My Top Valentine’s DIY Crafts: Part 1

My Top Valentine’s DIY Crafts: Part 1

Roses are red. Violets are blue. Love is here and forever true. 

Aww love…love is in the air, is it not? Today, I’m going to share one of my top 5 Valentine’s diy crafts that was crafted over the weekend. The other crafts will be shared over the next few days. Each one is inexpensive, simple, and easy to do. Majority of the materials are found at Dollar Tree. So let’s get started!

The love sign

Materials & Tools:

  • Twine (if desired)
  • Paintbrush
  • 1 wood board (this board came from Home Depot …it was leftover from a previous project)
  • Paint tray
  • Paint (color of your choice)

Since I didn’t have a pink that I preferred I mixed white chalk paint with a magenta pink and added a little orange to get the lighter pink hue I applied to the sign.

While allowing the board to dry completely, I sketched out the lettering “L-O-V-E” onto 4 sheets of paper.

Sketch out the letters, and then laid the paper flat on the board to lightly trace over with a pencil.

After the board dried, I then laid each sheet onto the board and lightly traced over the letters one at a time with a pencil, so it will show the imprint on the board. 

After removing the paper, I then treced over the letters with a sharpie paint pen.

Next, remove the paper and outlined over the imprint with a sharpie oil based paint pen in gold, and then filled in the letter. Repeat for the remaining letters. 

For the finishing touch, I wrapped twine around and tie it into a bow. If you would like to be more creative add lights, ribbons, and/or floral to add more beauty. 

Sweet and simple! Until the next craft my darlings!

What’s your favorite thing about Valentine’s day? Is the kiddos exchange Valentine’s cards at school? Crafting? Decorating? Baking? Cooking a nice dinner?Planning a romantic evening? Writing a sweet poem? Picking out a gift? Receiving a gift? Showing your love how much they mean to you? What is it? Let me know in the comments below.

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How to Build a Baby Gate: 10 Step Process

How to Build a Baby Gate: 10 Step Process

Welcome to the new year of 2020! I hope you all had a great New Years Day! I’m starting the New Year’s off by finishing the build of my second baby gate.

I was in desperate need of a gate since my little mister has successfully climbed over and through everything I’ve used to block his way; a chair,  a large basket filled with blankets, a large pillows, and even bean bag chairs. All were epic fails!

Honestly, I’ve been putting this off for a while now. With so much to do and so little time, things just haven’t been getting done. Now that the holiday season is over, I was finally able to build the gate and can’t wait to start my next project.

Mommy’s travel buddy and I took a ride to Home Depot to gather supplies. We gathered about 6 common boards, hinges, and a lock only to find out that I purchased the wrong boards and lock this time, (this is what happens when you’re short on time and in a rush.)

The lock is smaller than the one I purchased last time, while the boards are much wider and longer than the common boards I used in the previous build of my first  baby gate.

Sighs…No matter though!
I just improvise. 

Different boards mean different gate and I’m fine with that! 

Let’s build!

Materials used:

  • 6- 1 x 5′ x 8′ Common boards
  • Hand saw (suggest a mitre saw or circular saw)
  • Nails & Hammer (Brad Nailer if desired)
  • 2 Hinges
  • 1 Lock
  • Wood stain of your choice
  • Polyethylene (if desired)

Tools used:

  • Hand saw (suggest a mitre saw or circular saw)
  • Sander
  • Drill and/or screwdriver
  • Sponge and/or paintbrush

Step 1: Measure the length between the wall of your stairway or wherever you choose to place your baby gate. Then subtract an inch or 2 off to compensate for the board(s) that you will be attaching to the walls to help hold up the gate. 

Note: This is where I made a mistake by not examining and remeasuring the area before I measured and cut. It wasn’t too much of a disaster,  but it would have saved me from cutting one less board.

Step 2: Measure and cut the boards as you need to equal the width. 

Note: I used the same measurements from my last baby gate diy, but this time with lesser boards and a different style gate.

