Sunday, June 29, 2014

Much Ado About Monday {No. 66}

Hey guys! Thanks for stopping by for another Much Ado About Monday! We are so glad that you are here with us! :)

This past week was a busy one for us. My two oldest kids went to stay at my parent's house for a week of fun with their Nee Nee and Paw Paw {what they call my mom and dad}. My mom had themed activities planned for each day and my kids enjoyed Princess and Prince Day, Bug Day, Mud Day, and Water Day, to name a few. They had a blast and got some good quality bonding time with their grandparents at Camp Paw Nee {what we ended up calling the week of fun} and this will probably become a yearly tradition.

Making their own little gardens for Plant Day.
 
My hubby and I missed the kids like crazy. It's so strange to have an empty, quiet house. But we put all that free time to good use by painting two bathrooms, a bedroom and organizing and purging all the toys. It's so good to have the kids back home though.

This week on the blog, Jill announced her monthly contributor post over at FromG2B, which was this adorable mason jar toothbrush holder and I shared some of my essential beach items to make your next beach trip super easy!


Our features from this past week's party are:


Jamie's Pick: Rubberband Painted Wine Bottles via Day 2 Day Supermom
Jill's Pick: Potting Shed Redo via Penny's Vintage Home
Lydia's Pick: Cookie Monster Dessert Bars via Superheroes in Jammies
Emily's Pick: The Dude Abides Shirt via Domestic Bliss Squared

Our most viewed link this week was Kitchen Basics: How to Pick & Prep Produce from Vintage Zest with a bunch of amazing tips on how to cut all those amazing tropical fruits. So handy!

Kitchen Basics - How to Pick and Prep Produce - Tropical Fruit Edition (Papaya, Jicama, Pineapple & Mango) on Diane's Vintage Zest! #shop #fruit #tips


Congratulations to our featured bloggers this week! Thanks so much for linking up with us and be sure to grab a button!


Now on to the fun! Let's party!


The Rules:


*We love our followers, and always follow back. Please follow us on GFC as well as BlogLovin:

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* Please link back to us in your post. Whether it be through a text link or by posting our super cute button somewhere in your post. We appreciate it!
* If you do NOT link back to us in your post, you will NOT be Featured on Much Ado About Monday. So, link back! You'll thank us later. :)
*Features posts will be pinned on Pinterest and promoted on Facebook and Google+
* Feel free to link up decorating tips, DIY projects, recipes, organizational ideas, sewing and crochet creations or anything else crafty or that you find inspirational.
* Please do not link up giveaways, Etsy shops, or projects that were not made by you.
* You may link up to three posts a week!
* If your post has been featured, please do not link it up again.
* Remember to visit, visit, visit! That's the point of a party, right? Have fun!

Thanks for joining us this week!








12 Essential Beach Items {You'll Be Thankful You Remembered!}

Living in Houston, we are only a short drive from the coast. Since we are so close, it is easy to pack the kids up and head down to the beach for the day and enjoy some wind, waves, and sunshine. While the Texas beaches can't really hold a candle to the beaches east of the Mississippi River, we always have a great time and the kids love playing in the water and digging in the sand.


Since we have started making these day-trips down  to the coast, we have fine-tuned our packing list and have figured out ways to make our trips a little easier and smoother {especially with kids!}. After the normal essentials {towels, sunscreen, beach chairs}, we have a compiled a list of other necessary items to make our beach visits much nicer.


So I thought I would share our list with you guys so you can benefit from it and make your next trip to a Texas beach {or any beach} a little easier to pack for.


Canopy- This is an essential item, especially since the Texas sun can be brutal at times. We always set up underneath the shade that the canopy provides and whenever the kids get a little sun-weary it's so nice to have a respite from the sun and heat. We picked up our canopy from Academy (a local sporting goods store) but if you can't found one, here's a link to Amazon through our affiliate program:


Hammer- If you are bringing a canopy, be sure to bring a hammer or mallet of some kind to drive the stakes into the ground. We made the mistake of thinking the stakes would push into the sand very easily and...not so much. Also, trade in those wimpy stakes that came with your canopy and get some heavy duty ones to stand up the strong beach winds. We actually just bought 9 inch nails from Home Depot and have being using those with no problems.


Wadi mat- Another great item to have, this plastic woven mat provides a great place to set down crawling babies and get away from the sand. My brother and sister-in-law brought these great mats back from their time in Oman and they are awesome! They shed water and fold up and roll away so they store really well. Find a similar product here:


Fold-up table- We always bring a table so our snacks and food are safely away from the sand. There is nothing worse that having your sandwich literally become a SANDwich. It's also great because we can leave the snacks out for the kids to grab whenever they are hungry. Find a similar product here:




The fold-up table is also perfect for the next item on the list which is a


Water Cooler- We fill this baby up with ice and either water or lemonade and then set it on the end of the table so anyone can help themselves to an ice-cold beverage at anytime.


