Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Hawaiian-Hula-Mermaid Bedroom Makeover!

{This is my attempt at a panoramic photo... The lighting from her window is weird so forgive my amateur photography skills.}

This year for their birthdays, our kids are both getting bedroom makeovers. They have enough "stuff", but wanted new updated rooms, and that sounded great to me!

A has had the same owl themed room since she was 18mos, so for her 7th birthday (which is not until Saturday - she got this a little early) it felt time to update. This girl is after my own heart in her love of Hawaii (she has only been there twice, and once was in utero...and the other she was not even 2, so I don't know where her obsession came from - but it's not from memories!) She even had a Hawaiian birthday party a couple years ago! She has been asking for a Hawaiian-Hula-Mermaid room for a couple of years and I love that it is a theme that can grow with her. My challenge was that I did not want it to turn out tacky looking. No offense to Oriental Trading Co and their great party favors, but their catalog is not what I wanted it to look like ;) 

We went with a loft bed to give her more space to play underneath - and because they are COOL! :) It is surprisingly a very sturdy and good quality bed for just being Walmart. I wanted bedding that was fun and bright, but not necessarily married to this theme forever. It took me a looong time to find what I was looking for, but I absolutely love the look of this and it is great quality and super soft and cozy too. I used a grass skirt fringe that was made for a deck and was able to cut it into pieces for her bed, window, and closet. There was about an inch of it leftover - I love it when things work out so perfectly. I hung it with 3M velcro strips - love that stuff. (In fact I hung almost everything in her room with it!)

(Forgive me on the dresser... I ordered these adorable chevron knobs (and counted from memory instead of looking - oops) and I did not order enough. 2 more are on the way to complete this :) Crazy how just updating knobs can change the look of a piece of furniture so much! We took the doors off her closet and put her dresser inside (amazingly it fit with room to spare!). This was an after thought - we just couldn't get the furniture set up in her small room in a way we were happy with. This solved the problem and I am really happy with it. On the sides of the dresser, the closet goes back in on both sides, so that is where we can hang dresses and longer items. If we choose to keep it this way when she gets older, we can always raise the hanging rod up too as her clothes hang longer. My one challenge with this will be helping her keep it looking semi-tidy since we can't just close the doors. We also may add some shelving to her walls at some point for her dance trophies.

I wanted her to have a cool little hangout space. This dollhouse was mine as a child and though she loves it and plays with it everyday, it has taken up a lot of her small room - this works much better! Our girl loves to read, so this reading nook was a must. (We got her that Pottery Barn Anywhere Chair for her 1st birthday and it has been such a great purchase - I can even sit comfortably in it!) of course her Frozen calendar has to be in there too - she loves checking the date and counting down to special days.

I got to get super crafty and make a ton of stuff for her room! I have pulled some pretty late nights over the past few weeks, but it was worth it ;) The hardest part by far was painting the waves along the walls - a very tedious process I was so glad to complete, but it really made the room.

I made this memory board (the picture is crooked, not the board). I ordered some hawaiian fabric from Sweet Kapua on Etsy that shipped straight from Hawaii itself. 

And this is a re-purposed drawer front from her nursery furniture. My husband thought I was crazy for saving this, but I knew I would find a use for it. I made the Aloha and hibiscus flower to dress it up for the room, and she can hang her medals on it. Love how it turned out. 

I also made this canvas painted artwork and I love the results (and the colors!! I am loving mint, turquoise, and coral together - and luckily she does too!) these photos do not do justice and you can't really see that these are sparkly - it's really cool in person. (Once again, the picture I took is crooked, not the wall hangings)

This box for her books she already had, but I decided to dress that up for the room too. Again you can't tell how sparkly this mint mermaid is. And A's idea to paint the starfish sparkly is cool in person too. 

And finally, I made her this wall letter with "mermaid-y" glass beads and decorated this cool frame with sparkly starfish. (Again my photo is crooked, not the hanging - I can't handle crooked stuff lol!)

This was a lot of work but so fun to do and I am so happy with how it turned out - and more importantly, so is A! She had to sleep in her brother's room (which was more like "she got to" since they love having sleepovers) for a week and we did the big reveal yesterday morning - she was thrilled! Of course her brother had to join her for an inaugural sleepover and they have been playing a new game in there called "going to Hawaii" all day :) I find myself wanting to hang out in there too!

Maybe next year we can go back to Hawaii :) :)

Now we need to get through Easter and then time to start on G's superhero bedroom makeover!I don't anticipate his being quite as time intensive, but I'm looking forward to updating his space for him too. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Re-purposed Photo Hanger

As my hubby was getting ready to throw out a piece of wood from my daughter's old dresser, I probably startled him as I yelled for him to "STOP! I can use that!!" I think he is used to this from me by now though :)

The piece was already a laminate white, which worked fine for me. All I did was glue ribbon to the front of some clothespins to coordinate with her room, and then hot glued them to the board for her to hang pictures on. So easy and a fun way to re-purpose a piece of wood that was about to become garbage.

