Friday, February 28, 2014

Keeping Up With The Schedules {Family Friday}

Spring (semester) has sprung and so has our family's schedule.  Like a race horse at the gates, we have bolted into 2014 with a thundering sound.  {okay enough metaphors}

But really people, it's busy.  It always is, and we wouldn't change it.  I'm not complaining - we are blessed to afford activities for our children.  We limit them to one activity each, but even that adds up with 4 kids.  And, as they get older activities become more involved.  More practices, more games, more contests - you get the idea.  Not to mention regular life and ya know mom and dad's schedule on top of that.  I person could lose their mind!!

I don't want to miss a thing!!  So back in January, after I finished the kitchen project, I pulled together all the schedules - a nice stack of paper and emails - for the next 6 months.  {I can't even begin to look at summer right now}  I sat down and started writing things in on my large desk calendar.  Smart phones have calendars and they are great - if you check them.  I could always use outlook on my computer and sync with phone - again requires me looking at it.  {yes I know - alerts - but you have to set those}  I have mentioned I am a very visual person.  I need to see things, many times, even many times a day.  

I have used the end wall of my kitchen cabinets for years for these types of things.  I've had just a calendar up there.  I've had a small bulletin board and a calendar. Then I had a bigger bulletin board and a bigger calendar.  One thing that was lacking - the ability to see a month ahead. {without turning the page - are you noticing a trend - ya} So, this time I decided to tear the pages of the desk calendar and hang them on the wall separately.  

I found this adorable washi tape - having no idea that it would match the calendar when I got home - seriously no clue - sweet surprise!!

And there ya go!!  I have also used the washi tape to tape up cards and reminders for upcoming events.  

This is perfect for me because I walk by this hundreds of times a day, and there it is.  

How do you keep up with the chaos??  Do you carry a calendar with you, do you have a family calendar?? Don't ya just love the abundance of activity in spring?? Way better than sitting around in the gray of winter!!

Oh and by the way, since I haven't mentioned it in a while...we are just trying to get to here people.  {oh ya and notice - piano contest for little boys on graduation day - ha}

Tears come at the oddest times, like when I'm washing the dirt out of his baseball pants.  For the love.  The future is bright, and I know God has the best plans for him!!

Blessings and Prayers Friends as you navigate your family's schedule.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Crafting Some Fun And Colorful DIY Art

My little craft project is complete and hung and it just makes me so happy!!  After seeing this go up I am super pumped to about the other colorful touches I have planned!!  So, here it is :)

Isn't it fun?!? {Please ignore the bit of mess in the background - that is progress in the making on another project - and yes the ugly brown light box is still there, baby steps folks.}

It was an easy and inexpensive project that has been in my head for years, and again one of those things I wish I hadn't waited so long to do.  We all need a little more whimsy and fun in our lives amen??

I started here

with chip board letters and some scrapbook paper.  Both of which were bought at Hobby Lobby 1/2 off. 

I laid out my paper and arranged it until I got a look that was pleasing to my eye.

Then I stacked all that back up and did a little prep work on the letters.  

Using some basic acrylic paint from my stash, that was in that same color zone as my papers, I painted all the edges of the letters.  I alternated colors depending on the color of paper that was going on that letter.

Next I glue the paper to the letter - the whole sheet of paper.

After gluing I pulled out my craft knife and my cutting knife {from the days when I used to scrapbook}, and trimmed off the excess paper.

This was way easier and much more precise then tracing and cutting before gluing.  The end result:

Fast forward ten more letters and we are ready for step two.  Mod Podge.

Again, I suppose you could have adhered the paper withe Mod Podge but it's really messy {or maybe that's just me}.  So, I laid out my now cute letters and gave each one two light coats{including the edges but not including the back}.

Just so maybe you won't freak out like I did, the paper did bubble and buckle a bit when I put on the Mod Podge, but after it was dry all of that mostly smoothed out on its own.  

I knew I didn't need much to hang these, since they weren't very heavy.  I found these at Hobby Lobby.

They are peel and stick people.  It doesn't get any easier. Luckily I was not concerned about the letters hanging straight.  I actually wanted them to be like this - less stress on me about getting them level - ain't nobody got time fo dat!!  If you want them to be straight you will have to use two hangers on most of the letters.

If you are wondering the saying is not original.  It came from one of my kiddos kindergarten teacher.  She cooked with them every Friday {awesome I know}, and this saying was at the bottom of every recipe sheet she would send home with the kids, along with a big smiley face.  :)  Hey!  Maybe I need to add that!!  HA!!

I'll be back tomorrow for Family Friday to share about that thing in the corner of that shot above - that thing I use to try to keep our family organized - TRY!!

Blessings friends!!  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bringing In The Color

I was really hoping to share with you today one of my first projects to bring color into the kitchen. But, sadly, I can't get to what I need to hang it because my hubby has taken over the garage. So, instead I thought I would let you inside my brain for a second - scary I know.

