Category Archives: DIY

Find Out How a TOTO Washlet can Make You Feel Shiny and New Every Day of the New Year

Happy New Year everyone! I hope it is off to a great start for you. You have probably heard people use the adjectives shiny and new to describe the new year. Feeling shiny and new is exactly what I want to share with you today. I bet you don’t know where this is going. We are going to take this into the bathroom. I don’t want to talk about spring cleaning but do want to tell you about another kind of cleaning. Let’s call it personal cleaning.

I am not talking about a bidet. Quite frankly, I think bidets scare a lot of Americans who do not know what they are or how to use them. Not to mention, they take up a good footprint of space in your bathroom. So is there a better way to get that shiny and new feeling that is easier and faster than taking a shower every time you use the bathroom?

There is, it is called a Washlet. The Washlet was introduced in Japan by TOTO back in 1980 and has become one of their signature products. The first Washlet had 3 functions: rear cleansing, dryer and a heated seat. 10 years and numerous innovations later the Washlet came to America. In 2016 a milestone was reached when 40 million Washlets were sold worldwide.

So what is a Washlet and what’s in it for you? A Washlet is a bidet seat and you will be amazed at everything it can do for you. Do you get upset if the male members of your household do not close the lid after using the toilet? That is one of the first ways a Washlet will help you. The Washlet lid opens and closes automatically, so no more unpleasant surprises. If you worry about chilly seats, the Washlet has that covered too with a cozy, heated seat.

I love that it has an eWater+ system, that uses electrolyzed water, a proven, chemical free disinfectant to mist the bowl after every use. No need for harsh chemicals which are already banned in my home.

The wand of the Washlet is automatically cleaned before and after each use.
Eliminating waste effectively is easier when you are not starting with a dry bowl surface, the premist feature uses the incoming water supply to mist the surface which is 80% more efficient.

 

Next, let’s talk about rear cleansing, I know you are chuckling but also intrigued. The rear spray is designed to provide your derriere with a targeted, pleasant yet strong water stream to get you squeaky clean. The front wash feature provides cleaning in the way of large, soft drops for a comfortable wash that leaves you feeling clean as a daisy.

TOTO is not going to make you drip dry, they have thought of everything! The warm air dryer will make sure you are nice and dry before you go on your way.

Finally, there is an effective deodorizer that cleans the air around the toilet using powerful filters. Air is drawn in, passing through a catalytic deodorizer to eliminate unpleasant odors.

If you want a Washlet with all those features, the S350E is the way to go. It is available in round or elongated and comes in cotton white or Sedona beige. If you would like to see videos of all the features, visit TOTO on YouTube.

We are putting one of these awesome Washlets on our Guinevere Toilet. I will show you more on both as we are further along in the renovation of our bathroom. You have to love constructions delays. In the meantime, if you want to see more about the toilet we chose or some things to consider when choosing a toilet, you can check it out on our post HERE.

To learn more about Washlets and all their fabulous features click HERE. Do you have one of these in your home? Have you been thinking about getting one? Is this the first time you have heard of it? Let me know what you think or about your experience.

Special thanks to TOTO for all their help and for providing us with a Washlet S350e for our project. As always all my words and opinions are 100% my own.

 


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Filed under Curb Appeal, DIY, Health, Home & Garden, Home Improvement

New Kitchen Update

Happy New Year everyone! Hope everyone’s year is off to a great start. I have some updates on our new kitchen. While the demo and everything in the house is going to take another 8 weeks at least, we are making headway with our kitchen decisions.

I believe, I shared our choice of Wood-Mode Custom Cabinetry for our kitchen. We are going with their Brookhaven line and our door style is Winter Haven Raised.

The first time I went into the kitchen design center and started working with Regina, our kitchen designer, I was sure I was going with Antique White. Yesterday, when my husband and I were there together making final decisions, I changed my color choice. I am going with Vintage Lace.

Wood-Mode’s Vintage Opaque is a distinctive glaze applied over the base color which in our case is Lace and adds a brushed appearance to the surface while highlighting the details of the door style and architectural elements.

It is funny because the first time I was there, I was sure I did not want that look and yet, the second time, I was sold on it. I feel that is why it is so important to meet with your kitchen designer multiple times in the planning stages of your project. So far, we have been to the kitchen showroom 2 times and Regina has been out to our house once to take measurements.

Now, that we are getting closer to putting the order in, she will come out again to make sure everything is correct. It is so nice to work with a kitchen designer who has experience and guides you along through the process. Yesterday, I remember clearly  saying to myself, “Wow, I am so glad she thought of that!”

The other thing is, they can give you great advice that can save you money and headaches. For instance, since my cooktop is mounted against an outside wall, she advised me not to go with a pot filler. I was not sold on one either, you may remember my earlier post.