"Faux" Barn Wood Photo Board Tutorial

Almost two weeks ago, I began this project, and finally I found the time to finish it! It was worth the wait :)

It began with inspiration from this, and changed a little bit to my preferences.

Materials Needed:

6 Balsa boards (these are extremely lightweight so they wouldn't be heavy to hang. They had different thicknesses and I picked one that did not feel like I would accidentally snap it in half.) Also, They only had 5, and being the impatient person that I am, I did not want to wait. So I bought 2 thinner pieces and glued them together and just made that work. Shhh - now you know my secret ;)
Balsa Support boards for the back
Glue Gun and Extra Glue Sticks
Wood Stain and Rag for Applying (I used soy stain in Walnut and applied 3 coats)
Wood Stain Varnish (I used Soy Varnish)
Printed Phrase from Computer and Ballpoint Pen (for etching letters to paint)
Acrylic Paint (For letters - or you could use vinyl lettering if you have the ability)
Mini clothes pins - or whatever size you like
Picture Hangers - obviously, for hanging :)
Assorted Photos

And here's how to do it:

1. Lay out boards how you want them. I staggered mine a bit for the look I wanted. 

2. Hot Glue support pieces to back of boards to hold them together.

3. Stain your wood with an old rag according to stain directions.

4. Print out your saying (this might take some trial and error to find the right size and font you want. I specifically chose a san serif font for painting ease, since painting is not my strong suit). Cut out your words and put them on top of the wood where you want them. (I used small pieces of scotch tape to secure, though that left some marks and I ended up having to re-sand/stain that board a little after, so can't say I recommend using tape!) Very carefully, firmly trace the outside of the letters with a ballpoint pen. 

5. Voila! Now carefully trace and fill in with paint color choice.

6. After applying varnish and allowing to dry, decide how you want the clothespins arranged and glue them on.

7. Add photos and DONE! Admire your new home decor piece - interchange photos as desired :)

I would love to see how your project turns out!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Crafty Front Door Wreath

Yesterday I made a wreath for our front door. I'm in-love with it. I was inspired by this. I used a cardboard letter and wrapped it in twine, made some fabric rosettes, and voila. Oh and I also used the upside down command hook trick on the inside of the door to hang it. Simple project that dresses up our front door :)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Addison's 5th Birthday Party {A Hawaiian Luau}

Addison had a hard time committing to a birthday theme this year. Every time we talked about it, she would change her mind. UNTIL she told me she wanted a "hula girl Hawaii party".

You see, this child of mine takes after her mother, and her grandmother whom her middle name is after. She is obsessed with Hawaii. For most of the last year, she has asked me anywhere from 2-5 days per week if we can move to Hawaii. The last time she was there, I was pregnant with G, so she was maybe 18-19 months old --- there is no way she remembers it. What she does know about it, is that the sun shines and it is warm everyday. That she could play outside EVERY DAY there. That she would never have to wear socks there (which is a bit of a battle with her in the colder months...and also one I completely understand). Barefoot is in her blood. SUNSHINE and warmth sound perfect to her. She is a true fish since the day she could splash in the water. So it is no wonder that she has an obsession with Hawaii.

For now, we will continue to vacation in Maui... and have a Hawaiian 5th Birthday party!

I wanted to keep it fairly simple, which was hard - but this theme was so fun, I seriously could have gone nuts, so I had to reign myself in. Originally, I was thinking of fun luau type food, but then I thought about what my 5yr old likes to eat...and it didn't match up. Afterall, this was HER party. So we had butterfly shaped PB&J's (and sub sandwhiches for the adults), lots of fruit...the stuff she really likes.

Every child received a lei when they arrived. I attached cut out hibiscus flowers with their names on them, and below that, their names in Hawaiian. Look up your Hawaiian name here! Why not, it's fun.
The food spread

Sub sandwhiches, Butterfly shaped PB&J's, Fruit with marshmallow/cream cheese dip, carrots with ranch dip. I cut up my first pineapple ever for this party. I know it's not a big deal, but I was proud of myself :)

Chips (had to have Maui sweet onion), Goldfish

Cupcakes (Addison picked funfetti...I don't do from scratch on those). I did however make the buttercream frosting from scratch and that was good and SO easy. I will never buy chemical-ridden store bought frosting again. I added a lot more vanilla, and used vanilla almond milk since we don't do cow milk at our house. Kept drinks super simple with 100% juice capri suns, and bottled water. My kids don't usually get juice, and if they do, they get one of those kinds with the vegetables in it too, and then I cut it in half with water (yes, I am THAT mom), but I had just learned that the Capri Sun's are all clear...which means no stains on my carpet - perfect! Did I mention I also didn't have to buy cups or keep refilling a punch bowl?

