Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Events

I have Memorial Day off. Neil does not. His school had to make up for a SNOW day! :)
This is the first Day since July 28th of last year that I am off and he is not. It is weird.

However, I spent some time in our new POOL!

Don't get too excited. It is mini, even for me. But it does help to beat the heat! It is 97 today!

Hope you had a great Memorial day!

Monday, May 30, 2011

A roof over our head

A few weeks ago, we had some bad weather. It involved hail, high winds, and rain.
Our house was built in 1992 and it still had the original roof so it was not too surprising that we had shingles flying off during our hail storm.

This opened up an opportunity for a new roof.
If you are new to this blog, the Mr. is and energy guru.
He works very hard to keep costs for water and electricity down.
If you are interested, see this post.

After a few quotes, we were so excited to finally get his dream METAL roof.

This was our house on move-in day.

This is the new roof. We were thankful also, that our new porch build my Dad and hubby here, got a new roof as well.

Not only does it look nice, it definately helped keep the temperature upstairs down.
I am only slightly concerned about the color. We did not realize that the color was so close to the house color. However, if I absolutely CANNOT live with it this way, YOU WILL GET TO VOTE ON THE COLOR ONE DAY! So stay tuned for more.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Bedside storage

Living in a small house makes you get really creative with storage solutions.

This is our guest room side table.
This is the second time I have done used this idea. The other was in college. The top one holds tons of beads and buttons and crafty stuff. The second one holds extra bed sheets and pillowcases for the guest bedroom. And the third one holds electrical cords, chargers, and all other things that plug into the wall.

These are things that we don't have to get into often so it has worked out great.

The top one is from Hobby Lobby and the bottom two are from my favorite thrift store, Laverty's.

The guest room loves to be used so remember us if you are ever in Waco!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Earring organizer

Do you have ten places for your earrings? Does your jewelry end up all around the house.
Well, here is a quick fix for all those long, dangl-y earrings.

I used an old frame from Goodwill, and simply wrapped twine around it over and over and over...

This is one way to get organized. Stay tuned for more organization tips all week.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Beach to Bay Relay Marathon

I spent this weekend in Corpus Christi, TX!
I woke up at 4:00 IN THE MORNING to run a relay marathon!
I know, not how you want to spend every weekend but it was lots of fun.

The marathon requires 6 runners so some of my cousins and I got a team together. While we do "train" a little, it is more about being together and of course the COSTUMES!

Last year we won the costume contest so we had to bring it again this year.

Our team name was Running Wild. Our costumes were a little something like this:

Plus ears.

That hideous picture made the local newspaper with a caption that read:

"Margo Shanks from Waco waits under the JFK Causeway during the 36th Annual Beach to Bay Relay Marathon Saturday. Her team was called Running Wild and each team member had ears and animal print shorts."

These are most of my team members.

We had a huge fan club with us. About 20 others came out just to watch us.
There may be more pictures to come.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

yes you CAN

As mentioned earlier this week I was going to give a few idea for reusing cans and jars. Well, you will not be disappointed. Here are a few great ideas.

I WILL try this in my backyard.

This is an simple idea for an evening wedding, party, or even dinner :)

I remember doing this for halloween as a kid but the possibilities are endless.

Ok, I think this is brilliant! The back is a cookie sheet and magnets are glued to the cans.

I think I might try some of these (especially the first one) and when I do, I promise to post.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Two things:
1. Reuse as much as you CAN...get it :) Really, cans can be used for a bunch of things. Here is a super quick and easy way.

2. I picked these wildflowers from our yard right before the Mr. was going to mow. Saving cans and flowers.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Put a lid on it!

Out here in our little town, we have trash pick up but we do not have recycling service. I still save cans and jars simply because it hurts to throw them. It seems like I might need them one day. I never have but I have found some ways to reuse them.

This week will feature a few posts about reusing jars and cans.

Today I will show you a cute way to increase storage with jars.

First you need jar lids, scrapbook paper, and modpodge.

I first cut out circles for each lid. Then I modpodge-ed them together. Each one came out different and unique.

Let them dry and you have cute storage for all those little things-beads, paperclips, thumbtacks, spools of thread, screws, etc.

I would put BUTTONS in this one - its my favorite.
Free, cute storage! I knew there was a reason to save them. These will probably make it into my craft closet as storage.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

How I painted the counters

I have gotten lots of requests for a tutorial on my counter tops.

The idea to paint my counter tops first came from the blog world. I had seen many success stories and lots of tutorials. I will admit that I did not follow any one exactly. I mixed methods and made some up as I went along so please feel free to do the same.

- sandpaper
- 4 paints
- Sponge roller brush
- paint sponge
- Paint tray
- Lots of plastic baggies (like the Wal-mart kind)
- patience (it took me about 5 days)

The very first step was choosing the “granite” color. I did this by going to the home improvement store and scouting out their granite sample chips. I took some home and decided which one I liked. Then, I really, really looked hard and wrote down all the colors I saw. Then I matched them with paint chips. I chose four colors: tan, dark tan, brown and white. The paint guy recommended I used a mixture of glossy and satin finish. Both are easy to clean.

At home:

  1. clean and degrease your counter. This is really important. I must not have a good enough job because there are spots that did not accept paint.
  2. Sand your counter tops until the shine comes off. I used 60 grit sandpaper but having a sander would be amazing!
  3. Wipe down your counter to remove all dust from sanding.
  4. Pick your base color.(Mine was the tan) and paint the counter top. No going back now!!!

Hint: to same money and time, I used a tip that my dad taught me for painting. I put grocery bags over my paint tray so that it is easy to go from one color to the other without cleaning it out every time.

