Toddler Table

Wow! Can you believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving already? This fall as flown by… its going to be Christmas before we know it! As much as I love the holiday season, I don’t think I am ready yet!!

Here is a little project I have been working on, if you have any toddlers on your Christmas list, this was a cheap & easy project, that turned out FANTASTIC!!

Ikea before and after

I thought Bubs would like his own “toddler size” table, his best friend, “N”, has this one, and he LOVES to sit at it!

Ikea Table

Ikea Table

BONUS – It costs only $19!!

I thought it was such a great deal, and Bubs seemed to love it, but it was pretty boring… so I decided to “spruce” it up a bit!

I had a leftover paint sample I bought at Benjamin Moore, one I thought I wanted for Bubs bedroom, but didn’t like once I tested it on the walls. Of course I did not get rid of it (because I don’t like to waste things!), so I dug it out of the basement and decided to use it for the table!

Benjamin Moore Blue Lagoon

Benjamin Moore Blue Lagoon

Then I thought, how fun would it be if Bubs could draw ON the actual table top?? Obviously a toddler would LOVE to draw on the table, who needs paper, right? So I thought I would use chalkboard paint!! I already had some on hand, from another project I did (more on that project later!).

FolkArt Chalkboard Paint

FolkArt Chalkboard Paint

Since the ikea wood is untreated, it absorbed the paint like nobody’s business…

Ikea Table 1

Ikea Table 2

I am really liking the Benjamin Moore Blue Lagoon as a table color (even if I didn’t like it as a wall color!).

After I did the first coat on all the wood pieces, I decided to paint a coat of chalkboard paint on the table top.

One Coat

One Coat

Ahhhh!! That looks BAD!! I remember when I used this paint before that it did weird things and turned out ok, so I tried to relax a bit…

I let the first coat (on both the wood and table top) soak in overnight, then put a second coat on.

Ikea Table 3

Second Coat

Second Coat

Ok, everything looks pretty good with the second coat! Now time to let it all dry…

Ikea All dry

I put one coat of polyurethane on the wood pieces, and “seasoned” the chalkboard…


I let the poly dry overnight, then put the chairs together…

Ikea Chair

Bubs Approves!

After wiping the table top off and drawing on it a bit with the chalk, and wiping again, I realized the paint was chipping off! (I was worried about that happening, since the table top has a shiny white finish on it.) Ugh!

So I flipped the table top over and used the “raw” side, I lightly sanded it with an extra-fine sanding block, and then started over with my chalkboard paint…

Ikea Table Top

Ok it looks better and seems more durable (always important when making things for toddlers!). I “seasoned” it no chips this time!

ikea table top 1

I had already taken the chairs home, so here is the table, Bubs LOVED it!!

ikea table 4

ikea picstitch

FIrst snack at his new table!

First snack at his new table!

Here it is all done!

Austin's Table

Austin’s Table

Austin's Table

Austin’s Table

I am sooooo happy that I took the time to paint it, it looks FANTASTIC! And for $19 and some leftover paint… who can beat that deal??

What do you think?

Sick Toddler

Well, I had ideas for today’s post, but Bubs has a cold. For those of you who do not have kids or your kid hasn’t been sick yet, basically what that means is that the whole night & day revolve around your sick child.



Poor Bubs, of course there isn’t much I can do for him, and he doesn’t understand why he doesn’t feel good. 😦

He went to bed last night as normal, then starting at 10:45 pm, he woke up EVERY hour until about 5:45, then he slept about 2 1/2 hours and we’ve basically been up since. (For those of you who do not have kids, that means this Momma was up every hour as well).

His nose is so stuffed up, I got about a 25-30 min nap out of him earlier. Which was about enough time to drink a cup of coffee, then his congestion woke him up.

