June 2011

Life-Size Angry Birds Game

My husband and I created a life-sized Angry Birds game for our daughter's birthday party this year. I will write up a complete post with all the details once I receive the photos from my amazing photographer. (I had to have my hands free to launch birds after all.) Until then, here is the game in action!

“Appy” Monday!

Appy Monday…. Happy Monday…. Get it? Get it?! I know, I know. I should drink more coffee before trying to be clever/perky first thing in Monday morning.

I am an Apple girl through and through. I use my Mac Book and sync it with my iPhone and iPad. iLove Apple. Today I thought I would share my favorite apps. Feel free to leave a comment with your favorite apps. The app store is so overwhelming that finding the good apps can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

Appstore
Daily Life Apps:
Alarm Clock Pro
Mint.com
Pandora
Facebook
Momento
Flashlight
Netflix
Things
AroundMe
SmugWallet
Dropbox
ICE Family
Pinterest

Fitness Apps:
100 Pushups
200 Situps
My Fitness Pal

Helpful for Kids:
iWPM
My Spell Test

Games:
Angry Birds
Angry Birds Seasons
Peek-a-Bouncer
Bubble Snap
AniMatch
Scoops
Hatch!
Eat, Bunny, Eat!
Cut the Rope
Doodle Jump
123 Glow
Musical Me!

iPad Specific:
The Monster at the End of This Book
Dora's Ballet Adventure
Dora Christmas Carol Adventure

Fifteen Minutes on The Royal Throne. Wait….

For my fifteen minutes of decluttering today I cleaned out the disaster that was my car. My car is like a second closet. At any given time there is at least one spare coat or sweater for each of my children and usually for me. It's no wonder. Nobody in our family likes wearing coats. I personally am just anti-coat. I would much rather tough out a minute or two of cold walking into the grocery store (or preferably the mall, who am I kidding) instead of carrying it around in the store. Add a road to trip to the coats and you have yourself one giant mess. I will spare you the before and after pictures. It's not that exciting.

On to more exciting things!

A few people mentioned that while they liked my "Royal Throne" signs, the pastel colors would never fly with the manly men in their homes. I present to you, manly colors! Go forth and download!

Pleaseflush_manly_blogYou can download the 5×7 signs here: RED, YELLOW, GREEN, BLUE, GREY. As always, there are for personal use only.

Have a good weekend!

Spray Painted Goodness

I have been on a spray painting kick lately. More specifically I have been on a remove-everything-brown-or-rust-colored kick lately. This piece of artwork fit the bill perfectly. It matched our tuscany themed decor perfectly, but our bright and cheerful decor, not so much. 

Scrollframe_before
Before I began my project I asked my husband if he minded me spray painting the frame. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Babe, do you mind if I paint this frame turquoise? It doesn't match the decor anymore.

Hubby: No. Was this hanging in our house?

Me: Yes. For the last year.

Hubby: Seriously?! Where?!

Me: In the living room. You could see it from the kitchen table.

Hubby: SERIOUSLY?!

I love that man. He is brilliant, but sometimes the details of daily life escape him. Inspired by the always fabulous Becky Higgins, I stocked up on some colorful cans of spray paint and got busy. (By the way, she has a fabulous spray painting tutorial HERE.)

And now, my new and improved scroll frame…

Chalkboardafter_2
I had my local craft store cut a piece of plastic chalkboard to fit inside the frame. Have you seen the chalkboard markers? Love them! The frame hangs near our kitchen table now. I like to write little notes to my family, or welcoming messages to company.

Chalkboardafter_1
It is safe to say that my spray painting addiction is firmly established. Next up, lamps!

Lesson Learned: This wrought iron frame had what I mistakenly assumed was a rust colored paint. I think it was actually rust because it bled right through my first two layers of spray paint. I had to spray on a layer of Kilz to seal it in before applying the turquoise (again).

