diy road trip with a kid

I’m here! I’m alive! Sorry for the silence! We’re getting ready for vacation (yay!) and blogging has been pushed to the back burner. I want to share some things I’ve done to get ready for our road trip. Gabe does quite well in the car, but even I can get antsy siting for consecutive hours. We’ll have a laptop and movies for him, but I also have some special toys, too. (As a side note… I never grew up watching movies in the car. And I always thought those vans with DVD players in them were so dumb- does your kid really have to watch television IN THE CAR??… but now that I have a kid, I’m a believer. DVD players should be standard in cars with back seats. Movies in the car are GREAT!) Anyway…

I stopped by the dollar bins at Target- a great place to find cheap toys. I found some creepy looking army men (hey, at $1 for a pack of 3, I guess I shouldn’t expect realistic works of art, but I did weed through the packs to find ones that at least had the eyeballs painted in the right place!)… I got some crayons and a little notebook (which I have special plans for), a pack of Thomas the Train stickers (the boy loves trains and stickers- win), and a couple Matchbox cars. I wrapped each toy individually and will give them to Gabe throughout the trip. Just small little surprises to open as we go.

At home, I frequently cover our coffee table with a roll of paper and draw a road and parking lots. We spend lots of time playing with cars on the road. So I thought I’d make a travel version to go along with the Matchbox cars I wrapped. He can also use it as a lap desk of sorts. It’s a simple a quick diy project that he can use in the car and at home.

I used a frame and a piece of cardboard that fit inside the frame..

I taped paper together to match the size of the cardboard. Then I sketched out how I would paint the road.

Then I painted the whole piece of cardboard white. (Partially to make it prettier. Partially because I thought it’d make the cardboard more durable.) Once it dried, I used blue craft paint to make the road. When that dried, I used gray paint to make lines. And when it all dried, I gave it a few coats of clear protective spray.

And there it is! A toy car road. If you notice from the picture, I actually have the cardboard in backwards on the frame. I did this because the back of the frame provided a better edge. I wanted to make sure cars and things wouldn’t be able to easily roll off while we’re driving. The cardboard is glued down the the lip of the frame that it’s resting on. (Also, the cardboard I used is very thick, so it shouldn’t be too easy to destroy… I hope!)

I turned a small box on its side for a garage. The cars must have a place to park!

All his little road trip presents wrapped and ready to go. It looks like a lot but it really isn’t. About $5 worth of toys.

And that’s how we’re traveling with a kid to vacation this year!

Now I must go hide all these goodies until we’re ready to go!

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inspiration: at home

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I love diy decorating ideas, but sometimes diy things look, well, too diy. I’m funny about that. This wall, however, covered in old pages, has a diy flare without being too diy, for my personal taste. Does that makes sense? I kinda like it. And it would be a perfect, temporary solution for renters (and talk about cheap, too)! Head to your thrift store and pick out a book (look for one with antiqued pages, maybe some lovely illustrations or even your family’s favorite book). You could use tiny pins to hang it on the wall.

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See the garland hanging above the desk? I think that’s another nice touch of diy, without screaming diy everywhere you look. I think it’d look lovely just about anywhere- in a child’s room, as a party decoration, in colors for fall or Christmas…

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Chalkboard walls. You either love them or you hate them. I’m in the ‘love them’ boat. We have two in our home- one in the living room, by Gabe’s little table. It’s framed in, so it only takes up part of the wall. The other one is in the dining room, right off the kitchen. It’s the whole wall, but the wall is not wide, so it’s not too overpowering. I use it for notes, lists, jotting down a phone number.. that kind of thing. And I have frames hanging on the wall, so it’s not just a plain big black rectangle. I love how they did the wall in the picture above. Had they painted the entire thing black, it might have been a bit much. They took the black up to the top of the cabinets and kept the wall above that white. It looks like perhaps there is a piece of trim board that goes along the wall at that height. And they also have things hung on the wall. I think this is a wonderful example of a chalkboard wall done right! There are lots of tutorials out there for diy blackboard paint. I haven’t personally tried any, but if you have, I’d love to hear how it was.