And THIS is her hula girl cake. I was quite proud of this lovely lady! Addison was so excited for me to make her one, and I was quite nervous I would disappoint. Ya see, I can't even frost a cupcake pretty... I have tried those special idiot-proof tips, and I just end up having to spread it on with a butter knife...I don't even try anymore. SO, you can see why I was nervous for this cake. Cake decorating is just not my thing - I have a couple friends who sculpt masterpieces out of fondant, but it's not my talent. Oh and it was SO easy!! All I did was use the Wilton Wonder Mold pan. I bought it for $5 off craigslist from a lady who attempted and failed once...encouraging right!?! When she gave it to me, she said, "good luck" with a smirk. Sure glad I didn't let that intimidate me too much. I had full intentions of a practice cake, but that never happened. So I made this cake in the special pan, (which I had to cook much longer than the instructions told me in order to get the cake cooked all the way through) and I bought one of those little legless dolls for doll cakes. I raided Addison's barbie clothes for a bikini top for her to wear. Then all I did was spread green buttercream frosting all over the cake, kind of thick... and then took a fork and used that to make it look like grass. And amazingly, it turned out, who would have thought :) 

Favors for the kids: sand buckets, with Hawaiian temporary tattoos, fruit snacks, each girl got a flower hair clip, bubbles (don't get me started on these...I ordered these bright bubbles that looks tropical and were priced well...and when they arrived, they were the tiniest bubbles I have ever seen. ever. I gave each child two since they likely would blow 6 bubbles each). Oh and each kid got their lei when they got there, so that was kind of a favor too.

For games....what to do with these children!! I came up with "pin the coconut on the palm tree" and that worked well. I bought the palm tree cut out, and then I printed out pictures of a real coconut on cardstock paper. I wrote each kid's name on their coconut so they would be able to keep track of which one was theirs. We also played "Hot Potato" with the bright orange fish in the picture above.

My two blondies. And as our sweet birthday girl waited to blow out her candle, she instead lifted her little brother up and let him blow out her candle - how sweet is that?! She is such a great, thoughtful big sister.

And here is one more of our birthday girl (sporting an "Aloha" tattoo) handing out cupcakes.

Overall, it was a really fun party and Addison had a great time! Now I have less than a month before it's time for her brother's party!

Invitations, cupcake toppers, birthday banner, and favor tag were all DIY and designed by Pink Monkey Prints - excellent, speedy service, great prices, and SUPER CUTE designs :) I just had to print everything and put it together. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Meal Plan 3/18-3/24

I started a new organic produce co-op near our house, so I'm making sure to use recipes that will utilize some of the surprise items we get :) It's kind of fun, and forces me to try new things and new recipes.

{The Menu}

Monday - Grilled Chicken w/kale pesto bowtie pasta & broccoli. I have never had kale, but it was in our share this week, and this recipe was recommended, so we will give it a try!

Tuesday - Crockpot Chicken Taco Soup - I leave out the beer, and top with sour cream and tortilla chips.

Wednesday - Grilled Chicken w/balsamic tortellini, roasted yams, and sauteed veggies. My brother is the genius behind the balsamic tortellini, and it is one of our favorite ways to make it now. Just boil your tortellini until it's cooked how you like, drain and mix with some olive oil and balsamic (you have to play with the ratio to get what you like best), add some parmesan and stir together. Roasted yams will be something new for me to try...they were in our share this week, and not something we usually eat - we'll give it a try :)

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - Tator Tot Casserole (this made it on the menu because we have everything on hand for it, and haven't had it in a long time).

Saturday - Leftovers

Sunday - Crockpot Turkey Goulash w/tri-color rotini - one of our faves!

What are you cooking up this week?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A New Wall

We have a small space of wall in our kitchen table area that I could never figure out what to do with. My kids' art easel hangs out in that corner (and is used daily), so that made it even harder to figure out what to put behind it. I decided I was tired of it being bare though. I decided to make a couple of cork frames where we can hang kid art, and mixed it in with some favorite sayings.

The "A" is the first letter in our last name, but my daughter is convinced it is there for her, as her first letter in her first name is also "A". Of course it is, sweetie :)

The "Thankful" print, I got several months ago on Groopdealz and just love this saying so much...because it is SO TRUE! I'm so glad it has a permanent wall to display these awesome words now.

The other two are free printables I found on Pinterest. The top one "We may not have it all together, but together we have it all" has kind of become our family mantra. I just put it in a 5x7 Ikea frame that I already had. The bottom one, the family "rules", I originally had in a frame somewhere else, but decided to mod podge it onto a blank 8x10 canvas I had in my craft room.

The Green and Blue cork boards are just unfinished wood picture frames from the craft store. I painted them and replaced the inserts with cork. We can use push pins to hang kids artwork downstairs, or I may later attach some sort of clip on them too.

I am not a measurer for this type of thing. I simply do not have the patience and prefer to wing it. I kind of had an idea in my head of how I wanted everything laid out, and then I just started hanging things where I liked them best. I love the asymmetric-ness of it.