Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Calendars – More Washi Fun!

I love the lazy days of summer, but sometimes that’s a recipe for sibling bickering and whining if you don’t have some sort of plan.  I’m not a very structured person and that is why I need some sort of structure to keep me on track. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t want to over schedule our days because I also think it’s important for kids to be able to find their own fun, but I don’t want to waste our days away because we have no plan at all.  This year I’m determined to find a good balance of scheduled activities and “loosely planned,” lazy days.

Since I am a very visual person, it’s best if everything is laid out there in front of me to see.  So I decided to hang giant calendars on the wall to serve as a visual reminder to keep some kind of loose plan.  There’s really nothing fancy about what I did, but here’s what you need:

  • 3 poster boards
  • washi tape or some kind of decorative tape
  • markers
  • ribbon
  • Scotch tape
  • 3M hook

Using the wash tape, I created the grid for each month’s calendar.  I still need to make August because someone swiped my third poster board.  I’m not naming names, but he is short and cute.


Then I just used a different color marker for each child’s scheduled activities and a color for family activities like vacations.



Then I linked them together with ribbon and hung them on the wall.  The poster board is flopsy, so you will also need to tape the back.


 All of our scheduled things like camp and vacations are marked, then I have a list of ideas next to it to help fill in the blanks on days we need ideas.

Truly nothing fancy going on here. Handwritten to do list in fun colors and literally used the washi tape to hang it on the wall. We can easily add to the list and add another sheet below it if needed.




Now, on unplanned days, we can look over at our summer checklist and see our options or even better yet, make a plan for the next day.


It’s silly, but I’m in love with these calendars.

That washi tape can make anything fun!

So, how about you?

Are you ready for the summer?!


What do you do to stay on track to avoid the whining trap?

Feel free to leave ideas or links in the comments area!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Winner & International Food Fest

We have a winner!

The lucky recipient of the $50 gift card to Stella & Dot is… 

#61Kali from The Vintage Milk House

Congratulations, Kali!

Thanks again to Kelly from Stella & Dot for providing this fabulous giveaway to us!  If you didn’t win this time, but would still like to get your hands on some of Stella & Dot’s fantastic jewelry line, make sure to stop by Kelly’s webpage.

Today I’d also like to share some fun we had over the weekend celebrating my son’s 11th birthday with our family.  I’m not sure where he came up with this idea, but he asked for an International Taste Testing Party.  So I asked everyone to bring an ethnic dish of their choice and we ended up with a FEAST!

I also tried out some ideas from Pinterest and Blogland, like using cupcake liners as tops on the cups to keep the bugs out and…



…veggies and dip in individual cups...mozzarella and tomatoes on a stick…


…potato chips in cut paper lunch bags…


…and strawberry shortcake on a stick.  Lots of stuff on a stick.


We also had samosas, fattoush salad, spring rolls…




…and desserts galore!  My sister really outdid herself.  She made original elephant ear cookies, cream puffs and fruit pastry all homemade!







My son’s favorite of the day…Argentinian steak kabobs!

You can get the recipe from my sister here.


And of course our party staple - steamed “Home Depot” hot dogs made an appearance.  (aka – Koegel’s)


I think we ate for 7 hours straightSmile!

And even with all those desserts, we still managed to top everything off with one of Jake’s favorite desserts, orange sherbet.

Jake's 11th birthday

That’s my boy!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Favorite Summertime Drinks

Since Memorial Day weekend is upon us, thought I’d share some of my favorite summertime drinks with you…

We’ve all had water with lemon slices, but why not get crazy and try cucumber slices and mint leaves for another refreshing alternative?

Cucumber Mint Water



Passion Fruit Iced Tea

Have you ever had the Passion Fruit Iced Tea at Starbucks?  This is one of my favorites.  My kids love it too.  A fellow Midwest blogger found her own way to make it at home much cheaper.  Check out Vicki’s recipe to make your own.  We’ve been drinking it all week!



Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc

Looking for a refreshing white wine? A friend of mine just tipped me off to my new “go to” summertime wine! You might recall my “go to” red is Red Diamond Merlot, but in summer it’s nice to have something refreshing and crisp when the temperature rises. I’m typically a red wine drinker even in the summer, but this stuff is delicious! It’s got a hint of citrus flavor to it, not at all sweet, just refreshing.

Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc is affordable - between $12-15 depending where you buy it.  I found a bottle at Target the other day and you can also find it at Costco. 




Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy

And for my favorite summertime beer - Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy.  It’s got a hint of lemon in there making it extra refreshing, but not overpowering or sweet.


For some other refreshing drink options, check out East Coast Creative’s post here.

If you haven’t entered the $50 Stella & Dot Giveaway, you’ve still got time!  I will draw the winner Tuesday!  Click here to enter.