I tried to give him a bath after his short nap, normally he LOVES bath time, but not today. He screamed the entire time. At least he was clean for a few mins, the slobber & snot seem to be never ending. After his brief bath, he ate a snack of crackers & a banana. The rest of the afternoon has consisted of this…


It’s only 2:45… I am exhausted and so is he! I thawed a jar of my homemade organic chicken noodle soup for him to eat later, hopefully that helps a little.


I guess my blog ideas will have to wait until tomorrow. I’m off to warm up my cup of coffee for the 4th time today.

What do you do when your toddler is sick?

Bathroom Revamp – Part 2

Hi again! I just wanted to point out that even though this stain has its “toxic qualities”, it is still a green makeover. Since I am reusing my same cabinet (preventing it from going into the landfill), I am reducing trash, and saving money!

Ok, Ok… I know, you just want to see my DIY handiwork…

Are you on the edge of your seats?? I know all you really want is to see the before and after, so here it is, my bathroom cabinet staining project before & after!

Before & After

Before & After

Now… if you are interested in seeing how it was done, start-to-finish (and how bad it looked before it got to this…), keep reading!

Here are a few before photos…

Cabinet before staining project

Cabinet before staining project

Side of cabinet before project

Side of cabinet before project

My first step was to lay down painter’s paper & use painter’s tape to tape it to the floor, wall, and counter. Then I took all the drawers & doors off.




I brought the doors and drawers into the basement, where I had laid out card tables, then covered them with a plastic sheet. I washed each door & drawer face with a little bit of original Dawn dish soap & water, rinsed them off, dried them really good and laid them on the plastic covered tables.


Image-1-2Next I did my first light coat on the cabinet, I started in the bathroom, then did all the drawers & doors in the basement. I wore a pair of vinyl gloves & used an old sock to wipe the stain on the wood. It worked great, but looked awful!! Honestly, if I hadn’t been warned from the other two women’s blogs, I would have been freaking out! Pretty orange, right??

First Coat

First Coat

First Coat

First Coat

First Coat

First Coat

After that I waited 12 hours (probably a little more given the time of day I did the first coat), then came time for the second coat…. looking less orange, and more cherry-ish and possibly more streaky? Ahhhh… freaking out a little bit…

Second Coat

Second Coat

Second Coat

Second Coat

Ok… now we wait 24 hours….then I can do my third (and, according to the other blogs, final coat!)… Looking MUCH more like a deep Georgian Cherry color, but maybe a bit streaky? Well, maybe they will be fine… they need 3 days to dry… so we take Bubs up north for a long weekend… we come home and this is what it looks like….

Third Coat

Third Coat

Third Coat - Are those STREAKS?

Third Coat – Are those STREAKS?

I see some streaks still… FREAK OUT time… What to do, what to do??? Ok… I think to myself “Don’t Panic”, even though I am already panicking…. none of my test doors turned out this way… OMG… what do I do now?? So I decide, I will just do a fourth coat, it can’t hurt, can it?

Fourth Coat

Fourth Coat

Fourth Coat

Fourth Coat

Of course I had to give them 3 more days to dry… but, luckily only the doors and a few drawers needed a fourth coat. They look GREAT now!

Now time to do 2 coats of Polyurethane. I didn’t take pictures, since it looks the same with & without the poly. I did one coat, waited a day, and then did the second coat. I waited a few days after the second coat to put it all back together, just incase somewhere was still slightly wet. Here is the FINAL product!!











Doesn’t it look FANTASTIC??!!! I just LOVE the results and now I have MUCH more confidence to do the kitchen! Now to just find the time to do it….

Supply List

1)Painter’s Paper

2)Painter’s Tape

3) Painter’s Pyramids (2 packs)

4) General Finishes Gel Stain in Georgian Cherry

5) Old towels & rags

6) Vinyl gloves (many pairs)

7) Old socks (I think I used 5)

Some things I realized after the fact,

1) I probably was much more nervous staining the cabinet than test doors, so I was going SUPER light with the stain

2) The house may have been too humid for the stain to dry as quickly as I would have liked, causing more streaks

3) Maybe winter really is a better time to do this project, since the heat is on!

