Eucalyptus & Antler Centerpiece

This is a super easy centerpiece thats great for winter and Christmas time! I started with a eucalyptus garland I found in the wedding section at Hobby Lobby. Its about $10 with a coupon or when its 50% off! I mean, I never pay full price for something there! I then just wove some cheap metallic twig garland throughout the eucalyptus. I got this one last year, but I saw one similar at Michaels this year for just a few dollars.

I then placed three metallic/pink candles from Target’s dollar section evenly throughout. Besides being pretty they smell delicious too! 

My mom found some Antler stems at Michael’s for 75% off and gave one to me! I think on sale they were $5 a stem.  I used some wire cutters to cut them into 3 individual antlers and stuck (I know thats not a fancy name, but thats what I literally did! 🙂 ) them throughout the garland! And there you have it, an easy centerpiece! Happy centerpiece making!!  😉

xoxo,

Danielle

Why homeschool?

My husband and I had our second date at starbucks, which we closed out, talking for hours about our families, how we were raised, etc. When it came to education I told him I was homeschooled from 2nd grade to 8th grade. He just started laughing. I laughed with him but thought “Oh great, this super cute, nice, baseball player now thinks I might be weird because I was a homeschooler.” So I stumbled on trying to explain… to which he cut me off and said, “No, I’m laughing because I was homeschool till 8th grade too!” So, before I go on about why we are choosing to homeschool this year, I just want you to know, my husband and I have been on the other side!

I want to preface what I’m about to say with a few things. First, we are taking it one year at a time. I felt called to homeschool this year for various reasons, but we are keeping an open mind and heart year to year. Secondly, I don’t agree that there’s only one right way to school your children. Whether it be public, private, or at home…all can be great!

So why are we homeschooling? Well, I honestly wasn’t really planning on homeschooling. Last year Levi went to THE sweetest preschool which we absolutely loved. We sent him 4-ish (it was flexible) days a week from 8:30-11:30. I heard that the private school I used to go to had a half day kinder option, so I knew thats where I wanted him to go. I feel like our society (and satan really) is creating chaos in the family with all the busyness. I knew I didn’t want him to be in school 7 hours a day as a young 5 year old. I’m a big advocate of pushing, encouraging and discipling our children (aka, not let them be lazy and have their way) but I’m also a big advocate of letting kids be kids. I want my child to learn, but I want him to be outside throwing dirt clods, building forts, catching bugs and riding bikes. So this half day kindergarten seemed perfect for us and how I feel! I went to the open house and was told they were no longer offering half day. My heart literally sunk, I had a pit in my stomach, and I fought back tears as I was talking to the teacher. It may sound dramatic, but it was just the mama in me. 🙂  I didn’t want my “just” 5 year old in school till 3:15 everyday, when he still naps 5 out of 7 days! I didn’t want to get him at the end of the day when he was tired and worn out. I didn’t want his siblings to only see him for a few hours before he had to turn in early for the night. And, I also took into consideration his personality. He loved preschool, but some days he said he missed us and just wanted to be home. When he was at school he felt like he was missing out with the family. So the thought of making him go every day, for a total of 34 hours a week, didn’t seem the best for us. My husband and I also agreed that if he was in school he would not participate in any extra curricular activities, such as sports, as a 5 year old. We didn’t want our family to be running here, and there, and not have enough quality family time!

This is when I looked into the schools’ homeschool program. I could homeschool through the school (aka, have help and guidance!) and he had the option to go into the kindergarten class room on Fridays! At first I thought, “There’s no way I can homeschool…I have the other ones at home and theres always a lot of chaos”. Along with the fact that I already have to clean, cook, do the laundry, grocery shop, etc…all while taking care of 3 little ones. But my heart softened to the idea and I felt a peace. Much more of a peace than sending him to school. So, here we are. I’m his teacher.

First day of “real school” in his kinder class!

I totally doubt myself sometimes. Carrying the responsibilities of being a mom, and then adding the job of being your child’s educator is daunting. Even though its kindergarten. I have to teach him the english language, for crying out loud!!! Total shout out to you homeschool moms that teach multiple grades at multiple levels. I have a whole new respect for you! I’m enjoying going through the curriculum and finding fun ways to teach it. I’m enjoying the fact that I get to watch him learn and be so involved. I’m enjoying that we can finish his lessons in less than 2 hours, and he doesn’t have to be gone for 7. I’m enjoying that his siblings are learning with him or that I can postpone starting school because the kids are playing so well together. I’m enjoying that we can learn outside, or do math & numbers on the kitchen floor. I’m enjoying we don’t have to rush out the door every morning to get him to school. I’m enjoying that we can have quieter afternoons and no homework at night.