Now that the kitchen is neutralized, I see it as a blank slate.  I know the colors that I want to bring in, and I am going to take my time incorporating them.  I have seen these inspiration boards created at Polyvore in lots of places, so today, I thought I would try it out.

Here is an idea of what I have in my head for color in the kitchen. 

Kitchen Inspiration

Most of these things I will DIY and do on the cheap as much as possible.  This is more a color board of sorts.  I'm excited to watch it come alive.  Bit by bit the picture in my head will be a reality!!

Blessings and Happy Dreaming My Friends!

Linking up with Tuesday's Treasure's / Take-A-Look Tuesday / One Project at a Time / Show Me What Ya Got / Tutorials & Tips Link Party / Hit Me With Your Best Shot  / Works For Me Wednesday / Create It Thursday / All Things Thursday Blog Hop / Thrifty Thursday / Fridays Unfolded / Design It Friday / Frugal Friday / Creativity Unleashed / Link Party Palooza / Share Your Creativity

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

For The Love...of beadboard

I love long weekends, but it seems like it takes me a little extra time to get my house back in order and get back on my game afterwards!!  How about you??  

We have had unseasonably warm weather and sunshine here and I have been loving it!!  I took advantage of the extra hours this weekend to start on the next project of the kitchen refresh - the backsplash.  I showed you what I was working with in the paint reveal.

Yes, that's laminate, glued to the wall, very well.  I know because I have tried, very carefully, to peel it off - not happening.  So, plan B.  I found several tutorials on the web of how to tile over laminate, but honestly, I have been swooning over beadboard backsplashes every since I saw these two.

source: Thrifty Decor Chick
source: The Lettered Cottage
LOVE!!  Not to mention, beadboard is inexpensive. Less than or equal to many tile options I looked at.  

This phase of the project took a little longer than I expected.  We cut each piece and tried it out in it's place before we cut the next and fit them all in place before we glued.  Only a couple pieces had to be scrapped altogether, but several had to be shaved to fit.  

The other thing that was necessary to complete at this stage was to change out all of the outlets and switches that lined the backsplash.

This is really a pretty straight-forward DIY. Just make sure you put everything back into the new one the same way that you took them out of the old one you should be good.  First and foremost - turn off all the power, even before you try pulling the outlets out of the wall - learned that one the hard way - ouch.

White - much better.  

The other semi-electrical change we made involved the phone.  I have never liked the phone outlet in the kitchen.  It's in an awkward place and it's big and it's an ugly metal thing.  I considered replacing it with a nicer white one, but when it came down to it, I just didn't want it there at all.  So, I found another place for the main phone line and we tied off the wires and simply covered it up with the beadboard - no one will ever know!!  (well now you know - but you won't tell)

I used liquid nails to glue the beadboard on.  We used it in our entry way project, and it worked well.  We had discussed using nails also, but I decided the pieces were small enough it wasn't necessary.  (if it starts peeling off the walls, then I guess I will put nails in :))

I used a generous amount on each piece - I wanted it to stick.  You do have to stand there and put pressure on each piece for about 2 or 3 minutes until it stops moving, but really gluing went pretty quickly.

The next step is to caulk the seams and attach trim.  We weren't super picky about everything matching up perfectly, because I knew I was going to cover up all the edges and corners with trim and caulk.  Then it will all get a coat of paint that will match the trim in the room which is the whitest of the whites in here.

I'm still amazed at the difference in the light every time I have made a change and this time was no different.  It's lovely how the light bounces off the lovely beadboard.

Yay for beadboard!!  I'm super excited with the results, it's all that I imagined!!  :)

For now it's going to stay at this state of completion. Many other life things happening this week including getting ready for my first speaking engagement. Even though small, it's a first.  Leading a break-out session at our church's ladies retreat - talking about how to show God's grace through your finances.  I'm beyond thrilled to be doing this, and need to get to the finishing details of that.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Traditions - Valentine's Day Style {Family Friday}

I am posting this way later than I wanted to, but again life - errands, sick child, pulling this table together at the last minute.  My hubby and I have never made a big deal about Valentine's Day. Every year is different.  I mean really though - everyday is Valentine's Day with my hubby :).  A few years ago though an older mama friend was sharing with me that they would have family Valentine's dinner at home.  She would pull out the china, set the table real nice, cook a special meal, everyone would dress up and come to dinner at the family table.  I was instantly in love with the idea, for many reasons.  One, is sounded like fun - I never pull out any kind of dishes but everyday ones, and we never get dressed up for dinner.  Two, we never eat out at fancy restaurants as a family - there are six of us and our budget just doesn't allow.  So, I was thinking in the back of my mommy mind that this would be a great teaching opportunity for manners and such.  You know in case they were ever with someone who cared about those things.  :)

So, for the past few years we have done it.  I was kind of dragging my feet this year because my hubby has to work tonight.  I was pouting and considering not doing it, but then I just decided to do it on Saturday night.  It's just a day, right?  So, then I was blog-reading this morning and came across some really cute tables, (herehere and here), and that was all I needed to get me going.  I didn't have a ton of money, but I knew I wanted to change it up a bit from last year.  So, I decided to challenge myself to come up with a cute Valentine table from the Dollar Tree.  

