Thursday, July 25, 2013

DIY: Painting Striped Walls

There are so many fun decorating ideas and interior design ideas I would like to implement in my house but with the kids still pretty young, I can't really do many of them since I would probably end up having hand prints or other toddler designs added. So I am holding off on most of them.

But I figured since our powder room is pretty small, I could satisfy my need to re-design and hopefully the kids wouldn't be too keen on adding their own designs in that room.

One thing I've seen on Pinterest that I have really wanted to apply in my house is STRIPED WALLS. And the powder room felt like it would be a good place to apply it since it would add a fun element to such a small space. I decided to apply HORIZONTAL STRIPES to just one wall since I think it would be overwhelming if all the walls in that small space was striped.

I'm not even going to post before pictures because this room as the worst lighting ever. It also has an oval red and white stain glass window which limits designs and colors that I could use. After looking over many paint chips at Home Depot, I picked a light grey color that had a slight red tint as the new wall color and would add white stripes to our accent wall. After my husband painted all the walls the new light grey color, honestly you couldn't really tell the difference between the new color and the old color (a generic looking yellow). BUT after we applied the white stripes it was a totally different story!

I did some research on how other people have executed striped walls and found this site ( particularly helpful. Other people recommend using a laser leveler but we don't own one of those, and many people seem to say it isn't a good idea. We used a regular leveler and measured down our wall, marking every 9".

* John, the best husband! Always agreeing and doing most of the work when it comes to projects around the house that I dream up!

One of the BEST TIPS I learned from the above site was to paint along the painters tape with an almost dry paint brush to ensure you don't get any leakage and ruin your striped look. Then to remove the tape pretty much right after you are done painting to get a nice crisp line. ONE thing I would like to ADD though is that even though your paint brush shouldn't be dripping wet, you might want to paint along the tape area a few times to ensure you have enough coverage. The worst thing to happen would be for you to remove the tape and then realize you have streaks along the edge of your stripes.

 *Taping our borders. Measuring and taping probably took the most time in this project.

* I know it looks like my husband is doing all the work but I really did help out. He did the areas on top and I did the bottom.

Finally the FINISHED LOOK, this is probably one of the better pictures showing the stripes in their true colors since I was able to take it during the day.

And a not so good picture but you can see more of the whole effect on the room.

There are a couple of other things I want to do for my powder room re-design that unfortunately our busy schedule has not allowed us to finish yet but when we do finally get it done, I'll share more photos here!

Do you like the whole stripe wall detail as much as I do? Done any redecorating or redesigning in your house lately?


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

DIY: Sand art bottles

Since we have plenty of color sand I thought it be fun to do this craft with H while N napped. But of course when she asked to do this I didn't have one of those sand art bottles so I had to think fast. Usually I would have a water bottle in the recycling bin but of course it was recycling day. Why is it when you need something it's never there? So some of you out there (especially mothers) will probably recognize the container I ended up using. Hey it's a great way to upcycle right?

Color Sand
Bottle or jar
Tray or pan
Bamboo skewer or toothpick

Place bottle on tray. Pour sand to create colorful layers. Fill to the very top.

Poke skewer down the sides to create designs

Have you ever made a sand art bottle? What have you upcycled?

Friday, July 19, 2013

DIY: Sand art painting

We've been doing some fun sand art projects. Here's one we did the other day.

Color sand
Squeeze bottles
Tray or cake pan

I filled a bunch of squeeze bottles with color sand. I used candy melting squeeze bottles. I like how it keeps a steady flow of sand while pouring.

First place paper in tray and start making designs or drawing with glue.

Now pour sand on top of the glue drawing.

Once all the glue surface is covered slowly lift paper to remove sand.

Allow to dry and hang your work of art.
By H
By N

What do you see H's painting? or N's painting? Don't worry there's no wrong answer :)
Hope this gives you some inspiration. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer Reading

In July E1 is attending a Summer Reading Program through our school district. It has been a really great experience for many reasons.  First he gets to take the school bus to and from school which is great practice for when he starts kindergarten in the Fall. Second, he is learning to be more independent which is another great lesson to prepare him for kindergarten. And last but not least he gets to read lots of books!

He even gets books from this program that we get to keep, so it means his sisters and brother get to enjoy them as well. We have read about picking blueberries and then gone to pick blueberries ourselves over the weekend. And learned about where animals hibernate, about farms, how a farmer makes a living, and about fiction and non-fiction.

Here is a sampling of some of the books we have read so far:

Blueberries For Sal (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)
*Pic from

Ox-Cart Man
*Pic from

I can't wait to see what other books we will be getting and what adventures we will be going on.

Before ending this post, here is a fun recommendation for parents who have kids starting kindergarten or maybe even a new school--a book that really helped E1 get ready to go on the bus was Pete The Cat--Rocking In My School Shoes.

Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes
*Pic from

Do you enjoy reading books? I love reading books, just wish I had more time/energy these days to read more. What is on yours and/or your kids summer reading list?


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Keeping cool

H-O-T!!!! We are having a major heat wave in PA. But that doesn't stop my kids from asking to go out to play. Besides being out in the pool or playing on the slip and slide, we've been having some fun with ice. This definitely keeps them cool & busy! It's simple and minimal clean up. Just leave it outside and the sun will "clean up the mess".

There are all kinds of fun shaped ice cubes these days. But I just used my mini silicone muffin pans to make our ice cubes.

I thought they could build an ice igloo but they actually ended up splashing each other since the ice melted way too fast and became too slippery. They used their own creativity with some tools. H&N had so much fun that they did it again the next day.

What's your favorite thing to do to keep cool this summer? 
I like to get a cup of lemon or mango water ice.... ahh refreshing!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Music & art

If you have been following us you should know by now my kids love to paint. Another love (for me) is shopping at Target. You go in for 2 things and come home with 10, haha!  Does that happen to you too? I love the clearance aisles. My recent find was a ukelele stencil kit by Kid Made Modern for 70% off! I've been eyeing that kit since it had H&N's name written all over it. H loves art and N loves music! Plus I always like to have a rainy day activity on hand.

They were so excited when I brought it out. H wanted to play with it right away.
It's fun to watch how their painting styles were so different. H likes to take her time and keep it nice and neat while N painted various areas and enjoyed mixing his colors as he painted.  In some ways their artistry reflects their personalities. Granted H is 2 years older but even at the age of 3 she used the same technique.
N's technique
H's technique
Eventually when the kids get a little older I would like them to learn how to play an instrument.
I learned how to play the piano and clarinet. Unfortunately those instruments has collected some dust since then. Who knows maybe my kids will use them one day.
Did you learn how to play an instrument? Which one? 
Is there something you always wished you learned how to play?

*Disclaimer: This is not sponsored post.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

DIY: Fun firework art

What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the words 4th of July?
For me it's fireworks, one of my fondest memories is having my dad drive us and finding a spot by boat house row or by the Philadelphia Art Museum to watch the spectacular display of fireworks. But now we have the luxury of watching fireworks right in our neighborhood. No need to find a parking spot or wait in long lines of traffic to get home.
My kids love it! H is not so crazy about the loud booms but still gets excited to watch.
So in preparation for the 4th we decided to make some fun "kid-friendly fireworks".

Toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls
Plastic fork

Cut strips along the edge of the paper roll and fold down.
Add glitter to paint to add some sparkle and mix.
Dip roll in paint, dab and twist. Use fork to make spray designs. We added star sprinkles to embellish the fireworks.
What will you be you doing on the 4th? 
What do you like best about the 4th? Sales? A day off? BBQs?

Have a safe and Happy 4th!