Monday, December 16, 2013

easy christmas decor

There is nothing too special about these Christmas decor ideas except that they add a little charm in their details and they are el-cheapo!

Item #1: buy dollar-store ceramic houses, spray paint white or cream (or whatever color you'd like or have on hand... I think a very pale aqua would be charming, too!) and while the houses are still tacky, sprinkle glitter over the top.  DONE!

This cloche is actually a large vase (I guess!) turned upside-down from Ikea for 10ish bucks!

Item #2:  buy dollar-store/cheap wreaths.  Spray paint with white paint and immediately sprinkle on some fake snowflakes.  I also added a little glitter to these as well but you can hardly see it.  I also added a black ribbon but you could leave them alone and they'd still be cute.  Then hang them up :)  DONE!  (PS: these were seriously ugly wreaths before I painted them!)

Item #3:  Add white lights anywhere and everywhere!!
 Item #4:  Deck the halls (or bookcases) with dollar-store nutcrackers.
Item #5:  Give your kids a needle and thread and felt balls which instantly adds Christmas cheer to an everyday area.  I've strung this string of felt balls on a horizontal door we have hanging on our wall.

Item #6:  Christmas isn't Christmas without Christ!  So get out that nativity scene!  I found this one at a craft store for $10.  The pieces were glued to a stable that I didn't like the look of, so I carefully broke them out.  If you didn't care for the colors, again you can spray paint anything.  I turned an old box on it's side and slid this into my bookcase instead.
 Item #7:  Get out some chalk, make a chalkboard, and write your favorite Christmas phrases.  Your chalkboard doesn't even need to have a frame on it.  The bottom picture is just chalkboard paint over a piece of plywood.

Item #8:  Bring in some greens.  You can never bring in enough greens.  Ever!  And if you're like me, you can't keep enough greens alive so you have to keep bringing in replacements. I clipped some boxwood and pines from the landscaping.
Hope those ideas were some-what helpful!  I am always so anxious to decorate for Christmas.  I think that simple is sometimes better... beware of Christmas clutter!!

Joyeux Noel!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

DIY wrapping paper

Brown craft paper + paint + little fingers = wrapping paper!
String of lights.
Easy, fun, kid-friendly, lovely.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


I was hoping to decorate the house for Autumn this weekend but the kids got more excited decorating for Halloween.  I don't usually go overboard for Halloween because I don't think Halloween decor is tasteful. Mostly, I think it's just tacky.  But... when the kids help you decorate, it's gonna be tacky.  And sometimes, tacky is ok!  So we did some projects together and just had fun.  And they're not through with this house yet.  They want to go all out.  So hopefully I'll have more projects to share soon.
This is my favorite project.  We just used a picture we had and made it spooky with black felt.  I used just a little bit of painter's tape to keep the felt in place.  The letters are just blocks of plywood painted with chalkboard paint.  I've had them for years and can change it up all the time.

 This is the original in case you're curious :)  And these are 3 of my 4 kids.
 We decked out the laundry room shelves!
 This is our small collection of books that can be considered 'spooky'.
 We're Harry Potter fans and these are potion labels that we put on these fun bottles.
 My 6 year old daughter made the bunting.  She worked the hot glue gun and everything.
 And all 3 of the kids made these spider cut-outs. They used cotton balls for cobwebs and we just jammed the backs of the picture frames on.

Stay tuned for more....

Thursday, July 11, 2013

just an idea....

I've been saving empty oatmeal containers.  Then tearing the label off, dusting out the insides, and filling them with craft supplies.  Those containers are handy for so many things!!  First time I repurposed an oatmeal container, I made a drum out of it for my little guy.  Then it became a piggy bank with a slit in the lid.  And now they are holding my kids' crafting supplies.  Bonus: I can write on them exacly what the contents are with chalk.  {kinda feeling like a genius right now}  You could do them up as fancy as you'd like or keep 'em simple.  So, what will your oatmeal containers become?!

