Easy Peasy: horizontal stripes

Well, it actually didn’t end up being as easy as I thought. But well worth the tedious steps!

Every time I see pictures of rooms with horizontal stripes I fall in love with them! When we bought our house I knew I wanted to put them somewhere. They have the perfect balance of class and contemporary style. Love love love stripes!

We decided to make our living room into our office area. Because of this we really wanted to make the room feel like a living room yet have the functionality of an office. Stripes seemed like the perfect way to allow for both, that and the amazing leaning desk/ bookshelf my hubs made ( blog post coming soon:))!

Here are the steps we followed to ensure beautiful, straight, gray and white horizontal stripes:

First, it’s important to decide on your colors and which one you want as your base color. We chose Benjamin Moore Stonington gray and Snowbound. Our base color was the gray.

Once your walls are painted the base color the stress fun can begin! Measure your walls from top to bottom and divide by number of stripes you are wanting. Our walls were 9 feet and we desired 9 stripes. This is where it actually got tricky. Since my husband was in charge of the numbers, he’ll take over telling you how he figured that out.

Since my wife wanted nine stripes and the walls were nine feet high, one would think it would be a simple task of measuring nine 12 inch sections. FALSE! For one thing, the baseboard, or wainscoting as it is more properly known, takes away three inches from the total length of the wall. So then, one might think its a simple task of dividing the remainder (105 inches) by nine to create equal stripes. FALSE! The second problem is the overhang on one wall. It is a foot long itself, which meant that the top stripe needed to be a foot long to make for a pleasing aesthetic. So then one meets the third problem, which is finding a way to evenly divide the remaining distance across the remaining eight stripes without having any one stripe be noticeably thinner than another. The trick turned out to be having each stipe be slightly thinner than the one above it. Since the top stripe needed to be 12 inches thick to be in line with the overhang, the remaining 93 inches were divided thus: 11 13/16, 11 3/4, 11 11/16, 11 5/8, another stripe measuring 11 5/8, 11 9/16, 11 1-2, and 11 7/16. Simple, right?… Isn’t he amazing? Seriously, never would have thought to do that!

Now for making super straight and level lines! We measured out each line using a tape measure and made marks down each corner wall. We also divided each wall in half and after leveling that point, made marks down each center line.

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Next up, taping! The taping was extremely stressful and daunting! The entire time you’re fearing that your lines aren’t perfect. We used Frogtape for this task. To allow for the least amount of error, start at the top corner mark and have your helper stand at the middle mark. Tape at the inside of each line. Holding tape extremely taught before cutting. Repeat until each line is finished. Due to your base color already being finished your lines will look different in size, but rest assured they will come out perfect! The lines that were going to be gray looked smaller than the other lines as you can see,

20130926-143437.jpg. But tada we had now finished the nail biting part. After taking a step back we both exhaled, looked straight and even, phew!

Now for painting. This step I thought we’d just blow through, but it ended up being way more involved. Since our walls are textured it was extremely important that the tape was securely matted down. We also ended up needing two coats, ugh!! But after a few touch ups we finally finished at 1:30am.

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Once you have finished painting, it is extremely important to remove tape ASAP. You don’t want the latex paint to be completely dry. Now it was time for the moment of truth. Did we do it? Did it work? It felt a little like Christmas morning taking the tape off😃 and we are so so thrilled with the results!

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Now for the fun decorating part! I love being a homeowner 😃😃

Sister Love

With the girls growing, changing and becoming more and more like real friends I thought it time to do a follow up to my post from last November, A Budding Friendship. I cannot even begin to describe how much fun these past 6 months have been! Both girls are growing and changing everyday. Although there are days that I miss the ease of having a toddler and an easy go-with-the-flow-baby, I am really loving this active and energetic life with two big kids!

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The other night Eric and I sat outside talking about this new stage we found ourselves in. We both could not help but smile as we rehashed story after story of our girls becoming true friends. It was obvious early on that they loved each other, but recently their bond has matured and grown! I really believe that sharing a room together has led to this strength and love between them.

