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Countdown to the 1st Day of School

19 Aug

Paper Chain

The kids are very excited that the first day of school is almost here! The kids made a paper chain for the days left until school starts. Calvin has a little longer chain than Zoey since he starts pre-school about a week later. The kids enjoy waking up and tearing off another “link” to the chain.

Zoey board

Since we’ve made the chain, we have also been preparing for school everyday. We had been spoiled with a PM start for Kindergarten last year and have enjoyed a slow start to the day. Now that Zoey will be in 1st grade, she starts at 8am like all the others and we are no way ready for that kind of transition! For the past two weeks we have been waking up early and have gotten into our new routine. To help keep us on track, we started up our daily stamp sheet/chore chart and it really has helped the kids stay motivated!

Calvin Board

The kids each have their own magnet board with their stamp sheets. I purchased these small magnet boards from Walmart for about $7 each. The boards come with double-sided mounting tape, I chose to mount our boards with those wonderful Command strips that I love! I didn’t want anything that would take the paint off of our doors or leave any residue behind. Command strips are my go to for about EVERYTHING I hang on my walls.

So, do you have any special preparations to the start of a new school year?

Wallpaper Art

10 Jun

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This wall art is the last piece to the bathroom renovation puzzle. The print is the vintage wallpaper that was originally in the bathroom. During demolition, we were able to salvage a few large pieces off of the drywall. The plan all along was to frame it and hang the print on the wall of the newly completed bathroom.

I sized up the area that I wanted to show in the frame, once I had that, we checked out frames. Lucky for us, we found an in stock size! Custom framing is expensive and we wanted to keep this relatively cheap. I found that the 24×36 size was a good fit and it was only $30 on sale! At home, I found the center of the print and measured 12″ to each side and marked it. Once marked, I used a straight edge and then cut the excess off. I repeated for the length. Lastly, I used double sided tape and smoothed out the wallpaper to the frame backing so I had no wrinkles. I can’t wait to see it hung in the bathroom!

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The print itself is beautiful, but the fact that the colors are all in a grey/sepia tone makes it worth saving! There have been lots of ugly wallpapers being torn out of old houses, mine included, but this one is one of the most interesting I’ve seen in a LONG time.

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My mother-in-law said that her mom was actually going to let the kids “color” the ladies in! I’m so glad she didn’t, I can only imagine what that would look like. Yikes!

Diaper “Golf Bag”

6 Jun

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For my best friend’s baby shower, I told her I’d make her a golf bag out of diapers. I had seen some online to order, but I wanted hers to match the color scheme she selected. Also, I love making anything because it’s much more special.

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I started with an idea and sketched out a plan. Once I came up with this, I made my list and hit the stores. I shopped at Joann’s, Michael’s and Walmart.

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First step was to drill a pilot hole through the center of the large dowel.

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Next, I took 2- 8″ cardboard cake rounds and drilled the screw with washer through the bottom.

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Now that I had the base, I could get the fun part started!

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I rolled up the diapers around the base until I got to the edge. I used a couple different diaper brands, Huggies inside, Pampers outside. I like the Pampers size 1 on the outside since they are plain white and soft.

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Keep stacking until you reach the top! I tied a thick satin ribbon and then a smaller grosgrain ribbon for contrast of color and texture. I left a little bit of length so that I could tie the “handle” on the back.

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I used thinner dowel for the “golf clubs” with socks for the tops. I stuffed the matching sock inside to maintain the shape.

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The wheels are rolled up washcloths. I used gift wrap ribbon to thread around and create that wheel look.

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Around the top, I added a wash towel and pacifiers with ribbon.

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On the other side, I tied up a onesie to make a little sack. Inside, I added baby shampoo, baby powder, baby lotion, etc.

Overall, I love the way it turned out.

Daddy’s Little Caddy Baby Shower

5 Jun

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I’ve been kind of busy and haven’t had the chance to post final baby shower photos! The event was beautiful and everyone had a great time! Mommy-to-be was gorgeous and glowing! I am so happy that I got to be a part of the event and help out. It took a small army of helpers to pull it off and everything came together like a perfect puzzle.

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I made these vanilla cake pops with white candy coating. Wilton’s golf ball candy mold was the perfect size for the pops. I love that the impressions came out so well. As for the stand, I made that as well! You can see the details for that project here.

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I got so many compliments on the diaper golf bag. I love the way it came together and actually looks like a golf bag! It looked HUGE sitting on my kitchen table, but it was the perfect size for the centerpiece of the large dining room. My diaper golf bag “tutorial” to come…

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I was so excited to see how the table linens and everything were going to look with all the other decorations. I didn’t know what the table linens or flowers were going to be until I got to the house. I guess all great minds think alike, everything matched perfectly!

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The flowers were purchased from the Flower Mart in Downtown LA. We arranged cut and arranged them in the morning and added the flags once we put them on the tables. I like the pebbles at the bottom of the vase and the addition of the golf balls… it’s the perfect kind of water hazard!

