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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I Wanna Take Ya...

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Aruba Tourism Authority for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

When I was a kid, like 3rd grade, the neighbor kids and I used to sing this Beach Boys song all the time.  I still don't really know why :)  We also did plenty of Michael Jackson and Weird Al.  Also, sorry if the post title was misleading.  I'm not actually taking anyone to Aruba...but wouldn't it be fun!

You know we just got back from a really awesome trip to Portugal. One of these days I'll post some more about it, but here are a few pictures we took.  It was really fun to go somewhere that isn't what people first think of when you say "European vacation."

Who knows where we'll take our next vacation (it's probably years away)  But it's always fun to look around and consider new desinations around the world.  Aruba could make its way onto the list because it's also not what people might first think of when you say "tropical vacation."

Aruba travel is a great place to get started.  With information about the island and lots of ideas for activities that don't have to include just sitting on the beach all day long, in case your husband thinks that sounds boring :)   I think a jeep excursion plus snorkeling and wind surfing sound totally fun.


But I certainly wouldn't protest to some beach lounging with a good book and a slushy drink.  Have any of you guys been to Aruba?  After checking out Aruba travel, I'd love to hear why you'd like to visit Aruba!

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Monday, May 27, 2013

How to Build a Wobble Board

So this project is kind of a funny one.  The original purpose was to give our little pet goats something to play on in the back yard.  They do love it, and play around on it all the time--but so do our kids--the human ones!  In fact, sometimes they all play together on it.

My husband put this together; here are his instructions:

Start with a piece of plywood (ours was scrap from our shed roof last summer) about 3x4 feet
Screw strips of 2x2 to the underside of each edge with 1 1/2 inch deck screws

To build the base, cut a 2x6 into (4) 5.5 inch squares.  Layer each one on top of the other, attaching each one with more screws (he used 3 inch deck screws here)  

Screw top board into base, then let your kids (or pets) have fun keeping their balance on it.

For more ideas for outdoor projects, see the Point of View post for May.  Share yours too!

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Point of View--Outdoors


Time for the May Point of View projects.  We've got some great ideas for you here on ways to spruce up some of your exterior living space.  


For details on each of the above projects, see
Jonie at Just Between Friends
Leanne at Organize and Decorate Everything
Amy at Ameroonie Designs
Ashlee at I'm Topsy Turvy

And my instructions on how to build a wobble board will be posted later, so be on the lookout!

Next we'd love to see what you've done, so link up here and we'll come check them out.

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Story Time Saturday {Breaking and Entering}

One of my random memories for your reading enjoyment. Though I'm sure the statute of limitations had passed for both parental consequences and law enforcement, *names have been changed to protect the guilty :)

The summer that I was 16, my friend *Allie and I had a little adventure at a nearby college campus. Her older sister *Lynn would be attending in the fall and had arrangements for an apartment. But she had a very important question. What color was the carpet in her new room? She could only decide which quilt to take for her bed once she knew the answer to that question.

Good news: Allie and I were going to go visit a friend at the school, so we could drop by the apartment and ask our simple question.

We found the place with no problem, a small complex with 6 apartments. We knocked on the door but there was no answer. We tried the neighbor with the same result. We tried each of the 5 neighbors plus the manager, but no one was home. But we would not turn away from our mission!

We had noticed that the front window of our target apartment was open a little, and the screen had actually ripped leaving a pretty sizeable hole. I'll bet you can see where this is going...Yep, I wiggled head first into that little living room (who's to say the hole just wasn't that big already) and let my friend in from the inside.

We inspected the bedrooms, which were thankfully empty of their residents, closed the front window back to where it was and left, making sure to lock the door behind us. Can you imagine if one of the girls who lived there had come home while we where there? We felt pretty lucky and stealthy as we drove home.

And then the flashing lights and siren! What? How could they know? My friend pulled over and we sat, waiting.

"You girls are going a little too fast out here. Could you slow it down please?" We nodded, and breathed a sigh of relief when he drove away.

I never broke in anywhere after that (unless I lived there and had locked myself out)

And you know what? I don't even remember what color that carpet was :)

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Makeup Roll Giveaway

A few weeks ago I posted this tutorial for sewing a makeup roll.  I took it with my on vacation and loved it! 

I also promised that I was working on another one that I'd be giving away.  I'm finally following through with that and here's what it looks like!  

Would you love to use this for storing some of your own makeup supplies?

Use the Rafflecopter form below to get your entries.  For your comment, tell me your favorite makeup item, or just say hi!  Then you can earn bonus entries if you want by "following" me in a couple of different places.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This promotion is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram. I hereby release them of any liability. Prize will ship within 7 days of the end of the giveaway. Giveaway starts Thursday May 23, 2013 at 12 am PST and ends Thursday May 30, 2013 at 12 am PST. Once the giveaway ends, winner will be chosen using Random.org and contacted within 24 hours by email. This post will be updated with winners name once I’ve heard back from them. Winner will need to respond within 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be chosen. Open to U.S. residents only, 18 years and older.
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Painted Flower Pot

{Drip Painted Flower Pot}
After being gone for a week and a half I've been struggling with the balance of getting all caught up on things I was putting off, or just couldn't do while on vacation and also spending more time with my kids.  I decided a little gardening project might be a fun way for me to play with my son in the dirt.  

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Kids' Jewelry Organizer

**Still having a fabulous time in Portugal, but here's one more scheduled post for you before I get back. And here's a not-great picture of a great view :)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mother's and Father's Day Gifts

I shared a Mother's Day gift idea at Craftaholics Anonymous earlier this week, and my debut post for Brassy Apple today would be great for Father's Day.

