This & That

It’s Tuesday here and it’s Tuesday there.  We’re not having a particularly exciting one but I hope you are.  In case you need to kick yours up a notch though, here are a few things that might help get you there:

I shared a peek at the rug I finally finished in the entry way!  I’m going snap some better pictures and work on a detailed tutorial that will hopefully catch you before the end of the week, but until then you can check it out on Instagram or Facebook.

Sebastian turned the ripe young age of five months last week!  I’m in love with his thunder thighs (well, compared to the girls chicken legs), his gurgles and giggles, the way his eyes follow my every move, and everything else.  Chances are he’ll be sitting on his own during next months photo op.  :)


And speaking of Sebastian and his monthly photos, my friend Danielle sent me a link to this --
that now has me wondering if I’m scarring him for life…or setting myself up for future mom ridicule.  Oh boy.

Olivia had her sweet baby boy and while she’s coddling him I whipped up a little screen-printing DIY + tutorial over at her blog, To The Heights.
Go over and check it out!

My sister introduced me to the talented Oana Befort and her free iPhone calendar (for your desktop and iPad too!)  I upload one to my phone’s lock screen and it takes all the guesswork out of figuring out the day (and sometimes the month…it’s like crazy ‘round here…don’t judge) for this busy madre.

Bows come along with the territory when you have girls and I love to make my own (tutorials here and here) but if I didn’t and/or if I had unlimited funds I’d buy them from Bub + Bug Studio – her glitter bows are amazing! and Olivia James Headbands – the elastics she uses are gorg!

I don’t own a kimono but I will soon after I take a note out of Anna’s book and DIY one.  See her awesome tutorial here and whip of one of your very own!

Damage Control

Is it just ours or do your kids have a daily goal of seriously destroying the house?  I feel like our girls are heck bent on undoing, unorganizing, unhanging, undecorating, un-younameit.  Especially Cecilia.  My sister witnessed her tactics first hand a few months ago and dubbed her the “Master of Disaster”.  So fitting.  Because of all this fun they create with their little hands, we’ve had some serious baby-proofing to do around here and it doesn’t bode well for this mom and her hobby of interior decorating.  Perfectly styled end tables?  Nope.  They’re barren save a couple of lamps and even those have had their fair share of near-death experiences.  Prettily decorated shelving less than four feet from the ground?  I wish.  Nicely framed masterpieces branching towards the floor in a perfectly unsymmetrical frame collage?  Forget it.  Needless to say, our house looks pretty good as long as you keep your gaze eye level and up.  But, I digress.  I thought I’d write a quick little post on how we do damage control around here so let’s get to it.

Cabinets.  Once the twins learned how to crawl, it was all over.  Everything at their level was game to be victimized.  That meant kitchen cabinets.  Pots, pans, glassware…we have it all in our lower cabinets and as it turns out, heavy breakables don’t make good toys (Cecilia can wield a gleaming pot like the best of ‘em).  We needed some fancy cabinet locks but when I went to a few stores to search for some, I had a really hard time finding some that didn’t cost an arm and a leg and that actually fit our cabinets.  At first I wanted to avoid drilling into our freshly painted cabinets at all cost.  Damage control shouldn’t have to cause more damage, right?  Unfortunately, all of the locks that didn’t require drilling either weren’t long enough to accommodate our cabinets or weren’t made for cabinet doors that swing in the same direction instead of away from each other.  Boo.  That meant we had to settle on the locks that had to be drilled in.  I had a hard time finding some of those that were relatively cheap though.  Enter amazon.  I love amazon.  We have a prime membership it’s one of the best things we’ve ever spent our money on.  Not only do you get to pick from a plethora of movies and shows digitally streamed to your own tube but you get free two-day shipping on most everything (and they’re not paying me or perking me to say that…we really just love prime!)  Anyway, I found these locks (affiliate link) there and we had them installed in a few days. 
We only had to buy one pack to baby-proof our kitchen, spending around $8.  Insert a happy wallet.

They come with two parts per lock – the part that attaches to the door and the part that attaches to the cabinet itself.  That means lots of drilling.  However we realized that if we attached the door lock just right, it would catch on the edge of cabinet, thus eliminating the need to drill anything onto the cabinet.  See?
We’ve had these locks on for a year now and with most of them being used multiple times a day, they’re still keeping the girls out of the cabinets just as effectively as they did the day they were installed.  :)  When we move, we’ll probably just keep them attached unless our purchaser wants them removed in which case all we’ll have to do is remove them, fill in the screw holes, and paint over them with some leftover cabinet paint.
(Side note:  After doing a little more research while writing this post, I stumbled on these locks from Target.  They’re similar to ours but attach to doors using magnetic force rather than being drilled in.  However, they’ll run you back $29.99 for four – for our small kitchen that’d be $60!  Yipe!  But, if you’re willing to spend a bit to avoid drilling, they might be a good option.)

