The hair ties. And bows. And headbands. And tiaras. If you have a girl then you feel my pain.

It started off with an insane collection of hair clips.  Now I do have to admit that it’s all my fault.  I absolutely loved putting clips and bows and headbands in J’s hair when she was an infant.  Not only did it make it easy to identify her as a girl (because let’s face it, all infants look the exact same) but she just looked so adorable with stuff in her hair!  That’s definitely one of the things I miss most about C being a boy and not a girl…hair accessories.  And just dressing him in general.  As cute as overalls are, dresses/skirts/tutus with tights and bloomers knock them out of the ballpark.  Whoops, as usual I’m off topic…

So anyway.  J has a ton of hair clips.  Hubby’s cousin’s ex-wife makes hair bows so I ended up with even more than I should have because I was constantly buying them from her.  And as she got older I collected more and more of them.  Not only are there hair clips and hair bows but then headbands and necklaces and bracelets added to the insaneness.  I needed a way to organize them.  Off to my BFF Pinterest.  Although I found a lot of different ideas, this one was hands-down my favorite.  I love how versatile it is.  I could get little glass jars to keep the pony tails in, clip the bows right onto the chicken wire and loop the headbands on there as well.  I also wanted Hubby to add hooks all around the frame to contain the necklace and bracelet problem.  Plus it looked super cheap to build.  Sold!

Hubby built this for me 2 years ago so I have zero pictures of it, zero ideas on how it was made and zero clues on how much it all cost.  Sorry!  Luckily Artsy Fartsy Mama has a super clear tutorial so just read her blog and do what she said 😉 .  I do know that I purchased these glass jars from Amazon at least.  And I do remember that approximately 2 weeks after I purchased them I saw almost the exact same jars at a thrift store for $1 for 8 of them.  Dammit!!

I painted the frame blue and added the words “Be Awesome Today!” along the top in yellow (to match with the rainbow theme in J’s room).  I also painted the chicken wire ROYGBIV going down, but that’s almost impossible to tell.  Still looks cool when you’re close enough to notice it though!  I had some leftover wooden letters from when I decorated the nursery eons ago so I painted them purple, outlined them in yellow and glued them on.  Hubby bought drawer knobs from Lowes and attached them on so I could hang necklaces and bracelets and any other random girlie paraphernalia.  As you can see, this didn’t work out so well.  When he was attaching the top right one it didn’t work so well and now there’s a gaping hole.  And there aren’t enough of them (J has a serious accessory obsession).  I tried putting cheap 3M hooks on there but they don’t stick to the paint very well and end up falling off every few weeks (hence that random white rectangle on the top).  So if we did this all over again I would have him put regular hooks on there and a lot more of them.


At first I was thinking about figuring out a way to attach a mirror to it somehow, but then I read an article about how you shouldn’t put mirrors in girls rooms because it hurts their self-esteem.  So I went with the “Be Awesome” thing instead.  It has nothing to do with looks or being pretty or anything like that so her self-esteem should remain intact!  Just a short and sweet sentiment to start off the day!

I think my favorite thing about it is how after it was built and all of her clips and headbands and everything were on display for her to see, she went through a phase for about 6 months where she had to wear it all.  At once.  All together.  She looked like this:

J pretty hair J pretty hair 3 J pretty hair 2

Overall I do like it.  But now that tiaras have also entered our life and we have about a dozen of them I need to figure out a better way to attach them on there.  It just never ends.  Sigh.


Did someone say “Princess”?

When I was pregnant with J I went with a simple gneder-neutral theme for the nursery:  ducks and frogs.  When we moved from Kansas to Ottawa J was almost 3.  We knew we were going to have another baby at some point while we were there, so she got a brand-new theme for her room.  Since she still really wasn’t “into” anything at that point I chose for her:  rainbows.  I adore rainbows.  The colors are so vibrant and they’re just so pretty!  I actually did a rainbow theme for her 3rd birthday party as well.

