Friday Favorites

Today, I am linking up with Erika, Narci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites.  I’ve got a few random things today:

One

wet brush

I found out about the Wet Brush a couple years ago.  After trying it out, I went out and bought two of them.  My girls both have long hair and it was always hard to brush through after baths/showers because it was tangled and they always complained regular brushes hurt.  The Wet Brush is amazing!  It’s so easy to brush through their hair (and mine) after swimming, showers, etc.  I think they come in various sizes.  It’s been a life saver at our house!

Two

Teri turbie

My mom gave all of the ladies in our family these Turbie Twists for Christmas last year.  At first I thought it was kind of a joke and something I’d never use, but once I tried it I was hooked!  I have really thick hair that takes a long time to dry, and this helps cut down on my blow drying time in the morning.  After I get out of the shower, I put my hair up in this and it really helps take the moisture out of my hair before I blow dry it. It’s also nice to have my hair out of the way while putting on makeup, etc.

Three

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Ashton had his first school (preschool) picture recently and we got them back this week.  How grown up does my little man look?!?  One of my favorite things is to see how my kids grow from year to year – it’s always so fun to look back at these pictures!

The weather here is supposed to be AMAZING this weekend so we’ll be spending it outdoors I’m sure!  Have a great one!

 

 

Rustic Industrial Bathroom Remodel

When we bought our house 5 years ago, there was so much updating to be done that we focused on the main living areas (kitchen, living room, and main bath). The back bathroom near our garage was left behind “for another day” more times than I can count. Over the years, we have found that when we have guests over, this is the bathroom that they tend to use because it’s easiest to access. Finally, this sad, dated bathroom finally made it’s way to the top of our project list.

The bathroom had a tub (but no shower), and we decided that since our kids are mostly out of the bath stage (and we have a tub in our other main floor bathroom) that we would just have a shower insert rather than a tub/shower combo put in here. We also decided to remove the closet that was in this bathroom (I know you’re thinking that we are crazy to be getting rid of storage!) but we felt it was the best way to open up the already pretty small space…and besides, I had a plan for additional storage options and we really don’t use this bathroom to get ready on a daily basis so we don’t need a ton of storage in here.

Because we were reworking the layout a little and because the room was pretty small, we just gutted it down to the studs and put new drywall in. We went with a pedestal sink (again, to make the space feel larger than it really is).

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We went with clear glass shower doors to make the bathroom brighter and again, to feel bigger. We also added a can light above the shower area which helps with the brightness in this bathroom.

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The goal was to have a fresh, clean, bathroom that has an industrial, farmhouse feel. I feel like we nailed it!

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Our goal was to do this bathroom on a budget, so I was looking for any way I could save money. I was having a hard time finding an inexpensive mirror for the space that was the size I needed and worked with the look I was going for. I was roaming through Hobby Lobby when I came across these barn wood frames.

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These frames come in many different sizes, so I decided to buy one (during one of their frequent 50% sales of course!) and just have mirrored glass installed at our local glass shop. I added a sawtooth hanger on the back that I had sitting around (these can be found at any hardware store).

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The mirror ended up costing me quite a bit less than other options I was looking at and I love how it looks in the space.

I wanted shelving above the toilet to provide the storage I was lacking. I liked the chunky look of these old electrical cross arms, so I had the hubs cut them down to the size I needed (and they were free!)

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I felt like using plumbing parts to create accessories in this bathroom would help create an industrial feel. We went to our local hardware store and starting piecing together parts to create a towel hook, towel bar, toilet paper holder and shelving brackets. We had a pretty good idea of the size we needed, so we purchased those parts and then assembled, which was super easy.

The hubs (the brain behind this operation, just don’t tell him I said that!) informed me we needed backing before hanging these newly created accessories since there wasn’t backing in the walls in every place we needed it. So, I went on a hunt through our scrap wood piles and all other areas of our property and stumbled upon an old wooden pallet I thought would be prefect for what we needed. I talked my sweet husband into disassembling said pallet with his jigsaw and then cutting each pallet piece to the necessary length to provide backing for each item. I love how the rustic wood from the pallet offsets the industrial feel of the plumbing pieces.

