Easy Bathroom Shelves

You know when you walk around the house and all of a sudden you can think of nothing else but getting a project done. I actually got one of those kind of projects done last week.

Our master bathroom area has the toilet in a separate little room. Despite this little room being in our bathroom my six year old comes into my bathroom on a daily basis and tries to talk to me through the door while shaking the door handle desperately. When I finally emerge she asks, “What were you doing in there?” Seriously. It seems to be a mystery to her.

Anyway….we were trying to find a way to get some of our bathroom supplies up away from the ground since they are normally stored under our sink area.

I walked past our little room and instantly thought, “We could put shelves up in here!”

So before I could change my mind, the kids and I went off to Home Depot, bought the wood and had them cut the piece in half and bought some shelf brackets (total $42).

I then came home, poured 3 quarts of left over paint (2 light gray and 1 white) in a plastic container and starting painting the little room. The painting part of this project was unnecessary but it makes me happy and it was free.

Here is the end result:

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Sort of looks like a before photo until you  see the before photo and then realize, “Ahhh, yes..the after is better.”

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My boys were very excited to help with this project. While we were walking up and down the aisles of Home Depot I heard my 13 year old tell the 10 year old, “Well when you stain you have to go with the grain.” I mean, seriously, my heart sang when I heard that.

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My husband and our boys sanded the wood and then stained it using a stain we already had at the house.

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So in the course of 2 days we got a project DONE!

Any areas of your house you just want to tackle right now?

Posted in bathroom, house projects, husbands | Leave a comment

Summer Fun List 2015

Here’s our summer fun list for 2015:

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This summer is just flying by…I’m hoping it slows down soon because none of us want to talk about the “starts with sch-, ends with -ool word” yet!

Posted in activities, Alex, Andrew, caroline, summer | 1 Comment

Easy Lazy Day Art Project for Kids & Adults

Here’s a fun art project I discovered when cruising around the web…Glue & Salt Painting!

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Here are the directions:

1. Make an interesting design with some glue on your paper – we went abstract but you could easily makes a butterfly, house, car, fish, etc.

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2) Generously pour salt over the glue.

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3. Shake off the excess salt carefully.

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4. Use watercolors to paint the salt. The more liquid the paint the better.

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5. The salt will just absorb the paint right up.

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6. Have fun!

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I even got in on the art action with my creation below.

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My younger two and I had a really nice time painting on a rainy day. We sat at the table for about an hour making several pieces a piece. We listened to Radio Disney while we painted and just talked about all sorts of topics.

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I could have used the time to clean the dishes or fold some laundry but I’m really glad I just sat and spent some time with my kids.

*Sidenote – this is art that will be thrown away after a day since the salt makes it virtually impossible to hang up*

Posted in activities, Andrew, art work, caroline, crafts, paper craft | 1 Comment

July 4th Recap

Our family had a great 4th of July long weekend.

First item on our weekend was a splash and dash race for my 10 year old.

The race consisted of a 100m swim and a 1 K run – short but lots of fun to watch. Plus the weather was ideal with clouds and misty rain.

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Next up on July 4th morning was a 5K race for my 13 year old. Alex wanted to run the race for fun, partly to keep in shape for soccer and just because he likes to race. For fun, I sat on the side lines and cheered :) I can’t believe he’s smiling at the end of this race considering the second half of the race was uphill.

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His cheering section – we tried probably 15 times to take a family picture but someone always had their eyes closed or was looking the other way.

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In the afternoon we headed to the pool for a few hours of pool time which was lots of fun.

At night, my husband took the boys to a soccer game where their team won and the night ended with fireworks. My six year old and I opted to stay home and watch a movie. After a long day she feel asleep at 8 o’clock and then I had the whole house to myself for 3 hours! I had big plans to get some things accomplished but I ended up sitting in bed watching tv and eating ice cream – it was wonderful.

