Take 3? Or 4?

I’ve lost count how many times my daughter has redone her room. Hers was the first room we painted when we moved in, a soft pastel pink (she WAS 3!)  Since then we’ve done white with purple, and white again, not to mention how many times we’ve changed out the bedding and accessories. This past year she’s been itching for a loft bed to give herself more room but she didn’t want to downsize her full size bed. Her birthday was at the end of November so she got yet another redo!

Before - She'd gotten a little excited and already taken her box spring and frame out of her room before I could take the proper "before" picture. But you get the idea!

Before – She’d gotten a little excited and already taken her box spring and frame out of her room before I could take the proper “before” picture. But you get the idea!

After searching around town, we ended up using Site to Store from Walmart to get her bed. She specifically wanted a metal one and the only ones we could find in town were the clunky wooden ones with huge drawers and extra beds or even a slide(?!).  She chose one that had a desk already built in underneath. Very streamlined and open underneath, as long as she doesn’t bonk her head on the ceiling fan! Her walls needed a fresh coat of white paint (which we already had) and we had already replaced the curtains with the black, room-darkening, insulated ones, also from Walmart for less than $10 each  (much better for west-facing when it’s summer!). Even better, when we ordered the bed through the website, I was able to use a 5% cashback reward through my credit union. Woo hoo!

Building the bed!

Building the bed!

We ordered a cool bead curtain from ebay in black that she liked so much, we decided to order another one. It gives a little partition between the main door and her space under the bed. It had to be trimmed because it was so long and we used an existing tension rod that we had to make it fit nicely.

Next up, she got the idea that she wanted to splatter paint one wall for an impact and add some shelving. So in early July we did just that, taped off the adjoining walls, stirred a bit of water into a free sample of paint that we’d already used to paint a shelf for her bed (gotta love Lowe’s Valspar coupons for sample paint!) and let her go to town! (Personal Note: yes, this freaked me out a bit and I wondered if I should let her do it. But really, what harm can it do? I did the prep work with her help and it’s just paint – something that can be repainted if necessary. In the end she got a few dots on the white popcorn ceiling and that was the only damage. Whew!)

We purchased the interlocking shelves at Ross and she had a specific idea of what she was going to put on them – pop bottles with flowers (maybe painted, maybe not) and candle holders (warned that she can’t light them on the shelf – eek! fire hazard!) She also lined up all of her cologne sprays from Bath & Body Works on them as well. She had a wall mirror before but somehow managed to crack it so we got a new one (less than $5 from Walmart). She wanted a table of some sort to put all of her make-up and stuff in it that didn’t jut out too far and settled on a rolling cart that we got from Menard’s ($19.99 but I used a rebate that took $5.99 off it from a previous purchase).

Before with walls taped off.

Before with walls taped off.

Working on the splattering part . . .

Working on the splattering part . . .

These sample jars from Valspar at Lowe's are only $0.99 but I had a coupon for mine. Perfect for testing colors or using them for accents.

These sample jars from Valspar at Lowe’s are only $0.99 but I had a coupon for mine. Perfect for testing colors or using them for accents.

AFTER: splattered wall with shelves, new mirror and rolling cart.

AFTER: splattered wall with shelves, new mirror and rolling cart.

Did I mention that my daughter is sewing her own quilt to go with her room?  Well, she is, and I’ll say that she’s doing a wonderful job of it as well. My mother has taught her how to do it and this isn’t her first attempt. Now that we’re really getting a roll on putting the finishing touches on things, she’s been working hard on her quilt, too.

Here's a part of her quilt so you can see the colors.

Here’s a part of her quilt so you can see the colors.

Sewing away!

Sewing away!

Jocelyn originally had a foldable purple chair in her room but since it’s molded plastic and probably hard to paint, she wanted something different, preferable a stool.  That can also be tucked under her desk area much easily. When I was cleaning out the storage area this summer, I discovered a short stool that had a padded but torn seat. The legs will need to be trimmed and painted and then we’re going to use some leftover fabric from her quilt to make a cover.

