Monday, July 29, 2013


We sold our camper earlier this year in order to go on larger trips and expand our traveling territory.  Our first stop, Chicago.

I lived there for a short period of time, right after I graduated from United Airlines flight attendant training in 1997.  I forgot how much I missed it, what a fun trip for us, the girls had a blast.

Our itinerary...

Day 1:

- Took the "L" to the Skydeck at Willis Tower
- Rainforest Cafe for lunch
- Jay Pritzker Pavilion to see and hear the free orchestra music
- The Cloud Gate (aka the Bean)
- The Crown Fountain, the kids played in the water (it's okay, it's allowed)
- Buckingham Fountain, it has hourly light and water shows

Day 2:

- Shedd's Aquarium
- Lou Malnati's Pizzeria
- Navy Pier (caught the Cirque Shanghai show)

Day 3:

- Kiddos wanted to go back to the Crown Fountain and play
- Drove home

If I were to offer tips for those of you who may be planning a trip there, buy tickets ahead of time.  Also, those who bought the Fast Pass, they cruised to the head of the line each time.

Try to eat a little earlier, say 4:30-5pm, just before the crowds.  And for Navy Pier, it was a mad house, maybe because it was Saturday night and there were fireworks but next time I'd shoot for a weekday.

Also, the Bean and the Crown fountain are very close, next time (I was prepared the second day) I'd have the kids wear their bathing suit and there's a public restroom on the level just below the Bean where they can change into dry clothes.

Shedd's Aquarium has an awesome Stingray touch exhibit, I highly recommend it.  The 4-D movie, on the other hand, didn't compare to the Bug's Life 4-D at Disney.  So if that's what you'd expect you may be disappointed.

The cheapest mode of transportation would be the bus.  We were too intimidated to try it though and ended up paying a fortune for taxi's.

We stayed at the Grant Park Best Western on S. Michigan.  It was the cheapest around with a parking structure and it was one of the few that had a pool (on a roof, which the kids thought was cool).

Friday, July 19, 2013

Jell-O Worm FAIL

This summer, I've tried to do at least one project a day with my girls.  Today we tried the Jell-O Worms.  What a disappointment.  I saw this pin on Pinterest, looks easy peasy right?

Not so much.  Here's how it really turns out:

Could it be because I used generic Jell-O?  Were the straws not big enough?  Not sure.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I'm going to be Featured!!

I just got an email from Beckie over at Knock Off Decor saying that my knock off Pottery Barn Seagrass Headboard is going to be featured on July 21st at 8pm!!

Hop on over there to check it out and show Beckie some love by browsing her site, a pretty awesome one I might add!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Reupholstered Dining Chair

The kitchen table I used to have was too large and the chairs kept banging against the counters and half wall in the kitchen.  About 2 weeks ago, I found a smaller dining set that fit much better, only problem was that it had microfiber seat cushions.

Believe you me, I've scoured Pinterest and Googled every possible way to clean microfiber and yet nothing truly works.  One dear girl gives her dining chairs a spritz of Windex and scrubs down each one  before bed each night.  That's just not going to work here.

So I came across this fabric at JoAnn's that I fell in love with for kitchen curtains, right next to it was a coordinating chevron fabric.  I just had to get them both.

Here's my nasty, 2 week old, stained microfiber seat cushion (and admittedly, I did try the Windex)....

Coordinating fabric (upper half will soon be the kitchen curtains):

Linking up to:

The Blissful Bee


Monday, July 15, 2013

Lamp Make Over

I had a set of lamps in the house that desperately needed updating and I wasn't about to spend $30 or more per lamp to buy new.  So at my local hardware store I found these drum shades for $12 a piece.  They just needed a little something so I went to town with some paint and walahhh! my new shades.  :)

1.  Measure to the middle of the shade and made pencil dots all the way around as a guideline for tape.

2. Eyeballing it, I placed my tape about 1/4 inch below the pencil markings.

3.  I place another round of tape about 1/4 inch above the pencil markings

4.  Then the gold metallic paint by Martha Stewart (found at Lowe's) was busted out.

5.  Next I painted with a paint brush all the way around within my tape lines.

6. Remove the tape and let thoroughly dry.

7. Once it was dry I prepared for the smaller lines by taping OVER the line I had just painted.

8.  I placed another round of tape above and below the middle guideline (once again, eyeballing it).

9. Paint

10. Remove tape and wahlahhh!

PS  I had previously painted the base as well, it's now the metallic gold, the same paint used on the shade.  

