Mystery Machine Little Tykes Remake (An Eventful Summer)

It has been an insanely busy summer. We traveled a lot, and I spent a lot of time planning for a personal goal (I hope to have ready to launch in the next two weeks).  We went to New Orleans in early August, and a few weeks later we drove down to Florida and enjoyed the theme parks and Daytona.

New Orleans

Jack loved meeting his heroes, Mickey, Spongebob, and Shrek and Donkey. Daisy was less than thrilled about the characters, but had fun. We ended summer with Daisy’s first birthday. Oh I just can’t believe my baby girl is one!!

Florida

One thing I was able to do this summer in the craft realm was make this awesome Mystery Machine for Jack (and eventually Daisy). It was originally a pink and purple Little Tykes that my niece Myla long grew out of and donated to me.

Honestly, the hardest part about making this Mystery Machine was cleaning it because my hose was broken so I had to use a bucket of water. You have to take it apart to clean it well. All pieces come off easily except the tires. Instead of taking them off, I just tied bags around them.

Little Tykes Redo

After it is clean, just spray paint. For the tire wheels, eyes, and steering wheel, I sprays paint into a bowl and used a brush. Once all the pieces are dry, put it all back together. I made the Mystery Machine logo and flowers with my cricut and cut them from Oracle 651 vinyl.

Mystery Machine

Jack loved it so much he kissed it! So of course I dressed him up like Shaggy and had a mini photo shoot with it.

Jack Mystery Machine

Cute right? I hope your summer was wonderful!

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My New Favorite Kitchen Gadget: Pineapple Corer and Slicer

We have a small red hutch in our kitchen that houses what Matt likes to call UKGs, or Unnecessary Kitchen Gadgets.
Some gadgets he just doesn’t understand, like what a baster is.

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Or why we need a happy face pizza cutter when we already have a regular one (because the kids like it, and sometimes I use a pizza cutter to cut dough and the regular one is in the dishwasher 😜)

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Other gadgets I can’t deny have little use. I don’t really eat grapefruit, so a grapefruit spoon isn’t necessary (let alone 4). But then again one who knows. I might use them to scoop out citrus fruits for a salad or dessert or something.

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But for real I found an extremely necessary gadget this time. It is a pineapple corer and slicer. It does exactly that, cores and slices pineapple.

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So easy!

OK, so in all honesty I could take or leave pineapple. But you know I’ll be eating a lit more if it with this! My first time using it I accidentally went all the way through the pineapple, making a hole in the bottom.

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It wasn’t really a problem, but this summer I’ll need to avoid doing that. I see myself filling the cored pineapple with some frozen drinks (virgin drinks for me for this summer).

I saw this at Bed Bath and Beyond for $20, but then I checked online and Amazon Prime had this one for $6.99! I obviously went for the $6.99 version.

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I’ve gadgets and gizmos a plenty, and I love them all, necessary or not. I don’t know why, I just do. If you have a favorite gadget, let me know about it!

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Jack’s Room: 3 Must Have’s for a Baby’s Room

Jack is on the move! Almost out of nowhere he started crawling and pulling himself up in his crib. As soon as he started, I immediately saw all the dangers in my house that needed to be baby proofed. I ran to Babies R Us, bought just about everything, and spent a weekend altering doorknobs and locking toilets – something I thought was ridiculous in the past, until stories of toilets clogged with race cars and towels were brought to my attention. I baby proofed the whole house, and the only thing I have left is to redesign the items on Jack’s bookshelf. The way they’re arranged now, he can easily pull them off and break them.

Jack's Room

We didn’t know if Jack was going to be Jack or Daisy, so we chose driftwood finish for furniture and painted the room a rustic yellow which goes nicely with the pumpkin butter color of our hallways. I figure we can reuse everything whenever baby #2 comes along.

I realize I never introduced you to Jack’s bookshelf or all the work I did in Jack’s room. Initially, it was a craft room/ guest room. Now, guest sleep on the couch, my crafts take over the house, and our recliner rocking chair is no longer in the living room, but that’s OK. One day we’ll figure out where to keep everything.  At my shower, I was given an IKEA bookcase that matched his bed set, and it was filled with books from everyone. Santa, the Easter Bunny, and I have since loaded the bookcase up with more books.