The reason is, living in upstate New York, there is a danger of the pipes freezing which would cause extensive damage to our kitchen. Dealing with the damage from a leak is something we are familiar with and do not wish to deal with again if we can help it.

I know you can mount them on deck but I don’t want that sticking out of the counter top. Truthfully, the more I read about them, the more I am glad to have that reason for not putting one in. You still need to carry the water back to your sink. We decided to add an island prep sink which is behind the stove area. This will allow us to fill pots even if someone is at the kitchen sink.  I am good with that.

I am really excited about how I was able to utilize a lot of what I considered dead space in my old kitchen. My kitchen did have a lot of bells and whistles but there were some things  I wanted to change. We have so many baking trays, cookie sheets, cutting boards, cooling racks etc. In my old kitchen, I did have a tray cabinet but it was not large enough for everything we had.

It is not a matter of getting rid of some of it because we cook and bake all the time and use it all. So we added more slotted storage to our kitchen. The cabinet above the refrigerator is one that we hardly used. It contained some light bulbs and a container of glue. We  added tray storage up there and I think it is going to be great.

We also have a bottom tray cabinet next to the stove as we did before and over the ovens we put more slotted storage. We have an oven drawer under the double ovens as we did before to handle frequently used pans and sheets.

Something else I am super excited about, are the great pull out cabinets we put on the other side of our cooktop. If you think our tray situation was excessive, our collection of spatulas, ladles, cooking spoons and other cooking tools rivals it. Currently, we had two large utensil drawers and 2 large crocks on the counter. I wanted to find a more useful and out-of-sight way to store what we needed.

Browsing Pinterest, I found these great pull out cabinets with crocks built-in. I showed them to my kitchen designer who incorporated them into the design. Next to that we have another pull out cabinet that can handle our cooking oils, sprays etc. In an upper cabinet to the right of the cook top we have a swing out spice cabinet.

Being tall, I hate having to stoop down to see all the way to the back of lower cabinets. In my current kitchen, there are only three cabinets I had to do that. The rest all had roll outs or were drawer units. In this kitchen we made sure that there are no cabinets that would cause me to lay on the floor or crawl into to see what is in the back.

I eliminated the desk area and glass door cabinet that was above it from my current kitchen. We did not use the desk and it was a catch-all for everything as were the glass door cabinets. In its place we added some more pull out pantry storage which I am crazy about.

The new refrigerator is being set into cabinets to give it a built-in look. On the side of my fridge in my other kitchen, I had decorative raised panels that matched the cabinets. In our new kitchen design we added some useful storage.  We are putting in a functioning cabinet that will have lower storage for our broom, dust pan etc and upper storage for cleaning supplies, garbage bags etc. Something similar to this design I saw on Pinterest.

In the new kitchen we have extended all our upper cabinets to 42″. This extra cabinet space will give us the room we need to store appliances that we don’t use every day. We are removing the extended sofits to make room for the taller cabinets. On top of the cabinets we will add a very nice crown molding.

We are in the process of picking out our new quartz counters. In my old kitchen I had quartz counters and I love them. However, I want a little more movement in the new ones. I think I have found my countertop but not 100% sure.

Regina had me bring home my door sample and a large sample of the counter to look at it in the kitchen to make it easier for me to decide.

We are putting in a Farmhouse sink from Nantucket sinks and it has a really nice drain that we also chose from their website that never lets your hands touch the mess in the drain. Really cool and that is not all!

The sink has two front sides so you can choose what design you want. The smooth front of the Hyannis or the decorative side of the Chatham. I still have to pick the faucet. Oh, all the decisions!

We love the built-in butcher block we have in our old kitchen and so we went with one in this design also. It will be built into the side of the island to the right of the prep sink. We placed the pull out waste and recycling underneath so you can peel and chop and then just shove scraps right into the trash. To the side of the cutting board we put a large knife storage drawer and next to that, we put our utensil storage.

Another big change we are making is using one of the large island drawers to hold our dishes with a peg drawer insert. This will make it easier to set the table and for the kids to get dishes themselves without having to climb up to reach them in upper cabinets. We added about 9 inches to the length of our island and this allowed us to put a 12 inch cabinet on the end with doors to store serving pieces, dishes and glasses.

Over the cooktop we have an English Country Elliptical Range Hood that matches the cabinets. I am not certain we are going with this style but I am leaning toward it.

The microwave will be hung over the counter next to the double ovens.

All of the cabinet doors and drawers are soft close and the doors are the full overlay style. We picked out our hardware too and I really like the way it looks and feels. The drawer pulls are nice and large and can accommodate hands of all sizes.

