Clean out vehicles. Check!! Even better? Hubby did it!!
  • Taxes. Check!! I just have one question to call on before we can drop them off.
  • Lower crib mattress.
  • Finish cleaning downstairs.
  • Scrub upstairs floors -- kitchen and bathroom.
As you can see, I didn't get quite as much done as I would have liked to. We ended up having a game night with our good friends Friday fun! Saturday we did a lot of our checklists, and Saturday night watched our cousin and had a family movie night. Sunday morning, my parents invited us to breakfast and then Lucy and I took a nap together (loooved it! There's few things that can make me happier than napping with my kids!). We did a lot of hanging around Sunday, before I had an SYC meeting and then went to see "The Vow" with my mom & a friend. AMAZING movie. If you haven't seen it, you're missing out. It was a very nice and relaxed weekend!

 Lent Check In: I did, in fact, spend $8 this weekend, to go to the movie. I took it out of my craft fund (which I haven't spent any money out of yet).


Friday, February 24, 2012

Finish It Friday

Another week gone. I can't believe this is the last weekend in February. I only have one thing on our calender for this weekend - an SYC meeting Sunday at 5:30pm. Since I gave up spending money for Lent, there won't be any errand running. I'm seeing this as being a very productive weekend.

Here's what I have on the agenda:

  • Something free & fun with the kids.
  • Valentine's day photo shoot.
  • Three tooth fairy pillows.
To Finish:
  • Pallet coffee table.
  • Move sconces in living room.
  • Touch up paint in hall.
  • Finish Lucy's glider.
  • Stencils in Lucy's room.
  • TV Outlet cover in toy room.
  • Vinyl on Lucy's trash can.
  • March planning & budget.
  • Sort paperwork.
  • Clean out vehicles.
  • Taxes.
  • Lower crib mattress.
  • Finish cleaning downstairs.
  • Scrub upstairs floors -- kitchen and bathroom.
It seems like a lot, but most items are quick fixes that have just been lingering on the to do list. It's time to take the fifteen or twenty minutes it takes to do and get them checked off and out of my mind! Happy Friday! :)


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lent: What are you giving up??

Happy Ash Wednesday! I've already completely biffed it today and accidentally ate hot wings for lunch. Oops. I'll do better throughout the next 40 days :) We will be attending church this evening at 6pm for Ash Wednesday services, but before then, I am needing to decide what to give up.... soda? chocolate? fast food? Facebook? I ended up deciding on giving up spending money. I've seen some bloggers who have done "30-day Retail Challenge" in which they don't spend any money on anything other than necessities for 30 days. No online shopping, no trips to the mall or WalMart, no pedicures...yikes!! I've always thought it would be neat to attempt one of these challenges. Also, Josh and I are trying hardcore to get our debt down to zero. Zilch. No credit card bills. No medical bills. No truck payment. Absolutely nothing.

So, for the next forty days, I am not allowed to spend any money unless it falls under four categories:
1. Bills
2. Groceries
3. Gas
4. Easter (outfits for the family & the kids baskets)

I am adding one tiny disclaimer that allows me $100 on craft materials. What's a girl to do without crafting?!?!

The next forty days will be very resourceful and productive. I see myself getting done a lot of organizing, paperwork, lingering projects and simple crafts. Since I can buy groceries, there will be a lot of experimenting with new recipes. I'm excited (and equally nervous) for this challenge. I'm hoping it will be easier than it sounds and become a lifestyle change! Josh and I have a deal that as soon as all our debt is paid off -- we book a trip to Disney!! :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

LivingRoom: Before.

Next on our room re-do list is the living room. There really isn't too much that needs done, just some cosmetic flaws. Here are the before pictures, along with the room to-do list.

Rule 1: Never buy a light colored couch with two kids. Ugh. And these pillows are so drab. I'm needing a serious pillow upgrade.

Jumperoo in corner needs to go. She rarely uses it and it's an orange eye-sore in a red and black living room. Did you notice the brown window trim? That needs to be changed to white to match the floor trim. We also have a few plaster holes to fix from hanging the curtain rods wrong.
 The sofa table looks extremely cluttered and needs some work. I'm still in love with our photo display above the couch, but need to update the pictures. There's no Lucy in them!
I originally wanted ottomans as our "coffee table." They are nice to store blankets, but honestly, the blankets get stinky when being closed up like that. I need new storage for blankets and I'm looking for a more trendy coffee table and I have something up my sleeve to DIY one!
TV area also needs some help. There's no floor trim on the wall. Those lampshades drive me crazy that they don't stay on there. DVD's need some serious organization and PS2 needs moved somewhere less noticeable. Something also needs done with those sconces behind the TV. They looked good when the TV wasn't there, but seem a little off centered now.

