Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Patriotic Breakfast

I'm always late when posting my holiday ideas, so I thought I'd share our new 4th of July tradition with you.  

I don't grill, it's too hot to cook indoors - in July - in Texas, and usually we are out running around to some fair, festival or a friends house celebrating, so I rarely get to use the amazing patriotic party ideas found across the internet.  

Last year I was dying to try out my new Silhouette Cutting Machine, so I threw a small patriotic themed breakfast for my family.  Anyone can pull this off with a few pieces of patriotic card stock, a little twine, and of course those fun paper straws. 

The Menu:
Blueberries and Strawberries
Blueberry Muffins
Red Punch 

and of course a few little 4th of July trinkets. 

We ate breakfast outside on blankets and my family had a blast. I think I'll surprise them again. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Rustic - Not Perfect

Flooring Part 5:

All I have left is the finishing touches (corner round and caulking) and then I can call the floor officially done! 

It has been one long month..... After cutting and sanding, we turned our attention to birthday mode.  We had to get our house put together for my daughter's party.... and we needed clean clothes -seriously.  So, in went the washer and dryer and away went the supplies. Well, they were neatly tucked in the dining room. 

The party, by the way, was super fun!  My daughter planned it herself.... a paint war!  And yes, thank goodness we put the flooring on hold. I was kinda freaking out over the cute little red footprints in the kitchen. 

Anyways, after the party, we got to work again. We decided to prime the sub-floors to prevent any mildew that could possibly happen (since it is in the kitchen). I then opted to start working on the cabinets as well.  I had a few helpers... 

Next came the laying. I'm going to be honest. The laying was a little harder than I had thought it would be. The boards weren't super straight and I was having a hard time getting over the fact that there were imperfections. Hence, my husband kept saying, "Rustic, NOT Perfect." 

We used the liquid nails for flooring on the back of each board and then nailed the boards in using a nail gun. 

A week ago we were finally ready to paint.... But, I ran into a snag- again.  As I was trying out a few different methods on the boards where the oven would be, I could not stand the nail holes.  They were rectangular do to the fact we used an all-in-one brad nailer and staple gun.  I thought once it was painted it wouldn't look bad.... nope, those holes were screaming at me.  

So, I filled all the holes (about 1,000) with saw dust mixed with wood glue. Then I had to plastic off the kitchen to sand. Sanding for 5 hours is not for the weak of heart.  I was pretty much dying when I was finished. 

After vacuuming and vacuuming AND vacuuming the floors, I decided upon a darker white wash on the boards. I used 5 parts paint to 1 part water.

Well, again... this is what happens when an amateur thinks they can do anything.... my paint strokes were VERY visible. Even with a very careful rolling system, I couldn't get an even look.  So, I did a second coat.  I did cover most of the grain, but I actually love the more solid colored look. 

After 3 more days, 4 loads of laundry at a friends house, and  6 coats of Varathane Floor Finish, I finally finished the floor... AND we can walk on it.  It's not as rustic as I had wanted and still not perfect, but I am super happy with the results.  

Was it worth a month of cooking on a skillet, having piles of dirty laundry in my room, staying up until midnight freaking out I've just wasted my money?... Yep!  I saved a little money, learned a LOT, and have a custom floor. Now, to finish the cabinets...

UPDATE: I completely forgot to mention my total.  I had quite a bit of wood and liquid nails left over and plan on using those for my chicken cook. I did have to buy another gallon of the finishing product. total came to $1.30 per square foot.  Not too bad. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sanding - Double Check

Flooring Part 4: 

My hands are still vibrating as I write this... we've been sanding today... all day.  And by we, my sweet husband did most of the work.  Something about having kids playing in the hose with their clothes on and dumping out the dog food took up most of my time... but I did do some... and definitely did quality control (poor husband).

So we used the Dewalt Orbital Sander and it is awesome!  We used a 60 grit paper first to get rid of the print and paint and my major cutting problems and then went over it with a 120 grit to quickly smooth each board out. 

The sanding pretty much corrected any unevenness I had from the cutting.  We also angled the sander to get a slight beveled look on the edges. 

The writing on the boards said that this product (the plywood) was known to cause cancer in the state of California.  Um... kind of freaked me out. So yes, wear your safety protection. I rock this look don't you think? 

Flooring Cut - Check

Flooring Part 3:

I'm slowly, but surely getting somewhere.  I finally finished cutting all the boards for the flooring.  I chose to cut the 8 ft boards into 6 ft, 5 ft and 4 ft lengths.  This leaves me also with 2 ft and 3 ft for extras I might need.  

