Taming the Christmas Beast... A.k.a My Toddler.

November 30, 2014 April McCormick 1 Comments

While shopping at the local farmer's market, I ran into an old friend who had never met Ollie.  After our girly screams and how have you beens, Ollie stole the show.  My friend asked him if he was excited about Christmas... this is how the conversation went.

GF: Are you excited about Christmas?
Ollie: (matter of fact) Santa is coming to town.
GF: Oh Wow!  That's exciting.
Ollie: (matter of fact) He's going to come down the chimney.

Both my girlfriend and I busted out laughing.  Where the hell does he get this stuff?

No doubt, FTD.

I understand it's par for the course for a child to think of Santa when asked about Christmas, but it was clear from this exchange, he still has no clue what is going on, or why the fat man in the red suit is going to squeeze his happy ass down our chimney.

Being that Ollie is just three months shy of turning three, this is his first Christmas to somewhat grasp  something is going on.  Last year, all he knew was that daddy set up a tree and hung chocolates from it... that he was constantly getting busted for taking down and biting into. Wrapper and all.


Between his exchange with my friend, and my love of the holiday for family, tradition and of course my unshakable faith, I want to make sure I teach my son what Christmas is really about. I want him to know why we have a tree, and why we have to go to church at night, and why the fat man is coming with gifts.

Just so we're on the same page, before I go into one of my wicked rants, (happy Monday!) here's my internal struggle: There is SO MUCH to the Christmas holiday, how do I teach my almost three year old child the basics without blowing his mind?

My inner child and inner mother have been having this internal dialogue for a few days now.  Yes, I am that certifiable that I have this going on! 

So here's what been said so far...

Inner child:  WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?  He's a child. A two-year-old.  You can preach Jesus and God all you want, but to a child, presents and cookies and family gatherings are where the fun is at. Don't piss on it with your bible thumping... this year at least.

Inner mother: But, if I start early with his first Christmas, and put more emphasis on the reason for the holiday and the fun traditions, then maybe he won't think SANTA'S COMING when asked about Christmas.

Inner Child: Yeah. Good luck with that.  Let me know how it works out.  But we both know Christmas morning you, FTD and Ollie will be huddled around the tree beaming from ear to ear from all the fun gifts the "fat man" brought.

Inner Mother: So true...

Above all, I just want my son to understand why we celebrate Christmas, and that there is so much more to it then gifts.  I also DO NOT want him to be a spoiled brat that gets WAY more than he needs, and forgets to be thankful for what he has.

Yes. I think like this.

I can't help it. I'm desperate to raise a child of God who is grateful for his blessing. I want so bad for him to enjoy the simple things life has to offer.

I've seen those kids who race down the stairs on Christmas morning to a huge pile of gifts, only to tear through them, throwing one gift aside to get to the next. Then somehow after opening all thirty gifts, are disappointed there are no more to open. WTF???

Ok... Full disclosure: I'm almost positive I was one of those kids. My inner child is right, Christmas/Hanukkah is a BOSS holiday for a child. It's such a fun time of year with the traditions, parties and gifts. I don't want to be a Bible Thumping Thelma the entire time just to drive home a point.  I have a few years for that.  But at the same time, Christmas is not only about Santa!

Right now my best plan is to teach Ollie that Christmas is a time for thankfulness.  It's a time of year we thank God for our blessings, and his sacrifice. It's a time to stop the daily grind to take a few days to spend time with loved ones; being thankful for each other, and giving gifts of gratitude to those we love.

How I'm going to cram all of that into a toddler's head should be interesting.

It's so hard being a mom sometimes!  Especially when my partner in crime, FTD, is a big child too!


What about you? Do you think like this, or are you all about letting Christmas/Hanukkah be a fun time until they are truly old enough to fully grasp all that the holidays are about?