The landlord was nice enough to leave the walls in the house painted actual colors (it’s amazing how much different a house looks when all of the walls aren’t stark white.  If we ever rent out a house all of the walls will be painted a nice beige color).  J’s room was purple, which fit in nicely with a rainbow theme.  Plus I figured I could do a lot of the furniture in gender-neutral colors so it could transform easily into the next (and next) child’s room.

Since the rooms were all wood-laminate in our last house I knew we would need an area rug.  I bought a white rug from Big Lots and painted a rainbow on it.  I actually painted two rugs for our Ottawa home.  Once I get around to writing a post about it I’ll add the link in here in case you’re interested in doing one yourself!  It was actually pretty easy and I love the way they both turned out!  Here’s the link for more information!


We bought this bed and these matching dressers from IKEA when she was ready to graduate into a “big girl bed”.  Since it was just a light pine I painted everything varying shades of blue.

ombre-dresser-2Ignore the strip of white along the bottom of this dresser.  Apparently I forgot to put a second coat on just that part and it looks absolutely horrible.  Every time I see that dresser my eyes go straight to it and it drives me insane.  Apparently not crazy enough to reopen the can of paint and slap another quick coat on though 😉 .



I purchased my a-mazing Silhouette Cameo around the same time I was decorating her room and couldn’t wait to use it.  One of the first projects I did with it was to make canvases with quotes on them.  The first one has my favorite Dr. Seuss quote on it.  It’s hanging above her bookshelf.


I simply painted the canvas with several coats of dark blue acrylic paint, cut the letters out of white vinyl with my Silhouette and stuck them on.  As you can see I didn’t estimate the size very well and had a difficult time fitting “you’ll GO” on there, which I didn’t realize until everything else was already stuck.  There was no way I was redoing all of that so it’s fine the way it is!

The second one I made is my favorite.  It hangs above her bed.


I painted the canvas ROYGBIV in stripes from top to bottom.  Then I used my Silhouette to cut out the quote.  This time I peeled the letters off, threw them away and placed the entire white vinyl over my canvas.

To complete the rainbow theme I decided to do one of those melted crayon canvases you see everywhere.


This one was SO much fun to make!  J and I did it together.  I bought a couple of boxes of the cheapest crayons I could find (Craz-E-Art from Big Lots).  I took out all of the rainbow-colored crayons, shaped them into a heart and hot glued them in place.  Then I took my hair dryer, put it on the hottest setting and pointed it at the crayons.  They started to melt after just a minute and I waved the hair dryer all around until I got an effect that I liked.  Hot wax will splatter all over the place and then dry, FYI.  I learned this the hard way after I spent an hour scrubbing melted crayon off of the floors and walls.  Definitely put a towel down.

When we moved from Ottawa to Virginia I kept the same theme in J’s room.  Well, sort of.  Our bedrooms are carpeted here so there’s no need for an area rug.  That’s now downstairs in the playroom.  I really like the 3 canvases so I hung them up again.  But now an obsession has entered our lives:  Disney Princesses.  Hooray.  Wanting to acknowledge that, I added a few more things to J’s room.  I found this awesome Disney Princess Wall Art from the CraftyMama on Pinterest.  She has the files uploaded onto her blog that you can use for FREE, all you need is a Silhouette!  Which I have, thankfully.  A trip to the Dollar Tree for 5 frames and 5 minutes on my computer later, princess decor.  Awesome.

diy-princess-decor diy-princess-decor

The last thing we moved over to J’s room was a Cinderella puzzle.  When I was pregnant with her I put together three 1000 piece Disney puzzles:  Cinderella’s castle, Winnie the Pooh and 101 Dalmations.  I modge podged them together, bought 3 gigantic frames at 50% off from Hobby Lobby and voila, easy nursery decor!  Unfortunately only 1 has made it through 3 moves unscathed.  The glass shattered in the Cinderella frame and we have yet to replace it.  One of these days!


