DIY Mercury Glass

Thanks to the sweet thoughts and therefore actions of friends and family, we’ve collected many a glass vase over the years that once held flowers.  Usually, I store them away under the hutch for a rainy day or a potential project.  To this day I think I’ve done zero things with all of them…until now.  I forgot to take a good before but you can see half of the vase this post is about atop the hutch in this ‘gram:
   mercury glass b4
The plan?  To go all mercury glass with it.  Here’s how.

First, the supplies:

- clear glass vase
- Looking Glass spray paint (Krylon)
- spray bottle filled 1/4 of the way with a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar
- a few paper towels

There are a few tutorials online on how to do this but in the end I just winged (wung?) it with my own rendition to see what happened (hint: it turned out awesome!)  First, I gave the inside of the vase a few sprays with my water/vinegar mixture.  The mixture beaded when it hit the surface.  I probably spritzed about 3-4 times; not too much.  Just enough to wet the entire inside without forming a pool at the bottom of the vase.  (If you do spray too much, just dump it out and move along.  No big deal.  Mercury glass is very imperfect as it is so mistakes aren’t really mistakes in this project!)
[It’s hard to tell how much I actually sprayed in pictures but you can kind of see the foggy, vinegar/water covering on the inside of the vase.]

Then I grabbed the looking glass spray paint.  My Aunt gave me this spray paint three years ago for my b-day and I finally got around to using it!
You can find it here on Amazon (my affiliate link) but I know for a fact that, if you arm yourself with a coupon, it’s cheaper at craft stores (Michael’s and Hobby Lobby sell it).

Next, I sprayed three light coats of the looking glass spray paint inside my vase, waiting about two minutes in between each coat.  Note:  The spray paint started pooling at the bottom of the vase after the second coat so I just picked up the vase and swirled that paint around the inside.  What little still pooled I just left.  IMG_8786

After I had sprayed the three coats, I let the vase sit for 10 minutes and then I carefully dabbed the inside of the vase with the paper towels, removing the beads of water/vinegar.  I also rubbed a little harder in a few larger spots to get a more imperfect look.  (A lot of the tutorials I read called for a light coat of the looking glass spray paint on the outside of the vase after the inside was done but I didn’t do that.)  After dabbing away the vinegar/water, I let the vase sit to dry. 

Behold, our new mercury glass vase:

This would be such a fun project to do for a holiday tablescape – grab a bunch of clear glass vases at your local thrift store and mercury them.  Then line the middle of your table with them.  :)

Ours went back to the top of the hutch which I’ll be sharing in it’s fullness tomorrow (if all goes smoothly in this household today, otherwise it’ll be Monday for sure.) 

I’ve also been working on a super fun project that I was hoping to share before this week is over but it’s looking like it’ll be next week instead because nap times just aren’t long enough…which is totally okay.  :)  You can get a sneak peek here though.

What have you been working on?  Maybe you’re smart and have started spring cleaning instead of dabbling in silly projects like me.  ;)  Anthony told me a few weeks ago we should definitely wash all of our windows soon, inside and out, and guess who hasn’t even started.  I’ll just throw that one over to fall cleaning and blame the rain.

Hope to see you tomorrow!

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If you like it, you should put a pin in it:
diy mercury glass

Welcome Home

Lately I’ve been plugging (slowly) away at a few small projects; little projects that I can get done during the first half of naptime and that don’t cost much, if anything.  This is one of those projects.  This wall of our laundry room has pretty much looked the same for a couple of years or more.
 welcome home

The mirror on the wall is one I toothpicked a few years ago and it’s still there so that I can grab a quick glance of myself while walking out the door; trying to make sure I don’t scream overwhelmed-mom-of-toddlers in my soon-to-be public appearance.  (It usually shows that I do anyway…oh well.)  

While I was cleaning out the laundry room last week though, I took the chance to hang a few more things on that wall.  It’s the wall that greets you when you walk in the door so it should be a happy place, right? 