1 comments:

10 Ways Parenting Has Turned Me Into A Hoarder

November 30, 2014 April McCormick 5 Comments

Prior to becoming a mother, I was a minimalist. I didn't hold on to much, preferred to have minimal decorations and refused to have trinkets and stuffed things around because I saw them as unnecessary dust catchers. I lived a simple clutter-free life. Now that I'm a proud mother, I have caught a raging case of motherhoardingitis.

HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?

It's sad really. I don't know what's wrong with me that I hold tight to ALL of my son's things. Every season I "shed" my crap to feel light and clutter-free, yet with my kid, I turn into that weird little thing on the Lord of The Rings clinging to it's, Precious. All of Ollie's things are my precious.

I fully blame parenting for my newfound hoarding ways.

Here are 10 ways being a parent has turned me into a hoarder:

1. Clothes. My name is April, and I save socks. SOCKS! I have saved every single article of clothing my son has ever owned, right down to his infant socks. Sure, a few things I have donated, others I have loaned out, but anything with an ounce of sentimental value has been sorted folded and stored in labeled storage bins, "just in case".

2. Toys. Every time I sit down to sort my son's toys to throw away the broken ones, or donate the ones that are no longer age appropriate, I inevitably fail miserably. If I come across one of Ollie's favorite toys that has broken, I set it aside like somehow magically Doc McStuffins is going to show up and fix it. Again, anything with one ouch of sentimental value I keep.

It doesn't help that he roosts on his toys.
                                         
3. Books. It's wrong how many books I have come across that have pages torn out or pop-up characters with their head ripped off that I refuse to throw away. Or worse, books that Ollie loved as a baby, that I just can't part with. WTH? Why can't I part with books that are missing half their pages?  If they were mine, I'd throw them away? It's pure dumbassery!

4. Baby stuff. I have bags and boxes of baby bottles, nursing pump attachments, nursery decorations, burp cloths, baby blankets... Again, I have no plan to use them ever again, but still hold on to them like a bad habit. I'm so bad, I save match missing mittens, and make holiday ornaments out of them.

To see the post on how to make 

Super cute Mismatched Mitten Holiday Ornaments 
                                       
5. Art work. I have every single piece of art my kid has ever made. ALL OF THEM!  I even have the first menu he colored at a restaurant tucked in his Baby Book. I just can't bring myself to part with them. Any of them. Even the ones Ollie has gone back and ripped up or tried to destroy!


6. Shoes. I have every single pair of shoes my kid has ever worn. I keep them in a huge bin. For what? Not a freaking clue.

7. Medical records. I have kept every single piece of paper and milestone sticker the pediatrician has given me. You know how you get a new updated immunization sheet every time your child gets a vaccination?  Yeah, I still keep the outdated ones. #Hoarder



8. Photos. I have THOUSANDS of photos I cannot part with.  The really sad thing is that just to get one good photo I took fifty, and did I delete the forty-nine that failed?  No. Of course not, I'm a hoarder. It's like I'm afraid if I delete one bad photo, I will miss something.  My smartphone has so many photos, I have to delete a few to take a few. I take 'proud mother' to a level of photo-ridiculousness.

9. Gifts.  Every single thing my son has given me, I have kept; including flowers, rocks and yes, even two sticks! I keep them all in a keepsake box. At this rate, by the time he is ten years old, I will need a storage unit the size of a small house.
I have that flower framed with this photo! 

10. Crap. That's right, I save crap too.  Noooo.. not crap-crap, but odds and end crap that Ollie picks up, loves and leaves behind that I pick up and hold on to just in case he comes back for it.  My handbag is so full of crap! Weighing in at a hefty two tons, my handbag has cars, cheap vending machine toys, half-eaten snacks, broken crayons from a restaurant with a folded up menu, a rock or two, a leaf, sticker from the grocery lady... crap I tell you, and do I even dream of throwing it away? Absolutely not. #Hoarder

Has parenting turned you into a hoarder too?




5 comments:

Thanksgiving Humor Even A Turkey Would Laugh At #HILARIOUS!

November 27, 2014 April McCormick 1 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving!!!  

 To get you in the spirit of family fun and of course, heaps of dysfunction, here are a few Thanksgiving day laughs to get you going...


































