End is in sight

The guest room renovation end is in sight. We managed to clean out the closet and install a closet organizer.

Just a note: Trying to plan a closet system at the Container Store with a 4-year-old was perhaps not the best idea.

After we purchased all the little pieces we were off to read the 23 easy to understand steps.

Overall the process was fairly easy or it will look like that based on the pictures.

For this step you will actually need to determine if there are studs in the wall and then when they are poorly spaced buy a drill bit to put the wall anchors in. And when that doesn’t work you will drill directly into the wall just to be finished with it. Which ultimately, was the correct way.

We installed a few shelves to start and are still working on the spacing. The modular nature of the shelves are great as they can change based on my crafting needs.

With the closet organizer installed I was finally able to start organizing all the crafts stuff and put it all away. Next step finishing the cabinets.

Longest Renovation Ever

I feel like the guest room has turned into the longest renovation ever. Our lives keep getting in the way of completing the room and the mess upstairs is starting to look like an episode of Hoarders. So I have been trying to do what we can to keep moving. So I can keep my sanity.

I was extremely happy to start my first painting with my daughter. Our first of what I hope become a lifetime of collaborations.

We uses:

  • A 48X36 Canvas
  • Frog Tape
  • Brushes
  • Acrylic Paints (as many colors as you want)
  1. I started by painting a base coat over the whole canvas. 
  2. It took 2-3 coats to cover to the bright gold I was looking for. 
  3. Then take the frog tape and make a pattern. I was going for a “Glam Stained Glass Window” effect. So I taped triangles and selected a few complimenting colors to paint with. Make sure to press down on the tape to ensure you get a good seal on the tape since you will be removing it to create those crisp lines.
  4. Start painting. Each triangle took 2-3 coats of paint depending on the color. 
  5. Once the painting is completely dry carefully remove the tape. I had to correct a few lines which I did with a small paintbrush.
  6. Hang and enjoy!

Stand back and enjoy the small victory that I am one small step closer to finishing the room.

Luggage Tags

Summer travel season is in full swing. A good rule for travel, whether you are going to day camp, the grandparents or around the world, label everything. So I thought what better way to start getting ready for our upcoming vacation than to make luggage tags. I made these as favors for the guest who traveled to my wedding and they were a huge hit. It also gave my daughter a chance to customize one for her own bag.

You will need:

  • Self Laminating Pouches
  • Paper or postcards
  • Stickers
  • Hole Punch
  • Marker
  • Ribbon or Plastic Tag

  1. Cut the paper or postcards down to the desired size. Make sure to cut it smaller than the pouch so you have room to seal it.
  2. Decorate, Decorate, Decorate. I bought some beach themed stickers for our trip this year. My daughter tried to use them all on one tag. She likes a lot of flare.
  3. Write the relevant information on the opposite side of the tag. She opted to have the tags be different colors on each side. So I taped the two together.
  4. Place them inside the pouch and seal it tight. Remember to go over the edges carefully and get any air pockets out.
  5. Take the hole punch and make a small hole in the end. In the past have used a set of tags that was designed to be luggage tags. These are a bit smaller than the ones I used here. I need more room to decorate. 
  6. You can either use ribbon or a plastic strap to attach it to the bag.

Enjoy your trip and Thank You for Playing.

Guest Room Renovation Update

The room is finally moving forward.

Finally. Applause, Applause, Applause.

Through the sheer force of will of my sister-in-law I was able to pack up the room in a matter of hours.

I have loaded most of the things into the closet to clear space in the room. Which makes it feel like we have been robbed.

As a bonus I also sold some of the furniture in the room so technically I have made money on this renovation thus far.

I have decided to paint the room all white and bring in the color through a large painting I plan to do and the bed linens. I am installing a fauxdenza, like the one featured on The Brick House, along the far wall in the room. I am also attempting to teach myself a piece of 3D Design Software called SketchUp to do the design for not only this room but the rest of the renovation we want to do on the house. Wish me luck on all accounts.

Felt Boards

Summer travel season is upon us. This means countless hours spent in confined spaces doing everything and anything we can to prevent our kid from being “That Kid”. My child much like every child in the world loves stickers. Wait I mean “LUV” stickers. She can never have enough. I mean truly how many stickers can one human need. The answer is infinite…

Here is my answer to the travel sticker question. This is great for your kids to participate in choosing their own shapes and colors to make their board. Even better they are are easily transportable.

You will Need:

  • Foam Board
  • Felt (Adhesive Backed)
  • Felt (Multiple Colors)
  • Adhesive Velcro (hook side)
  • Cutting implement(s)
  • Buttons
  • PomPoms
  • Ribbon
  • Anything else your heart desires
  1. Take the piece of adhesive felt and measure it against the foam board. The foam board will give the felt rigidity.
  2. I used a rotary cutting tool, mat and ruler to measure and cut the foam board.
  3. Remove the adhesive and apply the base felt level to the foam board.
  4. Let your imagination run free. Shapes, Flowers, Buttons, Ribbon, Foam People, Oh my. Cut the items down to desired shapes.
  5. Place a small piece of the hook side velcro on each piece of decoration. A great job for little hands.
  6. Place all the bits in a zip bag for easy travel.
  7. Sit back and enjoy the countless hours or minutes of silence this craft brings. And yes that is a glitter shoe on my table too.

As you can see we went with your basic red glitter house with black glitter roof, a neighborhood staple, and giant flowers that dwarf the people living there. A magical place for sure.

Thanks for playing.

Admitting Defeat…

Sometimes you win.

Sometimes the day wins.

The day won this week.

