Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Recycle DIY: Doodlebook (super fast & easy!!)

The Mr. tossed it in the trash & I quickly grabbed it, thinking I could make it into something else.
Recycle DIY to the rescue.
This is SUCH a quick little crafty project. In fact, the 10-year old made it.

Monday, September 29, 2014

#Neon Makeover

Who doesn't love a fun "Before" & "After" makeover?
I was recently given a really girly, pretty vanity. Free is awesome. Zoey wanted the vanity in her room. But it was too girly & pretty for her tastes. She began to ask questions like, "When are you going to paint this, mom?" Actually, it was just that one question, repeated over & over & over. 

I decided to tag team with Zoey for some DIY mother/daughter fun. I felt like it was important for her to see how much goes into a project like this. 
It consumed our whole weekend. She did get out of the messiest of the jobs, though: sanding. While she was in school on Friday I did that horrible task alone. But I complained & moaned about it when I picked her up, just so she knew how much of a chore it was. 

That vanity separated into 14 parts. Each part was given a good wiping down, & then we taped off areas that we didn't want painted before we whipped out our cans of  spray paint. Many coats of neon later, it was satisfactorily bright. Then we lightly sanded with steel wool, removed the tape, wiped everything down again, applied a clear varnish, reupholstered the seat, washed the mirror & glass, & assembled everything together. 

It felt SO GOOD to work on a project like this. It's been years since I've had some fun with paint & furniture. My mom & I used to do this sort of thing all the time. We would go junking & thrifting & learn different paint techniques & we were totally passionate about the latest decor mags & watching the best show on TV at the time: Trading Spaces.

The idea to do the #NEON was all Zoey's. I was actually hesitant of the idea at first, but now I #LOVE it!

Zoey is hooked on the neon theme, & I have begun to help transition her room from "you-were-just-a-sweet-baby-like-yesterday" little girl to "where'd-my-baby-go" tween. Zoey has been so good at giving up things. I'm the one having a hard time. She doesn't want the little ballerina picture anymore that I picked up at a thrift store that's been in her room since she was born. Or the giant canvas I painted of our cat missing half of one of its ears, who is no longer with us. (RIP King Louie.) She has given up some of her Barbies & half of her doll stuff. She no longer wants the messy, yet adorable, paintings she created as a toddler hanging out with her newer, cooler things. 

This vanity is now a super fun addition to her space. And, oh my golly goodness! Don't you love that "blah" bedding?? It was a birthday gift to Zoey from my mom. 
I have already scoured Pinterest for some fun art projects. We can't wait to switch out the lamp & bedskirt, add fun pillows & throws to the bed, do something fun to an accent wall, etc. 

When the girls were babies, I did their room all cutesy. But since then (which is 10 & 12 years ago), they have never really had a "theme". So, it's fun to be able to give them a bedroom of their wishes, granted upon request. And by that, I mean we use every holiday in the calendar year as an excuse to add one more piece, or buy supplies to create something special, & then call it their "gift".

Little sister has now begun to ask me, "When are you going to do my room, mom?" She has decided on "Woodland" decor. Seriously!? If you know me, you know that I love everything owl & fox & deer & woodsy. You will not be able to hold me back, people. 
For reals.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Zoey's Lemonade Stand

At the beginning of the year Zoey, Pazely, the Mr. & I each wrote down something we wanted to accomplish in 2014– like a goal or wish. Zoey chose "Have a lemonade stand" as hers. She has never had one. Shocking, I know. The girl is almost 12 years old & has never sold lemonade on the corner of a neighborhood street. 
*hangs head in shame*

I knew the perfect place & time for Zoey to set up shop would be at the upcoming yard sale my mother & I were planning. And I wanted it to be big. You know, to make up for all those lemonade stand-less years. The bigger the lemonade stand, the better I felt. (Notreallyyesreally.) 

Since the yard sale would start out in the chilly morning, we thought we needed more than just lemonade. So we added hot chocolate to the scene. 
The night before the big event, we baked chocolate chip cookies, & mini coffee cake muffins. Do you want seriously delicious choco chip cookies? I just use the recipe on the back of the NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® bag of mini chocolate chips. And then I substitute shortening for the butter. (1 CUP of butter = 1 CUP of shortening + 2 TABLESPOONS water)
Oh, & here's the recipe pin I found from Serious Eats for the coffee cake muffins. (We made them "mini", so we reduced the baking time to only 10 minutes.)

Zoey had a roller coaster of emotions in the days leading up to her lemonade/hot chocolate stand. She was excited at first. And then she didn't even want to do it at all because she realized she'd have to buy all the supplies to set it up. But then after I gave her the "Sometimes you have to spend money to make money" pep talk, she was fine.

Though this was not a Pinterest-worthy lemonade stand, it was definitely in our style: We used what we had, borrowed what we didn't have, & made + baked what we had time for. (Being busy helping to set up the yard sale made me a tired mama with not a lot of time on her hands.)
Borrowed: chalkboard, vintage tablecloth, carafe for hot chocolate, fancy pitcher for strawberry lemonade.
Handmade: "Refreshment" banner, pinwheels.
Everything else was ours, gathered from closets & cupboards– pretty much all those things that are saved for special occasions & not used very often.

Sandwiched between the cashier station at the yard sale (which consisted of my mom, sister, or I wearing a leather fanny pack + sitting behind a TV tray) & tables full of low-priced knick-knacks, was Zoey's "Refreshement" stand.

She sold out of her treats at 11 am & started giving away free lemonade at 2 pm. She was giddy the whole day & even received several tips. When all was said & done, she took in $41.75, with a net profit of $27.75. (Math on the weekend?! Woot! Woot!)

One of my favorite details of the whole thing was the banner. I printed the word REFRESHMENTS onto pages from an old, discarded dictionary. Before printing, I cut the pages to 5" x 7", then set my page size in Microsoft Office Word to the same size. I used Baskerville Old Face font in size 400. (Well, except for the letter "M", which was too wide– so I lowered it to size 350.) I fed the pages through the printer one at a time & I LOVE how it turned out! I had always wanted to try printing onto pages from a book.

Zoey's favorite part of the refreshment stand?
That, & serving people.

In the picture above, little Miss Pazely is Zoey's first customer. (In fact, she bought the first & last chocolate chip cookie of the day.)

 Pazely & I made the {non-functioning} pinwheels from scrap paper, fun colored brads, & striped paper straws leftover from her S'mores Birthday Party. She sold a few pinwheels throughout the day, which was quite fun for her. 

I even found a horrible sketch I drew of the refreshment stand in its planning stages. It's fun to see your ideas come to life from paper to reality!

Goal achieved. 
Dreams made. 
Mission accomplished.