Tuesday, November 2, 2010

advent calendar

Advent Calendar

When my oh so crafty friend Kierste made this Advent Calendar she originally saw here I knew I had to have one. I loved the look and the ability to fit little trinkets, candy, etc. into the boxes for them to open every day. It was on my mind all year and I finally got to work in November to finally get it all together.

- Metal fit to size
- Boxes
- Scrapbook paper, Mod Podge
- Vinyl, stickers, or other embelishments

1. I found a super ugly picture in the perfect size frame at Salvation Army. So I snatched it up, removed the picture, and spray painted it.

2. Then I called a local sheet metal place, told them the dimensions I needed, and picked up my metal an hour later for 6 bucks.

3. Then I went and bought 25 little boxes at Micheal's and painted them all black.

4. Next I glued magnets on the backs of all of them.
5. Once they were dry (or whenever I came back around to them - probably days later!) I traced the lids on scrapbook paper, cut it out, and Mod Podge'd the paper on them. I also applied another layer of Mod Podge on top of the paper as well.

6. Last of all I ordered some vinyl from Writings on the Wall for a couple of bucks - and voila!

I love it and I think the kids loved it even more when they'd find a fun little something in it every day until Christmas!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

ABC Identification

Lately I've been working with my 3 year old on being able to identify all of her letters. Here's a fun little game we played the other day to practice - and help me record which letters she still needs help with.

We have this dry erase sheet with the alphabet on it. You could use any paper with all of the letters on it - maybe even printing them out of order would provide a bit more of a challenge.

How to play:

1. Place a candy on top of each letter (we used mini M&M's.)

2. Have the child pick a letter on the board and say it out loud. If they identify it correctly they get the M&M. If they don't get it right the other person says it correctly and they get the M&M.

3. Continue doing this (I always let her go first but if two children were playing together they would alternate turns) until you have gone through the entire alphabet.

Playing this game was really helpful for me and I kept a small piece of paper by me and recorded each of the letters she didn't identify correctly so that we could focus more on those ones in the future.

Have fun!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Time Out Chair

I bought this cute little chair at Robert's (oh how I miss you craft store) in Utah before we moved from there. We didn't have kids yet but I was pregnant and loved the thing and knew I would probably use it in the future.

Well we've definitely used it and now that little one is 3 years old now I still had yet to ever get around to painting it. Mostly because I had NO CLUE what color to do it.

So I finally decided to go simple and painted it my new love Heirloom White by Rustoleum mainly because it will fit in in just about any room in our house. I added some stain and now it sits in the corner ready and waiting to be used.

Monday, July 12, 2010


After I finished my 'paid with real money' teaching job I left quite a bit of stuff behind. So when I was at the dollar store the other day and saw this calendar complete with all the accessories I knew I had to scoop it up. I took it home adhered magnets to the back and stuck it on the fridge. Then I took all the individual numbers, laminated them, and adhered magnets to the back of them and stuck them to the fridge.

Now although more often then not the calendar usually looks like this due to a cute little 1 year old running around having this on the fridge provides a daily opportunity for me to talk with and teach my 3 year old more about months, day of the week, and numbers.

So for under a couple of buck I think this small investment will pay off - and it surely provides some entertainment during meal prep time :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cabinet Door Frames

When I saw this idea over at The Creative Crate I was instantly in love! My only problem...I didn't have any cabinet doors hanging around. So a few weeks later when I was at a church rummage sale and came across these babies for a buck - I knew I had to scoop them up!

Items you'll need:

- Cabinet doors/wood
- paint color of your choice
- metal clip
- ribbon
- drill


1. I first removed all the hardware and gave the cabinets a light wipe down.

2. Then I patched and sanded the holes where the hardware had once been.

3. Then I did not prime :0 - I just sprayed on two coats of Rustoleum Heirloom White in Satin and when they were all dry I sanded them down a little and applied a little stain on the edges using a cut up t-shirt.