We have a large storage pantry in the same spot we did before but instead of having those wooden racks that pull and slide out to hold cans, we have added slide out shelf pull outs that our designer tells me I will find much more useful.

We are using commercial style appliances and I will update you on those in another post. For the flooring we are going to do a wood look porcelain tile. It is someone like the one I have but darker which I think will make the cabinets pop!

I think this is a long enough update for now. We have some exciting things to share regarding lighting with you soon. Let me know what you think of what we have picked out so far.

 


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Filed under Cooking, Curb Appeal, DIY, Home, Home & Garden, Kitchen

Enjoy Outdoor Colorful Plants, Shrubs & Flowering Trees All Winter

I cannot believe that I have been turning the heat on and walking around in sweatshirts this last week. While it is still warm during  the day, it is turning very cool in the evenings. Seeing as we just hit mid September and it is still officially summer, it is far too early for my taste. I love my plants and I hate knowing it is only a matter of weeks and the first frost will mean the end of the perennials in my flower beds until next spring.

I also dislike having to carry my house plants and trees in and out when they were loving their time on the deck this summer. I am not a winter person. The thing that I dislike the most is the drab grayness that happens right after all the beautiful, fall leaves fall to the ground. There is such a harshness in winter and even when the first snowfall comes the beauty does not last long. Before long, the drabness of the long cold winter leaves me longing for color.

winter-in-park

While I do not have the power to change the weather in New York, I can do something to add color to my home during the winter season. I recently found a company called Permaleaf that has a collection of artificial plants, trees, and flowers that are lifelike and can withstand the elements.

They look great outside, on a patio, by the front door, in planters and more all around my home. I like that they are a nice way to add color during the gray winter months. I ordered a lavender plant in a nice black ornate planter and love it! It is easy to see how the elements will not affect it and I know it will make me smile to see those pops of color over the long winter.

lavender-flowers

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Check it out and let me know what you think.

 


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Spoil Your Cat With This Easy To Make Cat Bed #yougottabekittenme

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #yougottabekittenme #CollectiveBias

cat bed hero new

I love DIY projects, I really like the challenge and the end results. Well, usually I love the end results, we all have the fails along the way. Speaking of fails, have you ever used a cat litter that just did not do the job? That is super embarrassing.  I found the solution easily strolling the pet aisle at my local Sam’s Club. I recently purchased Fresh Step Total Control with the power of Febreze clumping cat litter.

fresh step in store collage

This product is phenomenal for really tackling ammonia odor because it has Borate Technology which also works to stop the growth of odor-causing bacteria. The lemongrass citrus scent has a fresher aroma than any cat litter we have used in the past.

I was glad to see it was available in a 42lb bag that is so easy to carry and it’s resealable. This litter is featured in the May Instant Savings Book and Sam’s Club Members get $3.50 off from 5/22 thru 6/5. The offer is already loaded onto member’s cards and offered in the Instant Savings Book.

Max even seems to appreciate the change to Fresh Step Total Control with the power of Febreze litter and we always love to show our appreciation for Max. Max is a loyal and true feline member of our family. Even though Max is an adult cat, he is still as playful as a kitten. I know that having fun toys and places to hide and sleep are fun for Max.

We got a great idea to make him a cozy little tent type bed and hideout. It was really easy and I wanted to share for our readers who may want to replicate this project for their own feline family members.

The cozy cat bed is very easy to make. You start with a base of 15” by 15”. You can use a thick corrugated cardboard or other similar material. You need to be able to make 4 holes in the corners, so keep that in mind when choosing your base.

For this project you will need:

#yougottabekittenme

Get your  15″ x 15″ corrugated cardboard base. You can glue two pieces of cardboard together for extra strength for your base. Then cover with the vinyl adhesive. It does not need to be perfect as you are not going to see this and it will be covered.

cat bed base

You need to take the wire hangers and untwist the top. The trim the wire so you have two equal size pieces. You will shape each piece to form an arch. Then you will poke each end in a corner of the base and allow a half inch to poke through. You  then take your pliers and bend that and then tape it flat against the under side of the base. Repeat with the other 3 corners.

cat bed wire

cat bed corner hole

cat bed underside tape

 

Where the wire pieces intersect on the top you want to place some duct tape around that to hold it together.

cat bed frame

Once all that is secure, take your t-shirt and with the open end place it over the structure so that the opening for he head is situated in the lower center of the front to create the entrance.

cat bed t shirt

cat bed t shirt over

You then use the safety pins to secure the sleeves and bottom of the shirt to the bottom of the cat bed. This will give it a tidy, finished appearance.

cat bed pins

Last but not least add a nice cozy blanket or thick towel for kitty’s comfort.

cat bed done

cat bed max

The nice thing is you can take the t-shirt off to wash or to switch it out if it becomes worn or you want a new look. Max just loves his new cozy hang out.

