Tuesday, March 31, 2015

DIY Bench tutorial and Playroom Reveal

  We built our home over the summer and were lucky to move in exactly two weeks before Thanksgiving.  After we unpacked I wanted to tackle the most important room in our home.
The place where my sweet girls can make a mess, read books, play with their toys and have some girl fun. Our Playroom.  Our model had a room when you walk into our house via the front door. Most people would possibly use this room as a sitting room, but we do not have a need to put furniture in a room and then not use it. When we first saw the model of our home and noticed the room up front I knew pretty quickly that it would become a playroom for my girls.
 
Here is what it looked like with just the toys unpacked. Needs some help, yes?



I needed a way to story the toys and the mess so that my girls WANTED to play here. Also, regardless of being a playroom or living room, this is the first room someone would see when they entered our home. I needed something that would look really nice and orderly.
 
I stumbled across a cute idea on Mommy Vignettes and saw that she had made some window benches for a nursery and I loved the idea. WA-LA the idea for the playroom was born.
 
This was something my husband and I were able to do in under 2 hours on a Friday night after the girls had gone to bed and we made 2 of them.
 
Step 1 : Visit your local Ikea or order online for home delivery. The Kallax shelving unit can be found here. I ordered two of them and they were delivered to my home.
 
Step 2 : Pick out your fabric, board and foam for the actual seat. I went to Joanne Fabrics and picked out a cute pattern with multi colored polka dots. You will need to measure your bench for length and width and then get a little extra over your measurement. I almost didn't get enough and really had to pull the fabric over the MDF board.




 
Step 3: MDF board can be purchased at any local hardware store. Home Depot cut my pieces for me for free and they were cut perfectly.
 
Step 4: You need a piece of foam and batting. I couldn't find it anywhere except for Joanne and I thought foam was expensive so if you have seen it elsewhere that would be a good place to buy it. Do NOT get skinny foam. This is a seat and you want it to be comfortable. The batting is cheap and I thought it made the material look nice with no wrinkles.



Step 5: Assemble the bench seat. I laid the batting down and then the foam then the MDF board. I evened them out and then pulled the batting up and used my staple gun to attach the batting and foam to the MDF. Make sure the batting is snug.

Step 6: I took my material and laid it pattern side down on our floor and then took my partially together seat and laid it on top of the material. Once I had it even I began to pull up the straight sides of the cloth and once again stapled it to the board. You have to pull it tight or you will have wrinkles.

The only place that took me time was at the corners but after two of them it flew and before I knew it I had the seat part ready to be attached.



Step 7: You will need 3 inch screws to attaché the seat to the bench. I suggest measuring your screws first in case your foam is thicker or thinner.  Place the seat onto the bench and make sure your edges are even and it is on straight.


Step 8: You will need 10 screws. We did two inside each cubby and then two in the middle of the two end cubbies to make sure it was snug and wouldn't move.

This is what it looks like up against our double windows - We still aren't done. We needed some boxes that would fit in there. I love Ikea because they make something called a   
Drona Box and it fits the exact measurement. The only issue I didn't understand was that we were unable to order the Drona to our home (not sure why). These are $5.99 a pieces and for us that was really a perfect price because we needed 8 of them. Our shelves looked like this for a month until we were able to road trip to our closest Ikea (1 1/2 hours) away but I love a road trip and an Ikea shopping day so it was no big deal. The Drona boxes don't come in enough different colors for me but I managed to get something that looked great and added a little extra color to our playroom.
 
I love the playroom and still have some things to add but I love watching my girls stand on the benches to watch the snow fall or my husband shovel the driveway. When we have someone coming over they stand on the benches and wait for our guests to arrive. I can't wait to add more touches for my girls, my little sisters and friends in the making to enjoy their very own space to play.
 
We will be making another bench for our loft upstairs with some different baskets...Stay Tuned for a loft update...

Monday, March 30, 2015

Favorite Things Goodies Giveaway

Welcome to the Favorite Things Giveaway!

I am so excited to be working with 9 amazing bloggers for a Spring Giveaway.
With Spring coming and Mother's day around the corner we have gotten together to offer some great gifts. I am giving away something that works for both Mother's Day and Spring at the same time.
Ladies, Its time to start showing those feet again so my giveaway has all the things you need to get your feet ready for warmer weather.