4. The hubby drilled some holes at the top for me so I could string some ribbon (all of it was bought at Walmart for 1.99) through and then I just hot glued the metal clip (I got a package of 2 for a buck at the dollar store) on.

5. My frames are larger than hers so my almost 8x10 picture is too small. But I measured the area and an 11x14 is going to fit perfectly. Now I just need to order my cute family pic from Sam's Club in an 11x14 (only 2 bucks) and I'm good to go.

So all in all this total project cost my less than $15 dollars! They're now a pretty piece sitting on top of our piano waiting till I find a more permanent home for them!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Chalkboard Labels

Who doesn't love to have things labeled? Especially when they're decorative and cute!!!

A few months ago I brought home a 99 cent dresser I purchased from Goodwill. The reason it was 99 cents was because the top two drawers were missing. Well of course Micheal's came to the rescue and I just happened to find two baskets that were the EXACT size I needed to fit the empty spaces. So I purchased those with coupons for $12 each and then came these little labels.

Items you'll need:
- wood shape/plate/anything you want to paint
- painter's tape
- chalkboard spray paint
- drill or adhesive
- jute/ribbon/some type of hanging material


I bought these two little wooden squares for 99 cents at Micheal's.
I then painted them a light tan using craft paint.
Then I taped them off to create a rectangle in the middle.

Then I spray painted them with this chalkboard paint.
Then I used some chalk and labeled them.

Then the hubby drilled some holes in them through which I strung some jute and tied them to the outside of my baskets.
They now sit in our spare bedroom for guests to easily find things they may be needing. And maybe one day I'll get around to finishing and showing you what sits on the top of the dresser - oh and changing that ugly hardware! One day... :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Stool Redo

I'm a shortie. Just a few inches over five feet and so when needing things in the high cupboards a kitchen chair has always come to the rescue. Well a few months ago (yes I've really been slacking on projects lately - warm weather hits and I want to be outside all day!) I found this cute stool at a local church's rummage sale for only $2! It was the perfect height for myself and my little ones ~ it just needed a little sprucing up!

No cleaning, no sanding, no priming. Out came the black spray paint and - TA DA! A new little stool that matches my kitchen - I love it. It's amazing what a little bit of paint will do - try it out :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Letter Sort

Got a lot of these???

I saw this idea over here at No Time For Flashcards. She used alphabet beads and muffin tins. I decided to use old plastic containers and some beads I had.

Things you need:

- 26 spots (containers, muffin tins, bowls, etc.)
- ABC's (magnetic letters, beads, etc.)


1. Use a permanent marker to write a letter on each container.

2. Write the alphabet several time on beads.

3. Let kiddos have at the beads and sort them into the correct containers.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

ABC Letters

Lately I have been concentrating on recognizing all the letters and their sounds with my 3 year old. My friend Kristyn introduced me to this site called No Time For Flash Cards - I love it! GO check it out!

It has so many easy cute learning ideas for kiddos! We've used several ideas in our home and my toddler loves it! Here's the first one we tried out - we've been learning and concentrating on a letter a week. We start each week making an animal out of our letter and hanging it on the fridge to work on and learn to recognize and identify the sound as well. Each week we've been adding our next letter, here's what we've got so far...

Go check out this great site for lots of fun and easy ideas to keep your kiddos learning all summer long!


Friday, June 18, 2010

Brag Book

For Mother's Day I made my Momma and Grandma these cute little brag books. My best buddy Kierste over at Brown Paper Packages made me one for Christmas and I have been in love with it ever since! Go check here to see it - the one she gave me is actually the first one pictured on her blog post :)

Things you'll need:

- ID tag holders (I bought mine at Walmart in the office supply section for around $2 bucks)

- Metal clip (Walmart as well)

- Pictures

- Scrapbook paper

- Ribbon


1. I made a front and back cover with scrapbook paper.

2. Printed and cut pictures to fit.

3. Hooked them on the ring and added some ribbon!

I have loved mine and keep it in my purse for when others ask me about my family. They are the cutest gifts and hopefully my family is putting theirs to good use as well! Thanks Kierste for the darling idea!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Washer Necklaces

I decided to venture out and try this project I have seen all over the internet lately - washer necklaces.