Max has it pretty good but we know a lot of cats don’t and that is due to overpopulation. That is why we donated $100 to The Animal Rights Alliance Inc., T.A.R.A.  They are a not-for-profit organization providing low cost spay and neuter services. They serve Sullivan, Orange, Rockland, Putnam and Dutchess counties in NY state. T.A.R.A  is able to help animals only through generous contributions. Their fees do not cover the cost for our program services. They rely on grants and public donations to subsidize the amount needed in order to make spaying and neutering affordable to everyone. If you would like to learn more about T.A.R.A. you can visit their website HERE.

Max is having a blast with his new bed. I hope you will let me know what you think of this easy way to spoil your four-legged family member and if you are using or plan to try Fresh Step Total Control with the power of Febreze litter. Please let me know in the comments.


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Filed under Crafts, DIY, Home, Mommy Ramblings, Pets

Overcoming Challenges When Designing Your Child’s Room

Designing a child’s room can be a challenge. It can be tempting just to utilize an adult bedroom set for them, especially if you already have one you can use. Using adult furniture sets can present several issues. Often, the furniture is not suitable for children, it may have sharp corners, lack safety features or just be the wrong size to be safe or functional.  Children’s rooms tend to be smaller than what many adult size sets were made for. This can leave a child’s room overcrowded, cramped and lacking in style, functionality and fun!

You might be scratching your head trying to figure out how you can create a child’s room that will be functional, fun, stylish and grow with them.  I am happy to tell you that it’s not so hard.  You might want to take a look  at modular childrens’ bedroom furniture as an option. Modular furniture is the perfect choice when trying to maximize storage and function for kids, even in small spaces.

bambini bedroom set

The versatility of having some pieces with wheels that can be moved when needed and rolled back when not. Modular pieces provide storage for what you need most. Create a unique storage solution for your child’s things by combining cubbies, cubes, shelves, drawers, hooks etc to get exactly what you need. Wardrobe units can be added and are a solution for more than clothing storage, they can be customized to fit many purposes.

NIDI-Solutions2015_038-039

Modular pieces also let you work around oddly shaped spaces where more traditional furniture just won’t work. Other advantages are the ability to add  bold punches of color in a drawer or bin that draws the eye and gives the room flair. If your child is old enough, letting him/her plan their room with you and decide on pieces and colors will empower your child and makes them so much more in tune with their room.

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Bunk beds or loft beds with desk space underneath  add function and style in any space.  As your child grows, pieces can be added, colors swapped, pieces rearranged  and more to adapt to their changing needs.  Changing the color of walls and textiles will also give the same pieces a totally different feel as your child grows.

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If you have a budding artist adding a fold down modular wall cabinet that transforms into an art table with smaller cubbies and drawers above for art supplies would inspire and delight any budding Picasso.

Bambini Childre's Room

NIDI-Solutions2015_014-015-300x400

If you have a child collector, there are great options for storing and displaying sports memorabilia, dolls, cars and more. What are your greatest challenges in your child’s room? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

 

nidi-childrens-bedroom-ro-21


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Get Organized With These DIY Rain Gutter Bookshelves #Back2SchoolReady

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Back2SchoolReady #CollectiveBiasback to school collage

We are a book loving family. My kids love getting new books even more than new toys! No bedtime routine is complete without us reading aloud together and it’s one of my favorite things. Sharing a great book with my children, the discussions they spur and that quality time we spend reading is priceless.

This time of year has people focusing on Back to School. Thinking about school supplies and clothes shopping as well as getting your pantry and freezer stocked with quick, nutritious breakfast, lunch and after-school snack foods. Kellogg’s has lots of products to choose from to help with that.

I was in Walmart recently and in their seasonal aisle it was stocked with  like Nutri-Grain breakfast bars, Pop-Tarts, Rice Krispies Treats and more.

kellogg's In Store Collage

Over in the frozen section there were so many boxes of delicious Eggo Waffles to choose from!  As I was making my selections, I saw something amazing on the boxes! Each specially marked box was redeemable for a free Scholastic Book!

Kelloggs Eggo In Store Collage

Great Kellogg’s product and free books made me a very happy camper.

Kelloggs in store cart

My kids love Eggo Waffles and they are easy to make even on busy school mornings.

Kelloggs 4

 

kellogs 4

Kelloggs

Nutri-Grain breakfast bars let you enjoy a nutritious and delicious breakfast on the go! They are a favorite choice  for this busy mom. My kids love them for breakfast, in their lunchbox and even as an after school snack.