4) It really is not HARD work, but it takes a LONG time… all-in-all, it took me 3 weeks… had I not had to do a fourth coat, and wait 3 days (again) for it to dry before applying the poly, it would have been quite a bit less time.

Well, what do you think? Have I inspired you to stain your cabinets?? 🙂

Bathroom Revamp – Part 1

This was our bathroom when we bought our house, pretty plain, and honestly… kind of a pukey color on the wall. I could not wait to redo it!

Bathroom Before Revamp

Bathroom Before Revamp

After we got married I figured it was time to redo it! We had registered for a new shower curtain, new rugs, new towels, and a new bathroom shelf, so our costs would be low for the revamp. It started as a small project (As it seems, all home improvement projects start…), just some paint, new shower curtain rod, load in our wedding gifts…

After paint, shelf, & textiles

After paint, shelf, & textiles

and new faucets, new window blinds… then we thought “How about new mirrors?”… and a new medicine cabinet…The further we got into the revamp, the more ideas AND issues we came across…

New medicine cabinet, blinds & glass shelves

New medicine cabinet, blinds & glass shelves

The faucets we chose (and had already ordered) did not fit our countertop. That’s when we found out that our countertop was cut to fit the cabinet… and the cabinet, that was cut to fit into the bathroom… by this point it was too late to return the faucets… what to do, what to do… well, we decided to order a new Corian countertop, one that was a color we wanted, with the faucet holes in the correct spot, and custom designed to fit our cabinet. When we realized we would be ordering a new countertop, we thought we might as well look at cabinets too… what we found out was they all cost about $500-$1,000 and were no better than the one we already had! We decided to just keep what we had and save the money.

New faucet & countertop

New faucet & countertop

New Corian countertop & mirrors

New Corian countertop & mirrors

Fast forward two years, as I was cruising around Pinterest I found a pin about staining your “builder’s grade” cabinetry with a gel stain. The woman’s blog I found had actually copied another woman’s blog. I read both blog posts and decided I wanted to redo our kitchen cupboards. We had recently had a kitchen cupboard modified to fit our new above-range-microwave, so I had two cabinet doors to play around with. I decided to test out the gel stain. The two blogs both used the Java color stain, so that is what I tried too… here is my Java test door…

picstitch java

Java Stain

I really liked it, but realized it would be a huge project and with an infant in the house I wasn’t sure I wanted all those chemicals in the air, I figured I would wait until Bubs was older and it was warm enough to do most of the staining outside.

Fast Forward about 6 more months…

Scott & I thought that maybe the Java color was too dark, so I ordered a pint of the Georgian Cherry color. My parents had a left over cabinet door so I tested it on that one… here is my Georgian Cherry test door…


Georgian Cherry Stain


Georgian Cherry Stain

WE LOVED the outcome of the Georgian Cherry!! I decided I was ready to do our kitchen… but then I got nervous…. so I opted to stain the bathroom cabinet instead!

Stay tuned….

Trash to Toddler Treasure

Can you believe someone was throwing this out?? Luckily my mom saw it by the curb and “rescued” it! (Now do you see where I get my ideas to reuse things?? LOL) What’s even funnier? Imagining my mom driving up to someone’s house & picking this out of their trash!

photo 1-1

Bubs is one lucky little boy! Nana wanted her only grandson to have a kitchen to play with and what better way to get one than for free!?

photo 5-1

photo 2-1

photo 3-1

So, when this kitchen showed up at my house, it was pretty disgusting… lucky for Bubs, his Momma is a bit of an OCD cleaner… as I posted before, I prefer to use green cleaners, I like to make my own, and I love to use vinegar to clean with. All of that being said, there are just some things in life that need to be cleaned with bleach. This kitchen is one of those things.

