Monday, February 27, 2012

Fabric Scraps & a Wipes Box

Recently, I went a bit pin-crazy on pinterest pinning a bunch of stuff that could be done with fabric scraps!

One that caught my eye was using them to jazz up a plain ole wipes box.

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This is great! If you click on the picture or here you can read the blog post that I got the idea from. She's even using a pattern!

Now what have we learned about me thus far? I'm like the queen of imperfection (since I don't think I've ever come close to achieving perfection, I like to be real knowledgeable on imperfection and pretend I own it), I do things when the kids/time/materials all provide to do it RIGHT THEN, and I always end up doing something my own way.

Materials: Wipes Container, Mod Podge, Fabric... and not pictured brush & scissors :)

In going through some scraps, I found this Kansas University one. It wasn't much to cover the whole thing like the pattern one does. So I decided just to cut it into strips (about 2-3" wide and long enough to go underneath as well) and randomly place around the wipes box.

Then after sides were complete, it need some fabric on the bottom too. Then I coated it all in a layer of gloss finish Mod Podge to finish it up.

After it was all dry, I took some fine sandpaper and went over the entire outside very lightly. Just to take some of the stiffness/luster off a bit. It made it just right!

Then put in a bag with some clothes and gave to Greg to give to his coworker/friend that just had a baby since he's a Jayhawk!

I also made one to put in Luke's room... it was my FIRST go round actually, and I didn't take many pics since I was too busy experimenting ;)

You can tell I tried to use bigger pieces in my first attempt and the overlap shows through... that's why I decided strips of fabric would work better and work with the perfect imperfect look!

I made another one for a friend the other day. She's doing her nursery in rustic/cabin... I asked her what colors she was working with and whipped something up. Let's hope it matches! I'll ask her to take a pic to share, since I forgot (how do I forget stuff like this?).

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Indoor Tri update... less than 2 weeks away!

Well, in less than 2 weeks the Indoor Tri will be over. Not sure if that scares me or offers a sense of relief that the end is near ;)
I've finally made a break through in my running. Of course, it took me awhile to come to my own realization that helped me... MUSIC!

Normally if I'm at the gym I've never bothered with music because I'm either in spin class, swimming or on the elliptical. Plus, it'd be one MORE thing for me to remember... hard enough to get out the door somedays with just the kids and my gym card!

Anyway, last friday... out came the tunes and I RAN TWO MILES! Oh my! I went from only being able to run for a minute and a half... to running 2 miles what I normally did a little over a mile in the same time. Not rocket science for most... but a major break through for me!

Then this weekend was my swim & spin times. WOW did my legs HURT. I ran last night even though I really did NOT want to. But I did it. It wasn't the same as on Friday... but I did my 2 miles in about the same time (about 25 minutes).

However on Friday I felt like this....

Last night I felt like this... Superbad....

I will have to be religious in stretching though, I see that now too (seriously, you can't tell me anything... I have to figure it out for myself). As my Tuesday night spin instructor always tells us... you need to stretch for 15 minutes on the days you work out... your body will thank you when you get older.
So I found some good stretches for post running... hope it helps a bit!

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As for swimming & spinning... it's going well. I did swim a 500m in 9:15... so 15 seconds faster that the last time. Hoping when it's for the tri I can pull off one more length and make it a 525m in the 10 minutes that we have.

Spin is good... but I'm feeling it a lot more in my legs with the running and swimming! Hoping it helps my aerobic endurance. I've been trying to swim, then go straight to spin class... so I can work on that "transition"... oh my... going from dripping wet to trying to put on gym clothes and socks & shoes... comical... totally humilating and defeating, yet comical. I forgot my hair stuff and a comb... went to spin with uncombed dripping wet hair... I was sure to tell the instructor after class what I was up to ;)

That's that for now. Honestly, not feeling very strong or accomplished from all this... just BEAT. But glad I've been doing it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy Belated Valentines Day 2012

Running behind as always, I know Vday is over and everyone is probably sick of hearing about it. But here was some of what we did!

A couple years ago we made Heart Crayons!

Last year we did Heart Birdseed Ornaments!

This year.... Heart Sidewalk Chalk!

I followed the tutorial (and you should to, tuts aren't my strong point!) I found via pinterest at The Whimsical Princess.

I make such a mess, it's never pretty that's for sure... some how it comes together in the end!

I made a HUGE mistake... I left the mixture in my stainless steel bowl that I use ALL the time. I thought it wouldn't set in a sort time... I was very wrong. So the leftover solidified and I have to throw the bowl away - we cannot get it out :( I haven't done it yet, I keep thinking it'll just miraculously fix itself. So the next batch I cover with aluminum foil first... much better!!

The original poster said that they were dry in 24 hours... not in humid Texas.. it was DAYS.

I simply put them into snack sized ziplocs, printed out "Hope your day is CHALK full of fun" and had Jake sign his name to the back of each! We actually had enough leftover that we were able to take some to our playgroup event too :)

Some other things we made...