I’d like to think so.

This says “happy”, yes?  Maybe?  Better than before at least?  Okay.  We’ll just go with that.

I relocated a cross to the wall from the entry way (it hung there awhile back) and whipped up a little watercolor print spouting “welcome home” to all who enter. 

I used the same paint and technique I used to paint this watercolor print in our dining room.  Anybody could do it.  Seriously.  Chances are that, even if you don’t have the best handwriting pen/pencil-wise, it probably looks pretty cool in watercolor.

Then, I grabbed some leftover coral-colored paint I had left from painting this desk, and rubbed a little bit over the bumps on the edge of the frame just to add a little more color to an otherwise neutral wallscape.

This frame has seen better days; it’s a little scuffed and could probably use a new coat of white paint, so I knew that if I didn’t like the coral, I could always give it that touch-up coat right away to hide it.  But, as it turns out, I kinda like it.  I’ll think I’ll keep it that way for awhile…until that touch-up coat, that is.


Oh!  And I moved the diy roman shade that hung on the front door prior to its cloak in red-orange to this door.  I don’t think it’ll stay here forever but for now it’s much better than the boring brown shade that was there.  :)

See ya later!










(Not)Under the Sea

I’ve been crushing on all the sea urchins I’ve been seeing in home decor around the web.  I want one…or several.  Target has some (and they’re on sale this week) but I couldn’t bring myself to shell out $20 for them when Sebastian needs some new kicks.  So goes my checkbook.

So, I rummaged around the house in search for urchin material, found it, and made one.  Behold:
Not bad for free, eh?

It turned out pretty great even though there are a few things I’ll do differently next time.  I’ll get to those things in a sec but first, here’s how I made this one.

I grabbed a pack of bamboo skewers I had leftover from the girl’s mirror project.  And then I searched for the easiest play dough recipe I could find via the web that needed ingredients I already had on hand (I forgot to keep note of which recipe I actually used in the end, sorry!  But, the ingredients were flour, salt, water, and cream of tartar I think.  I didn’t have any food coloring to make things more fun so I tried some lemonade mix we had and it didn’t do a dang thing.)

First, I cut the skewers down with the blades on a needle-toe pliers so that they were each about four inches long.   IMG_8709
Then, while the kids were making faux breakfast/lunch/dinner with (and eating…*cough*Sebastian*cough*) the play dough, I stole one small dollop and formed it into a half-circle.  The diameter of the bottom was about an inch and a half.  I didn’t want a huge urchin since the space it was going to rest wasn’t the largest but I wanted it to be big enough to not be missed.

Then I simply stuck in skewer pieces until I felt it was dense enough. 
And then one of the girls started screaming at the other who then needed to go potty and Sebastian went for another mouthful so I quickly turned to them and knocked my new urchin right off the counter onto the hard tile below.  I don’t know what looked worse, my face or the urchin.  Either way, I had to start over but I waited until after bedtime because fool me once…  ;)

Round two went much better.  I actually assembled the urchin on a small piece of wax paper this time though so that it wouldn’t stick to the surface it was on; I noticed the first one was a tad.  A few days later, after I had given the play dough time to dry, I took the whole thing outside and gave it a nice coat of gold spray paint (Rustoleum – my fave!)

When that dried, I very carefully lifted my sea friend off her wax paper setting and into the hutch in the living room, where she serves as both decor and museum material behind that glass…”See the sea urchin kids? They live in the ocean, move really slowly, and feed on algae.”  (Thank you wikipedia!)  Form and function; function and form.


