Saturday, May 18, 2013

Quick post: Have you read this?....

If you have kids, daughters or sons, I highly recommend reading the two posts below from Chatting at the Sky.

I gulped when I read what not to say to my child. I say this to him all the time. I am so grateful for these eye openers.

Maybe your eyes will be opened too.

#8 on the list of what to say was my favorite. A fresh way for me to view my kids. Again...grateful. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Our Free Summer DIY List

This week I've been talking about the idea of a free summer. As much as I like to play games with the kids I also enjoy improving the home. And since money is uber tight I'm having to think free in this arena as well.

I've been working on my own free summer DIY list for the home. To be perfectly honest it consists mostly of finishing projects I've already started or already bought the supplies for and have yet to begin.

Sounds like this free summer challenge is just what my booty needs to get some things done around here!

I'm throwing it out's what I want to accomplish this summer...or at least what I CAN accomplish without spending any more money.

My free summer DIY list:
Paint Ada’s room - paint is already bought and waiting in her room
Hang Adas curtains
DIY art in bathroom
DIY roman shade in bathroom
Hang curtains in master bedroom
Hang art above bed in master bedroom
Paint master bathroom - think I have enough leftover bedroom paint
Organize and label kitchen cabinets
Finish gallery wall in basement stairway - yea, that's not done yet!
DIY art on upper stairway - already have something in mind
Chalkboard on upper stairway
DIY curtains in Alex’s room? - no idea on this one
Sew pillows - pillow forms abound in my house, why have I not tackled them yet?
Paint boys bathroom - use leftover living room paint
Paint laundry room - use leftover something paint?
Sort through storage room -sell or Goodwill items
Refinish lamps and lights - might not have what I need for this one...we'll see.
Pin board in kitchen
DIY roman shade in kitchen
DIY art in basement - endless possibilities

There you have my list of all the things I'm perfectly capable of accomplishing with out spending another dime. I'll be checking off the list here as we go. And of course I'll be sharing along the way!

Do you make summer home goals? Any home improvements you try to tackle when the kids are home from school?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Our 2013 Summer Fun Calendar

As much as I like to be foot loose and fancy free...I also enjoy order. So to ensure we're getting the most out of our free summer I drew up a little calendar. Having the mindset that we will be spending little to no money, I wanted to make sure we didn't miss anything our town had to offer.

I tried to include the free activities around town...the library, Cultural Center, church, park etc...we would be interested in. Two of the kids will be participating in Rec Dept camps (far from free), those were also included on the calendar.

And to make sure we don't get bored on all those blank days, the kids and I came up with our Fun List. Last year we had a bucket list...this year I'm putting way less pressure on ourselves to accomplish specific activities.

I included the list on the calendar for easy reference if we need something to do that day.

Our Free Summer Activities List includes (the same as most summer lists...)

ice cream party (a friend usually hosts)
indoor fort
Athens Zoo (it's free!)
water gun fight
backyard camping
ride bike
make cookies from scratch
lemonade stand
scavenger hunt
make ice cream (in machine)
museum (still looking for a free one not too far)
slip 'n slide
make Popsicles
water balloon fight
car wash
outdoor tea party
finish kits (science kits and such that need to be finished)
cookout with friends
kids plan dinner
make pizza
see a parade
concert at park
baseball game
roast hot dogs
decorate bikes
flashlight hide & seek
watermelon eating contest
magic tricks
laser show (pay for parking, not for viewing ;)
RASK (I'll explain later)
ice cream in a bag
Pinterest project (I'm pretty sure I can find something I already have the supplies for)
try new paracord techniques
visit each park in the county at least once

My guidelines for free do not include gas, because I wouldn't be staying home all day no matter what season it is....or food, after all, we'd be eating anyway.

What's on your summer list? Did I miss anything? Any other tips on how to save money during summertime with three kids?

Related post:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Last year, amongst the craziness of moving and being "homeless" for a few weeks, the kids and I focused on one idea, or one word if you!

I tried really hard to get the most out of that crazy summer. This summer, however, our family circumstances have changed drastically. We've been placed in a position we have never faced as a family before. Yet summer is coming anyway...

So to make sure we still get the most out of our summer days I've come up with a new word for Summer 2013....
Free as in free spirit. Free as in unrestrained...available...not tied down....unburdened.

 Free as in we can fly anywhere our journey takes us.

And free as in cost nothing. Money will be tight this summer. We are being challenged to do what we can with what we already have. And not one to miss a chance to be creative...I'm up for the challenge.

I've already started a list of free summer activities for us. We tend to be low budget anyway so going the extra step is not a stretch. And having our main goal of "free" allows us to better say no to events which arise that cost money. There's freedom in being able to say no.
Can we make it a whole summer without spending money on activities? Probably not. Can we give it our best shot? Absolutely.

