garage mudroom | progress

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Our garage mudroom wall is clicking right along!  Trim has been added along the baseboards since I took this photo I shared with you last week.
Today they are going to be installing the cabinet doors to the left of the lockers, the spot that Sam has claimed as his chair.  It's actually going to house our Berkey water filter instead of a tenacious 2 year old.
I wanted to share with you guys some of the photos I ended up sharing with our contractor when it came to drawing up the plans.  Initially I thought I wanted doors so I could close off the eye clutter.  But when I really got to thinking about it I need to be able to assess what's there with just a quick peek of my head out the garage door.  Frantically running out to open individual doors would just suck up valuable crap-I-still-haven't-made-school-lunch time.  
I chose these because I liked how they would work for our family.  Places for dirty shoes and sneakers below, individual locker spaces for each family member (which also gives me more space for hooks along the sides), cubbies above for swim and beach gear, and a bench running the entire length.
| via |
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| not sure of the source |

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And finally this one gave me the idea to house our water filter in a cabinet next to it.
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We're having our contractors build out the mudroom wall, but we'll be saving a great deal of cash by painting it ourselves.  I can't wait to get crack-a-lackin on it!
GIVEAWAY REMINDER!!!  If you haven't already entered yourself into my cage light giveaway - click here to get to the post and enter!

major house projects

Friday, March 27, 2015

You guys, I cannot wait to share with you all that is going on in our house right now.  Major projects have been going on all this week and I couldn't be more excited!!!  I wanted to give you a run down on what we're having done.

// GARAGE //

First up is the garage.  We've got a large wall in the garage that leads to the inside of the house that I always thought would be a great space for mudroom lockers.

Our laundry room, which is just off the garage, has been in desperate need of storage.  This was an area that we purposely had built without the standard sink and cabinets so that we could do something different from what the builder normally puts in.  The only thing we had our builder do was add in a rough-in for a sink so we wouldn't have to worry about adding plumbing, etc once we got around to tackling the space.
This is the wall you see when you walk into the laundry room.  The wall to the right is where the built ins will go.
This is an awkward photo since the space is really tight.  I had to squish two photos side by side to give you an idea of the space.  Two large storage cabinets are going on the far sides of the wall and a galvanized wash tub will be added in the center as a working sink.  The washer and dryer are on the opposite wall.
// OFFICE //
Next up is Mike's office.  In here we really need useful storage and places to hide all of the computer junk.  This is the wall you see when you enter.  That wall will be entirely built in with bookcases up top and cabinet storage below for paperwork, printer, paper shredder, and other electronic stuff we want out of sight.  There will be a desk built in between the two bookcases that our computer will sit at.  His desk will then get moved directly in front of the built ins so that you can access both desks from the same spot by turning the chair around.
When we were building, they wanted an arm and a leg to have wood stairs installed instead of carpet.  We decided on carpet and said we could always change to wood down the road.  I honestly wasn't thinking the stairway would be one of those things we would actually tackle, but I am so excited to say sayonara to the carpet!  Carpet is getting pulled up and painted wood risers will be added with stained treads.  We'll probably end up adding a sisal runner to it at some point.
Ok, this is the last project, adding glass front uppers to the existing cabinets.  And honestly, this may or may not happen.  There was some miscommunication about the cabinets and it's sounding like we're not going to be able to get a good match on the paint color and finish.  If we can't get a match I'll probably end up scrapping it all together.  No cabinets are better than bad cabinets!  Fingers crossed it will work out though.... and toes.
Bear with me on the house under construction photo.  Our desktop, which has all of our photos on it, is unplugged while they're working on the office so I had to find an existing photo from the blog.