 We also bring plastic cups but you can kick it country-style too and drink straight from the spout. ;) It's important to stay hydrated while out in the sun all day.



So much seaweed!!

A rake and shovel- Texas seems to have more than its fair share of seaweed on its beaches{especially this year--we are talking min-mountains of seaweed} so we make sure to always bring a rake and/or shovel so we can clear the area in front of our canopy. Inevitably one of our neighboring beach-goers asks to borrow it so they can do the same.


Baby powder- We found out about this little trick a few years ago and it's been such a game changer in terms of cleaning the kids up after a day at the beach. Just rub baby powder on the skin and any sand falls away easily. No more raw and chaffed skin from sand left on the body. Plus, the kiddos smell really fresh.


Dermoplast- This pain relieving spray works wonders on jellyfish stings. The last time we went to the beach we all got stung by jellyfish and this spray really made a difference. The cooling effect felt so nice and the pain went away very quickly. So there is no need to try and pee on anyone {thank goodness!}.

Garbage bag- Sure, there are garbage cans on most beaches but they are usually pretty far apart. And honestly, you wouldn't want to set up camp near one anyways for two reasons: Texas heat and garbage...not really a great combination; and bees are attracted to any soda left in cans in the receptacle. And bees + kids = no good. So bring  your own bag and easily keep the beaches clean.


Large Ziploc bags- We always bring several empty plastic bags. You never know what you may need them for and they are really great to have on hand. Wet bathing suits, seashell collection, any jewelry that you forgot to remove {and don't want to lose}...the list goes on. We always find a use for our Ziploc bags.

Paper towels- Individual napkins are such a pain on the beach, especially with the strong ocean breeze. But kids are messy. So bring paper towels and you don't have to worry about your napkins flying away.

Alternate music source- Please learn from our mistake and don't roll your windows down and play your music from the car speakers. Two reasons: the inside of your car windows get really gross from all the sea spray accumulation AND you will drain your battery. Yes, we have done this,  but luckily we had jumper cables and a friendly beach neighbor. Bring your boom box {if you are kicking it old school and want a throw back to the 80s} or a mini-speaker for your iPhone. There is just something wonderful about sitting on the beach and listening to your favorite songs.


So there it is! Our not-so-common list of things to bring to the beach. I keep a copy of this list {along with all the normal beach items} on my phone so when the moods strikes us, I can pull up the list and we can get packed in a flash without forgetting anything. It makes our beach trips so much more
 relaxing.


What about you? What are some of your "must haves" when you pack for the beach?


Linking up here:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

{DIY} Mason Jar Toothbrush Holder

Hi, Y'all! 
I'm finally finished with Miss Emmie's room and decided to work on a few small projects around the house before we tackle our kitchen. Today I'm sharing these awesome mason jar toothbrush holders over at From Gardeners 2 Bergers for our monthly contributor post.



Head over to From G2B to check out how I made them in under 15 minutes!



Sharing with these parties:



Sunday, June 22, 2014

Much Ado About Monday {No. 65}

I hope you all had a great weekend! I know that I sure did. On Saturday, Jaydn had her last swim meet of the year. She did such a great job and it was by far the best she's swam all year. She came away from the meet with her very first blue ribbon and a couple of red ribbons and she was so proud of herself. They weren't from the first heat, but she was super excited nonetheless.


And right after the meet was over we headed up to the lake for some quality, family camping time. I love getting away and just being with my favourite people. :)


Over here at Huckleberry Love we shared some great posts as well. Earlier in the week I shared one of my favourite recipes to make Loaded Potato & Buffalo Chicken Casserole and Lydia shared the AMAZING job her and her hubby did on their front porch make-over. The colours they chose are fantastic!! If you haven't checked them out, make sure to stop on over. :)


And now, let's get to our awesome features from last week's party!


Jamie's Pick: Hello Summer! Painted Block Set via Home. Made. Interest.
Emily's Pick: Easy Red, White and Blue Ice Box Cake via Hello Little Home
Jill's Pick: DIY Rose Topiaries via Surroundings by Debi
Lydia's Pick: Chevron Wall Clock via Pins & Procrastination

And our most viewed link was 14 Surprise Inside Cakes via This Silly Girl's Life


If you were one of our featured bloggers take a second to congratulate yourself and pick up our 'I Was Featured' button to display on your blog. :)




It's party time!