Cutting to length was a little more difficult than I thought it would be. We don't own a table saw and I thought I could buy the Dremel SawMax (which is super easy to use) to cut a perfectly straight line. Because the saw does not have a straight covering, I could not use a piece of wood to keep me straight. I had to follow my pencil mark....very slowly.  My husband thought they looked fine, but when I laid the boards out on the floor, I could see the uneven and wavy lines here and there. 

So.... because I was unhappy with the waves, we decided to sand first instead of lay and then sand. This way, I can sand the unevenness into perfectly (hopefully perfect) straight edges. 

On another note.... while I was arranging the flooring and staring at my kitchen... a crazy thought came into my head... why not just do the cupboards at the same time.... it won't take too much longer. Uh, ok, brain. Since at the time my reasoning made sense, I had my boys take off all the doors.  I guess that means I really do need to finish them now.  

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

And the Flooring Winner Is.....

Flooring Part 2:

Yep, I made a decision.  Now my goal is to have it done by my daughter's birthday party on the 17th.  I have 11 days, so let's get started!

Today was shopping day.  All of the tutorials I read had pretty good prices on their total cost.  I'm not complaining on what I spent, but I didn't have much of anything on hand, nor did I have all the tools necessary. So here's what I did get:

Wood~ I think I might have over figured, but I have a lot of irregular cuts to do. What I did was measure the area to be floored. I then multiplied it to get my square footage. I had 375sqft.  I chose a 1/4 inch pine sheet at $19.97 a sheet.  It was a 4ft x 8ft so I figured I needed 11 boards to equal my square footage.  Since I had already over estimated, I didn't add in another board or two. Lowe's charged me .25 per cut.  I had 55 cuts and they charged me for 50. So the wood and cuts cost me: $232.17 


Supplies~ Good grief, I spent way more here than I thought I would.

              ~Paint Rollers (because washing them is way more work                     than I'm willing to do when painting) $9.98

              ~Tray Liners (again, convenience) $6.48

              ~5 GIGANTIC Liquid Nails Subfloor Adhesive $22.80

              ~GIGANTIC Caulk Gun for the gigantic adhesive $19.97                   YIKES!! Wasn't expecting that one.

              ~Varathane No Odor Floor Finish in Crystal Clear Satin                     $48.57 ( I hope I don't need more.)

       ~Primer $23.97

              ~Carpenters Wood Glue $6.78 
            (For a tip I picked up from a contractor.)

              ~Dremel SawMax $99.00 (Not absolutely needed, but,                         well, it looked awesome and the only saw I have is a                       circular one that is super scary.) 

So today I spent $516.95. I sure hope that's all I need, but with DIYing, you never know what's going to come up. Still better than other options we had. 

I'll keep you updated on the next steps as soon as I take them. 

Oh, and THANK YOU to the great employees at Lowe's. I was still uncertain of my decision, but as they helped me load up the wood, several employees were very excited for this project and even asked me to show them the finished product!  I'm excited now!

For More Flooring Posts:

For tutorials on flooring, check out my Dream Kitchen Pinterest Board below.

Friday, May 2, 2014

It's May!!! No More PROCRASTINATING!!!

Flooring Part 1:

Ok, so it's May.  That means it's time for me to get my rear in gear. 

March and April sure did bring in the showers in our home.  In one week, we had a leak in the roof, our water heater broke and the big one.... we discovered that our water filtration system had been leaking for some time and the whole flooring, including the subfloor, had to be replaced in the laundry room.  Our laundry room is connected to our kitchen, so me, being frugal, decided that we could diy our whole kitchen and laundry room for the price of flooring one room.  So... that brings us to May.  

My goal is to finish flooring in the laundry room and kitchen, paint cabinets, paint walls, and replace the kitchen counter tops. Oh, a new sink would be nice too.  The catch... I only have the money it would have taken to finish the laundry flooring.  I think my goal is obtainable, but I know things always come up. 

Here's how our beautiful pink kitchen looks now. Nice huh. I loved the 90's, but really? 

And my lovely vinyl flooring... really, it's not THAT bad.  And I will probably miss the fact that I don't ever have to mop.  Yep, it does hide the mess, but, I am ready to make this home ours.  I would love ceramic tile, but we're on a pier and beam, so that's not an option. 

So here's the plan:
Step One: 

Finally make a decision on what flooring I want.  Either...

painted subfloors like {Back to Domestics}

or faux wide planks from plywood like {Picklee}

Either way, I have major work ahead of me. Which one do you like best? 

Updated Flooring Posts:

Check out my Dream Kitchen Pinterest Board to see the rest of my kitchen inspiration!

Friday, April 25, 2014

April Showers Diaper Cake

What's a baby shower without the classic diaper cake?  I think every shower I go to now, has at least two.  It seems, though, that they have evolved tremendously in the last few years. 