The stool - BEFORE

The stool – BEFORE

She also wanted a plush chair of some sort to go underneath her loft bed to lounge in instead of up on her bed.  She decided on one from Target that was $44 but I used my red card to get a discount. She said it was her “human sushi roll”.  Say what?! She looks very comfy in it, though! She also spends more time under her loft instead of in bed!

2014-07-23 13.51.22

Other than finishing her quilt and covering the stool, there’s just one more thing to make the room complete – a rug. Unless I get the urge to rip out the carpet and I doubt that’s going to happen.  We have yet to decide on the color and size so we’ll hold off on that for awhile.  We have one very happy gal with her fancy room!  Hopefully this will keep her happy for awhile so we won’t have to redecorate it again!

Summer School Projects

I looked at the calendar today and realized that I have less than 2 weeks left of my summer vacation.  2 weeks!  Where did the time go?  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time off this summer and have been reflecting on my teaching from last year, writing down ideas, pinning more ideas on Pinterest, filing and tidying out files, and making some new projects.

Last year I had my crayons, colored pencils and markers in labeled, colorful bins. I hated the way they were thrown back in there or put in the wrong bin so I made something new using what I had on hand with existing drawers, scrapbook paper and stickers.

My new drawers for student supplies.

My new drawers for student supplies.

Last year I also made a really cool game called “Flip It” using lids that my students really enjoyed, thanks to Pinterest!  The object of the game is to roll 2 dice and flip the cap with the sum.  The first one to flip all of them over in their row wins!  I made some more sets with the milk and water lids that I’ve been collecting all summer, labeled them, and put them into sets.  I then put the sets into baggies which were put into a Party Pail ice cream bucket (recycle, right?!) with a label made of out an index card with multi-colored letters.

Flip-It Math Game

Flip-It Math Game

I have wires that run across my entire room above the desks and across my beautiful windows.  I tried large paperclips last year to keep the papers attached and it worked for a short time until I needed to close the blinds or open a window.  Clothespins work way better!  I had some that I used for a behavior chart last year that had students’ names on them so I painted over them to use on the wires. I bought a small bottle of paint from Walmart for $0.50 in Admiral Blue to match my primary colored classroom.

My freshly painted clothespins/paper holders.

My freshly painted clothespins/paper holders.

A teacher who was leaving our school left a bunch of these yellow paper pads in the teacher’s lounge before the end of school last year.  These have so many uses!  They’re more like a card stock so I thought I’d turn them into notes.  I could use these for thank you notes to the students or notes home for parents. In the past I sent home what I would call “sunshine notes” as they were positive notes on a sunshine paper. I used my existing stamps and ink to make several of these.

My "Sunshine Notes"

My “Sunshine Notes”

At the end of the school year I received a huge packet of new math vocabulary for the classroom.  I guess with the new Common Core Standards things like wording in definitions and pictures to go with them change, so I recycled all of my old ones and have spent many hours highlighting and coloring in the new ones.  I could’ve left them black and white but that’s boring. Besides, having some color attached to them can aid with students’ learning.  They do look cool! And I’m grateful for my daughter helping me with them, too. They took FOREVER! (In case you didn’t know, coloring is a good stress reliever!)

My thick stack of new math vocabulary. I need more wall space in my classroom!

My thick stack of new math vocabulary. I need more wall space in my classroom!

I used another idea from Pinterest for random sticks last year.  One end of the stick is painted (or colored) a different color.  Once you’ve drawn the stick, turn it over so you don’t choose that student again.  They’re none the wiser that you’ve flipped it so they’re still on their toes thinking they may be called on again.  I bought a small bottle of red from Walmart for $0.50.  I have an apple green already but I wanted something different for this year. I’m sure I could have gotten them cheaper at Michael’s with my teacher discount but I was already at Walmart and is it really worth the few cents it would have taken to go to yet another store.  Probably not.

Red Random Sticks

Red Random Sticks

I believe I’ve had a busy yet balanced summer. I feel good that I’ve gotten these things done as a head start to the new year. I’m sure once I get back into my classroom I’ll find more to do before the year officially starts with students on August 12th. For now, I’ve at least done these things!