And speaking of the hutch, I completely redecorated the shelves on it a few weeks ago.  I’m still tweaking a few things so I’m not going to show the full monty yet, but here’s a sneak peek:
It’s been really fun tinkering with shelf decor in there, having anything I want at my design disposal because the kids can’t touch it hence it doesn’t matter if it’s breakable.  I used a bunch of things I already had plus some thrifted books…in case you were wondering where most of these went.  :)

As far as what I’ll do differently the next time I make a sea urchin (our master bath is calling for some), the bamboo sticks were great because I already had them, but next time I’ll grab something with a small base that will make smaller, therefore less noticeable holes in the dough.  Maybe some pointed toothpicks?  Also, the play dough seemed to shrink just a little when it dried, also making the holes larger and more noticeable and I didn’t try it, but I bet if I pulled on a skewer piece, it’d come right out.  Actual clay might’ve worked better.  Or, you could make the urchin like I did above, take all the skewers out when the dough dried but before painting, pour some glue into each hole to fill them in, and reassemble.  That would solve the big hole problem and hold those skewers in forever.  You can be sure I’ll give you the deets on our next urchin but if you try one before me, let me know how it turns out!

Happy Thursday folks!

 diy sea urchin

Old to the New Navy

We are back from the Mile High City and let me tell you, traveling with toddlers is no easy undertaking!  We spent two hours on a bus and two and half hours on a plane, both ways.  I won’t go into details on the crazy but let’s just say we’ve sworn off major travel for severalllll months until there’s a little more independence amongst the toddlers in the fam and, therefore, a little more sanity amongst the adults.  ;)

So, moving on…

I’ve been drooling over these K & Elphy sandals for the girls:
[image via K & Elphy]

But, at $56 a pair, they’re way out of the park when it comes to our tiny budget.

So, armed with a gift card I’ve had since Christmas, I bought a couple of pairs of these from Old Navy:

[image via Old Navy
With a 30% discount code, I got them for about $11 each.  The thing about them though is that, while they’re cute with the fabric flowers, I feel like they’re a little too top heavy and being that the flowers are very notneutral colors, I’d have a hard time pairing them with every outfit I bedeck the girls in.  So, I bought them with the intention to change things up a little. 

And change them I did…

  A little bit different than how they came packaged, right?  Improvisation at it’s finest.  When I can’t have the ones I really want, I get them in a slightly different way. 

I was 90% sure I could take the flowers off the sandals when ordering them since I removed the bows off these shoes last year pretty easily and I was right.  All I had to do was remove the stitches holding the flowers on using a seam ripper.

See the stitches?
The stitching around the outside of the bottom of the felt piece holding the flower on was the same color as the stitching along the faux leather sides of the t-strap (does that make any sense?) so I had to be really careful that what I was ripping was the flower stitching and not the actual stitching holding the shoe together. IMG_8501

One down, one to go:
The flowers will make some cute headbands or clips sometime in the future.  :)

After I had both flowers off, I measured the t-strap into six even sections and painted those sections starting with white.  I didn’t paint the very top of the t-strap, where it meets the top strap, for no reason other than just because.  I just stuck to painting inside the stitching on the strap.
When the white was dry, I went in and painted on the black.  I used regular acrylic paint so the paint dried pretty fast and I was able to get both shoes done in about 20 minutes.  Originally I was going to use puff paint so you wouldn’t be able to see the tiny holes left behind from the stitching but the paint filled them in pretty well and I’m really loving the matte finish of the acrylic so we’ll see how it holds up in the long run.  So far, so good!

I love how they turned out!  Anthony isn’t the biggest fan of them but I’m hoping they’ll grow on him.  :) 

(Side note:  Old Navy also has these sandals which, if you painted the front strap, would imitate the K & Elphy’s even more but I wasn’t sure if paint would stick to the patent faux leather so I went with the t-straps instead.)

I took the girls outside in the rain this morning to grab the ‘after’ pictures and caught more than I needed so it’s only makes sense to share them.  I don’t like black and white stripes at all apparently…


My bribe of “I’ll let you hold my umbrella” was a winner and they leapt out the door to do so. 

Oh and their scarves!  I debuted them to Instagram a couple of weeks ago but I might as well give the low down here since this is supposedly a DIY blog or something…  I found this long-sleeved tee on clearance (I found it for 70% off in-store but click the link to find it 50% off online!) at Target last month and knew it’d make great infinity scarves for the girls.  I grabbed the biggest size they had.  To get the scarves out of it, I first cut off the top portion by cutting off the bottom of the tee right under each armpit.  Then I cut the big square that gave me down the middle so I had two halves of the bottom of the tee. 