DUE NOVEMBER 27th 2014

1 comments:

10 Tips To Save BIG On Holiday Shopping

November 25, 2014 April McCormick 1 Comments

Nothing says I hate my life like shopping for holiday gifts at the last minute, with a child in tow.  I know, I've done it. Twice. Last year I vowed to NEVER find myself in a line that snakes all the way to the back of the store, to buy over priced crap because I'm in a last-minute-pinch.  So I made a plan. A really good plan to not only save time, but money too!  Here are my best 10 Tips To Save BIG On Holiday Shopping... and not find yourself crying in a mile long line holding overpriced junk.



Before I get started, I need you to repeat after me...

I WILL NOT PAY FULL PRICE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON!

1. Plan ahead. Everyone's been naughty, just make the damn list already! Probably the biggest mistake I make is heading to the stores with a loose list of people to shop for, and a vague idea of what I want to get them. Nothing says FAIL faster!  Make a list of anyone and everyone you may want/need to buy gifts for, then add your vague gift ideas... maybe even go so far as to just come out and ask them what they want. Then use this as your master list. Stick to it, and when that person has been taken care of, write down what you got them, and cross them off the list.

2. THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU! I am so bad about shopping for myself during the holidays. So bad. As much I am a huge fan of retail therapy, there are two major flaws with this:

1. My holiday shopping time and budget is limited.
2. The post holiday clearance sales in January are WAY BETTER.

It's best to leave yourself out of the equation until after the holidays. Plus, won't it feel so much better trading in Auntie Nell's ugly sweater for the one you've had your eye on since the holidays... that's now half price!?

3. Leave the distractions at home.  When possible, avoid taking your child(ren) with you.  Even if this means trading all of your lunch breaks until January.  Brown bag it and shop in peace.  We all know, kids not only complicate the mission, they can make it costly needing extras... and don't forget the chance for meltdowns and diaper blowouts.

4. Price shop from home.  There are way too many apps and websites available today to not to compare prices, both online and in stores. Pull out the list you made and start going through it before you start shopping. Write down where the best deal is, then check your list once finished for stores or websites that overlap. This can save you a bundle on shipping and time.  Between the coupon apps and the compare-and-save apps, there is no reason to pay full price anymore.

Example:  I needed a big ticket item from a big box hardware store. I went to their website, found what I wanted, then searched for a coupon code.  I was able to save 20% at checkout with a coupon code I found on RetailMeNot.com.  What made the deal even sweeter was that I opted for in-store pickup.  This was fast, seamless and saved me time and money. DO THIS!!!

5. Crowd-Sourced Deals.  There is a new trend going on where websites are crowdsourcing for cheaper deals. Basically, if 10 people show interest in an item, then the website reaches out directly to the manufacturer for a bulk buy rate, then passes the deal on. Look for theses deals on those big ticket items.

6. Coupon like a crazy person.  Coupons are everywhere these days, don't buy without them! Don't just rely on coupon specific websites and apps, check the website for the store you are heading to.  Many are offering in-store coupons.

7. Don't discount the discount sites. Websites like Amazon, Groupon, Zulily, Overstock, Wayfarer...  all will be fighting for attention this season, so capitalize on it!  Most are even offering free shipping on the smallest orders. I have each bookmarked this time of year to check quickly for steals on things on my list.

8.  Shop Secondhand. What does every parent have in common at 2am on Christmas Eve/Hanukkah? They're putting together toys. So, if you are going to give your child a fully assembled toy anyway, why not just buy it secondhand, shine it up and slap a bow on it? Secondhand children's stores and higher end consignment shops have incredible deals on gently used items... so worth checking out!

9. Hit up Pinterest and get crafty. Make something for the person that has everything.  Every year I knit hats and scarves for family and friends. They all look forward to them now; some even put in orders for specific colors.