Liesel has taken on the older sister/ protector role. Whether at the park or at home, she makes sure that Moira is taken care of. Helping to give pushes on the swing, holding her hand as we walk down the side walk, and trying her best to find a cure for her cries, are just a few examples. Last night, well this morning rather, at 5am, Eric and I were trying to let MJ cry back to sleep when we heard Liesel say , ” Moira why are you crying? are you ok?…Do you need your cozies?…I’ll go get momma, be right back,” Eric and I both melted, a true big sister!

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Moira definitely looks up to Liesel. She watches her every move, and repeats most of what she says -oh the parrot stage😃. If Liesel is working on a puzzle, Moira must be doing one too ( and don’t try to give her a baby puzzle) it must have as many pieces as Ls! She also thinks she is just as big as her big sister. Up until a week ago, if you asked Moira her name she’d confidently reply “puzzles (aka Liesel)”, if you asked her how old she was, she’d reply “3” without skipping a beat. And I think she really believed this because it shows in how she plays at the park: climbing up and going down the biggest slides all by herself, wanting nothing to do with the baby swings- big ones only, and running around with the big kids. Boy, how things change from kid #1 to kid #2. I think Liesel was past 2 years old before I let her go down the big slides alone!!

If someone would have told me last year that there’d be a day my girls would play together and keep themselves entertained long enough for me to clean or exercise, I’d have said they were crazy!!! But, nowadays that is a regular occurrence over here, thank you Jesus! Honestly, I think they prefer to play just the two of them. Today while putting clothes away the girls went to read together in their closet ( a favorite play place), when I was done I peeked in on them and Liesel said, “we’re just looking at books. Just us!” Hint taken. Watching them play dress ups, grocery store, doctor or whatever their little hearts desire is a joy. Over-hearing their conversations through the monitor or during car rides, shows us just how deep this friendship is growing!

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However, with all the amazing aspects of this new stage, their have also been a fair share of challenges. Now that Moira is no longer a push over, we have had many discussions on sharing. For the most part the girls do a good job of taking turns, but believe me they both have their moments as well. You will often hear Moira saying ” share, share! I turn, I turn!” Luckily both girls forgive and make up quite easily.

Some of my absolute favorite moments are when I catch the girls hugging, saying I love you or just holding hands. This sister love is truly something special. I am excited to watch it grow over the years. To overhear their conversations about friends at school, boys and whatever else they are into. I know they will always look out for each other and am so thankful for this bond between them!

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Thoughts on Homemade Detergent

I cannot believe it’s almost been a year since I started making and using our homemade laundry detergent! I wanted to write a quick post on my thoughts.

It was definitely a HUGE savings! My first batch lasted our family of four all the way until the end of July! Nine whole Months!!! And that is nine months of a ridiculous amount of laundry. I almost do at least one load everyday. I spent just short of $20 dollars on the ingredients and it stretched that long. As a comparison, when I ran out in July, we had just moved, so I bought a large tide container of liquid detergent for about $15 on sale and it only lasted until the beginning of September. I didn’t do the math, but that’s a big big savings!

This past weekend I made my second batch. I forgot how easy it was to make. Took no time at all. After a month of Tide Detergent- Yuckiness, I was extremely happy to have our detergent back. The smell is fresh+clean, and I definitely think it cleans better than the store bought kind. Our towels are fluffier, brighter, and have zero mildew smell, even the pool towels that were (regrettably) left in the beach bag for too long…

So, if you have been on the fence about making your own detergent take my advice and give it a try!! Your family, budget and laundry will thank you. Here is a link to my recipe for homemade laundry detergent. Let me know your thoughts whether you have been making your own or if you are thinking of trying it!

Sidewalk Paint

I found a recipe for sidewalk paint on Pinterest well over a year ago. I am kicking myself for not making it sooner!! It was super easy to make, cleanup was a breeze, and it kept my girls entertained for almost an hour (which for a 3yo and 1.5yo is amazing!). This blog is for all you parents out there that have seen this project and filed it away somewhere, do it, you won’t regret it!!

With summer at its tail end and cold season just knocks away, our time outside is numbered. We have done so much and the girls, well lets be honest ,I’m , sidewalk chalked out! For starters it doesn’t hold their attention for long and MJ just wants to eat it all.the.time. We’ve done water painting, but again only holds their attention for a brief period. Today I decided was the day to give sidewalk paint a try.

what you need

Corn starch
Water
Food coloring
Muffin tins
Paint brushes

First pour roughly 1-2 heaping tablespoon of cornstarch into each muffin tin.