I also have J’s initials hanging on the wall.  I bought the wood letters from Hobby Lobby when I was pregnant with her and added a bit of acrylic paint to embellish them.  J-Initals

She also has her magnet board (which she never uses and really I need to move into C’s room instead),


her hair bow organizer, which has been taken over by tiaras,

diy-hair-and-accessory-organizerher dress-up closet, which never looks this organized and nice,


and her animal jail!

So that’s it!  J’s rainbow/princess/not-really-anything room!  She’ll get a new theme in about a year and if I had to bet money I’d say there will be a lot more princess stuff everywhere…

Js-room Js-room-2


A FANTASTIC Homemade Gift for Family!

My family members (as in the ones I grew up with, not the ones I have now) are impossible to buy presents for.  Well, my father and stepmother are.  My siblings are super easy.  For the last 15 years each of my 3 grown-up siblings (I have 2 young step-brothers so they still get “actual” presents) get two $25 gift cards to a place of their choosing:  one for their birthday and one for Christmas.  Takes the guesswork right out of it!  My father and Nan are a whole different ball game though.  They don’t remember to use gift cards, so those are out.  They’re adults, so when they want/need something they just go out and buy it.  My father has gotten easier to shop for in the last few years.  Now that my siblings are all grown up and have their own jobs we all just go in on one big expensive present that he wants, like a recliner or big screen TV.  This year I think we got him a car dolly for his RV?  I’m not even sure…my sister just told me how much to write the check for and she took care of the details.

We still needed something for Nan though.  While browsing Pinterest (my–and everyone else’s–favorite website ever for a nice DIY gift) I stumbled across the GREATEST IDEA EVER.  A homemade bird bath!  Nan likes to garden and she has a few bird feeders in the trees in her backyard.  She would go totally nuts for something like this, especially if we added some kid handprints to it and whatnot.

I did some research on Pinterest and found all kinds of DIY bird baths.  I decided I liked this one the best.  Although I think the paint pour looks really awesome, I decided to just spray paint the entire thing and then add our handprints all around it.  I also thought it would look neat to put marbles on the bottom of the bath itself.

First stop:  Michaels.  I found the clay pots and experimented with the different sizes.  As usual I’m going to have to apologize since I don’t know what exact sizes I bought.  I think I ended up going with 4 9 inch pots, a clay tray slightly larger than the pots for the bottom, the largest tray they had for the bird bath, the smallest tray for the bird seed and 1 tiny pot (I think it was 2 inches) to hold the bird seed tray.  I wanted to comparison shop on the prices for the pots but since it was December Michaels was the only place that had them in stock.  They actually weren’t that much, plus I used a 40% coupon for the most expensive one.  I spent less than $15 total on the clay pieces.

Second stop:  Lowes.  I wanted some high quality outdoor spray paint.  I had to pick up some PVC pipe for the DIY Marshmallow shooters I was giving my 6 & 8 year old brothers for Christmas, so I grabbed some spray paint while I was already there.  I ended up going with Valspar outdoor.  It was twice as much as the off-brand, but worth every penny.  It turned out really shiny and a gorgeous color!


Final stop:  back to Michaels.  I wanted to figure out what color I was making the bird bath before purchasing the marbles for the bottom.  Plus I wanted to use another 40% off coupon since those suckers are expensive!  I checked the dollar store first, but they only had white and black; no colors.  I went with a mixed bag of purples/teals/clears/whites that I thought would coordinate well.

Time to start!  I stacked my pieces together one at a time, using a layer of E6000 adhesive to hold them together.


I adore this stuff.  It’s cheap, lasts forever and will adhere anything together.  Unfortunately the last time I used it I must not have put the cap back on correctly because the hole was glued shut.  I had to kind of roll it up to push it out and that cracked the sides so glue was coming out everywhere.  I had to pitch the half-full (oh, I must be an optimist!) container after I glued the bird bath together…there was no way to salvage the rest.  Oh well, at least it’s cheap!


