Friday, April 29, 2016

DIY Play Kitchen.


This is going to be one of my favorite posts. A project that I've dreamt about for years, waiting for my daughter to be big enough to appreciate it. The day finally came and we finally got to shop for her play kitchen that mommy planned in her head.

I'm pretty proud of my frugality on this one. I couldn't bear paying over $150 for a wood toy kitchen. Plus I know I'm resourseful, crafty, etc. I knew I could make one myself on the cheap!


Caraline helped me shop for the perfect cabinet at our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and then it was my job to make my mental concept a reality. The best part of this whole thing is how much money I DIDN'T spend. The entire unit cost me less than $25 to make (not including the stain I purchased at Lowe's to replace a dark stain that I ran out of - $10).

Cabinet: $10
Faucet, fixtures, chain, knobs: $10
"Backsplash" - $5
Legs: scrap from old footboard (free)
Wood: on hand (free)
Paint: on hand (free)
Nails/Screws: on hand (free)

 
I'll share in photos the final product as I did not take any progress photos (my apologies).



The wood I used for the countertops is wood that was just laying around our garage, some from pallets, others scraps from my dad's barn wood (that I used on an earlier storage project in our garage). So, basically it was FREE.

The sink was the trickiest part - finding a bowl the right size and shape for the space I had to work with... and figuring out a way to secure the knobs and faucet into the wood. But thanks to my dad and a HUGE drill bit, we solved the problem and wedged those babies in there nice and secure.


The moment I knew she loved her new kitchen? When we brought it into the house from the garage where it had been living for a couple weeks and she went "Oooooh!" and ran to her room to grab her play food and silverware/plates.

She began "washing" her hands and putting it to good use immediately.


When we started fixing our current home up (see: making it look less "builder grade" and more personal) I removed the towel bars from both bathrooms and replaced with hooks. All I did for the play kitchen towel bar was cut the old one down and screw it to the new play kitchen. BOOM.


I hope you love it. I do! My husband is impressed. And my daughter has played with it quite a bit in just the 24 hours it's been in place in our dining room. I call that a success!

Happy DIY'ing!






Saturday, January 9, 2016

10 Simple Toddler Hairstyles.


Raise your hand if you have a busy, wiggly, adorable toddler! [raising my hand]

Raise your hand if your busy, wiggly, adorable toddler refuses to sit long enough for you to style her  hair. [raising both my hands]

I have some advice. And it's what has worked for us. Here it goes:

1. Turn on cartoons.
2. Be quick.

Really. My daughter's best hair day is a day that cartoons are playing, I'm fulling prepared (spray bottle of water, comb, hair ties a plenty, etc.) and I flip, twist, part and tie like I'm racing the clock. Which I sort of am.

My daughter will be 2 next month and I started doing her hair early. Granted, she came out of the womb with a mop that made John Stamos jealous, BUT she had a headband on her head from day 2. Literally.

Also, as soon as her hair was long enough for a ponytail you bet I was using baby-safe hair ties and working that sprout. My girl is no stranger to her mama torturing her tugging on her locks every morning. So, that has a lot to do with it, I'm sure.

I've taken pics the last few months and gathered my top 10 favorite go-to hairstyles I have fashioned for Miss C. They're all quick, simple and using the rules above should produce cute "keep that hair outta your face, last all day until naptime" hairstyles for any toddler with enough hair.

Please excuse a couple that are blurry. She sits still for the styling, but I can only ask so much of her when I need to document. 

10 Simple Toddler Hairstyles

1. 
 

2.  

3. 

4. 

5. 

6. 

7. 

8. 

9.
 

10. 


And... BONUS!

11. When all else fails, there's always the Alfalfa. My personal favorite during bath time. #momscanenjoybathtimetoo



Happy Styling!






Monday, November 23, 2015

4 year anniversary.

Hello all! First of all, what do you think of the blog redesign? Eh?

Second - We recently had family photos taken at the property we visit each year. The same property where we had our wedding reception in 2011. The landscape is beautiful and it's fun to return each fall to document our family (my sisters, mom and grandparents join us, too).

You may remember from years past how Mike and I take a particular photo holding an empty frame and I insert the photo from the year before - thank you Photoshop. We started this tradition on our 1st anniversary and have done it each year since. Now that our daughter is here, it's neat to see the change in her from last year to this year. I really do look forward to seeing how we all will gain and lose weight change year after year.

Here are the year's past to jog your memory (or you can check out my blog post from 2013 here and the How-To post here).

2012 (1st year anniversary):


2013 (2nd year anniversary):


2014 (3rd year anniversary):

And finally this year, 2015, our 4th year anniversary:


If you don't do something like this with your family, I really encourage you to start! I'm happy we did 3 years ago.