10. Regift it! Before you do any of the things on this list, grab a box and walk around your house filling it with crap you don't want anymore. Remember, your crap is another person's treasure. Somehow. Once you have filled the box, sit down and decide which friend/family member or what holiday party's Secret Santa you can pawn your crap gift the goods to.


How do you save big during the holidays? If you have any tips or tricks, please please please share them!!!!

1 comments:

Who's Ready For T-Day, TD's and Dysfunction?!

November 24, 2014 April McCormick 2 Comments

It feels like just yesterday I was getting over the trauma of the 2013 holidays... oh wait, it was. I still am!  I tell you, the holidays can completely consume me if I let them, and not in a good way.  I can get so wrapped in buying the perfect gifts, making the perfect dishes, finding the perfect holiday party outfits. Then there is the juggling family celebrations, so no one feels left out, and everyone gets their gifts in a timely manner; especially my six nephews and two nieces--the four Aussies mean early shipping too. And then there is always my high hopes for New Year's eve-- Every year I secretly wish for the ultimate night.  Like my dream is to watch the first sunrise of the year sitting on the beach in New Zealand with one of my favorite people. (Shay, LOVE YOU!) 

Yes, the holidays can really get me wound up so tight I could shit diamonds. Well, this year, I'm not having it. What I am having is everyone over to my house! Being that we have this new fabulous house, I have declared to my family that the first holiday season will be spent within it's four walls.  After years of driving all over hell's half acre to appease and see all of my friends and family during the holidays, it's time they brought their sweet bottoms to my house!

Ok, well... I know I said no stress, but there is one thing...

The Thanksgiving feast!  Seeing as how I have never made one, the thought of cooking a turkey freaks me out.  Anyone who has seen National Lampoons Christmas Vacation knows just how wrong things can go...


Being the ever resourceful girl that I am, I came up with a genius plan...

Before inviting everyone over for Turkey day and touchdowns, I made out my desired menu: Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes... then called each person to invite them personally, then when they asked what they could bring, I replied with one of my menu items, until the last person was instructed to bring ice and drinks.  

I AM A FREAKING GENIUS!  

Right down to my brother bringing a Turducken! 

So what am I doing for Thanksgiving? Buying paper plates and plastic cups and utensils, so I can really be a super hostess by not slaving over food or dishes!

Recap:
Venue: My house
Food: Not my problem
Dishes: Not my problem

Wouldn't that really be amazing if it worked out?  Do I expect it? Absolutely not!  I know my family and the strange dysfunction the holidays instills. Here's how it's gonna go down.



Half the guests will be late, with at least one person/family being REALLY late, which will piss someone off enough to accelerate their drinking, so once the late comer walks through the door shit will hit the fan. Those two will spend the next hour or so not speaking until the late comer drinks enough to get on the level of the pissed off one, and try to hash it out. This will result in either a bigger fight or a few, "I love you, I'm sorrys."

The food will be a potluck of epic proportions.  No one in my family is capable of making anything by the recipe. My brother will bring the turducken. My sister horseradish roasted garlic and possibly white cheddar mashed potatoes; my mom will bake four pies and pull off a fresh cranberry relish with orange zest and jalapenos... And just because FTD totally doesn't get the holiday, he is making meat pies.  

Then, once I pull out the paper plates, my mother will lose her shit, tell me how she knew I would do that, and then run to her car to get the China she brought, "Just in case."  While she is out getting the China, I will be rallying my siblings to help me talk mom into the easy clean-up plan.  Knowing full;l well she will wave us away and insist that she LOVES doing the dishes, and will take care of it.

Once the China is laid out, with my mis-matched silver, and the food hits the table, corralling three toddlers, and two pre-teens will commence. No doubt, this will go incredibly well. 

Then, once all are seated, the decision on who will say the prayer will commence.  Its usually is my mom, since historically my nephews manage to squeeze in a fart/poop joke, my siblings and I are not mature enough either, so my mom says the 45-minute blessing, while everyone sneaks bites.



Once the meal is over, talk of parades to the toilet will be held by the men in between screaming at the football game on TV, the women will be fighting child fingers out of the pies, and the elderly will fall asleep before their plates are removed from in front of them.