Chocolate Heart Pancakes (my attempt at free form hearts!)... Wow... HUGE pic... sorry about that, I copied it from my FB page... not sure how to fix it!

Fruit salad with cantaloupe hearts

Lunch! In the box is Jake's and the plate was what I saved for Evan. I know it's the extra stuff... but he doesn't know and he was tickled pink :)

We also made some yummy cranberry orange muffins (no pics though) that we made in the heart shaped pan (after being thoroughly scrubbed of all chalk!). They were yummy and did have the heart shape, but if you ever try this I recommend hardly filling the "cups" at all. If too full they puffed up too much and lost that heart shape. It was fun to try though!

Last but NOT least... I received some beautiful flowers from Greg! We both know it's not important... but we also both know I really love receiving them :) Lots of love in our crazy little house!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Big Boys' Room Update 2012

In doing the Mirror Project for the big boys' room, we decided (for safety reasons to not brain our children with a heavy mirror) to rearrange the wall decor.

It meant moving the mirror to the wall that currently held the four canvases I painted (I'm still pretty proud of them and will probably look for a way to get lots of use out of them down to the last kid as long as I can! ha!) to match the bedding.

This pic was taken before I wrestled the bigger dresser in when we moved the big boys in together. When I got the idea, I just could NOT wait for Greg to get home in a few days. It was you-tube worthy I'm sure!

Moved the mirror to that wall... check!

Let's just ignored it's too high on the wall... really... loooong story... relates to more issues in basic communication 101 (we've decided to blame it not on our communication, just that we have 3 young children and our brains are fried). Now I think I need some kind of galvanized steel box to set under it on the dresser to visually bring it more together height-wise.

Realized that the paintings would need rearranged and maybe something else added to the mix to help "beef" it up a little.
Frames! I have frames! Since I knew I wanted to do the framed screens for earring storage that I did last week... I've been snagging some frames here and there.
I had these 2 brown frames with some really nice detail. They were originally $2.99 each, but the day I went to goodwill the green tags were 50% off! Score!

I still had the paints leftover from when I painted the canvases. Decided to do one in orange and one in the light blue to help it pop on that wall of boring beige.

I did a few coats (surprisingly enough the blue coated tons better than the orange) then sanded down here and there for an imperfect look.
Up they went together!

And some more shots of their room...

Their beds! Those monkeys were given to the big boys by the judge that finalized baby Luke's adoption in December :)

I still have things I want to do in this space, it's still pretty much the same

The shelf holds bigger trinkets from our travels

Decided to link this up to some linky parties! Hello, if visiting due to a linky party, thanks so much for visiting! Until this week it's been quite a few months since I've linked up!

I saw that Thrifty Decor Chick is having a kids room linky party... so I decided to link up this old post. I'm a bit MIA right now in the blogging world due to upcoming cross country move (which means soon this room will be no more!)... but though it'd still be fun to play along! Thanks for visiting!

Show Us Your House

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cute Earring Storage!

Recently, I also finished up another project that's been months in the making. There are ton of ideas like this all over  the web (and pinterest of course!). I didn't follow one specific idea. Here are my cute framed earring storage!

I just have them propped up right now, waiting to go on the wall in our closet. Need to pick up a little before any pics are taken in there ;)

This is a really simple project! I promise!

I got the frames at goodwill for $1 each. Painted with acrylic craft paint. I just picked from the colors I already had... colors I might not get to use in other parts of the house like the brighter yellowish green.

Put on a few coats, let it dry, then rubbed with a little sandpaper here and there so that the original black peeked out a bit.

The screen we purchased at Lowe's (under $10 I believe), had to get it WAY more than I need since that's the only way it's sold. At a time like this I miss my dad's old house with the big garage & basement full of anything you were looking for. So I now have tons for any random future projects... or I could screen a couple of doors or porches, lol!

I just unrolled (be careful of the ends, I drew blood!), used regular scissors to cut to approximate size of frame.

Flipped over frame and used a staple gun to attach. Pulling it tight each time I stapled.

Ta-daa! Hang lovely earrings :)

They look a lot better than all jumbled in a heap on the vanity in between our sinks driving Greg crazy! That's always a nice valentines present for your spouse, to get your mess under control, ha ha ;)

It's been awhile but I decided to join up for Metamorphis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Indoor Tri training midway update

A few weeks ago I decided to shake things up a bit and sign up for an "Indoor Tri" at the gym.

It's now a little over 4 weeks away and I'm smacking myself for signing up! What was I thinking? "Train" 6 days a week!?!?

Anyway, I came up with a plan. The Indoor Tri consists of starting with a 10 min swim, 10 min break to change clothes, 30 bike ride in the spin studio, then a 5 minute break, then a 20 min treadmill run. I know, it's no Warrior Dash or a 5k... but it's definitely outside my comfort zone on many levels.

