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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Office

Since we're stationed in England and a Home Depot isn't right around the corner, things in the play room are on hold until I can find a place to get the materials I need. So onto the office... :) My office is a tiny room that leads into the master bedroom, naturally it became an office. I want to personalize this space, since when the kids are sleeping I'm usually in here on the computer and/or working on some sort of project. So I am going with black & white, since I just can't get enough of it, with a bit of pink popping out. :) The room is definitely a work in progress, but I am so excited about how it's coming along I have to share!! :)

On our trip to Ikea a couple months ago I picked up a new desk, 2 expedit bookcases, and a magnetic board for the office. I am on the search for fabric & plexi glass to go on top of the desk.

So I found pretty contact paper at a store in town and I covered the magnet board with it. SUPER CUTE!! I'm going to turn pink buttons into magnets to add the pop of pink in the pic, but I love it already.  (Can you believe I don't have a good b&w pic of Elora! Hoping to get a good one next week)

So because the magnet board worked so well I thought
 "Hey let's do the same thing to the cork board!"

BTW those are London Theatre tickets to WICKED!! Taking my 6 yr old next week to see it, can't wait!! :)

I saw on pinterest, somewhere, a picture of a bookcase with the back covered in Fabric, it made a piece of furniture look so different, so I decided to do the same thing. Instead of fabric I chose contact paper in a different b&w pattern. So much easier in my opinion than gluing fabric.
So here's my little corner of the office, right to the left of the book case is the door leading out to the hallway. See my pink button art, love the pop of pink.

I haven't really found the perfect set up for my bookcase, but this will do for now.I have so many tupperware bins full of craft supplies. I'm working on super cute labels, but again I was too impatient to wait so consider this an after & before picture. I got the striped boxes at Ikea, unsure how they'd look in the space, but I really like them for storing all the USB cables & electronic wires, I could actually use a couple more.

Since I ran out of storage boxes, I improvised and used boxes I had around the house, and just used the same contact paper I used for the book shelf to cover the box. Can you guess what kind of box it is....

Any guesses....

Yep!! A Diaper box!! I ran out of contact paper to cover the entire thing so I just covered the fronts for now. I have 2 of these on the expedit bookshelves next to my computer. It still looks a little blah so no pics of the whole thing yet. I'm working on it. :)

So what do ya think of my office so far? I am loving it!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Menu Board

"Seriously why do they want dinner every single night?" or "It's that lovely time again, Dinner... what is for dinner?" These have been my facebook posts for a while now, with hubby not home for dinner it just made it harder to plan a menu and then stick with it. So after a slump I've decided to stay ahead of this meal called dinner.

After looking at a ton of ideas off Pinterest for Menu Boards, I finally made ours and I really like how it turned out. Even my 6 year old looks at it and announces what is for dinner to her 4 & 2 year old brothers, it's great! So here is what it looks like:

I've FINALLY decided on a color scheme for my kitchen, since the cabinets are white and the counters have a gray & black marble look to it, I've decided to go with gray & yellow as the primary colors. :) So when I made this board I kept those colors in mind.

The overall cost of this project FREE!!! I had all the materials on hand to make it! So here is how I did it:

12x12 scrapbook paper
12x12 piece of Carboard, I just cut a piece from an Amazon box.
1 box of jiffy cornbread, cut in half
7 clothespins
Colored paper to cover the cornbread box
Menu ideas printed onto 1" strips of paper
Days of the week squares
Glue Gun

I used my hot glue gun to glue everything on. First I made a list of all the meals my family likes to eat, and did a search to find a few new recipes that I thought they'd enjoy. Then I went onto Microsoft Word and put them all into 7 different categories and assigned each category a color. I Listed them below along with a picture.  I chose categories that worked best for us, and it just happened to work out that there are 7, so the idea is there won't be any duplicated colors in a week. If it was a crock pot meal I put a tiny (cp) next to it, so I knew where in my recipe box to find it.

Chicken- Gray
Beef/Pork- Green
Fish- Blue
Italian- Red
Mexican- Pink
Misc.- Yellow (dinner out, leftovers, and breakfast meals are in this category)
Sandwiches- Dark Gray

My original idea was to print them out on different colored paper, BUT I didn't have 7 different colors on hand so I "highlighted" them instead. Then I typed out the days of the week and "Menu" and made a thick yellow border around it and printed them all off. Next I cut the Menu Ideas into 1" strips.

