Hoarder in Training

The Kiddos and I have a guilty pleasure: Hoarders. And Hoarding: Buried Alive (Can you believe there are enough people with this issue to have TWO shows?!). There's simply something fascinating about seeing people- many seemingly perfectly normal on the outside world- living amongst stacks, piles, and containers crammed with stuff. And garbage.

Enter Kiddo #3: Elliot, age 6. This boy is literally the messiest child I have ever known. He doesn't play with toys as much as he destroys them. I like to think of him as imaginative. Every toy becomes something other than it was intended to be. Plastic storage bins become drums. My craft dowels are drumsticks. Stickers become tape. Pillows and blankets appear in a corner of his closet and become a "bed" in which he wants to sleep at night. These are non-messy examples.

His bedroom is the eye of his, um, creative storm. Now, beyond the "creative" destroying, he really is just kind of a slob, too. Wet towels and swimsuits are on the floor, accompanied by papers, books, tissues, random socks, clothes he wore, clothes he got out and decided not to wear, bottles of water, other containers filled with water, or sand, or rocks, bits of paper either torn or cut, pencils, broken crayons, dried out markers, paper bags, backpacks and totes stuffed with more things, granola bar wrappers, popsicle sticks, and about two dozen stuffed dogs. He loves dogs.

I found a framed art print-of a dog- that was once on his wall, under his bed with the glass broken. Thank heavens it didn't occur to him to use it as ice for ice skating, or something! Have mercy.

Yesterday was the day. We decided to clean the room. Under the bed, in the closet, clean out all the bins... The works. It was mostly as you see on an episode of Hoarders: junk galore was put into trash bags, with a few things being decent enough to donate. He really was down with most of it, but occasionally there was a little outburst of,

"I have to keep that! It's filled with memories!" (Broken plastic firefighter helmet)
"You're getting rid of THAT? But it's special to Grammy!" (Broken game, pieces long gone missing)

But all in all, once the room started to clear and he realized how wonderful a clean room with space to play can be, he was very, very pleased. So, his room is clean. Organized. Devoid of junk.

We'll see how long it lasts. Fingers crossed.

Also... Veronica at Life in the Thrifty Lane is having a giveaway week, and today is Extra Frosting, Please day! Go check it out and enter to win a $25 credit to my shop!



Key to a Simple Project


This little project started -like oh so many of them do- with a trip to my favorite Goodwill. Half off Saturday with my fellow thrifter-crafter-all 'round awesome chick-friend Jen. I somehow found this great frame before she did...


I was so excited! I loved the mat with it's linen-y texture and three oval cutouts. At first I thought it was PERFECT because I have three children. And it was only a buck fiddy.


Then I decided I really don't need more pictures of The Kiddos on display. I really see their faces quite enough. (Summer vacation. ahem.) I knew just the thing I wanted to do. I had purchased a couple of sets of antique-looking keys from Pick Your Plum. Please tell me you're familiar. They have great stuff. Craft stuff and other pretties. Cheap! I adore.


I decided to just mount them with glue on some Amy Butler scrapbook paper...
But first, I removed the glass and I hit up that lame frame with my favorite of the moment spray paint- Rustoleum Lagoon- a really fabulous deep teal. Once it was pretty and dry, I slid the mat back in with the scrapbook paper behind it and glued on the keys.


So. Easy! And it makes me smile every time I walk by it.


Doing the linkdy-link with:

Lovin' the USA and a {COUPON CODE}

The 4th of July is coming up fast! I've been busy switching things over to the Extra Frosting Please etsy shop. I'm so excited to have the blog and business under one name.

So I'm sharing a coupon code for FREE SHIPPING!
Use code: 4JULY

I almost feel tardy, but I did do a little patriotic dolling up around the house...

The super cute print is a free download from Anything But Perfect. Love, love, LOVE her graphics!

I Make Stuff!

Did you know I make stuff... and not just stuff that involves spray paint?

It has been brought to my attention that my blog readers might not know I have a (small, very small) business. And my customers might not know I also have a delightful (Shush, you know it is. You're reading it.) blog.

So, here's the truth: I have been in the hair accessory business since 2003. I did eBay for years, along with a couple other online venues, wholesaled and drop-shipped to boutiques, even had my own website. It was fun. And draining.

But in an effort to actually live my life away from the glue gun and post office, I made the decision to downsize when we moved here from California about a year and a half ago.

So now? Now I have my little Etsy shop and local handmade markets (which I love)... and I'm beginning to feel the itch to expand a little more again. We'll see.

Visit my other thing... Little e Designs now Extra Frosting Please on Etsy.

Where am I? What Day is it?

The Kiddos are having sack races and sliding down the stairs in their pillowcases as I write this. Come on, it's fun! I'm not exactly sure if my parents let my brothers and I do this, or if we just did it when they weren't looking...
This is summer vacation at my house.

The Husband is always bellowing, "Stop playing on the stairs!".

As long as I hear laughter and not crying or kid curses (such as Poo poo head or Pee face or I wish you were never born), it doesn't bother me. I'm either a cool mom or slightly neglectful.

The close of the school year happened in a snap. What was that?! I swear I was just shopping for Valentine's Day cards with them and the next day I am picking them up from their last day of school and crying because my baby isn't a kindergartener anymore.