I went, I saw, I conquered, and I came home with this.

I know it doesn't look like much, but I knew I already had a few things I was going to use and just needed some fun extra touches.  So now comes the onslaught of pictures!!

First, I simply used my charges as a cutting guide for the wrapping paper - soon to become place mats.

Then, I just started layering.

Okay so honestly, the only things so far that didn't (and couldn't have) come from the Dollar Tree are the red chargers.  But, those I purchased at Hobby Lobby years ago and I use them for a lot of things.  The black layer on top of the wrapping paper is simply black construction paper.

Skip ahead a bunch, because I got excited and forgot to take pictures after each addition!!

The ribbon for the napkin "rings", Chinese take out boxes, and goblets - all Dollar Tree.  The mirror, and the napkins I have also had for years.  :)

I couldn't believe my luck when I stumbled upon that polka-dot gold, wire-edged ribbon at Dollar Tree!!  It layered perfectly with my red sheer ribbon I had left-over from my Christmas star.

The centerpiece is finished off with some hurricane vases filled with red and white candles, red basket filler, and more gold polka-dot ribbon.

To finish it off each person got an "I love you" message and some Hershey hugs and kisses in the take-out box.

The tag on the take-out box was made with a stamp and some left-over scrapbook paper, tied on with some red ribbon (also from my stash). :)

I had so much fun putting this together!!  And it was less than $10!!  And I know tomorrow night will be lots of fun also!!  I will take some night shots with the candles lit and share those on instagram, so follow along if you want to see!! (@denisegwood)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Refreshing Body and Soul {Let's Get Moving}

Posting late today!!  I miss blogging regularly, but honestly life is happening and I am trying to keep up!! Back in January, I talked about this being the year of refreshing.  I mentioned that I was talking about more than just the house.  

Ya, so basically I got on the scales Monday morning. (Not the best idea after a four day weekend of snow and cold - lots of snacking and lots of sitting.)  I did not like what I saw.  I know, those of you who know me are probably rolling your eyes right now. I may not be noticeably overweight, and maybe that's not the biggest problem.  (I like how Becky tells it here.)  I really don't feel that great most of the time. Sluggish and tired is how I roll most days, and that for me is just no bueno.

I've been out of shape for years.  Walking up a flight of stairs will cause me to be out of breath. Mowing the lawn (which isn't even very big), can send me into cardiac arrest (not really, but it feels awful).  Getting older is not fun people.  

Monday was the trigger I needed however, to flip the switch.  You see, I have this ridiculous stubbornness within me that keeps me from doing things that are good for me.  (please tell me I'm not the only one)  But, that was just not what I wanted needed to see to get me moving again. 

Back in the spring, when it was lovely and warm outside, my hubby and I started running.  (I put that word in italics because really it was hardly fast enough to be considered a jog, and there was a lot of walking in between, and we never went very far.)  Then, it got hot, and then it got busy, and then it got cold, and then I stopped.  Yay for hubby he didn't.  But boo for me I did. And that ridiculous stubbornness was me not wanting to get in my car and drive to the gym to exercise.  It just seems like such a waste of time.  What I've learned over the years is if I'm going to exercise it needs to be simple.  

So, I flipped the switch and Tuesday I got in my car and forced myself to the gym to run in a circle on a track - ugh - I prefer outside with fresh air - but no cold, so the track it is.  Treadmills scare me...

I even went back on Wednesday.  Today I can't walk without looking like a dork, but hey.  I am waiting for that moment when I can't wait to work out...  Right now it is me forcing my body to do something my body doesn't really want to do, for the good of my body and my soul.  Refreshing, my body and my soul.  I just can't help but think of this from Legally Blonde:

So, for the sake of my husband's life - I will keep at this thing!!  HA!!  Do movie quotes pop into your heads at random times through the day?  All. the. time!!

The only hiccup is that adding in time to exercise is messing up my daily routine.  It's throwing me off. I've never been a schedule kind of girl, but being home full-time I have found that I have fallen into a few patterns. With this addition, I'm having trouble getting back into my groove. Weird.  

What's your trigger??  What's the thing that motivates you to get moving??  Do you like to exercise or do you have to make yourself??

Blessings friends!!  And by all means - get moving!!  :)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Couch Time {Family Friday}

As we approach Valentine's Day I thought I would take some time to talk the language of LOVE.  

