Thursday, June 30, 2011

Yesterdays FB Question...

Yesterday I asked...

Q: Can your home house children & beautiful d├ęcor? How can we keep our nice things nice and our clean things clean??

A: Yes. But only if you have bulk loads of stain remover, a large quantity of gorilla glue, and have more patience than Mother Teresa heeheeheehee hahahahahaha

Actually there are a simple set of rules (I like rules) or guidelines to keep your house, your things, and your sanity.

Not sure where I heard this first but KISS is an acronym for the design principle "Keep it simple, Stupid!". Other variations include "keep it short and simple", "keep it simple AND stupid" or "keep it simple and straightforward". The KISS principle states that simplicity should be a key goal in design, and that unnecessary complexity should be avoided.
And really… KISS is so true in all or most parts of life.

This means NO Knick Knacks, chotchkies, or small breakable fragile items within a 20-30-40” reach. Don’t expect a child to resist your grandmother’s favorite candy dishes on the coffee table or your great uncle’s Hummels on the entry room bench.

Give them the lesson before the mistake
I have found it best to decorate while the kids are at school or asleep. That way it gives you a window of time before they go on high alert to destroy once they’ve seen the target. Sometimes I get away without even them noticing! And if they do come upon my newest treasure we talk about how much mommy loves it and I ask them if they like it too. If at that point they want to pick it up or touch it I let them as I remind them how pretty it looks and then that’s when I hit them with the lesson! BAM!

And pay attention because you’ve got to get it right!! I say...
"I looove this (insert "new thing" here) and Momma would be SO sad if it got ruined, or broken."

This way I am letting them in on a part of the house that is important to me and it makes it important to them.

I’ve seen it in action already even between the kids! M & W bought new toothbrushes the other day and they both wanted the exact same newest greatest glowing, multi-color, swirly light up version. And the first thing M said to W when they were at home putting them away, “W! I love this toothbrush! And if you break it I will make you buy me a new one!”…
Ok.. so it’s NOT exactly as I put it or intend the lesson when I share my feelings for a new item in the home but you get the idea. Wink wink.

How do you keep the “art” from taking over like the Blob?

That’s simple! Even since M was little we have always “displayed her art” in a prominent part of the house for a specific amount of time (usually a week or two.. maybe 3 if I don’t feel up to taking it down and organizing it)

Currently our art display is this:

Once it’s time to come down…

Each child has a box or three like this:

They are available at Michaels (I got mine when they were on sale for about $7/ea), probably JoAnns… It’s a scrapbook paper organization case. They stack great and I even use them in the kids closet for the top shelf to keep sweaters & other misc. stuff organized. At this point I decide what stays and what goes. I’ve never really put the vote to the kids but when we go back through their boxes they are always pleased with the selections. I’m sorry if I offend the mom that keeps EVERYTHING but I’m exhausted by the amount of paper that comes home so I keep it to the stuff that really means something or shows signs of being a sentimental favorite. Remember… KISS

And what about the TOYS! Ugh…

I could go two ways with this one… tell you how I handle it now… or tell you how I’m changing this up and will have put in place by the time summer is over… hhmm… lets go with the new theory!!

No toys in their bedroom!!!! Yup you heard me! Zero. Zip. Nada!! Well.. maybe some books...

I have an extra room in the back of the house that will encompass all the kids toys. All the noise, clutter & debauchery can take place in a room totally out of view from any vantage point inside our home.
This will allow the kids rooms to be what they are meant to be. A place of rest. Of peace. Of solitude. Aren’t those our favorite things about our bedrooms?

I'm a pinning fool on Pinterest as I decide how to re-do the kids rooms sans toys! They have always been the staple in their rooms and so tends to be the main theme of the room. I Loooove Pinterest! Don't you!!? If you haven't joined the craze yet but would like to check it out, send me your email address and I will send you an invitation!

So after I tackle the chore of de-toying the kids rooms I will be put to the task to blend this:
 with this:

because of the varying ages of our children. I will keep you posted on my progress!!

Have a “No Kid Zone”
Designate one area of your home that is just your own. No kids, Not today, Not tomorrow, Not never.
Try not to have it look like this allllll the time....

How do I do it all?

Baking, blogging, child-rearing, laundry, boo-boo’s, emails, lunchtime, crafts, toilet-scrubbing… you name it I do it. Don’t get me wrong.. the darling bf does his fair share of laundry and cleaning up spills but there is only one answer to that question…

I DON’T. And I’m okay with that.