The younger ones get to join in too…while being half dressed! 🙂

Now, don’t get me wrong…there’s a lot of things that are challenging. Its a hard concept for him that I’m now his teacher, summer is over, and we have to sit and do things that aren’t always fun. Its harder for him to respect me as the teacher because, I’m mom. I know for a doubt he wouldn’t tell his teacher “I’m only doing one work sheet today, ok? Not two.” He may or may not have said this to me. 😉 But there’s also the flip side of me lacking patience for him. I know what he’s capable of and I want the best for him, so at times its frustrating when he’s not focusing. I definitely get to practice extra patience.

I recently read the book (recommended by a homeschool mom I admire), “Teaching from Rest: A Homeschoolers Guide to Unshakable Peace” by Sarah Mackenzie. It was so insightful in preparing to homeschool! The Lord knew I needed to read it. I was convicted of many things and have tried to change my mindset, as in having more patience and calmness as I teach in our home. I would highly recommend the book if you are even considering homeschooling. A lot of areas can even apply to just being a mom!

We are now a few weeks in and I think our family as a whole is loving this fit. Levi’s teachers at school have been so sweet and accommodating. They always welcome and invite him to other things and he may even be going an extra day a week. I am so thankful for what we have this year! Like I said, we are prayerfully taking it one year at a time, so I’m not sure what next year will look like. I do love the fact that he is plugged into the school so if we do decide to put him in, he knows his classmates. Or if we continue to homeschool, he’ll continue to see them once or twice a week:)

I am not an experienced homeschool mom, but if you have any questions about homeschool and how it works, I’d love to chat! 🙂

P.s. I know a BIG argument about homeschooling is the socialization part. I understand people’s concern, and I agree kids need socialization, but I think depending on the family, there are a lot of other ways to socialize than just school! My husband and I were homeschooled and we felt we had plenty of socialization! 😉 If you have further questions on this, send me a message and I’d love to talk more about it!

Shop our homeschool wall :

Kid Food: Ikea

“Create” letters- hobby lobby

Rug-Target

Chalkboard- DIY, See here how I made the green chalk paint (my hubby built the frame and I just put a little stain and white washed it!)

Happy Shopping!!! 🙂

xo,

Danielle

 

DIY vintage green chalkboard paint

I have a space in my home where I want to make a large green vintage chalkboard. Finding a pretty green chalkboard paint has been little difficult though. I found a “recipe” on a blog for one but it required mixing different milk paints and each bag of paint was $25. I didn’t want to spend $50 on just the paint for this project! Then I pulled up on pinterest “How to make you’re own chalkboard paint” and I was shocked at how easy it was! All I had to do was find a green I liked and do a little mixing!

Here is what I did:

  • I purchased a sample jar of Valspar’s Hanging Vine green from Lowes. Buying a sample jar covers more than enough area for a chalkboard, is only a few dollars, and the amount in there is just about 8fl oz, which is the mixing ratio for the next step!
    Valspar: Hanging Vine green
  • Mixed 2 TBSP unsanded grout into the sample jar (1 cup of latex paint to 2TBSP unsanded grout).
    The paint seems a little thick after mixing but it paints on smoothly!

Done. Thats it. You have a pretty vintage green chalkboard paint!

I haven’t made the large chalkboard but I wanted to practice and experiment with the color. Now, I know this “Bind my Wandering Heart to Thee” is pretty, but its been in my garage too long collecting dust and its not really my style anymore…so I reused it.  😯

I taped the outer frame and applied 3 coats of the chalkboard paint mix to the main surface. Once the green was dry I mixed some white paint and water and brushed in on the frame to give it more of a white wash look. When both paints were dry I seasoned the chalkboard by rubbing chalk all over the surface.

Seasoning the chalkboard

 

And here is the final result! Now…just to work on my chalkboard writing 😉

Thanks for reading! Please ask me any questions you may have. Happy chalkboard making!

DIY Cozy Blanket

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I was cruising instagram and kept seeing all these cozy wool blankets. I looked into buying one and was a little shocked at the price! So, I went to my mom….”Mom, do you think you could make me a blanket for my birthday!?” And, she made it happen! I haven’t really tried my hand at crocheting, yet, but I wanted to share with you how my mom made this. Because if YOU crochet, you should make one. This would make a great Christmas present to someone special…or a present to yourself! 😉

Supplies (both from Michaels):

  1. 10 Balls Bernat Blanket Big. This made approximately a 55x70inch blanket with some yarn left over. Its not wool, its polyester, but its super soft and cozy! Each skein was $9.99 each but it was 40% off. (They have great coupons..and you can make several trips to get them with the sale price!)

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2. Jumbo Crochet Hook– US/50 (25mm) 10” longcrochetHere’s what pattern my mom used:

Cast on 40 stitches plus 1 chain.

*1 single crochet (sc) into 2nd  chain from hook.

Crochet 1 chain and then sc into 2nd chain from hook.*

Repeat * this pattern* until end of row. Chain 1 and turn.

Crochet this pattern row until you have desired length.

Cast off.

Attach yarn and single crochet into each chain around the perimeter of

entire blanket. If desired, may crochet second row for a wider border.

