Valentine, you’re tops!

This is part of a week-ish long series in which I’ll be sharing simple kid Valentines that can be printed as 4 X 6 photos (13 cents-ish at your local warehouse club) and then spiced up with the addition of inexpensive party supply store trinkets (25 cents or less). If you’re a new reader, check out the TOAD-ally awesome ones I did last year that inspired this series. All of my trinkets were purchased at Zurcher’s, but I’m sure you can find similar things at any party store. I used Zots 3D to adhere the toys.

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Click on the image below to access the printable:

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Kazoo Valentines

This is part of a week-ish long series in which I’ll be sharing simple kid Valentines that can be printed as 4 X 6 photos (13 cents-ish at your local warehouse club) and then spiced up with the addition of inexpensive party supply store trinkets (25 cents or less). If you’re a new reader, check out the TOAD-ally awesome ones I did last year that inspired this series. All of my trinkets were purchased at Zurcher’s, but I’m sure you can find similar things at any party store. I used Zots 3D to adhere the toys.

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Click on the image below to access the printable:

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Yo! Be my Valentine!

This is part of a week-ish long series in which I’ll be sharing simple kid Valentines that can be printed as 4 X 6 photos (13 cents-ish at your local warehouse club) and then spiced up with the addition of inexpensive party supply store trinkets (25 cents or less). If you’re a new reader, check out the TOAD-ally awesome ones I did last year that inspired this series. All of my trinkets were purchased at Zurcher’s, but I’m sure you can find similar things at any party store. I used Zots 3D to adhere the toys.

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Click on the image below to access the printable:

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Just Plane Awesome Valentines

Over the next week or so, I’ll be sharing simple kid Valentines that can be printed as 4 X 6 photos (13 cents-ish at your local warehouse club) and then spiced up with the addition of inexpensive party supply store trinkets (25 cents or less).  If you’re a new reader, check out the TOAD-ally awesome ones I did last year that inspired this series.  All of my trinkets were purchased at Zurcher’s, but I’m sure you can find similar things at any party store.  I used Zots 3D to adhere the toys.

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Click on the image below to access the printable:

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Playroom Organization + $100 Lowe’s Gift Card Giveaway

You all remember the great playroom purge a few weeks back?

We’ve had some great shelving in there since we finished our basement 5 or 6 years ago…

Super old crappy picture alert:

but the fabric bins were just not working out for us.  I had little kids when I bought them, and only one boy old enough to play with toys.  Since that time I’ve discovered something:  Those cloth bins do not hold up to little boys…at least not mine.  We had an incident with scissors where some of the handles were snipped  Several others were missing bottoms.  Pretty much all of them were bent in weird places.  And, there was no way to label them.

So, here’s my industrial boy friendly organization solution:

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PAINT BUCKETS!

I found these buckets at Lowe’s in the paint department.  They’re $6.57 each, so not a whole lot more expensive than the cloth bins.  They fit perfectly in my shelving (Pottery Barn Kids) and would also fit in ClosetMaid or IKEA stuff as well…anything where the holes are 12” X 12” or larger.

I also wanted my buckets labeled, and I wanted them labeled in a way that could be changed, because in a year or two we’ll be out of the Little People phase and have 5 buckets of Legos.  I thought about vinyl, but I wanted it to be easier to change than that.  My solution?

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Chalkboard paint.

I traced an oval onto some contact paper and then cut it out, leaving the edges in tact.

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Here’s my oval template, but really…it’s just an oval.  Find something and trace it. Open-mouthed smile

I applied the contact paper to the buckets as a stencil.  It’s a little bit tricky because of the slope of the bucket, but go slowly and make sure to seal the edges tightly.

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DO NOT SKIP THIS NEXT STEP:

Prime the bucket with primer for metal.  If you don’t, the paint will peel right off.

Apply 2 or 3 thin coats of chalkboard paint.  I like to alternate between vertical and horizontal coats to minimize brush lines.

Carefully remove your stencil and then label your buckets as desired.

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Easy and customizable!

Random questions I always get asked when I post pictures of my playroom:

What color is your paint?

It’s called Apple 2 and I got it at Lowe’s.  It’s pretty much my favorite light green ever.  I used Apple 1 in another room in the house, even.

Are those rain gutters?

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Yes. Yes they are.  I put them up in 2006 when we finished the basement and they’ve held up beautifully.  I saw the idea originally in Family Fun (see here).  They’re a great way to have the books visible and accessible to my kids and they made great use of an awkward spot behind the door.

