November 24, 2016

Kaley's Monthly Picture: Ten Months

Hello, hello everyone. And I have to say, holy am I late posting this monthly picture! I have had the pictures ready for a month now, I have just been lazy and busy doing other things. Oh well, better late than never!

I don't even know where to start with this little girl! She is so happy all the time, and is always making us laugh. She's friendly and such a sweetheart to everyone, including people she's just met. Even on her worst days, you can usually get her laughing and being silly again.

It's starting to get hard to take pictures of her because she is trying to do all the things so fast that she is constantly falling and bruising her poor little face. She actually has a shiner and a black eye from a recent fall into a coffee table as I write this. And the only way I can think of to stop this from happening is to bubble wrap my entire house. She just wants to GO.

She is so curious and wants to be part of everything. Naps are hard to come by in the afternoon anymore, she just can't miss anything that Braxton is doing. Her favourite toys are now soccer and "basket" balls, and she loves carrying around ball pit balls. She loves to throw the larger ones around and chase after them. It's stinking adorable.

And everything is a prize and edible. Doesn't matter what it is, it can be eaten according to Kaley. The amount of dog hair and leaves we rescue from her is just hilarious some days. It's rare to get an outdoor picture where she isn't putting leaves into her mouth. 

That's it for this month since this is such a late post, and I have her 11 month pictures coming up. I think I am confusing and combining the months, everything is just going so fast. Hopefully you will come back to see what's new with Kaley for her 11 month picture. And she's going to be one in less than a month! I'm so excited and distraught that she's getting so big.


November 11, 2016

Triforce Tray Update

Hello again everyone and welcome back. See, I told you I was doing stuff. It just gets so hard to get on the computer anymore without having a child in my lap "helping" me type things. It's better to just not play that game.

I don't think I ever mentioned it here, but anyone who knows us can tell you that we are a gaming family. Luis is a gamer, he enjoys playing video games of all types. I am a part-time gamer, I will play or watch Luis play a game that I am interested in. We have games that we play together, and games that we play individually. It's not for everyone, but it's what we like to do. Everyone likes different things, this is our thing that we do together.

A few years ago we had a gaming related incident that involved a broken controller and a broken tray that I used in the basement to coral the remotes and controllers. These incidents are completely related. 

The broken tray has been sitting in our crawlspace for years while I tried to figure out how to fix it or what I was going to do with it. I decided it would be nice to use this tray on the couch when we are having a snack so that we don't have to lean over to the coffee table. I know, first world problems. And since we have redone the basement with gaming related decor, I thought it would add a nice touch to incorporate this with the tray as well.

I thought long and hard about what I was going to put on the tray, whether it was going to be a recognizable symbol from a game or from a show. We love having game related things in our basement that most people will think is just nice decor, but people who play the game will get what it is about and appreciate it more.  In the end I chose this triforce symbol because it was easy and is from a game that I love and have played many times myself. I like easy crafts, makes it that much more satisfying when you finish it quickly.

First I sanded the tray lightly, then I did a few coats of spray-paint in a glossy white to cover the finish. I was hoping that I could cover the crack with paint and not have to do anything else. Unfortunately the crack was extremely noticeable, so we had to come up with another plan.  

I couldn't really get a good picture of the crack with the white paint, so I took a picture of the bottom to show you the crack and the previous finish. I couldn't find my before picture of the top of the tray, and don't mind the toddler foot. Though Braxton's foot makes this tray look huge if you thought that was my foot.

We decided to use the same kind of wood that we used for our coffee table update, but the oak instead of MDF. This stuff is fairly inexpensive and is easy to work with. I think this sheet, which we only used about two thirds of, was roughly $8.

Luis cut it to fit inside the tray and used clear paintable caulking to fill in any gaps. The inside of the tray is angled, so cutting the wood to fit perfectly was almost impossible.

Once the caulking set for a few days, I gave the tray another few coats with a semi gloss white paint. I did the whole tray, not just the wood insert and this helped blend the two paints together. The spray paint acted as a primer for the old stain colour, so it worked out perfectly.

Once the base paint was finished I traced the triforce shape onto roughly the middle of the tray. I cut out a cardboard triangle to use as a stencil, and the triforce is just four triangles. Easy peasy. I used a Martha Stewart gold paint to fill in the triforce and it took about 5 light coats to get good coverage. 

