Game Changer

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

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If you know me personally, or if you've read even a little bit of my blog, there is likely one thing you've learned: Ikea and me, we's like peas and carrots.

Ah, Ikea. My mother ship.

How Not to Glue Glass Vase Fillers to Your Bathtub

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

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So I have a hate/hate relationship with the one and only bathtub in our house. It's really big so it's a pain in the butt to clean, the jets will no longer turn on making it furthermore impossible to clean properly, and it lets in a ton of cold air (we live in a 1930's Craftsman style home and insulation was not a strong point in building back then apparently)

Think Warm Thoughts

Monday, January 12, 2015

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How was everyone's weekend? Cold? Snowy?

We got zero snow and I was so disappointed because it was 35 and raining, and I just really felt like we should have gotten a snow day for the kids out of that. But instead it was drizzly, gross and too windy and wet for us to really play outside which led to an all out free for all around here. On the bright side, it did spur me into organizing the playroom (which I do about once a month anyway) and the pantry which was in desperate need.

Back to the cold though,while we were cooped up I started thinking about all the fun things we will get to do outside this spring. Or tomorrow. Seriously, flip a coin and it's probably just as accurate.

One thing I am really looking forward to is putting some more effort into our outdoor living space this year, especially our garden.

It's lovely isn't it?

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What?? Tell me that brown patch of whatever it is doesn't look like it's just teeming with growing potential!

Ok, well maybe it doesn't. It has seen greener days.
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Then life caught up with me and it was really hard to keep up with. The next year I was already pregnant again with #3 by february, and there was just no way between morning sickness and chasing a just-turned 1-year-old and 4-year-old around that the garden would be something I could handle. My husband also used to travel constantly for work, so everything was 100% on me and it just

Over the last couple of years though, my husband has moved into a position that affords him more time at home, a whole lot more in fact and our kids are older. If you ask me, baby #3 is most definitely still a baby, but at a little over 2-years-old now, people like to remind me all the time that I do not, in fact, have a baby in my home anymore. Please excuse me while I go cry in the corner.

Anyway, this just finally seemed like the right time to get it up and going again. All of the kids can help, well, at least have fun digging in the dirt.

Dirty kids = Happy Kids

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That is a picture of my big girl who will be 8 this summer, just a few months after she turned three. Now I don't think I can leave the house today. Waaahhhhh!

*sniffle sniffle *

And I am excited to learn more about canning, but most of all, I could not be more excited about picking those warm home grown cherry tomatoes right off the vine and eating them. SO good. If you have never had a sun warmed cherry tomato right off the vine, you need to. Put a plant in a pot this spring and just do it, you can thank me later.

I apparently had some wishful thinking going on a couple of years back though because I drew out this whole plan of a garden and even labeled it 'Garden 2012'. I looked it over yesterday and it still looks exactly like what we would need and want for our own fresh, organic veggie garden. The only difference now is my family eats strawberries like they are going out of business, and blackberries have been pushed wayyy to the end of the favorite fruits list, so I will probably switch that to be a strawberry patch and maybe just some cute flowers in the front for the kids to pick and put in small vases around the house or something.

Here's the master plan...

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I have pinned some really amazing garden fencing ideas on Pinterest, with rustic branch posts. I've also seen some really neat garden marker ideas that I'd love to try my wannabe crafty hands at.

Plus, I am going to have to come up with a good watering system because dragging the hose around for 30 minutes each day isn't really something I want to do. I'd rather lay some PVC pipe irrigation lines and just have a hose to attach and turn the water spigot off an on.

Basically, I have a whole lot of work ahead of me, but I think that the initial input will really set us up for a very productive and easy(-ier) to care for garden not just this year, but hopefully many more to come.

We are zone 8b, and our last day of frost is predicted to be March 11th. We've had a pretty mild winter thus far so I'm thinking that will be pretty accurate. Last year we had a freak freeze in April which is almost unheard of around here thanks to the Polar Vortex declaring himself king of North America, but this year he must be busy because we've only had a few little snaps.

So that means I've got 8 weeks to get things together and seeds usually need to be started 6 weeks ahead of time.

I'm off to go seed hunting.

Faux Fireplace Progress

Monday, January 5, 2015

If you follow me on Instagram then you saw pictures of me putting saw to wood and starting a faux fireplace for our living room. I really haven't gotten any further than what I've shown in pictures, but I should be done in the next couple of weeks now that Christmas is over, so here goes!

Where I'm at right now...

**My 2-year-old broke my computer a while back and I am still using my husband's old work computer. Something happened while I was uploading photos to this dinosaur and I lost all of my in progress shots of the fireplace, so I'm going to do the best I can with what I've got now**

Here is said 2-year-old helping
Behind him though you can see the very first two things I put together. The sides and then main shelf. I will have a more complete post when I finish this puppy with all the measurements and supplies, but I used 1/2" MDF to make the frame. After I did it, I realized I probably didn't use thick enough MDF, but it is holding
up pretty well. If I had to do it over I'd pick 3/4".

Here I have already started to piece the base together which I built using plain old 2x4's

I cut two pieces of MDF to create 'sides' of the fireplace area, and cut a 1x12 to make the doors. 

