PS, where’s the chalk?

Soon after the thrill of a chalkboard fridge wore off, we were faced with a serious dilemma.  Where do we store the chalk?  It made little sense to have the chalk stored away in some cupboard – because the whole point of a whimsical, there-when-you-need-it canvas is to be able to doodle on it randomly.  Can’t do that when you have to stop to remember where the heck the chalk is.  Better yet, when guests stop by and want to graffiti your fridge – they seriously don’t want to have to ask first, “where is the chalk?”

Dilemna solved.  And all for the cost of a pack of 3M picture hanging things.  I raided my stash of cool things, and found this old wooden cheese box.  I believe they were once the box for something like Velveeta Cheese.  Imagine that – a wood box to hold cheese.  How klassy.

Side note: Chalk is (shockingly) very cheap at Ikea.  And fatter.  Not sidewalk chalk fat, but just more substantial than Crayola (sorry, Crapola Crayola!).

This pack of 4 picture hanging strips were $4.99 at Target.  Perhaps cheaper elsewhere…

I followed the directions on the package, sort of.  Wiping wood off with rubbing alcohol seemed weird, so I only did that to the fridge.  Which by the way started to take the chalkboard paint off.  Luckily I covered that spot up in the end.

Basically the whole process involved me sticking one of the tape things on each corner, like so:

Then attaching another strip of tape on top of each piece.  Juuuust like a Velcro sandwich.  Yum.

I peeled the white tape off and stuck the whole thing right onto the fridge.  Immediately I added chalk and the eraser and squealed with delight.

Well, what do you think!?  Feel free to stop by and graffiti all you want.  You know where the chalk is!

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Quick, before it’s too late…

Could you please pause your Christmas countdown for a very important update? I’m not really sure what happened, Halloween was like, three hours ago.  Obviously I am too late.  But seriously, if you’re at all interested in how the first Halloween costume turned out, then today is your lucky day.

Behold, our little owl:

The birdie leggings didn’t happen.  A girl can only do so much with raw materials.

Alright, please feel free to proceed with your Christmas countdown.

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I’ll take “Organized” for 100 points, please.

Welcome back!  It was certainly a nice long weekend for us!  We were total homebodies, avoiding the Black Holiday craze and getting lots accomplished at home!  I spent the entire day Sunday sewing and taking pictures for Teenie B.  I’m sure it’s not ironic at all that the moment one tries to start anything, the baby and the dog are both in desperate need of something.  Needless to say, I was pretty pumped that I was able to make 11 bibs and burp cloths yesterday.  Whew.

Another task on my to-do list before we get a Christmas tree put up was to organize our DVD collection and free up some highly coveted storage space for a new, but much adored, eye sore.  BABY TOYS.  I love having baby toys in our home, but when they’re not being gummed and drooled on, I’d love them more if they were tucked away.  And DVDs can take up an unnecessarily large amount of space!

Here’s what the situation was.  One pretty decent sized drawer in our living room armoire taken up completely with DVDs.

I couldn’t quite figure out what a great solution would be for this mess, besides donating or selling our stash of movies…which wasn’t really a great option.  So I hit up the Google and found these DVD sleeves on for $2.95 each for a pack of 20.  Not a bad deal considering we have over 100 DVDs to organize and a pretty low budget in which to do so.

Then, in one of my many Home Goods shopping sprees, I found this chunky basket with an attached lid for $9.99.  Luckily, it fit the DVD sleeves almost perfectly and with the lid, provides a sneaky little hideaway for all our movies.

It took a while to go through each DVD and remove the cover art, which for some had to be trimmed down to fit in the sleeve.  The most annoying part of this whole thing were the plastic pieces of DVD sleeve confetti littered all over the living room.  The sleeves are 3-hole punched so you can store them in a binder, but the holes were still sort of connected and fell out every time you grabbed a new one.  Did I mention the confetti was suffering from all sorts of static problems?

But, when all was said and done, I was able to condense an entire drawer of DVDs into this tidy little basket and store it on our bookshelf perfectly out of the way.