We also need to fill a HUGE plaster crack in the seem of our peaked ceiling. All in all, a pretty simple list -- just some organizing, DIY'ing and decorating. No major, time-consuming projects. For now, anyway. :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Morning Check In

Happy Monday! My weekend didn't go quite as according to plan. My family of four each had the flu - first Lucy, then me, then Rhyse and finally Josh. Between catering to each of them and dealing with my own sickness, I didn't get nearly as much done as I wanted to. I did, however, spend an amazing Saturday with my sister doing lunch, shopping and my other's sisters' birthday party. Here's how my weekend checklist ended up:

Play List:

  • Finish 3 toothfairy pillows. Ha. I didn't even finish one. Nor did I start on one. Next Weekend!
  • Take Valentine's Pictures of the kids. I'm doing this tomorrow.
  • Make a Chicago folder for our mini-vacation in May. Check!!! Not only did I make the binder, I also made some cute personalized checklists for it. Post to come soon with free printables!
  • Experiment with making a pillowcase dress. Next weekend.
  • Do something fun with the kids. Maybe indoor swimming, a movie, bowling...something! Check!!! But not quite what I had in mind. Ended up doing lunch at McDonald's and skating at my sister's birthday party. Josh was at home sick, so it wasn't exactly the "Family Fun Day" I was hoping for.
  • Host an "It Works! Body Fat Wrap" Party with my mom. Fail. I was sick this night. My mom ended up switching the party to her house at the last minute, even though she had helped clean mine to get ready for the party!
To Finish:
  • Work on completing my Bill Binder. (This includes making a budget, which I've been avoiding.) Still avoiding, haha!
  • File my coupons. Moving this to a day this week to teach a friend how to coupon.
  • Finish and deliver our taxes. Fail.
  • Upload our January 2012 pictures to get developed. Check!!! I'm waiting for an awesome coupon code to send in my December and January photos.
  • Schedule Lucy's first birthday pictures. Check!!! June 4th at 5pm.
  • Re-upholster Lucy's glider. (Or attempt to, anyway..) I obviously didn't even touch the sewing machine this weekend.
  • Make a pallet coffee table for living room. (Hubby's weekend chore) Hubby was sick so this didn't get done.
  • Start organizing storage and pool room. Not quite. I did get all the house picked up and laundry done though. That's surprising for a weekend!
  • Host an SYC event to interview teens on Internet Safety for an upcoming video with the local telephone company. Check!!! It went really well and I'm excited to see the final video! :)
Hope you all have a FANTASTIC week! I have a few blog posts for this week, including My Livingroom "Before," Valentine's Day Crafts, Hall Reveal & Lucy's Room Reveal. Stay tuned! :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Finish It Friday

Friday, again?! We don't have too much on our agenda -- just a house party Friday night and an SYC event Sunday. The rest of the weekend is up to us. It doesn't happen often, but I love when it does! :) Here's my weekend checklist:

Play List:
  • Finish 3 toothfairy pillows.
  • Take Valentine's Pictures of the kids.
  • Make a Chicago folder for our mini-vacation in May.
  • Experiment with making a pillowcase dress.
  • Do something fun with the kids. Maybe indoor swimming, a movie, bowling...something!
  • Host an "It Works! Body Fat Wrap" Party with my mom.
To Finish:
  • Work on completing my Bill Binder. (This includes making a budget, which I've been avoiding.)
  • File my coupons.
  • Finish and deliver our taxes.
  • Upload our January 2012 pictures to get developed.
  • Schedule Lucy's first birthday pictures.
  • Re-upholster Lucy's glider. (Or attempt to, anyway..)
  • Make a pallet coffee table for livingroom. (Hubby's weekend chore)
  • Start organizing storage and pool room.
  • Host an SYC event to interview teens on Internet Safety for an upcoming video with the local telephone company.
Even though we don't have a lot of obligations this weekend, I feel as though my weekend will be pretty full! I'm looking forward to not having any one huge project to work on and instead checking all these little to-do's off my list.

What's your weekend checklist look like?!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Toy Room: Part Two

The toy room is FINISHED!! (And quickly, compared to our past track record). After a trip to Home Depot for trim and a blind, Dollar Store for a frame and the Hardware store for some paint, the hubby and I were able to rock & roll! Here's what we've been working on the past few days...

1. The biggest eyesore in the room was the unfinished window! After a trip to Home Depot to buy some faux-wood blinds (we went with the cheapest ones, which still rang in at $50. We figured they wouldn't experience too much wear-and-tear being in a kids only room and out of reach. First, we painted the window-sills (after a ton of scrubbing to get all the installation debris off). Amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do! Josh also put a fresh coat of white spray paint on the trim, since it was simply primed when we first bought it. After being trimmed and hung, the window was already starting to look much better! I had picked up this curtain rod and tie backs from WalMart many moons ago, thinking we'd get this toy room done a lot sooner. The two bright yellow curtains are also from WalMart, at least over a year ago. A few screws and viola!! Toy room window = complete!!

