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6/28/2011

A New-To-Us Mirror!

I found this old mirror at Salvation Army a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t wait to bring it home.
 
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The mirror was in pretty good shape, but the frame definitely needed some sprucing up.  I figured that I would clean it off and paint it just like I did our entry hall mirror that was a Salvation Army find a couple of years ago (the only picture I could find of it was from Bailey’s 1st birthday party, so don’t worry… we don’t normally greet guests to our house with balloons and a rhyming fish).
 
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So I cleaned off the dust and grime and then covered the mirror with cardboard to prevent it from accidentally being spray painted (all of our newspaper went out with the recycling a few days earlier, so I used a couple of empty cereal boxes instead).
 
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Then I grabbed the spray paint and got busy.  I chose to paint it orange… a color we don’t have much of in our house (aside from all of the orange touches in Bailey’s room).  I guess I was feeling adventurous?  Or maybe it was just the only can of spray paint I found that seemed to have enough paint left in it to do the job?  Who knows!  The point is that this is what I ended up with.
 
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And after removing the cardboard and cleaning off a couple of stray orange speckles on the glass, this is what it looks like in our new kitchen!
 
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Definitely a big change from what we usually have… but I think I like it!  Apparently change really can be good!

6/26/2011

Weekend Visitors!

As is tradition for the month of June, our wonderful friends Laura and Travis came to visit us for the weekend (you can look back at their last two June visits to Kingsport here and here).  They had the honor of being the first non-family overnight guests at our house since we began our renovation 3 months ago, and we were more than happy to have an excuse to not work the weekend away!

We spent the weekend doing a few of the old favorites, such as eating dinner at TK’s Big Dogs Too and enjoying the Bluegrass on Broad concert…

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…paying a visit (okay… maybe two visits) to Dairy Queen…

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…and checking out the local farmer’s market.  We also spent some time trying something new.  Saturday we went to Johnson City for the Little City Roller Girls roller derby!  I loved the movie Whip It, so I was very interested to see what roller derby is really like… and let me tell you, it wasn’t quite like the movie, but it was still really a lot of fun to watch! 

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Definitely a fun visit with Laura and Travis… as usual!

6/21/2011

Old Wooden Caddies

I decided to spruce up two old wooden caddies to be used in Bailey’s room.

The first caddy I bought  at Goodwill for $0.99 (originally $1.97, but marked 50% off).  I thought that with a little TLC it would be perfect for holding some of Bailey’s books, CD’s, or small toys. 

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So I quickly got to work sanding and spray painting.

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And here’s what I ended up with!  Just perfect!

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The second wooden caddy we had already been using in Bailey’s room to hold her diapers and lotions.  And I decided that I may as well freshen it up with a little paint too.

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This one I decided to paint red.

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Definitely an improvement! (sorry the picture is so dark… not sure what was going on with the camera)

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Repurposing a Metal Basket

I found this metal basket at a church rummage sale a couple of months ago.  I’m not quite sure what it’s original use was, but for just $1.00 I figured “what the heck… I can find something to do with it.”

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So I took it home and gave it a quick coat of red spray paint.

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Then I added four cylinder vases (bought at 50% off from Hobby Lobby) and some fresh flowers.  And voila… a flower arrangement that’s sure to brighten anyone’s day!

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6/20/2011

Back to Square One

So, it looks like I completely jinxed things with my previous post about converting Bailey’s crib to a toddler bed. 

Long story short… the last few nights have been horrible! 

With the side rail of her crib removed Bailey could easily climb down from her bed in the middle of the night and walk next door to our room.  Which she did over and over the last four nights!  And every time we’d take her back to her bed it would only be a matter of minutes before she’d sneak back over to our room.  And I hate to admit it, but after battling with her for an hour or more on more than one occasion at 2:30 a.m. we totally gave in and took her into the bed with us.  I know… we’re completely to blame for all of this and we totally deserve what we get!  But at some point exhaustion just takes over and you begin to operate on auto-pilot… and I guess that’s what was going on!

So, I’m very frustrated to say that we’ve had to convert her toddler bed back to a crib.  Well… not really frustrated… more like upset with myself.  She had so much trouble sleeping when she was younger and we worked really hard with her to get those problems fixed… and now it’s all out the window.

She obviously wasn’t ready for this transition and I was the one really pushing for it.  She had been sleeping so well before this transition.  She was going down for bed so easily.  She wasn’t crying out at night anymore and was always able to put herself back to sleep.  I was so wrapped up in prepping her for our summer travels (where we would be without access to a crib) that I totally overlooked the fact that she simply wasn’t ready for this big step! 

But, in our defense she really was getting better with it at first. Then something happened and she started waking up every night at 2:30! And it has been all down hill from there.

And, I mean, I knew we were trying to transition her to a toddler bed really early, but I seriously thought she could handle it.  Well I was certainly wrong… and Bailey didn’t waste any time in showing me that!

So now we're left with a baby who’s totally confused and out of her sleeping routine.  Looks like we may be back to square one.

So consider this a cautionary tale… just because you may be ready for your child to reach a certain milestone or transition to a certain thing doesn’t mean that your child is ready.  Definitely let the baby be in the driver’s seat when it comes to these things… otherwise you’ll be paying for it like we are!