  1. Let that dry. I left mine overnight.
  2. Pick the next color – I chose darker tan. This is where the fun comes in. Dip the sea sponge in paint and lightly sponge everywhere! The thickness is up to you but try to be even – as in not large clumps here and there and emptiness in other places.
Let that dry.

5. Now go brown. If you thought that was fun/scary this will be super fun/scary. You are going to grab a plastic bag and crinkle it as such.
6. Then….dip it in paint and dab all over the place! ( I know I know…I hate randomness, too)
7. Let that dry. You may like it already, I did. I fact I struggled for 2 days deciding if it needed another color. Since my cabinets were going white, I decided to add a bit of white using the baggie method again.
8. Let that dry.
9. This next step is a very important step. And this is where every tutorial differed. You need to coat the top with a polyurethane or something like that.

*beware, it can smell up the house so do not do this if you are hosting a party, or in my case,Thanksgiving.

This is what gives it shine and protection.

I went with Minwax Satin Polyurethane. It was so simple. I just used a roller sponge brush. And put three coats on allowing it to try between coats. Three may sound like a lot but it was NOT enough.…I would do 5 if you are able.

This process took me about 5 days. The whole thing cost me about $30.
- White paint (1 gallon, I used it for my cabinets too)
- $8 Tan paint (1/2 gallon)
- Brown paint - $0 ( I had it from painting the walls)
- Dark tan (1/2 gallon) $5
- Sponge brush - $3
- Baggies - $0
- Sea sponge - $4
- Sandpaper - $1 (I get mine at the dollar store)
- Paint tray - $1 (dollar store as well)

This is the picture of the finished product. I painted the cabinets too. That's another post for another day :)

If you decide to do it, let me know how it goes. Email me or comment if you have questions along the way. Good luck!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mother's Day Gift #2

We flew to Iowa over Mother's Day so gift giving revolved around fitting it in my suitcase and getting it through the scanners - which it almost didn't!

Teacup candle

This is listed as one of the three crafts I wanted to try someday.

Well what better day than mother's day?!

I followed the directions on the Martha Stewart blog. Here is a super quick tutorial.

1. First, you need two pots, one smaller than the other. You fill the bigger one half way with water and let it boil.

2. When it begins to boil, you take a candle, and place it in the smaller pot which then goes in the bigger pot...confusing, I know. Here is a visual.

3. the candle will burn down slowly. When you can, reach in and get the wick. It will be a liquid solution.

4. The next step is to place a new wick (found at Michael's) at the bottom of the teacup.

5. Then, pour the liquid into a teacup. (I bought mine at Marshall's)

6. Allow to cool.

It clean up was a mess. As soon as you can, wipe up any left over wax with a paper towel.

Do NOT pour down the sink!

I had to scrape tons off my new sink!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mothers Day Gift #1

I did not get to post my mother's day gifts due to the fact that both my mothers are followers. But all gifts have been recieved and now its your turn.

My mother's gift started from a trip to the Habitat ReStore where I found this window panel for $2!! I would have grabbed more but there was only one.

Since I already had the laminate used for this project, I went ahead and cut out my letters.

I have seen this project done lots of times but the hardest part was deciding what to put on it. I knew where it would be hung so I went simple.

That is my maiden last name. I finished it with two hooks on the top to use for hanging.

Since I gave it to her early, she was able to put it out for the mother's day party that the men in our family hosted at her house.

Personalized gifts are the best!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Class of 2011

This weekend we took a quick trip up to Iowa to celebrate my sister-in-law's graduation from Iowa State University.

The Proud Parents

The Kiddos


The Ohioans

Congrats Janel! Colorado here she comes!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mommies Day

Just wanted to send a big I LOVE YOU and THANK YOU to my mommy.

This is the lady that gave my all my crafting talent and showed me how to use a glue gun, sew a button, use a sewing machine and thrift shop!

She is my biggest fan! She is the most beautiful woman I know.


Happy mothers day to all the moms out there.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Our family is GROWING!!!

We have been talking about extending our family for some time.

And we finally made the jump!!

It was an accident, but this little house is bursting with excitement!

Hope you will be excited with us.

Meet the new addition to our home.

His name is Lewie!

We have no idea what kind he is. Neil was lost on his way home from the DMV (long story) and saw him on the side of the road. After checking with the nearest houses, he brought him home. To our surprise, Rexx gets along FINE with him!!! If you know Rexx, you know how strange this is! We took that as a sign and went with it so now we have a full house.

He is hyper and sweet and very athletic (as in he can jump over the back of the sofa). He is the same size as Rexx. He has not had an accident, yet and we are hoping Rexx will show him the ropes. We will keep you updated.

Did I get you thinking something else there in the beginning ......... :)

Scrabble lovers unite!

We are scrabble lovers in this house! It gets pretty competitive and our games have been known to last three or four hours!

What better way to celebrate our love for scrabble and keep things not-so-stuffy around here than to make some wall art.

I found these old cabinet doors while shopping this weekend. They are perfect squares and are sealed and smooth! Best of all, they are big, 14"X14". I grabbed 5 to play with.

My first thought was to paint the letters on but that is sooooo time consuming! I wondered through Home Depot looking for other options. Then I ran across contact paper. It is used to line shelves with. It is my new favorite tool!

There are a couple of awesome things about contact paper:
1. you can draw right on it with a pencil and erase if you have to.
2. There is a grid on the back for keeping things straight
3. It is not permanent. Once you place it down, you can pick it up and move it if you have to!
4. It comes with 25 sq.ft!

I drew the letters on, cut them out, put them on and voila! A SCRABBLE tile!

M looked a little lonely so I made her some friends. (I know the heart tile does not really exist, but if it did, it would be worth the most!)

Future location TBD..... crafting backwards, again :) stay tuned

Let me know if you try it!
If that is not your thing, they are on my ETSY store, too.
All my readers 25%off ! Use coupon code est2009

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