Thursday, July 26, 2012

July is Flying By!

Whew, this month is flying by.  I can hardly believe how hot this summer has been and how fast the days are going by!  The last few weeks, I've been spending a good amount of time with el Charmo and this white potty:):

He is doing tremendously well, with no major battles.  He even asked to use the potty while running errands a couple times this week.  I'm sure we'll continue to frequently remind him to use the bathroom, and we'll continue to use some positive reinforcement (stickers and hugs and jelly beans have been working as of late), but we are well on our way to potty training success, and it feels good!

We've also been busy working on accomplishing some reading goals with Lucky and the aid of workbooks like these:

She has her phonetics down and knows tons of sight words.  We continue to work with 'sounding out' words and she's making progress every day!  Super, super exciting stuff.

In other exciting news, I had my 6 month post-melanoma check up with no new issues!  I'll continue to be followed regularly and often, but all seems to be going well on that front.  Wear sunscreen everyone:)!

And on the blog/home project front, I have to be honest that I've neglected things for the last few weeks to better focus on our family's needs (and let's face it, there is no way I'm going to paint or stain anything outside when it's 95 degrees out.  I can hardly breathe when it's that hot much less move enough to shake a spray paint can:)), but we have accomplished a small project or two around our house like making a second curtain rod for our dining room and two more painted chevron curtain panels.  Here is how our dining room is looking now:

It actually feels finished to me.  Now it will be interesting to see how much time passes before I want to completely change the look:).

We've also been spend lots of time planning a big basement update (Here's another, more recent post about our basement.).  We are meeting with subcontractors to plan the addition of a wet bar and a fireplace surround with side cabinets.  As we finalize more details, I'll be sharing our progress.  Currently, our homework includes finding a built in microwave for our wet bar so cabinets can be made to size around it, and we need to decide on a wood species and stain color for our cabinets.  After those decisions are made, we'll be able to place our cabinet order and wait about six weeks for them to arrive.  The real fun will begin in late September:).  Here is our 'inspiration' image for our wet bar area, though ours will have different finishes and a slightly different cabinet layout as well:

And another big project we've been thinking about these days is planning a big ol' pirate themed birthday party for Charm, who is turning three next month and has yet to have a 'real' birthday party with relatives and friends and cake and a treasure hunt:).  I've been searching the internet to find some fun party's going to be fun!

Homemade Pirate Eye Patches made using this tutorial, and these items:

(Felt, Steam A Seam Sheets, Headbands and Embroidery Floss)

What have you been up to lately?  Is your summer flying by too?  I hope you are all doing well!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday America!

I hope you enjoy a wonderful day filled with a little fun:

Marilyn Monroe, Amy Winehouse, Cher and Sonny

Me, my brother and my sister:)!

The Newly Crowned Queens of the Sixth Annual Doe Fever Party!

A little more fun:

Some yummy patriotic food:
Star Berry Dessert

And some amazing fireworks:

Happy Fourth of July!  Enjoy the day, stay cool and don't forget your sunscreen:)!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bill's Patio Cushion Solution

Bill has good ideas all the time, but this particular idea has removed a big annoyance in our sun porch and my parents' sun porch, and perhaps it will help you too:)!

Here was the problem:

Slouchy outdoor furniture cushions are so annoying!  After you sit for awhile, you slowly slip down in your seat.  I was seriously considering replacing the outdoor furniture that's in our sun porch (and was originally purchased for use on the enormous deck at our old house) with a normal couch and chair pair since our sun porch is fully enclosed.  And then my parents were having the same problem with the outdoor chairs in their new sun porch up north.  My mom asked us for some help in solving their chair slipping issues and gave us some peel and stick velcro to help with the problem.  Except she still wanted to be able to flip the cushions over from time to time, so the velcro would have to be placed in a hidden location.  We thought about putting the velcro on the very back (not the bottom, but the back) of the cushions or finding some matching fabric to make some tabs to loop around the back of the chair frame.  We weren't sure velcro on the back of the cushions would hold, and it would be lots of work to track down matching fabric and sew tabs.  It was then that a light bulb went off in Bill's head, and he asked my Mom for some of this:

It's a non-slip rug pad.  Bill cut pieces to size and placed them on the chair like this (pictures below taken in our sun porch:)):

And now the chairs in my parents' house and our sun porch stay put:

Hallelujah!  It doesn't get much easier than that.  No finding matching fabric, no sewing tabs, no velcro sticking or anything!  I should mention, that I don't believe the non-slip rug pad would hold up well to the elements, but if your furniture is in a covered porch or patio or if you regularly bring your cushions inside or in a storage bin when not in use, it would work really well.  You could even put a few stitches through the non-slip rug pad onto the bottom of your cushion so it would stay in place when you store the cushions.

Does anyone else get as annoyed with slipping patio furniture cushions as I do?  Does anyone else have any easy peasy methods to keep patio chair (and couch) cushions in place?  

P.S.  You definitely don't need much non-slip rug pad to do this.  I bought a huge 8' x 10' piece at Home Goods for $30 because we had several rugs around the house that needed some non-slip rug pad action underneath them as well, so I bought one big rug pad and cut it up to meet all of our needs:)!