Flush The Royal Throne

Potty training has begun at our house. It is amazing how much more relaxed I am about potty training the second time around. I learned the hard way with my oldest daughter not to force the issue. They will potty train when they are ready. Zoë potty trained in less than a week once she decided she wanted to wear big girl p.a.n.t.i.e.s.

There is no rush around here, but I have found some wonderful products that have made the process much easier.

Screen shot 2011-06-14 at 2.28.38 PMGymboree Bubbles. Yes, there is a difference. Gymboree bubbles are the best bubbles in the world. They float FOREVER. I have gone into the bathroom and found bubbles stuck to the towels the next day. Blowing bubbles is a great way to keep kiddos on the potty until they do their business.

Screen shot 2011-06-14 at 2.34.23 PMMommy's Helper Contoured Cushie Step Up. Potty seat + built in step stool + built in handles = GENIUS! I don't know about you, but I don't consider my children potty trained until they can use the bathroom solo. This seat allows them to get on the toilet by themselves. 

Screen shot 2011-06-14 at 2.28.01 PMThe Kohler Transition Toilet Seat. Say goodbye to cartoon themed toilet seats. This has a built in smaller seat to keep little tushies from falling in. The quiet close feature also keeps little boy's "business" from getting slammed in a closing lid. (I only have little ladies at home, but I hear this can be a problem. Ouch!) I just ordered a few of these for our house. Never thought I'd be excited about a toilet seat but I am!

Screen shot 2011-06-14 at 2.38.20 PM
The Princess Potty Book. What is better than blowing bubbles while sitting on the potty? Blowing bubbles while wearing a tiara. Yes, indeed. This book comes with a tiara and sticker jewels that you get to attach after you go tinkle on the potty. 

Potty training is moving right along, but sometimes my little ladies need a gentle reminder to flush. ICK! I created this sign for their bathroom to gently encourage them to flush. I'm telling you, Princess Potty is rubbing off on me. 

Royalthronepicture
I thought you might like to purty up your bathroom as well so I created this 5×7 printable in 4 colors.

Pleaseflush_blogYou can download them here: PINK, LIME, TEAL, VIOLET. Please remember, these are for personal use only.

Happy Potty Training! Good Luck!

Working with What You Have

Earlier this year the hubby and I were tossing around the idea of a workout room. The problem? Every room in our home was spoken for. Originally we thought we could tuck some exercise equipment in the corner of the rec room, but hello?! You cannot tuck a Bow Flex or Elliptical machine anywhere. That was a no-go but our freshly resolved selves were not to be deterred. Where else would the enormous equipment fit?

The dining room? No. 

True, we eat in that room on average of twice a year, but it is nice to host dinners once in a while and have seating for all in attendance. Gone are the days of eating with paper plates in our laps on the couch. We're fancy like that.

The rec room? No.

I don't like feeling crowded when I am getting my groove on playing Dance Central on the X-Box. And I'm fairly certain Wii Sports would end badly too. I'm imagining broken toes from accidentally kicking large metal fitness equipment.

The library? We have a winner!

We loved our library. The library was our happy place. It was where all of my scrapbooks were so wonderfully displayed in all their color coordinated glory. It was where Kelly would take his conference calls to mute his ridiculously loud voice. It was the one room that always stayed clean! That being said, we never really used that room (hence the cleanliness). It looked beautiful but it was not reaching its full potential. Still, it was pretty.

Library{ Family Portrait by Stillpoint Photography by Angela Parris }

Building our library was one of the first projects we tackled when we moved into our home. California Closets design a wall unit for us to accommodate my scrapbooks. (You may have picked up on the fact that I like to scrapbook.) The albums are gorgeous but they are too deep to fit a standard bookcase. I'll show you what we did with the cabinets another day.

I present to you our new workout room. Instead of moving (ha!) we removed the wall unit and repainted the room. I loved the earthy tone we had chosen for the library, but I wanted something bright and cheery to workout in. Let's face it, very few people like working out, the room I am torturing myself in might as well look cheerful.

