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Easy DIY giant chalkboard letter

 
Need a special Christmas gift but don't have a lot of cash? This is a great way to make something awesome with little effort! Chalkboards are all the rage right now so making something into a chalkboard is sure to win you points.
 
I found myself in a pickle recently as I really wanted to make some family members something awesome (always expect a DIY gift from me!) but had no clue what I was going to do. I originally bought this giant letter to wrap in twine and hang with ribbon for a "wreath". I'm sure you have seen those all over pinterest. As I sat there looking at the twine, I had a feeling this wasn't going to go well. I looked to my right and saw my half empty bottle of chalkboard paint. And Voila! The chalkboard letter was born!
 
Supplies:
 
Large box letter- $5.99 at Hobby Lobby with 40% off coupon (I use the app)
Chalkboard paint- $3.99 and lasts FOREVER. Or make your own in any color!
Paintbrush
White chalk- or colored for a kiddo
Washi tape- I got mine in a two pack from Hobby Lobby for $1.99.
2" Satin ribbon- $2.99 at Hobby Lobby. Lots left over
 
1.Paint your letter with two or three coats of chalkboard paint. Letting it dry completely between layers, preferably waiting over night. It was easiest to paint on its side and flipping when dry.
2.Rub the dried letter with chalk and buff off. This will "cure" your paint.
3.Tape a few pieces of chalk on to the letter with your washi tape and tie with a pretty bow!
Enjoy your masterpiece!

 
This doesn't just have to be for Christmas. Dress this baby up in funky ribbon or paint with colorful chalkboard paint to make a fun birthday or "just-because" present!

Anybody for Bacon-ade?


 dancers dancing

 this. just this


the only picture Mom is in

stolen!


 this car was $100 for adults and free for kids
I love my crazy-haired man

please note:
Alligator-on-a-stick
Shark-on-a-stick
Deep Fried Pickles
Deep Fried PB&J, Snickers and Twinkies
Frog Legs
Bacon Lemonade
 
Do you even have one of those weekends where you never want it to end? Well I did Saturday. It was the Denton Arts and Jazz festival and it gets bigger every year. Now, I used to go (pre-children) in the evening when you would be shoulder to shoulder with sweaty, weird people. I don't think I could describe to you the weirdness that is in Denton. Strange hipster weirdoes, and I love it. I love watching them. Anyways, I'm a people watcher and I love crowds. When others want to get somewhere early to beat the crowd, I sleep in and enjoy the crammed space.

Now that I have the girls, and the fact that I'm getting old and intolerant of weirdoes, we got there soon after it opened at 10am. Wow it was a nice change! The weather was already starting to get hot, but there was a beautiful soft breeze that would swoop down and refresh us. The girls did great with the 3 hours we spent there, they even skipped nap! And when we put down our blanket to enjoy one of the many jazz band stationed around the park on different stages, Sophia even did the cutest dance. She must be just like her Mommy in her love of old-timey music. This was a moment where I WISH I knew how to swing dance. But we did stop and dance to some music with the girls in a big field, and when my sister Natalie dipped me at the end we got a round of applause.

I do believe I left out the best part! FOOD! We started with the ever amazing fried pickles with Ranch dressing. Probably the best thing ever, and I'm a foodie. Next Tristan made a b-line to the Wild Game stand for some smoked elk, cheese, and jalapeno sausage covered in grilled onions and mustard. It was amazing, that is I think it was, from the little bite he would allow me. "Don't worry honey, moms don't need to eat. I'll just nibble on the pretzels I brought for your children". But, the craziest of all was the bacon lemonade that Natalie got. Yes, I said it right, bacon-ade. It tastes like lemonade with a smoky flavor. Odd for sure.

I never wanted to leave, but nap-time was calling our names. All of our names.

Later the evening we went over to my parents for a cul-de-sac black party and cookout! Of course I would say yes to more bratwurst. And as my mom always said, I could tell we had a good day based on the amount of dirt that come off in the tub before bed.