Happy Memory Making!






Monday, October 5, 2015

Make a Treasure Tray.

It's been a while since I posted a craft.

Crap.

That last part wasn't necessary.

It's been a while since I posted. Period.

I'll skip the assumed reasons and get down to business. I'm frugal. And when I see something crafty being sold at an amount I'm not willing to pay (calculating time spent + materials = worth it?), I immediately think "How can I make that for cheaper?"

Such is this story about a cute "treasure tray" being sold by an awesome company a friend recently introduced to me at a home party. The concept is great! A unique way to display photos or notes. While I love most the products and what their origins represent with this company, I'm still not willing to overpay for a simple project.

[And when I say simple I mean I literally made this in 10 minutes. But more on that later...]

That price, though!

I saw this tray in the catalog and just loved it. Even more, my older sister loved it, too. But neither of us loved the price (darn it). And you know how you know when someone is thinking of buying something, but doesn't want to spend the money so she ponders it out loud? My sister did that. And I told her, "Don't buy it. I'll make you one." She replied with "Seriously?" and I was like "Uh, yea." Cuz I knew I had all the materials at my house to duplicate it. So, I added it to my forever growing craft to-do list.

About a week after attending the party, I grabbed everything I needed. And in about 10 minutes I had a finished treasure tray of my own ::cough:: for my sister! And it cost me NOTHING (sort of) since I already had all the supplies, even the shallow basket which was not being used. I recommend, if you plan to do this, using a loosely woven basket so the big needle can get through with the twine.

Look at that cutie. She's not a baby anymore...

The steps are simple and easy if you have a good sturdy needle. It's a matter of weaving the twine criss cross one way, then criss cross back the opposite way. You can make more or less rows than I did. And use any sort of clips you like. I happen to have some mini clothes pins in my craft supplies, so those were perfect!


I texted my sister a picture of the final product with something to the effect of "come and get it." And if I remember correctly, she was at my house in about 5 minutes. And she loves it.

If you try this craft, feel free to post pics or links to your projects in the comments here. I'd love to see them!

Did you know I'm on Facebook? Well - now you do! Please, show me some love and "like" me at www.Facebook.com/dwbhkl

Happy Crafting!




Friday, June 19, 2015

Make a unique Father's Day gift.

Need an easy Father's Day gift and feeling crafty? Do some diggin in your old Scrabble game (come on, you don't play it anymore, do you?) or get to Goodwill or some community garage sales, fast!

Overall the project cost less than $7. Now that's my kind of craft!

I used tiles from a Scrabble game that my mom found at a garage sale for a dollar. I made a trip to the store for a nice picture frame ($6) and busted out my glue gun.


I put down a couple simple dots of glue in a straight line and applied the tiles.


This craft literally took me 10 minutes to construct, but I absolutely love how it turned out.


I had a photo of Mike & Caraline printed for this and can't wait to give it to him for Father's Day. It'll be a special frame just for pictures of the two of them for years and years.


I encourage you to do this craft yourself. It's really very easy and it'll be something you can be proud of. That's better than any store-bought gift you can find.

Happy Father's Day!





Monday, June 15, 2015

Cheerios necklace.



My daughter loves Cheerios (uhhh flavored oat cereal? Eh, I'll just say Cheerios) She also loves "pretties" aka necklaces.

I had this brilliant idea to make her a necklace of Cheerios to keep her busy and for snacking. I had all the supplies on hand: Cheerios (you could use any flavor), string, a large needle and scissors.


I threaded enough Cheerios to make a large necklace to fit her (age 1) and I alternated Frosted Cheerios and regular Cheerios.


From beginning to end it took me about 20 minutes. I found it most efficient to stack a half dozen or so at a time and then slide them onto the string.


I tried it on her and she really liked it. In hindsight, I'd let her snack on this OUTside since I ended up with about 25 halves of Cheerios on our carpet, but it's okay.


Whatever makes her happy! Cheerios necklace is Caraline approved!

Happy Stringing!




Saturday, June 13, 2015

Paint a "Mawwage" sign.

My good friend recently got married and asked me to make her a sign for their reception. She's a huge Princess Bride fan and loved this quote by the Impressive Clergyman. It was really quite simple to make.

First, I printed out the phrase as a guide for painting the text.


I constructed scrap pieces of wood and stained them dark java.


Then I taped off the lines so they were straight and began hand painting the words, constantly referencing the print outs taped to the wall.


I finished the letters that went below the tape after removing the tape. I also added a little heart with their initials for a special touch.

I love how it turned out! And my friend loved it, too.


Happy Mawwage, Tracy and Kevin!