Placing the right sides of fabric together for each piece, I sewed the two cut sides together and that’s it!  You could totally do this with no-sew tape too – see this tutorial.  Since it’s cotton, I didn’t hem the top (the bottom was already hemmed since it was the bottom of the tee) because it won’t fray.


I’m kinda wishing I’d have gotten another for myself!  :)

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I hope it’s nicer in your neck of the woods than it is in ours.  Our forecast shows nothing but rain and thunderstorms for the next five days and that just makes this moms cabin fever warning siren go off loud and clear.  The last time I took the kids out in the rain I lost my car keys so I’m going to pretend I learned from that mistake and stay inside the casa…until desperation plays devil’s advocate and I suddenly find myself and the kids wandering those dangerous-to-the-wallet aisles of Target…  ;)


Kisses to you and yours!  :*

Bean In Love With Baby Stuff

I have a love/hate relationship with “must-have” lists and I don’t think I’ve ever come across one that I’ve though “Wow!  I need everything on that list!”.  Different strokes for different folks; what works in one fam might not work in the next.  So, in saying all that, allow me to add to the masses and stick my foot in my oral cavity all in one foul swoop by posting one of my very own.   I won’t tell you that you need these things but I definitely will attest to the fact that they are all awesome products that have made our ride through parenting toddlers (or part-way through) a little less bumpy.

baby stuff

Dis to the claim to the er:  Some of the links below are affiliate links which means I’ll get a few cents if you buy through them.  Thank you if you do!  :)
1.  Medela Pump In Style Electric Breast Pump
  A friend gave us this after she had used it to pump for her sweet little girl who was in nicu for quite some time.  I loved it and the fact that she used it multiple times a day for several months and then gave it to me and I used it a bunch and it still works incredibly well is a true testament to the quality of this thing.  If you’re not in the market for an electric pump but maybe just have a need for a manual, I bought this Medela … to get some milk for Sebastian’s first solids and it worked great too.

2.  Nuby Tear-Free Rinse Pail
I recently became a Nuby Parent Blogger and as a part of that team, we got a box of goodies delivered to our doorstep.  In return, I was asked to review some of those goodies.  They didn’t ask me to review the rinse pail on the blog but I have to tell you…this thing is awesome and something I wish we’d known about long, long ago.  Let’s back up a minute before we pour out the deets though.  Do you remember this?
[Having the time of his/her life, I’m sure.  Image via]
Well, for one thing, they’re still on the market.  For another thing, I remember them and I remember them well.  My sisters and I had long hair growing up and when these came out, my mom ditched the head-under-faucet rinse technique for the cool blue ring quick-like.  There was nothing like getting that thing squeezed over your head and face onto your neck, getting your long hair pulled over the top of it, and getting it squeezed back up over your face, stuck under your nose for a few, and then tightly wound around your hairline so as to get your hair scrubbed and rinsed in a seemingly tear-free manner.  Rub a dub dub, right?  But, it’s 2015 now and no kid needs to be subjected to that anymore thanks to Nuby.  All you have to do is hold the back of your kid’s neck and press the front of the pail against their forehead.  Pour and you get the shampoo out without the squeezing and without any soap or water in the face.
[I know it kind of looks like he’s braced himself for the face downpour but it’s only because this was his first time under the tear-free rinse pail and he was just expecting more of the same water in the face via the cup we used to use.  But, if you look closely, you can see the flow of water right above and going behind his ears, not in his face.  And, in case you were wondering, pink bath poufs are the only color we own at the moment.  Girls rule the roost here so the boys use pink.  ;) ]
  It’s seriously awesome and I wish I would’ve invented it.  Our go-to baby shower gift is #4 and now this too.
Along with the rinse pail, we were also sent a Sea Scooper and an Octopus Bath Time Toss
We give them both ten thumbs up.  The Octopus toss is a hit as far as Sebastian is concerned.  It floats around him while he works on that great Tobin hand-eye coordination by sliding the rings on and off.  I’m sure the girls would love to toss the rings to the Octopus but they haven’t been able to try yet because somebody’s been hogging it.  ;) It’s just an all-around cute toy.  It’d make a cute gift!