 Unfortunately Tristan woke up sick the next day and found out he now has laryngitis.... so I'm glad we had a great time while we could.

Easter Weekend




Of course this post is late, a week late. But Easter was awesome! After a lovely Christ-filled service at church we headed to my parents where we had a wonderful feast of ham, hash brown casserole, green bean casserole, rolls, salad, fruit salad, homemade sangria and yummy desserts! Here are the few pictures that I took. I cant believe I didn't take more of our 16 person feast! Oh but I did take a picture of the ingredients list for my dessert. That was Natalie's idea so I wouldn't end up at Wal-Mart completely lost. Does that look yummy?

Maybe the Best Day Ever







Today was A-MAZE-ING! After our afternoon nap we went over to my parents place to play. Its nice to have a change of scenery and I only have the car Monday and Friday so we were excited to finally get out of the house! I bought a water table recently but I have yet to find an outdoor rug so the girls don't have to stand on the dirty (and HOT) concrete that is my apartment patio. But Grandma has a baby pool. Actually it's a dog pool that I got for $1 at a garage sale, but who cares. It fits two plump (naked) babies perfectly!

It was really hot today. I think around 90 degrees which is crazy considering we had a freeze on Monday. The girls happily played for an hour in the sun, splashing and trying to fit the whole ball in their mouth with no avail. Half way through we decided it would be much more fun to skinny dip, and I love to see little naked bottoms! They played until I realized that we had completely missed naptime because Lilly was no longer having fun. Basically all of a sudden she was having the worst day ever. So out we went!

Once inside the girls played on the floor for about another hour when all of a sudden... Lilly took steps! I mean, this morning she only used her right foot and went in a circle but at Grandma's she took like five steps! We were so excited, our cries of joy scared the pants off of Sophia! I couldn't wait to show Daddy when we got home.

After an amazing dinner of tacos and ham and cheese grilled cheese sandwiches they took a bath where they obviously weren't tired of being in water again! Then... she walked to him. All 7 steps without faltering! Well, don't get me wrong... there was a lot of faltering; and every time she fell she would laugh so loud! Sophia caught on and started throwing herself down on purpose to join in on the fun! I have to be honest, I was worried they were behind. They are almost 15 months and they weren't walking. But everybody learns at their own pace. I'm sure Sophia wont be too far behind.

Its amazing how parents jump for joy when their child takes their first steps, like they are the first person ever to walk. We all learn to walk but its always an achievement. I mean, hey, she will never crawl again! That is, until she has her own children. All of a sudden I'm filled with a little sadness at the thought of my daughter growing up....

Thursday Adventures










Yesturday was AMAZING! The whole day was filled with awesomeness. The girls got up a 9:30am which, thanks to daylight savings, is wonderful. As we are eating breakfast I remember my friends and their little ones are having a playdate at the park a mile away at 10:30. Whats a girl with no car to do? WALK! That's right I loaded the girls up and walked that mile; filled with up-hill streets, the wind against us, no sidewalks, and crossing busy streets (which if you remember my accident) is a HUGE deal. But that's not all, halfway there we lost a stroller wheel! You know, the ones that have a million different parts? I heard it falter as we went over yet another curb to find a sidewalk and next thing you know we left it behind us. I had to take a 5 minute break to figure how to fix it and luckily I have two front tires, so I had an example to look at.

Phew! We got there and it only took us 30 min. The girls had fun playing at the new park. It wasn't filled with those tiny rocks or pieces of wood, it was very realistic astro-turf! So no choking! It WAS filled with lots of kids and dressed up Mommies. That last part I never get, I must be the only one who has too much to do to dress up for other moms. Anyways... After an hour there we decided we would make the long trip home. As my friends loaded up their kiddos in air conditioned cars, we made our way back in 86 degree weather and the hot Texas sun. Home was much easier and we got there in under 20 min. And the best part is, I discovered a shortcut where I don't have to worry about not having a sidewalk...

