Easter Buckets

Easter BucketWhen thinking about Easter baskets this year, I did some matching items, but I also got coordinating things that were not exactly the same. I also did hardly any candy, because while searching for their Easter buckets, I found this:

Easter basketLast year’s candy!! How did this happen??

With that idea in mind I bought only three candy items for each boy:

Easter baskets Easter basket

I thought of what A and J’s interests are and then created the bucket items accordingly:

J: Bubbles, funny socks, stuffed bunny, DVD Springtime for Roo, seeds to plant, 3 candy items.

A: Bubbles, little Minecraft set, funny socks, tennis balls, seeds to plant, 3 candy items

And I got Star Wars mini figures (an idea I snagged from my sister) to fill their eggs:

Easter BucketsHappy Easter bucket creating!

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Garage Re-Organization

I feel like our extra bay in our garage is that closet in Monica’s apartment on Friends, that nobody really knows about, but then when they find it our true messy nature comes through. HA! We don’t have a lot of storage in our house and I have seriously maxed out every space of our available in house storage. And our attic is filled with boxes upon boxes of old baby clothes, toys, etc.

Garage Re-OrganizationI usually clean out this area once a year during the spring, but it has clearly gotten way beyond what I can clean without some massive overhaul.Garage Re-OrganizationInsert B, who has taken an interest in helping me organize it since he figured out he cannot reach his lawnmower or any of his yard tools.

He has been planning and budgeting of what we can do to make storage easier and more efficient. I had one request which was that we had some sort of project table that I could use for canvas drying and wrapping paper storage.

So here is our storyboard as it stands now…

Garage Re-Organization Storyboard[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]

You can reach each of the items sites by following the numbered links, however here is a bit of commentary on some of the items:

More wall organization to get a lot of the yard tools from being stacked in the corner (1-4). We like the fast track system because it is very durable and can hold anything from yard rakes to bicycles and ladders.

A project area with outdoor friendly containers (5-9). I am planning a DIY for the project table because the bedford inspiration is not in our budget. My main concern is finding bins that will work with the cubes, but are also sealed (I don’t really want to reach into a box for tissue paper and find a spider, yikes!).

New and coordinating tool storage for B (11 & 13). B has a small tool box, but it is full. A coordinating lower storage box and a wall peg board will help to make tools easily accessible (though I’m not sure why he minds having two jump over two cardboard boxes, a lawnmower, edger, and lawnmower bag to get to things…).

Sturdier outdoor products and paper product storage (12 & 14). We have several hand-me-down plastic storage racks that we will probably still use, but would like to upgrade with a few sturdier pieces. I would especially like a locked storage cabinet for items that need a bit more temperate climate and we don’t want out in the open garage.

*As a side note (and as always) I’m not endorsed by any company for these products. In our searching for items we have found the greatest variety of storage items at our Lowe’s, however your area’s home improvement store may have similar items.

Our first step is getting the entire area cleaned out of all the random items, and then we will move on to start re-organizing it. It’ll be several months, but I’ll be sure to share when we finish re-organizing it!

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Heart-filled Valentine’s

When I asked A how he wanted to decorate his Valentine mail box he said he wanted to paint a Minecraft and hearts theme. Since J wanted to participate as well (and did not have a mailbox to paint), I got out a blank canvas for him and my homemade heart “stamps” for painting.

IMG_7706 IMG_7707 IMG_7709 IMG_7710After looking through these pictures to post them on the blog, I couldn’t believe how grown-up the boys looked. I also could not believe how impossibly straight the lines were of the hearts J was creating. Don’t worry, eventually his true Pollock nature shown through and he didn’t leave it like that:

IMG_7747Definitely heart filled.

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Valentine Goody Bags

A and I spent yesterday afternoon in a little assembly line getting his Valentine goody bags ready for “mailing” at school. I always make sure that any goody bags we do are ones that A can help fill. Here is our assortment for this year:

Valentine Goody Bags1. Push up pencils (A’s favorite), 2. Small sticker sheets, 3. Lollipops that are certified nut free (for allergy purposes), 4. Cellophane bags (we actually found heart printed ones). All of our purchases were from the Valentine or dollar section at Target. And of course each bag had A’s little Minecraft cards slipped in.

After A filling and me folding the bags over and stapling them, an hour later we were all done! Sorted, stacked and ready to “mail”.

