Category Archives for "DIY/Crafts"

How to Make a Baby Bath Time Gift Basket

Dislcosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MagicBabyMoments #CollectiveBias

How to Make a Baby Bath Time Gift Basket

My nephew will be making his grand entrance into the world any day now and I realized as I am getting the messages that it may happen sooner than we think that I had not yet gotten a gift to welcome him to the family. Yikes! Oh well no worries because I have a cute and simple idea to put together a sweet little gift perfect for the baby boy who is about to add more joy to our world.

 

How to make a baby bath time gift basket

How to make a baby bath time gift basket

 

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How to make a Lego table by upcycling your train table


We wait and wait and wait for what seems like forever for summer to arrive. We can’t wait for the freedom, the anticipation of lazy mornings and fun filled afternoons. How quickly that all changes after the heat really kicks in and we are 4-5 weeks into our summer routine. Just about the time that the heat really kicks in the boredom also starts to creep its way in. You know what I am talking about. It is starting to get too hot to play outside for any length of time which means the kids are playing inside more and more which means you are starting to hear the chorus of “I’m bored”. Even a day at the pool starts to lose it’s appeal after a few weeks of frequent visits. This summer I have a plan to keep the kids entertained when the summer boredom blues grab a hold of us.  I have been dreaming of creating a Lego table for my kids using their existing train table. I decided to wait until mid summer to surprise them with this new fun place to play.

How to make a Lego Table

How to make a Lego Table:

So I started with the train table we have had since our first child uttered his first “choo-choo.” I bought it at a yard sale for $40. It was in great shape and has seen a lot of use over the years. The top comes off easily and can actually be flipped over. This is where the inspiration for this project began. I have wanted to make them a table just for playing with Legos. Because even though you and I and the rest of the world can understand that the beauty of Legos is that you can create something and then tear it apart and create something us, my boys want to play with their creations and keep them intact ofr long periods of time. Thus every flat surface in their bedrooms is covered with  Lego creations. I thought that I could give them a place dedicated to Legos and still preserve the train table for a while longer since my youngest still enjoys his trains. Speaking of my littlest, he is 5 and so wants to be like his older brother who is 9. He gets so frustrated sometimes when he is trying to make Lego creations just like his big brother. I have found that LEGO® JUNIORS are a great way to help him build his confidence while he is building with Legos. LEGO® JUNIORS is designed to provide just the right amount of challenge and creative play for young children. Quick start pieces and numbered pre-packed bags enable the sets to be built without the help from Mom or Dad— which makes any small builder extra proud! He loves it when he can do it all by himself and it is “cool”!

Lego Table starts with a train table

I bought some Lego pieces called bases. These are the thin flat “foundation” pieces that are usually green. I found some that look like city streets and decided to use those as a stating point. I also picked up lots of smaller thin 4×4 green pieces and 4×6 blue pieces to make grass and water features. I laid out all the pieces and we moved them around until we settled on a good layout. I let the kids help, after all this is a play space that I am designing just for them.

Lego Table Project layingout all the pieces

Once we settled on a design I got out the krazy glue. Warning: this may be a little unsettling to some who recognize the krazy glue as the “kragle.” Simply explain that all you are using it for is to secure the bottom layer so they have a place to build on and that no minfigures will be harmed in the making of the Lego train table.

Lego Table Project use Krazy Glue to glue down the legos in the design you want

I started by securing the big pieces and worked my way around until all the pieces were glued down. Note: I have used a hot glue gun for other Lego projects and it did not work so well so Krazy Glue is your best bet. Once it was done I let it dry overnight just to be sure everything would stay in place. Then I let the kids start creating.

Lego table project finished

I am so happy with the way the table turned out. This table will definitely be a boredom buster this summer. Now that they have this great Lego table they my never want to leave except….yep I have another trick up my sleeve. When we travel we will be taking Lego Juniors Suitcases on the go with us. LEGO® JUNIORS is designed to give children age 4-7 a great first building experience with the LEGO brick through iconic, fun and easy to build models and these suitcases are perfect for taking along anywhere your summer plans take you.

Lego Juniors Suitcase on the go

Lego Juniors at the hotel

 

Financial Planning for Kids: The Envelope Project

Financial Planning for Kids

The Envelope Project

MC - How to use Essential oils for everyday cleaning (Crystal)

Wow! Having kids is expensive. I know. You knew that. What you may not have realized is there is a way to control this expense. The answer seems odd but it is to let them control the expense. What am I talking about? I am talking about a method I recently tested and am still using. I have a budget like many of you mine may be smaller or it may be larger but it is dependent upon me sticking to it.