Today I Cleaned the Kitchen Floor!

So what?  you might say.  Then you might think, Gosh, I hope that’s not the FIRST time the floor has been cleaned!  No, it wasn’t 😉

There’s just something about my wood floor that gets incredibly grimy, particularly in front of the stove, fridge, and by the big counter.  And dog slobber.  By golly, what the heck is it that makes it soooo slimy and hard to wipe up off the floor!?  Geesh!  Although the floor is swept almost daily (thanks to shedding dog) and mopped frequently, this stuff just DOES NOT COME OFF.  That is, without some elbow grease! So a few times a year, summer being one of them, I get on my hands and knees with my bucket and scrubber, and get ‘er done.

See that black stuff? THAT'S what I'm talking about. Doesn't just wipe off, needs to be scrubbed! Trust me, it's worse than the picture makes it look.

See that black stuff? THAT’S what I’m talking about. Doesn’t just wipe off, needs to be scrubbed! Trust me, it’s worse than the picture makes it look.

I use a bucket of warm water with some Murphy’s Oil Soap because a little goes a long way (1/4 cup concentrate per gallon of water).  I have to change the water out a minimum of 3 times due to the amount of ick. I also use an old dish scrub brush. I buy it from the Dollar Tree, use it on my dishes until the bristles split, then use it to scrub bathrooms and floors (different brushes, of course!).  I wipe an area of the floor with an old washcloth, put some extra water on the black parts, scrub with and against the grain, then wipe away with the cloth again.  Rinse and repeat for the entire floor.

My cheap scrubby brush. Yay, Dollar Tree!

My cheap scrubby brush. Yay, Dollar Tree!

That one spot after the cleaning.

That one spot after the cleaning.

The kitchen after the cleaning. Ahhhhh!

The kitchen after the cleaning. Ahhhhh!

I did the kitchen floor, dining room, and section by the pantry in less than an hour.  I would recommend sweeping first and if you have a dog, get them out of the way!  My Buddy is still shedding and he leaves piles of fur everywhere he lays down. That’s another thing checked off my summer chore list and I feel so much better that it’s done!

 

Where Did Spring Break Go?

Here it is a Saturday after having an entire week off for spring break and I can’t help but wonder, where did the time go?  I was really looking forward to the time off from teaching. The time change threw me for a loop and we’re getting ready for state testing which is stressful enough so a full week off was very much welcomed.

I always have a to-do list going for time off and I did get quite a bit done. I was extremely unmotivated to workout this week so it was a good thing it was an “easy” week, per Hal Higdon’s training schedule. I managed to log a few miles outdoors as well as at the Y. I also sold some things to Book-A-Holic, Play It Again Sports and Trendy Tots as well as sorted through some more stuff for the garage sale. I painted the primer coat of paint on the Adirondack chairs but have yet to paint them (couldn’t find the paint!). I cleaned out the flower beds, weeded my veggie garden and raked leaves.  I took the kids ice skating, too, (Tuesdays are $2 days!) as well as visiting with my parents and taking Buddy for play dates with Lillie, their Lab. Oh, and we saw a cool Cops vs. Fire and Thunder hockey games.

We usually go to Keystone over spring break but I was so fed up of the winter weather that the thought of seeing shoulder-high snow drifts just did not appeal to me. I wanted to work out in the yard and see some greenery for a change! So we stayed home, piddled around and took a day trip to OK to see some friends. This was probably, by far, my favorite day of spring break!  We went to Pops, hiked a part of Arcadia Lake, lunch at Flatire Burgers (yuuuuummmmy!), bowling, and then headed to the park before we headed home to watch the Shocker basketball game (Go Shockers! They won!) Maybe I should have planned more little outings like that. Oh well. We had fun anyway!

Our children have been friends their entire lives! Owen, Wesley, Harrison, Taylor, Audrey & Jocelyn at the Round Barn in Arcadia, OK.