My friends, I CANNOT FREAKING WAIT!!!!!!!

I love my super jacked up dysfunctional family. They make me feel normal. Every year I tell myself I will not let the holidays win.  They will not eat me alive.  I will not let the stress overtake the fun. My mantra this year is: Be laid back.  Don't worry, I'll let you know how that wrks out for me.

What about you? Is your T-day full of dysfunction and touchdowns?







2 comments:

I Got The Talk From My Son's Teacher. I Had A Feeling It Was Coming.

November 23, 2014 April McCormick 2 Comments

A few weeks ago my toddler was on an amazing kid streak!  For at least 14 glorious days straight he was well-behaved, kind, affectionate, said please and thank you, and altogether was a delight. The first week my mind was blown, but by the second week, I was becoming optimistic that maybe he was growing out of his terrible twos. I was all ready to announce that my kid was the best, and all those parents who said the terrible twos were nothing compared to three and four were wrong, about my kid at least.

And then something happened.

He turned into a crazy toddler again.

Like a thousand times worse than ever.

Now, we are on week two of some of the worst behaviors:

1. He is speaking some strange gibberish, even though he has an extensive vocabulary.
2. He is hitting and scratching.
3. Saying bad words.
4. Saying NO when asked to do anything.
5. Not staying in time-out
6. Acting out at school.
7. Throwing toys.

The list goes on, but I'm sure you get the point. My kid has gone crazy.


Last Thursday when I picked Ollie up from his Child's Day Out program, the teacher pulled me aside to let me know he was a terror for her too. Ollie has been going there for almost a year, and this is the first time I have had to have "the talk".  While his teacher chalked the behaviors up to his age, she did say his need for attention from her was getting out of control, and wanted to know how he was at home, and how were were dealing with it, "so we could be consistent."  I told her he was awful, and that we were using time-out and taking away toys or gadgets as punishment.

I'm honestly not sure what has changed? I mean, I've been busier with work, FTD and I had a two-day round that wasn't very pleasant, but involved more silent treatments than heated conversation.  Still, the bottom line remained, my kid is being extra bad, and not only could I not pinpoint why, I was having trouble managing it.

While I hate to call parenting a job, because I love my son more than anything and above all being a parent is a blessing, the fact is for me right now, it's work. Hard work. The thing that has been especially hard is with all of his bad behavior, I have had to be a tough mom. It sucks.  I have had to stay constantly on him, which also means constant time-outs that are a whole other battle.

I just know, if I let down my guard and let my toddler be wild, then I will have a much tougher job on my hands during the teenage years. So, I try to remain diligent, not putting up with backtalk and acting out. Even though it makes me feel awful.  For a few days I tried to get down to his level and talk calm about the bad behaviors, and why they were naughty.  If he seemed to understand, and apologized, I left it at that.  If he wiggled and didn't listen, I would go ahead with the time out and then try to talk to him calmly after time out was over.

I have tried everything, hoping to find the perfect mix to help my son understand that he is in the wrong with whatever poor behavior he is displaying; I still haven't figured it out.  Part of me thinks, this is just how it is.  He is a stubborn little toddler testing the limits, and it's up to me to show him right from wrong. CONSTANTLY!

I realize that I am in the throws of a seriously tough time in parenting.  I realize that, for the most part, his wild behavior and testing limits is par for the course. But, it doesn't make it any easier.

I have a very spirited child that I love dearly. I've decided that as long as I love him and stay diligent about not letting his bad behaviors slide, at some point we will both emerge from this time better humans. OK, sometimes I think I will just settle for alive with all of my marbles, but dammit the kid better be fabulous!

If you are struggling with your toddler/child, you are not alone.  His teacher was kind enough to remind me of that.




2 comments:

Parenting Tip #44: If The Kid Gets Sick, The Household Is Screwed.

November 19, 2014 April McCormick 2 Comments

Picture it: Day 9 of illness running my household.

The garbage bins are full of tissues.

