Monthly Archives: August 2012

Life & Projects are calling!

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I’m still here,  believe it or not!  We’ve just been a little busy with life & projects – painting kitchen cabinets & drawers, getting kiddos back to school and signing monstrous loads of forms they brought home, attending Open Houses at schools, etc.  Whew!  I planned to have another re-purposing type post for you today, but when I went to do the sewing part, I saw this…

Aside from being a mess, there’s no longer a table in the craft room.  You know, a sewing table..and ain’t no way I’m sewing on the floor because I’d never get up or lugging that joker downstairs!  Nope.  Love you & all that, but it’s not happening.  So, the cute re-purposing of the ice cream buckets will have to be revealed another time.  (Because the craft room table is now in the office, but that’s a whole other post.)

So, I’ll just leave you with a funny (to me) story & head out to another Open House & meet more teachers!

The other day, it was my eldest daughter’s turn to load and run the dishwasher.  It was also the day I had chosen to NOT buy those little dishwasher detergent packets.  Yep.  Back to the box of powdered, pour-out detergent.  So, I’m sitting around eating bonbons and watching t.v. when I hear a frustrated call for help.  “Moooommmm, can you help me…….PLLLEEEAAASE?!?”    Um.  Okay.

I go into the kitchen and see this…

A box of detergent with the lid partly demolished.  I walked over trying not to roll on the floor laughing quietly and turned the box so she could see the side panel…

Yeeaaahhhh….

 

Have a great evening!  I’ll get that re-purposing  craft up eventually.  Not to mention finish the new office space and kitchen cabinet painting.  Thanks for bearing with me!

 

 

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Reusing Yankee Candle jars

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I LOVE Yankee Candles.  Love them.  They send me a coupon & I. Am. There! Which has led to a small collection…

For some strange reason it never occurred to me to actually reuse the jars.  They are actually really cute jars & it’s super easy to clean them.  When the candle has burned out, just pop the jar in the freezer (without the lid).

Once the wax is completely frozen (I wait a day or 2), take the jar out & grab a dull knife.  Then take out all your frustrations on the wax!  🙂  Basically, you’re stabbing the wax until it breaks up & you can dump it in the trash.

To remove the label, you will need a smaller sharp knife.  I use an old Pampered Chef paring knife.  Just run the blade under one corner of the label and gently push the knife along as you pull on the label.  This can sometimes require a little patience.  Other times it will come right off.  Please be careful!  Do not let your child help with this part.

Once the label is off, I grab a paper towel & some Goo Gone and just wipe off any excess stickiness.  I also run the paper towel with Goo Gone on it around the inside of the jar.  It helps the wax and soot release.

Then just pop the jar in the dishwasher & it’ll come out clean as a whistle!  Well, most of the time.  If it doesn’t, just repeat the Goo Gone step and either hand wash or rerun through dishwasher.  Then see what kinds of uses you find!  I use mine for Box Tops collection, safety pins, ribbon, mini clothes pins, sewing notions, etc.  They would also be great for sand & seashells displays.  Let me know what you come up with!


Linking up to Clean & Scentsible’s Creative Spark!

Updating a File Cabinet with Fabric

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I’m in the process of turning our dining room into a study room/home office.  Our girls are reaching the age when their school work requires more computer time & research.  No matter how good our filter seems to be working, we know there are always opportunities for unwanted images and sites to pop up.  In order to help monitor our girls’ computer time, we decided to move the computer up to the dining room on the main floor.  We really never use it as a dining room anyway, so no big loss there.

As I began moving stuff up from the basement, I took a good look at what we really NEED to have in the new area.  Whatever is in there will be visible from both our den and kitchen, so it needs to (hopefully) be organized and worth looking at.  Our basic black filing cabinet DOES keep our papers organized when I remember to actually file them.  However, it needed a little “oomph”.  You know what I’m sayin’?

Yeah. I know I’m not a photographer.  It’s all good.

So, I dug around in my fabric stash and came up with fabric left over from my dining room chair redo.  (That I haven’t told you about yet, so don’t bother looking for pics.  🙂 )  I still LOVE this fabric, so I thought I would see if I could cover the filing cabinet with it.  Here is a close up of the fabric.  I bought it at Hancock Fabric.

First, I removed the drawers from the cabinet and then removed the handles and lock from the doors.  They popped right out.  Easy peasy!

Then I placed my fabric face down on my work table.  I put the drawer face on top of the fabric and cut around it, leaving a little extra on all sides.  Mostly because I could not cut a straight line if my life depended on it.

Once that was done, I headed outside with the two drawers and fabric squares (that I did iron).  I already had a can of spray adhesive on hand from who knows what, so I grabbed that from the garage.

Didn’t know you were going to be subjected to this much incredible iPhone photography today, did you?  Sorry.  This is as good as it gets around here!