 I cut the cardboard box and glued the scrapbook paper on. Then I cut the cornbread box in half and glued yellow paper to it. I glued the days of the week to the clothespins and placed everything on the board to figure out where I wanted to glue everything, once I was satisfied, everything got hot glued on.

The top box contains all the printed out Menu Ideas. The bottom box contains blank paper strips for any new menu ideas along with a pen.

I just used a 3M picture hanging strip and hung it on an empty wall in my kitchen, next to our calendar and the grocery list.

Speaking of... I ALSO made a Grocery check List that is right next to it so when we run out of something I can just check it off as needed. :) I just printed off about 15 and clipped them together. When it's time to go shopping I can just take the list off and there will be others behind it, as it gets low all I have to do is open the document and print more off. I thought about making it all colorful and pretty but then came to my senses and realized it is only a list that I'll have to print off numerous times and will eventually get thrown away. So black and white it is.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Kid's Calendar

Another great pinterest idea! I saw this and knew I wanted to make one for my kiddos. The gal who I got the idea from made this for her 4 children whom she home schools. I do not home school my 3 children, I don't think I would have the patience for it, however I love this for so many reasons. 

1) During the summer my goal is to work with Derek on the areas he struggles with the most; Carpet Time and Social Activities. He makes friend's easily and always talks about them, but he has a hard time knowing when it is time to play and when it is time to listen and also keeping his hands to himself. 
2) When the older 2 go back to school this will be a great way to incorporate pre-school activities with Dylan since it will just be him & I all day. 
3) I added the things that I knew my children would enjoy, but also age appropriate things that they each can do. Like the adding of the school day's this is great for Elora; Colors and Pet great for Dylan; Shapes & Alphabet great for Derek. Then everything else we can all do together.
4) Everything is right there on the calendar, everything needed for the certain calendar activity is on the key ring, no needing to have a seperate storage area to keep up with.

Poster Board        Colored Paper
Laminator & pocket sheets
Calendar activities printed out
25 metal key rings       19 plastic hooks
20 clear thumb tacks(push pins)
Double sided permanent tape

So first I found all the calendar activities that I wanted on our Calendar I got them all from these websites:

Then I printed them out, cut them out, laminated them, cut them out again and hole punched them. Then I put the metal key rings on them. Next I used my double sided tape to tape everything to colored paper that I measured and cut to make a border and give it more color. Then I placed everything on the posterboard and moved things around to make it all fit, once I was happy with that I got busy taping everything down, and adding the plastic hooks. :) Here is a break down of each section.

The Date: Here is a closer picture of it, all the days of the week are on one set of rings, months, day, year are the same. I used the plastic hooks to hang the rings on.
What's the Weather Like Today?                        Each day has a plastic hook and there are a set of 6 cards on each ring and every day the kids will take turns finding what the weather is like for that day. (at the time of the photo I was short 2 key rings so Friday didn't have a set of cards hanging, but there is supposed to be one there) :)
The Temperature- I didn't take an individual picture of this, since you can see it in the first picture. Basically the kids will take turns each day to read the outdoor thermometer and color in with a dry erase marker the actual temperature. Since they attend a British School they will also write it in Celsius and for the sake of their old mom and dad also write it in Fahrenheit. :)

Today, Tomorrow, and Yesterday
I remember when I was younger, like 4. I always struggled with the concept of  yesterday, today, and tomorrow. My children are no exception, I often get asked "When is Tomorrow?" "Are we doing this tomorrow or yesterday?" So I love this little chart, it provides a visual and will hopefully help them understand. It works with the weather chart also, "yesterday it was rainy, what is it today?" 

Days until/In School
I used push pins for this chart, and as you can see in the 1st picture I cut a small piece of white paper and wrote until on it and covered the "In" Since it is summer we are doing a count down of how many days until school starts. Then below that there is space for them to add the days together using hundreds, ten's, and one's. I also have them try to count up to that number. In the 2nd picture you'll see the Days "In" School. (At the time of the photo I was short 2 key rings, there is a set of cards on each pin now.) 
 My Address:
I didn't take an individual picture of this either, since you can see it clearly in the first picture. With this the address and phone number have now been added, I just used a dry erase marker. Since we're living in England the Emergency Number is 999 not 911 so I just printed out my own and put it overtop the 911 that was already on the pdf file I downloaded for this printable.