The Rules:


*We love our followers, and always follow back. Please follow us on GFC as well as BlogLovin:

Follow on Bloglovin

*You can also find us at these favorite social media sites: FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, and Google+
* Please link back to us in your post. Whether it be through a text link or by posting our super cute button somewhere in your post. We appreciate it!
* If you do NOT link back to us in your post, you will NOT be Featured on Much Ado About Monday. So, link back! You'll thank us later. :)
*Features posts will be pinned on Pinterest and promoted on Facebook and Google+
* Feel free to link up decorating tips, DIY projects, recipes, organizational ideas, sewing and crochet creations or anything else crafty or that you find inspirational.
* Please do not link up giveaways, Etsy shops, or projects that were not made by you.
* You may link up to three posts a week!
* If your post has been featured, please do not link it up again.
* Remember to visit, visit, visit! That's the point of a party, right? Have fun!

Thanks for joining us this week!



An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Front Door Makeover

When we moved into our house almost two and a half years ago, I had grand plans to get rid of all the lovely, shiny gold that seemed to gleam from every available metal surface. Door knobs, shower doors, toilet handles. It was inescapable. To be fair, it was not EVERY metal surface. The faucet in the kitchen was silver. Annnndd....that's about it.

Just one hideous example the gold that was plaguing my life.
Don't get me wrong. I love gold. As jewelry. And bars. As my hardware...not so much. But I seemed to have grown immune to the ever present brilliance that surrounded me. The gold was slowly blinding me to the fact that it was really, really awful.

I imagine this front door saying "Well, come on in, I guess" in a sad Eeyore voice.
 Luckily, the columns on our front porch developed wood rot. That is not usually a sentence that starts with "luckily" but hear me out. Because we had to replace the wood pedestals the columns rested on, we had to rip up the tile. Because we ripped up the tile, we had to lay new tile. And if I was getting new tile, I was sure not going to spoil the beauty of that with gold fixtures outside. {Kind of a If You Give a Mouse a Cookie type of situation.} The spell was broken! Huzzah! 



I decided to save some money and go the good ole spray paint route to rid myself of the gold. Outside, I had two gold light fixtures flanking the door and a gold door knob and deadbolt.

 

I first cleaned them all really well (which they desperately needed) with a degreaser. Then lightly sanded them all with steel wool, just to rough them up a bit (so the paint would stick better not because they owed me money). After that, I taped the beejusus out of them. Using Frog Tape (seriously, the BEST paint tape EVER), I taped around the base of the lights, where they attached to the brick.


Then, I taped over the glass.


After, I went back with an exacto knife and cut around the glass panes.

 

 

This way I got very clean lines for spray painting.


To protect the brick and surrounding wood areas, I just taped up a whole mess of newspaper. I'm sure my neighbors were thrilled with this lovely look.


Once everything was protected, I used the much-beloved Rustoleum Oil-Rubbed Bronze spray paint and after several very light coats, I was done!

 

 The lights looked about 1,000% better. No exaggeration. (Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration. But dang, they did look really good.)


Now on to the door handle! I taped very carefully around the lock and the door handle, using little pieces of tape to make sure the door was completely covered.


 I also taped up another barrier of newspaper around the door. Before I began spray-painting, I put a spare key in the lock, to prevent the spray paint from getting into the key hole and causing any sticking. I kept it there the whole time I was painting. {BONUS: Now my spare key is marked and I know which one it is.}


So now the gold is completely gone from the outside of my house! But I couldn't stop there!


I decided to paint my front door too.  My husband removed the door and we laid it flat in the house and primed it, let it dry, rehung it, and then removed it the next night to paint it this fantastic shade of blue. Honestly, my husband did most of the front door painting and since he really, really despises painting, I wanted to give him a public shout-out and say THANK YOU!


Because, y'all, I LOVE my new front door. The color is Venezuelan Sea from Benjamin Moore and it is such a vivid, vibrant, almost juicy color. It is so much more welcoming than the sad brown color it was before.


As I said at the beginning at the post, we had to rip up all the old tile on our porch in order to repair the columns out front. We decided to replace the ugly, old tile with this gorgeous wood tile. {We did the demo and removed the tile but had a professional install the new tile.}

 

Have you seen this before? It looks just like wood, with wood grain, variant colors and even wood texture...but it's tile. Which means easy clean, no worries about scratching and it can go outside.


I am so happy with this wood tile. I love that my front porch looks like wood but without the worry of wood rot or resealing the wood.


Now our front door and porch look amazing! I love it when a simple project, like getting rid of the gold fixtures, turns out to have such a big impact and propels you to change the space even more than you originally intended.

And now, the before and after shot!



  What a difference a little bit of paint can make!



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