Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Cabbage Patch Kid

When I was little, I had a couple of Cabbage Patch Dolls.  When I got mine, I thought it was the coolest doll that I had ever received.  My aunt (only 7 years older than me) had lots of them, and I always wanted to play with them when I went to her house.

My mom bought me a book and cassette tape set that told a story about the Cabbage Patch.  It was full of songs and told a story about how the kids were born on the Cabbage Patch. You can listen to one of the songs courtesy of YouTube .here. **I can still sing most of the songs from memory that's how many times I listened to it.

Well fast forward to present day, and I have my own little girl who is in love with Cabbage Patch dolls.  She got three of them for Christmas this year, and she carries them around constantly. I decided yesterday that I needed to document this phase because who knows what she might like next week.

In the pictures below, you will see my very own Cabbage Patch Kid!  Two of the dolls in the picture with her were my Cabbage Patch Kids.  You can tell which ones are mine because they have the original yarn hair, and the dolls they make now have synthetic hair.


I had to do this one in B&W too because it's my favorite. :)



I love how you can see so many of the facial expressions that she makes on a daily basis. (minus the frowns...I didn't include those this time)




This is her "Surprise" face.  "Oh Mom, where did you come from?"


We may have tickled her a little too much at the end.



She had her own agenda when I was finished.  She set up her dolls (and Minnie Mouse) and posed for another picture.


All of these photos were made possible through the expert wrangling of one of our favorite "Emmy Tamers"--Aunt Rah Rah!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

DIY Projects

Project 1: Mailbox Upcycle

Our mailbox has been a constant source of shame for me for a while now.  Everytime we go to Lowe's or Home Depot, I try to get Brad to buy a new one.  Mr. Cheapo has always refused.  It apparantly wasn't a "priority."

I decided to take things into my own hands.  I unscrewed the mailbox from the siding and took it inside a good scrub.  Once I cleaned it really well, I learned that it was originally white (not cream) and it was much rustier than I had originally believed.  I sanded down the rust as best as I could and I let it dry.


Now it was time for the best part.  Spray Paint.  I already had a can of black spray paint in the utility room, so I went with that color.  Free is Awesome.

I carefully spray painted the front, bottom, sides, and inside of the mailbox.  I did not worry about the back since it would be butting up to the siding.  I also didn't want to have to worry about the paint rubbing off and staining the siding.


I carefully applied to coats, and here is the final product.  I think it is a vast improvement over the original.



Untitled Project Cost: 50 cents worth of spray paint (and some elbow grease).

Project 2: File Cabinet.
Our file cabinet/filing system was a mess.  I'm not talking about just papers sticking out here and there.  I am talking about  digging through papers for two hours to find what you need messy. So I needed to fix it up, and isn't that what summer is for?

I bought this filing cabinet at a garage sale last summer.  It has served it purpose very well, and it even came with  hanging file folders (score!).  All of the papers that needed to be filed have been stored in an old diaper box.  Classy, I know.


Here is a shameful picture of the messy drawer before.  Notice that all of the folders are still labeled using the previous owner's labels.


All of the papers needing to be filed.


This is the nifty label maker that I bought to help me solve this dilema.  They are normally pretty expensive, but Office Max had them on special for $20. Whoop!


Here is an after picture.  I still need to get more hanging folders, but for now, at least everything is neatly labeled and organized.


I still need a holding area for mail when it comes in.  It is just not feasible for me to file stuff everyday.  So I wrapped the box in brown paper, and I bought some expandable folders from Target's dollar bin.  I think it is much prettier.



Not a beautiful permanent system, but definitely an improvement over what we had. The best part is that the only project costs were the label maker and label refils, and I will definitely use those again.

Project Cost: $30

Project 3: DIY Chalkboard

I have been wanting to play around with chalkboard paint for some time now.  I have countless pins about making your own chalkboard paint, and I even bought some grout so that I could try it out.  Since this was my first project though and since it wasn't giong to require a lot of paint, I decided to buy some chalkboard spray paint.

I friend of mine gave me some old cabinet doors.  I thought these would make perfect chalkboards.  I wanted one to go in my classroom and one ot go in my kitchen to use as a menu board.  Britt also made one.