I have trouble admitting that to myself sometimes. As you may have noticed there has been no follow-up to the Guest Room Remodel Project. Because honestly the day won. The hard truth is the work I have done in the room, emptying the closest, has made the room look worse than it did before. I am not proud of that and it keeps me up at night.

The whole mission of the blog is in the name, to make the most out of your 24 useable hours. Admitting that you can’t do it all sometimes is the hardest thing to swallow. So I sit down tonight and make a new plan of attack. A new list and that always makes me smile.

So here is to next week and the potential of its 24 useable hours.

Train Birthday Party

I love a party.

I love to plan them.

I love to make lists for them.

I love throwing them.

So when the opportunity came to help plan my nephew’s 2nd birthday I jumped at the chance. A party, time with my sister, and a trip to Texas, yes please. What does every two year old boy want for a party? Choo-Choo Trains.

Things you will need:

  1. Fantastic Invitations
  2. Festive Decorations
  3. Yummy Food
  4. Treats, Treats, Treats!
These invitations are done by Nickel Design. The are easily customizable and really set the tone for the party.

Nickel Design also designed these sets of labels. They add a lot of WOW and personalization to the party without a lot of extra work.

We used the color pallet of red, blue and white that was used for the invitations throughout the party. We also tried to keep the decorations simple and clean with lots of balloons.

We set up train sets all over the house for the kids to play with. We also had several ride on trains for entertainment because lets be honest it is hot in Texas.

For the food I always find it best to go with things that are bite size, fun and you do well. Party day is not the day to try new things.

I always like to do a dish two ways. These are pigs in a blanket two ways: one with a simple hot dog and one with a gourmet sausage. I wrap them in puff pastry to ‘class’ them up a bit.

I also made pizza balls. These were a HUGE hit with the kids at the party. There were a take on a recipe I found from Industrious Justice. I did find that the clean up was much easier if you baked them on a cookie sheet instead of the muffin tins.

Spring Rolls. They are beautiful when plated and best of all can be made in advance. I have made no less than a thousand of these for baby showers, birthday parties and dinners. Trust me, when I tell you they will never disappoint. You can add almost any combinations of veggies and/or seafood (grilled shrimp are my favorite).


  • Rice Paper Wrappers
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Julienned Bell Peppers
  • Julienned English Cucumber
  • Thin sliced Red Onion
  • Cilantro Leaves
  • Julienned Mint
  • Grated Ginger (I use a microplane so it is more like a paste)
  1. Place the wrappers in warm water to make them pliable
  2. Place Cilantro leaves down first (this will make for a nice first layer as you will see it when wrapped up)
  3. I spread a small amount of the ginger on the wrapper
  4. Then layer the carrots, bell pepper, cucumber and mint
  5. Wrap them up like a burrito
  6. If not serving immediately place them under a damp paper towel in the fridge.
  7. Cut on the diagonal and plate.
You serve with a dipping sauce. I did a  Peanut Sauce and a Thai Chile Sauce.

Sweets, Sweets, Sweets.

I love favors that are small and edible. These cake pops fit the bill perfectly. They were done by a amazing friend who owns Bite of Cake. The cake pops were loved by parents and kids alike.

We also made sugar cookies with my mom’s never fail, always turns out just right sugar cookie recipe. Per usual they were amazing. To frost them this time we used something new, Wilton’s Color Flow Mix. We simply outlined the cookies and then used the color flow to flood the cookies. It worked great and after a few minute they all settled to a nice even coat.

What party would be complete without the world’s most perfect food, the cupcake. I did a simple swirl and topped them with another personalized touch.

And a good time was had by all.

Chalk Wall – Project One

I decided this was the year to get projects done. One of my numerous ‘To Do’ lists. I started with what I knew would be a victory to keep me moving, The Chalk Wall. I installed it for a few reasons. Great place to do the week’s menu and to do list, did I mention I LOVE lists. It would replace the easel that was taking up precious real estate in my dining room. Win. Win. Win.

I find the best way to start is finding your brother in law, who has already installed a much larger chalk wall in his own home, get detailed instructions, borrow all the things you need, and learning from his mistakes. If this does not apply to you proceed on:

1. If you have textured walls you will need to lightly sand them down to get a more even surface.  You are not looking to make the wall completely flat at this point. I used a small electric hand sander for this part of the project. Ensure that while sanding you wear a mask, safety first.

2. You can then use a All Purpose Joint Compound to even out the surface. I used these large spackle knives to apply the compound to the wall. When applying the compound it does not need to be flat on the first application as you will be sanding it later in the process. Allow the compound to dry per the manufacturers instructions.

3. Once the first coating is dry, you can spend countless days trying to fill in the smaller uneven parts. Per my brother’s advice, “This is like frosting a cake, just call it at some point.”. Again wait for it to completely dry.

4. After you have completed leveling the wall you will sand it down. You will want the wall      to be completely smooth at this point. I used a hand sander for this. Again, safety first so wear a mask. We used a low dust product but it still creates quite a mess. Best done without the assistance of your children and prior to your husband steam cleaning the floors.Sanding Wall

5. I brushed the remaining dust off the wall and then taped off the wall for painting. You will then apply a coat, or two, of a primer, I used a latex based paint. Allowing it to dry per the manufaturers recommendations. Try to keep the paint strokes as even as possible. Base coat

6. I then used Hudson chalkboard paint which comes in a variety of colors. I went with the standard elementary school chalk board color. It took three coats of paint. You will then need it to set for 5 days, or a lifetime to a three year old, prior to using the wall.


7. Enjoy. And the first victory of my project list is accomplished.

* It is important to note to use just regular chalk not the sidewalk chalk on the wall. I use a wet towel to wipe it off after use.