Have a safe and relaxing

Memorial Day Weekend!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Gettin’ Wacky With Washi

It took me a while to catch on to the whole washi tape craze, but now it’s caught on like wild fire over at my house.  First, for my friends out there that are saying,

“What the heck is washi tape?!”

It’s basally a decorative Japanese paper with an adhesive back.  If you want more background information on washi according to wikipedia, go here.


So where do you get it?

Got those ones up there from Target in the office section, but google it and you’ll find tons of other options.  I’ve also come across some at Michael’s.

So what do you do with it?

Well, just about anything.

Wrap it around old baby food containers or jars and BOOM  - super cute storage!


Perfect for gems, googly eyes or paper clips.



Wrap it around a pen and add a flower on top!


(fyi: I did need to add a glue dot at the top and bottom of the pen because the adhesive on washi tape doesn’t stick to certain surfaces very well)






Wrap a gift.


Make a gift.







 These ones made with love by my daughter for Mother’s Day.




Frame a picture.

Decorate a bookmark.



Just have fun with it!




The entire family is hooked on this stuff!

And I just finished another project that I’ll share with you soon.

Have you guys gotten wacky with washi too?

If so, I’d love to see what you’ve created!

If not, go get your wacky washi on!

- Kim -

Psst…there’s still time to enter the $50 Stella & Dot Giveaway!

Click here to enter.

Monday, May 21, 2012

My Son’s Bedroom

One of my favorite tabs on anyone’s blog is their home tour.  I just love taking a peek at someone’s unique style and I am always looking for inspiration.  I’ve been wanting to incorporate that tab here, but haven’t quite gotten there yet.  Sarah at Thrifty D├ęcor Chick is slowly getting me there though.  About a month or two ago, Sarah hosted a “show us your kitchen” linky party which got me to finally post our kitchen transformation.  And now she is doing a kid’s rooms linky party.  So let’s take a peek at my soon to be 11 year old’s room.

Last summer, while Jake was away at camp, I was inspired to do a mini-makeover of his room.  Really all we did was move his dressers into his closet and put IKEA Expedit shelves in its place.  It provides him with so much more storage space and also allows him to display his rock collection as well as giving a home to his frog and globe.


He does have an awesome rock collection!

IMG_2956 IMG_2958

IMG_2959 IMG_2960

The shelves also let him display some of his creations like this marshmallow and toothpick fortress.  He was inspired by one of the little man’s kindergarten projects and brought it to a whole new level.  This kid comes up with stuff I would never even think of.


Jake got this mammoth wall map for his birthday last year (from IKEA) which is perfect for him.  He’s a total map guy…just like his dad.


At one point, I thought about wallpapering his walls with maps, but this mural was so much easier. Did I mention I’m a lazy DIYer? We have tossed around the idea of putting a map up of each state we visit, but that hasn’t happened yet.


Jake is and always has been, a science, bug lovin kind of guy.  So you will find many science inspired things in his room.  We framed a few bug pictures from a fantastic bug calendar he received from his grandparents.  I couldn’t wait for the year to end so I could frame them up and get them on the wall.


Even if you’re not a bug person, you’ve got to admit, these bug photos are pretty cool!


Of course we had to have some good old Fightin Irish on display too!

On his desk, we actually used a camping lantern as his lamp.  Gives a nice pop of his favorite color and adds some character.


As much as Jake wanted me to paint his room red, I refused straight up!  Number one, I know red is one of the hardest colors to paint and number two, I much prefer to change out accessories as his tastes change.  Remember, lazy DIYer here, not fond of painting every time we have a change of heart.  Of course he says that his favorite color has never changed and never will, and it hasn’t, I still think pops of a color like red can be more powerful than all four walls.  I did, however, offer up a red stripe, but that didn’t do it for him.


The color on his wall is called Camouflage by Benjamin Moore.  It works perfectly in here and really plays off red and blue so well.  I will tell you that I also painted this color in my kitchen when we first moved in and it did NOT work in there.  Amazing how lighting and cabinets can change the feel of a color completely.  Yep, my husband wasn’t very excited when I told him I wanted to repaint the kitchen, but so much better now.

His bedding is very simple – just a plain white comforter.  I do have a duvet for it, but it makes him too hot, so plain white it is.  I use his sheets to jazz it up a bit.  We are so jazzy over hereSmile.  Sometimes his sheets are plaid, stripes or bugs.  Jazzy I tell ya!


For a bit of color, I threw on a quilt my sister made for him out of some of my dad’s old shirts and some jeans she collected.


There are still a few things I want to do in here, but they are low on the to do list.

So for now, it’s all good!

I’m linking this post up here.

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