Things you'll need:

- any size washers

- metal stamping kit (can be bought at a hardware place (I borrowed mine from a friend) for around $10 bucks for the entire alphabet and numbers)

- ribbon/chain

- permanent marker

-baby wipe


1. All I did was go outside on our cement and use the stamping kit. You just pick out your letter, place it on the washer and then hold it REALLY steady and pound down with the hammer 2-3 times. (Try it out on some practice washers beforehand).

2. After all the stamping is finished color the indents in with permanent marker and then wipe clean with a baby wipe. This leaves the actual letters black (or whatever color marker you choose) and better able to see.

3. Place them on a ribbon, necklace, chain, etc.

I made this for my momma for Mother's Day. It has all her girl's names on it. These can make such cute necklaces, bracelets, key chains, etc! Try it out :)


Monday, May 3, 2010

My newest project...

This is my newest project...

The best part??? Guess how much I got it for???????

99 cents

You read it right. I guess when the owners were delivering it to Goodwill the top two drawers fell out on the road and so they were selling it for yes - under 1 dollar!!!

For that price I didn't care if I got it home and hated it and threw it right in the trash. For now it sits in our guest room waiting patiently for a little redo. I'm gonna stick with white, add some new handles, and some cute baskets are calling my name to fill the empty slots!

Look forward to a cute little before and after sometime down the road. Don't hold your breath though - we're awfully busy at the moment!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tin Can Vase

Throw lots of these in the recycling?

Turn them into this:

I hate throwing stuff away that I think could potentially be turned into something. I am always recycling tin cans and finally decided with the coming of spring weather to turn them into vases.

I used a 29oz. can but any size would be cute!

1. After the contents are gone wash well and remove all remnants of the lid.

2. Now you can choose to leave the tin alone, paint it with craft paint (that's what I did here), or the easiest - spray paint!

3. Add some flowers and viola - you're done! If you'd like you can embellish it writing (permanent marker - above) or ribbon (below) or anything else you can think of!

4. Now leave out to decorate around your own house or give a gift to a friend :)

Have fun and ENJOY!

Happy Mother's Day

Thursday, April 15, 2010

ABC Eggs

Before Easter one of my sweet friend's dropped this basket full of Easter eggs off at my doorstep for my girls.

These weren't just any Easter eggs! She had written a letter on each egg complete with the uppercase on one half and the lowercase on the other.

What a great idea! My girlies (well mostly my toddler) have loved playing games with these! We go on hunts and they have to name the letter before putting it in the basket, sometimes I send them on a hunt to find a certain letter, we work on sounds, match, etc. So much can be done! Even the baby enjoys putting them in and out of the basket all by herself :)

Just thought I'd share my friend's lovely idea for a fun way to get some learning in!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Beautiful Blogger

Melanie nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger Award.

A big thanks to Melanie - who is someone who I absolutely adore her own decorating style as well! She's such a good mom, awfully sweet, and even knows how to make college apartments extremely cute!!!

As a recipient of this award, I must:
1. Thank the person nominating you for the award.
2. Copy the award to my blog.
3. Place a link to their blog.
4. Name 7 tidbits people don't know about you from reading your blog.
5. Nominate 7 bloggers.
6. Place a link to those bloggers.
7. Leave a comment letting those bloggers know about the reward.

7 tidbits:

1. I have to sleep with my socks on. Usually with thick jammies, a heated blanket, and a down comforter as well. If I'm not warm and cozy I can't fall asleep.

2. Until I got married I could probably count on my two hands the number of foods I liked. No pickles, tomatoes, onions, peppers, mustard, etc. The list could go on! I don't know how the hubby did it but now I like pretty much everything!

