Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pinspiration: Dry Erase Calendar

I pinned this calendar idea (the blog link on the pin wasn't working)  a while back and after completely forgetting about picture day...I decided it was time to get this project done. Now it hangs on the fridge where I can see it. Many times a day.

This only took about an hour or do to do! First I went to Lowes to get paint chips. I used the ones that have three shades on them. I pulled out 7 of the one I liked and then 7 of the next shade lighter.
Next I ran across the street to Wally World and picked up a 16 x 20 poster frame and a roll of wedding wrapping paper. (lay the frame on the floor and place your chips how you'd like them invade you need a larger frame)

When you're ready trim all words off the paint chips. Cover the cardboard backing for the frame with the wrapping paper. Attach the paint chops. I used my double sided tape roller for everything.

Place it in the frame and attach magnetic strips all around and there you have it! I love to use the Crayola Window Markers with it.

Don't you just love all the great ideas popping up with paint chips?

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

What I'd Rather Be Doing

There are so many other things I should be doing. The mountain of laundry on the couch. The dishes in the sink. Cleaning the shower. Has it been two weeks already? Probably.


Instead I'm walking around thinking about all the things I've been pinning and would rather be doing.

Wanna see?

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Document the First Day of School

Today is the first day of school for our oldest!  Yay!  We had a great summer and especially this past week, things went pretty smoothly.  BUT it was time. Routine is great and I'm excited to have a little bit of time built into my week for working on projects and doing some planning.  My little guy will start back next week and then I'm starting on some projects I've wanted to get done over the summer. 

Here's what I did this morning for documenting this fun day:
There are so many cute printables out there for this type of picture, but you know what?  I crazy and would want the coordinating pictures up until 12th grade.  I was about to print a cute set, but I started to wonder if I would actually make it to 12th grade and still have the right piece of paper...not likely with me.  A chalkboard I can do.  No extra storage, no need to worry about styles changing. Easy. Simple.

**Update:  The chalkboard is something I have hanging on the end of my cabinets in the kitchen for the kids to play on while I cook.  It is just an old Christmas wall hanging from Hobby Lobby that I haven't used for a few years.  All I did was paint over the painting with chalkboard paint and paint the frame. This project cost $0 since everything was found around the house. Can't get much better than that!
Now onto some projects! 
#1 Girly Room Redo
#2 Laundry Room Redo
#3 Camping Boys Room Redo
Check back later this week for the Girly Room Redo!
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Monday, August 13, 2012

Pinned It and Did It: Super Giant Bubbles

Happy Monday everyone!  First let me say I'm so excited that our weather cooled off a bit and the humidity is down. I'm sitting here with my cup of coffee Dunkin' Donuts Cinnamon Spice next to the open windows. I'll have to close them soon, but for now the fresh air smells so nice!

Last week we made bubbles. Not ordinary bubbles. SUPER GIANT BUBBLES. They worked out so well that we made a gift pack for a birthday party. What kid wouldn't like to make these!
Note to self: Make sure your finger isn't in the way when you take a picture!

In a large bowl gently mix the following ingredients:
12 cups water
1 cup dish soap
1 cup cornstarch
2 tbsp baking powder
Let mixture sit one hour before using it.

While you're waiting, make the bubble wands. In the original post they went to the store and picked up dowel rods and some other things. Some of our favorite activities are on a whim and not planned at all. I couldn't go to the store nor did I really want to spend money on this project. Yes, her wands will probably hold up longer but we wont use them every day so I went the free rout.

For the wands you'll need:
2 Sticks
a piece of long string (about 2 to 3 feet long) I used twine
a shorter string (about 1 foot long)
1 washer

First put a washer on the long string. This helps tie wet sting hang right when you dip it. Next, I tied the short and long strings together, then tied them to the sticks.  You want the strings to make a D shape.  The string length doens't need to be exact at all.  I didn't measure. The point is that one needs to be short and one needs to be long.  To keep the string from slipping off the sticks you could use some hot glue to keep it on the sticks. 
After your one hour is up, dip the string and make some magical bubbles!   

I pinned the idea from designdazzle.blogspot.com

On Monday's I ususally link to:
lowercase letters
Bits of Splendor
Life Made Lovely

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Getting Ready for Back to School

School is almost here. And a quiet sigh of relief was heard among all the stay at home moms. :) I LOVE having my kids with me and we have done some pretty fun things this summer.....but it's time. It's time for regular bedtime. It's time for a more predictable routine. This commercial comes to mind as I get ready. I'm just as excited as my kids.  (My kids are more excited than the kids in this commercial.) 

 There are a few things other than buying the supplies that we need to do before we start on the 20th. 

Start going to bed early.  We started this on Sunday night. Last year we gave ourselves one week to get used to earlier bedtime. That wasn't enough. It took us a while to consistently get in bed early enough.  I don't know about you, but if I have to wake my kids up in the morning it is sure to be off to a bad start.

Jobs. I've been lazy in having them keep up with their job charts.  Today I'm making something like this.
Pinned Image

I don't have a Silhouette so mine will look a bit different. I'll post pics tomorrow of what they ended up looking like and the jobs I gave the kids. 
They will have AM and PM jobs to complete. I'm still thinking about how best to get them done before I get them started.  I'll post my ideas tomorrow about this.