photo 4

So while Bubs napped one day, I carried this gross thing into my basement laundry room, then I scrubbed and scrubbed this little kitchen, rinsed it with a wet rag and then carried it outside to hose it down.

photo 6-1

photo 8

photo 9-1

photo 10-1

Wow! What an improvement!!

photo 14

photo 15

I dried it off, brought it back into the basement and set it up, so when Bubs woke up from his nap, I could show him his new kitchen. He LOVED it!!!

photo 12-1

photo 11-1

photo 13-1

I am so glad my mom was able to prevent this “vintage” play kitchen, actually called the Little Tikes Party Kitchen, from going to the landfill! I know Bubs loves his new kitchen and I love that we got it for free ! I think next summer it will go outside for him to play with (which I am assuming is where it came from, since it was THAT dirty!).

Do you have any treasures you found in someone else’s trash?

Halloween Fun!

Wow… what can I say, I have been missing from the blogosphere for a few weeks now… I cannot believe how fast this fall season is passing by! Halloween came & went so fast!

Austin the zebra

Austin the zebra

Bubs was a zebra for Halloween this year. I made his costume (can you tell?). Growing up, my mom always made our costumes, and I would like to pass that tradition on to my children as well!

I had a great idea of how I would paint stripes on a white hoodie & white leggings… well… it turns out that a white hoodie & white leggings are hard to find for a 16 month old! I did, however, find zebra leggings & a zebra hoodie… so I bought those. So, I guess you could say I “cheated” a little on my costume making, but that wasn’t my plan, I had no other option! I did make ears & a maine out of felt to add to the hood, I used black socks (over his shoes), and black mittens (well, for a few mins anyway) on his hands for the hooves. I think it turned out great!

My Zebra

My Zebra

Zebra butt

Zebra butt

We had such a busy Halloween season (I’m not complaining), I have always loved Halloween! Bubs got to wear his Halloween costume three times!!

Oct 20th our town had a Halloween festival in our downtown park, the kids could trick or treat, there was live children’s music, and a costume contest! They even had a costume contest for pets! We brought Lexi, dressed as a cow, with us. Halloween is her favorite holiday, she LOVES all the crazy kids running around! We met our neighbors in town, N & Bubs had a great time just playing and watching the other kids. We did not collect candy, since Bubs isn’t going to eat it anyway!

Austin 3

Whoa… don’t fall over!

Austin 1

Trying to sneak some of N’s candy!

Family 2

Daddy, Bubs & Momma

Family Photo

Family Photo

As unhappy as Baby Girl looks in this photo, she really was thrilled to be downtown with all the kids! She just isn’t that photogenic (well, and she’s not too thrilled to be dressed as a cow, although, she LOVED that everyone “moo’d” at her!)!

Next up… Oct 25, Plymouth Whalers OHL hockey game, Halloween night! They had trick or treating between periods, and lots of kids dressed up! Again, we did not collect candy, but it was fun for Bubs to see all the kids dressed up!

Walking with Daddy

Walking with Daddy

Snack Break

Snack Break

Hanging out

Hanging out

Picture with Daddy

Picture with Daddy

Snuggling with Uncle Mike

Snuggling with Uncle Mike

Bubs is such a good sport, he loves his Plymouth Whalers, even though we were out past his bedtime, he did great at the game!

Of course, next is Halloween… Oct 31… Austin’s cousins, Gavin & Avery came over to trick or treat with Austin. Too bad I didn’t get a picture of the three of them together BEFORE trick or treating… it was raining here on Halloween, so when we got back from trick or treating the kids were SOAKED… well, luckily Bubs was not that wet, since he was in his stroller. Here are some photos of him…

After trick or treating

After trick or treating

My Zebra after trick or treating

My Zebra after trick or treating

We did collect candy on Halloween, mainly because Bubs saw that his cousins were getting candy… he was so cute, wanting to give the next house the candy he got from the previous house! Our neighbors are so sweet, many of them were prepared for little trick or treaters, they had “toddler approved snacks”, things like fruit snacks, cheddar fish, small suckers and cheetos! Bubs had such a great time, I can’t wait for next year!!