I can’t spend hundreds when I only have a hundred and I don’t want to disappoint my kids by not allowing them to do things. We all know we can’t afford anything and everything. We can however afford what we can afford. I recently had my children home with me for spring break. I work from the house so I knew I would have to adjust my hours to suit my children. I figured out if I was going to pay for child care it would be around $60 a day for three children. We currently pay about that for schooling. I looked at my budget and decided that was $300 for the week. I am planning for a large trip this summer so I decided to cut my budget by 50%. I was going to give each child $40 for the week. The other $30 would go to pay for gas for the car to get us places. I had one large work trip planned which involved going to an indoor waterpark so the tickets were free the rest was left up to my children to decided.

The Envelope Project

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My Dream Party Station! Girls with Power Tools!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by RYOBI and Everywhere Agency has provided me with compensation for this post; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. #RYOBINation 

Let me just say that girls with power tools rock! I love working with my hands and building something. It feels great! It all started when my husband and I built our garage together. During the day while he was at work I framed all the walls by myself while my infant son took his naps. It took me weeks but felt great to have accomplished something so challenging. I used a hammer for all the framing work. Let me tell you my arms never looked so good. Then we got to the roof and I got to use a nail gun to attach the shingles. Holy cow! That was awesome! After that I couldn’t wait to tackle my next project and soon started accumulating my own set of tools and power tools.

Girls Love Power Tools Dram big and create your own party station Join the Ryobi Nation

Yes, some of my tools are pink. Whenever I see pink tools I buy them. They are pink for a reason. First, why not? Second, I am trying to discourage the men in my life from borrowing my tools so that I always know where they are when I need them. I have my own drill and impact driver. My husband and I share the circular saw and chop saw. Someday I may need my own tool shed, ha!

Girls love power tools especially love my new Ryobi Sander

Two years ago we ripped up all of our decking and replaced it. The project took all weekend but it was so worth it. Our deck looks great and was safer since we replaced the old rotting wood.  But since then we have not found the time to seal it properly so it stays looking nice. Last year I redid my picnic table. The wood on the table top and seats was rotting and unusable because of the splintering wood. I loved the table though because it is a large hexagon which is the perfect shape for hanging out with family and friends. So I replaced all of the rotting wood on the top and seats since the supporting frame was still in great shape.  But I still had not found the time to sand it properly and apply a finish, until now.

I’ll admit I was lacking the motivation to finish my table and deck…until I saw this RYOBI Nation Party Station – Dream Big video! Watch it! It is great and will definitely get you up off the couch to go fix something, lol!

How is that for a kick in the pants! So I decided to tackle the table first because it involved getting a new power tool! My husband has an old Ryobi Corner Cat sander that still works great but I also decided I wanted something a bit bigger for this job. I checked out all the sanders at Ryobi Power Tools. I found the belt sander I wanted, picked it up at  Home Depot, and got to work.

My new power tool a Ryobi Belt Sander

I wanted you to really be able to see how great the table looked so I only refinished half of it. I used the new Ryobi belt sander for the bulk of the work and the Ryobi Corner Cat for the corners and harder to reach areas.

Power Tools from Ryobi are made to last and are great for any project

Then I brushed off all the dust and washed it with soap and water. After it was dry I applied 1 coat of tinted sealer using a paint brush. I think it turned out really nice and I can’t wait to do the other side! I also would like to build my own lazy susan for in the center of the table. I want to make one that has a hole for an umbrella but I think I need another tool to complete that project. Too bad Mother’s Day has already passed. Maybe I can get myself an early Christmas present and call it Christmas in July!

I finished my table using power tables

My dream project would be to go all out on the deck and really turn it into the ultimate outdoor space. I need to finish the table and treat the deck with sealant. I have also purchased shade sails to give us some shade but need to install some posts to hang them from.  I would also build in some seating and of course what outdoor space would be complete without the Ryobi Party Station. Do you have an outdoor party station or gathering place for you friends and family to hang out? Do you dream of having one? Do you dream of having a bigger better one? Have you built your own party station yet? Share your creation in the Ryobi Nation Party Station Contest for a chance to win $1000 worth of Ryobi tools! That’s what I am talking about! What a great way to build your own collection of power tools!

 

 

 

 

How to Hollow Out Oranges

How to Hollow Out Oranges

A few weeks ago, we stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast in Lynchburg, VA. We had a four course breakfast that was insanely good. One of the courses was fresh berries served in an orange. The berries were good but I thought the presentation was so cute and clever. It would be perfect for a nice luncheon or maybe a bridal shower brunch.

How to hollow out oranges to use as fruit bowls filed with blackberries so easy so pretty

I decided to try to make them myself. And since I was able to figure it out, I am sharing the steps with you on how to hollow out oranges, so you can make your own orange bowls.