This is Jack's book corner. The walls have these cute Winnie the Pooh book plaques my MIL got for her future grandchild years ago (like before we were married). I'm thinking of making some kind of book piece for the adjacent wall. 

This is Jack’s book corner. The walls have these cute Winnie the Pooh book plaques my MIL got for her future grandchild years ago (like before we were married). I’m thinking of making some kind of book piece for the adjacent wall.

The thing I love most about his room is the tree decal. I ordered it and the window tree decals from TheWhiteTreeStore by LittleLionStudio.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheWhiteTreeStore?ref=l2-shopheader-name

The original tree looks like this, but there’s no law that says that’s how you have to apply it. Instead, I made the leaves look like they are blowing away. The decals are beautiful and easy to apply, and they really make his room charming. White Follow the Little Rabbit Tree Wall Decal by LittleLion Studio

The bed set is forest animals. Jack loves it. He uses the “bedspread” as a play mat, and he loves to talk to and touch the soft wall hangings as we pass them by. It has matching decals, but they were too small for the wall (for me at least). Instead, I used them to decorate his furniture. I used some of them for the sides of this storage bin I use for spare sheets, blankets and other baby odds and ends. I also decked the bookcase out with the rest of the decals that came with his bed set. I think the decals look so charming, and they can easily come off when he’s older.

Decals

I also decorated his room with my book bird houses.

Birdhouses2

So far I’ve made 3, but I think as he gets older I’d like to make some with his favorite books.

PLP

In the meantime, I made one with one of my favorite childhood books, The Monster at the End of this Book.

M@EOTB

My favorite birdhouse, though, is the Peter Pan house.

PPan

When you open the door, you can see Pan’s tree club house! Good thing I have small enough hands to do it.

Birdhouses

We have old doors which I thought about updating, but they actually match the style of our house and I’d rather spend the money elsewhere. Above his door is a simple cross, decorated with the finger rosaries I used as a favor at his christening. Next to his bed is a canvas quote I made using my Cricut and love best of all.

Jack's Room2

Now that you’ve toured Jack’s room there are a few things you should know. Every baby list will tell you about things you need for baby’s room, but here are the 3 things I always keep in here that weren’t on any list.

1) Extra blankets behind you on your chair. Babies spit up, and sometimes you don’t even realize it. Don’t ruin your furniture. Drape some receiving blankets over the backs of your chairs.

Blankets

2) A Rubbermaid bin. Jack grows so quickly and sometimes it feels like its overnight. I always keep a bin in his room so as I struggle to put on a tight fitting shirt, I can just pack it away into the bin for storage. I used to hid the bin behind the rocking chair, but now I got to lazy for that and it’s out all the time.

Storage Bin

3) Tissues and a trash bin next to your chair. This is completely  separate from the diaper bin and wipes, and it is essential. I realized their importance the day I got home from the hospital. When you bring home your baby, you will cry and for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’re overwhelmed, or maybe you’re insanely happy. Either way, you get home and you have no idea how raging your hormones are.

Tissues

I remember hearing I’d be hormonal and emotional during pregnancy, and I really wasn’t at all. It came after. For me they were all happy tears, and I cried over everything from feeling such deep love for my baby to Suburu commercials. Even reading baby books brought on tears. (Oh my God! He says he loves his puppy! *sob* *sob* That’s so beautiful!) You’re body is going nuts, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Eventually you’ll stop crying and you’ll need those tissues to wipe up baby boogers, but until then wipe your happy and your sad tears, toss the tissue in the trash bin, and if you’re lucky enough to get a colicky baby like me, rock on until the sun comes up.