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I’m a huge fan of unique touches in a home, and love incorporating the unexpected into our home. It’s fun to think outside the box on how to get the desired look without spending a ton of money. Overall, I love how this bathroom turned out. I just wish we had tackled this project a long time ago!

The lighting fixture and sink were purchased from Menards.  The mirror frame and trash can were purchased from Hobby Lobby.  Shelving decorations came from Gordmans.  The walls were Sherman Williams Sea Salt.

 

 

Weekend Recap

It was a cold, rainy weekend in our part of the world (think 30 – 40 degrees cold!) so we spent a lot of it curled up indoors!  Friday night we celebrated Ashton’s 4th birthday with a family party.  The birthday boy loved his presents!  IMG_9250.jpg

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Ashton wanted to have his cousins over for a sleepover for his birthday, so after the party we had a sleepover!

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Silly Boys!

Saturday morning, the boys played for a while in the morning and I took Danika to her last volleyball game.  We spent the afternoon being lazy, and Danika went to a friend’s birthday party and sleepover.

Jayde came home from spending the night with her cousin and we had an easy dinner (chicken nuggets and tator tots) and watched a little TV.  I looked over and saw Jayde on the couch like this – I think she was tired!

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Sunday, I did some meal prep for the week (I’m making an attempt at eating healthy again – we’ll see how it goes).  I spent some time working on blog posts, did some real estate work, and laundry.  Danika had another birthday party in the afternoon (this time a swimming party).

We ended the month of April on the couch as a family!  It was nice to have a pretty quiet weekend at home!

 

Friday Favorites

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TGIF!  Today, I’m linking up with Erica, Narci & Andrea to share my Friday Favorites!

 

One

If you do nothing else this weekend, buy at least one (or 3!) of these tank tops.  This post is not sponsored – these tanks are that AMAZING!  I layer one of these tanks under my shirt every day…it’s long so it works with leggings or jeans/shorts.  It’s just enough spandex to help hold in the muffin top too!  I bought one of these several years ago, and have gone through several other tanks of different brands since then since they stretch out, etc.  The original tank in this brand is still in great shape…and extra bonus – they’re really inexpensive!

Two

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If you have younger kids, get them a pair of Natives this summer.  I bought Ashton a pair last year, and he wore them almost every day.  They’re easy to get on or off, and the hold up really well.  He’s still wearing them this Spring – the only pair of shoes that has lasted more than one season!  They can be thrown in the washer and a Magic Eraser works wonders to clean off the white parts of the shoes.  They’re definitely worth the investment!

Three

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Another favorite this week was celebrating Ashton’s 4th birthday yesterday.  I picked up some cupcakes so we could celebrate as a family last night and his actual birthday party will be tonight.  He picked out a Paw Patrol theme – I’ll share some pictures next week hopefully!

We’ve got a fun weekend ahead – hope you do as well!

Happy Birthday Ashton!

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Today my baby turns 4!  How is this even possible?  It seems like just last week he was up several times through the night (oh wait, it was just last week he did that)!  But seriously, this kid has grown up so quickly!  He’s got the best personality and is always making us laugh.  Ashton has grown up a lot this year with Preschool and can’t wait to go to Pre-K next year at the “big kid school”!   Before we know it, he’ll be off to Kindergarten on the bus with his sisters – time needs to slow down!  Happy Birthday Ashton – we love you!

Every year on the kid’s birthdays, I ask them the same list of questions.  It’s fun to see the answers change from year to year.  Here are his answers for this year (#19 and #20 are my favorites!):

  1. What is your favorite color? Blue and white
  2. What is your favorite toy? Airplane
  3. What is your favorite fruit? Pears
  4. What is your favorite TV show? Paw Patrol & Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
  5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Peanut Butter & Jelly
  6. What is your favorite outfit? Paw Patrol t-shirt
  7. What is your favorite game? Twister
  8. What is your favorite snack? Cookie
  9. What is your favorite animal? A giraffe and elephant
  10. What is your favorite song? A Boy Named Sue
  11. What is your favorite book? Paw Patrol
  12. Who is your best friend? Danika and Mommy
  13. What is your favorite cereal? Cocoa Puffs & Lucky Charms
  14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Throw a frisbee & climb on trees
  15. What is your favorite drink? Lemonade & juice
  16. What is your favorite holiday? Easter
  17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Polka Dot Blanket
  18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Coffee cake
  19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Cake if there is any left
  20. What do you want to be when you grow up? The farmer in the dell

Ways to Incorporate Barn Doors in the Home

Thanks to Fixer Upper, I have decided to turn my home into a barn door show room!  It took several months for me to figure out the best place in our home to put barn doors that made sense, but once it clicked in my head, I was adamant that we were getting barn doors.  We have our main living room and then an adjacent living room/sitting room that had french doors separating the two rooms.