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Hope you had a terrific 4th! (Or wonderful July 1st if you are Canadian).

Posted in Alex, Andrew, caroline, family, holiday | 1 Comment

Cleanup Hitters of the Fridge

Do you ever notice that moms are the cleanup hitters of the fridge?

Everyone else can open up the fridge, look at all its contents, and declare, “There’s nothing to eat.”

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But moms on the other hand, look at the same contents, and think, “There’s enough in here for 2 more meals. I’m not going to the store.”

I am always eating strange meals for Saturday and Sunday lunches.

A few tortilla chips, with some leftover guacamole, some grapes, and some broccoli reheated – sounds like a meal to me!

Some leftover pasta, a tomato, a piece of swiss cheese, and some Italian dressing – sounds like a meal to me!

My boys always look into the fridge on these days and promptly say, “Can we have mac n’cheese?”

What? Don’t you see all of the possibilities when you look in there? More importantly, don’t you see the fact that Mom doesn’t have to go to the grocery store and spend money when all of this is still available to you.

My husband is really on the boys side of things. I see him wander around the kitchen opening the fridge, opening the cabinets, searching up high for….the cooked lasagna I keep on the top pantry shelf? Who knows.

But last Sunday I couldn’t have been more proud of my husband. He opened up that fridge and promptly fixed himself a meal of leftover potatoes mixed with some leftover spaghetti sauce!

Sounds like a meal to me!

Posted in food, husbands, observations | 4 Comments

What Happened to Your…?

You know the rule about never asking a woman if she’s pregnant?

Even if she’s so round in the belly she looks as if she’s having triplets?

You. Just. Don’t. Say. Anything.

Well, I was asked something along those lines today.

After I swam for an hour with my team, I was drying off with a towel and just throwing a dress on over my suit to go home in. I put my shoes on and turned around to grab my bag all the while talking to another swimmer who was also drying off.

When I turned to grab my bag he yelled out, “Oh my God! What happened to your calf?”

I looked up to see him looking at my calf wide eyed and with his mouth gaping open.

I glanced down and saw all of my varicose and spider veins swirling around my right calf. Looking back at him I said, “Having kids, that’s what happened to my calf.”

Well, he was pretty mortified.

As he should be.

“I’m so sorry, I just didn’t know. It looks like you had a big accident.”

“It’s fine.”

I walked away. I got my kids from the waiting area where they had patiently eaten lunch and read books for the hour that I swam and we drove home.

Only to tell you the truth, before I got home I did shed some tears. Not big sloppy boohoo tears but those silent behind the sunglasses kind.

Yes, I look at my calf and think what a nightmare but there’s always that little part of you that thinks maybe people will not really notice as much as you think they do.

And then they notice and it just feels bad.

I sulked a little but I’ve figured out what I’m going to say the next time this happens.

“Oh my God! What happened to your calf?”

“Oh this, yeah it’s bad. But what happened to your head? It’s so shiny! Although on the positive side I guess you save a lot of time in the morning getting ready.” 

Posted in observations, parenting, swimming | 2 Comments

Simple Spring (& Summer) Mantle

We recently had company coming over and an empty mantle so I looked around the house for some materials to make something.

I had recently ordered several $5, 8 x 10 canvases for our house from an online company. The pictures were from my brother’s wedding last summer so I thought they would work on the mantle for now until I put them up on the wall at some point.

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I had an old sewing hoop which I covered in green fabric. I then glued on some yellow ric- rac around the edge. Finally I made some fabric flowers using some leftover fabric.

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Searching through my crafting supplies I found some felt and decided to make some small banners with it. I created 3 separate banners but hung them up together.

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I like the bright colors for spring / summer.