Id like to take this moment to say that Texas is so weird. Here I am thinking that it is law that there has to be sidewalks and then it ends and picks up 100 feet down and across the street. Ughhh.

... So nap time was in order when we got back and the girls slept 4.5 hours! I was overjoyed! But that joy didn't last long when at 5 o'clock I went in to see them. Lilly was waving a diaper in the air; it wasn't her diaper. Sophia had somehow managed to get her (poopy) diaper off and hand it to Lilly! Poop and the diaper was in Lilly's crib while Sophia was naked with poop in her own crib. Lovely! It actually made me laugh out loud. It was definitely a first (and not the last) for us!

After a 5 o'clock snack Daddy came home and played with the girls till he was wiped out on the floor with little ones climbing him like a rock. Some family fun time ensued! Dinner was this AMAZING egg casserole that is my Mom's recipe (which the girls wouldn't touch) and finally bed at 8pm. 1.5 hours later than normal! All of us were in bed at 8pm and it was wonderful!

DIY Toy Rotation


 this basket was over flowing!
This has been LOOOOONG overdue. I should have taken a before picture. What was I thinking? The only way to describe it was like living in my own sort of little hell. You probably know how I feel, all those bright NOISY toys that jump out in front of you and make it impossible to walk a straight line to your kitchen? Well this is the end, I say!
Toy rotation always sounded so scary to me. I don't know why, but I could never do it. I looked up a few DIYs on how to do it and they all sounded so complicated! So with some serious effort (and a little smarts) I was able to cut the toys in half. The bonus? My kids are too young to fight with me about why they should keep it.

Step 1: Sell
I took all of the toys that my girls were never interested in or had no value in terms of learning. You know, just those noise makers! Sell, sell, sell! This will give you some money to buy toys that will get used (or a bottle or two of wine for yourself).

Step 2: Separate toys your child has matured from
There are some things like rattles (and this amazing piano barn) that the girls didn't play with anymore because of their age. But these things I wanted to keep for my next kids someday! I removed those second.

Step 3: Separate toys that are too mature for your child
Opposite of step 2 was a little harder because you have to think ahead. I had some tea sets that were beautiful but were just being thrown. They need to be a little older to understand, until then they just made a mess for me to pick up. Also I removed a toy that they drag behind them (as they STILL don't walk) Some other things were princess carriages and cars they don't understand how to use yet. These things go in a bin for later when we can have some real fun!

Step 4: Separate toys that they are tired of
These may be great toys that are still perfect for them at this age! But I swear when they see them again in a month it will be like a brand new toy! Who wouldn't want to save money? Put them in a bin to bring out 2-4 weeks later.

Make sure when you bring out the "new" toys, you put the "old" ones in the bin. Repeat!
I hope this helps you be able to confront the scary mob in your living room as well.




Splish-Splash


my little Flower
 just look at that cute face (Sophia)
 messy ladies
 splish-splash
chillin with Aunt Kelly

I would love to tell you these are recent photos (and look like a responsible blogger) but unfortunately these were taken Sunday before last. I would have posted earlier but I had the WORST weekend ever. It was filled with cleaning up vomit, running to the bathroom, taking care of sick people, and a visit to the ER. Lets just say that I barely survived...

Ok, ok. Back to last weekend. After church we went over to my parents and had a lovely brunch in the backyard! My Mom makes the best tuna salad. The girls were starting to get antsy (and definitely tired) but since I'm a stingy mommy and like family time we "stretched" them a bit (don't worry, they are the most flexible babies ever). What better way than to have some fun? Bring on the water!

We layed out a tarp and filled some containers with water for the girls to play in. With floating balls and kitchen utensils, it was a really great sensory activity! They played for what felt like hours and had all of us cracking up with their little language and interactions. I will definitely do this again. Its nice to keep them cool without the pain of filling a pool or the worry of safety.

Here's to hoping this weekend will be easier!