Friday, May 28, 2010

For You Friday - Making Travel Fun with Little Ones

Today's For You Friday is tips for making traveling with our children a little more enjoyable.  With it being a holiday weekend and the summer upon us I know a lot of folks will be getting into their cars and embarking on a fun road trip.  So I've got a few little tips that just might help you out.  

Now if you're new here or stopping in from one of the awesome Friday Follow Blog Hops like New Friend Friday or Friday Follow or Blog Frog Hop then let me tell you Friday's here are fun.  It's all about you and what's more fun that you?  Well maybe some giveaways, tips, things I think you will enjoy, advice, and more make it that much more fun.  I'd love to have you as a new follower but only if you are interested in crafts, DIY projects, humor, honesty, tutorials, and fun.  The only thing I request is to let me know why you've decided to follow me, that lets me know you read my posts, looked around and made a decision, not just clicked follow to add numbers, it also encourages me to come visit your blog, follow back and come back often. 
I am wanting to develop friendships and more interested in relationships with my readers and not just numbers.  Deal?!  Good now on to For You Friday.  This post comes straight from my article that I publish with Macaroni Kid.  It's filled to the brim with awesome stuff so if you like this post, check out the rest of the articles and because I have no shame, I'd love to beg you to sign up for my weekly newsletter.  It's for moms and dads filled with activities and ideas to do together to build family bonding.  PLLLEEEASSE!  Just click HERE to read more articles and click HERE to sign up. Oh did I mention it's free? :)

This past weekend my family found ourselves traveling from NE Dallas to San Antonio right in the middle of Monkey's prime time playing time. If any of you have experienced traveling with an almost 2 year old in the middle of her playing time then you can imagine the frustration on both the parents and child. Traveling with kids can take a lot of planning and a lot of patience and having a few go to tips for each trip will help in both the planning area and the patience area so that we can all have a more peaceful trip.

  1. Never underestimate the power of new loot. Start a bag of toys you collect over the months and save them for the upcoming trip. You can collect from happy meals, attending a conference with the free goodie bag filled with erasers, key chains, and bouncy balls, dollar bins at stores, etc. Watch your child be forever dazzled by all the new toys and ample opportunities to play with new said toys.

  2. Bring fun and easy to clean up snacks and fresh water. This will help cut down on extra non planned stops and gives them a chance to fuel their body. I like to bring fruit snacks, string cheese, and gold fish crackers as some of my go to snacks.

  3. Plan for stops. Find places in the area that has a park or a restaurant that has a playground. We try to allow for 45 minutes at these types of stops. Yes it adds more time on the trip but what means more to you, an extra 45 minutes of laughter, giggles, and playing out of the car or screaming, crying, and whining from the back seat? Your call.

  4. Music Cd's and movie dvds can be a life saver. I like to use this time to show educational shows or music to help our toddler with her ABC's and 123s. It keeps her entertained and allows me some time to read or rest my eyes while driving. Oh I kid, the awesome Poppa/hubby is driving.

  5. Games. No not the hand held video games, but games that gets you and your kids to interact with one another like: I Spy, or The Number Game. Of course we aren't at that age yet so we play peek a boo and sing Itsy Bitsy Spider but those are great car activities too.
Remember attitude is everything when traveling. It can make or break a trip. Plan on the unexpected but go with the flow. Treat your trip like an adventure and let the bumps in the road along the way become little additions to your trip. Besides, I've never seen Dora let any of the obstacles that she has to travel over get to her, even that stealing fox doesn't get her down!

Have fun this holiday weekend and enjoy your family bonding time.  And nothing brings the family together like a screaming toddler in a cramped car for 6 hours. Can I get an Amen?!



Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thursday's Tutorial - Painted Aged Walls

I'm so excited to share this awesome tutorial with you today.  I have many friends and family members who are into painting.  And I have quite a few friends that flip houses and I have awesome readers who are amazingly talented and thought everyone would love to see a step by step tutorial on aged wall painting. 
I contacted Rachael from Mrs. Adventure and she so graciously agreed to share her tutorial with all of us today.  If you haven't been over to visit her yet please do so, she's got some amazing talent and shares that talent with her readers via tutorials and posts.  Such a giving gal!  So let's get started shall we?
Racael writes:

"So easy a cave man can do it"

You will need: 
A blank beige / cream wall. 

A glaze, I used Valspar's Mocha # 94825
(for a 12x12 room it took me 1.5 bottles of the glaze so about $30 bucks)

Then a small pan with a roller and a small pointy brush (See photo below)

A sponge (this small one worked the best for me, I know its more work but the finished product looked much better than when I tried the larger sponges).

Step 1:
Take a roller and roll a generous amount around on the wall like so:

Step 2:
Then take your sponge and start dabbing all over your rolled on paint.

Keep dabbing in between the blank spaces as well as the covered ones.