My Measurements:

39″ width × 33″ height

Step 3: After cutting, sand each board before assembling. 

Note: You could wait to sand until after you assemble. It’s your choice, but I chose to sand everything now.

Step 4: Lay the backframe and spread each board out as equally as possible. Then lay the front frame across on top, making sure they’re aligned with the backframe. 

Note: For the front frame, one board at the top, while the other is at the bottom. See picture below for layout.

2 boards for the front frame; 5 boards for the back frame.

Step 5: Use wood glue and apply a small amount to one board on the back frame. Next, hammer 2 nails to secure the front frame to that board. Repeat the step for the remaining boards.

Step 6: Stain your wood if you dare. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label and allowed it to dry 24 hours before applying polyethylene. 

Note: I used Rust-Oleum American gel stain.

After apply the stain, I allowed the gate to dry 24 hours before apply polyethylene.

Step 7: By following the instructions on the label, apply polyethylene. Also allow 24 hours to dry.

Step 8: Depending on the placement of your gate, you may need to screw one or two board to the wall using 3 drywall screws on each. 

Note: Based on the placement of my gate, I only needed to use one board.

Step 9: Use a drill or a screwdriver to attach the hinges.

After attaching the hinges.

Step 10: Last, but not least, use a drill or screw to attach the lock bolt. 

Note: Based on my placement of the gate, I only used one board for the wall to latch the gate onto. I then attached part of my lock to the gate and then the door frame of my kiddos playroom. (See picture below.)

Lock attached to gate and door frame. Yes, I know it’s a little crooked, but it works!

It was definitely time for another baby gate. I am so thrilled to have finished this project and I’m ready to take on the next one. So with the New Year finally here, I hope to plan accordingly and finish projects one at a time. The bigger projects may occur once a month, while the smaller projects can vary from once a week to every two weeks. Stay humble, plan, and enjoy your year of 2020!

The finish product! As you can see, one board is used to hold up the baby gate, while part of the lock is attached to the door frame.

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Blue Christmas.

Blue Christmas.

Good Evening to all and Merry Christmas. I am glad to say that I enjoyed a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with some of my family.  This weekend I’ll be visiting the rest of my family. Unfortunately, I received some sad news. A distant relative was shot and killed. Part of my family’s Saturday morning will be to attend the funeral, while I travel to visit a little later on. 

It is very disappointing to hear that someone’s life has been taken, especially around the holiday seasons. Why do we humans hurt one another? What purpose does it serve? What power does it give? What are you gaining from harming another? 

Though I never had a relationship with my distant relative or knew them very well, l feel sorrow in my heart and wish the family my very best. Knowing that someone is no longer with us can be difficult to grasp and will take time to cope.

Though everyday in life, someone’s life is taken or someone has suddenly passed, it’s never easy to deal with. Whether it’s a lost of a family member,  a lost of an old school mate, or a lost of a relative of someone you know. How do you cope with it?

Do get angry and become mad at the world? Do you reach out to help those grieving? Do you just move on and ignore the fact that someone is no longer living?

As I am writing, I realized I have not been a good person. A year or so, someone I was friends with in high school lost a sibling. I found out through my sister since I no longer had any social media accounts at that point in time. I remember telling my sister to send a message basically saying, “I’m sorry for your lost and if you would like to talk here’s my number.” There was never a response and that was okay. Was I wrong for having my sister, send the message?

I understand people grieve in their own way and I’m sure there were many people to help aid through the process. Even still, I attended the vigil to show support and respect, but I was unable to attend the funeral.

A funeral is not a place none of us want to experience. It’s also not a place I want my children to experience. When I was a child, my dad’s youngest sibling had passed away. She was my aunt, an aunt that I did not know. While attending her funeral, there was so much sadness. People mourned everywhere. It was overwhelming and too much to bare. I cried for someone I never met. I cried because I saw the pain and hurt from others all around. That environment full of sorrow and pain is not what a child needs to experience at any age.