Our children have been friends their entire lives! Owen, Wesley, Harrison, Taylor, Audrey & Jocelyn at the Round Barn in Arcadia, OK.

Silly girls! They wanted their picture taken by this "dead" bush (there were blooms on it, you just can't see them here.)

Silly girls! They wanted their picture taken by this “dead” bush (there were blooms on it, you just can’t see them here.)

Malena and I by the Round Barn. Love her! We always have such fun when we get together!

Malena and I by the Round Barn. Love her! We always have such fun when we get together!

Owen and Wesley at Arcadia Lake.

Owen and Wesley at Arcadia Lake.

Taylor and Harrison at Arcadia Lake.

Taylor and Harrison at Arcadia Lake.

Me and my girl. Love her!

Me and my girl. Love her!

Malena and I at Arcadia Lake. It was very windy!

Malena and I at Arcadia Lake. It was very windy!

Bonus – Snow Days!

A partial view of the front steps of my house. You can't see the bottom step at all due to the snow!

A partial view of the front and steps to my house. It didn’t accumulate on the bench but you can’t see the bottom step at all due to the snow!

What would you do if you were given the gift of extra days off from work due to the weather? I was hoping for one – yes, just one – but ended up with three.  I had a great time catching up on my to-do list. The children? Not so much. They didn’t want to go outside (too cold and actually the wind chill the 2nd day was not safe) and electronics dominated their days.

Day 1:

  • a minimum of 3 hours catching up on grading with several cups of hot green tea. That was rewarding enough- just getting caught up!
  • made 2 wheat beer breads from Tastefully Simple mixes and a double batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for the children.
  • went through younger son’s closet to find clothes that he didn’t like/wear any more for either a consignment sale or for the garage sale this spring
  • did son’s taxes so he could get his refund – still need to do the state 😦
  • organized basement and cleared off one bookshelf for oldest son who was voluntarily cleaning and reorganizing his room.
  • shoveled the driveway – 6″ minimum of it with some drifting. At least we can get the cars out now!
  • organized the laundry room cabinet, wiped down the units, made new dust rags from old t-shirts.
  • read an old Eating Clean magazine looking for ideas for new recipes

Day 2:

  • slept in – yay!
  • made a batch of banana muffins with the last 2 bananas I had in my freezer (a first for me – usually I clean them out during summer!)
  • made a from scratch brownie recipe for the children
  • taped off and primed the vanity in the upstairs bath
  • posted 3 items on Ebay
  • painted the first coat on the vanity in the upstairs bath
  • did some touch up painting in the same bathroom
  • painted the master bath door to get ride of the scratched off paint from my parents’ dog that passed away 2 years ago (yeah, I know that should have been done a loooonnnnggg time ago. . . )
  • ran 4 1/2 miles on the basement treadmill
  • watched one of my favorite shows, Modern Family, while knitting a new scarf project
  • read my new Runner’s World magazine before bed

Day 3:

  • slept in again! I could definitely get used to getting up at 8 am as opposed to 5:45 am!
  • painted second coat on the vanity in the upstairs bath
  • organized linen closet and added more things to the sale pile
My wonderfully organized linen closet!

My wonderfully organized linen closet!

  • completed 2 loads of laundry (washed, dried AND put away)
  • ventured out on the roads to go to Lowe’s so I can get the towel rack for the bathroom as well as knobs for the painted vanity
  • also went to Michael’s for more yarn for my knitting projects
  • also went to Walmart for a photo I had delivered there to go in my new Keystone frame as well as pick up some more fruit
  • painted the vanity AGAIN including the doors AGAIN
  • lined the vanity and the drawers with new liner – love the red!
  • took Buddy to Lillie’s house to play in the snow. He loves play dates with my Mum & Dad’s dog!
  • went to a Girl Scout cookie meeting – yes! Cookies!! We can start selling Saturday, February 8th!
The painted vanity without the doors. Can you see the red liner? Still have to put up the towel holder and knobs. VERY pleased!