First we cleaned the boards since they had been sitting out in the garage.  Then using acryllic paint that I already had a home, we painted the "frame" of the cabinet.  We put two coats on each of them because I didn't want any of the wood to show through.




Next we taped off the edges, and we started spray painting the board.  The instructions called for 2 coats.  We also had to wait 24 hours for it to fully dry before writing on the board.






This is what the board looks like after we pulled off the tape. I also had to go back and touch up the white edges because I was a little messy with the spray paint. Next time, I will probably get thicker painters tape.



Next, you have to coat the entire board with a layer of chalk to "cure" the paint.  If you don't do this, you will have a hard time getting any writing off the board without soap and water.


Then you can start writing! 


Final cost: $3.97 (cost of chalkboard spray paint).

Now to peruse Pinterest for some more fun projects to work on!   :)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

East Texas Adventures

Emmarie and I loaded up for a four day visit with GiGi in East Texas.  I haven't been to my Grannie's house for more than an extended weekend since Emmarie was born, so we were overdue for a nice trip.  Having time like this in the summer to visit with family is one of the greatest blessings in my line of work.

Early (for us) on Monday morning, we started to 4.5 hour trek to East Texas.  Of course, it rained heavily for almost the entire journey.  This turned our 4.5 hour trip into about 5.5 hours.  I cannot complain though, we were blessed with a safe journey roundtrip, and that is much more than many of the cars that we passed could say.

While I was driving, Emmy was in the back seat watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  I bought her a set of two dvd players for the car when she was six months old.  We started using them on car trips this year, and let me tell you those things are the best Black Friday purchase I made that year.  We have definitely gotten our money's worth out of them already.  Currently she only uses one of the TVs, but if someone else were riding in the car with us, you can connect another screen so they can both watch.


We made it to GiGi's house around 2:30 in the afternoon.  She had food ready for us, and we spent the afternoon and evening hanging out, watching Disney Jr., and playing.  Emmarie was really into all of the dolls and stuffed animals that GiGi has at her house.   She was also into GiGi's portable vaccuum.  I joked on Facebook that we had only been at Grannie's house a couple of hours and she already had her vaccuming in high heels.





The next day, we made a trip to Center, TX, a nearby town.  It is about 30 miles away, and it is the CLOSEST Wal-Mart to my grandmother's house.  I don't care how you feel about big box stores, but when you get out in the sticks and the closest one is that far away, you will start to feel the twitchy stirrings of withdrawals.  GiGi's DVD player wasn't working, so we picked up a new one for movie night.

By chance of fate, my little cousin Joey happened to be playing in an All Stars Tournement game in Center that day, so of course, we needed to attend and cheer him on.



We got to see a lot of our favorite East Texans at the game.








Some of us had to go out to the car to cool off because we couldn't take the heat...or perhaps the bad calls the refs were making.






Wendy and Marlee made plans to come to GiGi's house the next morning so that we could go antiquing and hang out.  MiKayla decided that she would go ahead and stay the night with us.  She and Emmy had so much fun playing and being silly.






We went to a few stores and found a few cool trinkets. We ate lunch at a newish Mexican Resturant in Hemphill called El Tio's.  The food, salsa, and company were great.



We rented a couple of movies from Red Box (I love that they have these in little towns too), and we headed back to GiGi's house to eat and get ready for church.

 Mikayla and I sat in the back of the Tahoe, and we got a little photo happy.



Marlee and Emmarie were rock stars at church.  Everyone wanted to hold and love on them.


The next morning, we took a few pictures out by the pier of Mikayla in some of GiGi's dress up clothes and hats.  Then it was time to start saying our good byes.  Wendy, Mikayla, and Marlee headed back to Kilgore.

We helped GiGi put all of the toys and the doll house away.  She made us one more great lunch so that we wouldn't need to stop to eat on the way home.


We took a few more pictures, and then sadly, it was time for us to get on the road.









Bradley had called us several times everyday he missed us so much.  He isn't used to being at home alone anymore.  I think he enjoyed the peace and quiet the first day, but after that he was ready for us to come home.


There were others who seemed to miss us as well.



Emmy napped and watched MMC all the way home.  The weather was great, and we only ran into light traffic in Houston on the way back.



We enjoyed our Summer jaunt to GiGi's house, and we are already planning another trip back.