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*On a side note, Sherwin Williams is having a 40% off paint sale this weekend*

**My husband is absolutely delighted with this fact**

***OK, that last thing was a lie. He’s worried, oh so worried.***

 

Posted in art work, crafts, decorations, house projects, mantle, sewing | Comments Off on Simple Spring (& Summer) Mantle

Skiing for Spring Break

Since we are just 2 days away from being done with school this year I thought that now would naturally be a good time to share some spring break photos. For their Christmas present this year, my sister and her boyfriend gave our kids a ski trip to Blue Mountain in Ontario, Canada. The kids and I had never been on skies and my husband had only been on once decades ago. We were excited but a little nervous.

We flew up to Toronto and then took about a two hour drive to Blue Mountain. Our hotel sat right on this skating pond and had little shops all around.

Here are Caroline and Andrew wearing their “Dallas Winter Wear.” We had to borrow real ski clothes from Derek’s sister and all her generous friends who let us borrow clothes.

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And yes…we did go swimming on this snow covered day.

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We signed up the kids for ski school which was from 10:00 – 3:00 everyday (with a 1 hour break for lunch). Caroline had just turned 6 ten days earlier so she qualified to go to all day school with the boys. She was a little reluctant on the first day but went along since “her boys” were with her.

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She’s the littlest one on the right.

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It was amazing to see the kids in ski school. The instructors had the kids going up the magic carpet (ride that you stand on to get you up the hill) almost immediately and even more impressive is that they were coming down almost as fast. Our kids enjoyed their first day but I know Caroline definitely got tired of falling down.

Once the kids were situated in their lessons, all of the adults took a beginning lesson where I promptly fell down. Did I fall while moving? No. I fell while standing still listening to the instructor. Once the beginning lessons were over the instructors sent us over to practice on the same little hill the kids were already practicing on. My first attempt at getting on the moving magic carpet? I fell. They had to stop the whole dang thing for me to get up. Complete fail.

Once we had gone through the various stations and practiced what we were supposed to practice my sister and I asked the instructor what was the next station. The guy pointed up at this enormous mountain and said practice on that. What? That can’t be. There must be more stations. After practicing on the baby hill a few more times my sister and I worked up the courage to try Mount Everest. Trust me. It seemed enormous from the bottom.

When  my sister and I attempted the chair lift for the first time we got on with two other people. For some reason they never pulled down the bar which is supposed to go in front of you so to say that my sister and I were panicked for about 4 minutes is a complete understatement. We held on for dear life and were never so glad to be at the top of a mountain.

Until we looked down to the bottom and sheer panic took over.

Somehow we each manged to get down. I’m pretty sure toward the end I was racing down the mountain at 40 miles an hour. After that experience we promptly went back to the baby hill and told the instructors that we needed some serious help. With some help and a private lesson the next day we did get a little better but it’s a safe bet to put your money on Lindsay Vonn this world cup racing season and not one of us.

After ski school ended at 3:00 we picked the kids up and headed back to the hill/mountain until 4:30 everyday. For us it was like when we go to Disney – up at the crack of dawn and at the park until the fireworks at night – we were committed all day.

The kids at the top of the practice hill

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Aunt Kelly & Caroline

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Andrew & Uncle Duke

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Alex, Dad, and Caroline (in her tuck) coming down the hill

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20150308_154423(0)At the end of day one the boys were begging to go up “Big Baby,” also known as Mount Everest to me. I kept saying no but their dad and uncle won out (caved) and took them up. Once Andrew got off the ski lift and looked down the mountain he threw himself down on the snow and said, “I can’t do it. Get me down.” He was completely heartbroken to find out that he had to ski down. It took a loooooong time for him to come down the mountain with my husband. He’d ski a tiny bit and then fall. Ski a tiny bit and then fall. And so on. For a long time. But…he finally made it down and promptly announced that he was done for the day.

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After spending 6+ hours on a cold mountain what treat do you naturally turn to?

Ice cream of course!

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Day 2 – Andrew & Alex take snow board lessons, Caroline continues with ski lessons

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Lots of falling on your bum is apparently par for the course when learning to snow board.