The painted vanity without the doors. Can you see the red liner? Still have to put up the towel holder and knobs. VERY pleased!

I have accomplished a lot these past few days while the snow was a-blowin’ and the temperatures droppin’. It feels good to have gotten something accomplished and I’m more than ready to go back to work again . . . even if it is just for a day before the weekend!!

 

Puppy Paws Passe

I thought this was the cutest bathroom EVER when I painted it and developed it about 10 years ago. Thing is, now that the kids are 16 (nearly 17 as he keeps reminding me), 14, and 11, puppies aren’t so cute any more. Time for a re-do!

Before pic #1

Before pic #1

Before pic #2

Before pic #2

This has been quite a lengthy process though. I started by sanding down the paw prints that I had stamped on the wall with the wrong type of paint (it left it raised and glossy). I then primed the leftover paw and primed and painted the wood trim black (I know, it was yikes! when I first decided to paint it but the wood wasn’t in the best condition based on the moisture from the bathroom so I figured why not?!). I LOVE the way the black turned out.

My daughter and I had found the shower curtain that she wanted and made other decisions based on it. Even better, it was on clearance at Bed, Bath & Beyond and I had a 20% coupon. Score!

I wanted to redo the vanity and get a granite counter so this is still a work in progress. I looked at Menard’s and Lowe’s and the prices were ridiculous. I still need to prime and paint the vanity black and then I’ll go to Granite Transformations to find out about redoing the top.

Found the mirror at Gordman’s for $39.99 but there was a scratch-off card that gave us $20 off a $50 purchase. I added some curtain rings and a clear liner to get to that and ended up spending about $35 (including tax) for all of it.

Lights are from Lowe’s. I found our original lights there and they were a whopping $14.99! No wonder they looked so horrible after 10 years! These are much fancier and I did get an extra 5% off by using my Lowe’s card.

Key picture was on clearance at Michael’s for $6 and I had my teacher discount for another 15% off.

Towels were a different story. Geez, it was soooo difficult to match the right color! I was trying to get something similar to the colors in the Statue of Liberty but there was nothing to be had. I ended up taking the shower curtain to the store and ended up with a plush dark gray. I really wanted something brighter but oh well, I can still accessorize!

Not quite done yet, as I want to do the counter with a new sink and faucet as well as paint the vanity (too expensive to replace) and add knobs. Here are the after pics so far!

Love the updated mirror and lights!

Love the updated mirror and lights!

The entire bathroom was done around the shower curtain.

The entire bathroom was done around the shower curtain.

A Morning of Sales

Now that it’s not so hot and the cool morning temperatures are here, I love heading out to garage/yard sales. For once our Saturday was not taken up with children’s activities so my hubby suggested hitting up some sales this past weekend.  I’m so grateful that he did as we scored some good deals!

I wasn’t shopping with anything specific in mind but I always look at books, clothes and home accessories. Our daughter is also looking for a loft bed but those are hard to find in sales. At our first stop we got a t-shirt sporting our younger two children’s middle school (50 cents) and Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (25 cents) in the hopes that it will be read. If not, it’ll make it’s way to my classroom. Another sale was quite large, with all of the proceeds going to refugees in Syria. Amazingly enough, we didn’t buy anything.

Another stop yielded a piece of aida cloth for my cross stitch project for a nickel when the lady said for $2 I could have a whole bag – score! There were at least 9 unopened cross stitch kits and unopened frame kits. I was very excited to get this bag of goodies! Another stop got me a running long sleeve top, a Boo! wooden sign, and a bag of teacher goodies (stamps, stickers, and certificates) for $5.

Next up, an estate sale! 1/2 price day, too! I got a nice hurricane vase, a pack of uno cards, a pack of playing cards, and a polished bowl for $2.50. It’s always exciting to find some neat deals, not have to pay full price, and it’s always fun people watching and seeing what others are selling. After all, the saying “someone’s trash is another’s treasure” is true!

Our sale we had earlier in the year. So glad to get rid of some of our stuff!

Our sale we had earlier in the year. So glad to get rid of some of our stuff!