Kelloggs 2

Kelloggs 3

Rice Krispies Treats are another favorite lunch box snack for my boys. Who can forget one of my favorites growing up, Pop-Tarts! They are still going strong and one my kids choose for a quick snack or after school treat. With Kellogg’s there is never a reason to skip breakfast! After all, it is the most important meal of the day!

Kelloggs 6

This Kellogg’s free Scholastic book promotion is truly the icing on the Kellogg’s cake! Every specially marked box has a code inside redeemable for a Scholastic Book of your choice. This free book promotion is great even if you don’t have little ones. Think about donating the books to less fortunate children and share the gift of reading. Donate them to a school, day care or nursery school in the area. For teachers this is a great way to get books for your classroom. I am so excited about this, can you tell?

It is so easy to redeem the codes for these free books. If you do not have one already you just set up a Kellogg’s Family Rewards Account HERE and then just put your code in and choose from a drop down list the store you purchased the product from. You can then enter more codes and when you’re done order your books.

Kelloggs 1

You can choose hard copy or eBooks with your codes. You can choose to donate a book to the school of your choice online. You can only donate hard copy books. When you donate a book to the school of your choice it will ship in an envelope that says it was generously donated by your family. All codes must be redeemed within 14 days of purchase. All books are shipped free of charge. Spanish titles are also available.

It is easy to choose your books and you can select by reading level. Have your child choose books that interest them. You can easily add all kinds of topics and reading level books to your home library. Having a good variety of books encourages kids to read.

We just redeemed 5 codes and ordered 2 Magic School Bus Books, A Clifford Book, 100 Most Feared Creatures and There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed A Book! We are excited to get them!

You can also buy direct at Walmart.com and receive free book purchases from purchases made between 7/21/15-9/11/15.  Look for Buy Now button HERE for a list of all eligible items. E-commerce redemptions are made via receipt scanning. See full details at the HERE link above.  Remember whether purchased in store or online you must redeem your code within 14 days to get your free book!

With all the great books we have and all the new free Scholastic books that are on their way to us, we needed some more book storage.  If you’re in the same boat, I want to share an easy, fast, inexpensive book storage solution that looks great too!

These book shelves that my husband and I recently put up in our son’s room are made from inexpensive vinyl rain gutters you can pick up in most home improvement stores.

gutter 11

They are very inexpensive, we purchased a 10′ rain gutter for under $4.  You need end caps and they are about $3 a piece and sold in sets of two. We used screws with anchors to attach them to the wall. For less than $10 each we had two 3′ book shelves and another 4′ book shelf we are putting by his bed. We love the results so much we are putting many more of these up.  In our music room we plan to put some up to hold all the music books.

I would advise you purchase the vinyl rain gutters over the aluminum for a number of reasons.  First and foremost they are safer, no sharp edges for kids or adults to get cut on, no shards of metal from drilling for screws or cutting. They will not get dented or bent the way aluminum gutters will. There is no crimping that needs to be done to attach the end caps as the vinyl end caps fit on easily and cleanly.

We cut the 10 foot gutter up into two 3 ft. pieces and one 4 ft. piece. There are lots of options with these gutters and you can even get connecting pieces to let them wrap a corner.

When we brought them home we just attached the end caps to each 3 foot section.

 

Gutter 3

Gutter 4

Gutter 5

Next, my husband easily drilled three holes for the screws. We put 1 screw on each end and one in the middle.  We used wall anchor screws and we added a washer that you fit under the lip of the gutter on the inside of the shelf and stops the screw from puckering the vinyl on the interior of the shelf.

Gutter 6

Then he put the shelf on the wall, leveled it and marked the screw holes. He then put the anchors in the wall. After that he just attached them to the wall with the screws and we were good to go.

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Easy inexpensive book shelves made from vinyl rain gutters! #storage #books #diy #Back2SchoolReady #Ad #mommyramblings

A video posted by Mommy Ramblings (@mommyramblingsblog) on


These rain gutter shelves are super sturdy, hold lots of book and look great! Let me know what you think? What do you do for your book storage?


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How I Created A Nursery That’s A Jungle Of Fun-#MagicBabyMoments

 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
#MagicBabyMoments #CollectiveBias

#MagicBabyMoments Collage

Living on a lake in a resort town, we do a lot of entertaining, especially in the summer. When you factor that we have 2 large homes on this lake, we get our share of company. Having five kids, we have loads of baby and kid gear,  so if someone forgets any baby gear or accessories, we have extras.  We decided it would be a good idea to help our guests out and make things as easy as possible when traveling with baby. We have a large home with many bedrooms so we thought about creating a nursery in one of the guest spaces.