I let it dry for a full 24 hours before moving it.  Not exactly the smartest idea to put it together in the kitchen when it needed to be spray painted in the garage.  Hubby didn’t appreciate that too much 😉


Since I’m a god-awful spray-painter (really any kind of painting…) I asked Hubby to do it for me.  I’m just too impatient to paint!  He sprayed a coat on, let it dry for the recommended time on the back of the can and then sprayed it a second time.  We let it dry for another full 24 hours after that before adding on the handprints.

Hubby (once again) carried the bird bath inside.  I went through my paint stash and picked out 4 colors that coordinated with the spray paint and marbles:  purple, grey, light blue and pink.  All 4 of us painted our hands a different color and pushed them on.  Doing C’s hands was extremely difficult.  There was paint everywhere.  It needed a bit more, so we added a ring of everyone’s fingerprints to the top and bottom trays.


I wish I would’ve thought the handprints through a bit more and done them differently, but oh well.  Turned out good enough!

Next I pulled out some white puffy paint and wrote “Merry Christmas Memaw! 2014” along the ring of the birdbath tray.  I underestimated how much space that was going to take up so its placement is a bit weird, but whatever.  The marbles at the bottom were the final touch.  It took awhile (seriously, over an hour!), but I finally configured them in a way that looked the best.  Hubby’s brilliant idea to keep them in place without having to glue each individual one down was to pour a bunch of polyurethane that we had leftover from staining projects over top.  This turned out to be a bad idea for several reasons.  One:  he poured way too much in and it took over a week to dry (thank God I didn’t procrastinate for once in my life so we had plenty of time for it to dry!).  Two:  even after it dried it was pretty sticky.  Three:  since he poured so much in it dried yellow.  Four:  I’m a bit afraid that we’re going to poison the poor birds who swim in this bath.


I sprayed the entire thing with a coat of outdoor sealer to keep the paint from chipping and voila!  Best present ever!

Even with it turning out so-so in a lot of ways, I was extremely happy with the end result.  It cost $22 to make it, it was the perfect type of gift for Nan, it was made with the kids’ help.  I think that’s what all of the grandparents & great-grandparents are going to get for Christmas next year!  Especially now that we’ve learned from our mistakes.  And eventually I want to make one for ourselves too…after we’ve made a whole bunch of them and know exactly what to do (and especially not do 😉 )


Go Baby Go!

C is 10 months old and has discovered how much fun walking is.  Or at least how much fun it is to hold my and Hubby’s hands and walk all over the house while we hunch over, killing our backs.  And just the other day he found floor mats.  He’s obsessed with the one right in front of the front door.  He loves to walk to it, walk around it, walk off of it, walk on it, walk around it, walk off of it, walk on it.  Repeat.  10 billion times.  He also enjoys walking on and off of Jack’s dog bed, back and forth between wood laminate and the tile in the laundry room and kitchen, and the laminate versus carpet upstairs.  Basically any different kind of feeling.

So I decided to take advantage of C’s newfound appreciation for textures and make him a sensory runway!  I’d seen this idea awhile back on Pinterest (where else?!) and kept it in the back of my mind in case an opportunity ever presented itself.  Most of the ideas that I’ve seen are either just random things thrown on the floor or random stuff glued onto cardboard that babies can crawl over.  I wanted something a bit more organized than just tossing a blanket on the floor–mainly because after doing it once I’ll never remember to do it again.  Or, more likely, I’ll just never bother to pick the blanket up off of the floor.  And of course the recycling bin just went out this morning, which means that I have zero cardboard at the moment.  I have a box arriving from Amazon in a few days, but I want to make this NOW!  C’s taking a decent nap, J’s at a playdate and I’m motivated.  This is not a time to procrastinate.