Closet curtains.  The girls closet doesn’t have doors so before they were inhabiting their room, I whipped up these curtains to cover the space and we hung them with curtain rings threaded over a tension rod.

Cecilia (I think Seraphia has maybe done this once) has, multiple times, played Jane (that of Tarzan) on the curtains causing them and the rod to come crashing down, each time very narrowly missing her tiny head.  We finally had to quarantine them from their own room during the day until we remedied the situation with these pole sockets that we found in the hardware department at Walmart:
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All we had to do was drill them into both sides of the closet opening and wa-la. 
No more boughs breaking and/or rods falling.  We don’t let the girls play in either of the bathrooms in our house because, you know, toilet water ain’t spring water, but if we were crazy enough to let them, we’d probably slap some of these up on each shower curtain as well.

Gates.  We do have one gate up prohibiting the kiddos from the laundry room where they like to press buttons and wash/dry imaginary loads of laundry but that’s it.  It’s an older gate that stays put using tension vs. drilling.  If we ever move into a house with stairs we’ll have to look into getting some sort of gate that swings open.  Any favorites just in case stairs are in our future or in case anyone reading is shopping for one or five?

Other than those few things, we try our darndest (we’ve resorted to locking the door) to keep the girls out of the guestroom because of the multiple bookshelves in there and my usual pile ‘o projects in process.  Sometimes I feel like a bad mom for restricting them from making messes and just being kids but then I let loose for one second and realize that cleaning up after twin toddlers while Anthony is at work and while carrying Sebastian around isn’t for the faint of heart – and that’s me, faint of heart.  I’ll take clean and crazy over messy and insane thankyouverymuch. 

So, what am I missing?  What types of baby-proofing do you use?  Anything you’d highly recommend?  Cages?  Handcuffs?  Or do you just go right for the straitjacket?  Juuuust kidding…  ;)  As I type, the floor-length curtains in our living room are looped up over the curtain rod where they’ve been hanging out for the past year or so because I can’t seem to convince the girls that they’re not part of a ropes course.  Any ideas on how to win that battle are more than welcome too!  Sigh.  Kids.

Magazine Art

If you’re the proud owner of either a Real Simple or Coastal Living glossy subscription, this one’s for you.  If you’re not, you might want to go out and grab either or both after this.  As I was paging through Real Simple last week I stumbled upon the prettiest picture of a set of six ties all in a row and thought “Hey, this would make some really cute art!”  The same thing happened as I was exploring the most recent Coastal Living.  Out came the two pages that caught my eye.

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(In case you’re hankering for your very own, the ship is on page 65 of the June issue of Real Simple and the ties are on page 54 of the June issue of Coastal Living.)

Sebastian just got transferred to his own crib in our room a few days ago so he doesn’t quite have a room to call his own but, he will in the next few months.  So, thinking ahead, I whipped up some free artwork for his room courtesy of the above two magazines. 


The ties didn’t have any wording through them so to get them out and up was as simple as cutting out a big square and sticking it in front of the matt inside the frame (from Target via Dirt Cheap).  The ship, on the other hand, had some wording through the tippity-top flag so I debated just cutting that pole and flag right off but settled on cutting around it really closely.  It’s also on a gray background so it doesn’t quite blend as well into the white background as I would like.  A piece of light gray paper might remedy that down the road.

.           .          .