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Alex ended up loving snow boarding so much that he took lessons again on his 3rd day. He impressed everyone by even going down some blue trails on the 3rd day.

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Dad and Caroline going up the magic carpet like pros

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Snow board victory!

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Aunt Kelly

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Finally a picture of me coming down Mount Everest / Big Baby.

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Ski Lift Fun – Andrew and classmate below

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Mom (me) & Caroline

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Caroline &  Dad

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Day 3 – Last run of the trip – from the top down – Andrew, Alex, Derek (Dad), Caroline, & Uncle Duke – not pictured, me: I was too slow and still making my way down Mount Everest / Big Baby.

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Blue Mountain Photo Spot documenting the miracle of no broken bones!

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And finally a family photo at the top of the mountain…could it be we already have our Christmas card photo in March?

20150310_154211(0)Great trip…wonderful memories…thank you Aunt Kelly and Uncle Duke!

Posted in activities, Alex, Andrew, caroline, family, observations, travel | 2 Comments

LEGO Birthday Banner

My daughter turned 6 awhile ago and for the first time ever we were able to have a family party. My siblings and parents as well as my husband’s sister and parents all live in different parts of the US and Canada so we rarely have family at parties.

When my sister gifted our family a sking trip to Canada over spring break I knew it was my opportunity to have family members at Caroline’s party.  We were lucky to have my sister, her boyfriend, my husband’s sister, her husband, and their two sons at the party. What? COUSINS at a party? Yippee!

Caroline wanted a LEGO party so that’s what we had in the hotel room.

Caroline and I worked to make this banner a few weeks before the party.

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We used felt we already had and cut out squares and circles that we then glued into LEGO pieces.

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I then made the girl lego head out of more felt.

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We glued the whole thing together and had a banner for the party – our only decorations.

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For the party we had LEGo bingo, a LEGO scavenger hunt, an awesome LEGO cake (made by her aunt and uncle), a race to build LEGO sets, and we  took a dip in the pool. It was about 25 degrees outside when we jumped into the heated pool – it was great….until we had to get out and run for the door absolutely freezing our tails off.

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Happy 6th Sweet Girl!

Posted in bargains, birthdays, caroline, decorations, Legos, party | 2 Comments

Jar of Teenage Love

I think everything a teenager says should be bottled up and then given back to them in 30 years.

Just open up that jar of love and say, “Enjoy!”

Am I talking about my own kids?

Nope. Not yet.

I’ve still got 2 weeks to go before I officially have a teenager.

Nope. I’m talking about the lovely young receptionist at the swim lesson place my daughter goes.

The other day was a lazy morning for my daughter and I since we didn’t have to be anywhere bright and early. Granted, I had eaten, was showered and dressed in jeans a t-shirt by 8:30 but it was still all done at a leisure pace.

We showed up at the swim lesson shop about 8:56 for her 9 AM lesson. I took her clothes from her, grabbed her progress card, and gave Caroline her goggles.

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After she was called into her class I walked over to the receptionist to schedule a make up class.

The young girl at the front desk told me there were two times available next week for a make up – a 9 AM lesson and a 10 AM lesson.

I hummed and hawed for a minute to myself, thinking about what I already had scheduled for that day.

I eventually said, “I’ll take the 10:00.”

To which she said, “Yay, that’s what I was thinking. You look like it was pretty rough for you to get here for 9.”

Just ponder that for a moment.

I looked at her and thought, “Did you really just say that to me?”

Oh yes she did.

I just walked away. It wasn’t worth it to get into it with her. After all, with those amazing people skills I’m not sure she’s going to be sitting at that receptionist desk too long. Just wait for some sleep deprived mom who’s hanging on by a string to come in their and get greeted with that.

Now if I could only figure out her last name, track her down in thirty years after she’s had a couple of kids, and open up that jar of love for her. Wouldn’t that be the best?

Posted in caroline, music, swimming | 2 Comments