Linking up to these lovelies....

Saturday, July 13, 2013

I Heart Faces

This week's challenge for I Heart Faces is "Summer Fun".  I found this photo of my daughter and thought it would be perfect.  Not your typical pool shot or anything but she was still having fun collecting sea shells at the beach.  :)

Photo Challenge Submission

Friday, July 12, 2013

Laminate Hiccup....

Over the last few weeks we had our flooring completely redone.  I like nice things but I also appreciate having a nice buffer in the bank so we opted for laminate (not to mention it would hold up to 2 adults, 2 children and 3 large dogs).  I had a friend over the other day and it was the first time he had seen the new floor, not one nice thing came out of his mouth.  It's been bugging me since but I have to remember, our subdivision is 15 years old and not the grandest of the grand around.

It's nice here and all but I don't feel like your should pour more into your house and overdo on the inside what's not on the outside.  Make sense?  If I wanted all the bells and whistles I would have bought in a sub that had all the bells and whistles, not try to polish a turd.  Hope that didn't come out the wrong way.

Anyway, so we had our carpet laid and the wonderful guys came out and knocked it out in one afternoon.  They did a beautiful job on the stairs, wrapping the bull nose.  I just love how it turned out.

The laminate, another story....I'll get to that in a sec.  For now, here's the pics of the carpet..

Now the laminate, my husband took off to help move last minute furniture and such.  He told me there was a "big" crew coming and they should have it done in two days tops.  Mind you, we had been living on grimmy, dusty subfloor with half our furniture (the other half was in the garage to allow for the installers to get started) for about a month and a half.  Home Depot was supposed to call us when the floor came in so we waited and waited and finally had to call them....only to find out our flooring was in the store the whole time.  There was 2 weeks down.  Then the BIG crew my husband said was coming out turned out to be ONE guy.  What the?!  At noon he had about 18 rows laid in the front room when he realized there was a sheen difference and it looked ridiculous.  So he cut out of there at noon while we dealt with Home Depot on the defective product.  Here's the "sheen difference"... you can see the lighter pieces in the upper right of the photo and unfortunately it wasn't the sun causing it.  


So after a great deal of battling, we had to pick a different flooring.  Wait for it to acclimate to our house for 3 days and then wait for an install "crew" to come out to lay it.  Home Depot wanted to charge us for all of this because "they were at a loss of product and man hours" due to this.  Not to mention they wanted us to pay the difference for the more expensive flooring, all because their product was defective.  Needless to say, we managed to work something out.....we didn't pay a dime thanks to my persistent husband.  Many thanks to Ben from the Home Depot store in Novi for providing fantastic customer service by driving his personal truck and delivering the new flooring within 24 hours of us having to pick it out so it could acclimate and be installed in a timely fashion.  That's hard to come by anymore.  Thanks Ben.  

So here's the new laminate... it has a great texture to it, like hand scraped wood.  The rest of the weekend we're working on baseboards, once we get those finished I'll be able to finish off the decorating and will get some pics up.  

Day at the Beach and my New Rug!

I took the girls to the beach and relaxed with a book today.  To my surprise I arrived home to my brand spankin' new rug waiting for me on the porch!  It's from and man was it a steal.  I think it came to $160 for a 7x9!  Plus, FREE shipping.  She's a beaut if I say so myself.  One of the few purchases I'm thoroughly happy with.

Rugs USA Homespun Nawra Trellis Charcoal Rug


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Old English Sheepdog

Otherwise known as "Sheepie's" or "OES".  My little man, Opie, is growing so fast.   I played around with my new camera today (Canon Rebel T3) and got a few sweet shots of him.

Day before yesterday (July 9th) I was invited to witness the birth of 7 of Opie's brother's and sister's.  It was amazing and made me fall in love with him and all the OES's all over again....

Opie's Mom, Tess and her new little ones....

The only wee girl of the litter

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Buffet Makeover

 So a neighbor asked me if I wanted this old dinged up buffet and of course I said yes.  I decided to refinish the top so I sanded away, threw on some stain and wow, did she ever come back to life.  The rest of the piece I painted an antique white, distressed it with my palm sander (just quick touches here and there) and then I finished her up with some good ole polyurethane.  Oh, and I did hand paint the handles black.



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