The youngest 2 of our five kids were super close in age and both in cribs at the same time, so we had all the major pieces.  We decided to set up a crib and create a nursery space that will be a welcome relief to our visiting family with babies and toddlers.  We think it will be a huge relief to them  not having to stuff more oversized baby gear in their car or van when visiting.

I was in Walmart the other day and saw their Disney Baby bedding collection.  It was literally flying off the shelves it was so popular.  I spoke with an associate who told me that was why it seemed sparse.  I was lucky to find an adorable Disney Baby Lion King Jungle Fun, 3 Piece Bedding Set that would look great and was unisex. The set has accents of tan, aqua, ivory, green and brown that give me lots of decorating and painting options.

lion king in store aisle

I also picked up a coordinating super soft plush Disney Baby Lion King Jungle Fun Plush Blanket and Knit Beanie. The 3 piece crib set includes a dust ruffle, crib sheet and comforter.  Everything is affordably priced and perfect for a brand new nursery or as an easy way to update an existing one.

lion king collage in store

Heading home I could not wait to deck out the crib with the new bedding.  I was impressed with the quality of the set. For such a small price, I didn’t expect it to be so nice. What a pleasant surprise to unpack the items and find the great quality. The darling appliqued comforter is a large 42″ by 33″, the fabric is a 100% polyester microfiber that feels great. The three pieces are easy to care for and are machine washable and dryable. The comforter is so nice and has one cub with a velvety feel that little ones will just love.

lion king crib idea

Lion King Bedding

lion king bedding back

The coordinating Lion King plush blanket is super soft and comes with a knit beanie with cute playful ears in a golden shade of yellow great for boys or girls.  The blanket is 30″ by 40″ and is machine washable and dryable for easy care which I love.  It will be easy to freshen the bedding between our little guests.

Lion King blanket cap

Lion king crib

Lion King Dust Ruffle

Lion King blanket Sheet Crib Bedding Disney

Lion King Nursery 3

I am in the process of going through and adding all the Lion King accents we have like the Pumba and Timon.  I have all of the characters in plush, even figurines. I am going to add to a cute little shelf I just painted aqua and will hang on the wall.  I still have a lot I want to do like paint the walls a shade of green and bring the changing table in too! I am a perfectionist so I want everything perfect but decided to just get going and get the biggest piece in and work around that.  I will update when it’s all finished.

Lion King Nursery

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Lion King Nursery 1

 I think the Disney Baby Lion King Jungle Fun 3 Piece Crib Bedding  Set and blanket with cap make an adorable theme for this new guest nursery.  What do you think?  Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments


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Filed under Baby, Baby Gear, Disney, DIY, Family, Family Fun, Home, Home & Garden, Home Improvement, Shoppertunity

DIY Storage Made From 2 by 4’s To Hold Our Sadness & Anger-#InsideOutEmotions

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #InsideOutEmotions #CollectiveBias

 

diy storage bin from 2 by 4'sI think one of the biggest things we underestimate before we are parents, is the amount of “stuff” kids seem to need. From the nursery through childhood it seems that the “stuff” multiplies before our eyes. The gear, toys, clothing and more that seem to fill every corner of our home can sometimes seem overwhelming.

Finding a way to corral all the stuff seems to be a never-ending battle.  I find the hardest part is the balance between functional and aesthetically pleasing. Plastic bins and totes always look messy and like we are packing all the time.  They are good for putting things away in the basement or attic but not as long-term storage solutions.

Recently I was in Walmart and saw the display of plush characters from the new Disney Pixar movie Inside Out. If you are not aware of the movie, the characters represent the feelings and emotions we all carry inside. The 5 personified emotions in the movie are also plush characters called  Sadness, Anger, Joy, Fear and Disgust. I picked up Sadness and Anger and I have to admit it gave me more than a chuckle to say, “I went to Walmart and left with Sadness and Anger.”

disney pixar inside out  Collage

 

I think the characters are great and are a super springboard for kids to talk about their emotions with themselves, their parents, teachers or therapists. I frankly think they are even a good way for anyone to discuss their feelings. I was talking about it with some good friends and coworkers earlier today. We all thought if there should be a bin full of these plush emotions in every office.  Then everyone could take what they were feeling out and sit down at a conference table to discuss and hash out some tension.

The characters are huggable and soft but I could not help while holding sadness to think it could be said I had to let my sadness go. The same could be said of anger or fear. It was very humorous but  I think for children it is a very good way to discuss feelings and emotions in a constructive way.  I know my children enjoyed holding the plush characters and talking about the emotions and how they felt. Even very young children who cannot fully articulate or express their emotions would benefit engaging with the characters because it would be a very visual representation of their feelings.