The finish of the gold paint isn't flat, I chose to let the gold paint have different tones so that the triforce looked a little more metallic. It would have taken another 5 coats for the gold to be the same flatness, and I think it would have made it look a little boring. This way, it has more depth. And once I was happy with how the gold paint looked I gave the whole tray a coat of semi gloss Mod Podge. This will seal the tray against any spills or condensation from drinks.

I am so happy with how this turned out. It's nice to have the option to use a tray for snacks and drinks after the kids go to bed. Or even for entertaining, not that we do that a lot anymore. Kids are exhausting.

Hopefully this gives you guys some inspiration to update things the way you want to. It doesn't have to be the latest trend or look a certain way as long as you like it and it functions for your family. For the longest time I struggled with what I thought I should do and what I wanted to do. In the end, I need to let what makes us happy be what's in our house. We have to live with it, not anyone else.


Linking to: 
Tatertots & Jello - Link Party Palooza 12/16/16 
Ginger Snap Crafts - Wow Me Wednesday #288 

November 4, 2016

Kid Friendly Coffee Table Update

Hello everyone and welcome back! I have been busy getting things done, now comes the hard part of actually being able to edit the pictures and write a post. You'll have to bear with me, as you have been all year. The busy season is about to be upon me, and I don't know what I'll be able to get done or show you guys.

But today I have a kid friendly update to solve the "what to do with the glass inserts" in your coffee table problem. We struggled after Braxton was born with whether to buy a new coffee table or not. Ours was in great shape still, but had four glass inserts that we KNEW were destined to be broken if left in the table. We just couldn't justify spending upwards of $300 to replace a perfectly good coffee table.

Enter a cheap piece of wood and some paint.

Luis found a solution with thin MDF boards that he cut to size to fit in the inserts. It didn't look too bad, but after two years they looked like they were super dirty all the time. There were tons of food and water spills that you could plainly see, and they couldn't really be cleaned. I decided to paint them white and add some fun kid elements to each section.

In the above picture I had painted three of the four inserts with a white outdoor door paint. I know it's unconventional, but I needed something that would repel liquids and I had it on hand. I'll save myself $20 whenever I can, and this paint worked perfectly. You can see some of the staining on the unpainted insert.

Once these were painted and ready I headed to Micheals and grabbed these paint pens and a set of stencils. These paint pens are so much cheaper than the Sharpie versions, and actually worked much better in my experience. And I chose this stencil because it had letters, numbers and shapes. Perfect for kids.

I chose to use each section as it's own learning tool, four sections with four things to learn. Letters, Numbers, Shapes and Colours. I used pencil with the stencils first and just eyeballed everything. It's not perfect, but it works. I wasn't too concerned because it's such a temporary solution, the glass will come back once the kids are old enough. I just wanted something that would look nicer than stained wood.

I struggled at first with how to do the colours section. Big shapes with the colours written on it in a different colour? Try to incorporate shapes and colours together? In the end I decided to spell the colour out with the actual colour. I think this worked out the best because know they can associate the word (and spelling) with the actual colour.

I think it turned out great and more importantly the kids love it. I did the shapes first, and I wish I waited as I don't like how they turned out. But honestly, Braxton doesn't care and it's not worth the sanding, painting and re stenciling.

After the paint pens had cured for a few days I just put a thin layer of glossy mod podge over each board to make sure that the paint doesn't run when water gets dumped all over it. It's going to happen, let's not kid ourselves people.

And that's it! I know my coffee table looks amazing with bumper pads all over it, but those things are life savers. And eventually the plan will be to paint the actual coffee table because it is so beat up now. The stain is almost gone in some places, and the pads are ripping the rest up. Once we are ready to put the glass back in the table, I will start that update.

Hopefully this gave you guys some ideas for saving a glass insert coffee table for when your kids are a little bigger. Is wasn't too hard and took a small amount of effort, and it's a great way to incorporate learning tools into a room without making it a playroom.


Linking to:
Ginger Snap Crafts - Wow Me Wednesday #284
Naptime Creations - Great Things to Make for Kids 1/31/17
eighteen25 - Show and Tell #14