How to hollow out oranges to make fruit bowls:

1. Cut both ends of a large orange. One end will serve as the opening of your bowl and the other is to create a flat surface so the bowl can stand on its own.

How to hollow out oranges to use as fruit bowls first cut off the ends

2. Using a spoon, separate the flesh of the orange from the rind. You may need to do this from both ends.

How to hollow out oranges to use as fruit bowls then use a spoon to separate flesh from peel

3. Now you can push all of the flesh out of the orange. Save this and make fresh squeezed orange juice.

4. Remove the orange flesh from one of the ends you cut off. You will then shove this down inside the hollowed out orange to create the bottom of your bowl.

How to hollow out oranges to use as fruit bowls remove flesh from top or bottom slice and insert into hollowed out peel

5. Fill the bowl with fresh fruit. Serve and enjoy!

These are lovely with blackberries. I think raspberries would be stunning too. Or go crazy and fill with a mixture of several kinds of berries.

How to hollow out oranges to use as fruit bowls one bowl filled with blackberries

How to hollow out oranges to use as fruit bowls filed with blackberries

More Fruity Fun:

How to Slice a Watermelon

Watermelon Pizza

Tips for Table Gardening

Tips for Table Gardening

Table gardening is a great way to garden without a lot of work

What is table gardening? That is the question you may be asking right now. Well it is exactly what it sounds, you have a wooden table that is designed to be able to plant a small garden in it. It stands a little taller than waist high so it is easy to tend. There is a large basin that holds all of the soil. A table garden should come with a liner and dividers so you can plant several different vegetables.

Table Gardening is a fantastic way to grow your own vegetables

This is the Garden Table we purchased. It was so easy to put together (I did it all by myself). The kids loved filling it with soil and mixing in our worm compost. This is our second year and the table is still in great shape. The liner is still in great shape. We simply stirred up the soil in each section and we were ready to plant as soon as the temperature permitted. You can either sow seeds directly or buy plants at your local home improvement store or nursery. We do a combination of both. I am an impatient gardener and like to see things growing.

 

Benefits of Table Gardening:

1) Great for small spaces – A table garden takes up very little space. Our table garden fits nicely in one corner of our deck. If you want to be able to walk all the way around your table garden then I would say a minimum area you need is 8′ x 12′.

2) Great for Kids – Kids can easily plant and watch their fruits and vegetables grow. They can participate every step of the way from planting seeds or starter plants to watering, to harvesting. I can tell my kids to go get a salad for dinner from the garden.

3. Great for beginner gardeners – Have a black thumb? Me too! No clue where to begin to have a garden? Then you should start with a table garden. You can try lots of things and the effort is minimal so you won’t have wasted all the time and energy if you don’t get the result you were expecting.

4) Very easy maintenance – Very little weeding. Watering is quick, you can use a watering can or the hose. There is no tilling to be done or raking.

Spinach is perfect for a table garden

What types of plants are good for table gardening?

Well personally we have planted everything listed below. Some we are trying for the first time this year. We have had success with everything we have planted so far. Our fist year we turned our table garden into a science experiment and planted six varieties of strawberries. The children tracked on a chart which variety produced the most fruit. They also tasted  and rated the strawberries on a scale of 1-10 to determine which produced the best tasting strawberries.

1. Lettuce (all varieties) – plant early to get the longest season. My kids love taking a pair of scissors out to the table garden and collecting a salad for dinner.

2. Spinach – first time this year but I can’t imagine it would not do well.

3. Carrots – plan on baby carrots. We were to impatient to wait so we picked them early.

4. Strawberries- Table gardening is perfect for strawberries. We picked off the runners so the plants would produce more fruit. If you get ever bearing varieties they will come back year after year.

5. Green peppers – we planted green, yellow, and red peppers last year.

6. Broccoli -new this year

7. Cailiflower – new this year

8. Green Onions – new this year but already 2 inches tall from seed.

9. Herbs – I have not tried but I am tempted to buy a second table just to have my own little herb garden.

10. Basically anything that doesn’t require a ton of space. We plan on trying new things every year.

Broccoli woud be a great plant to try in a table garden

What types of plants are NOT good for table gardening?

Anything that needs lots of space, vines, or climbs. Obviously you can’t grow things like corn, watermelon, or pumpkins in a garden table. Beans, peas, and varieties of squash would not do well either. We grow beans and peas in boxes that we built as part of our creative raised garden beds.

Table gardening is perfect for beginners, small spaces, and those who are short on time. Growing your own fruits and vegetables is such a rewarding and fun experience.

More Gardening Tips:

Creative Raised Garden Beds

Starting a Vegetable Garden

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