current chalkboard art.

remember my big fat chalkboard in the dining room? here is its current artwork & verse, romans 12:12. this is one i'd really like to memorize & is a super appropriate reminder for our lives right now [& always, really. but especially this past year.]
 it's really hard to photo between the 2 windows, but i'm thankful because the dining room is the one room where we get so much natural light! & i love seeing it multiple times a day! i've definitely got to get one of those bistro chalk markers, the kids' sidewalk chalk just ain't cuttin' it!


the look for less: painted frame!

i'm always on the lookout for fun new paint finishes. i'm all out of love for the plain, dark brown wood finish in our home. honestly, i've taken some pieces that most people would be horrified to "ruin" & just painted them. i figure paint can always be sanded down/off and a dark stain re-done. but in the meantime, i want bright, fun colorful wood finishes in my home, not dark traditional/formal ones!

i literally stopped & said "oooh" when i saw these bluegreen frames at world market:
if you've been reading here long, you know i was immediately a sucker for those green ones. but i must say the lovely neutral creamgreywash truly were almost equally delicious:
i have all but sworn off buying plasticky frames when you can do so much to make a frame look cool if it's all wood.... go messy distressy on it. glaze the heck out of it. spray paint it & glue it to another piece of wood. even the dollar store has all-wood frames & there's a rotating plethora of almost free ones at goodwill. you could even try layering & then gluing together a smaller frame on top of a bigger frame to get that big chunky edge.

i already had a nice thick wood frame that had a not so lovely dark stained finish that had been hanging somewhere in my parent's old house. it had just enough of a thickness & almost stripe to it that made it really easy to imitate the look of the green one. i was so excited to get started on it that of course i didn't take a 'before' picture. i just spray primed the frame & then went at it with a little cream crafts paint to make a messy stripe around the center & then filled in the edges with some green.
a little ralph lauren glaze in smoke [my fave] & it was done! i wrapped & hot glued some burlap around the frame's cardboard backing & was thinking about stenciling a verse or quote of some sort onto it with paint. but if i was going to do that i really wanted to have 2 matching frames to hang together.
did you see my little secret for hanging the artwork without punching a hole in it? a thumbtack plus a leftover little curtain ring
a little home in the living room for big girl's artwork. an ever-changing gallery.


how to make a custom chore chart!

my husband & i decided that at almost 4 years old, our big K bear is big enough to start her very own chore chart to earn special treats and toys! after seeing lots of really cute and customize-able ones from other bloggers out there, i decided to go ahead & make our own for her so that we could have it exactly customized to her little jobs around the house. we purposely picked jobs that she already is fully able to do on her own, & also added in 2 attitude-related ones as well. i also changed 'chore' to 'contribution' to emphasize the positive- we help each other in our family because we love each other!
i wrote 'contribution chart' along the side of a piece of white card stock in marker & then decided to use stickers from there. big colorful letter stickers indicate the days of the week [i guess she gets a break on the weekends, hah!] & then used 'item' stickers that would represent her jobs. i ended up also writing the job underneath each picture, mostly in case M & i forgot what the were.
once it was all decorated & stickered up, i took it to staples to get it laminated. it only cost about a dollar & greatly improved the chart itself! now it will hold up a nice long time, makes it easy to reuse over & over, and is fully wipeable/re-sticker-able! [you can also use magnets to fill the little squares.]
the attitude-related ones are ones we talk about constantly in our house, being a big helper [obeying & doing something quickly when asked] & having a grateful heart [saying please & thank you & having a good attitude!] these are things we want to reinforce in our kids anyway, & if K can earn a sticker for it, she's all the more motivated!
the little happy face stickers are from the dollar spot teacher supplies at target. i like them because they're small enough that more than one can fit in each little square of the chart & there's also a ridiculous amount of them in the package for just a buck! win.

her prizes are also ready & waiting [& taunting her a little, unfortunately!]. as you can see she's heavily into my little pony right now & the tinkerbell night light is from the dollar tree. we try to keep each prize under 2 or 3 dollars & she earns one by filling up the whole chart. [sometimes we may surprise her by giving a small treat after she's filled up a day or 2 & of course we show grace if not every single little square is filled.] it's been fun finding little cute things that we know will excited her & adding them to the prize stash to surprise her with later!
 i'm really excited about rewarding my babe for her already pretty great behavior. i'm blessed with such sweet kiddos!


the story of a little ikea table

my mother in law is an auction-shopping champ & found this adorable little ikea table & chairs set for kenna around her first birthday:
it was the perfect shape & size & SO cute, but the bright, almost neon colors just weren't quite fitting our decor.
[yes,  this blog post is actually a not-so-secret excuse to revisit all these adorable pictures of my firstborn when she was just a tiny fry!] 

so i painted the yellow chair pink & the green chair yellow, & gave the table a fresh new spritz of white. much better! it was such a handy thing to have- extra seating for little cousins, a 'kids' table at a few holidays here, & the perfect little art table [since i knew if it got too much paint/crayon/whatever on it, i could just repaint!] we've even pulled up the little chairs at the coffee table for snacks or movie nights.
fast forward a few years & another toddler in the family up to a few weeks ago- i discovered martha stewart had come out with some new chalkboard paints that came in really beautiful light blue & green. i picked up some of the blue thinking i would paint her little toy chalkboard & make it just a little prettier. then i remembered the little table!
it was the perfect little project to try out the chalkboard paint on- it turned out great! the texture & color of the MS chalkboard paint is so lovely- it's really smooth to the touch & doesn't feel chalky at all. when you wipe it clean you can't even tell it's a chalkboard, honestly! 
now the little table & chairs have been reinvented for what i'm sure will be lots more use by the little ones of our family!

[ps- i was not paid to say how awesome this product is, however... a note to martha since i'm sure she reads here: your product is lovely & i will definitely use it again! if a position opens up for official full time product tester/reviewer/blog-proclaimer-of-product-awesomeness, i'm the gal for the job.]


watch out, world...

momma's got a brand new favorite way to label stuff. it's easy, it's cheap & it's fully customizable.
[spell check says customizable is not in fact a word. i beg to differ.]

all it takes is masking tape & a colorful sharpie! i get so tired of picking out or making cute labels for stuff just to have the sticky wear off or not stick to things to begin with. the only solution seemed to be to more permanently attach them [with something like hot glue] & sometimes risk damaging the item. 
while pretty simple & basic, to me this way is much better because you can cut the masking tape to size & use any number of sharpie colors! i went on a bender the other day & labeled all of my kids' crafty stuff & half of our basement this way. i especially love it on these clear boxes since not much else will stick well to them & the kids can still see what's in each one. and let's just say all my spray paint is very happy living in its very own labeled crate on the shelf.
when you want to use the container for something else, it's quick & easy to remove! win, win, win! 

what are you labeling lately?


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