I'll be sharing more about our summer plans soon...

Related posts:

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Tisket, a Tasket....

Hope everyone had a happy Mother's Day!
Can you guess what I got for Mother's Day? My Loves graciously gifted me a basket for my cruiser bike. (I've been wanting one for years.) Yesterday afternoon I was able to test drive it as we enjoyed a peaceful ride trough town.
AdaLove has just learned to ride her bike without training wheels so I know we will be pedaling our way through summertime.
Hope your Sunday was lovely.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Official home tour...Alex's Bedroom

This poor guy. He receives the dreaded "middle child treatment".

When we moved into the new home last year my mind swirled with ideas for Andy's room. I was so excited for my first born to finally get a room of his own. And with such a spunky personal style, dreaming up ideas for Andy's space was, well, fun.

Alex, the 8 year old middle child, on the other hand is all boy. Fun, sporty, playful... his style is way more typical of most boys and far less inspiring. Plus...and this is a whooper...Alex is a mess! The boy can not keep his room clean to save his life...or his weekend. So a part of me said "why bother?"

As a result of my own emotions I have put way more effort into Andy's room than Alex's. Coming to this realization I have made an effort to try and treat all three kids' spaces matter how messy they are. (Let's face it...the girl's a mess too.)

All that being said...last weekend I finally painted Alex's room!

He was allowed to pick out his own color. My only requirement was "it has to be a happy color."

He picked Sky Blue from the Valspar Eddie Bauer line at Lowe's.  This is definitely a happy color.

Here are some updated shots of his room.

The only thing we have done to this space is throw furniture in it and now paint. Oh, and spend an entire weekend cleaning so I could take these photos. Don't open the closet door.

Alex was given both bunk beds which have come in handy during sleep overs. And for the use of one little sister who sleeps in here on the weekends.

This will be the gallery wall area. So excited to get that speed limit sign hung up for him. He has loved cars as long as we can remember.

The dresser came from Ikea and basically just holds toys and keepsakes. The char is also Ikea and is desperate for a new cover.  The narrow bookcase was given to us and was used in the bathroom at our last home.

I think a pin board would look great over this dresser. I'd love to paint the dresser a bright fun color, yellow or emerald perhaps. (And, yes, one of the blinds are missing. Who knows.)

Weird shot, but think this photo best represents the actual paint color. I opted to paint the slope of the ceiling. I think it makes the room feel bigger.

Still to do in Alex's Room:
window treatments
chair cover
new pillows
gallery wall
shorter/wider book case by closet door
more art work
pin board
something in front of storage space door (but what?)
drum shade on fan lights
table and stools in middle of room for cars and Legos
paint dresser

This is just the beginning of trying to make this boy's room more his own. I'll be sharing as the journey continues.

Do you favor one of your kids' bedrooms over another? Do your spaces take as long as this to redo?

related posts:

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy May Day!

Can you believe it's May first already?

In honor of May Day Ada and I hosted a simple little cupcake party at the park this afternoon.

If you have no idea what May Day is don't worry. Neither did any of my friends! Think may poles, may baskets, and flower crowns. I've included a link that will help explain a bit more at the end of the post, but until then let me show you how we celebrated...

AdaLove and I worked hard making cupcakes for our friends. We wanted to add a bit of whimsy to the afternoon with the idea of a may pole.

In lieu of an actual may pole we opted to recreate a smaller version using our cupcake stand.  (Bought at Target this is the most used item I own!)

Using my SilhouetteXD I cut out silhouettes of kids playing. Once cut, I simply glued them to lolly pop picks and inserted as cupcake toppers.

To create the may pole affect we tied ribbon from the top and let cascade down the cupcakes. This little girl was my favorite!

To honor the tradition of giving flowers and the celebration of spring's bounty, we placed each cupcake in a purple flower wrapper.

I was pleasantly pleased that the end result closely mimicked the visual in my head. I'm often disappointed in that respect. ha!

I've been trying more varieties of flavor infused water lately, but today I went with an old stand by...strawberry water. Yum!

Ada and her friends thoroughly enjoyed the cupcakes. They really didn't care what the holiday was about...cupcakes!

It was lovely to have a sweet picnic with sweet friends.

And since the afternoon would not be complete without a reason to burn off those cupcakes...the littles were given streamer wands to play with.

Quite simply party streamers glued to wood dowels. Easy peasy.

The idea to have this little celebration with friends crept up on me so late we did not have a chance to make any May baskets. Instead we will be gifting a special neighbor girl with her own May Day cupcake.

Here's a couple other ideas I thought were precious...

This headband would make an adorable alternative to a May Day flower crown.

How cute is this fruit basket?
click images for links
Do you celebrate May Day? Has anyone ever left you a bouquet of flowers on your front door? No idea what I'm talking about?....let Martha explain.
Happy May Day y'all!