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Fill tins almost to the top with water, then drop food coloring in and mix. Ta da, that’s it! Easy sidewalk paint

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The girls had a BLAST! At first they were a bit timid, but that lasted only a short bit. They quickly dove right in!

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And it wasn’t long before the shirts came off. Being that they wanted to get messy+the fact that it was 90 degrees out!

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We also did some splatter painting, which was so fun! Here are our finished master pieces😃 A Wednesday morning well spent!!

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For cleanup, all I needed was the garden hose. Sprayed the girls off ( which was fun in itself with this hot hot heat) and they were good to go! I hope you all enjoy this as much as we did. The girls are already asking to do it tomorrow.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

So, this week we’ve been doing an apple theme for Liesel and MJ school. To kick off the week we took our first trip to the apple orchard. Sure, it was hot and barely legal to call it fall, but we went with PSLs in tow and the girls had a blast! It was also prime time for one of my favorite types of apples, cortland.

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With our first apple stash we have proudly made apple crisp, two batches of applesauce and the most delicious apple muffins I have ever had! Because I loved the muffins so much ( and so did the rest of the fam), I just had to share it with you all!

I had been on the search for some apple muffin recipes for a few weeks. It is something I have never made, but always love when I have them out. In our attempt to use as much whole wheat flour as possible, I decided to lessen the all purpose flour and add in some ww instead. To our delight the muffins were still super moist and not too dense. Perfect for a morning breakfast on the go or a nice after dinner treat. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!!

ingredients

1c whole wheat flour
1c all purpose flour
1tsp baking soda
1tsp baking powder
1TBL cinnamon
1/2c butter, room temp
1/2c sugar
1/2c brown sugar
1lg egg
1c buttermilk or yogurt
2lg apples, peeled, cored and diced

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and grease and flour 18 muffin cups.

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. With a mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar until they are nice and fluffy. Add in the egg and beat for an additional minute.

Carefully pour in your buttermilk or yogurt, and hand mix until completely incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and continue to mix until all is nicely blended.

Fold in the apples

20130910-202039.jpg and spoon batter into the muffin tins. I filled tins almost to the top which made roughly 15 muffins

Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar on top and pop them in the 450 degree oven for 10 minutes. Then decrease oven temp to 400 degrees and bake for an additional 5-10 min. Let the muffins cool for 5 minutes, and then enjoy!

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Germs

With preschool starting, Liesel’s second trip to the dentist coming up, and cold season knocking on our door, I thought it was the perfect time to do a germ themed lesson for Liesel/MJ school. Germs have been a popular topic of conversation for some time. At least for over a year when we started on the whole potty training adventure, that would drag all three of us into the most wonderful public restrooms… This week we took a deeper look into germs and dental hygiene. Here is a glimpse at our fun week!

On Monday the girls and I read a few books that we had checked out from the library.

20130906-201837.jpg. The favorite one being, Wash Your Hands by Tony Ross. Both girls could not stop laughing at how dirty the little girls hands were ( because they have never been dirty themselves…). I think I read it 5+ times that day.

For a science activity we did an experiment with glitter. I told the girls that the glitter was like little germs. They each chose a few colors and covered their hands in the glitter glue. We had fun talking about how gross our hands were, and yucky from all the glittery germs!!

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20130906-202823.jpg After our hands were good and yucky, we took a trip to the bathroom to wash them all away! While washing our hands we sang a song:

*tune of row, row, row your boat*
Wash, wash, wash your hands
Make them nice and clean.
Wash your hands on top and bottom
And then in between.

20130906-203120.jpg Finally we all were completely glitter germ free! Hooray!!

On Tuesday our focus was dental hygiene and the number 3. After rereading the book, Taking Care of My Teeth by Terri DeGezelle, I had a fun snack for them to enjoy.

20130906-205521.jpg made of apples, peanut butter and marshmallows. It was a huge hit!

We counted out to the number 3. And each of the girls took three morewhite marshmallow teeth to enjoy. Liesel practiced tracing the number three by using a little phrase:
around the tree, around the tree, that’s the way to make a 3 this really helped her remember to make half circles for the humps on the three.

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Lastly the girls painted dirty yellow teeth WHITE by brushing on the paint to make them sparkle!