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I never loved the french doors, as I felt like it made the home seem dated and never really meshed with the rest of our decor.  But I never really knew what to put there and we liked having the rooms separated by a door to save on utilities (the sitting room gets pretty cold in the winter and warm in the summer because windows surround most of the room).   The other problem with the french doors is that our sectional couch in the living room covered one of the doors, so it was almost impossible to open the one door without having to move the furniture.

Barn doors seemed like the perfect option because they would slide open/shut which would allow us to open both doors whenever we wanted even with the sectional couch in place.  Also, the fact that there aren’t any windows in the doors would allow us to save even more on utilities by keeping the sitting room separate.   Doors this size could be pretty expensive so we spent some time determining the most cost effective option to tackle this project.  We were able to find someone local that built the doors for us very cost effective, and then we stained and hung them ourselves.  I stained the doors with Minwax Classic Gray and then sealed with Mixwax Polycrylic Protective Finish.  We ordered this hardware to hang the doors off of Amazon and it was pretty simple to hang.   I love how they turned out.

I feel like it was a huge transformation for the room and we love the look!

We recently updated our main bath and decided to put a barn door in there as well for the linen closet door.  This time we purchased the door and hardware from Menard’s (because we were in a bit of a time crunch and just wanted the project done!).  Here’s how it looks:

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We added a handle on this door which I picked up at Hobby Lobby for under $10.  The doors are stained Minwax Ebony.

Barn doors are such an easy project and can make such a big difference in the look of your home.  I’m already dreaming of where I can put another set in my house!!

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday!  We had a fun weekend with lots of outdoor time which is the best!  Friday night both girls had softball practice at different fields, so I took the two younger ones, and Ashton and I headed to the park while Jayde practiced.

Saturday morning Danika had a volleyball game at the YMCA so we headed there to watch her play.

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After volleyball we ran a few errands in town and grabbed pizza for lunch.  We found out on Friday that our 4H pigs were coming Saturday afternoon, but waited until lunch time on Saturday to tell the kids.  They were so excited!  Because the weather was so nice, we ate our pizza outside, went for a Ranger ride, and practiced some softball in the yard while we waited for the pigs to arrive.

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Once the pigs arrived, the kids got to help get them into their pen and show them around their new home.  All of the kids were happy to get in there and play with the pigs, and cousin Mason came to help too!  I think Danika & Jayde will become best friends with these pigs over the next few months.  Danika has named two of them already – Spot and Chatterbox!  The others she’s still deciding on names for.

We went out to dinner Saturday night and ended the night with more outside playing.  Sunday morning Danika woke up just in time to help me make a strawberry jello pie – love baking in the kitchen with her!

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Ashton went to ride in the tractor with daddy, and the girls and I spent some time at home doing housework/blog stuff/door signs, etc.  Danika had ball practice again on Sunday afternoon, so Jayde and I spent more time at the park, played catch and went for a walk.

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Joe sent me this picture while we were at ball.  Ashton hung in pretty well, but couldn’t survive two days without a nap!

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We had a great weekend and are ready to tackle the upcoming crazy, busy week!  Ashton turns 4 on Thursday so we’re gearing up to celebrate his big day!

Friday Favorites

Today I am linking up with Erika, Narci & Andrea to share my Friday Favorites.  Here we go:

One

We had a fun Easter weekend.  Saturday we had a family Easter and the weather was amazing.  We got all of the kids together for a picture at the park before the day was over.  

Sunday we were able to spend the day at home.  The kids slept in a bit and then they found their Easter baskets and hunted eggs around the house.