Back to storage, now that 2 new plush characters have moved home with us, and I am sure the other 3 will soon  follow, I wanted to find a way to contain our emotions.  Sorry I could not resist that! I needed to find a storage solution that was good for all of my kid’s plush toys.

I found some plans on-line that looked really cool.  They were storage boxes made from 2 by 4s that were sturdy, had wheels and a handle.  The boxes would not be outgrown and literally could follow your child to college and beyond. I thought that the 2 by 4’s could be stained or painted and immediately got my husband involved.  s

We went out and bought ten 2 by 4’s, screws, pulls and casters.  We had wood glue and our tools so we headed home.  I stained the 2 by 4’s with a green water based stain. You will need to have a saw, drill, 4″ screws if you are not using a Kreg Jig and if you are you will need 2.5″ self tapping screws, wood filler, wood glue, 8 casters and 2 pulls. You will need to get six 10′ 2 by 4’s and two 8′ 2 by 4’s.

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After the wood was stained and dry, it was time to make all the cuts we needed for the 2 boxes. We needed to cut the 2 by 4’s into the following lengths:

  • 8-16″ for legs
  • 12-14″ front/back
  • 12-18″ sides
  • 12-21″ bottom

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With all the pieces cut, we needed to assemble the boxes. You could use 4 inches screws to go through the 2 by 4’s or a Kreg Jig which makes it possible to screw through pocket holes.  The advantage of the Kreg Jig is that the screws are concealed and it creates the strongest joint. We chose to use the Kreg Jig to secure our boxes.

Inside Out Jig

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We used wood glue and screws to attach the pieces.

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After all the sides are built and assembled you are ready to build the bottom.  Take the 6 pieces and glue and screw to secure.

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Attach the caster wheels. We are changing these wheels to something more heavy duty since the boxes can hold so much weight, we want stronger than a 50 lb limit on them. You never know what our son will put in these boxes in the future.

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Then I touched up all the stain.  I am going to put 2 coats of poly on but did not have the time yet.

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I will update when I have coated them with poly and when  we have the second box built and finished.  We are going to move them to the bottom of our son’s closet. He has a large closet with double doors and these 2 boxes are going on the bottom and will fit very nicely. We added the handle and then filled with some plush friends including Anger and Sadness.

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So now we have a box to put our Anger and Sadness in and I know that soon we will be putting Joy, Fear and Disgust in too. Have you see Inside Out?  Let me know if you did and how you liked it.  If you decide to make these storage boxes let me know how they turn out, or if you have any questions. I hope you do, then you can contain your emotions too!

 

 


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How We Made A Unique Coat Tree From Cut Timber For Free #BringingInnovation

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BringingInnovation #CollectiveBias

green coat tree collage

I care deeply about the Earth, I love to repurpose things and use the natural resources around us.  It’s funny, even though our house has many closets, my children and husband leave their coats and back packs all over our kitchen chairs.  This drives me crazy! Since closets and wall racks did not work, I thought maybe a coat tree placed in the side hall would. The coat tree would be prominent,  they could easily hang their coats, hats and backpacks as they walked by.  I choose my battles and would rather have the coats on a coat tree in the side hall than on my kitchen chairs.

When I started researching coat trees, all I saw were flimsy or unattractive designs.  I looked further and found some really unique coat trees made out of TREES!  Can you imagine?  After seeing that and living on acres of wooded property…I think you can imagine my thoughts.  I called out to my husband  and showed him my idea, he was all for it. We couldn’t have picked a better time, many trees were recently cut by the town because they were too close to electric wires.  We gathered our tree supplies and started the process of assembly.

For the base my husband split a large log in half. Then he used a chainsaw and chisel to make a hole in the top of the base for the tree trunk.  He also hollowed out the underside of the log right beneath the hole on the top.  Hollowing the bottom made it possible to get the screw/bolt used to attach the trunk to the base, deeper into the trunk. We wanted to make sure the base was very safe and secure.

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We also put wood glue around the base before attaching it.  Then my husband cut the “hooks” from long lengths of tree branches. After that he drilled holes in the tree trunk for them.  He put wood glue on the base of the branch hooks, then placed them in the holes and knocked them into place with a 2 pound sledge-hammer.  Right now, we have three branch hooks on the bottom for the little kids and three on the top for adults but we plan to add a few more.

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As soon as this New York winter, err I mean spring, wants to give us some seasonable weather, we’re going to take the coat tree outside and seal and protect it with marine varnish.  I will update when it is finished with the final pictures.

 

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We are really impressed with our unique coat tree and have more projects in mind that we will share with you in the upcoming weeks.   We’re happy  we can utilize the natural resources on our property to make something we need.  In the end we have something we’re proud of and best of all is made in the USA by us!