Phew!!!  So, that's what happening around here!  Lots of saw dust.  But it is so going to be worth it.  And since you made it to the end of this long post, here is a progress shot of the mudroom wall in the garage.
Eeeeee!!!!!!  I. So. Happy!!!  I try to play all nonchalant when the carpenters are here working on stuff so that I don't get in their way, but as soon as they break for lunch or head home I IMMEDIATELY run into the spaces they're working on and squeal and bounce up and down like a little kid :D  You know it's just a matter of time before they catch me acting a fool!
GIVEAWAY REMINDER!!!  If you haven't already entered yourself into my cage light giveaway - click here to get to the post and enter!


cage light giveaway |

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

You guys may remember the DIY caged light ceiling fan I put together for our playroom.

I knew a lot of you guys liked it and it also turns out that the folks at, where I purchased my light cages, liked it too.  So much so that they wanted to give some goodies away to you guys so you can recreate the look!

And since I know not everyone is a fan person, I thought I'd give you some other ideas for what you could do with these pieces.  Cluster them with some other light cage styles, do a cluster of the one style, use it to make an individual pendant, spray paint the cage a fun color, or even make a wall sconce out of it!  There are endless things you can do with these pieces.

| one . two . three . four |
This giveaway is open to all US residents in the contiguous 48 states.  Winner must be 18 years of age or older. Use the Rafflecopter below to enter!

frozen birthday party | the DIYs

Friday, March 20, 2015

I wanted to share with you a few more details on a couple of the DIY's I put together for Izzy's Frozen birthday party.


I was loving all of the fringe garlands I had been seeing, but in true Shelley form, I had procrastinated and it was now too late to order anything.  While it may look like it took at TON of time to pull off, it was really not bad at all.  That is, if you have the secret weapon scissors ;)

| SCOURCES: crepe paper streamers (I used Caribbean blue, baby blue, and white) . any sewing machine . fringe scissors |


1. Roll out a double layer of the paper streamer in what ever length you want your garland to be.  
2. Stitch the two layers together with your sewing machine.  
3. Fold the streamer in halves twice or more (this is to make the cutting go quicker) and snip in towards your stitch line on both sides with your fringe scissors.  
4. Unfold your streamer and fluff the edges with your fingers.


Did you ever makes these as a child?  I loved these things.  It's pretty straight forward, you just wind some pipe cleaners together and make whatever shape suits you!


TOP ROW: I used 4 silver pipe cleaners for the full tiara.  Begin with 2 and wind the ends together so that you have one long pipe cleaner.  Form a circle about 5" in diameter and wind together leaving the remaining length out.  Bend the remaining length up and over to form the center peak of the tiara and secure the end to the base of the tiara by wrapping them in place.

MIDDLE ROW: Using your third pipe cleaner, bend it in half and place it in the center of the peak so that one long end is at the front of the peak and the other is at the back.  Bend each side down to form two shorter peaks and secure ends to the base.

BOTTOM ROW: Using your fourth pipe cleaner, bend it in half and twist a small circle at the top.  Place it over the front of the tiara and bend the extra length under the base and up to the back.  It will make a W shape.  Bend the outer parts of the W down to the base of the tiara and secure ends.

// PINATA //

For the large number piñata I looked to this tutorial I found from Oh Happy Day.  No need for me to recreate the wheel here, she has all the info you'll need.

 Here's how mine looked as it was coming together.

The piñata actually cost me NOTHING to make.  I used the crepe paper streamers I purchased to make the fringe garland and the fringe scissors to cut the streamers in no time.  The cardboard was cut from a package we had just received.  My only cost was the filler for the kids.

The best part of all of these DIY's was how cheap they were to toss together!  I used 3 rolls of crepe paper streamers at $0.89 a piece which gave me enough for 6 long lengths of the fringe garland and enough left over to make the piñata.  And I had way more than enough silver pipe cleaners to make 12 tiaras for $5.00.

So... fancy schmancy garland, cute tiaras, and a big ol' custom piñata for less than $10.  I think I shall go out and buy myself a new pair of shoes now ;)  

barbie jeep makeover | willy's jeep

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I know I said I was going to show you guys how I put together some of the decorations from Izzy's birthday party, but we FINALLY had some sun here over the weekend and I was able to snap some photos of Sam's new Army Jeep!  I am so excited about how it turned out and couldn't wait to share it with ya!!!