We spent the rest of the day doing outside work since the weather was amazing!  We got the cars cleaned out, got the camper out, cleaned and ready for the season and did a little yard work.  We rarely have a day at home, so we took full advantage!

Two

Another favorite for this week is that Danika picked out her 4H pigs over the weekend.  She’s been so excited to show pigs this year, but I was a little worried when she got into the pen of pigs that she would freak out.  She and Jayde were both really into it (Jayde even more so than Danika which surprised us all!).  We ended up with 4 pigs that we will get in a couple of weeks.  Stay tuned to see how this project goes….I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous about this!

Three

I’ve tried all sorts of workouts over the past few years including Jillian Michaels and 21 Day Fix DVD’s, Jazzercise, etc.  I joined Beachbody on Demand back in February and it’s been amazing being able to workout at home each morning and having a ton of various workouts to choose from.   They often run specials (when I signed up it was an all access pass for $99/year).  This gives me access to any Beachbody workout (there are a ton!) whenever I want, wherever I want. I like the variety and the fact that I can choose a workout that is 10 minutes or an hour depending on how much time I have.  It’s my favorite way to workout – in my house, on my own time frame!

Four

My final favorite this week is my Yeti Tumbler.  I literally have this thing with me everywhere I go!  I love that I can fill it up before work in the morning and my water stays cold (with ice!) all morning.  I sometimes use it for hot chocolate and it stays warm forever.  As the weather warms up, this will be great to take boating, camping, etc. because my drinks will stay cold even when its 100 degrees outside.  If you need a good gift idea for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduation, etc. this is a great one!

Have a great weekend!

5 Tips to Save Your Sanity as a Parent

I’m sure I’m not the only mom out there that feels like a constant circus act.  I’m guilty of not saying “no” enough and often get caught feeling like I’m a headless chicken running aimlessly trying to get the kids to their activities, getting everyone out the door to school and work on time (without forgetting show & tell, class snack duty, theme day at school, lunch money, activity sign up sheets, homework assignments, and the list goes on and on). It seems like a revolving door of obligations, with no clear end in sight….I’m actually certain as my kids get older, these obligations will only multiply. So, how do we handle it without feeling like we’re not going to end up in the nut house? I’ve compiled my best tips that I’ve implemented to keep our family of 5 running as smoothly as possible (and miraculously on time, most days!):

1) Find A Calendar System That Works –  I still use a planner book (love my Erin Condren planner!) because I need to be able to see things on paper. However, my husband doesn’t ever see this and we need to be able to communicate all of our activities so we both know what’s going on day-to-day. We found a free app, Cozi Calendar, to be lifesaver for us.

We can each add items from our phones, can choose the family member that the calendar item applies to, and either of us can look at it as needed and have the most up-to-date schedule. We use the free version, which does have pop up ads from time to time, but there is also a premium version you can pay for to avoid the ads.  Another bonus with this app is that it’s got a grocery list included. Anyone in the family can add to the list. This is perfect for those times when you happen to be at the store but can’t remember what might have been written on your grocery list at home.  Or when you’re out and about somewhere and remember something you need to add to your list.  This app has been a lifesaver for our busy family!

The other calendar (yes, we have several!) that we use regularly is this large dry erase calendar that we have on the side of our refrigerator. This is good for us as we walk by it anytime we come or go from the house. We update it every week our schedule along with our menu for the week.

2) Meal Plan – I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard people say that meal planning is key. I never really thought that it would save that much time/money, but we finally gave it a whirl about a year ago. All I can say is LIFE SAVER! A simple 15 minutes of meal planning and making a grocery list on Sunday (I go grocery shopping for the week on Monday’s) saves us so much time/hassle throughout the week. We typically look at our schedule for the week, figure out which nights we’ll have limited time for dinner prep and plan meals accordingly. Not having to go back and forth for 20 minutes each day with the husband and kids as to what we’re having for dinner each night is worth it’s weight in gold. Now, my husband starts dinner since he’s home 30 minutes before me, so by the time I get home dinner is nearly ready. Since we know what’s on the menu, we typically get the meat out ahead of time so it’s thawed and ready to use. Meal planning has saved us money as well, since I just buy the groceries I need for the week rather than guessing at what we might use. I’m telling you, take my advice and meal plan! If we didn’t, we’d be eating fast food 4-5 nights a week just due to our crazy schedules! I created my own grocery list that helps me not miss anything as I got through the store because it’s grouped in sections.  Here’s a copy you’re welcome to use – Grocery List

