Thursday, October 3, 2013

DIY Painted Piano

I used to spend summers with my grandparents and my grandmother would sit and teach me how to play the piano. It is a special memory that Ill always have when I think of them. I was suppose to inherit the piano when they died, but long story short, I didn't. I knew no matter what I still wanted a piano for myself and so that my daughter could learn how to play. A friend was selling hers and I liked well enough and so we bought that one.

I can't find my before picture, but luckily you can kinda see it in the background of one of my pictures of the piano bench to get a feel for the wood color. 

 We have a lot of browns in our house and so I knew that I wanted it to be different. After scouring Pinterest my top two color choices were aqua or antique white.

And we went with Antique White!!

Here is the bench before - nothing special
I removed the fabric and recovered it with a Blue toile  and painted it in the antique white.

First coat just went on the bench. I love, love, love the paint I chose! I'll talk more about that later. See the toile? Beautiful! And you can see the piano in the background.

 Looks so much better! I went back and scuffed it up along the edges to give it that aged look and then I will wax it sometime this weekend to seal it.

I was nervous about completing the project, but it isn't difficult at all. From start to finish it took me 2 days (and I didn't work on it all day both days). I lightly sanded it all over and by lightly sand I mean that I took my sanding cube and just ran it over it one time. I used Ace's brand of paint Clark+Kensington WITH primer built in (this helps the paint adhere). The exact color was Plantation White and it was an eggshell finish. It took two coats and I just lightly brushed on a third in some spots because this paint covers sooooo stinkin well! And guys let me tell you!!! This paint is so awesome, seriously! The coverage was amazing and when I went back to sand it down in some spots to age it, the paint would not budge! That made me feel so good because I knew it was a good paint. I had to really give it some arm action to get it to sand but that was totally fine with me! To seal it I will use a clear wax, nothing fancy.

I'm extremely happy with it and my husband loves it too!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Kid's Chore List

In my last post I shared with you my new cleaning list. In this post I'm going to share with you how I do my chore list for the kids!

Every day I write on a big dry erase white board 2-3 jobs for both kids to do. Next to each job is a check box and a number of pebbles they get if they complete it. Each child has a pebble jar they put them in and when it is full they get something special. Sometimes we take them to the store to get a toy or we do something special.

The jobs are always easy and on their level. Most days I let them pick what they want to do because they have favorite jobs :)

Mondays is laundry and bathroom day at our house. So, Mondays they have to sort their laundry, put it away (just the foldables), and they each get to pick a bathroom to mop. Mop as in use a Swiffer. My kids beg to do it because they love it and It's fun!

Tuesdays is bedroom day. Each kid cleans, makes their bed and vaccums it. I am not picky about how they make their bed. It does not have to be perfect but I have to see that they tried. Vaccuming is fun for my kids to for some reason. Once again I don't expect my 5 and 3 year old to vaccum it with perfection, but they love doing it and I let them. So, once they finish I go over it and we are all happy :)

Wednesday is playroom pickup and kitchen day. They each spend 5 minutes picking up at different times (because they will stop and play if they are together), help empty the dishwasher (one loves silverware duty and one does kid plates and cups), and Swiffer the floors. One chooses the playroom floor and one does the kitchen.

Thursdays is foyer, living room and dining room day. They each do a 10 minute pickup, Swiffer and shoe detail. Both kids usually have toys about so that is pickup, each pick a floor to Swiffer and both have to pick up their shoes in the foyer.

Fridays are guest room day for me so I usually make it a free day for them. It usually involves a 10 minute pickup and a 10 minute learning activity. My oldest is in prek so we usually will read an extra book for pebbles and my other will practice the alphabet and numbers.

And lastly, Saturdays are porch and yard work day. Once again an easy day! They usually just have 10 minute pickup in the yard so their toys don't get mowed over and help pick up sticks to put by the curb.

After breaking it all down it seems like a lot, but its not. They spend less than 30 minutes a day to help out and earn pebbles. They help out so much by doing little things and they are learning to appreciate things. They are so proud when daddy comes home to show them what they did! After cleanup we have the whole day for fun!!!

Our Cleaning Schedule

We have finally moved and settled into our new place! I'm enjoying the fact that It's bigger and we have more space to put things.

Last week I tackled my cleaning list and changed things around to make it fit our new needs. We tried it out and it works perfectly! Here is our daily, weekly, and monthly list.

I hope it doesn't look overwhelming because it really is simple and easy to incorporate into your schedule.

Daily you should spend about 1 hour between picking up, dishwasher duty and your weekly chore. Possibly the first week it may be longer, but as you keep doing this weekly it will be a breeze. In my next post ill also show you how you can get your Littles to help you too!

And last, I make a monthly list for myself so that when the dreaded spring cleaning comes around each year I don't spend all day cleaning because It's been kept up throughout the year :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

DIY Finger Painted Heart Valentines

A little something my kids made for our college kids. My husband is financial aid director at a college and we have gotten close with some of the kids there. The kids love to make them things and stick them in their mailboxes. These valentines are easy to do and a lot of fun!