Valentine Goody Bags

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Duct tape banner

This is the simplest of banners, it just takes a little bit of patience. I made one for A’s birthday and he loved it so much he wanted it in his room after his party. I then ended up making one for J’s circus birthday and even though I was planning to get red and white stripe the boys convinced me to go in another direction…

Duct Tape Mustache BannerMustache duct tape was too hilarious to pass up.

As I said before this is a really easy banner to make, however, I have developed a little strategy to make it easier to put together and it all has to do with folding the tape.

Mustache tape foldingThe first time I tried to make A’s banner I first pulled all the tape I needed and then tried to fold it in half and it was a huge disaster. Then I wised up. If you fold it exactly in half to begin with and then slowly crease it as you pull the tape, it is MUCH easier. It takes a little bit of patience because if you try to pull out too much tape at once it will mess up the fold, and duct tape does not un-stick easily.

Once you have the length that you want simple snip the end and then I usually go back through and try to get rid of any air pockets. Then fold each end and make a small snip with your scissors and you can hang it on a command hook like I did for the boys’ birthday parties…

G.I. Joe Party ThemeMustache bannerAnd add pictures with little clothespins.

And then after the party I transferred it to their rooms using pins, but you could also use command hooks.

Duct Tape Banner Duct tape banner Duct tape banner Duct Tape BannerSimple and cute! And a great way to display pictures of the birthday kid!

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Hundred Days of School Project

A had to come up with a hundred days of school project, and knowing my nephews project from his kindergarten year I had visions of trying to fold a hundred paper airplanes in my head. After a lot of brainstorming together, A went from 100 ninja turtles (not happening) to 100 Legos (too breakable) to finally 100 robot erasers in the shape of a robot. We couldn’t find 100 robot erasers, so then A decided on 100 animal erasers in the shape of an animal (elephant). He liked the idea of gluing them on a canvas, so a trip to Hobby Lobby and a borrowed bottle of craft glue later, we were ready to start. I drew an elephant for him and then he first laid out all the erasers and then went back and glued them. This allowed him to do the project in spurts, he glued a few each day. While I think he got a bit bored gluing all those erasers, it was a great project for his age!

Here is the process in picture form…enjoy!

1. Trace animal on canvas.

IMG_7424-0012. Count out hundred erasers and then place them around tracing.

IMG_74223. Completed setting of animals.


4. Use craft glue and apply it to the backs of each eraser and set (we use a bit in a bowl with a small paintbrush).

IMG_74305. Make sure all pieces are dry and secure and then you’re all done!

Hundred Days of School

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Oh Hi Wall Decoration

So if you remember this sign from A’s birthday:

G.I. Joe Party ThemeWhen we were storing it I removed the letters to save for another decorating occasion, and decided to re-purpose them for a little decoration above our new foyer coat rack.

One of J’s signature sayings is “oh, hi”. It was one of the first things he said well, and he still says it if you come into his room while he is playing (or if he is doing something he is not supposed to and you catch him…like turning the computer on). I figured this would be a cute saying to put above our coat rack and I decided to use the same method I used for the vase last week.

The letters (cardboard from Hobby Lobby) were already spray painted white, but I did another coat on top of them because my original spray paint job had been a bit rushed.

Oh Hi After they were dry, I used gold acrylic paint and dotted part and painted completely the other part (just the front):

Oh Hi Decor SignThis is after one coat.

This is after three total coats (letting each dry about half an hour):

Oh Hi Decor SignAnd this is them in their new spot:

Oh HiIt looks a little angled but I promise it is not (my photography skills are subpar at best).

To attach it to the wall I first used painter’s tape to get everything in place and then I used command wall strips to secure it. Make sure you don’t start out with the command strips because you aren’t going to be able to really move it around without messing up the letters once you use those! Happy re-purposing!

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Ten Minute Vase DIY

I picked up a vase from Wal-Mart (you heard me.) three months ago that I thought would look perfect on our mantel. Then of course, I put it up there, put nothing in it, and left it for the next three months. I decided it needed a refresh, and so I came up with a simple DIY that will take less than 10 minutes.

Vase DIYMy inspiration was this picture (specifically the vase), so I first picked up some gold paint. I already had round stamp brushes (but you can pick them up on the cheap from a local craft store).

Gold PaintUsing the two different size stamps I just stamped gold circles around the whole vase (smearing slightly so they don’t have crazy points), and then I added some pretty foliage courtesy of our “stump tree” in the front yard:

Gold Stamped Vase DIYAll done! Less than ten minutes. I stamped it high enough that I just set it back on the mantel carefully to let it dry. Happy updating!

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