Jack was always cryingRocking all night long

Cape May and Fairy Gardens

I’m kind of sad that summer is unofficial lye over, but I can’t complain. I’ve spent the last few weekends of summer happily. A few weeks ago, Matt and I decided to go on a mini road trip down memory lane to our old Stockton stomping grounds. Normally our trips to our old college town would take us to the winery, but since only one of us can enjoy the wine, we ventured down to a Chinese take-out place we often went to through college. They have the best sweet and sour chicken ever. We continued south to Cape May where we explored the shops (where i found a lot less antiques than I expected, but some great craft ideas), walked the boardwalk, and enjoyed an indirect flashback to our alma mater again. Despite a few holes in one, I fell apart and panicked at the end of our game, and Matt beat me by 5 points.

a lovely time

Even though I lost, Matt still treated me to a beautiful had beaded bracelet in my favorite color. I can’t even tell you the shop he bought it from because there was no sign on the building.  We had dinner at an Irish pub where I, of course, ordered the butter lobster rolls, and stopped for smoothie desserts.

 Making the cake!

We also celebrated my niece Laila’s birthday. The night before the party, the kids all came over to watch the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie (which they loved) and help bake Laila’s tie-dyed  cake and cookies. Everyone was in charge of mixing and poring a color.

Laila's Frozen Cake

 

They turned out great!I decorated the cake for a Frozen theme party with blue frosting and white snowflakes.

Happy Birthday Laila! Laila & Olivia, or Ana & Elsa

To add to the birthday festivities, we made a fairy garden in a hollowed out tree stump.

Fairy Veggie Garden Fairy table

We used a fairy garden kid along with a few mini items I found at Michael’s.

Adding to the fairy garden All the kids helped

I glued floral pins to the bottoms of everything to stake them into the ground.

Welcome Fairies!

The only thing left to do is plant some pretty fall flowers. with a hideaway like this, fairies are bound to make this their new home!

Fairy Garden!

 

Backyard Camping

It’s been a crazy August in our house. I’ve been wanting to start the baby room, but right now it’s still a storage space. We have to water proof the basement first so our things don’t get ruined. It’s been feeling a bit cluttered, but not cluttered enough to cancel our backyard camping with my nieces and nephew!

 InstagramCapture_78fc8b8d-5c21-42b8-a1bb-45b559247f34_jpgFire Pit Time!

Matt finished the rock wall around out fire pit,

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and it’s the perfect space for marshmallow roasting

Marshmallow Roasting

and making s’mores.

S'more!

Matt helped them pitch a tent, which was a fun play space.

Tent Time

Everyone decided to actually sleep in the living room instead of the tent because of some drizzling rain, but we made sure we’ll have another camping day when the weather is better!

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The next weekend we finally made Angelina’s Titanic shadow box. She knows everything there is to know about the ship, and the shadow box includes commemorative coins, pictures of the actual ship, Rose’s hair clip and necklace, and even a piece of coal from the actual ship!

Titanic Box

The kids are all on vacation this week with my parents, but should be back this weekend. I miss them! I’ll need to post my beach wreath and fairy garden soon. Happy end of summer!

Gardening Wreath

I’ve been behind posting my wreaths, but here is my gardening wreath I made to hang before and after my flag wreath.

Gardeoning Wreath 2

So cute! The base of the wreath is a 10ft. leader hose in a wire wreath. You also need twine, gardening gloves, flowers of your choice, and a toy gardening kit.

Use twine to tie the hose in a circle.

Then tie the hose into the concave part of the wire wreath.  You can add a dab of hot glue for reinforcement. You can also cover the twine with the flowers and gardening tools.

tie to wire wreath

 

The flowers I chose pop right off their stems.

pop flowers off stems

 

Just hot glue them onto the hose.

 

The base of the flowers fit nicely in the hose crease.

 

flowers!

For the opposite side, I used the gloves and the toy kit. The handles are bulky and hard to attach, so I unscrewed the heads off the shovel and hoe.

detach heads from handles

I screwed just the heads together and used glue because I didn’t have a small enough washer.

use glue as a washer

Tie the toy tools to the hose.

tie down tool heads 

Glue the gloves down to cover that the handles were removed.

glue down gloves

The toy kit I bought had flower markers, so I used white nail polish to write in some flowers before I glue them in.

sprinkle in flower tabs

Finished! And adorable! Happy gardening!

Gardening Wreath

 

Toadstool Planter and Lilu’s Big Announcement

Toadstools are adorable. Last summer I made these ceramic toadstool houses and a toadstool bird feeder. 