Get some paper and cut them into hearts. We used card stock because it will not get wilty after finger painting.

 We love these paints!!!!!

They all turned out pretty cute! We are going to drop them by their mailboxes tomorrow so they can get them in the morning!

Monday, January 28, 2013

DIY Fix Your Dryer

Since we are in the middle of selling and buying a house we have been living with my mother-in-law. Things are a little crazy with getting house issues squared away and living out of boxes. It seems like since we have been living out of boxes, laundry is piling up faster than ever! My mother-in-law was having some issues with her dryer not drying properly and with laundry piling up it was taking forever to do a few loads. So, me being me, I decided I needed to fix this little issue myself. It's an easy process to clean out your dryer of all the built up lint. You may think the lint screen catches it all, but it really doesn't collect that much. Lint gets built up behind that screen and in the pipe connecting it to the wall. Lay aside 15 minutes and I'll show you how to fix it!

Step 1 - Remove lint from screen. You can use a small vacuum attachment to get it all out good.

Step 2- Remove lint screen. Really easy to pop out. Vacuum that too! 

Step 3- look down in there. It will probably be grey all in there. That is built up lint. Use your attachment to get down in there and vacuum that all out. Put screen back in and close the door.

Step 4- Move dryer out from the wall. You will see a coiled hose like this behind there. Uplug the plug!!!!!!

 Step 5- You will see a metal wire type thing around the accordion hose. It is what keeps the hose tight on the vent. There is also another one attached to the washer on the back side to hold that hose side on tight too. Make sure you have unplugged the plug at this point!!! Detach the hose from the wall and look inside. Most likely it will have gobs of lint in it too. Stick your vacuum down in there and get it out. If you want to skip this you can also just buy a new hose to fit your dryer. After vacuuming out one side, reattach to the vent using the wire to tighten it. Make sure it's on tightly. Do the other side. After it's all reattached you can plug it back in and move your dryer back. Slide it back carefully so the hose doesn't get kinked/bunched and air can get through it.

You are done! Turn that baby on and see if it works. If it is still not working it may not be a lint issue, but a heating element that has burned out. If that is so you will have to replace your dryer. Make sure you always clean out your dryer at least once a year so you minimize your chance of fire.

Friday, January 25, 2013

DIY Dinosaur Party

My little guy turned 3 last week! It was a bittersweet day for me. I looked at him and I realized he is no longer a baby, infant or toddler....he is a big boy now! My last baby is a big boy. I'm so thankful for this rough, hyper, daring little guy. When I got pregnant with him I was 21 and thinking "What am I going to do with a boy? I have no idea what boys like!". He may not be calm and timid like my little girl, but he is special too! 

This year he picked Dinosaurs for his party! We've gotten into dinosaurs recently, have some figurines, books and have gotten to visit Dinosaur World :) His favorite is of course, T-Rex! Here is what I came up for his Dinosaur party!

For his cake I did a basic chocolate cake with chocolate icing. On top of the chocolate icing I wanted "dirt". So, we crushed oreo cookies (without the filling) and sprinkled it on top. Then we set some little dinosaurs on top so It looked like they were walking around in the dirt. I think the best part of of the cake was the kids saying, "I'm eating dirt!" Haha!

I picked a park for our location because all the kids went on a Dinosaur Dig. For the dinosaur dig we got the kids buckets and shovels. At some point during the party I sprinkled dinosaurs in one area. Later the kids went looking and "dug" around for dinosaurs. 

The buckets and shovels were part of their take homes, along with dinosaur explorer hats (Party City), the dinosaurs they found & some dinosaur themed extras.

Here are some pictures from the party!

Monday, January 7, 2013

More Valentine's Day & A Make Up Bag

I made some PINK bow ties and neck ties today to put up. I will have to photograph them again when the rain lets up and I've got some sun. Here's what I have so far! Debating on whether to make some in dark pink. Not sure how boyish dark pink is...

They are different light pinks & I think they are adorable! 

On to the make up bag topic. My little lady received her first set of makeup for Christmas this year from her MiMi. It is a big set with nail polish, lotion, makeup, hair gel and nail accessories. She took it out of the box and the pieces are getting everywhere. I finally told her I would make her a simple makeup bag to keep it in like mommy's. So, here it is! A super, duper simple makeup bag you could make in a jif!

I took two pieces of pink and sandwiched some batting in between. I put right sides together when sewing and the batting on the top of one pink. I stitched all the way around then left a small hole. Turn it inside out and you've got a finished and batted piece of material. Handstitch your hole closed and then bring up one end of rectangle towards the middle. Leave some at the top because that will be your envelope lid. Stitch on both sides up and down. Turn that inside out and viola you've got an envelope. You can close it with velcro or like i did with a button and piece of elastic.