Up-cycled craft room

Up-cycled craft room

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When we moved in back in May the plan was that this winter we (meaning I) would go room by room painting and designing/decorating. Now that winter is basically over I’ve actually started. As I mentioned in a past post, I chose to start with my office. The previous owners used this room as a small bedroom. I suspect it was last pained in the 90s as a baby’s nursery and never really updated. It was this awful two tone Pepto-Bismol pink (pictures don’t do it justice in the ugliness). Plus someone had filled in nail holes as if they planned to paint then never did anything else. The room really just looked dirty and pink. They even painted the light fixture.

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I started by pulling everything I could from the room. The desk was too big to remove unless I took it apart, so I opted to leave it in the room and paint it there given it was 10 degrees outside. The desk was a cheap find ($40) from craigslist a couple years ago for a temporary office for our landscaping business. I have not been able to decide on a desk for this room so until I do I opted to paint the desk to give it a facelift. Laminate is not a cooperative material to repaint, so I ended up using 2 coats of primer we already had, then 2 coats of black paint & primer designed for multiple surface types.  This I also had on hand from when I painted our dining room table.

Next I took on the floors. These floors are rough. They are original to the home, but it looks like the previous owners pulled the carpet and stopped at that. They have not been sanded or treated at all. Plus the boards have shrunk over the years, and it looks like there have been spills that the wood soaked up and left stains. I’m still not sure what I want to do with the floors, so I’ve started by washing them and treating them with wood oil. I used a few coats, the wood is so dried out it absorbs the oil like a sponge.

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Next I chose my paint pallet. I love teal so that’s where I started. I also chose a midgrade paint primer mix.  The first time I painted a room I was in early grade school and was painting apartments at the retirement home my grandma ran, and for whatever reason I love painting. I’m not a messy person when I paint, so I tend to tape off the edges and go. This time I purchased a paint sheet to cover the desk and few items stacked on top so I can set tools and a wet washrag on it without worry.

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Once the room was taped off I started with the main colors. I had to use two coats of the teal for proper coverage. I then let it dry for a few hours before working on the trim. I’m not a patient person so I opted out for letting it fully dry and re-taping before starting the trim. I used a medium size art paint brush for the trim portion against the wall, a larger brush for the main trim, and then for the flat portion on the chair rail I used a small roller.

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The final step was style and functionality. I chose not to bring back in the tall file cabinets. I had 2 short drawer sets from an old desk removed from my work office. These were already black, so that was an added plus. I also found a weird 80s wall shelf that was in a closet when we moved in. I ditched the heart shape portion and turned it into a table top shelf and added a rod for my ribbon spools. Then I found the different things that really symbolize me. I pulled my 1st SLR from its storage hideout and put it up for display. I also hung my favorite historical picture, and one of my own prints. I hung my 1st public art show award, and my sons T-ball pictures from last year. I left one wall open, and plan to pick up a large frame at Ikea and have one of my black and white prints enlarged for display. The closet has great storage, but it’s not pretty so I’ll be keeping the door closed.

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Overall I love my new space. The room update only cost me $180.00. Purchased supplies included: paint, rollers, tape, painters sheet, and a new light fixture.

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Snack Packs

Snack Packs

This last year has brought many changes for our family.  One major adjustment our family is still working on is diet. This is more of a struggle for me than the rest of my family. Having always struggled with my weight in the opposite direction of most, I’ve always been able to eat anything I wanted, plus regularly drinking breakfast shakes to add calories. Now I know this sounds ridiculous to many, I’ve heard it all. My mother actually always told me growing up to “just wait, when your metabolism slows down you’ll be as big as a house”. Thanks mom. But really this is something I struggled with to an extreme growing up. In fact, as a sophomore in high school I was 5’8” and 86 lbs. So, yeah, that’s awkward. I remember my gym teacher actually calling my dad to say I had an eating disorder and to watch me for at least 30 minutes before and after meals.  I was goofy looking. Now, after aging a bit, having a kid, and slowing down, I’m a bit more average.  I’ll be 30 next year, and though I’m still thin, I notice that if I eat junky I feel junky. Plus, this last year hubby was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and this means that our son may have a higher risk of diabetes as well.

With these factors in mind I’ve been working on doing better with having healthy snacks readily available. The catch is eating like crap is cheap, eating healthy can be more expensive. So with this in mind I’ve been working on diabetic and kid friendly snacks.