3. I probably average taking a pregnancy test about every two to three months. I'm extremely nervous I'm going to get pregnant when I'm not planning on it. So far our plans have worked and we haven't had any surprises yet!

4. Until my sophomore year of college I probably had never run more than 1 mile at a time. Now I consider myself a runner (maybe jogger is a better word) and try and log between 3-5 miles a day. It's not something I love yet (don't know if I ever will) but I believe anyone can do it if they try.

5. I love movies but have never seen lots of the classics. No Indiana Jones, no Sound of Music, etc. Maybe one day :)

6. Besides good 'ole Canada I have never left the United States.

7. I used to have my belly button pierced. I should have listened to my oh so wise momma because that is one decision I regret. It's been out for almost 10 years and I still have a hole - ucky!

7 bloggers:

1. Two sites I check regularly are people I do not know but what they share. Amy at The Idea Room because she has tons of different ideas and Kari at UCREATE because she finds everything for me and takes the hard work out of blogging!

2. Sharla at My Little Gems. I used to teach school with her - she amazed me then and continues to amaze me with all her talents!

3. Kierste at Brown Paper Packages. My best buddy who always provides loads and loads of ideas and inspiration!

4. Jewels at Jewels of a Preschool. This lady has infinite wisdom when it comes to kiddos! I'm lucky enough to know her and ask her millions of questions!

5. Freebies for Moms. Who doesn't like free stuff? Enough said.

6. Rachel at Chronicles of Abigail. I met Rachel in college and she always gets my mind thinking of things I normally wouldn't have. Whether it's food, books, etc. I'm always drawn to reading her posts.

7. I love seeing redos - of anything and Better After features some cool ones. Whether it's furniture, kitchens, etc. I love seeing the somewhat crappy things people can turn into beautiful.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Entertainment Center

It's finished! I bought this about a month ago from Habitat for Humanity. It cost me $70. Add to that some primer I already had, $10 worth of paint, and $20 worth of new hardware and tad - I have myself a new entertainment center. The color has taken some getting used to - it almost has a little more of an orangey tint then a maroon one - but I think I'm in love with it - because I certainly don't want to repaint it!!!

Our formal living room got turned into a painting room for the last 2 weeks...

And after some imperfect coats of paint (I'm a little impatient and the thing has more than it's fair share of drip marks!) it's finally finished!

Here it is in it's new spot in our home. The only problem - the hubby now thinks we need a larger TV because the entertainment center could technically fit a slightly bigger one - haha...in his dreams :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

File Folder Games

I am FINALLY done with these!!!

When I was teaching I made tons of these for my students to use as fast finishers when they got done early with their work. Those of course are all for school-aged children and I really wanted my kiddos to have some to play with before that time.

So months and months ago I bought a file folder book (from Desert Book) and set out on the task to make some for my girlies. Lots and lots of crayons, contact paper, and velcro later MOST of them are finally done. And do they love them? Sure do. So I guess all the time and labor I put in to these things were worth it. Hopefully - they better - provide some good entertainment!

And who knows - I may even venture out and purchase another book to make some more!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fly swatter games

When I was in high school I took several Spanish classes. In one of the classes we would always play a fly swatter games. There would be several things attached to the board, two students would come up with fly swatter in hand, then a question was read and the two students competed to see who could find and hit the correct answer first.

I've really been trying to find special times throughout the day to spend playing and learning with my little girlie. So using our magnet board in the basement I decided to introduce her to the fly swatter games.

I attached several magnetic letters and numbers to the board. Then I would say a number or letter and she'd have to find it and hit it. We then switched it up and she would call out the letter or number and I would be the one to hit it with the fly swatter. We ended up having lots of fun together and hopefully in the process she'll get even better with her letter recognition!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

~One of my FAVORITE ways to decorate~

...vinyl lettering

So many possibilities. So many things to say. So many places to put it.

Go get yourself some. It's a good thing I don't have an unlimited budget or this stuff would be EVERYWHERE in my house!

Writings on the Wall