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I think Gabe would really enjoy a magnet wall. I’ve thought about putting one in my office area, so when I’m working, he’d have something fun to do. You can buy sheets of metal at hardware stores. I’ve also seen this made with an oil drip pan. I think I prefer the sheet on metal because it would be flat against the wall. This is another fun, temporary idea- just take the sheet down and patch the holes.

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It seems like everything is getting bigger these days. Bigger houses. Bigger cars. Bigger meals. Bigger bigger bigger. I love this house. At just 540 square feet, it’s charming, cozy and perfectly planned out. From the pictures, it doesn’t seem cramped or crowded. The white walls and all the light make it seems bright and cheery. I could definitely live there! You should check it out. And how awesome is that roof?

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What a charming bedroom. In college, I lived in a closet. I’m not kidding. I’m pretty sure it was never intended to be a real room. The house I lived in (with 12 other girls- no, not a sorority) was huge and had lots of bedrooms. I was partial to this little closet. I had a twin bed up on a loft that my dad built to specifically fit in the space. A small futon under the loft for seating. A dresser. And a shelf attached to the wall for my desk, also built specifically for the space. It was tiny, cozy and I loved it. Bedrooms don’t have to be huge. In fact, I think I’m more partial to rooms on the smaller side. I love this space. Small, cozy, simple and bright. It looks like there isn’t space for nightstands, so there’s a lamp hanging from the wall. I’d sleep there, wouldn’t you?

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If you do have room for a nightstand, I love this idea- a cheese box. You could put it up on wheels if you wanted to add some height to it. I really like using unusual pieces for nightstands. Like this. We use crates that I found while thriting. Another thing I love about this picture is the position of the bed. You CAN put a bed in front of windows if you do it right. This is right. I like how the curtains match the wall color and come out wider than the bed. Another charming bedroom (with a nice neutral color palette).

And there’s some inspiration for your home. If you haven’t noticed, I’m partial to neutral colors and natural elements. I find them peaceful and calming. Coming up next: ‘in defense of the white wall’… stay tuned and have a great day!

diy rope magnet

Here’a s quick little diy project for you to kick off your Tuesday!

Gather your supplies:

Rope

A roll of magnets

Hot Glue

Scissors

Get started:

Decide how long you want your magnet to be. I’ve made them varying lengths. The longer it is, the stronger it is.

Cut your magnet to the desired length. Then cut 3 pieces of rope slightly longer than the magnet. (You want the rope to fully cover the magnet). I should mention that the width of your magnet and size of your rope may vary from mine. It may take more or less strips of your rope to cover your magnet.

If your magnet had a sticky side, like mine did, peel off the back. Then glue your rope to the sticky side and you’re done!

(If your rope starts to unravel, which it might, just use some hot glue to hold it all together).

 

fall fun

Last year, when autumn, Thanksgiving and Christmas snuck up on me, I wished I had spent a little time thinking about how I wanted to decorate and things I wanted to do and make. By the time I thought about an advent calendar, it was already a good week into December! It was then that I decided to start early in 2012- so I could enjoy the seasons, holidays and whatever it was I wanted to make and do. The first day of fall is just a couple weeks away. Hard to believe! I thought I’d get a jump on things and work on my list (in no particular order)…

I’d love to have a family date night in the cool, fall air at the drive in theater. There’s one not far from us. We’ll have to keep our eyes open for a family friendly movie. Back in June, Tristan and I took a camping trip for our anniversary. It was fun, and would have been even more fun if we remembered sleeping bags and more blankets. We both think it’d be an adventure to take a family camping trip- all 3 of us. Maybe we’ll do a test run in the back yard and see how it goes! Anyone have an yummy gluten free pie recipes they’d like to share? Perhaps I’ll try one out at a fall dinner potluck. Dinner parties are always fun excuses to decorate. Stone Mountain, a 600 ft granite rock face, in NC a do-able day trip for us. It’s one of Tristan’s favorite places to climb. The ladies/children hike up the back and meet the men at the top to take in a most spectacular view. On Gabe’s first Halloween he was Thing 2 (complete with a blue wig). His cousin, who’s just a couple months older than him, was Thing 1 (also complete with a blue wig). Last year, Gabe went as Nacho Libre. I’m thoroughly enjoying the years of him not caring what I dress him as. I know it won’t last long! I haven’t yet decided what he’ll be this year, but I have ideas!