And now for the good stuff:

LOWE’S IS GIVING ONE LUCKY CRAP I’VE MADE READER A $100 GIFT CARD!

To enter:

Leave a comment ON THIS POST (on the blog, not on Facebook or in response to your email subscription) saying which room in your home needs some Lowe’s organization help.

Optional bonus entry:

Like Lowe’s Creative Ideas on Facebook.  Leave a separate comment saying you did.

Giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and over only and closes Friday, January 27th at noon MST.  Winner will be chosen at random using a WordPress Plugin (And The Winner Is…) and notified by email.  Winner has 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen…I need the winner’s info before the end of the month!

And while you’re waiting to see if you won, head on over for your FREE Subscription to Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine:

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Disclosure:  Lowe’s provided me with a gift card to organize my playroom.  The paint and rain gutter projects happened many, many years before I started working with them…I’m a Lowe’s fan from way back.

Briefly/Told You I’m Not Going Anywhere

I’m over on Less Cake {more frosting} today as part of Lara’s One Word series.  Go here, if you want to see what my word is and why I chose it.

And, I appreciate all the comments and emails and texts and phone calls re: my post yesterday.  You guys really are the best.

One thing I did not anticipate?

15 or 20 emails asking me how to get into the business of blogging. Open-mouthed smile

I’m not going to answer them all individually (on account of that kind of making me do the exact thing I’m trying to get away from…spending hours on emails).  I do, however, want to direct you to a couple of posts that might answer those questions for those who want to know.

Mandi from Vintage Revivals talks about how to make money blogging here.

The Crafterminds girls talk about it here.  (I also love this article about why readers hate it when you make money.)

And, if anyone else has any great resources, feel free to leave them in the comments…I’ve gotta get back to my chalkboard paint.

XOXOXO

Quitting the Business of Blogging

This post has been rolling around in my head for several days now, and I hope it comes out in the way I intend.  Please understand this all applies to ME and ME ONLY.

Not being able to get off the couch for most of a week gives you a lot of time for reflecting…you know, once you’re all caught up on Toddler’s & Tiaras and stuff.  Winking smile 

I thought about how much TIME blogging takes.

Reality:  I spend 1-2 hours/day dealing with emails, sponsors, giveaways (many of which never go anywhere)…that doesn’t include projects, pictures, writing posts, etc.

Then I had the thought:

What if I spent 1-2 hours/day strengthening my marriage?  What if I spent that time helping someone?  What if I spent that time playing trains with my 3 year old?  What if I spent that time on a walk?  What if I spent that time doing service?

And then I knew.

I play a lot of different roles:
Wife
Mother
Daughter
Sister
Friend
Neighbor
Blogger

#7 on the role list can’t be #1 on the time list.

I used to find so much joy in blogging and creating, but over the last year, something’s changed.  I listened to too many people who were not myself.  I worried about numbers.  I worried about pitches.  I got caught up in pushing/promoting projects.  I did projects I didn’t love for the money/freebies.  I cried when my Google AdSense ads got cancelled (WHAT THE CRAP???).  I listened too much to what a blogger “should” do instead of what my heart wants to do.  My heart doesn’t want to be a professional blogger.  My heart wants to be a mom…a mom who is present.

I’m not quitting my blog, I’m quitting the BUSINESS of blogging.

If I don’t want to post for a month, I won’t.  If I want to post every day, I will.  I’m not creating stuff just to have content.  I’m going back to what I love and who I am.  If we’ve already talked, don’t worry.  I’ll continue to fulfill my obligations.  I will no longer be taking sidebar sponsors.  The string of emails/invoicing/calendaring/giveaways/post writing/etc. is a time suck.  I want you and your Etsy shops to be successful, truly I do…just not more than I want my family to be successful.  You can respect that, right?

I’ve met people through blogging that I NEEDED to know.  I’m forever grateful for and changed by the experiences I’ve had.  I’ve learned SO MUCH.

And really…I’ll still be here.  I’ve got a bunch of printable Valentines on tap over the next week or so.  Plus, an organizing project and a $100 gift card giveaway from Lowe’s.  Nice, right?

XOXOXO

$30 for $50 to Silhouette over on Plum District!

So, I’ve been sick.  SICK SICK SICK.  As in, I don’t remember most of Thursday afternoon through Monday midday.  I had strep.  I saw a doctor twice during that time of fever and delirium, but I guess I didn’t get enough drugs the first time.  BC called my mom and dad to come save me, because he’s out of town.  I seriously don’t ever remember being this sick in my entire life.  I don’t have a project for you just yet (unless you count what happened to my white slipcover courtesy of some root beer) but I DO have a seriously great deal available over on Plum District NOW (as of midnight PST and I scheduled this post for 15 minutes after that, so you should be good).