____ of the week:
 I loved the idea of having a "something" of the week section so I chose things that would be fun for the 6 year old but also things that will help the 2 & 4 year old. In the blog post I originally got the idea from they did ___ of the day; however when the older 2 go back to school it will just be me and little man and if we changed it everyday we'd be done with the cards in 2-4 weeks. So I changed it to weekly, and we'll see how it goes. I made 4 categories; shape, color, animal, and alphabet. For the alphabet I downloaded the body pdf file here: I like the idea that there is an exercise associated with each letter. ALSO with the letter of the week we'll review our Alphabet Bible Verse that is strung along the playroom wall's. So for example;  The calendar activity says to make circles with your Ankle. The bible verse is from Psalm 18:30 As for God his way is Perfect. :)

So there is The Kid's Calendar. They had tons of fun with it this morning, we'll see if the excitement keeps up at least through the summer. :)

Playroom part 2

So my goal was to have the playroom done before the kids got out of school. This didn't happen, however I am very happy with the progress made, and it's almost done!! Here was the list of things to get done...

~Get rid of small pointless toys (2 trash bags worth)
~Organize all toys in new baskets

This is the trofast system from Ikea, it was a little pricey, however it is very sturdy and should last a long time. We used to have the cheap cubbies from Target with the fabric cubes, but the corners of the unit were destroyed in the move and the fabric cubes had so many liquid stains it was gross, and they lost their shape so I knew I was going with plastic this time around. 

~Label all the baskets

Made the labels to match the Alphabet Scripture hanging, and just added pictures.

  ~Paint the table& 2 stools and get 2 new stools for it 

The table and 2 square stools used to be dark blue with Toy Story characters on them, I painted them white and got 2 more stools from Ikea to add to it. It turned out cute. The kids are always playing on it.

~Hang a shelf for our phone center(the only outlet for the Internet & phone is in the corner of the playroom)
~Set up "centers" it works for schools so why not do it at home. (almost done)

WOOHOO! So all I have left are the 2 things mentioned above. I have the shelf for the phone but I need to paint it white and when I finally have the time to do it, it's raining outside. Figures. Then setting up "centers" this is mostly done, all that is left is the reading center, but the bench needs to be finished and once the shelf for the phone is up I can come up with a creative way to store books on the wall. :)

So in addition to the above mentioned:
~Finish the kids reading bench

The white bench on the left, is actually a coffee table from Ikea. I will be getting a piece of wood and 2" foam all cut to the appropriate size, and I have already ordered outdoor fabric(because let's face it, 3 kids ages 2, 4, & 6... outdoor fabric is the way to go) to cover it. Then we'll drill the seat pad onto the coffee table and voila a reading bench for the kids. The opening on the front is a perfect spot for books and then on the side it has enough room for 3 storage bins, YAY more storage for toys!! Except since it is the "reading bench" I might just have baskets full of books!! 

~Hang shelves for the books
~Find a colorful carpet
~Buy 3 more bins for under the bench
~ Hang 3 pictures of the kids 
~Figure out what else to put on the walls

So here are some more pics of the playroom and a few other projects I've done in there. :)
another view of the play room

             Lego Table 
Bought the $8 end table from Ikea and glued Duplo Lego plates onto the top. I chose the Duplo instead of the smaller Lego's for many reasons, when the time comes that we're ready for the smaller Lego's I will just sell this whole set and make another one with the regular small Lego's. :)

 On pinterest I found these Alphabet Bible Verses; turns out a woman makes them and charges $60. Well I had the brilliant idea of making my own and this way I could choose my own verses. I liked the circles so I stuck with that idea, just changed the colors. Here is how it turned out, super cute I think!! I'm also going to incorporate it into our kid's calendar.(another blog post about the calendar to come)

It was more time consuming than I thought it would be, and for some reason Microsoft Word started running really slow, but they are done and I LOVE it.

 My latest project that I just finished is the kid's calendar. I got the idea from pinterest, a mother who home school's her 4 children made this for their "classroom" I LOVED this idea even though I don't home school. One of my goals this summer is to do carpet time and more social school activities with the kids and this is a perfect introduction to that!! Check back soon for more details on the kid's calendar!! :)

 So there ya go!! Super excited about the playroom, it's come a long way. I'm terrible about taking "before" pictures, I never think about it until AFTER the project is done, but trust me this is a huge improvement, I even love playing in there. At the beginning of this whole project the goal was to make the room more useful so the kids would play in it more, who knew that the result of this whole project was that I would play in it and spend more time with my children!! The Blessing is in the SEEDD :)