Also, don't forget to enter the giveaway for not 1 but 2 JoTotes! Click here.

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Kitchen Towel with DecoArt Ink Effects

Many of you have probably used fabric paint before--I've used it on t shirts, drawstring backpacks and pillowcases.  Here's another fun way to add color to fabric:  Ink Effects.  It doesn't ever crack or feel stiff either because the color actually transfers into the fabric.  I received some from DecoArt a few months ago and was able to try it out on this towel that I ended up using as a gift for a friend!

Before you start an Ink Effects project, check the fiber content of your fabric.  If it is more than 60% cotton (less than 40% synthetic) you must first prep the area with the base spray and let dry.  

My towel is a microfiber with 80% polyester and 20% nylon so I skipped that step.

Free hand paint or print out shapes and paint over them.  A toothpick tip works great for getting into really small spaces or lines (like the whisk)  Be sure to reverse any letters because everything will be backwards.

When dry, place paint-side-down onto your fabric.  Cover with a clean paper (don't use a scrap paper with any printing on it, the ink will transfer too!)

Move the iron around so you don't get any iron hole marks.  Make sure you go over the edges a lot too so they don't come out lighter.  It will take several minutes.  You can peel up a corner of one of the images to see if you like how dark it is.  If it still seems a little light, do a few more minutes.

Remove all the paper and let the fabric cool and it's ready to go.

Have you used Ink Effects before?  I think I might let my kids in on the action for my next project.  What would you like to see done with it?

To download and print these same shapes, go to the project library at DecoArt you'll find my instructions again there as well.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Oh Yeah--Giving Away *2* Jo Totes!

About a week ago I polled both my Facebook and Instagram buddies, and if you voted that we should give away a Jo Totes bag, you're going to love this--it gets even better because we're giving away 2!  And these bags can carry more than cameras :)

Mother's Day is only DAYS away! YIKES!! Are you ready? Do you have a gift for that special Mom in your life? Well, don't worry, we have you covered! Hang onto your seats and get ready for a FABULOUS giveaway!
GIVEAWAY - One JoTotes Bag for you AND one for mom
With Mom Day coming quickly, the Craftaholics Anonymous® Creative Team put our crafty little heads together and decided to hold a very special giveaway just for you! We are giving away 2, yes, not 1 but TWO Jo Totes! {are you jumping up and down yet?! Because we are!} We are so excited to offer you this special giveaway! Jo Totes make us weak in the knees, so we knew they would be the perfect giveaway. 

If you're in love with these bags, wait till you see JoTotes' newest bag that we have the honor to introduce to you today! Behold the "Abby" bag! 

It comes in mint or lilac and is available for preorder today on May 6th.
 The lucky winner will get a Jo Totes for herself and one to give to a special gal in her life!

{The Rafflecopter may take a second to load} 
No purchase necessary. To enter, participants must like the facebook pages by using the Rafflecopter form above. This giveaway is in no way affiliated, administered or endorsed by Facebook. The giveaway closes on May 10th, 11 PM CST. The winners will be chosen via Random.org and will be notified by email on 5/11/13 and will need to respond within 48 hours to claim their prizes or other winners will be chosen. Winner must be 18 years of age or older and a US resident in order to win. Winners are responsible for paying any necessary taxes on winnings.
Disclosure: A HUGE thank you to Jo Totes for donating the prizes! We love Jo Totes and appreciate them sponsoring this giveaway.

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Window Features

Short and simple post for you today to just share a couple of cool ideas from the window links we had last week.

This first one will show you how to build curtain rods for your bay window by Here Comes the Sun.  Such a great idea for this space!

Then how about turning a tablecloth into curtains by Clean, Smart, Simple Style.  I love the pattern of these!

Do you have any fun window treatments you've made?  Share them here!

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Flood Staining Guide and Sweepstakes

This post brought to you by Flood® Wood Care. All opinions are 100% mine.

Over the last 3 1/2 years we have been slowly working through the house on different remodeling projects.  We have taken care of the living room, kitchen and main living area, both bathrooms and the master bedroom.  All windows have been replaced and we painted the exterior of the house.  But there are still a couple of things we haven't touched yet.  Take our back deck for instance.  It's solid at least, but has definitely seen better days.  And it gets so slick when it's wet (which is often)

 Flood® Wood Care asked me to plan a project using their staining products, so I went to Staining Made Simple and answered a few simple questions about the condition of the deck and how we want it to look when we're done.

Their recommendation came back to treat the whole area with their cleaner/brightener, and then use a solid stain which will let us reapply less often and give us a mildew-resistant coating.


deck staining tips

Other staining project ideas that would be great to add to a to-do list (and then stain!) would be building a picnic bench from Ana White's plans

or making these garden planter boxes

What's cool is that right now they are running a Flood Better Backyard Sweepstakes for a chance to win $1500 plus they're giving away 12 $10 gift cards daily just for liking their page on Facebook.  Share for more entries, and keep getting great ideas from Twitter  Sweepstakes ends 5/17/2013.

Have you had luck staining your deck by yourself?  What tips can you give us?  I just know we'd better wait til summer when we can have a few days in a row without rain :)

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of the 50 United States of America and (D.C.) 18 years and older. Ends 5/17/2013. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, and prize descriptions visit www.facebook.com/flood. Void in Puerto Rico and where restricted or prohibited. This Sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to Sponsor and not to Facebook.    

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Washi Tape Teacher Gift (with Printable Tag)

When I realized that I was going to be gone during teacher appreciation week, I knew I had to come up with something fast and easy that I could get done ahead of time.

Here's what I made, and you can print out the tag below to do the same.