I just followed the directions on the can.  Basically, those directions are spray it on, wait about 1 minute and stick your fabric on.  I made sure to smooth out wrinkles and air bubbles quickly.  Then I used an X Acto knife to cut slits where the lock and handles needed to go and cut diagonally to each corner, so the fabric would lay flat when I pushed them back in.  **If your handles don’t want to snap back in, just trim the excess fabric completely off. **

Once the handles and lock were back in, I pulled out my little glue gun & glued down the excess around the sides and top.  (I’ll spare you more pics!)  Then I popped the drawers back in the cabinet.  And they didn’t work.  Yep, that’s how we roll.  There’s a REASON I named this blog “Do & Redo“, friends!  It seems that having an overlap of fabric on both the drawers was more than the cabinet could handle.  So I pulled the top drawer out and cut the bottom overlap of fabric completely off.  I grabbed my Modge Podge and foam brushed it under and across the bottom edge of the fabric to help keep it from pulling and fraying with use.  So, now we have THIS!  And I love it!

I had considered covering the rest of the filing cabinet, but I really like it the way it is.  We’ll see.  Things change on an hourly daily basis around here, so you never know.  Now to get all the files cleaned out and returned to their home!

What fun, easy things have you been up to?  Got any good tips for keeping the new office/study space organized and (hopefully) cute?  This is a house of mostly girls, after all.  Cute is a must!

I linked this project up at:

   

I chose to carpe diem!

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You know, I got up this morning with every intention of working on this:

Definitely time to get the base cabinets painted.  But, then I also need to work on this…

Yeah.  That wall has been like that for about 6 months a little while.

Then I looked into the dining room that we are transforming into a home office/computer room….

Still need to move the desk, etc in here.  (But, in my defense, I did vacuum.)  As I contemplated the list of “in process” projects, my youngest came in and made a request.  “Can we go to the library today?”   As I looked at her, my heart whispered that time is flying by.  Yesterday I had these..

And now I have these..

My list of projects will never end, because that’s just how I am.  The calendar will never really be blank, which is a good thing.  But today….well, today was really mostly blank.  And school starts in 1 week.  So my answer to her was, “We sure can.”  Not only did we go to the library, but to a favorite restaurant, favorite stores, and favorite bakery.  We lived, laughed and loved our morning away.   All because I chose to “carpe diem” and let the rest wait.  I will never regret it.

Do you ever find yourself just letting the dust sit a little longer?  The paint bucket wait a little while?  The sewing machine rest?

 

Cheap & Easy Kid Craft!

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One of my girls had her best friend over & I wanted to have something fun lined up for them that my other 2 girls could also do.  So, we went to Wal-Mart & picked up some of these 97 cent hand towels.

We also grabbed some Liquid Stitch permanent adhesive.

Then I turned them loose in my craft room with my ribbon & fabric stash.

And this what they came up with…..

I thought they did a great job!  Unfortunately, I forgot to take pics while our friend was here so you could see her super cute towels as well.  She was so excited, that when we got to her house she went straight in & changed out the regular towels with the ones she made!

How about you?  What cute, easy (and cheap!) indoor activities have you done this summer?  I’d love to hear about them!

Family Trip to New York City (Part 3)

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I know you are probably SOOO very tired of hearing about our trip to NYC.  But it was REALLY incredible & I am loving reliving it through these posts.  No worries, though.  This will be the caboose.  I think.

If you haven’t read the first two posts, you can find them here and here.  Well, you can find them if I inserted the links correctly….let me know.  Now that you’re caught up on that fun, lace up your running shoes & we’ll fly through the rest!  Ready?  Let’s go!

There are AMAZING museums! Lots of them!  The best part is that you don’t have to pay full price for the majority of them!  Wow!  The Museum of Natural History is a FULL DAY unless you have tweens who are tired and grumpy of crazy neat stuff.  Don’t forget the kids’ bathing suits as there is water for them to play in and around out in the courtyard.  I only had my iphone & no flash, so not many pics came out.  But there are plenty on their website.

DO NOT purchase your tickets for this museum online!  Don’t do it.  If you read closely, you will see that  you can pay whatever you want if you wait until you get there.  That’s right!  It’s actually a donation, so you can pay whatever fits your budget!  Awesome!  Lots of other places like that.  Most attractions, museums, etc also have certain dates & times where entry is FREE.   Do your homework & you can do a lot for a lot less$!

So much for a short post!  Oh well!  You can’t go to NYC & not go to Liberty Island.  Nope.  The statue is actually under construction until at least October of this year, but the island is wide open & the food is actually not bad at their little cafe.  The ferry that takes you to Liberty Island also will take you to Ellis Island so you can peruse that museum & see how the immigrants came through.  Be aware that your kids will probably be DONE in about 15 minutes, max.

And what would NYC be without Grand Central Station?!?  Crazy place!  I would have loved to just run through all the different terminals.  But, alas, it was not to be.  Instead I just stood on the 2nd floor & marveled at how much the scene of chaos reminded me of our home when the kids were little….

That 2nd picture is of the ceiling.  It had all the constellations on it.  Absolutely beautiful!  Does it mean you’re old when you stand around admiring ceilings??  Oh, well.