Step 3:
After you have done this a couple of times, the paint will start to dry. Once you get to the edge of the previous coat you can blend the two areas together this will create the "lines" you see on my walls. (see photos below)
(before blending)

This photo shows the wall after blending, As you can see the areas of overlap create darker "lines" make sure these are NEVER strail always curved for a more natural look and feel.

 Step 4:
Once you get to a corner, if you want the corners to be darker (like my room) paint this "pattern" in the corners first then fill in.

This way you can go back to the corners with a 2nd, 3rd coat to get just those areas darker.

After your walls are covered in your first coat (you will be sick of dabbing for sure). You can go back and add your "aged" cracks and seams.

Making Cracks:
Take a small paint brush and swiggle (is that a word?) a line on the wall with your glaze like so:

Then take the end of your brush to the end of the line and make the "ends" like a V like so:

Then to make the crack more "real" I took my sponge and lightly dabbed around the line after it was dry to make it even darker like so:

Adding more seams:
Ok to get that plastered seams look (like the photo below)
I went back after my paint was dry and make them simply by dabbing with a semi wet sponge in a line, and you can do these from the corners, ceiling or just down the wall (I did all three).

After going around and adding a dab here and there, and making cracks where you want them, YOU ARE DONE!

Hang your curtains and enjoy your new room.

Isn't that awesome!  I love what she did to her room.  And because I'm just a sucker for Before and After shots lets take a look at them.


And After:

Impressive huh?  Hope you are inspired and both Rachael and I would love to see pictures if you do this or have done this.

Happy Thursday Ya'll.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Yay You Did It - Round 3

I continue to get pictures of dressed up cakes that you awesome readers have done and I get blown away by all of them.  I want of course to taste each one!  You should see the drool. :)  I received a picture from a sweet gal, Alecia.  She doesn't have a blog yet but she does have a cool cake website.  Sweet Sparkle Cakes.  You can imagine my surprise to see someone who does cakes already and even has their own site try out what I shared on this post.  Isn't this cake just devine! 
I'm so loving those chocolate dipped strawberries! 
On a different note, totally having photobucket issues and can't seem to be able to fix it, I deleted a bunch of photos to free up space and now it's like it locked me out, I can't even get to their main home page, says it's under mainteance.  I'm freaking out, annoyed, frustrated and all my pictures are missing and my blog looks like poo.  Thanks for letting me vent! (Got it fixed, yay!)
Happy Wednesday Ya'll.  Yeah Right!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Guest at UCreate and Dear So and So

First thing's first, I'm so honored and excited to be guest blogging over at Kari's awesome blog UCreate
U Create
I love her and her blog and I get so much inspiration and ideas there.  If you haven't visited, you must, you'll love it there.  I can't believe she said yes when I submitted my Candy Necklace Tutorial but I am so happy she did.  Go check it out PLEASSSSSEEEE!!  That's me begging. :)

And now my favorite time of the week.  Dear So and So.  I went ahead and did a link up since I had quite a few requests to do so.  We'll see how it goes for a few weeks and go from there.  Here we go.

Hope you enjoyed this week's Dear So and So, go link up and have fun with yours.  Also go link up with Post it Note Tuesday with Supah!

Happy Tuesday Ya'll. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Gave in and Joined the Band Wagon

I finally caved and gave in to the Twitter Band Wagon and would love it if you'd become a follower and let me know so I can follow you back.  I'm still learning this thing so bare with me and if you have any pointers or tips I'd love to hear them.  I'm trying to figure out how it differs from the other social networks and how it will benefit me but first things first, followers! 
Find me Here.

Or click on the Tweet with me button at the top.  Hope to have fun with you.
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Dream Book Clothing Edition

This week's Dream Book is filled with ideas to revamp clothing that you haven't worn in a while.  There are so many great and wonderful tutorials and ideas floating around blog land so I wanted to show you just a few of my favorites. 

Just like decorating I love finding an item in an overpriced store and recreating it myself for pennies on the dollar and this is just what Create and Delegate did.  She saw a tank at JCrew and did a  Ruffled Tank up herself.  So cute and so easy!

Welcome To The Good Life used inspiration from a sweater from Anthopologie and made an even cuter Ruffled Sweater for herself.

Over at I Make Stuff this talented gal was given some torn jeans and the freedom to do whatever she wanted for a friend of hers.  She took one pair of jeans and turned it into this Jeans to this Jean Skirt and then she took the other pair of jeans and dressed them up into these jeans.  How awesome is that!?!

And because I just love jean skirts then I thought you may too and wanted to show you another Jean Skirt done by Becky's Craft Closet.  The pattern ideas for doing one of these is just endless.

I'm so inspired to take some old clothes and dress them up and make them cute again, how about you?  Have you revamped some clothes and blogged about it?  Let me know and I'd love to add them to this Dream Book.
Happy Monday Ya'll.
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