Kids were out of school today and are again tomorrow for snow!!  So, I'm gonna make this one short and sweet, and yet critical.

If you are married you know that there are plenty of things that can get in the way of you and your spouse spending even 15 minutes together some days.  This is not good.  You and your spouse need to connect, like really connect on a daily basis.  Because if you don't, after a while you don't even notice, and then before you know it you don't care.  Bad road people, bad.

Years ago, when my hubby and I were newly married, we were introduced to the concept of couch time.  We had little children then, and most of the time when hubby came home all I wanted to do was hand him the crying baby and go take a shower, or go finish dinner if I was feeling ambitious that day.  

Couch time meant that when he first came home what we did was spend 10 or 15 minutes on the couch alone together recapping our day - connecting.  This idea had many benefits.  For me my hubby is my sanity. Somehow, just being in his presence calms my spirit. Spending those few minutes focusing on each other made both of us feel special.  As the kids got old enough to notice that daddy was spending time with mommy FIRST, this helped them to know that our marriage relationship was more important than our relationship with our kids.  (Yes, I know this is hard - but right.)  

So this is what I will say to you.  No matter how long you have been married.  No matter how many kids you have.  No matter how busy your schedule is.  No matter how old your kids are. Make sure that you and your spouse take some time out each day to communicate with each other.  Listen to the ins and outs of each other's day.  Make sure that you are listening with your heart, not just with your ears.  Put your phones on a shelf, turn off the TV, put away the distractions, and focus on each other and your relationship for just a few moments each day.  Try it, and see how it goes!!

Blessings and Love friends!!

Linking up with Kathy at Cornerstone Confessions / Kristen at We Are That Family

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Crafty Clock Makeover

Okay so yesterday I decided I was going into hibernation!!  I am sooo over winter.  I know we don't have it that bad here in Oklahoma, but honestly, I'm done.  Gray skies, and temperatures so cold that are not pleasant to be outside in are not good for my soul.  So, in an effort to fight off the winter blahs, I got a little crafty.

Thank you so much for the wonderfully sweet comments on my kitchen!!  I am sooo loving it.  I am recovering from the work and from my wonderful weekend filled with lots of giggly girls!! But, soon I will be tackling some other project in there for sure!!

But, for today I just needed to get my creative mind going.  So, I did this!!

Isn't she awesome???  {Before you say anything, yes I know the 2 and 3 are a little close together - didn't measure, gonna have to redo it tomorrow because it's bugging me too!!!}

This is what I started with...

I got this years ago.  I love the size of it and it still works, but it just wasn't working with the new direction of my decor.  I have priced clocks this size, and honestly didn't want to spend it.  So, my wheels started turning and I went to the garage to retrieve these.

The chalkboard paint being leftover from the kitchen, and the gold paint I shared with you here.  

I started by taking the hands off the top of the clock.

Most clocks have a tiny screw thingee that holds the hands on.  Unscrew that and gently wiggle the hands free from the center piece.  I considered removing the center piece, but couldn't figure out how, so I just left it on.

I began with a couple of coats of the chalkboard paint over the whole surface.  I also started painting the gold on the hands.  

I will have to admit that a craft paint or rub'n'buff probably would have been easier for the hands, but I was working with what I had.  I decided I wanted to add some sort of gold accents to the clock face itself and decided on polka dots.  I'm not a fan of perfect, so I just free handed some dots using my paint brush.  Can you say "fail"?  Ya, not good.  So, then I decided to paint over the gold with more chalkboard paint - another fail - I forgot the gold is not water-based...

So, I decided to try some sand paper over the gold spots that were too big and just downright awful.

This worked perfectly - I sanded down all the dots and then applied another coat of the chalkboard paint on top - bye bye big gold dots!!

I still wanted an accent and still really wanted polka dots, but I decided smaller might be better.  I got smart this time and did a test run on my paper bag.

This is more like it!! I simply used the eraser end of a pencil as a stamp for the dots.  I also painted the edge and a small little band around the clock face, and I made dots where all the numbers should go.  

I have to confess, I am a careless crafter.  I don't usually plan things out ahead of time.  Things just happen as they go.  I very rarely measure - the reason my dots around the circle are not in the right place.  I never do test runs.  I hardly ever worry about things being perfect, because to be honest, things never are!!  So, in hindsight, I should have taken a little extra time and measured around the circle {blah, blah, blah}.  

I used a chalk marker, like I showed you here, to make the numbers.  I did use a ruler to try to get the numbers close to the same height.  The beauty of it being chalk is that I CAN erase that 2 and put it in the right place!!!
Here's a before and after for your viewing pleasure.  :)

How do you handle winter??  Do you love it, or are you ready for it to be gone as soon as it comes??  Do you struggle with the winter blahs??  Try doing something creative - it works!!

Blessings friends!!