What did your kids dress as this year for trick or treating?? Did the weather bother them?

Yummy Zucchini “Pasta”

I am so sorry for being MIA! Bubs has recently reached his “needy” stage. I was kind of hoping he would never have one! (Wishful thinking, I know!)

Zucchini Pasta

Here is our healthy, 100% Organic lunch! Bubs & I both LOVED it! And we finished it all!! This “pasta” bowl is made with organic zucchini, organic red pepper, organic onion, organic garlic, organic mushrooms, and organic extra-virgin olive oil.

How did I make the “noodles” you ask?? I bought one of these handy spiral cutters on Amazon.

My mom had this spiral cutter this summer while we were up north, she made us zucchini noodles, they were great! So I decided to buy the same cutter. Today is the first time I have used it! Great results, I definitely recommend it!

Onto the steps of our lunch…

First I washed the zucchini and used my potato/carrot peeler and peeled “Stripes” into the zucchini.

Organic Zucchini

Organic Zucchini Before

Then, I spun the zucchini into the spiral cutter, this is what is left of the zucchini afterwards.

Organic Zucchini After

Organic Zucchini After

This is what 2 zucchinis look like, after being “spun” thru the spiral cutter.

Zucchini Noodles

Zucchini Noodles

Then I cut up some organic mushrooms, organic onion, organic red pepper and organic garlic, I dumped them all into my stir fry pan (which, I LOVE by the way!) and added my organic EVOO…I let these sauté a bit before adding the zucchini noodles.

Stir Fry

Stir Fry

Once I added the zucchini noodles, I sautéed for just a few mins, then poured into a large bowl, Bubs and I ate them just like that, no seasoning, or anything (none needed, really!).

Veggie "Pasta" Bowl

Veggie “Pasta” Bowl


2 Organic Zucchini (About medium size)

1/2 Organic  Sweet Onion

3 Cloves Organic Garlic (chopped finely)

4 Organic Mushrooms, cut into strips

1/2 Organic Red Pepper, cut into strips

1-1 1/2 TBSP Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Heat oil in wok or large sauté pan, dump onion, garlic & red pepper in, sauté about 4-5 mins, add mushroom slices, sauté about 2 mins, add zucchini noodles, sauté about 2-3 additional minutes or until noodles are tender, pour into bowl & enjoy!!

Maybe next time I will try some different seasonings, or parmesan cheese…. I can’t wait to try other veggies!!

Have you ever made a vegetable “noodle” before??

Hybrid & Electric Cars – Does speed matter when your saving the planet?

Hybrid & Electric cars… they both seem like an AWESOME idea, but man are they ugly?? And slow???…

Of course, over the years they have become better looking, but still… as a woman who has always LOVED cars (thanks to my dad!), the look and speed of hybrids have turned me off. I know, I know… people say, “but you’re GREEN and so is driving a hybrid/electric”, but, honestly… there are just some things I am not willing to compromise on! I am from Michigan, the home of the Motor City, cars are in my BLOOD!!

I am all about saving money on the ever-rising gas prices, but can I still have my speed & style too??

Guess what? Some car manufacturers are listening to green auto enthusiasts, finally!! Check this out…

Porshe 918 Hybrid sets speed record

How about electric cars? I saw this one a few years ago at the Detroit auto show, and now I’ve actually seen some driving around Metro Detroit! Check this electric car out… you will honestly say “Is this REALLY electric?”!

Of course, I can’t afford the $845,000 price tag on the Porshe 918, now the Tesla is a little more realistically priced, starting around $75,000. I mean $75,000 is still a lot of money, but you do get a Federal tax credit for purchasing an electric car, as well as the long term savings from gas prices! Both cars are out of my financial reach, but it just goes to show that the auto industry is listening when us green auto enthusiasts are talking!! Now we need the more affordable car manufacturers to follow suit!

