Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Home projects: DIY Coat rack

Have you been busy spring cleaning? Working outside in the yard? Or fixing things around the house?
Now that the weather is slowly getting warmer I started to tackle some things on my "To Do List" around the house like repaint some of our walls. Another is to organize and clean out our garage. We actually used it for our cars once upon a time, but somehow it became storage over the winter. I'm a neat freak so this is definitely next on my list. If you have any tips or things you did in your garage please share. Thanks!

But first I'll share my first project... making a coat rack/wall art.
I was tired of constantly picking up the kids jackets off the floor and I figured H & N are old enough to start hanging up their own jackets. I got my inspiration when I saw my friend's entryway project. I thought it would be a fun to do my own version.

STEP 1: Pick color swatches for the walls. I knew I wanted a darker shade for the wall since I wanted the trees to be white. Our final choice, GrayViolet D-34-4 from Olympic paints.

STEP 2: Paint wall & let dry overnight. Since our walls were previously white I only had to paint one coat.
STEP 3: Use blue tape to create mask for tree outlines. I didn't want the tree trunks to perfectly straight so I cut the tape in half and randomly cut curves and bumps to create a more "realistic" looking tree trunk. The beauty of this you can't make a mistake. I painted 2 coats of white and removed the tape after drying. For the smaller branches and details I just painted freehand. As you can see H had a hand in helping me paint the trees. This is when your kids can paint on the walls.
STEP 4: Attach hooks.
Finished product!
The hooks are still a bit too high for N to reach since we didn't want it too low and make it an accident waiting to happen, the kids have a tendency to run down the hall when they play. But it's never to early to start training kids good habits, right?
What projects have you done or plan to do? Where do you get your inspirations?

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Being a Collector

As a young child I was an avid rock collector. Whenever we were outside walking or on vacation, I would usually have my head down looking for any unusual rocks that I might stumble upon. Most of that collection is gone but I do still have some amethyst and lava rocks that where part of my most treasured pieces.

As a teen my father took our family to many antique shops as he is an avid antique collector, and my thing was glass bottles. I loved all the unusual shapes and colors of the past that are less seen these days. But once I had kids, there weren't too many safe places for me to display these bottles, and my husband felt that they were taking up a little bit too much room in our storage space. So I went through a purge and got rid of the more common pieces that I have and only kept the more unique ones. I also tried to turn my focus towards smaller glass bottles, so they couldn't take up as much space.

In the past few years, I have broaden my antique collecting horizons and branched out to larger pieces of furniture.

One of the most notable pieces that have been picked up recently is an antique wall phone. It doesn't even have numbers for you to dial, you just crank and get the operator! This particular piece has gone through some updating by a previous owner and actually has a dial inside the box, so if we actually had a land line, we could hook it up and still use it, how cool is that! And boy where things made to last back in the day. This phone is still in really good shape, really solid, and boy is it HEAVY! In case you were wondering, we actually came across this piece at a garage sale close to where we live. After some intense negotiating with the seller, I was able to get it for almost 45% less than the asking price.

Another piece is an original Eames chair that I picked up for free from a Craigslist posting of garage sale leftovers. Granted this chair has a few points on the leg that requires fixing and the seat needs some recovering, I can't believe no one picked this up during the actual sale and that the owner had no idea what they were giving away! It is going to require some research on how to properly refinish this piece, but I am really excited about it!

Now that it is getting warmer, it means garage and yard sales will be starting up again which I am totally looking forward to because it means more opportunities to find unique and rare pieces, I can't wait!

Did you collect anything as a child? Do you collect anything now?


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Angry Bird Space party

N loves Angry Birds so I wasn't surprised when he said "Mommy, I want Angry Bird Space for my party!" I actually did "homework" since there are different birds in each version... space, star wars, seasons etc. Thank God for Pinterest and Google.

For this I made Super Red Bird and put him on the sling. Party details are on the back.

We have a collection of Angry Birds & Pigs to use as decor. Since it was a space theme I made a Happy Birthday banner out of space eggs and stuck stars and moons on the wall. Added streamers and made Super Red Bird balloons to add some color.

Level 3, CAKE:
N wanted a Super Red Bird cake. I also made pig cupcakes for the kids. I used Wilton candy eyes and sugar pearls for the nostrils.

Level 4, FAVORS:
I made angry bird goodie bags and attached personalized tags for each kid. I made "TNT" boxes to hold an angry bird. Designed a fun package for glow in the dark stars, candy & snacks. And last but not least angry bird punch balloons.
Level 5, GAMES:
Since H had a piñata N wanted one too, of course. I made him the Ice Bomb Bird piñata.
Again the kids cleaned up the treats in record time!

Pin the mask on Super Red Bird.
I drew red bird, cut out the masks and made a fun blindfold. The kids were very clever, they started to feel for the last person's mask to guess where to stick their mask.

Angry Bird Space toss game.
I used various cardboard boxes wrapped in craft paper to recreate the wooden planks. Cut holes, glued on some space pigs and made space bird bean bags. The kids really enjoyed this game and wanted to play a second round.

N was thrilled and got so excited when he saw the things I made for him. Priceless! Everyone had a smashing good time. I had tons of fun planning H&N's birthdays.
I'm partied out...until next year!

Are you or your kids into playing with Angry Birds? 
What is your favorite app game that you play?

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Growing Our Veggies

Spring has finally arrived here in PA and we are super excited! The kids got to spend some extended time outside yesterday picking flowers, rolling around in the grass, and climbing some trees.

The warm weather also gets me thinking of growing some of my own veggies this spring/summer season. I really don't have a green thumb at all, so it's kinda daunting and scary for me to even consider this. Along with the fact that we live in a townhouse where we don't really have our own backyard to plant in but we can grow things in pots. Even with these two "issues" I am willing to give growing our own veggies a try but have no real idea where is a good place to start.

I have heard that tomatoes are pretty easy to grow, and last year Eva grew some green beans that looked really good in a pot on her deck. So I'm thinking I'll start with tomatoes and green beans this time.

*Image taken from

I will try to keep you updated on how things go with my first experience planting my own veggies.

Any of our readers have experience that you could share with me and any suggestions on what veggies are pretty easy to grow in a pot? I would appreciate any help you can offer!


Monday, April 8, 2013

Bizarre foods?

My husband & I enjoy watching Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. This guy has one strong stomach. It's always interesting to see his reaction when it he goes to Asia and tries out their bizarre foods. The one episode we laugh about is when he tried a durian. Don't know what that is read Zi's post about durian here.

Funny how certain foods may seem bizarre to some but taste so delicious to others. After Easter service we went out for dim sum with my parents and sister. It's a treat for us since we don't get to go that often. Dim sum is a style of Cantonese food served in small portions in steamer baskets or plates. It's usually carted around the restaurant where you can order as they come by your table. One of my favorites is the fung zau / phoenix claws a.k.a chicken feet.
Image from Wikipedia
Either your mouth is watering or you're cringing right now. I'm usually the only want who really wants it. But to my surprise when N saw it he asked for some. So I gave him a small piece and waited for his reaction... he nodded his head and said "Mmmm, I want more!"  Haha that is my boy!

What is your favorite "bizarre food" or most bizarre food you've ever tried?

Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 1, 2013

March Coloring Contest:Winner

We are happy to announce that our March coloring contest Winner is Baby C, age 2!

Congrats to Baby C and her mommy!

Eva and Zi