3) Do As Much As Possible At Night –  Mornings are crazy, right? Getting everyone out the door without a major meltdown (even from my 8 year old) each day is a miracle.  My goal is to eliminate as many things as possible the night before so that our morning runs as smoothly as it can. This means homework is always done before bedtime, clothes for the next day are picked out, and backpacks are packed with all papers, permission slips, show & tell, etc. My kids are not happy morning people (unless of course it’s a Saturday, in which case they’ll be up chirping happily before 6:30 am – why?) so we try to make our mornings as pleasant as they can be by having as much done as possible ahead of time.

4) Car-Pool With Other Parents –  Unless you’re a mom with super powers (I haven’t figured out how to get those yet), you can’t be four places at once. When you have multiple kids in multiple activities, you need to rely on your mom-squad to help you out. Find a neighbor or friend that you can car-pool with to your child’s activities and it will take some of the load off of your plate. The time spent in the car traveling to and from practices and other activities can kill hours of the day. Find another parent to help out and cut that time in half.

5) Avoid Overplanning – Okay, so maybe this tip was added because I need to remind myself of this one! Don’t overcommit yourself or your kids, or you’ll regret it. I’m guilty of this!  Sometimes you just have to know when to say no.  Kids need time to be kids and a little down time is good for the soul anyway!  Plan in some time for your family – whether it’s one evening a week or a few hours on the weekend.  Time goes so fast and soon our littles will be out of the house.  That extra activity isn’t really that important, is it?

Tell me – have you tried any of these tips and do they work for you? Do you have any other great tips to get us through the crazy called life? Comment below – I can’t wait to hear your suggestions!

DIY Wooden Sign

I’ve been making wooden door signs for a couple of years now, and have branched out into making wooden signs that can be placed on the shelf or hung on the wall.  Here’s the scoop on how to make your own DIY wooden sign similar to this:

First, you’ll want to get a piece of wood and have it cut to the right size (this sign is 6″ by 24″).  Your local hardware store sells 1″ x 6″ boards, so the easiest thing to do is just buy one of those and cut it the length you need.  Next, stain all sides of the board the color you want it.  For this sign, I used Mixwax Jacobean stain.

I put my stain on with an old rag and then wipe it off with a clean rag right away.  For darker stains, I don’t find it necessary to let the stain sit on the wood for very long.  If you wipe the stain off and it’s not as dark as you’d like, you an always do another coat.  Once all sides of the board are stained, let the stain dry at least 24 hours before paining.

I always do my lettering on the computer and then transfer to the sign.  Use the computer to type out your wording and choose the right size and font to fit the look you are going for and make sure it will fit on your sign.  Print out the text, cut around the words and lay out the wording on the sign itself.

To transfer the wording to the sign, use a pen and trace over the letters (pressing very hard) so that the pen makes a small indention into the wood.

Once you’ve traced all of your letters, make sure  you can see the indentions on the wood (if you can’t, repeat this step and press harder).  Sometimes, I trace over the indentions on the wood with a light pencil mark so it’s easier to see when I paint.  Next, choose your paint colors and paint your lettering onto the sign.  I use regular acrylic paint when painting signs.  This paint can be found in the craft section of most stores.

Because I wanted this sign to look a little distressed, I went over my letters with a light coat of paint.

Here’s the sign after the wording was added.

I decided to add a few basic flowers to fill in the open areas on the sign.  I followed the same steps to add the flowers.  I found an image that was simple online, printed it off, and traced onto the wood with a pen.  Again, I went pretty light on the paint when added the flowers because the goal was a distressed look.  Once the paint was dry, I took fine sand paper and sanded over the sign and sanded the edges to add to the distressed look I was going for.

If you aren’t going to hang the sign on the wall, you can always paint the back of the sign with a different design, which is what I did.  Here’s the back of the sign.

The best part is that you now have decor for two seasons!  Fun, easy DIY project!  Thanks for stopping by!

 

Filed Under: DIY