1. 1 Pumice stone
2.  A pair of pedicure flip flops
3. A toe separator for easy toe painting
4. One pair Intensive moisture Socks
5. Heel to toe moisturizer for your dry winter feet
6. It comes in this cute Hobby Lobby Bucket
7. Spring chalkboard from Hobby Lobby 
8. 3 Sheets of Jamberry patterns ($40 worth) and the winner can choose their own patterns and designs.

I love Jamberry and they have such cute patterns for spring. If you haven't stopped by Jamberry check them out.





Enter below to win the Fabulous Pedicure Set and don't forget to stop by the other blogs for a chance to win their Favorite Things. Have fun and Happy Spring.

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9. DIY beautify  |  10. AskLatisha

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Click below to Enter

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Max's Revenge - A Review



      This book was funny and full of mischief. I really enjoyed the story and the funny and creative ways that Max gets into trouble. Max doesn't always get into trouble on his own but his brother tends to goad him into some tricky situations.  This book is well written and funny and I will be continuing to read about the adventures of Max.

The first part of the book has Max embarrassing his parents at a wedding, making a scene and then getting revenge on his Aunt Evil. The punishment his parents come up with him at the wedding just leads to more mischief, he meets the groomsmen who invite him to "trash the car" of the new couple and gives Max the idea for revenge.

Poor Max seems to have a tough relationship with his Aunt Evil and when she is around he gets in more and more trouble. Max accidentally causes more trouble with his Aunt and then gets his revenge on her car. The trashing of the car and his partner in crime even leads to a teen romance.  Any child or preteen or everyday "troublemaker" would enjoy this book!

With his parents needing a parent break they are off to two weeks on a vacation with "no kids". The boys are staying with their much loved Grandmother and Aunt Evil is still in the picture. I don't want to ruin the story but in the end Max's plan backfires and will leave his brother with something to laugh about forever.

I loved the characters in the story and the description of overtired parents at their wits end. With a Dad who has run out of ideas on how to make a child behave, A mom still wanting to stick up for her son and a brother who enjoys the messes for his little brother the story has something for everyone!




Saturday, March 28, 2015

Gladly Giraffe - A book review

               

                        The Story of Gladly Giraffe is about a friendly and helpful giraffe who is there for everyone. Gladly is giving and kind and goes about the neighborhood  helping strangers and friends.

From letting a calf ride around his neck to helping a Chimp that really wants to ride on a blimp. This kind Giraffe always responded with "Gladly". Poor Gladly does get some strange requests and starts to feel that maybe he is too helpful.

When his friends start to notice how kind Gladly is, they start planning something nice for Gladly.

This story is about a giving friend who goes above and beyond with no request to big or too small.   The illustration in the story is beautiful and very well done. I like that the drawings lend to a more realistic animals and surroundings. I enjoy that Gladly travels so far and helps so many different types of requests and I enjoyed how the story ended.

I do feel the story is meant for older children and that the phrasing would be better meant for children four and above. Kids in that age range would enjoy the story, the moral and the beautiful pictures.

You can learn more about Gladly Giraffe by going to www.gladlygiraffe.com!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Poop N Pull - A new Product

   

                Oh, Man did I think potty training was stressful!  I feel like I just finished potty training my first child and now my second will be ready soon. I kind of struggled with potty training and coming up with rewards that would entice my daughter. I will have to start training my second daughter soon and felt exhausted at the thought. How am I going to come up with the treats, rewards and fun stuff that will make her want to shake the diaper and get into some undies? Well, I was recently contacted by the makers of this new product I was blown away.  

Poop 'n Pull

I think this is such a fantastic idea and the people that created it are genius.  I am feeling a sense of excitement and relief when it comes to training again because of the Poop 'N Pull.

Your kids will be excited to get on the potty and look forward to each attempt.

Visit the website, they have included great tips to help parents and children be successful and to finally throw some fun at the process of training.

Tips from the website:

Using a reward system is the most common and practical way to potty train a child, but it’s important to do it right.
1. Rewards should be immediate and consistent. (The Poop ‘n Pull is always loaded and ready).
2. Your child needs to know that the reward is there and waiting for them. (The Poop ‘n Pull hangs on the door out of reach, but your child can’t wait to use it).
3. The reward should come immediately after success. (The Poop ‘n Pull cord is lowered when child has success on the potty).
4. The system for getting the reward should be fun and interactive. (Your child will get excited to pull the Poop ‘n Pull every time).

