Monday, December 31, 2012

love tokens

After reading this, I wanted to start trying something very similar with my little man. We both went to AC Moore and picked out a couple dozen wooden 'tokens'. We painted each one together, and I explained to him what the whole thing was about. He picked out the different prizes and I listed them on his new giant art pad of paper. He is so excited about it and I can already tell the difference.

From mockabee7:
"The system lasts for one week.  They also get tokens removed when they are not showing love.  Tokens are not freely given all day as most of our routine is required or expected, but going above and beyond surely deserves a reward!

At the end of the week, we have a family meeting and "cash in" our love tokens.  All of the rewards are usually time-based and not really working towards toys or treats (although there is an opportunity to acquire something sweet on the list)."

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Gingerbread Men Pancakes

We cheated and used Aunt Jemima buttermilk pankcake mix, added brown sugar and cinnamon to make a few pancakes. After cooking round shaped pancakes, we used our large metal gingerbread man cookie cutter to cut out the shapes. I ate the scraps, he ate the gingerbread men...he 'couldn't wait to eat the heads off'.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Kitchen Before/After

We are still finalizing our kitchen reno so this is just for marking progress.  I gathered a ton of information and inspiration from, housetweaking.compinterest (my kitchen board), and others places for months while we saved money.

I knew:
  • I wanted to paint our golden oak cabinets white
  • I wanted a light countertop (white Corian like my grandmother has or marble)
  • I wanted wood floors to continue throughout the house (including kitchen)
  • Our scratch and dent refrigerator would be painted with chalkboard paint
  • Appliances wouldn't be changing anytime soon so we'd make do with what we had
Details to follow later but here is the before with tan tile floor, tan tile countertop, tan tile backsplash and golden tan oak cabinets:

The after (in progress):

My Entry/Hallway

I'm back! Re-energized to start journaling our progress again. It's been crazy the last year and a half. Future posts to include:

-Kitchen before and after DIY
-Hardwood floor install DIY
-Various upgrades
-Planning for our Master Bathroom Reno

For today, my entryway and hallway (still in progress). No baseboards yet and I'm still deciding on a Dash and Albert runner for the space. Ikea Trones shoe bins, we used 8 to line the wall. They are $39.99 for a 3 pack, we purchased 9 and have one leftover. My son has the bottom left 'cubby', Mike and I share the rest. This has been a huge timesaver in the mornings before school everyone knows where their shoes are.

The cheap Ikea runner we purchased has been just okay. I want to add more color and I love Dash and Albert rugs. I'm considering the following in the 2.5' x 8' runner.

Any suggestions on colors for the space or runners you like?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Finally. My Card Catalog

This beaut's all mine. I've been looking for a very specific size and finish card catalog for 5+ years now everywhere (Ebay, Craigslist, etc. etc.) I find them but they are overpriced, don't offer shipping, missing hardware, wrong size, wrong finish. Very expensive mostly; especially for the solid oak, antique finish in the size I want.

Then I found her. I randomly searched on Richmond's Craigslist  (I live in Virginia Beach about hour and a half away) and I found a listing with a dark photo of a card catalog; it looked promising. The price was $150 obo. (or best offer?) I called him and asked to hold until Friday. No deal. I told him I'd be there that night. I drove my butt to Richmond and it wouldn't fit inside. But he felt so bad for me that he accepted my check and said he'd hold until the next morning. I borrowed my boyfriend's dad's truck and hauled a$$ to Richmond..again. (3 hour round trip). This poor boy was selling it for his grandmother and had no idea what he had. He mentioned that he'd had over 30 calls and many people were upset that he wouldn't hold it until they got there.

This gorgeous old thing is in amazing condition. Every single piece of hardware except one pull. I even saw the imprint on the side that it's from Mary Washington College University of Virginia. Now I'm just torn between selling for a hefty profit on Ebay (never).

Friday, May 6, 2011

his and hers.....or her & him....

Friday night thumb tack art fun...thumbs are sore. Printed out words in font and taped onto wall, thumb-tacked over the template. (I had to start using a hammer :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

which way to the restroom...

I've been wanting to do something for the bathroom door forever. A cute vintage restroom sign, unisex restroom sign from hardware store, stenciling, vinyl letters but I couldn't decide on anything. Finally got around to doing this:

-Already had can of oops paint in grey (free)
-Little man/woman wood cutouts from Michael's $1.99 each plus 15% total coupon (~3.50)
-Frame I already had, took off glass/backing (free)
- Leftover white spraypaint I already had (free)
-3M command strips x8 (~$6.00 with Michael's coupon)

My steps
-Eyeballed center and positioning
-Had my man hold up
-Outlined inner rim of frame with pencil
-Handed painted with the grey
-Stick em all up with the 3M command strips. Super easy
-NOTE: Technically supposed to let paint dry for several days before hanging 3M strips which I also recommend at least a day as the strips will fall off.

Monday, April 11, 2011

birthday presents

massage gift certificate, leather journal, moonflower seeds, beautiful nyc travel book, and new charm for bracelet.

Monday, April 4, 2011

love this

the best ikea shopping tips

I've been to Ikea so many times, and since it's a 2.5 hour drive for me I've learned to prepare as much as I can to get the most out of my trip.

The very first thing I do is measure everything and anything in the house that I'm considering a purchase for.

  • Window heights and widths
  • Depths from wall to blinds for rod brackets...I've made this mistake before :(
Furniture, rugs, etc.?
  • Room dimensions
  • Closet depths and dimensions
  • Available space for cabinets, dressers, anything you might be even just be considering...
Here is a view of my shopping cart. It shows store availability, and the print out list option gives you several ways to sort your items, by first added, area of pickup in the store, etc. This is absolutely awesome. It gives you a general idea of what you might spend right ;)...and you can use it to cross things off, I highly recommend it this great tool.

So in short, here is my go-to list for what I bring:
  • My own measuring tape, just easier to use than the free ribbon tape they provide
  • A list of projects and ideas I have
  • Printed out shopping list from
And I still spend 5 hours there every single time.

ikea evolution of emotion

Nug and I had the best day at Ikea. He played at Smaal-land for a bit while I got some shopping done, then we hit the aisles all over again. Lunch at the cafeteria...with the promise of chocolate cake if he ate everything. This was him over literally thirty seconds. "Crying face", "Sad face", "Attempting a pityful smile face", and then "CHOCOLATE CAKE NOM NOM NOM face"...

happy monday

I can't remember life before her name.
-John Mayer

Saturday, April 2, 2011

ikea trip

Off to Ikea! Got my printed out product list from their website and snacks, snacks (and snacks) for the 3 hour drive. on the hunt for 12 of these today (ikea ribba frame)...among other things. many other things.

Friday, April 1, 2011

best spray paint tool ever

I just bought saw the Rustoleum Spray Grip at walmart for $2.50 and it's amazing. It attaches to any regular spray paint can and it really does work. Some reviews say it isn't the best, but mine works really well so far (update 2 years later and still going strong). It doesn't seem to be the highest quality plastic, but for what I'm doing it's just fine.

I'm refinishing an old mirror from Kirkland's and the finish was very pretty but too traditional for me and I knew I wouldn't use it unless I changed it up.

One full can of glossy white Krylon Fusion and my hand and fingers aren't all cramped up and my fingers don't have runny spraypaint all over.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Inspired by Ikea catalog and this gorgeous living room from a house crashing on my favorite blog, I found these at Michael's for 40% off, and cheap hooks from Walmart. Removable storage for blankets, remotes & clutter.