I am grateful for my family and love them so. Be sure to wrap your arms around each of your loved ones and hold them tight. Let them know how much they are loved and how grateful you are to have them in your life. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and keep your loved ones close always and forever.

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How I Failed at Co-sleeping with my Kiddos!

How I Failed at Co-sleeping with my Kiddos!

Have you ever fallen asleep unaware, with your infant still in your arms? 

Most of us moms are guilty of doing so. As a new mom, you are exhausted and overwhelmed. Hey, it happens to the best of us. Though, doctors warn us of the risk of sleeping with your infant arms, as well as in bed with you. These risks include: SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), suffocation, strangulations, and other death related illnesses. 

For safe guidelines from the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) click here. They offer safe guidelines of how to co-sleep, and what to do if you feel yourself falling asleep with your baby.  

From the moment my first born came into this world it was the most breathtaking (both beautiful and exhausting). As every mother knows it takes time to adjust to your newborns’ wild and crazy schedule. It can be overwhelming for the first couple of weeks of your baby’s precious life. I will admit, I am one of those mothers who have drifted off to sleep while still holding my child unknowingly and knowingly. 

This is our current night and day.

Does that make me a bad mother? No, I’m human just like you. I make choices (don’t we all.) Yes, I’ve chosen to fall asleep with my kiddos still wrapped in my arms, just as well as I’ve chosen to have each of my kiddos, sleep with me. Just like I’ve chose to have them sleep on their bellies. 

Yes, I knew the risk. Yes, I’ve heard of mothers losing their child because of this. About 3,500 babies per year have died because of this action. I’d craved sleep and just wanted my kiddos to sleep too. Is that selfish of me? 

I remember when I fell asleep in the hospital the night of the day my first daughter was born with her still in my arms. A nurse walked into the room to do her usual routine check. She advised me not to fall asleep with my daughter in my arms because we wouldn’t want anything to happen. She may fall and so on. She suggested laying her down. “If you need a break, I can take her to the baby care unit,” she said.  As a new mom I didn’t want my baby to leave my side, so I kept her and followed the nurse’s advice the rest of my stay.

Mommy and me time!

After continuously putting my child in his/her bassinet just to have them wake up soon after was frustrating. Believe me, I tried swaddling and ended up with the same result. Before leaving the hospital, I had nurses demonstrate how to swaddle my baby. I even referred to the internet for further instructions, just to ensure I was doing it the correct way. No matter how tight I wrapped the blanket, my kids were not comfortable. 

As they wiggled and made little sounds letting me know that they were about to wake. With the lack of sleep, sometimes I could not resist drifting off to sleep with them in arm. When I  awoke, I would feel some regret, but still relieved that my babies were fine. 

As a new mom for the first, second, third or umpteen time you are tired and restless and just want to catch up on sleep. Babies need attentive care from changing diapers and feeding them to entertaining and comforting them. So yes, you guessed it. . . babies require a lot of your time. 

There have been plenty of times I’ve fallen asleep with my kids on my lying on my chest because of exhaustion or lack of sleep.

How do I stop falling asleep with my child on my chest? 

Well, I’d decided to lay my child on their bellies. At night I’ve noticed that my kiddos slept better and longer on their bellies. Aware of the risk and the fact, doctors recommend that infants should sleep on their backs. Atleast, until they’re able to roll over successfully on their own. 

My first born sleeping on her belly.

I always monitor my child as they slept. Any little sound or slight movement had me alert of my child safety. Since I’m a light sleeper (I get it from my momma,) I feel that’s why I was literally okay and believed that my child would be safe sleeping with me. Anytime, my kiddos moved, I’m up! Anytime, my mister moved and had his arm covering the kids, I moved his arm. Cover over head, moved it. Yes, it happened once I admit. It’s scary, but I made sure it would not happen again. Having our kiddos sleep with us (well me mostly. . . the mister decided to sleep on the couch at times,) was a relief. It’s what worked for our family. 