2. Next up was finishing the rest of the trim around the room. Again, he coated the trim with a fresh coat of white paint before hanging it. Baseboard, check! Chair-rail, check! Closet trim, check!! Yay! :)

3. My favorite spot in the whole room: Art Station! Here's what we orginally started with when putting the room together:

I added some canvas bins, a "trash can," and these adorable chairs that I snagged from IKEA for $12.99 each :)

 I wanted to personalize them a little, so I added the kids names with some white vinyl.

Next, I added some vinyl labels to the bins and a hanging line for the kids artwork.

 We made the line with a simple piece of wire, two eye hooks and clothes pins spray painted yellow.

4. The back wall was definitely the hardest. Here is what we started out with. Two ClosetMaid Cubicals, and some organization. I was originally going to purchase a white toy box to put the toys in, but ended up going a different route.

Here's what I ended up with. I purchased another cubical (with a 30% off coupon!) so the wall would be lined with identical cubicles, resembling a built-in.

The bucket on top holds Activity Books -- a book on how to tie his shoe, Look & Find books, etc. Then we have the "Rucker Zoo" and a storage bin for Transformers (and their gazillion pieces) and remote control cars.

LOVE the Zoo. I used clear vinyl to create the "bars." I may eventually try to find some black vinyl, but for now, this works. I created the labels on the computer, printed them on cardstock and laminated them for extra durability. The vinyl is forgiving, so it will move side to side when getting out/putting away the animals.


The middle section holds the TV, Radio, DVD's (a bin for each kid, since their movie preferences will be completely opposite) and Tag Reader. The Internet-Ready Blu-Ray player I have my eyes on is actually small enough that it will fit under the radio. Perfect!

I also swapped out the train table for bean bags, so they have somewhere to sit and watch movies. We are re-doing our sons room (reveal coming soon!) with a loft bed, so the train table will live under that.

5. I then added a dress-up station. Rhyse loves to dress up, and I'm sure Lucy will too, so this was a big part of the room. I didn't just want a dress up "bin" with everything mixed up and messy -- every organizer's worst nightmare. We purchased the hooks to hang his costumes, along with two cubicles to hold the dress up accessories. I also wanted a mirror in there so he could see himself all dressed up.

Here's what we ended up with after adding some labels to the bins and baskets and vinyl to the mirror.

Here's a close up of the "Mirror, Mirror" vinyl. I sure do love my Silhouette Cameo. It made ALL of the vinyl in his toy room and is appearing in a lot of other places of my house! 

Here's a close up of the bins, a spot for accessories to be a clown, chef, construction worker and miscellaneous hats and masks.

To the left, we have a spot for his racing helmet, army supplies, police gear, and random dress up stuff (such as his proton pack for his Ghostbusters costume).

Yes, I let my son play with guns. He has them all - nerf guns, dart guns, hunting guns, army guns, police name it, I'm sure it's in the bin.

 It started out a plain ol' trash can from Dollar General and I dressed it up with a little vinyl. I thought "guns" was a little too harsh, so I labeled it "toys."

6. I found this "Playroom Rules" printable on Pinterest and knew it would be perfect for the toy room.
 I found a cheap $4 frame at Wal-Mart. It had a white mat, but since the paper was white, I spray painted the mat yellow to stand out a little more. 

As you can see, our gumball machine needs some gumballs! I might also add a little vinyl to it, but I'm waiting on the gumballs to see if I'd even be able to read the vinyl with the gumballs in the background.

7. Last but not least, the closet!! I'm still not completely happy with this, but I figured the doors close to hide any imperfections. There are just SO many toys of various sizes that it's hard to really organize everything perfectly. Here's what we started with. Some organization, but the middle shelf was a little cluttered for this Mama. Plus -- no labels, so I was the only one who knew where everything went!

Here's my best attempt at organizing the space. Matching containers and symmetrical storage. Plus, I was able to move all his games and puzzles in here instead of the hall closet, leaving extra storage space for other things.

The bucket at the bottom holds his Lego's. I haven't yet put vinyl on this. I am on the lookout for a perfect table to create as a Lego table, so I may be changing the Lego container. I'm also getting another 15qt. container for the bottom shelf. Sterlite switched their handle colors for 2012 to purple!! Anyone who knows me well knows that I can't have one tote with purple handles while the rest are green. Luckily, a friend has a green one that she is going to give me to solve my crisis. *sigh*


Here are some more pictures of the final room!

I'm so glad we are finished with this room. I gathered so many ideas and was finally able to see them out and love the finished result!

One last thing -- Aside from giving her an idea for design, I had nothing to do with the painting of this room. We hired a lady from a nearby town who painted this entire room for $250 (aside from the red and blue base). Money well spent. I love the "So many toys, so little time" saying! I'd be more than willing to share her contact info, if interested.