Here's what we started with.  Izzy's old Barbie Jeep that we originally bought off Craigslist.

Izzy loved that thing and drove the heck out of it.  She outgrew it right at the time Sam had become the perfect age for it.  It just wasn't... him.

I'd now like to introduce you to The World's Happiest Little Boy and The World's Coolest Barbie Jeep!

My favorite thing about this makeover are the customized decals we placed alongside the hood with the kids' birth months and initials.

I'm just crazy about how this turned out.  Sam is too.  He squeals with joy overtime we go to the garage and runs over to it yelling, "Jeeeeep!!!"  I don't mean to toot my own horn but TOOT TOOOOOT!!! ;D  Ok seriously, is there anything some spray paint can't fix?!!

How I did it: 

  • Phillips and flat head screw driver
  • Goo Gone and a razor blade to help with difficult sticker removal
  • Soap, water and sponge to wash everything down
  • Plastic grocery bags to cover wheels when painting and other coverings if needed
  • Spray paint (I used Krylon ColorMaster in Italian Olive satin, Krylon ColorMaster in Black flat, and Treehouse Studio Clear Acrylic Matte Coating - all picked up at Hobby Lobby)
  • Replacement decals for dials, lights, etc. (click here)
  • Customized Willy's Jeep vinyl decals from Vinyl Creations in Matte Maize color (click here) More about this towards the end of the post.

STEP ONE: Take apart as much of the Jeep as you can.  Everything is held together with screws so it's easy to disassemble.

STEP TWO:  Peel off the old stickers and decals.  Some came off perfectly and others were a major pain.  I used Goo Gone and a razor blade to help remove the difficult ones.

STEP THREE:  Give the entire Jeep and it's parts a good cleaning with warm water and soap so the spray paint adheres well.  Ours was filthy!

STEP FOUR:  Once everything was dry I covered the wheels with plastic grocery bags to protect them from the green spray paint.  I started with the green paint on the body and began painting the Jeep upside down.  I did several light coats of spray paint over all the pieces.  When it was time for the wheels I used a piece of cardboard to protect the Jeep from over spray.  I didn't spray the entire tire, just the white wheels.

STEP FIVE: Once everything has dried, reassemble the Jeep.  I waited to spray the Jeep down with the matte clear coat until it was fully reassembled.

STEP SIX: Once the clear coat has dried, place your new vinyl decals and replacement stickers.  Now go grab your little one because you're done!

It was totally the vinyl decals that brought this Jeep to life.  I worked with Rob from Vinyl Creations to create these decals for the Power Wheels Jeep.  Rob was amazing to work with!!!  I contacted him with my project and gave him the dimensions for the stickers.  He custom sized everything for me and gave me great suggestions on how to make it even cooler, like adding the TP35 (tire pressure) decals for the fenders to make it more authentic looking.  I could not be  more thrilled with how everything turned out!

Sam is even wearing a shirt with iron-on Jeep decals from Vinyl Creations.  It's perfect for this Jeep loving boy!  My brother-in-law saw it and loved it so much my mom is making matching shirts for him and my little nephew :)

Now if we could just get some more sunny days so Sam can drag the neighborhood in his cool new Jeep!

I'll leave you with the before and after.

SOURCES: Willy's Jeep decals in matte maize | replacement Jeep stickers | Krylon ColorMaster Italian Olive - satin spray paint (Hobby Lobby or Michaels) | Krylon ColorMaster Black - flat spray paint (Hobby Lobby or Michaels) | matte clear coat spray paint | t-shirt decals

Be sure to check out Vinyl Creations on Etsy (click here) and Facebook (click here)!

frozen birthday party

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Did you roll your eyes at the title of the post?  Yet ANOTHER Frozen themed birthday party???  I can't blame you because I did the same thing when Izzy told me she wanted a Frozen birthday.  But, it has been all she has talked about for almost a year so Momma decided to suck it up and roll with it!