IMPORTANT

I am not a doctor. This is not advice for you to follow. I just wanted to share my experiences with what worked for me and my family. Just because it worked for me, doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. Every situation is different. As a precaution, it is safer for you and your child to co-sleep in the same room, but separate from your bed. So many have lost their child because of this. 

I am so thankful that nothing terribly bad ever happened. Always be safe and do what’s best for you and your child. Listen and talk to your child doctors if you have any issues getting your child to sleep. Has this been an issue for you? If so, how did you fix it? I would love to hear from you.

Be ready for the next best thing!

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You are appreciated!

Where is your Elf on the Shelf?

Where is your Elf on the Shelf?

Our first year of having an Elf on the Shelf. The girls were so excited when they came home from school to find an elf sitting on the table awaiting their arrival with a book to share. They quickly dropped their backpacks and coats and brought the book for us to read as a family. 

Yes, I unpacked her before taking pictures.

After reading The Elf on the Shelf The Christmas Tradition, we sought through names and finally agreed to name the elf Angel. Angel is indeed a girl scout elf and the girls love her so. Afterwards, register your elf to receive their certificate and a letter from the big guy himself (Santa that is.) I definitely recommend this book. It’s a great read and your kids will love discovering information about their very own Elf, just as much as mines. 

The elf book.

Before I continue, I would like to address the fact that my youngest daughter touched the elf. She had no idea that she wasn’t supposed to touch the elf before making that discovery as we read the book.  

Angel probably should have made her big debut else where.

Why you ask? 

The elf scout may lose their magic and we don’t want that. 

What happened?

Scout Elf Angel stayed put for just a day.

Now what?

The real fun began. 

My girls can be bad and I mean baaaaaaad, but let’s not get into that. Elf Scout Angel returned from the Santa’s Workshop the next day in her new spot with a note from Santa simply warning the kiddos that if they keep their bad behavior up Christmas may not come this year. 

Delivering a message from Santa.

To be honest it worked, the girls made sure to clean up and not argue, at least for that time period. I’ve learned that as long as they receive notes from Santa they’ll be good.

One of many small gifts from angel.

Besides notes from Santa, Scout Elf Angel has brought the girls painting supplies. Yay fun! Each day, she finds a new spot to when she returns from her trip from the North Pole. Here, there, above, below. 

One day the girls couldn’t find her and thought they upset her. Mommy to the rescue! I search for her myself and once I found her, I gave hints of where to look and voila Angel was found.

The girls passed her going downstairs and back upstairs. I guess she blended well hanging with her .

To be honest there was a day I didn’t see Angel and the girls pointed her out to me (not that I was trying to find her or anything.)

It was an early morning and not the brightest day yet, plus the curtains was still closed.

There’s always fun little notes, ideas, or adventures to discover with your elf.  So take that journey with your very own Elf. I’m sure there will be many more adventures with ours. So where’s your Elf on the Shelf?

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The Kiddos Made a Christmas Countdown Calendar!

The Kiddos Made a Christmas Countdown Calendar!

Hi everyone. It has definitely been a busy week getting to share a few mini diy crafts and activities with you. If you recall from one of my previous post, The Kiddos Made a Stocking Ornament, I did promise to share their next workshop. This weekend, the girls made a Christmas Countdown Calendar. 

Unfortunately, I had over scheduled some outings and couldn’t take them to the workshop, but I was able to pick up their kits from Home Depot so we could tackle their project at home.

The kit includes:

  • 1 tree shape
  • 2 side pieces
  • 1 base 
  • 2 date blocks
  • 2 long nails
  • 4 short nails
  • 1 sticker sheet

Materials required:

  • Fine sandpaper (optional)
  • Wood glue (optional)
  • Hammer

To be honest I did not use sandpaper because it wasn’t necessary. I forgot about the would glue, but the project is holding together just fine. Before assembling I allowed my kiddos to paint.

After the pieces dry take the base, and place it on it’s side. Next, take one of the side pieces and align it with the side of the base, then hold while inserting one of the long nails. Allow your child to hammer in the nail with your assistance. Do the same for the other side piece.