First issue is that I can NOT run... at all... unless perhaps someone is chasing me with a knife or one of my kids are about to wander into a street. I spent some time on pinterest looking for some "learning to run tips" (how lame is that!?!?). I did find a training plan labeled as "Beginners 20 min treadmill run"....

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I then mapped out my calender. I decided that while swimming is hard for others, it's not for me... so I'd do that once a week (it's the hardest to squeeze in time for too since I HAVE to do it at the gym, you get completely wet, etc...), continue to do my 2 spin classes that I normally do that are each an hour long, then the other 3 days were for running. Which morphed into...

Sunday - Spin Class
Monday- Run
Tuesday - Spin Class
Wed - Run
Thurs - Run
Friday - Off day or Swim (if I don't on Sat)
Saturday - Off day or Swim (if I don't on Fri)

The first week went OK. I HATE running. I really honestly don't get how people like it enough to run races and all that jazz. I felt HORRIBLE.

Then Jake bought a bug home from school... then eventually I got it. Boy did I get it... I'm still getting over it 2 weeks later. At one point I couldn't hear for about 5 days. The baby ended up on breathing treatments, we were a MESS. So I missed out on about a full week of any exercise... there went week 2.

Week 3... back on track. I went swimming for the first time. Jumped in and decided to swim for 10 minutes straight to see how far I could get cold turkey. I was able to complete 500 meters (20 lengths of the pool) in a little under 10 mins. So I felt more encouraged by that. However in spin on Sunday & Tuesday I've realize that being sick really messed with my endurance level :(  Then with running I decided to go off the original training plan I found. Instead I walked a 3.5 mph for 3 min/run at 5 mph for 3 minutes alternating for a little over 20 minutes. I felt that I did better that way... the other plan was killing me with anything above 5.5 mph... I couldn't even run for longer than a minute!

That's where I'm at so far... I don't really know where exactly that puts me... but that's where I am ;) IF you were wondering.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The boys' initial project turned toy mirror project!

So wow... like anything I get involved in... this turned out to be quite a heck of a project! Lots of lessons learned, trial & error, hot glue burns, and general thoughts of "why can't I just be normal for once and buy something to hang there". However, here it is and we all really like it!

I showed you my inspiration pic a few weeks ago...

For this wall space (click on pic for post all about it)...

After scouring thrift stores I finally found a good size mirror with a good size frame (that was the problem finding one big enough and with a chunky frame). Cost $29.99

Then, I collected random toys (broken ones are just fine!) and one friend even donated some to the cause (thanks Amanda!).

Ran into issue #1... this chunky mirror actually goes down in the middle. So thought "uh-oh, that might not get painted once toys are on it"... so first I painted it focusing on that area.

Then glued toys with a TON of hot glue onto mirror. It was pretty much a random process... trying out some bigger toys here and there and trying not to have the same type of toys right next to each other. This was the most fun step of the whole thing :)

Then, I thought it'd be smart to prime it all with all the different colors, materials, textures, and such. I already had a half can primer so thought, "why not, maybe it'll make it all easier in the long run". Did it? I don't know. But when I primed I noticed the "valley" part of the mirror frame painted just fine so I really didn't need that first coat of blue.

Issue #2... toys started to fall off. So I recommend you use WAY more glue than you think you need and then even more!!

I tried to be more patient and to thin coats of the paint over the course of 2 days (my normal M.O. is that I just apply it all as fast as I can and then usually never give it enough time to dry).

It was looking pretty spiffy and very cool if I do say so myself (laying on the garage floor).

Issue #3... I was in such a rush to finally get started I didn't think about how to hang it. It was set up for a vertical orientation... I designed to hang horizontally. So Greg & I were installing hangers post-project... this REALLY should of been done FIRST (highly recommend!).

More toys popped off... more toys glued on!

Buy this point we realize issue #4... this mirror is VERY heavy and gluing a bunch of toys on DID NOT help. So off to Lowe's to get wall anchors & hangers that hold up to 100lbs each (we used two of each).

Issue #5... communication IS key. Greg told me to put my finger where I wanted it (meaning the top - like we've done a million times before) on the wall while he was holding it up to the wall. Weeeeeeellllll folks, what he also meant was in the CENTER as well... that I did not do (I should of inferred it or he should of said it)... we didn't realize this until TOO LATE. There's so much that can be said on the topic of communication... I think this is a perfect example/metaphor! ;)

Luckily it wasn't too far off and I just moved the boys beds around a little.

More toys popped off... more toys glued on... this time via super glue!

It looks super cool on the wall... but issue #6... I now have this HUGE fear that this mirror is going to somehow fall and brain both of them in their sleep. I love my children, no need to cause them harm over my projects!But now with two HUGE holes in the wall... it's going to be so painful to say... "let's move it over the dresser instead hunny"! (we just texted each other about it... yah, we'll be switching walls this weekend!!)

So that was my project that took me 2 weeks longer than expected (and is still in the works)... but like I said... it looks awesome and very unique though ;)

Thought I'd join Between Naps on the Porch for a little Metamorphis Monday! :)