The shower was a success!! It was slam dunk! Hole-in-One! Touchdown and all that Jazz!

Watching the garden grow…

4 Jun

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My garden update!! Remember when we started composting? Remember when we got this garden going? If not, it’s okay! You can see the progress we’ve made here.

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We have Mr Stripey heirloom tomatoes and raspberries in our barrels. The raspberries have been growing for a year. Next year we should finally have fruit! It’s a long process, but worth the wait!

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So far, our garden is looking pretty good. We have baby carrots, sweet Italian squash, cucumbers, Brussels sprouts, jalapenos, peppers, cantaloupe and more. Most have started flowering and we have been eating our squash. I’m most excited for the Brussels sprouts, they look so cool growing on the stalk!

Where the birds sleep

3 Jun

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To keep the kids quiet, for about an hour, we completed this little project. The kids picked out these bird houses from Joann’s for $1 each. The kids painted them with watercolor paints. While watercolor paint will fade in the sun, that just means the kids can touch them up over and over again! They have fun layering new colors and designs.

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The great thing about these little wood houses, they are small and come in various styles. Buy a few and keep them on hand for a rainy day or in case you need a quiet hour to yourself!

A hole in one

2 May

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Yesterday I shared the cake pop stands that I made for this golf themed baby shower. Today I have the flags for the table centerpieces.

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These little flags will be placed in the center of beautiful flower arrangements on each table.

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Saturday is the big day so more pictures to come!

Birthday Boy

30 Apr

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I have a long hallway.  And this is my hallway having a party…

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Its amazing what zooming in on some streamers and balloons will do for ya!  This backdrop was super easy and can easily be adjusted to any color scheme or occasion.  And unless you choose to, you know perhaps for blogging purposes, you never have to zoom out and no one ever has to know that this is really just your boring old hallway.  Fill that frame and all you see is a party!

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My baby boy turns 1 today.  *Tear* My baby turns 1 today!  I made him this smash cake to celebrate.  Chocolate cake with chocolate filling and vanilla buttercream frosting.  The cake is decorated by piping large dots and then smearing them to one side.  A little tedious but the effect is pretty great.   I don’t know if you can tell, but I think he liked it.  We literally couldn’t get him to crack a smile once the cake came out.  He was all business!

Wedding Style: Mint & Orange

9 Apr

I got married…again!  I only do it once every ten years.

The first time we got married it was in Japan and it was just us and our Japanese translators.  Well, we finally got around to getting married in our church and celebrating with our family.

This all came together fairly quickly so I tried to keep it simple and as inexpensive as a wedding ceremony could be.  I’m a DIY kind of girl so I did a lot myself.

I’ll start with the flowers.  And they start with Succulents.  I knew that I wanted succulents.  What I didn’t know was that they aren’t cheap.  But, while hunting for Easter eggs at my Grandmother’s house I found that she had several beautiful succulent plants.  She was gracious enough to give me one and it was enough to give me 24 favors and 6 centerpieces.

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Having that one plant saved me A LOT!  I priced the individual succulents  for the 24 favors and the cheapest plants I could find (at Home Depot) were $2 each!

I found the metallic pots at a wholesale flower store for $6 each, where  I also purchased glass candle holders for $8/dozen and painted them silver for the favors.  The ranunculus, roses and mums I literally found late at night at Trader Joe’s!

I was also able to save on the cake by ordering a 9 inch round and decorating it with [faux] succulents myself.  That cake was placed on the table for everyone to see.

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The second cake was just a sheet cake that was kept in the kitchen, ultimately cut and served to guests. This helped me avoid the “wedding surcharge.”

Be sure to check back to see more!

Shop Local: Nurseries

4 Apr

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Last Friday we stopped by the nursery in town to pick up a few plants for the “sand box” we call a yard. I don’t know much about desert plants, but I do know that the plants I have in my yard wouldn’t survive out here. When you don’t know what to do, ask the experts!

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The local nursery is awesome! These people really know what they are talking about. I’ve shopped MANY times at the big box stores and you’re lucky if you get help from someone who really knows what they are talking about. Let’s be honest, you’ll be lucky if you find someone to talk to at all! Anyways, local nurseries know about the types of plants that grow well in your area. They will also know what types of soil you have and they really feel your pain when you tell them you have issues with soil drainage.

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I also found that local nurseries have a large selection and the plants seem to be treated with TLC.

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During this specific trip, we were in search of a purple flowering plant that we already have growing out here. I’m no plant expert, so purple flowering plant was the only description we had, and a photo I took on the iPad. We described the plant and showed the photo, the nursery owner knew exactly which plant it was and informed us that they won’t get those in until the summer. I guess we’ll be going back again soon!

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I love that the nursery clearly labels the plants. I always found it important to read the labels on plants so I know what to expect and what the plant needs. Sometimes, I feel like the label is so generic that it can be on any plant in the store. At this nursery, they give so much information! It is so helpful!

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The kids enjoy exploring the nursery and smelling the flowers. We had a very productive day at the nursery!

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