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To bring the toadstools outside, I made toadstool flower pots. They are really easy and cheap to make. I used inexpensive plastic planters and painted them red.

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Then I used white caulk to make the spots on the planter.

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The caulk dried overnight and the planter was ready to go. I planted red Gerbera Daisies surrounded by little white flowers.

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Easy and sweet looking!

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In other news, Lilu made a big announcement this week. She’s going to be a guard dog/big sister!

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We’re expecting the little one on December 5th. We’ll find out if it’s a he or a she then. In the meantime, Lilu’s very excited about the position

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Pot Tower

So you’ve probably seen these adorable pot stacks on Pinterest. I made them last year for the front of the house. This year, I put them on the side, against our fence.Image

 

I think like them better there because the honeysuckles on the fence make them look even more whimsical. I didn’t use a tutorial, just figured it out by eye.

The towers are made with a 4ft concrete rod and 6 terracotta pots.

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1 – 11″ pot

1 – 10″ pot

2 – 8.5″ pots

2 – 6″ pots

I spray painted mine last year in fun colors (they’re also the color scheme I used for my pot wreath).

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You also need something to help stabilize the pots so they look like they are going to tip over. Use whatever you have, like rocks, broken brick or you could even use those small water bottles filled with sand. I have lots, and lots of river rocks that were all around my yard, so I used them.

Start by staking in the concrete rods.

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Thread the pot 11″ through the drain hole.

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Use rocks and dirt to fill the bottom of the pot (The rocks will help stabilize the top pot and help you use less dirt)

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Thread the 10″ pot through the drain hole and tilt the pot. Adjust the rocks from the bottom pot for the top pot to rest on.

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Use a rock inside the top pot to weigh it down on one side.

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Continue with the rest of the pots, alternating which side you tilt the pot. You may have to shift the rocks and dirt to support the different pots.

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At the top, you can hammer in the concrete rod deeper into the ground when your closer to the top.

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Now plant away! Because I disassemble these for the winter, I only use annuals in the pots. Now I guess you could plant as you go so you don’t have to remove the dirt you just put in, but I like to be safe and not risk crushing the plants.

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I like to plant a different flower on each tier, and I try to mix in some whimsical looking flowers (like those tall red ones and the fuzzy cone shaped ones). I planted the extra flowers between the two towers and in tiny, 4.5″ pots.

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I love my pot towers. I love the colors, the flowers, the way they look against the honey suckle fence. I just plain love them. They didn’t take too long to assemble, but I started late in the day. By the time I was finished it was dusk. A lightning bug cruised on past my tower. I think she liked my flower pots. In my book, the lightning bug means it’s officially summer. Happy Summer everyone!

Pot Wreath

Ok,  it’s been over a month since I made it, but I thought I should put my May wreath up. If you haven’t seen the wreath on Pinterest yet, prepare yourself for something pretty.  

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My friends Caroline and Sarah came over for a Pinterest party, and we decided to make these wreaths.  We found them on Pinterst, and used the tutorial here:

http://www.bloglovin.com/viewer?blog=1809101&post=2628708147

The tutorial has all the materials listed and is very easy to follow.

I decided to paint my pots to match the pot towers I put outside (another Pinterest inspired project I’ll be posting). Sarah and Caroline didn’t paint their pots.  I think their wreaths look very sophisticated, while mine looks a bit more on the whimsical side.  

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If you want to paint your pots, do that first. Tie down the larger pots first. 

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Then fill in the spaces with the smaller pots. Switch up the direction of the pots, they shouldn’t all face the inside of the wreath.

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We cut cubes of floral foam and filled the pots with it after they were all tied down.

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Then just hot glue the faux flowers. I used a lot of succulents mixed in with purple flowers and some faux moss. I added the moss last as a filler.

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They’re not very difficult, but they are pretty heavy. Make sure your wreath holder is a sturdy one. Also, this may be too big if you have a screen door. Mine barely closes with the screen door. I think I may move this to my side door to be closer to my topsy turvey pots.

Texas Craft House

blood, sweat, and glitter y'all