The whale though.  This is so shallow, I know, but I’ve been struggling with where to put the kids bath toys.  I bought a plastic basket at the Dollar Tree last year and stored the toys in that under the sink but Sebastian Seeker-and Destroyer-of-all-things-organized kept finding and scattering.  So atop the bathroom counter this little basket has sat for months and it’s (almost) driven me crazy.
I’m a sucker for wide-open expanses of countertop and for kids bathrooms that don’t actually look like kids bathrooms (especially when ours is also our guest bathroom) so this was seriously cramping my style.  Enter the whale.  Not only does it make a great toy but it now harbors all of the kids bath toys after they’ve scooped them straight up out of the water and hangs on an included hook on the bathtub wall.
It was ingeniously designed to allow bath toys to dry easily as all the excess water drains out the bottom/tail; it doesn’t sit and stagnate like it was probably doing in that dang basket.  We seriously love it…and so does our countertop.  P.S.  You can also find them both online at Buy Buy Baby, Bed Bath & Beyond, Buy Baby Direct, and Walmart among other retailers.  Go forth and make bath time fun and clean up easy.  :)
[Jonahette and the whale?]

3.  First Look and Find Books
My mom has purchased a bunch of these for our kids.  She gets them for like $5 at Marshall’s and TJMaxx and our kids love them.  You can tell by how worn the first ones we received are.  It is from reading these books with the girls when they were between 12 – 18 months that they learned their first animals and basic things around the house and in nature.  They’re pretty big too so they make great lap books.  Oh, and their board books so they’re more definitely more on the in destructive side than all those paperbacks we have stored away for more mature ages…half that it’s apparent have already had twins hands all over them.

4.  NoseFrida: The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator
If we were all stranded on a desert island and could only bring three things, the SnotSucker would be one of them.  My aunt bought this for us before we had the girls and I’ll be honest, I took one look at the package and threw it in the back of the bathroom drawer, thinking I’d rather eat moldy cheese than use it…okay, exaggerating a tad but the idea looks disgusting.  But, but, this thing is incredible.  It works and it works good.  I was never a fan of those blue rubber bulb suckers (especially after I read and saw this) because you can’t really tell how much or what color you’re getting out of the kid’s nose.  I’m not saying our kid’s love when they have to get their snot sucked out with it, because they hate it (even though, if you act like it’s a game with Sebastian, he’ll go right along with you and laugh after every suck).  We usually have to pin them down but you gotta do what you gotta do and I consider this tough love.  We love it so much that it’s now our go-to shower gift for expecting friends. 

5.  Contours Options Double Stroller
We registered for this stroller for the twins and LOVED it.  It’s just the coolest and not as pricey as many similar double strollers (the newer model shown in the top graphic is a little more than the $199 our Aunts paid but still affordable when you’re talking good double strollers).  The seats can be faced frontwards, backwards, or towards each other, which was always a big hit with the girls.
Instead of the seats, we used the car seat adapter (the stroller comes with one and we purchased a second) when both girls were infants and it made all those trips to Target a breeze…mostly.  The maneuvering ability was just amazing too.  Tight corners and 180’s are no issue with this beast.  Unfortunately, we don’t use it anymore since I need a place for three but while we did, it was awesome and we highly recommend it if you’re in the market for a double shot of wheels.