A couple days later (literally) came the Family Vacation. Then came the recovery period. And now? Well, now I don't know what we're doing. Other than spending our day in our jammies until lunchtime.

"No lunch until you are dressed and your teeth are brushed."
"Yes, I know Mommy is still in her jammies. Just do as you're told!"

This is not happening at our house.

The thing is... I don't like it! I am wandering aimlessly, albeit comfortably in my jammies. Routine? Gone. Schedule? Missing in action.

I need my routine back. If you find it- or perhaps you might have taken it by accident- please return it to me. There will be no questions asked. I just want its safe return.

Back to regularly unscheduled programming...

{MAKE} a Fabric- Covered Window Cornice!

So, I've been working on prettying up the master bedroom for... the past 6 months. (It's last on everybody's list, isn't it?) It's larger than our previous bedrooms, has a higher ceiling, and has just one large window that I kind of hate. It also has vertical blinds that I definitely, definitely hate. But those have to stay for now. They're ugly and their presence really frustrates me, but the best I can do is work around them.

Four different pairs of window panels later, I decided to make a fabric cornice.


There are several DIY instructions on the web, including this one using plywood, but I don't do wood. The Husband and I are not saw people. I'm pretty sure it's for the best. I remembered seeing or reading somewhere about putting one together using foam insulation. It's easy to cut, super lightweight, and probably easy to install.


I chose this one at Lowe's for about 10 bucks. Unfortunately since I was dealing with a large window, I had to buy an eight foot long piece and I'm sure seeing me find a way to fit it into my van on a windy day provided any parking lot onlookers some great comedy. (Yes, I saw you sitting in your car watching me and not offering me any help!)

So. To figure out the dimensions I needed, I measured my ginormous window and added about four inches to the length. I just eyeballed the height and decided on about 14 inches. (And I really mean to use the "abouts". I was not very precise.)


Using masking tape, I taped off marks for where I wanted to cut. I used a little hand saw (I swear to you it is the only saw we have.), but you could use a long kitchen knife if you needed to.

Once the front was cut, I cut two three inch wide pieces for the sides. I attached them using hot glue (yep!) and secured with masking tape.


Oh, did you know that this type of foam insulation is really, really messy? When I was done, my work area reminded me of the time my son emptied a bean bag pillow all over his room. In retrospect, I probably should have gone with a polystyrene foam board instead of just grabbing and running with the first insulation board I saw.

You probably noticed how uneven the top of my board was at that point. The smaller my board got (remember, it was eight feet across), the easier it became to cut. So I trimmed and evened it out as I went along.

To secure joints and stabilize the board as a whole, I taped all the edges as well as all the way across, every few inches.


Then came the fun part: actually making it look pretty. And totally easy! I simply laid the cornice on top of my fabric, folded it over the edges and pinned it on. If I ever get sick of this fabric, I can pretty easily switch it out for another.


Initially, I tried thumb tacks...but duh. They popped right out of that darn foam. Straight pins work much better.

Now, hanging. After a few different attempts, I decided the best way to hang mine was also the simplest: I screwed two inch screws into the wall and poked the foam board right onto it at each end. That's it! If you're doing a smaller window, another (possibly more secure way) to hang the cornice is to duct tape a cheapie curtain rod to the back and hang it on brackets. The board is so light, though, it really doesn't require anything heavy duty.


And there you have it. I love the warmth and color it adds to the room and I love the large scale. Now to make a few pillows with the leftover fabric...

Linking up to these great blogs:

The Family Vacation

So, remember the super glam and fabulous vacation I mentioned last week? No? That's probably because I told you it was actually The Husband's family staying with us for a week. Not to pish-pish that, because it was actually a nice time. It's just that six kids in your house does not a vacation make.

{elle j photography. She's pretty much a miracle worker.}

Observations from a week with half a dozen kids aged 6-10:

A family of twelve under one roof eats a LOT of food. Think two or three carts full of groceries. Also think another cart of beer for the daddies and wine and Skinnygirl margaritas for the mommies.

If you run out of nacho cheese on taco night, there is a good chance a ten year old boy will weep openly about it.

If your spouse recently had ankle surgery and wears a walking cast, he probably will not think to bring a pair of shoes. Just the one. So, be prepared to shoe shop for him before the family photo session.

Amidst the hustle and bustle in packing for such a trip, it's possible that you might forget to pack pajamas for the children. But it turns out that little boys like to sleep in their clothes. In fact, little boys who have pajamas readily available will probably choose to wear clothes to bed, too. It's just cool.

Photos, paintings and busts of Popes prominiently featured at Buca di Beppo might frighten children. And some adults, too. But bread makes you feel better.

Water park slides are torturous, terrifying, dizzying, possibly life-ending horrors. Avoid them at all costs.*
Those kids would disagree, but they're totally wrong and obviously were too hopped up on churros to notice how terrifically scary they actually are.
*opinion expressed is merely my own

Now, pay attention to this one: Baby wipes will remove this nail polish -while wet- from carpet. To avoid any embarrassment to family members that are not children, I will leave it at that. Accidents happen.

Sometimes mommies need to go to bed at 7:45. They just do, ok?