Monday, July 15, 2013

Chair Re-do!

4-5 hour project...if you don't have to re-paint the chairs...
I found the table, chairs and matching china hutch on a craigslist add.
They were very well taken care of and freshly painted...
It took me about 4 years to decide what I wanted to do with them-lame, I know!

The fabric is from JoAnns...totally on sale and with my JoAnn's App (download now!) I also got 40% off.
I ended up paying $19 for 3 yards, 45'' wide- it is an upholstery fabric, so this was a heck of a deal! 

Unscrew the pad, right off the chair- very easy, just time consuming.
Once the pad is off, I took off the previous fabric from one of the pads to use as a fabric stencil for the six other pads. I left the fabric on the others and then covered it with the new.

Staple gun is all you need!
Tuck the fabric as tight as you can.
It doesn't matter what it looks like on the bottom...
& who cares if you use a hundred staples! :)

My 6 bumless chairs!
I washed these girls really well-top to bottom!

The details in the chairs are amazing, but the more detail, the more work...


My most favorite toy in all the land!
Life is better with a sander!

Especially for all this detail on front and back of the chairs!
Don't you love the difference?!?

You want to hit every line to make it stand out- 
One chair sanded by hand: 1.5 hours
One chair sanded by device: 20 minutes

Love the legs...the details are amazing!

I love love love love them!

Hope you do to!

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Summer Fun Friday

Heres a little more summer fun for you!

I have girls camp in a week and a half (all that fun coming soon) so I've had to start cracking down on preparations.  This week was a little more low key for us.  Okay, maybe only a very little.  We did have two birthdays to celebrate.

At Home Activities

- The kids spent some time playing legos.  They each built houses then got creative with the remaining pieces.  Some of the sizes were pulled out and split up for money and with the rest they created things to 'sell' to everyone else.  Flower pots, tables, cars etc.  They had so much fun with it - and it entertained them for hours!

 - We washed the cars
 - We made chocolate no-bake cookies.  My kids call them Gorilla Poops (insert eye roll and a crooked smile)  I love these because they are peanut free without having to buy any special ingredients!  Oh, and I don't have to turn on the oven in the middle of the summer.  No one in my family has peanut allergies, but the 2 kiddos I babysit do.  This recipe fit the bill this week - being able to make cookies with them without having to plan ahead! Scroll down for the recipe
- We tie-dye'd t-shirts!  We used the sharpie tie-dye method I found over at Obsessed With Paper Art.  I love the flowers she made.  I'm starting to think I should make me one!  I loved that it was SO easy.  No mess at all, my kids could create whatever they wanted with only a little supervision, and they loved the shirts that they made themselves!

Away From Home Activities

- We spent a couple of afternoons at the park.  On one of the days my girls got this 'imaginary baseball' game going.  It was adorable.  I was amazed at how positive all the kids were in their encouragement with eachother and what good sports they were when whoever had the ball decided they were out.  They were stealing bases, hitting home runs - the teams were completely mixed up and no one kept score, but they had a blast!  If you use your imagination, anything can be fun!

- We took advantage of the twilight hours at one of the pools close to us.  From 5pm-close it is only $3/person.  AND you can use their BOGO coupon, so for all 6 of us it was $9.  Sweet!  


Chocolate No Bake Cookies
2 c. Sugar
1/2 c. Milk
1/2 c. Shortening
3 Tbs Cocoa
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Vanilla
3 c. Quick Oats

Combine all but vanilla and oats in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Take off the heat and add vanilla, stirring constantly.  Add oats and drop by spoon onto tin foil or wax paper.  They will harden as they cool.  You may increase oatmeal if thickening is necessary - too much oatmeal will make them dry.

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Friday, July 5, 2013

Summer Fun Friday

I can't believe another week of summer has already flown by!!

Here's some of the fun we've had 
(Again, please excuse the pictures.  My replace the stolen camera fund is severely lacking)

Daddy Dates

My husband has had some extra time off this week with the holiday so he took each of the kids on a date.  With my 10 year old they went to Barnes and Noble and looked through all kinds of books and she got to pick one to bring home.  My 8 year old wanted to go to the local pet store and they played with all the puppies and kitties for about 2 hours then picked up a slurpee.  He took my 6 year old to the gym at his school and they spent an hour or two playing racquetball and basketball and stopped for ice cream on the way home.  My baby (4 yrs old) just wanted to go to the zoo!  So thats what they did.  He didn't spend more than $10 on any one date (we have a zoo pass) and all of the kids felt so special!

At Home Activities

This week we had one day that was a "friend day".  I had been asked to watch a couple of friends kids at different times and we just turned it into a day of fun.  We started off with 3 friends in the morning (and one that joined us with her mom) that stayed for lunch when their mom came, then we took a little break and had 2 friends in the afternoon until just before dinner, then 3 more that joined us for dinner and fun afterwards.  I used a lot of paper plates that day!  But my kids had so much fun!  And honestly, it was much easier than having the same extra kids all day long.

Here are some of the things we did that day and throughout the week
Sidewalk Murals
I guess this is pretty self explanatory.  We used a ton of chalk, but its so cheap!

Milk Art from Flutter Flutter

These fun homemade Lava Lamps were a huge hit.  You can find the tutorial here.

And we had a dance party, of course.  It really seems like one of my kids favorite things to do.  Just crank up the tunes and dance!

Away from Home Activities

Library Day!
My kids were fascinated by the "kids" that were putting on a concert at the library when we went to claim their reading rewards.  I'm pretty sure they all want to play the violin now!
Monday was a free day at a "farm" near us.  Its run by the park district and is more a super fun place that happens to have farm animals than an actual farm, but its really cool!  They have one of the coolest playgrounds ever, a carousel, and pony and tractor rides.  They also have a historic schoolhouse, blacksmith shop and pottery shop where staff dressed in period clothing give demonstrations.  Like I said, super fun.  

And it was free!  I know in our area all the museums and such have multiple free days a year.  The biggest key is to go EARLY and choose your battles.  For some places like the Shedd Aquarium in downtown Chicago - no amount of free is worth the headache.  But, for instance, the Museum of Science and Industry - in January - is practically empty.  The suburb free days are much more doable.  Check out your local places!

Our fun this week also included some major 4th of July celebrating!

Some Fun Food

Being the 4th of July week, most of our desserts and fun were centered around red, white, and blue.  On Thursday (the 4th) we had Patriotic Pancakes for breakfast, and had a picnic for lunch.  Dinner was BBQ, of course, with a red white and blue fruit salad (yogurt, fruit and a dollop of whipped cream) and corn on the cob.

My girls would bake every day if they could.  So I limit them to 2 desserts a week.  This week they picked
Tie-Dye Fudge from Taste and Tell

and our very own Firecracker Bundt Cake posted earlier this week by Jana

I'd say another successfully fun week of summer.  And as always - we'd love your ideas to add to our fun!
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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

4th of July Menu

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This was taken last year, but were so delicious, I've decided they need to grace our table every 4th of July. :)
Here is how to make Stained Glass Jello. Yum.
I love this relish! I could eat a whole jar all by myself. Tastes great on everything!!
Click here for the recipe! 
Firecracker Bundt Cake
When you cut into this, you also get red white and blue cake. Very patriotic...
When you make the batter, split into three bowls, leave one white, and the other two add blue and red food coloring. In the bundt pan, alternate adding 1 cup from each color, red white white get the idea. ;)
For the frosting, do the same thing dividing the can into three equal parts, leaving one white, and making a red and blue...Microwave for a few seconds so the frosting is easier to drizzle.
Then sprinkle with some festive sprinkles!
Happy 4th of July everyone!