And then I got a brilliant idea.  I could use a foam puzzle!  It’ll be easy to glue everything on, there’s no need to cut out squares like I would have to with cardboard, it shouldn’t slide around the floor too much and it’s super easy to connect the pieces together!  But once again I want to do this NOW.  Hmmm….J has one of those foam puzzles….foam-puzzle

I picked it up at a yard sale a few years back and not only are most of the frame pieces missing, but it’s also ridiculously faded.  So much so that it’s actually pretty hard to put together now.  foam-puzzle

We used to use it all of the time when we used play dough or did sensory boxes or anything messy in our old house, but haven’t found much of a use for it at the new place.

I figured since she’s not here at the moment she won’t mind if I steal it and put stuff on it for C.  I’m already preparing myself for the insane meltdown when she finds out what I’ve done.  I’m going to seriously regret not procrastinating this project until I found something else, I just know it.  At the very least I should’ve bought a replacement for her first, and then used the old one.  But that would hinder doing it NOW!  I will not let a 4 year old rule my life…I will not let a 4 year old rule my life…I will not let a 4 year old rule my life…  Okay, I’m ready.

I collected a bunch of random crap I have strewn about the house with different textures.  Then I just hot glued a material onto a piece.  I’m interested to see how some of this stuff stays on the pieces…like the Angel Hair.  I have a feeling that’s going to create a giant disaster.

So here are my pieces!

sensory-runway-contact-paperContact paper, sticky side up.sensory-runway-sandpaperSand paper.sensory-runway-tulleSparkly tulle.sensory-runway-foilFoil.  I have no idea how well this one is going to work, but at least it’s shiny so if all else fails there’s that!sensory-runway-faux-furRandom faux fur fabric.sensory-runway-cellophaneA cellophane bag.sensory-runway-feltFelt.sensory-runway-towelWashcloth.sensory-runway-paper-towelPaper towel (I was stretching a bit by this point, haha!)sensory-runway-tissue-paperTissue paper.sensory-runway-bubble-wrapBubble wrap.sensory-runway-angel-hair“Angel Hair”.  I have absolutely no idea what this stuff actually is.  I picked it up at a random store that was going out of business awhile back.  It feels really cool–really soft!  It’s definitely going to make a mess though once he starts pulling on it.  Which I’m sure will be immediately.sensory-runway-foamFoam pieces from the computer we bought recently.sensory-runway-styrofoamStyrofoam.sensory-runway-shower-curtain-linerPlastic shower curtain liner.sensory-runway-foam-puzzleAnd a blank one.  I figured the foam puzzle itself has a different texture.sensory-runwayTa-da!  The finished product!

I’m super happy that I didn’t procrastinate (at least until J discovers what I’ve done…).  This project took me about 30 minutes from start to finish and I’m actually excited for C to wake up from his nap so we can try it out!  I think he’s going to love it!

THE NEXT DAY:  Well, I was right about one thing at least:  the disaster that is Angel Hair.  During his one jaunt across the runway he got some stuck to his foot.  Then when J played with it a bunch more just fell off.  I’m still finding strings of it all over the house.  And yet I haven’t actually pulled it all off of the foam puzzle piece yet.  Don’t ask me why.

I was completely off base about my other hypotheses though.  After picking J up from her playdate I made sure to prepare her that I used her puzzle, hoping to avoid the meltdown.  She could’ve cared less (although that may be because I told her that I made “something for C and you!”).  And I told her that we’d buy her a new one next time we were at the store.  Which I’m hoping she’ll forget about, but I sincerely doubt.  And then after C finally woke up from his nap I fed him and then brought him right over to it…where he walked across it exactly one time.  I tried several times yesterday and again today and he still doesn’t have any interest in it at all whatsoever.  Sigh.

There’s always tomorrow…

TWO WEEKS LATER:  it was not a waste of time.  Hallelujah!  Every day I’ll throw three or four of the pieces on the floor and he gets a blast walking on and off of them a billion times.  His favorite one is definitely the black furry one.  Now if only he would figure out how to walk on his own so I don’t have to hold his hands as he goes back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.