Hey all.  So…this happened:

You might’ve seen it on the blog’s Facebook page or Instagram.  I have no clue who that person is and I highly doubt he/she is the Dezeree Corvello he/she is claiming to be.  I do know that they have been using pictures they’ve stolen off of our blog and some from Instagram to create a life that is not theirs for the past two years!!  Please, if you’re on Facebook, go and report this madness!  You can do so by going to this persons page (just search the name) and clicking the … button next to the message button, then reporting them for claiming to be someone you know - me.

I found out about this imposter Saturday and it really put a huge damper on my whole day.  I questioned blogging, sharing, and even being on social media at all!  I’m sure if you’re a mother or even human you can understand!  To see pictures of my family on someone else’s page as someone else’s kids and read their comments made me sick to my stomach and so angry at the same time.  I really love blogging but to have someone take the fun out of it really stinks. 

I’ve been questioning over the past two days whether to continue sharing my life with the virtual world, whether I just need to seclude my kids and myself from social media altogether, or whether I should just report them to whomever I can and take a break until the whole thing blows over.  What would you do?  Especially you bloggers out there who willingly share your kids on your virtual home.  What do you think?

Then there’s the issue of Facebook friends.  This ‘Dezeree’ actually had friends on Facebook!  How do you friend someone you don’t know?!  I’ve always had a fairly high standard when it comes to accepting friends – if I don’t feel comfortable dialing their number for a chat, they’re not on my Facebook list.  I see people with 1000, 2000, 3000+ friends and, seriously?  You know all those people?  Maybe I’m just not at the most popular end of society but for real people, guard your friend lists.  Know who your friends are, each and every single one, especially if you share a lot of your life on the book.

Anyway, end of rant.  Please go report this person if you’re on Facebook and go through your friends lists.  And then say a prayer for this ‘Dezeree’ person because in order to want to create a fake life, you must not have a great one of your own.  How sad.

Just Say ‘Yes’ to Rugs

I have a “figure it out” personality, also known as an “if you can’t afford it/it’s too expensive, make it yourself” personality.  You might’ve guessed that if you’ve been reading my blog for longer than a month.  That’s how this project came along…and pretty much every other project over here too.  I wanted a bigger rug with a cool geometric pattern in front of the door in our entry way but the budget wouldn’t give me much to work with.  So I made one and it only cost me $7.  Yep.  Only seven bucks.  Here’s the story.


*rug (mine measures 3 x 4)
*paint (I used latex paint)
*foam pouncer/stenciling sponge or stipple brush (I used one of these <- and that there is an affiliate link fyi)
*plate for paint

photo 2 (11)

First, I made my own stencil.  I’ll detail how I did that in another post lest I stretch this one to novel status.  I started my stenciling in the center of the rug and worked my way out so that the entire design would be centered over the expanse of the rug.  To find the center, I laid two tape measures across the rug; one diagonally from one corner to the opposite and the other diagonally between the other two corners.  Where they intersected was the middle (I’m smarter than a first grader!).  I had already marked a center point on my stencil so I just laid the center of the stencil right over the center of the rug.  To make sure that my stencil was straight, I measured the distance of each end of the square pattern on the stencil to the end of the rug and when they were equi-distant, I taped down the stencil.

Next up was painting.  Before I started, I watered down the paint so that it was a tad more runny and would soak down into the rug a little better.  I didn’t add much water though, maybe one part water to eight parts paint.  Then I poured some paint on a plate and went along dabbing my sponge into some paint and then sponging along the stencil.
photo 2 (12)
As I went along I made sure to hold down the stencil with my free hand as I sponged with the other for a little added support.  The stencil I made had to be turned around/flipped over to produce a full circle/square design like so:
photo 4 (5)
All I had to do was line up the edges of the just-painted design with the stencil and continue sponging away.  Then I continued flipping the stencil until I had stenciled the entire rug.

When all the stenciling was finished, I wanted to fill in all the small lines throughout the pattern created from the stencil (their purpose was to hold the stencil together but more on that in the actual stencil-making tutorial).  It’s not necessary to fill these in but I was going for more of a cohesive look so I did.  With a flat paintbrush, I just went around and painted over the lines and filled in some imperfect spots like some of the areas where the stencils met.  So, it went from this:photo 5 (3)

to this:
photo 1 (10)
It might seem a little tedious but it only took me about 15 minutes and, if you’re like me and need a little mindless work to suck you out of the daily humdrum, it’s therapeutical.  :)

The only lines I didn’t go over and fill in were the ones at the intersection of all the circles in the pattern.  Over those I placed a simple square stencil and painted right over them. photo 4 (6)

Here’s what the whole rug looks like finished:afterlight (1)

Sooo, let me deviate a little and tell you it’s cool and I love it but it’s not exactly what I was going for.  The lines connecting the squares were actually supposed to be straight.  The aqua lines in the pic below show what I mean.rugcorrected

In order for them to be straight, I should’ve laid my stencil out the same way each time like this:shouldve

But instead I laid it out like this… did
…not realizing until I was halfway done that I was going to have a variation from what I initially wanted.  Does that make sense?  Luckily, it doesn’t look bad because there was no turning back.  I’m only writing this out in case you try this very stencil.  Lay your stencil out the same way each time (width-wise every time or length-wise every time) unless you’d prefer the accidental variation which is perfectly fine too.  :)

The last thing I did to the rug was add a non-slip drawer liner to the back.  The girls run past the entry way area a thousand times a day and the plastic backing of this rug made it slide all over the place.  Running toddlers and a slip ‘n slide rug make for surefire accidents.  So, I simply cut a couple of rolls of liner up so that I c0uld fit three strips along the back of the rug and attached them with some liquid nails like so:
photo 5 (4)

I let the glue dry for 24 hours before setting the rug down and away we/they went.  It ain’t going nowhere and trips to the ER for brick floor collisions we will hopefully never have…or at least they won’t be caused by a sliding rug.

[Sources and/or tutorials for –> the globe chandelier, the hook system, the roman shade, and the mirror.]

Cost breakdown:
Rug:  $5 (Old Time Pottery on sale from $7)
Paint:  free (Lowe’s with a free paint sample coupon from Real Simple mag – color is
Cathedral Stone by Valspar)
Foam Pouncer:  already had (Martha Stewart from Michaels – came in a pack of seven and purchased last year with a coupon for this project)
Rubber drawer liner for backing:  $2 (Dollar Store)
Tape:  already had
Total:  $7

[BTdubs…if making your own stencil doesn’t sound fun, you can find some fairly cheap wall stencils at Hobby Lobby that’ll run you back about $10 with a coupon or there’s always Royal Design Studio where you can find tons of amazing stencils with a little higher price tag.  Also, Target has some flatwoven kitchen rugs that just happen to be blank on the opposite side and perfect for stenciling/painting (not listed online).  My original plan was to sew a few of them together for an entry rug but then I scored the one I used at OTP.]

Here’s the view from the hallway:
[Frame collage tutorial here.]

And a good ‘ole before and after/progress:

Don’t forget, like I mentioned above, I’ve got a whole tutorial coming on how to make your very own stencil (mine cost me about $1 to make!!!) and I’ll include a free download if you want to attempt this one.  :D 

Have a great week!

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:
photo (6)

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.

photo (6)
(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.  :)