P.S.  If you are rolling your eyes at this post, perhaps you didn't change umpteen diapers today, or have to spray your leg off due to a spit-up accident, or have to give a time-out for saying 'butt crack' and 'holy butterball', or have to sweep the kitchen floor for the third time all in just one day. 

I am feeling accomplished with my discovery ;)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sooo... I love to blog!  It's more for myself than for anyone else.  Some people can keep track of everything in their heads.  I cannot!  We had four kids in 5.5 years... enough said?!  My brain cells have died off exponentially, people!  So this girl loves to (has to) document things!  Sometimes I feel like my mind is running at a mile a minute.  Blogging just helps me clear my head.  It brings me a sense of sanity, you know?!  And I love to visit the past.  Ever hear the quote, 'It's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there'?!  That's what this blog is to me!  Sometimes looking back is somewhat embarassing but hilarious and gratifying to see the evolution of our home.  That being said, I am bringing this blog back!  I hope to: a) keep it updated, b) keep it interesting, and c) inspire you!  We have changed so much about our home and I have so much to share.  I love comments and suggestions and advice so let's help each other out!  Stick around for a completed tour of our 1950s ranch home from beginning (as in 8 years ago when we bought it!) to... present day!

Friday, February 1, 2013

white floors

People call us crazy sometimes.  We're almost always working on a project somewhere in the house and if we're not, we're dreaming about one.  We truly enjoy getting creative and changing things!  I'll give you a few more instances of when we've been called 'crazy'.  We got married when I was still 19 and Jordan was 21.  We got pregnant when I was 20.  We had the baby when I was 21 and Jordan was almost 23.  Another reason we're considered crazy: we didn't stop there!  We had 4 kids in 5 and a half years.  Need more?  I'm a stay at home mom!  We're Christians.  We don't have cable tv.  We have one cell phone and a land line.  Yep, we're defying our American culture!  (P.S.  It's not always easy, either!)

The last reason I'll give you for being called crazy: we painted our floors w.h.i.t.e.  You heard me.  We have four sticky-and-dirty-barefoot kids... and white floors.

You may think we're crazy, but we're still loving it!

In January of 2012, Jordan and his dad, uncle, and friends took out the flooring down to the sub floor. That included tearing up vinyl and tile. The kitchen and front entryway floors were also torn up at this same time. It took a couple months for the dust to settle! This was on a Saturday. The next day, we picked up the new wood flooring we had ordered and began to lay it on Monday. Jordan's work was slow so he had the week off which was what prompted us to finally get started on this daunting remodel. So we laid the new wood floor over Monday and Wednesday throughout the three rooms (Jordan had to work on Tuesday). On Thursday, we moved all of the furniture into the girls' bedroom and tore off all of the shoe molding. We were preparing for sanding the floors throughout the whole house which is what we did on Friday. All the while, our kids would play with their toys or watch movies as we worked. The day we sanded everything, they hung out downstairs. They had been sleeping down there the whole week and thought it was pretty cool that they could pretty much do anything they wanted down there while we worked. They were actually pretty responsible! On Friday morning, we picked up the sanders. Then we actually had to move this huge industrial serger for my sub-contracting business downstairs. We finally got started sanding around 10 am and didn't quit until dinnertime. It was another night of take-out which is pretty rare for us! Then right away on Saturday morning, we began painting the floors. We painted until early afternoon. The last area to get painted was the landing by the basement stairs. There was no place to go except down. The paint took a couple hours to dry to the point of being able to walk on so we stayed in the basement and all of us napped - even the dog. And then we started the second coat which went much faster. We were done by the end of the night. What a week...we were exhausted but so glad to have it all done. And it completely changed the look of the house!