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Snack grab bags:

Sunday is my prep day, so I sit down with a box of sandwich bags and make pre-packed snacks. I keep a Tupperware container in the fridge with pre-made baby carrot snack packs. We could probably save more by cutting up carrots, but convenience wins out on this.  Popcorn is another great snack that works great for the kiddo, but is also a great sugar free snack for hubby.

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Here are a few of my go-to snacks:

Carrots

Popcorn

Sliced bell peppers (not so much for kiddo)

Dried fruit – bananas, apples, pears, whatever’s on sale

For those looking to meal plan for diabetes, or to make better food choices in general, here are some great tidbits I’ve found in my searching.

fruit  seafood  vegies

These charts were found on the FDA website: http://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/labelingnutrition/ucm063367.htm#.UvqJetD-ecA.gmail

You can download them here:

vegetable nutritious facts

sea food nutritious facts

fruit nutritious facts

I also found a site that lets you enter your recipes and it will give you nutritious facts on what you enter.

http://nutritiondata.self.com/mynd/myrecipes/welcome?returnto=/mynd/myrecipes

If you have any kid friendly diabetic meals I’d love to hear about them.

My Latest Cold Weather Task

Step 2 for organization:

My next step of organization for the year is to take on the family budget. I know we do okay, our income covers our spending, but we don’t always save as much at the end of the month as we could. In the past we did the “Envelope” method for budgeting.  This worked okay when we lived in a town with multiple stores. But now we run into a few problems with it.

The envelopes don’t work so great when the closest grocery store (5 miles away) is a mom and pop shop, that you really should check the expiration dates before purchasing. When we go to the store on a quick trip it’s 16 to 20 miles away, you really don’t want to turn around for cash.

It’s a bit of a pain to go to the bank whether it’s once a month or each pay period. Nobody likes the person that takes 10 minutes in the drive thru, so you really need to go in. Now I’ll admit I find it entertaining when the gal at the bank looks at you like you’re going to have the biggest yard sale ever.

It’s also not the safest way to go. You end up either walking around with a larger than normal sum of cash, or leaving that cash in your car.

And don’t get me started on shopping somewhere like target or Walmart. You end up spending a half hour afterward trying to balance back out the cash in your envelopes because you didn’t want to look like the stripper pulling out a bunch of ones and fives from each envelope, since items fell into multiple categories.

The point is I’m trying a new plan. I’m keeping a tally sheet to help stay on track, and I’m hoping that the visual of writing down the spending will make me more conscious of our spending.

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If you’re interested, you can get a copy here: expence tracking

Packing up Christmas

After returning from church today and tripping over empty Christmas gift boxes I decided this junk has gotta go! I decided this is the time to start the year off right. This time last year we were searching for a new home and prepping to move. We actually moved in May, which is an overly busy time for our family. Early spring each year my husband travels and stays in Leavenworth for a few weeks working on temporary fish hatcheries. As a result, Hubby moved us in, I unpacked, and by the time we looked around outside everything was dying. We spent the next several months just focusing on keeping the grass green and getting the odds and ends taken care of. So, this year, I’m starting strong! I found this great free printable planner. Looks like a good blog, and I’ve started following her. According to the email I received, over 8,000 downloads were attempted in 24 hrs. wow.

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Here’s the planner I found. You can get it to by going to: http://www.theconfidentmom.com/12/family-manager/free-2014-confident-mom-weekly-household-planner/

Along with cleaning up the holiday fun, a.k.a. GIANT MESS, I had the normal chores. Actually, in all honesty, now that hubby has gotten over the flu, I just followed him around helping where I could. This time of year there isn’t much in the way of outdoor chores. Feed and water animals is about it. However, I snapped a few crazy pictures. No snow, but we’ve been hit by ice, a lot of it.

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We left the wagon full of fire wood sitting out by the front door. Guess we’ll put that back in the stack to burn later, ha-ha.

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This is a picture of the chicken coup and a bunny hutch, and I swear there is a chicken standing right at the fence where I took the picture. The animals don’t seem to care too much since it has warmed up (24 degrees today vs. 7 a couple weeks ago). When it was below 20, the chickens wouldn’t leave their house.

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I just like the way our tree looks all frosted over, and thought I would share with you.

Have a Happy New Year!