Workout1_web
As an added bonus, my sweet husband installed a TV for me so that I could watch Glee on Netflix while I was working out. I'd much rather watch something entertaining than the seconds counting down until I can end my workout. And let's me honest, those teeny little cheerleading outfits are very motivating. I was never a cheerleader, but I'd like to look that good in one of their uniforms.

Workout2
One final detail of the workout room, I had custom "frosted glass" vinyl squares made for the double doors leading into the room. Exercise equipment is not pretty and I didn't want to look at it 24/7. We also added a locking doorknob. The Bowflex will pinch little fingers faster than you can say "OUCH!" and we didn't want to tempt fate.

Workoutroom3
There you have it! We took a room that was basically around to look nice and transformed it into a functional room that makes the most of the space we have.

FlyLady Friday – Fifteen Minutes

Have you ever heard of The FlyLady? I love The FlyLady. Her website is filled with wonderful information to help you keep your home clean and organized without feeling overwhelmed by the chaos. Each Friday I am going to focus on all things FlyLady. Today I am going to focus on Decluttering in 15 Minutes.

“Your home is filled with clutter of all shapes and sizes. This is why you are unable to keep it clean. You have too much STUFF. All we ask is that you set a timer and spend 15 minutes a day decluttering. That’s it. Anyone can do anything for only 15 minutes, even if you have to break it down into 5 minutes segments.” -The FlyLady

My decluttering project today was under my bathroom sink. I can honestly say that I have not cleaned or organized it in the three years we have been living in our home. It has gotten pretty bad. Bad as in things fall out when I open the cabinet. Don’t judge me. It gets worse. Here is the before picture:

Bathroomsink_before
And after 15 minutes of listening to my Glee Channel on Pandora and decluttering later:

Bathroomsink_after
I cannot believe that I have been dealing with that disaster for 2+ years and it only took me 15 minutes to clean it out. In fact, I have loads of empty space now!

What area are you going to declutter for fifteen minutes today?

Sometimes Bigger IS Better

The very first fight that Kelly (my husband) and I had when we moved in together was about hanging pictures around the house. You see, Kelly's grandmother was a bit, shall we say, enthusiastic, about family photos. As in, literally every square inch of wall space in her home was filled with almost life sized family portraits.

Understandably, the moment my hammer struck the photo hook, Kelly started to freak. I talked him down off the ledge and we compromised on minimal family photos placed tastefully around the house.

Then we had children. I won't lie. I had to reign in the crazy. I mean come on, who wouldn't want to see photos of our angelic children on every wall and flat surface of our home. Right?! 

Riiiiiight……

Shockingly, we have very few photos displayed in our house. Instead, they are on kept within easy reach in my scrapbooks and at any given time I can almost guarantee there is a digital slideshow running somewhere within eye shot. What can I say? We are a technology loving family. More on that another day.

All of that being said, sometimes bigger is better.

Sometimes an 8×10 is just not going to cut it.

Sometimes to truly make a statement (or to keep in scale with your fireplace) you need to go bigger. Our master bathroom is one such example.

Bathroom_web
Photos by Stillpoint Photography by Angela Parris

Last summer Kelly and I celebrated our 10th anniversary with a Hawaiian vacation. My sweet husband's gift to me was to bring my favorite photographer along to document our vacation. Angela took a gorgeous series of photos on the beach before we renewed our wedding vows which I simply adore. I chose three to hang above our bathtub. Every time I look at them I am reminded of the warm white sand beach and the very special love that Kelly and I share. It is the perfect way to start the day, and the perfect way to wind down after a hectic day.

I won't lie, I was a little bit nervous ordering that ginormous canvas. It is bigger than my two year old! But like I said, sometimes bigger is better. Even an 11×14 print would have looked freakishly small on that wall space.

Go forth and enlarge!

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