Would you buy a hybrid or electric car?

Little Artists

Well, Hello Monday!

What a great weekend! Yesterday I was trying to think of something fun to do with Bubs outside, we are having this AMAZING late summer Fall weather! It was perfect out, not a cloud in the sky, high 60s, with LOTS of warm sun!!

I pinned a safe kids finger paint recipe on Pinterest, MONTHS ago, and have been dying to try it out with Bubba. I kept putting it off, thinking “the older he is, the more he will enjoy the paint”, and hoping the weather would cool down a bit too. Well, Sunday was the day to find that recipe and make the paint! So I pulled up my Pinterest boards and went on a search for it, guess what?, it turns out, I pinned about 5 different safe kids paints… I had a specific recipe in mind, so it took a while to find it. Here it is if you want to make it yourself. (I made a double batch).

I mixed up the recipe, then added my food coloring… I had 13 colors!!

Paint 1I called our neighbors to see if N wanted to come paint with Bubs, they were in and headed on over! While we were waiting for them to arrive, I made a few stamps out of potatoes, I thought the kids would have fun using the stamps, as well as, painting with their fingers!

PotatoesBubba wasn’t that interested in actually painting, he wanted to eat the paint and eat the potatoes!

AustinWe tried to have N show Bubs how to use the stamps…

Austin 4It didn’t work out so well… Bubs took it and “ran”…

Escapee 1

Escapee 3As you can see, he was eating the potato (see the paint on his face?!), he ended up eating most of the square off of the square “stamp”!

Meanwhile, N was making a layered masterpiece!

Painting 1 Painting 3 Painting 4 Painting 5

All-in-all it was a fun Fall day, spent outside with friends! We will definitely do the paint again, it was a GREAT recipe, safe for the kids to eat, did not stain their skin and made vibrant colors! Now that we know it washes off easily, I think next time we will do it inside, maybe that way Bubba won’t be as distracted!

What are some fun Fall outdoor activities you have done to enjoy this weather??

Got Laundry?

Don’t we all? Laundry seems to be never-ending, especially if you have kids! I am always looking for green ways to do laundry and reduce the amount of chemicals used on our clothing, bedding & towels! Since Bubba was born, I stopped using fabric sheets. They recommend parents of new babies not use them, as they can irritate baby’s delicate skin. I wanted to do a little research of my own, so I went to EWG’s Guide to Cleaning and looked up our dryer sheets… WOW… way to scare a new mom!!

For the most part, I didn’t miss them! EXCEPT when I am washing fleece/fuzzy blankets and sheets! Those dryer sheets always helped reduce the extreme amount of static created by fleece and made our sheets seem softer & more comfy… well the risk isn’t worth it, in my opinion!!

I remembered reading somewhere (I am sorry, I can’t remember where!) that vinegar could be used as a fabric softener… so I decided to give it a go! And guess what? I LOVE it! No vinegar smell, clothes come out softer and less static-y, AND without the use of chemicals!! I use distilled white vinegar and a downy dryer ball…. This is what I do…

Step 1: Grab your dryer ball, here is mine…

Dryer Ball

Step 2: Grab your vinegar, I buy store brands and usually have a few bottles around (since vinegar has MANY uses!)


Step 3: Pour desired amount into dryer ball (I like to fill it to the Extra Large line). Pull the plug to lock vinegar in the ball.

Step 4: Throw the ball into the washer with dirty clothes. Run wash cycle.

Step 5: Take clothes out of washer, throw in dryer, when dried, fold/hang and go about your day!

Easy-peasy! And chemical free!! It works GREAT all around, vinegar can also help reduce the soap residue that stays in fabrics, especially towels!!

Do you have any eco-laundry tips??

*Please comment below, on my blog! Thanks!