6/16/2011

Take Out the Papers and the Trash!

We finally have our new garbage cans installed (thanks Craig… you’re the best honey-do ever)!  We were tired of having to walk to the opposite end of the kitchen to throw anything away or into the laundry room anytime we had anything to recycle, so we decided to get a roll-out garbage can system that would fit in to the base cabinet next to the sink.

We considered purchasing a system from the company that manufactured our new cabinets, but it turned out to be two or more times as expensive as buying a similar system from a home improvement store and installing it ourselves.  After reviewing our in-store options we settled on this system by Rev-A-Shelf.  We also sprung an extra $10 for a door kit so that the cabinet door could be attached directly to the front of the sliding track.

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We figured that this would be perfect because it would give us a bin for the garbage and a separate bin for the recycling, which in turn would free up some much needed space in the kitchen and laundry room.  So, in true form, Craig got right to work installing the sliding track and then attaching the cabinet door using the door mounting kit we bought.

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And in no time flat he was done!  Definitely a much better solution for us!

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Training a Cucumber

Okay… get your minds out of the gutter!  I promise there’s nothing dirty about this post except for the soil and compost the cucumbers are planted in.

Anyway, as I mentioned before, I’ve decided to try growing some mixed vegetable containers this summer.  I was most excited to see if the cucumbers would grow (I’ve never had any success with them in the past thanks to the deer… apparently cucumbers are one of their fav’s).  And since I was blinded by my excitement when I planted them, I didn’t stop to think about what I would do with the vines when they began to trail out of the pot and all over the patio. 

So when the vines began to flop over the sides of the pot, grabbing hold of everything else in sight like a scene out of Little Shop of Horrors I decided that something had to be done. 

I took some jute twine, tied it to the mini trellises in each container, and then wrapped it tightly  around the posts of the pergola.  Next, I took the little “feelers” sprouting from the cucumber vines and wound them around the twine, training the vine up the post.

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Super easy!  And it solved the problem of the vines eventually taking over the patio like wild kudzu!

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While I’m at it, why not give you all an update on how the other veggies are doing.  Everything else planted in the containers seems to be coming along just fine… especially now that they’re not being choked out by the “death grip” of the cucumber vines!

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Now… who’s ready for a salad?  I know I am!

6/14/2011

Bailey’s Big Girl Bed

I can’t tell you all just how sad it is to be typing this post.  My baby isn’t a baby anymore... she’s 100% toddler.  And last Friday we decided it was time to convert her crib into a toddler bed (I know… we’re crazy for doing this so early)

We chose to do it because we’re going to be traveling this summer and won’t necessarily have the option of a crib/pack and play, so we wanted to try to prep her for things before we go.  Also, in August she’ll be moving up to the next class room at the day school and she’ll have to take naps on a mat on the floor.  So we figured that sleeping in a toddler bed at home would help make this transition a bit easier on her.

Here’s a picture of Bailey’s crib.  She’s been sleeping here since she was less than a week old… sniff, sniff.

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Thankfully the process of converting the crib to the toddler bed was really easy (it’s definitely more emotionally taxing than physically taxing).  I just removed two screws and took off the side rails.

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Then Craig got to work assembling the safety net mesh bed rail we bought to keep Bailey from rolling out of the bed.  He made sure to secure it really tight so that there’s no gap between the rail and the mattress for Bailey to potentially get stuck in.

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And this is what her crib toddler bed looks like now.  As far as what Bailey thinks about it… well, the jury’s still out on that. 

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The first couple of nights and mornings were tough (especially the first night where she didn’t fall asleep until midnight!).  Thankfully though, each passing day seems to be getting progressively better!

6/12/2011

Happy Birthday Maelen!

Saturday we celebrated Maelen’s 2nd birthday!  We headed over to the Spangler house for pizza and swimming in the pool. 

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Bailey wasn’t a big fan of the pool at first… in fact she was pretty clingy and whiney about it in the beginning…

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…but by the end of the party she seemed to be pretty happy just to sit back, relax, and take in all the excitement around her!

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We had such a fun time.  Can’t wait to do it again next year.  Just kidding… I wish these babies would quit growing up so fast!  Still can’t believe Maelen is already two!

6/11/2011

Silhouette

So I decided to jump on the silhouette bandwagon (thanks to a little inspiration from my friend Holly).  I bought this old frame (which was a mirror in a past life) for $2.00 at a church rummage sale back in March and instantly knew what I wanted to do with it… make a silhouette of Bailey! 

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So I took it home, cleaned it up, and gave it a couple of nice, even coats of red spray paint.

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Then I snapped some pictures of Bailey and used this process to make my silhouette.  The process was a little tough thanks to all of those pesky pretty curls on the back of her neck and my beginner-level experience with Photoshop… but I think it turned out pretty well.

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I had a piece of oval glass cut at a local frame shop and cut a backer out of foam board.  I traced the shape of the glass onto a piece of scrapbook paper which I then cut out.

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Next I used an acid free glue stick to mount my silhouette on to the scrapbook paper, sandwiched the scrapbook paper between the glass and backer, and then placed it all in the frame.  Then I used a glue gun to secure everything in place.

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And this is what I ended up with.  Isn’t it sweet?  I just love it!

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Now… I just have to figure out the best place in the house for it.