I screwed the 2x4's together, and cut a piece of MDF to fit the top. MDF is really cheap, like $14 for a giant piece and it's relatively sturdy so for large areas that aren't going to support a ton of weight, it's what I like to work with most. 

I also cut a piece of MDF to fit the back and create the 'fireplace' area. Sarah Jane makes it look awfully pretty, and you can get a good feel for the size of it. I think it's 61" wide. At this point I took it inside to finish.

I am really bummed I don't have all the pictures, but you can see here where I am hiding a door and how I built a frame to fit inside the doorway so I would be able to  mount the TV. I cut a piece of, you guessed it, MDF and screwed it into the 2x4's  and then mounted the TV. This is the one and only part of the project I did have to have help on. I needed an extra set of hands to hold the frame level and screw it into the doorframe. We only used 2 good drywall screws (they work much better on 2x4's than regular wood screws) to fix it into the doorframe for minimal damage. 

In case you are wondering why we are hiding a door it's because we live in an old 1930's farm house which was built before air conditioning. We have approximately 4,506,236 doors in our house and some are just useless and are like right in the middle of the wall where you would what to put a TV. Something the original owners probably didn't think too much about. 

Here is the base flipped to show the underside.

I ran out of screws that day and forgot to add the third support in on the left. It honestly holds up just fine without it, so the likelyhood of me actually putting it in there is slim to none, but yeah, it should be a nice sturdy box. 

Base in place

This picture was taken at an odd angle I guess, but it is really not that un-level (that is not a word according to spellcheck). But here is the base with the 'fireplace' surround sitting on top. I also cut pieces of MDF and mounted shelves inside using simple 1x1 trim to make the supports.

The sides however, are really that wonky. Our garage floor fluctuates everywhere. All the concrete is cracking and I can have a difference in floor elevation by a few inches in just a couple feet of space. This is why I brought the project inside to finish it. But apparently I measured wrong or something and it looks like I am about 1/4" off making the boards bow in on the sides. I chose not to fix it until it was on solid ground, so that will have to be fixed soon. 

And here is where it stands today

 This week I plan on getting it leveled out and all of the pieces attached to one another. Then I'll put the doors on with hinges. The place where all of the pictures are sitting is actually going to have a drop down door in front of it as well, and the 'mantle' will sit on a lip on top of that. 

If the TV ends up being too close to the top of the mantle it will be fairly easy to take it down, slide the MDF up a bit further to give it more height and then remount the television higher as well. But I'm hoping that won't be necessary! 

After I finish the carpentry portion I'm going to paint it, I'm thinking Annie Sloan chalk paint because I've been itching to try it, and then I'll have a full DIY post up.

Happy Monday! 

NYE 2015

Thursday, January 1, 2015

We made it! Add another year to the books. How incredibly thankful I am to have my little family all here, healthy, and ready to rock 2015. Thankful to have spent time with loved ones in 2014, and looking forward to yet another set of seasons in 2015.

What originally was going to be "just us" turned into some friends of ours and their son, which turned into a couple of family members and their child, and then some more, and some more. I absolutely adore when parties sort of 'evolve' like that. There is no planning or fretting. No worrying about making sure you have enough cups, or planning a big spread. People just show up and hang out. The frosting on the cake of 2014.

We got to do a few of our ideas from my 15 for 2015 list, but since we had lots of other littles to play with, they weren't quite as interested in what I had (very last minute) planned. Which was great, because no paper plate noisemaker will ever hold a candle to playing with your friends and cousins.

To start off the night though, our resident party planner, Lily, set up their table. I thought it was so sweet how she did it, and also made me wonder where her inspiration comes from because Mama couldn't even set up a table remotely close to this without consulting Pinterest...

Hat decorating (y'all please avert your eye from our pitiful walls in the playroom. They are slated for overhaul in February)

Nothing says party like it's 2015 like mutli-colored pompoms 

'Say man, this elastic string buggin' you as much as it's buggin' me?'

A huge shout out to to those who photograph young children for a living, I have no idea how you make them all look at the camera at the same time. Is it Photoshop? I refuse to believe they actually make it happen. If they do it's sorcery, sorcery I tell you! 

Wouldn't be NYE without a little sparkle and pop! 

Fireworks evrahwhere

And it can't be 42 and not have a little crackle and pop from the fire pit in Texas 

I just had to add this one because it really sums up our countdown at midnight (10 PM). Miss Attitude on the left, Miss Footie PJs barely hanging on by a thread, and neither were the least bit impressed with 'King Julien's New Years Eve Countdown' on Netflix. 

Miss footie pajamas went to sleep right after this, an Miss pompom hat actually rallied and made it all the way to midnight. I think she was asleep before she even got under her covers last night, though. 

Then Mommy and Daddy and their friends toasted champagne and sat around the fire with baby monitors and Pandora old school rap on until 2 AM and it was so much fun. 

And they lived happily ever after. 

Or Mommy and Daddy hopped themselves up on coffee and started asking "When is bedtime?" at 9 AM. 

Basically the same thing. 

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