The coat tree is super sturdy and far better than anything we could purchase. I wish we could make everything we need, but there are some things we can’t.  Batteries for our remotes, kid’s toys, clocks, and more are something we can’t harvest outside. Last weekend I was shopping at Walmart and saw new Energizer® EcoAdvanced AA Batteries and picked some up.  They’re right in the normal battery aisle in the photo department. EcoAdvanced AA batteries are the longest lasting and best performing Energizer® Alkaline ever!  Equally impressive EcoAdvanced AA and AAA batteries are the first in the world to be with a percentage of recycled batteries. You can stock up on them too, because they hold up to 12 years in storage.

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Performance is very important to me, I work from home and rely on the battery in my computer mouse. If  I’m in the middle of a webinar or conference, I can’t afford to have the battery die when trying to change a slide (I hate touchpads). I need performance I can depend on. Energizer® EcoAdvanced Batteries give me peace of mind knowing I have that! This is another step  Energizer® is taking on their journey to bring performance and responsibility to the world – that’s positivenergy!™  I’m thrilled at these steps forward and love the guilt-free benefit I can count on in the longest lasting Energizer® alkaline!

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You know what else I love?  Coat free kitchen chairs around my table! Yippee for small but gratifying victories! Speaking of victories you can enter the “GuiltFreeEnergy” Giveaway below for your chance to win  $1,000 in Gift Cards!

GuiltFreeEnergy Giveaway – $1,000 in Gift Cards

I hope you will let me know what you think about our project and share with me what you’re doing to make our Earth a little greener!


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SteamMachine Plus Is The Answer For Chemical Free Spring Cleaning & We’re Giving One Away!

Anyone that knows me, knows I don’t use products with toxic chemicals. They also know I am a germophobe.  You may be wondering how I clean.  Well, I use a great line of cleaning products that are made with powerful plant based solvents and non-toxic ingredients but I also rely heavily on something else.  Steam, the power of STEAM!

HomeRight SteamMachine Collage

 

I love my full size HomeRight SteamMachine and so when I had the chance to try out the SteamMachine Plus from HomeRight, I was super excited.  It’s so perfect because it has a portable steam cleaner built right into the mop.  So you have everything you need to clean and sanitize your home in a very portable package.

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So let me tell you about this powerhouse of steam cleaning greatness.  This Steam Mop is my  go to for daily cleaning jobs of all kinds and lets me see sparkling results in less time.  The detachable hand-held steamer is what really sets this mop apart from other steam mops.  Literally at your fingertips you have everything you need to clean from floor to ceiling.  Homerite Steam Pro Mop Pic

HormRight Steam Pro Mop Portable Steamer

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6 useful attachments are included and you can use the portable steamer to clean and disinfect stoves, ovens, grills, counters, bathroom surfaces and so much more.  The steam is 205 degrees as it leaves the nozzle and kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria including e-coli, salmonella and staph germs.

Homeright Steam Cleaner Attachments

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The convenient fold down handle makes it easy to store the mop in the closet or pantry.  The mop comes with 2 pads that attach to the triangular-shaped, swivel mop head.  The shape of the mop head along with the swivel make it easy to get into even tight spaces.

Homrite Steam Mop

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The steam trigger on the handle lets you get extra steam on demand for tough jobs.  You can use the mop on tile, laminate, hardwood and vinyl flooring and the carpet glider allows you to steam clean rugs.

Homerite Steam Pro Mop Attachment

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Homerie Steam Cleaner

 

Homeright Steam Cleaning

This mop heats up fast, just 30 seconds and you are good to go and can clean about 20 minutes on one tank of water.  The 16 foot cord lets you have enough mobility to clean a good size area without having to find another outlet or use an extension cord.

C800949 Steam Mop Handle

Included in Box:

  • Detachable Steamer
  • Steamer Frame
  • Mop Head
  • Carpet Glider
  • (2) Microfiber Mop Pads
  • Squeegee/Fabric Steamer
  • Cotton Bonnet for Squeegee/Fabric Steamer
  • Small Nylon Brush
  • Large Nylon Brush
  • Angled Jet Nozzle
  • Grout Brush
  • Scraper
  • Straight Adaptor
  • Measuring Cup

 

Specifications:

  • 205 degree F steam
  • 20 Minute Run Time
  • Heats Up in 30 Seconds
  • 12 Ounce Water Tank
  • 1500 Watts
  • 120 Volts
  • 16 Foot Cord
  • UL Safety Listed
HomeRight is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win their own HomeRight SteamMachine Plus Mop!  Thank you to HomeRight for the review product and for sponsoring this steaming giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

HomeRight SteamMachine Plus Mop Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

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