Here's the 6 year old birthday girl with Grandma!

I decided to go Frozen-ish without going over the top Frozen.  Izzy gave all the decor the thumbs up, so it was a win!

The dessert table was simple with only cupcakes and powdered sugar donuts, Izzy's favorite.  My first attempt at the donut trees was with donut holes I picked up at a local donut shop.  Miserable fail.  They were all types of wonky shapes.  Grocery store bagged donuts were swooped up last minute for the save!

The paper snowflakes were just that, cut paper snowflakes.  Super easy.  The banner was made using glitter scrapbook paper and precut sticker letters from the craft store.  The garland was made using cheap streamer paper and super time saver scissors.  I'll show you guys how I did that in a later post.  **UPDATE: Click here for the garland tutorial**

The only real Frozen decoration was the large Elsa balloon.  You guys, when Izzy saw this balloon at the store her soul lit up with excitement.  Had to get it!

I placed her under the hanging snowball garland I made out of white pom-poms.

Once all the guests had arrived they headed into the dining room to grab themselves pipe cleaner tiaras and decorate snowfall cookies.  Again, I'll show you how to whip up these little tiaras in a follow up post.  **UPDATE: Click here for the tiara tutorial**

I covered the dining table with kraft paper and used chalk to create some Rosemaling like what was used throughout the Frozen movie in the palace and on the character's clothing.  This was actually my favorite part of the whole party and was completely last minute!

I intended the cookies to be taken home as part of the party favors, but seriously, what kid is going to hold off eating a cookie they have been able to pile the frosting and sprinkles on to?  Momma wasn't thinking on that one!

After the kids were high from sugar they ran outside to have a faux snowball fight using snowballs made out of batting and white tights.  They had a BLAST!  They were lobbing snowballs at each other for what felt like forever :D

After they pooped out they came in for cupcakes and powdered donuts (more sugar, I'm sure the parents were LOVING me).  We then headed back outside for the piñata.  Izzy's one major request was that there be a piñata.  I ended up making one out of a leftover cardboard box and extra party streamers.  Outside of the filling, it cost me nothing.  Boom!  More details in a follow up post ;)  **UPDATE: Click here for the piñata info**

The best part of Izzy's party was that we in lieu of birthday gifts we asked people to bring new unwrapped items for donation to the Texas Children's Hospital.  You guys, it was SUCH a great decision!!!

If this is something you have been thinking about doing here's how we made it a success:

1.  Talk to your child about it way in advance.  As expected, she was completely confused as to why she wouldn't be getting gifts from her friends.  We talked through how she is blessed and fortunate enough to already have a vast number of toys to play with.  She even agreed that she didn't need anything else.  We reminded her of a time she was in the hospital and was given a stuffed animal to make her feel better, and told her that had more than likely been donated to the hospital.  This would be her opportunity to help make a child feel better if they were sick or scared.  That really seemed to speak to her.  She came to us with questions over the next few days, but we had plenty of time to get her on board with the idea.  Unless you want a full blown meltdown, don't wait until the day of the party!

2.  Whichever organization you decide you want to take donations for, get ahold of them in advance and find out what their donation requirements are.  You will want to make sure you give your guests some guidelines to work with.  In our case, we were able to give guests a link to the hospital's donation requirements and also donation suggestions.

3.  Let your guests know in the invitation that you are taking donations in lieu of gifts and include the organization you are donating the items to.  Bold it, do it in all caps, whatever you feel makes it stand out so that your guests are in the loop.  I also included the link to the hospital's donation requirements and suggestions in our emailed invitation.

4.  Some of your guests will show up with a gift for your child regardless.  I quietly set those gifts out of sight to be opened after the party.

5.  Have your child be a part of taking the donation items to the organization!  Izzy absolutely loved being able to take the items into the hospital's front office and left with a huge smile on her face knowing she did something really great :)


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