Poop 'n Pull Product Design

You get to pick the reward for your child (endless possibilities) and load the bobbles. Once they are in the Poop 'N Pull then they can pull the cord and be surprised. Potty Training made easy!

Poop 'n Pull Capsules

This product is launching today and I wish them great success and look forward to working with them in the future! 

You can watch the video here on how to use the product, order today and let me know what you think!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Top Mommy Blogs



   I have recently joined Top Mommy Blogs, it is a wonderful community of bloggers. I would love if you could click on the Top Mommy Blog picture below and send me a vote.
 
It is that easy..Click on the picture and the vote will go to the site! This ups my rank with Top Mommy Bloggers. I could use your help.
 
Thank you to all of my followers!
Just Click To Send A Vote For Us @ Top Mommy Blogs

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

It was almost like any other day.

  
     It was almost like any other day. I was up early because the 3 year old was coughing with yet another cold from school. The coughing woke the baby and the morning started 30 minutes earlier than normal. I usually try to greet my morning and my babies with a smile and a loving start to the day, but it wasn't any other day. I woke up this morning with the feeling of sluggish dread. I was dreading work and the busy that comes with each day. I wanted to stay home with my daughters and take care of my sick 3 year old and silly 1 year old.

I just didn't have the gumption that was needed to get everyone dressed, hair and teeth brushed, diaper bag packed for them and lunch for me. I barely noticed my husband leaving for work or that the minutes were ticking by and I would be rushing out the door, again.

Today we went to Grandma's in our pajamas because my daughter wanted to have a pajama party and didn't feel like getting dressed. I let them because I felt the same way today.

                   Its nice to know that the three of us were on the same page.

I struggled to get all of the stuff in the car, get everyone tucked into grandma's, get back out the door, back on the road and into work. I pulled up to work with the feeling that I had already had an entire day of activity and my day was just about to start.

My lunch hour was an hour late, I was starving and starting to get a headache. I was stuck between feeling like it was only 2:00 o'clock and feeling like it was already 2:00 o'clock.

It sounds like any other day, except for today when I felt the crushing need for open space and actual free time. When being in traffic felt like the only break I would get for the day. I am in need of a deep breath that calms my worries. My husband asks why I am so quiet but I have no way to explain this feeling. My plate is full, my mind is restless, my heart is worried and my list is long.

And so 5:00 pm comes and I fly out the door from work, drop off boxes to a friend and race home. Its usually the dinner rush, play time, jammies back on and the bed time routine. Its my busiest but favorite time of the day.

I mustered up the energy to get through traffic and finally into the garage. I opened our door, ready to jump into the end of the day. Instead, I hear silence and peak around the corner. There they were, my two beautiful girls happily eating dinner on a tray, watching Monsters University.

Smiling faces covered in Nutella with a bit of Dorito dust on their sweet cheeks. It was what I needed, my deep breath, my break from the day. Their simple happiness that I was home. That was all they wanted and the thing I forgot I needed. I didn't even mind that daddy served Nutella sandwiches and Doritos.

I watched with them while they ate and afterword when things were winding toward bedtime, my one year old climbed up onto my lap with a book. I love when she comes walking with her book choice, climbs up and gets comfy with her mommy. 

It ended like any other day. Me knowing that I am lucky and loved and could take a deep breath and enjoy a good book!



Sunday, March 15, 2015

Diaper Cakes by Nadia

          I am so excited to feature Nadia from Diaper Cakes by Nadia today on the blog. If you are throwing a baby shower or even a sprinkle party for a friend or family member then these diaper cakes will make your whole event. The best part is you can have Nadia custom make any cake you want to fit your theme. Stop by today and visit her ETSY site. 

 
  My name is Nadia and I am the owner of Diaper Cakes by Nadia! I design and hand make diaper cakes to be used as gifts or centerpieces for baby showers. I have ready made diaper cakes on site but if you would like to do a custom order I can work with you to make your vision come to life. Whether you have a specific budget or certain theme, the possibilities are endless and I look forward to working with you! 
https://www.etsy.com/shop/DiaperCakesByNadia

You can feel good about purchasing a diaper cake from me because I will be donating $5 from every order I receive to the International Society for Children with Cancer. Their goal is to globally help reduce the mortality rate of impoverished children suffering from cancer, particularly in developing countries, through financial assistance.
Take a look at their website:
http://iscc-charity.org
 
 
 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Happy, Calm and Focused.