And all those things lead me to the decorating with sticks, pinecones, acorns and candles. Last year my fall decorating began at the pumpkin patch and ended by unloading the pumpkins and gords from the car. I really want to do a little more this year- have fun with it. So, without further ado, here is some inspiration…

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Mason jars, candles and acorns. Looks like those jars are even hanging, though this would make a lovely centerpiece or decoration sitting anywhere. Even at a fall wedding, hanging on some shephard hooks or on tables.

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Pumpkins are a nice fall decorations no matter what. Miniature white pumpkins? Even better! Add twine to the stem? Perfect! Use them as place holders at a dinner party. Or on a plate/bowl as a centerpiece. Fall wedding? Why not make them part of a favor, perhaps with a cute little note. They’d do double duty as decorations, too.

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Those vases are beautiful. You could get a similar look by spray painting vases ivory (not bright white). I think I’d use a satin finish. (Keep your eyes open at thrift stores for vases that would work.) To get the natural looking line, considering dipping the bottom of the vase in paint and letting it drip dry (over a protected surface, of course). At Home Depot and Lowes you can get sample sizes of paint for a few dollars. I think that would work nicely! (And it comes in a flat finish, too!)

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Head over to Martha Stewart the tutorial to make this wreath. It would look nice on a door or hanging inside on the wall!

I’ll be sharing more inspiration photos and also the things I make for our home this fall. Are there any projects you want to do for the season? Do you have a Fall Bucket List?

a new series

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Today I’m starting a new series of posts, completely unrelated to normal RICE things. They’ll happen weekly(ish) and will be called, ‘From the Mouth of Gabe…’. Gabe (who’s few months shy of three) keeps us laughing with the things he says and the conversations we have together. This will be a way for me to document and hopefully bring a smile to your face, too.

To kick off the series, I’ll share a couple recent conversations…

(Sept. 9 2012) Tristan was showing Gabe his climbing gear. Gabe was captivated by all of it. Tristan says, “When you’re older, we’ll use these things to climb together!

Gabe, “Oh yeah! When I old and ceepy! We kime togeger!”

Tristan, “Old and creepy? Are you gonna be a creepy old man?”

Gabe (sighs), “Hm. Yeah… Maybe.”

(Sept. 10 2012) Gabe’s beloved Teddy Bear was involved in a, uh, situation yesterday. Up to this point, we’ve been spared the right of passage of parenthood known as cleaning up puke. And then yesterday, while Gabe was supposed to be napping, I hear him yelling, “Wook Mommy! Wook Mommy!” I went up to find him and everything in his bed covered. In vomit. Not sure what exactly happened. All he told me was that he burped. It was an isolated incident and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t related to sickness, thankfully. Anyway, all his sleeping things have gone through the wash, but I thought Teddy Bear could benefit from one more washing. A few minutes after I walked away from washer (that was holding bear), I hear Gabe squealing in a high pitched voice, “Help me! Help me! I’m in here! Help! Save me!” I run to find him standing by the washing machine. When I ask what’s wrong he replies, “Oh I ok! That was from Tebby Bear’s mouf!”

And that concludes the first post in the new series called, ‘From the Mouth of Gabe!’ Hope it brought a smile to your face! Do you have any kids that humor you with the things they say? I’d love to hear them! Check back again soon for a quick and easy DIY project and another post for inspiration!

sneak peak: office/guest room

Be on the look out this week for a tour of our guest room/office. For now, here’s a little sneak peak.

I have an “L” shaped desk, with a shelf above the long side. I use my hot glue gun all the time and keep my glue sticks in mason jars. I painted clipboards white and use them to hold pages I rip out of magazines. I change them frequently. The hangers up top hold different things, too. Right now they’re holding pages I plan to use as art. The little bins once had neon colored insides that I painted white. Neon is trendy right now but I just don’t think it’s for me!

Check back this week for the full before and after tour! (It was once painted burnt orange and smelled like old dog…)

your input, please?

Hi, friends! You probably notice things look a bit different this afternoon. How unlike me to rearrange something! Would you take a moment to let me know what you think by taking the poll, please? You can also leave a comment with feedback. If this is your first time here, I’d love to hear what you think, too. You can be honest.. you won’t hurt my feelings! Thank you so much.