I love that it camouflages and condenses the eyesore!  It also frees up that entire drawer for these adorable essentials…

Another 100 points for being organized!


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Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing all of you a very happy and safe Thanksgiving!  We’re so excited to share Thanksgiving with Isabella this year and I know she will learn to love the holidays as much as I do!


The Chandlers!

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Before & After: A Dingy Fridge

I am suffering today from a coffee fail all over the front of my favorite aqua blue sweater.  Feeling so totally sorry for myself that I will have to spend the entire day walking around like a giant schmuck with a brown blurb on my shirt.

I will place the blame on my innocent sleeping baby.  She spit up all over me.  A big mocha-y spit up.  That’s the price you pay for being a great mother, right?

Anyways, let’s not dwell.

I am crossing another item off my checklist.  100 points for me! I painted the fridge.  I love it, and I should have done it 3 years ago. Remember the before?

Oh, hi, Ellie.  Ever notice that she inserts herself into every photo, like that obnoxious guy screaming “HI MOM!!!” as the news reporter brings you the latest news in a terrible disaster.

And because this blog is about accountability — this is what the floor looked like when I pulled the fridge out.  I’ll blame the baby, again.

I was going to make my own chalkboard paint, but my general contractor husband informed me we were running low on grout.  So instead I picked up some Martha Stewart chalkboard paint from Michaels.  Did you know they only had the spray chalkboard paint or the extremely overpriced Martha Stewart actual paint?  I thought that was crazy flakes.  Either way, use a coupon and it’s only like $3.00 a bottle.

I ended up needing about 4 coats of paint to cover it completely.  Next time I might prime the fridge with some regular cheapo black paint, and then cover it with the chalkboard paint last.  Seems like that would have cut down on the amount of Martha paint I needed to use.

The directions said to let the paint dry for 24 painstakingly long hours.  I gave it about 12 and then couldn’t wait any longer.  Then you needed to cure the paint by rubbing chalk all over the surface.  DONE and DONE.  Here is the finished product.  Like I said before, I LOVE it and would definitely recommend it if you’re hating your fridge as much as I was and can’t justify buying a new fridge because darn-it, it still works.

We miss Dad for sure.  Andy is coming home today after 72 hours at work and I could not be more excited.  Mama’s ready for a little break, if you know what I mean.  Kudos to all the single parents out there.  That’s a whole lotta work.

So, whattaya say?  Yay or nay to the chalkboard fridge?

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A Sew-Sew Skirt

The straw that broke the camels back when I was pregnant and nesting was Bella’s crib bedskirt.  I absolutely could not find one that I liked, and the one I did find was a special order in a very expensive linen from a very expensive baby store.  I had no energy to devote to making one.  So, my (very crappy) solution at 40 weeks pregnant was a white Ikea curtain shoved under her crib mattress and puddled on the floor in a very chic way.

Did I fool you?  Who am I kidding!?  It looked pretty lame.  Lately, I’ve been really wanting to try out a few tutorials on making crib sheets.  It looks fairly simple, and Crafty Planet has some of the cutest fabrics imaginable, so win-win.

So the other day I was packing up some of Bella’s 3-6 month clothes (sniff, sniff) and storing them under her crib, and I looked at the situation with the curtain and the floofing and decided it could go on no longer.  So off it came.  I whipped out my tape measure and got to work!

I googled “crib skirt tutorial” a few times and only was able to find tutorials on no-sew crib skirts which involve Velcro and hem tape.  Well, I can sew, so I’d rather do that than mess around with Velcro.  I never have much luck with custom made things – so I took a risk (go figure…) and tried it out!

Bella’s crib is a pretty standard size, which didn’t really matter, but made it easy to buy fabric because the decorator fabric was a little wider than the widest portion of the fabric I needed.  Another win-win.

Her crib’s mattress support (which was where the crib skirt would hang) was 51″x26″, and the crib mattress still sits up as high as it can go, so I wanted a 20″ drop to the floor.  When we drop her mattress down in a few months I will just hem the bottom, or just let it puddle.