HCF Happy Calm Focused Brain Supplement x 2 Bottles - Amino Acids, Vitamins and Minerals for Memory, Attention, Focus, Mood, Concentration, Sleep, Weight Loss, Energy, Confidence and Hormone Balance


   I was asked to do a review on Happy, Calm and Focused but the opinions are honest and my own.
That being said I found Happy, Calm and focused at first to show really no change but after about 5 days I noticed that my energy was better and I did actually have more focus. The nice thing about Happy, Calm and Focused was no nervous and jittery feeling. I have taken previous "fuel" items and was always feeling keyed up.

I initially started with one pill per day with a full 8 ounces of water, after a week I moved to two pills and then three per day. I thought this was a great product and the pills had no after taste and I also appreciated that. I take fish oil and feel like I am tasting that a couple of hours later.

Happy, Calm and Focused is a product I will continue to use. My husband actually started a new shift and wanted to share this with me. We split the bottle and he also felt a difference. The affect is not something you notice immediately but after the first week you notice a difference. I know that my husband and I will continue to use Happy, Calm and Focused. We are believers in the all natural product and this is what you get with the product.

If you are like me with a full plate, busy schedule and constantly on the go. Give it a try, you can find the product here on Amazon.

Monday, March 9, 2015

How to find the peace within the quiet



    Everything is quiet right now, except my mind. I have started my week this week with many unknowns. I have recently written about my mom's recent and second Breast Cancer diagnosis. Today she will have a lumpectomy and then we will wait again for the tests to show what way her treatment will go. Radiation or Radiation and Chemotherapy. I am praying for just radiation.

I left my daughters with a new babysitter who luckily came to my home today to watch my girls. My mom watches our daughters and I know how lucky I am to have her,  It allows us to work and know they are in the next best place if its not with us. While she is undergoing treatment we have been looking for alternate care for the girls and today it has gone well. I am thinking of them every second and hoping that they are feeling safe and comforted. I am biding the time where I can pack home for the day and see them. Today is oddly quiet except for the things happening around me. Today is  Monday and I don't generally love Monday's but on this day there are important things that will happen. 

My mom will have the cancer cut from her breast and then radiation clips placed to direct the radiation when it is ready to be administered.

My 1  year old has not cried so far, I hope that having someone come to our home where she is most comfortable will allow her to be okay with me being gone. 

My three year old will have a good time with her new caregiver and share with me about her day and all of her stories will be good ones.


I will pray for my mom and hope that her surgery is quick and painless and that they get all of the cancer and my mom recovers quickly. I will keep the faith for my girls to have a wonderful day with a new friend.

I will take a moment in the quiet that I have right now and try to think only positive thoughts for today.. I will revel in the peace of this minute and hope that tomorrow things will be ...calm, quiet and above all else successful.

Monday tends to make me cranky and feel rushed but not this Monday. I will only have faith and good thoughts for the things around me and the people taking care of daughters and most of all my Mother..







Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sweet Honey Mustard Chicken

                                                   

    Sometimes its hard to find different ways to make a chicken breast and to be honest I get tired of chicken. Well I found a recipe that renewed my faith in the good 'Ol Chicken Breast. I also like this recipe because you most likely will have these ingredients in your cupboard. For a weeknight meal this is a good choice because it doesn't require marinating or sitting in the fridge for an hour before baking.

Recipe:

4 Boneless Chicken Breasts
1 cup Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
1/4 cup of honey
2 Tables spoons of Red Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Fresh Rosemary

Place the chicken breasts in a greased pan, season with salt and pepper (to taste but be liberal with the pepper) and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wisk together the mustard, syrup and vinegar. I reserve about 1/3 cup of the mix because my husband likes extra dipping sauce.

Pour the mix over the breasts making sure to coat the chicken well. Place in the oven for 30 - 40 minutes. Once you remove the chicken sprinkle with the fresh rosemary and serve.

This is such a quick and easy recipe and it will inspire you and your weeknight meals.


                                                 Cooked to perfection and still Juicy!

             I have been working on improving my food photos, stay with me as I improve.


                                                                                                       Recipe adapted from all recipes