Have you ever used magazine pages as artwork?  I know cutting out words from multiple pages and multiple magazines and putting them all together in one place used to be popular in my high school days and maybe still is.  I’ve also used cheapo calendars for art.  Can’t beat the price and the looks are first class.  :)


So.  Sooooo… So.  You probably haven’t noticed that we’ve been somewhat absent from social media for the past week.  That is because we were enjoying this:
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Btw, I’m pretty sure the gates of heaven will bear more resemblance to this little swinger than any pearlies but we’ll see…hopefully.  ;)  Oh, and might I mention #nofilter

We skirted over to St. Augustine to see family that also headed down that way and to see my sister for the latter part of last week and we’ve been missing it ever since.  The time spent in St. Augustine was wonderful but the seven-hour car van ride?  Not so much.  We found out that traveling with three babies a fun road trip does not make and we found out that one of those babies has a tendency to get car sick.  Gagging and throw-up all around, literally.  Here’s the sopped-up aftermath and let me tell you, you’re lucky it’s no scratch-and-sniff.
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Poor sweet girl.  It happened on the way there and was not the fluke we thought because guess what?  It happened all over again on the way back…after a milk sippy cup was downed…and I used to like cottage cheese…  But, everything is washed and smelling flowery again so we have high hopes for the even longer vehicular trip we’re taking later this summer.  Any remedies I should know about to keep toddler motion sickness at bay?  Spill the deets…I mean, don’t spill ‘em…oh no…I’m having flashbacks…make it stop...(insert squinty-faced emoji).

Anyway, I won’t go into all the details of the trip because I know that vacation recaps are lots of fun to read when you’re not the one that went (sarcasm intended) but I’ll share these in case you’re curious:
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My family went out to see the sunrise the morning before we got there and got this amazing shot.  Waking up early doesn’t seem so bad when you have this as a reward, no?

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Me, my irish twin sis Farrah (separated by a mere 10 months in the year 1983), and our girls.

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This pinterest-ing idea is brilliant and works.  We were racing against a rising tide coming in so we didn’t have much time to build a huge hole but this did the trick for the time being.

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Me and our brood heading out to the sandy shores.  Do we look cool and collected?  Good because that was actually not the case.  It was quite the effort prepping all bare skin for the beach, getting there, and being on it.  Quite the effort.

So, with all that fun behind us, we’re well into this week and my best friend is here from St. Louis to join in on the craziness that is the Tobin household.  I hope your week is as exciting as ours!  :) 


Choose Happy

So.  I made a few tweaks to the frame collage in the girls room.  This are always at risk of getting changed around here so that should be no surprise, right?  I know I’m not the only ‘tweaker’ (not to be confused with ‘twerker’ which I most definitely am not…in public…sorry Miley).  At the time that I first hung the frames, I framed  a free printable I found online that said “Choose Happy” and I loved it (still do) but it didn’t fill the frame like I thought it would so I had to extend the mat and dah, dum, dee.  Not my favorite improv.  See? nurserycollagedeets 007_thumb[1]

So, I switched things up by spray painting the frame white and adding my own rendition.  Much better.IMG_4550

Here’s how.  Last Christmas I strung our Christmas cards on some glittery gold ribbon and hung them over our french doors.  Well, when I was taking them down I couldn’t bring myself to toss the pretty gold ribbon I used so I cut it up into little squares and packed it away for a rainy day via ziploc.  That day came around last week.  I snatched those squares out of hiding and glued them in a gradient pattern onto a piece of white freezer paper that I cut to fit the frame.  A tiny dab of Elmer’s on the back of each square was all it 1 (5)

Then, to keep the ‘Choose Happy’ (because let’s be honest, this hangs right over the changing table and diaper changes call for that reminder), I whipped up the phrase using, rotated it so it printed backwards, and taped it to the glass on the outside of the 2 (6)

Next, I took out the paint I used on these lamps and with a very fine paintbrush, painted the glass on the inside of the frame right over each letter.  I did three coats so that the next layer of paint wouldn’t be visible through the green.  The acrylic paint I used dried super fast so I was able to do all three coats, one after the 3 (3)

Then, using the coral paint I intended this desk to be cloaked in, I went over the dried green paint with a thicker paintbrush.
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Painting with the fine brush followed by the thick brush gave the letters this two-toned look:IMG_4551

And that was that.  While I was at it though, I also spray painted the frame I had stained with coffee grinds (far left).  Here’s what the collage looked like before:
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And here’s what it looks like now:
(See also –> the dresser makeover and it’s spray painted hardware.)

Using things I already had made this little project 100% free, just like I like it.  And, if the winds of spontaneity make me want to have “Keep Calm & Don’t Breathe It In” or something along those lines plastered in that spot instead, I can easily scrape off the happiness and paint on something else nice and quicklike.  Win, win.  :)

In case you want to post this little reminder on painted glass like I did, I’ve made the ‘Choose Happy’ downloadable for ya (thanks to Deme for the excellent tutorial on how to be tech savvy like that).

Click here –> Choose Happy – to download

Have a happy humpday!