Flip and lay the project down flat. Add glue if you desire and place the tree shape on top making sure that all sides are aligned. Again, with your assistance allow your child to hammer in the 4 short nails.

Lastly, apply the stickers and insert the date blocks. Just like that the girls have their beautiful Christmas Countdown Calendar! Thanks for enjoying this kids craft from Home Depot. I’ll be writing you soon so stay connected.

Christmas with No Tree!

Christmas with No Tree!

How do you have Christmas without a tree? 

As I mentioned before in Christmas Decor Home Tour , our faux snowed Christmas tree mysteriously got destroyed while in storage. It sucks because I really loved that tree and we only had it for 2 years. Now with the holiday season in full affect, trees can be expensive.  

So What Now?

The mister and I are contemplating on getting a real Christmas tree this year (sap and all), and then after the holiday season purchase another faux tree when they’re much cheaper.  

While that thoughtful solution is still simmering. I came up with another solution. A corner wall Christmas tree made with lights! Haha! It’s truly something new since I had no idea what to do with these extra lights. So, I thought of hanging the lights on the wall.

Materials needed:

  • Christmas Lights 
  • Command strips light hanging clips for outside

To get started, I eyed the layout of the Christmas tree as I placed the command strips on each side of the wall.

Just peel and stick!

Note: To make it easier, use painter’s tape to layout the christmas shape tree before adding the command strips .

After completing that process, I then hook the lights from left to right.

Corner wall Christmas Light Tree

It may or may not be temporary, but it works! It’s beautiful and the kiddos loved it!

To help bring Christmas in for the girls, I purchased two small trees from Target so they can decorate and call their own. Each tree cost $3. The Christmas bulbs cost about$3 from 5 below.and the string of garland with bells cost $1 from The Dollar Tree.

Thank you for taking this Christmas tree journey with us. Happy Holidays and safe shopping!

D. I. Y. Christmas Jar

D. I. Y. Christmas Jar

The Christmas season is in the air or do I mean love. Whatever the case, I love love and I love Christmas! Just let it snow already …“let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”  Though, once is good enough for me. That reminds me, I recently made these Christmas snow jar to add to my Christmas decor which I debut in Christmas Decor Home Decor, so click here to view it. The Christmas jars turned out beautifully.  

Are you ready?

Gather all materials.

To get started, I used:

  • 2 glass jars with lids
  • 1 2pk of miniatures trees (white)
  • 1 2pk of miniatures trees (green)
  • 1 pack of faux snow
  • 1 roll of ribbon
  • Thin string
  • Hot glue gun
  • Glue sticks

Note: all materials can be purchased at The Dollar Tree.

Insert trees into jar.

Unscrew the lids and place 2 miniatures trees in each jar. You can add both green trees in the same jar, the same goes for the white trees. However, I mixed it up and place 1 white tree along with 1 green tree in the same jar. If you would like, hot glue the trees to securely keep them in place (it’s totally optional, but I personally did not glue the trees down.)

What’s Next?

Insert faux snow.

Next, simply pour just enough of the faux snow into the jar to cover the bottom of the trees. I thought about adding glitter and water, but decide to skip those options. I also thought about painting the jar lids, but decided to measure and cut ribbons by wrapping it around the lid. Secure with hot glue and add the perfect touch . . .a bow!

Simple and easy diy Christmas jar

Ta da. . .we’re done! What a fun, quick, and simple project! A little touch of Christmas decor that didn’t break the bank. For more, stay connected with our home life

D. I. Y. Faux Potted Christmas Tree

D. I. Y. Faux Potted Christmas Tree

Hi guys, welcome back! I hope you like my previous post, Christmas Decor Home Tour. As I mentioned, I would share with you how to craft a small potted Christmas tree. It’s short and simple.

Ready to knock out this diy?

The materials needed.

The Materials

  • 1 faux small white christmas tree
  • 1 small galvanized bucket
  • Miniature Christmas bulbs
  • Tissue paper or paper brown lunch bags
  • Glue gun (optional)
  • Glue sticks
  • 1 floral piece

Note: Some materials came from The Dollar Tree, others I already had. 