You can see what the flooring used to look like (first two pics) and though it appears to be chaotic with the kids 'helping' out... I wouldn't have it any other way!  Here's a helpful hint to those of you with kiddos of your own: let them get involved with your projects!  What does it hurt for them to pull nails or work at hammering them down again?  They love it!  Just keep it safe, set boundaries of what they can and cannot do, and they will love to help you!  And you will feel less guilty about the big projects and little family time.  Bring the quality family time into your work :)

That being said...

Anything contained in, not contained in, assumed to be implied by, shall not be attributed to, blamed upon, or otherwise associated with the named author nor shall the author be held responsible, irresponsible, accountable, uncountable, or in any way involved with the aforementioned document.  This does not reflect the thoughts or opinions of either myself, my company, my friends; don't quote me on that; don't quote me on anything; all rights reserved;

Thursday, January 31, 2013

big boy bedroom & baby girl nursery

Well it only took me a few months to complete it (and it's actually still not completely done to my liking!) but I think I am temporarily done with my little boy and baby girl's bedroom. I knew that I wanted to keep with the vintage airplane theme for Charlie but didn't know exactly how I wanted to incorporate a feminine touch for Emmy as well. This is what I came up with:

I tried to have masculine and feminine touches but for the room to be unified. I had made the 'take flight' bunting before Emmy was born and I wanted that to remain the theme. I had contemplated doing pink airplanes but then I found a gorgeous hot air balloon picture on etsy. The balloon became my inspiration. And I would still LOVE to purchase the picture but I can't justify a $45 8x10! So hopefully I'll be able to better incorporate that idea eventually.  I wanted neutral grays and browns and yellows and pinks to be the color scheme.

Last year, we sanded and then painted the floor gray with a porch paint. And I absolutely love it in this room! I neutralized the wall color as well. The ceiling has been gray for almost 7 years and I think it's the only piece of the house that has not been repainted since!  I like to think that I was the first advocate for using gray painted walls/ceilings :)


Jordan built and stained the toddler bed out of 2x4s (and Charlie and I adore it!). The quilt on Charlie's bed was a baby gift made by Charlie's great-grandma and the knit chevron-like blanket underneath was made by Charlie's great-great grandma! At a flea market last year, Jordan came across 5 original blueprints for an airplane in a $10 bin. He told the old man he would take them and the guy said, 'oh, I can't sell those to you for $10. They weren't supposed to be in that bin.' So Jordan asks how much for them. The guy says, '$15'.... for all five!! We were thrilled :) Jordan framed his favorite. The propeller and the rusted star were also selected from flea markets over the years. The airplane was a World Market purchase.   I made the bedskirt (and it hides tubs of baby clothes underneath). The crib was a baby gift for Natalie from my parents and I imagine that Emmy will be the last of our children to use it. I had to repaint the top trim to somewhat cover the chew marks! It seemed fitting for Emmy Ellamae to have an elephant stuffed animal and I also cut out and framed the little elephant in the picture frame. Emmy's quilt was also made by great-grandma Jones. I made the little pink pillow from my most favorite fabric. I made some hanging hot air balloons but never could figure out where to hang them. Still to come... I'd like to make or buy a rag-rug with some grays, pinks, and yellows.

'Ee' is for Emmy!

I removed the closet doors and it made the small room seem much bigger. I turned some extra fabric from Jordan's mom that I had been dying to use into a curtain. And we took out the old-good-for-nothing-ranch-style closet system and put in the much-better-use-of-space wire system! And I organized it over and over until I got it just right. I had seen on pinterest to use egg cartons for organizing baby socks and it has been very helpful.

use egg cartons to organize socks (:

before & after!
 Prior to Emmy joining this bedroom, we had a dresser in here for Charlie and our piano. But we were able to put those elsewhere (temporarily our bedroom!) and I've been able to do without a changing table (why not just use the crib?!) So I'm happy with the space we've opened up in this bedroom. It's only temporary, we won't make Charlie share a room with a girl for too long, but for now it's just perfect for my big boy and baby girl.