We did not go to the top of the Rockefeller Center, because we had already gone to the top of the Empire State Building.  I’m one of those people who only needs to see over the tops of buildings once.

This place is crazy BIG!  Love it!  But, we must move along!  We spent an HOUR on a subway train to get to Coney Island.  Just really not my favorite.  The beach was dirty & the rest was carnival rides.  The boardwalk was clean and nice & they don’t allow smoking anywhere around, so that was REALLY nice!  Of course hubs HAD to partake of a hot dog at the original Nathan’s.

We stayed just on the edge of Time Square with all the jumbo screens & of course the infamous ball!

We saw Mary Poppins at The Amsterdam Theater (pic on left)

and Zarkana (Cirque du Soleil) at Radio City Music Hall (above, right).  Mary Poppins was probably the favorite, but Cirque du Soleil was really good too!  We hoped to see Wicked, but failed to get tickets early & weren’t willing to spend $850 for one show.  That reminds me, get your tickets at a TKTS booth!  GREAT seats for up to 1/2 off!

Then of course we went to Wall Street, China Town & Little Italy.  We saw the Brooklyn Bridge & the Manhattan Bridge.  We rode the Staten Island Ferry.  Oh!  And we ate at Carmine’s.  Yes!  You simply MUST eat at Carmine’s.  It’s expensive & a family of 5 can not finish one main course plus one side.  Seriously.  We took leftovers to the apt & enjoyed them the next day!  Yum!  And go see the wooden escalators in the original Macy’s!  Very cool!

I also got a feel for NYC life by doing laundry early in the AM at the coin laundry on the corner.  And, you really should have been a fly on the wall to see me trying to help a couple from France use the washer!  Yes, it involved charades & lots of laughter from both sides!

Aaackk!!!  I wanna go back SO BADLY!!!  Someday I shall return!

I hope you’ve enjoyed helping me relive our trip!  There is so much more I could share, but you’ll just have to go see it for yourselves!  Have enough cash for your initial taxi from airport to where you’ll stay.  From there grab a Metro Card, comfy shoes & get movin’!  (If you have a southern accent, honey, get ready for people to keep you talkin’ just to hear it!)

 

 

 

Family Trip to New York City (part 2-fun for kids)

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It’s FRRIIIIDDAAAAYY!  Oh,  yeah!  Hope everyone had a great week & is ready for the weekend.  We’ll have to get back on our kitchen remodeling.  And painting.  Hmmm, let’s talk about NYC shall we?  🙂

The first thing we did was try to figure out how to use the public transportation.  WAAYYY cheaper and faster than taxis!  If you are headed to NYC, I highly recommend loading the MTA app – especially if you’ll be there on the weekend.  We did not do this right off & when the weekend hit, it was crazy.  Weekends are construction time on subways, so all trains don’t run.  Some trains have altered routes.  Load the app.  It will save you frustration in the hot (but beautifully tiled) subways.  If you can’t load an app, look up mta.info and print some maps before you go.

I was very surprised at how pretty some of the subway stops are.  Here are some examples of the mosaics:

The subways are very well lit & we never once felt unsafe.  Do be aware that there will people who get on from time to time and want to “entertain” you.  For tips.  I believe it’s actually illegal for them to do this, but it happens.

If you are traveling with the kids, be sure to see FAO Schwartz (largest toy store), Toys R Us (has a ferris wheel inside), M&M World (personalize your own M&Ms), and Dylan’s Candy Bar (world’s largest candy store).  We’re not big picture-takers, but I found a few:

Thought you might figure out where the 2 above pics are taken.  The next few are Toys R Us:

That Hulk done in Legos is HUGE.  My hubby is just under 6′, although his awesome stance required some bending… There are also other incredible buildings and the Statue of Liberty done in Legos.

Dylan’s Candy Bar & FAO Schwarz are both on the Upper East Side, which means they are on the East side of Central Park in case you (like me) did not know what that means.  It’s a great place to check out & be sure to head to the top floor for ice cream.  The will also give you cups of water for free, which is nice when it is scorching hot!  These are the only 2 pics we got in there;

I mean, really, you’ve got 2 floors of nothing but candy & a floor of yummy cafe & ice cream.  And you want me to take PICTURES??  Sorry, my hands (and mouth) were full.  🙂

If there’s lots of energy left in your kids, check out Central Park.  It has great playgrounds, ball fields, paths, statues, a zoo (remember the movie Madagascar?), boats, amphitheater, castle, the list goes on.  You can rent bikes, but I don’t recommend it until your kids are older.  Lots of pedestrians and there are some major streets that cars use through the park.  Here are a few of Central Park:

Well, my assistant is wanting to play, so I’ll do museums, Statue of Liberty, plays, Times Square, etc later.  I’m tellin’ ya, it is an AWESOME place!  If I were 20-something with no kids, I never would have come back!  Well, until it snowed.  I don’t like slushy coldness.

Have a great weekend!!