Fold and place tissue paper inside on the bottom (this is optional.) I did this because I didn’t want to hot glue it directly to the bucket just in case I want to change up and use the bucket for something else. I then put hot glue on the tissue paper and place the tree on top. 

Around the tree, insert the brown paper bag inside the bucket. To do this, I open up the paper bag and tore it lengthwise. Crumbled it a little, pushed it down inside bucket and around the tree. Keep adding more until you feel it’s secure. Also, if you don’t think you’ll use the bucket or tree for something else, feel free to hot glue everything to make it more secure.

Nice and simple

Now to decorate or leave it plain?

That is the questioned. . .

Drum roll please! Yes, you guessed it! Decorate!!! You can string the miniatures bulbs if you want, but I chose to take the top of the bulbs and stick them onto the tree. Another way, would be to hot glue them.

Now for the final touch

The final touch with bulbs and floral piece.

Ha, I told you it was short and simple! Guess what??? There are several ways you can decorate it to fit your style. Add some paint, a print, or even fabric. Your options are endless, so go on and get creative!!! Until next time.

Christmas Decor Home Tour

Christmas Decor Home Tour

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

Yes! That magical time where we all gather with our friends and family and share love, joy, and happiness amongst others. Today, I would like to share my home christmas decor with you. It’s not extravagant, but it’s definitely beautiful and cozy for our home. Shall we begin?

The living room.

The living room is the main attraction this year. As we all know kids are expensive, lol. I try to purchase a few christmas decorations each year. You may notice there’s no Christmas tree that’s because our beautiful tree got destroyed while in storage. Strange, I know! The mister and I are currently deciding on whether to buy another faux Christmas or buy a real tree and then purchase a faux tree after the holidays when they’re cheaper. Can you imagine how disappointed I was, being so eager to start decorating for the day after Thanksgiving only to find a messed up tree. Don’t freight, I had a solution which I will share with you in the next post.

Hanging Merry Christmas banner, 2 chalkboards, 2 set of 3 bottle brush trees, calendar house, seasonal home letters, and a vase with flowers.

The console is decorated with 2 christmas signs that I hand drew with chalk. One list the reindeer names and the other says “tis the season to be merry.” I know it should be jolly, but at the time I was rushing through it. Why not be MERRY? It is also complemented with a wine bottle used as a vase with faux flowers inside. Above is a Merry Christmas banner. Don’t you just love the buffalo check? Remember the 2 sets of 3 bottle brush trees and house calendar from my other post which you can check-out here. Lastly, a seasonal home lettering that was given as a gift last christmas.

Decor to the right of the console.

On the shelf is a candle gifted to me last Christmas, a faux window panel frame, and a faux potted Christmas tree I crafted together the day before. I will totally share with you guys soon. So be on the lookout.

Below on the end table is a tic-tac-toe (decorative use only), a farmers market milk jug I suppose, and a small galvanized house from a previous post on top of a faux marble tray which is inlaid with a red and black buffalo check table mat.

Take a closer look. . .

End table decorations
To the left of the console.

Ha, would you look at that! Another faux window frame, and a potted Christmas tree. The shelf is also accompanied by a wooden family sign, and a lantern filled with faux flowers, pinecones, and light.

Snow jar upon a shelf

I made two snow jars the day before to add to my decor. Here’s one and the other is near by. They are both sitting on their own little shelf.

Sorry I didn’t get permission to share my relatives photos, so, I hope you understand. This frame is on the living room hallway wall.

A merry and bright sign hanging from a collage picture frame of family photos. Around the frame I added garland along with buffalo check bows, just like the hand rail on the stairs.

See below. . .

The stairway

Almost Done

Bows and bells on the doors

Thank you for taking this wonderful tour of my home. I hope you enjoyed it just as much as I. It’s been a pleasure sharing my home with you. If you have any suggestions please feel free to share.