I chose an Amy Butler print in a teal-ish color to match her buffet.  It was a little pricey – $16.95/yard, but luckily I had a $10 frequent shopper credit at Crafty Planet, which saved me some bucks.  For the top of the crib skirt (the area that lays on the mattress support), I had some plain white cotton from another project, but you could easily buy a cheap twin sheet at Target if you didn’t want to splurge on more cotton at the fabric store.

So, to start, I cut 4 panels of fabric (2 for the long sides and 2 for the short sides), making sure they were a few inches larger for the hem and stitching.  I cut out 2 – 54″x23″ and 2 – 28″x23″ panels.  I then ironed over a 4.5″ hem for the bottom and 1″ on each side to clean up the edges.

The whole project probably would have only taken about an hour, if you didn’t have to change a poopy diaper and give a bath in between.  Basically, most of the time was spent sewing up the hems and prepping the panels.

Once I had all the panels hemmed, I cut out the white base fabric and began pinning the panels – right sides together.  I pinned each panel to the white fabric (and didn’t take any pics!) and then realized it would be easier to sew a panel, then pin the next panel and sew, etc…  Trying to figure out which panel went which way and do that without stabbing myself was more work than I was willing to do.  Hence me pinning and sewing each one separately.

When I finished sewing the panels on, I flipped the whole thing over, ironed it, and dropped it into place.  I was pretty surprised how easy this was, and how great it turned out!

I ended up having about a yard of fabric leftover, so I used these little crib pillow inserts I snagged at the Room & Board outlet for $4.99 to make a few throw pillows for her room. Don’t worry, I don’t let her sleep with them in her crib — she couldn’t get to them anyways.  We’re a little behind in the rolling over milestone.  Blame it on her hatred for tummy time.  And me for not pushing her to do it more.  That’s another issue.

I love the way the polka dots look with the new crib skirt!  I am planning to make some new crib sheets though when I get a chance!  Stay tuned!

I’m by no means an expert on sewing, but I’m glad I went for the sewn crib skirt vs. the Velcro – I think it looks great and I know she won’t be able to pull it off when she gets older!



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Nothing to lose, right?

Sometimes I’m torn between a Pottery Barn House and a house that someone could walk into and say, yeah, this is Alison’s house.  I’ve been really inspired this week to kick it up a notch in our house, step out of my comfort zones, and just DO what I am inspired to do. Whether it’s painting a bold color on the wall, or adding a punch of color to the back of our built in bookshelves. I’m going for it.  What do I have to lose?  We have no immediate plans to sell our house – and really, if you can’t enjoy your home, what’s the point. The rooms that are really bothersome to me right now are the living/dining room and our bedroom.  My goal is to really kick it up a notch in those spaces to make our house feel more like our home. Here’s my list so far:

  • Paint our bedroom (Navy Blue — maybe just an accent wall to start)  My inspiration for this comes from the picture below from West Elm.
  • Paint the Craigslist Dresser I just bought for $50 to look something like this dresser from (my new favorite blog) A Little Glass Box
  • Try out painting Bella’s room this plum color to look something like this nursery at Lay Baby Lay.
  • Paint the wood trim in our living/dining room white (gasp!)
  • Paint our dingy refrigerator with chalk board paint.  Because why not?  It’s old, it’s dingy (evidence below) and I think it will be a fun place for Bella to doodle while we are making dinner!  Here are some Pinterest pics I found of painted fridges…

And since we have leftover grout from our bathroom tiling project, I should be able to whip up my own chalkboard paint using the combo below for next to no cost.  This will probably be the most iffy change, but if you saw our fridge, you’d agree that we have nothing to lose on this one!

Homemade Chalkboard Paint Recipe

1 Cup Paint – any color

2 Tablespoons unsanded grout

Have a GREAT weekend – I’m going to be BUSY, BUSY, BUSY with all my inspirations!


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