6.  Elizabeth Mitchell Pandora Station
If you don’t want to drive yourself crazy with cheesy kids’ music allllll the day long, switch on this Pandora station.  It’s chill and won’t drive you batty.  Trust me.  We have it on almost all day.  It’s for kids but not by kids, which is usually a good thing when it comes to music.  ;)

7.  Joovy Nook Highchair
We had little to no clue what we wanted in a high chair when we were registering for a couple for the girls.  We did know that we didn’t want or need bulky though.  Somehow I stumbled across the Nook and read about how it folded and I was sold.  My aunt bought two for us and we haven’t looked back.  We did get them in the white leatherette which, surprisingly, is amazing (they also come in black faux leather and a couple of colored fabric covers).  I liked the idea of being able to simply wipe the chair down vs. having to wash the fabric to get out food messes. I read that the white didn’t stain like you’d think it would by a reviewer and I trusted her words.  And it doesn’t and believe me, the kids have had their fair share of tomato sauce and raspberries and all that staining stuff but there are zero stains on the faux leather.  Our covers are a tad worn though; the faux leather has started to crack in some places but they’ve been used at least three times a day now for over two and a half years so I’d say they’re doing pretty dang good.  Eventually we’ll get the girls eating at the big kid table (yes, they’re still in high chairs because it’s less mess and with three under three, that is critical!) but for now, we love our Joovy Nooks.  Before the girls were born I thought I’d fold them up and stow them away after every meal but, HA!, who was I kidding?  But even though I don’t fold them up at home, their incredible folding ability has allowed us to easily take them everywhere we go that the kids have to eat - vacation, dinner at friend’s houses, to the beach, etc…
joovy nook

8.  Neat Solutions Bibs
Best bibs ever.  Ever, ever, ever, ever…  Lots of people talk about how they don’t like bibs with pockets because they’re gross.  Food gets in them and they’re the worst to clean out and blah, blah, blah.  Maybe they’re right but then they haven’t tried these bibs.  My mom bought these for the girls at Target but they’re online too.  The thing about them is that, unlike other pocket bibs, the pockets on these are velcroed up in the back so that, when the kid is done eating, you unvelcro the pocket so that the entire bib lays flat and you clean it off.  It’s a little hard to explain but just trust me.  If you want the best of both worlds – a bib with a pocket that catches food and one that easily wipes clean (and dries super fast after cleaning!), then this one is your winner.  My only complaint is that, after using the same two bibs on the girls for the past year now (I have yet to go grab some for the boy), the velcro is really starting to get worn out.  I recently bought some metal snaps though that I’m going to replace the worn velcro with (and then I’m going to email Neat Solutions and tell them they should make that upgrade) so they’ll be as good as new.  Seriously, the best.

9.  Potette Plus Travel Potty Seat
I mentioned this little portable potty seat in our potty-training post and now I’m back to tell you that it is the best portable potty seat out there.  Now, I haven’t tried any other ones but I don’t have to because this thing had me at first potty and still has me.  My sister highly recommended we get it and so we bought it off and are so happy we did.  You can also buy liners to go with it but we just use plastic bags with about four or five sheets of paper towels at the bottom to soak up the liquid and that words great (just make sure your plastic bags don’t have any holes in them!)  The picture doesn’t really do the best job of explaining how this thing really works (once again, see our potty training post for a better play-by-play) but, it folds out to fit over any public toilet seat (we have yet to find one it doesn’t fit over) and also utilizes the same folding technique in a different way to form a little standing potty.  It’s a genius product and I hope somewhere, the person who invented it is sitting pretty because they totally deserve it.

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There, that wasn’t too bad, was it?  Hopefully not.  I’ve had this post drafted for a long, long time so it feels good to finally get it out there to pass along some great products that we really and truly use and love!  I wouldn’t say we’re pros at this whole parenting thing but these things help us feel a little smarter than beginners.  :)

What “must-haves” am I missing that you love!  Share the goods!   

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Have a blessed Holy Week everyone!  The blog will be quiet for the rest of the week and then next week we’re jetting off to Denver so 1) pray for an easy flight and 2) share your tips on flying with toddlers because we’ll probably need all the help we can get!