On Wednesday we cut out germs! Focusing on the letter C sound, and cutting practice. We also talked about the color brown.

While Moira played with a brown sensory box, full of odds and ends all colored brown, Liesel practiced her cutting,

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Thursday was bible verse day. This weeks bible verse was, if you love me, you will obey my command John 14:15. This fit it perfectly with our germ themed week. I talked to the girls about how important it is to obey what God, our parents, teachers etc command. Making sure we wash our hands and brush our teeth are commands too!!

To help remember the verse, we sang it to the tune of hot cross buns
If you love me, if you love me
you will obey, what I command
John 14:15 John 4:15
You will obey what I command

The girls caught on quickly and we had fun singing it around the house and out on our walks.

Friday is reserved for a make up/ revisit our week day. This Friday the girls played with yucky germ monsters ( made of corn starch, baking soda and water). They had fun molding me, sticking eyes on them and seeing them ooze all over the paper.

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Once they were finished it was a great reminder to how important it is to wash off germs, for the germ monsters did indeed get all over their hands!

Fall Checklist

As many of you know, we are currently entering Eric and my favorite time of year! It begins with the fall and continues through Christmas. We have so many cherished memories from this time of year, from meeting and going on our first date (November 24,2000), to planning a Christmas wedding (December 30,2006) , to finding out we were expecting our first baby( October 23, 2009). We love it love it love it! Anne Shirley says it best,

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This year we are looking forward to the fall for many reasons. It will be our first fall in our new home ( with our wood burning fireplace!!!), it will be the last fall as a family of four, and it will be the fall we prepare for our new little bundle to be born. Because of these reasons we want to have an amazing season! To ensure its amazingness I am putting together a checklist or bucket list of all the fun we want to experience. Here are our must-dos this fall 2013.

Apple Picking this one Liesel has been begging to do for well over a year. Due to the terrible growing season last year, no orchards were pickable! This year we plan to get as much picking in as possible, reserving two if not three weekends to do so. Our favorite orchard in the area is Tuttles.

Pumpkin Patch last year was our first trip to Stony Creek Farms and it was fabulous. Here is my post on the farm, Pumpkin Patch. We will definitely be going to Stony Creek again this year. We will also be supporting Spencer Farms, and buying our pie pumpkins from them.

Train Ride thanks to a friend, we found a new park in Noblesville called, Forest Park. We went to it this past weekend and fell in love!!! Cannot believe we are just finding out about this! They have numerous park areas, a carousel, pool/splash pad, and -this is the best part- a train ride! Not just a little toy train. A real train that takes you on an hour ride to various parks in the area. And it’s only $5 a ticket! This is a must do this fall.

Zoo Boo The Indianapolis Zoo puts on a zoo boo every year. Where kids can come dressed up in costumes and the whole place is decorated for the holiday. There are tons of fun activities including trick or treating. We went when Liesel was one and had such a blast, even though a lot of the activities were over her head.

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Fishers Renaissance Faire Eric and I went to the Faire our first fall in Indy and were not especially blown away. It could have been due to the fact that is was 40 degrees and raining or to the fact that it was the first time they put on the festival, either way we are devoted to giving it another chance. I have a weakness for turkey legs!

Cider Mill Even though we live in a different state, we still make a point to make a trip back to our home town every fall for a trip to the one, and only Dexter Cider Mill! Nothing quite says fall like a cup of hot cider and the most amazing, melt in your mouth, cinnamon sugar donut from the Dexter Cider Mill. Trust me. We have searched all over Indianapolis and no where comes even close. Not to mention the fact that no apple orchard/ cider mills over here even sell donuts?!?! I know, craziness.

Baking I have a long list of baking must dos this fall. Mmm, cannot wait for all the amazing smells to fill our kitchen. Thanks to Pinterest my list keeps growing every time I open the app…
*applesaucehoping to can a bunch! We go through at least one large jar a week.
*apple pie
*apple crisp
*apple dumplings
*pumpkin bread
*pumpkin pie
*pumpkin pecan pancakes– for the last few years we have been buying William Sonoma’s mix, but this year I plan to not waste save money and try it from scratch.
*numerous fall soups
To name a few. Get ready for some awesome get togethers at the Statlers😃

So excited to celebrate this beloved season with my loves!

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