Life is short and as you age it goes by faster and faster so no matter what else is going on it’s family first. As I am new & still in the learning curves of it all… blogging, decorating, and my craft business are ways for me to build a little business with my family in mind, not only to make a little money for us, but also... because those things make me HAPPY! :)
And you know what they say... "If Momma ain't happy........"  haha

It’s not all rainbows and butterflies but when you love what you do it makes it all worth while!!

Just don’t bug me when I haven’t had any sleep or coffee and am stuck in a laundry rut with no milk in the house!! heehee

I linked up to

Show and Tell Thursday

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

FREE Printable - "Brush Our Teeth"

Tip Junkie handmade projects

I heart Tuesdays! I have a short & sweet story and a FREE Printable for you today! My dear sweet friend E has 3 beautiful children and while her sister was visiting and caring for the children she added some great homemade artwork around E's house! One of them has stuck with me all this time and I want to share it with you!

It's an 8 x 10 print and frame .pdf you can download HERE!

Just so cute and will go well in the kids bathroom!!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pet Rocks!

As one of the kids starting begging for a new dog I jokingly said, "Go out and make a Pet Rock! That way it's waaay easier for mom to clean up after!!!" The first Pet Rock was made:

The girls started teasing that T was a little cuckoo for drawing a face on a rock... but lo & behold they decided maybe just maybe that could be a whole lotta fun!

We have The Mayor & his wife who run the art gallery:

The Cat that runs the local restaurant:

The Odd Family:

The Green Family:

The Puffle Family:

The Crazy Family:

M's Masterpiece:

W loves his rocks...

T's Doggie Lemonade Stand:

And my personal favorite...

All this while Aden played hula hoop...

Heeheehee!! What new craft are your kids in to?


Sucha cute idea!

Thank you to Hola Mama for her great post!

Think the kids and I are gonna do a little art ourselves tomorrow! Will post our "exhibit" soon!!!


Friday, June 17, 2011

The Single Greatest Grilled Cheese Invention that Ever Lived...

So, I'm not sure if this already exists but I made the most decadently delightful and sinfully scrumptious grilled cheese sandwich that I have ever had in my life... and that says a lot because I LOVE GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES!

I'm not really sure how I came about deciding to make it other than I had just made about 6 grilled cheeses for my drop n shop kiddos with a side of Mac n Cheese. I always like to get some protein in when I feed my kids Mac n Cheese so I sliced up some ham and added it into the noodles.

I had just made my darling bf a pepperoni grilled cheese with pepper jack cheese and thought that sounded pretty good but didn't feel like pepperoni.

Then the lightbulb went off!!

How would Mac n Cheese taste IN my pepperjack grilled cheese???


Try it out and let me know what you think!!!

Tootles, TJ

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Transformation Thursday with The Shabby Chic Cottage!

Transformation Thursday Link Party

Here is a poor sad breakfast tray I got for free that had been sitting in my trash to treasure pile in my garage. I'm new to the blogging world so I decided to kick off with a giveaway during Mom's Day and this little beauty was my inspiration!

After sanding & priming & painting.. then sanding and painting some more... here she is:

I drew the winner of my giveaway on Mother's Day and it went to a very deserving Betty! She promised she had just the right spot for it and pics to follow! I can't wait to see my little diamond in her new home!

Thanks for hosting Shabby Chic Cottage!!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Madi's Rainbow Beach Party

Hello! Hi! How are you!? (Dori is my favorite Pixar character!)

What started out as a music diva/fashion show party...

Turned into a Rainbow Diva/Beach party!!

I scoured Big Lots, Walmart & the dollar store for anything in all shades of rainbow. I have a tendency to go overboard but decided this time to leave the house with only as much cash as I budgeted for the party and when the funds were gone the shopping was done!

My dear friend Coco made this incredible cake:

Here are some cute party shots...

i heart cupcakes

Could there be any better party backdrop than the ocean??? I think not!

I'm normally such a stickler for perfection. A place for everything and everything in it's place kinda gal. But I really made an effort just to put everything out so the kids felt comfortable just diving in!