Homework Area Set Up.  I want to have our homework area all ready by the start of school.  A while back a friend was so kind to give me this desk.  I'm working on repainting it this week. Here's the before...well, the almost before.  I had already started sanding when I took this.

I will post after pics when this project is complete. I'm thinking maybe a chevron pattern. Kayla is in love with these flowers. hmm.
Dial down TV time. We really do try to keep the TV time to a minimum but I admit I've let it slide more than I'd like this summer.  It's been a hot summer.  No excuse but that's all I've got.
Prepare for intentional family time in the evenings.  I know Kayla is going to need to feel connected with us so I'm going to make a list of things we can do together.  I think I'll jot down a loose plan while I'm meal planning for the week.....which I fully intend to keep up with. :)
Keep it calm and relaxing. This can be a stressful time.  Things get busy. There can be a rush to fit things in to the last few days of summer. Pick up supplies. Find new clothes. Get organized.  And then there's the first week and so on. In our house it has really become obvious that it is to our benefit if we keep things calm and relaxing. It's amazing how our approach to different situations affects our kids.
Is there anything I'm leaving out?  What about you? Do you have anything you want to prepare for during your last few days of summer? 
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Romance on a Dime, A Bowl Full of Lemons,
The Winthrop Chronicles, Stringtown Home

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Monday, August 6, 2012

I'm Like My Laundry Room

At church yesterday we were discussing baptism and how it is a symbol of the death of Christ and rising up to life again. When you go down and are immersed in the water it is a symbol of your old life being buried and when you rise up, it's a symbol of the new you coming to life.  You have been saturated in Christ and made new. 

I wish I could remember this all the time.  Maybe you do. Or maybe you're like me and you forget to remember and you relapse into some old ways of thinking. It's kind of like my laundry room.
This is what it looks like right now. I'm so glad Noah is enjoying it!  This room is obviously not done. It looks much better usually, however, it cycles back to looking like this. I make progress, but lapse back to this state.  One day this project will reach my goal but will evolve as our family grows.
We will never see a point where we are a finished product in this life, but if we work at it and listen to that still small voice helping us along, we'll see growth and change for the better.
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Friday, August 3, 2012

Fun Friday

Anyone else glad it's Friday!  Fridays just feel good.  This week I've been talking about how we try to give each day a theme during the summer. A little late, I know, but I only just picked up blogging again recently, ok?  It helps me to have a general topic when deciding what we will do for the day. 

Fun Friday. Pretty self-explanatory.  We do something fun. Something out of the ordinary.  Most of the time it's something free or cheap. Last night I asked Kayla what she thought we should do.  "We could go swimming, we could go to the kids' museum, or we could just make a mess here."

The biggest thing I try to do on this day:  PLAY. There are things that I do need to get done but I really make an effort to focus on playing with them and saying yes as much as I can during the day.

Today we started off with a smoothie for a quick easy breakfast.
Assemble ingredients the night before. In the morning they will be thawed just enough to blend easily. I like to use my plastic pitcher and blend with my immersion blender.
Yummy!  Vanilla yogurt, frozen banana, frozen strawberries, nonfat milk.  When I have it, I use Greek yogurt for added protein.
Now we're ready for some fun!
It was raining this morning and we more like I needed to get out of the house.  We hung out at Barnes and Noble. Books, trains and a coffee did the trick!

From Starbucks.com

This makes Friday fun for Mama!

Happy Friday everyone!  Hope it's filled with fun and great memories!

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wet Wednesday, Thinking Thursday, and a Recipe

Happy almost Thursday!  I'm so late getting to this post that I'm just going to combine Wed and Thurs and throw in a recipe while I'm at it. 

This week I have been sharing our daily themes for the summer.  Wednesday is Wet Wednesday. I'm sure you don't need me to elaborate much but we do something wet. Go to the pool, water balloons, water guns, sprinkler....anything wet.

Thursday is Thinking Thursday.  We try and come up with a problem and solution.  One week we made a big fort and had to think about how to support it. We have also set up a store a few times. The kids take turns 'selling' each other things.  In this picture, Noah is thinking about how much the bottle of lotion costs.  We have even set up a lemonade stand. We made a sign and the kids took care of the money...while I was nearby of course. 

If you follow me on Instagram (prairiegirltosouthernbelle) or Facebook (follow button here), maybe you saw that I made my Grandma's bars this weekend.
My brother and my almost-sister-in-law were here for the weekend.  He asked me to make these and I'm so glad he did.  We were joking that with ever bite, we were transported back to our childhood.  It was kind of true.  Grandma made these bars every time she came to visit us.  They never lasted long and certainly didn't last long this go-round either. Kayla asked me to make these to send in her lunch once school starts.  I'll have to remember that for a surprise!  Because I love ya, here's the recipe.

Mrs. Tucker's Toffee Nut Bars
Cream together 1 C shortening and 1 C brown sugar.  Beat in 1 beaten egg and 1 tsp vanilla. Stir in 2 C sifted flour and 1/2 tsp salt. Spread dough in 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until set and light brown. Mine took at least 20, but keep an eye on it. Remove from oven and cover with milk chocolate chips. Spread as they melt and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Let cool. Cut and serve. Try to eat just one.

Hope your week is going well!  See you on Friday with a Fun Friday example! 

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