*Note:  at each corner of blanket sc 3 times into same chain so as to

create a squared corner.

(There are numerous crochet websites that will explain in detail stitches, casting off, finishing off where balls of wool are joined together. Two helpful sites are Crochet for dummies and YouTube: Crochet Guru).

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img_9504img_9393img_9633Now, go make a blanket of your own and share pictures of your creation with us:) Please contact me if you have any questions!

xoxo,

Danielle

Canvas Joy Sign

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I couldn’t decide if I wanted to keep my house with neutral-traditional Christmas decor or bright and colorful! Such a dilemma! I decided to go with the fun colors in the kids play area and keep the rest neutral. I thought it was a good compromise and allows me to dabble in both…since I’m indecisive. 🙂

This “Joy” sign sees almost too simple to even blog about, but I’ll show you how I did it! img_0069I took an 8×8 canvas from Michaels and wrapped it with some merry & bright (thats what it made me think of anyways!) wrapping paper from Target’s dollar section. I used some strong clear packing tape to secure it.

img_0070I also had some adhesive letters stashed in my closet, from Target’s dollar section, and decided to spell out “joy”. I peeled off the backs and stuck them on the front.

img_0077And that’s that. Easy peasy, as my 4 years old says.

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This is a fun, easy, and cheap way to add some Christmas cheer! Thanks for reading!

xoxo,

Danielle

A moms tutorial on how to paint a dresser

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Hi friends! When my best friend saw that I refinished this dresser she said she would like to paint a piece of furniture she has, but would have no clue where to start. So, I’m going to tell you how I did it (with kids!) in case it helps a few of you out, including my bestie.  🙂

My neighbor inherited a lot of antiques a few months ago and she gifted this cute little dresser to me. I had it sitting in my kids room for months, trying to figure out how I could use it in there. I decided to bring it out in the living room and immediately found the perfect spot for it! So, time to start sanding and painting!

Here’s the supplies I used:

  • 220 grit sandpaper (150grit would work well too)
  • Electric hand sander (not necessary, just faster!)
  • Quart of Kilz 2 latex primer
  • Quart of Shermin Williams, Mindful Gray latex paint.
  • Small foam roller (If you are doing a smaller piece of furnisher, a foam roller isn’t necessary. My roller was old and not working right so I ended up using a bigger paint brush for most of it)
  • 1.5 inch angled paint brush
  • 3 little helpers  🙂
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Before

Here’s the steps I took:

First, I sanded it with the 220 grit sandpaper. I did this while the kids were playing outside and I was on the phone. Multi tasking, a mom’s way of life, right?! I at least lightly covered every little nook and cranny.

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When I was finished sanding I decided I should probably pull out the little electric hand sander to go over the large surfaces. I did this when I got off the phone because… that sander is loud! When prepping for latex paint you want to make sure all the “shine” on the surface is gone. Its not necessary to sand it down completely to the bare wood, but it is important to remove that first layers so the primer and paint stick!DSC_0779

Once I was finished sanding, I set the little dresser on a table outside so I could paint on the primer with my one year old around. I set up some cars and trucks and asked the older ones to play with him (benefits of having big helpers!) I used Kilz 2 primer, which is a good primer to use, and we happened to have some in our paint cupboard. Yah! Of course, when I pulled the primer and paint brushes out the big kids wanted to help so I let them do the back of the dresser! Its fun to involve the kids… WHEN possible!
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I wanted to get the first coat of primer on in the morning so I could put the second coat on at nap time. We went over to my moms house later that morning and I was able to sneak away to the paint store to get the paint I wanted…kidless! I got Sherwin Williams, “Mindful Gray”. I actually thought it was going to be darker but, isn’t that always the story with paint? I also bought a nicer angled brush to get good coverage on all those nooks and crannies I had just sanded!
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Once the kids were all asleep at nap time I brought the dresser into the house. It was too hot to paint outside and I didn’t want the paint to dry too quickly. Ok, plus I wanted to stay in the cool house with my music and coffee  🙂

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Later in the evening I set up the dresser on our patio table and was able to paint the first coat of gray while my family was playing in the backyard. Thankfully it is small because it went pretty quickly!

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This dresser is really old with lots of dings and a few cracks! I could have used some wood filler to fill in the crack on top but I opted not to 🙂 You can’t really see it when there are things on top!

First coat.

I let the first coat set up over night and was able to paint the second coat at nap time the next day! I didn’t want to paint the final coat while the kids were awake because that would been probable interruptions. I wanted to have good, even coverage on that last coat! I let it dry over night before bringing it in for use!

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I was going to paint the knobs black but decided to leave them in their original state…because I can always go back and change them:)

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I was going to paint the knobs black but decided to leave them in their original state...because I can always go back and change them:)

The dressers new home

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I hope this gave you some helpful hints on how to paint a dresser, and if you have kids…how it can be done with kids!  😉  Do you have any furniture that could use some painting?!

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