The morning of the party was nerve-wracking because the tables at the beach are first come first serve. I set my alarm for 6am only to wake up and feel rested....? When it dawned on me to look at the time I reach over to my cell and it was SIX FIFTY NINE!! Oh DEAR LORD!!  I jumped out of bed and in a whirlwind fed my sleepover girls, made about 3 pounds of buttercream frosting then frosted 72 cupcakes, packed up all the food and necessities then we were off on the race to score a spot!! When we left home with a truck full of goods, that my darling bf told me we could live off of for a month, the skies were dark and gloomy (as was the forecast). Then as we neared the beach exit there was still heavy cloud cover.  We made a few turns into the windy road we know so well and as I chanted to my favorite Sun God that never lets me down....Woot! Woot! I saw a glimpse of sunshine!! My heart leaped out of my chest in excitement then dropped again at the thought that if it were sunny... there was a higher chance the tables w/BBQ's would be gone.  We got there and our intended location was ALL FILLED UP!! In a panic I started eye-trolling the area trying to come up with a plan (with no tables or BBQ in tow) what was I going to do???? Then there it was like a shining beacon....  In my head I heard "AAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!" like the heavenly gates opening up. One lonely table behind Pirateship Park on a small-hilled grassy area near the bathrooms, right next to the park and with a complete view of the entire shoreline! Now to alert the media our local had been moved!! I texted, FB'd, tweeted and called!! I couldn't dare let someone walk the beach looking for us!! Of course this table I found did not house a BBQ for our hot dogs but my dear friends, David & Mary Beth, came to the rescue with their gas burner, pot & tongs! Voila! We now had everything we needed to make this party a success!

I madly pulled myself and my party goods into high spin to crank out in just over an hour a party that others would be dying to attend!! I knew I was on the right track when each person that passed me by had to stop and talk about how "great this looked" or "tasty that appeared." ((grin))

At 10:47a.m. the rainbow twizzlers were in place, toys strewn across the lawn, beach chairs up and me with a diet pepsi in hand to enjoy the view of our beautiful coastline for just a few minutes before things got crazy.

My wonderful Momma came with the kids and Madi RAN up to see her party in it's full wonder! She was so excited & couldn't stop smiling. For the first hour or so we just let guests mingle and munch. Tom started up the hot dogs while I entertained & started up a few activities. Since we were at the beach I really only planned for a few fun things to do and a scavenger hunt. I figured that way our guests could enjoy the family beach day they were invited to but not stuck at the party table the whole time.  It worked out great! If you would like a list of my party games or any other party details, send me an EMAIL and I will be more than happy to share with you!

I think cupcakes made their heart smile too.

A very pleased birthday girl!

And I apologize because I really thought I was behind the camera the entire day but it turns out I missed all the hula hoop contests, tug-of-wars, jump rope, frisbee, scavenger hunt, etc. etc. (Mostly because I participated! heehee)

Here is the Scavenger Hunt List:
You can download your free copy HERE

My intention for the hunt was just to make it fun so everybody was a winner! Can you say BUBBLE WANDS!!!!


And our great friend David, aka Ranger Rick, found a great tide pool spot that was a total hit with the kids too!

At the end of the day I think everyone really enjoyed themselves and just as one friend pulled out the last water while another pulled out the last root beer I smiled inside knowing I planned just enough.

Do me a favor!

The party favor was a giant tube of colorful candy (sorry parents hehe) with a "Beach Pass" certificate that entitles each child to schedule another play date at the beach with us, as well as, a LARGE SNO-CONE (my kids huge favorite of each beach day!). I figure that prolongs the fun and gives us all a reason to get together again!

I didn't mention anything about our Pre-Party Sleepover but I'll blog about it later ....

Tootles, TJ

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Free Printable! Summertime Scavenger Hunt at the Beach

I'm getting everything ready for Madi's Beach Party on Sunday and here's the list everyone will be competing for in our Scavenger Hunt!! (If you're joining the party... Ssshhhh.... don't tell the kids!)

Happy Hunting!!

Tootles, TJ

Friday, June 3, 2011

Pinterest Anyone?

So who knows about Pinterest? Raise your hand...


What is Pinterest some of you may be asking. It is a highly addictive creative online pinboard where you can "Pin" images you see on the internet. It's your own personal world of thoughts, images, opinions and, well, interests.

This is the website owner's definition:
What is Pinterest?
Think of Pinterest as a virtual pinboard — a place where you can create collections of things you love and "follow" collections created by people with great taste.
People use Pinterest to collect and share all sorts of things -- wedding inspiration, favorite T-shirts, DJ equipment. You name it, people are pinning it.
We know you have great taste in something. Our mission is to make Pinterest the best place for you to share your taste with the world.

I've only been a member for a few weeks (it's by invitation only) and already I have a multitude of additions to my boards...

I add things I love, quotes that amaze me, crafts I would love to complete...the list goes on and on. Right now I started a board for ideas for Madi's upcoming birthday party.

If you would like to start pinning send me your email address HERE and I will send you an invitation! Happy Pinning!

Tootles, TJ