Now there are diaper castles {Lisa's Food & Crafts}

diaper cupcakes {Bubbly Nature Creations}

diaper guitars {}

Not only do these make great gifts, but they make 
a perfect centerpiece.  

Here's my first diaper cake I made 3 years ago.  I followed {THIS} design and used scrapbook paper instead of receiving blankets or ribbon to wrap around it. I also followed a tutorial similar to {THIS} one to make the rolled flowers. Even if you can't make the amazing designs above, almost anyone can create one like mine.  

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Using Tissue Paper to Dress up a Mason Jar Centerpiece

April has been the month of parties!  Every week I've been decorating for something.  I've learned a few tricks from some amazing people and I thought I'd share one.  

My daughter had a fundraiser for her church camp and we chose a western theme.  Unfortunately, I did not get any pictures, but we placed a bandanna in the center and put a mason jar filled with white and yellow silk flowers on it.  Similar to this.. but with a mason jar. {by Alana Valente}

So that was the first tip I learned..... putting silk flowers in a clear jar just looks horrible... had we had time or resources to change up the jar, painting them would look awesome... like these I saw on 

but since we didn't have the time nor the resources, we used colored tissue paper inside the jar.  It looked awesome... for fake flowers.  

The very next weekend we had another dinner event that my husband was in charge of.  I helped him out using the exact same settings, just changing it up a bit. 

Here I used the same jars and white flowers and added white tissue paper into the jar. 

 To finish the look, I had a few old books on hand and borrowed these adorable lamps bought from Ikea.  The cans were wrapped with scraps of burlap and I put a little chalkboard on them.  This table setting cost me nothing, but really can be made on a small budget and with items you have on hand. I think real flowers look the best, but if you are in a bind and have to use what you have, dress them up using tissue paper! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Called to Cub Scouts... again

I have once again been called to Cub Scouts!  I am quite excited because I am in a ward where the scouts are now getting the hands it needs to run smoothly...well, as smoothly as an evening with a bunch of 8-10 year old boys can run!  The rest of the year has already been planned out, so I'm pretty much going to be a helping hand for the next few months.  

Every time I've been in scouts, the need for a great discipline/ positive reward system is vital. They are using the marble jar I had started 3 years ago when I was called in.  I'm not sure how the boys are reacting to it now, but I'm looking for new ideas... just in case.  

Here are a few ideas I found!

Our pack uses these sometimes at pack meetings when cheering the person getting the reward... maybe we can use these as leaders when we see positive behavior. (Mrs. Robbins 2nd Grade)

From Eighteen25 , these punch cards are GREAT!  I might need to make them a little more "boy!" I just made my own version.... click {HERE} to download.

From Making Friends , scout bucks sounds like a fun thing to do.  Again, I'm thinking I will make my own Cub Scout version..... I just found this on my Pinterest Board.... guess I liked this ideas once before. I can not find the original to give credit. 

Rage Against the Minivan uses this idea with her kids.  This is basically the marble jar, but maybe introducing it a new way can keep it fresh!

The Idea Room uses a store with accumulated points.  This could be used in our scouts with any of the above ideas..... 

Another idea is to give each scout a bracelet.  When a positive behavior is seen, we can add a bead or take away for negative behavior. At the end of a specific period they can turn in beads to buy things at the store. 

April Showers Bring May Flowers ~ and Babies!

To go along with my April Showers Theme, I thought I'd share some of my favorite April Showers Baby Showers I found out there on the web. 

 I LOVE this birthday party from Crossing the Bugger Dixie Line!  I think it would be a perfect baby shower!`
My favorite things from this party is: 

~the homemade clouds
~the use of the adorable rain boots as a centerpiece
~it is gender neutral 
~the clear umbrellas filled with paper lanterns
~a kid table for those that bring their children

This cute April Showers Mini Shower from MG Party Impressions is so calming. Again, I LOVE...

~that it's gender neutral
~that a shower doesn't have to be huge to shower appreciation and love to the mother-to-be.
~the mixture of colors and patterns
~that most of the decor was made with pattern paper. 

This "whimsical" shower from Lisa Storms Is so light and fun AND EASY!

~Clouds are super easy to make and are perfect for the main decor
~I love those homemade pom poms 
~The lemon drops favor is PERFECT!

My favorite thing about this April Showers shower from Taylor Made is that the decor matches the invite.  I also love...

~ the raindrops garland over the gift table
~the adorable bunting as the backdrop of the food table
~ the use of clouds to label the drinks (SO CUTE)

What do you think of the April Showers theme?  
It's not too late if you need to put one together by the end of this month!  For other spring shower ideas check out my spring showers PINTEREST BOARD!