$30 for $50 to Silhouette.  Click HERE to head on over to Plum District to take advantage of the deal.

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There are a couple of limitations (i.e. you can’t use it to buy a Cameo or gift/download cards).  The details on that are all spelled out over at Plum District.  You CAN, however, buy 2 for yourself and up to 5 as gifts.  Nice way to try whatever product you’ve been eyeing for 40% off, ey?

$30 for $50 at Silhouette deal HERE, if you missed it the first time.

So, in conclusion, it looks like I’m not going to die.  Sorry to those of you who had dibs on my personal possessions.  Winking smile

A Scribble-Free Address Book

As part of my assignment last week in my quest to get my crap together, I asked you all for some help with my address book situation. (Go here, if you’re interested.)  After reading through your comments (THANK YOU!!!), I settled on the following:

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I went to my nearest office supply store and picked up a binder and some business card pages.  The business card pages were $3.59 for a pack of 10.  Each page has 10 card slots, so if you put 2 cards per slot (one visible from the front, one visible from the back), you could get 20 addresses per page.

I grabbed some white cardstock and gave Macy the assignment of cutting it into business card sized pieces (2” X 3.5”).  I assume you can buy blank business cards somewhere, but I already had the cardstock, so we went with that.

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And then I transferred addresses…until kid stuff happened (not unlike this situation, which I posted about on the Crap I’ve Made Facebook page) and I had to stop.  I stashed the rest of the addresses I’d clipped from Christmas cards in an envelope in the back pocket of the binder.  I know exactly where they are when I’m ready to finish the job.

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I’ll keep the binder in the cabinet above the computer desk in my kitchen, next to our Family Binder.  (Duuuuuuuuuude…my pictures were BAD 2 years ago!)

I like that I can easily replace a card when someone’s info changes, or even slip the new address in with the card if I’m pressed for time.  I also love that I can store business cards in there, like for the pediatrician’s office or my kids’ teachers.

How’d you do with getting your paper clutter under control?  Any lessons learned/tips you want to share with the rest of us?

PartyLite Party Wrap Up

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PartyLite Simple Pleasures Holiday Sweepstakes for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

 

If you’re a regular ‘round these parts, you probably remember me talking about PartyLite a few weeks back.  You can find that post here, if you need a refresher.

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So, last Wednesday night I had a bunch of friends (who protested loudly about having their pictures taken) over to experience a PartyLite party first hand.

The chocolate fountain was flowing,

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(Mmmmm…strawberries!)

Yvonne, my PartyLite consultant, was all set up,

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the kids and BC were off on an adventure, and I was ready to sniff.

The first thing I noticed were the cute little logos on each scent.  They separated the scents into categories, so you didn’t waste time smelling stuff you were totally going to hate.  I don’t like flowery smells and they were easy to avoid with the logo system.  I could spend all my time sniffing stuff like Vanilla Citron (possibly my favorite), Apple Orchard, and Honeydew.

Friends started to arrive, some I haven’t seen in years, and we chatted and ate.

After a bit, Yvonne introduced us to the PartyLite products.  I liked that the candles are pure/free from fillers and that they burn away completely.  However, I don’t generally burn candles in my home on account of the little boys that live here and their potential to do very bad things with lighters/open flames.  (PartyLite also carries melts and warmers, if you have similar issues.  Winking smile)

Many of the PartyLite holders allow for customization.  You can use them on table tops or with a floor stand.  The catalogs show them used as vases in addition to candle holders.  Some of the clear glass holders can be filled with flowers, confetti, garland, stones…the sky’s the limit.  (See the one all decked out for Valentine’s Day in the bottom right hand corner of the pictures above.)  After the initial investment in the piece, you could change the look seasonally very affordably.

So, would I do it again?  I honestly don’t know.  I love having people over and I love eating (ha!), but I get weird about them feeling like they need to buy stuff.  I’m also not sure this was really my style/their style.  I was impressed by PartyLite as a company and found the quality of their products to be to notch, I just like stuff a little more funky and unique, I think.  If you like hosting home parties, PartyLite would be a great one to check out.

To stay on top of the latest and greatest from PartyLite, be sure to check out the PartyLite Facebook  page or the Winter/Spring 2012 catalog (which came out December 15th).

 

PartyLite Simple Pleasures Holiday Sweepstakes

Visit Sponsor's Site


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