The sink is full of dishes.

Takeout boxes litter the kitchen counter.

The laundry pile has grown so large it's been deemed an Alp.

Toys line every square inch of the floors.

If you are having trouble picturing this horrific scene, then count your lucky stars. Clearly you have never had a child drag a cold into your house from daycare, then over the course of a week the cold germs attack EVERYONE, ending with you.



Yes, my friends, the house has gone to shit because momma feels like shit. The first cold of the season hit us hard. Last week, Ollie started out with a low-grade fever and no other symptoms, within two days that all changed to full blown cold then the dreaded Croupy seal cough. Of course, when the croup hits, I watch him 24/7 and let him sleep in my bed. In doing so, I completely sign myself up to catch a sickness of some sort. 

And boy did I ever!

I thought I was fine when by the end of the first week with FTD already being sick and Ollie at the end of his cold and Croup, I was spared. Then, I woke up two days ago without a voice.

CRAP!  

I knew immediately; I was next.

2 comments:

12 Easy #DIY Tips To Weatherproof Your Home And Save BIG BUCKS!

November 17, 2014 April McCormick 2 Comments

While I absolutely LOVE our recently purchased, nearly 100-year-old home, it does have it's issues.  One of which is being extremely drafty. Our garage door leading into the basement is so bad, that on the first cold night it felt like the door was wide open.

Between the drafty doors and windows, and old pipes, I knew I needed to get on weatherproofing before the first arctic blast barreled down on us. Being that this is my first home, I had no clue where to start!  So, I did what any smart home owner would do; I Googled that shit!

Boy was I surprised to find out all of the super easy things I could do to not only cut down on the drafts, but also cut down my utility bills.

Did you know there is such thing as a water heater blanket?  No?  Then this post is for you!  Here are twelve easy tips to weatherproof your home and save big bucks on your bills.

2 comments:

5 things You Should Never Do To Another Parent. One I Just Learned The Hard Way...

November 16, 2014 April McCormick 1 Comments

I think there are (at least) 5 things you should never do to a parent:

1.Tell them their baby is ugly
2. Judge them
3. Tell them how to raise their child
4. Compare your child to theirs. Every kid is different!
5. Undermine their authority in front of their child.

My name is April, and I am guilty of number 5...

Have you ever had a child over for a playdate that acts out, breaks something or does something so naughty their parent has to pull them aside to reprimand them, then out of now where you open your mouth and say, "Oh, don't worry about it, it's Ok."?

It turns out, that's not the best thing to say...



Since moving into our new home in May, we have had numerous parties and couples over for playdates. On those occasions when Ollie's playdate misbehaves--throws a ball in the house, hits, or breaks something-- instinctively, wanting to make my guest feel at ease, I say not to worry about it. It turns out, in doing so I'm undermining the parent by saying the naughty behavior is OK.

My trying to make the situation better, actually makes it worse!

Just this weekend, my sister and nephews were over for dinner, and Ollie farted SO LOUD at the table that ignoring it was impossible. It also didn't help that he proudly announced what he had done through plenty of laughter. Needless to say, my two nephews, 7 and 9, nearly fell out of their chairs laughing. Within thirty seconds of Ollie's announcement, the dinner table's conversation went right into the toilet... literally.  While, I was trying to let Ollie know "We don't talk about our farts..." my sister was trying to corral her two boys.

Interjection...

It's really all FTD's fault... He recently taught Ollie the pull my finger trick. Farts haven't been the same since...


Once all was settled, wouldn't you know, Ollie fake farted to get the fun going again.

DAMMIT!

Conversation back to the sitter.

Again my sister started trying to corral her boys... When I told her not to worry about it, that Ollie caused the commotion and that I was sorry. She explained that it's important that she teach her boys not to travel into the shitter at the dinner table, regardless of who starts it or where they are.

Oh. Yeah. That.

I get it now.  When a parent is in the middle of teaching a lesson, I need to stay out of it. Even if my kid is the instigator. As a parent, I have to admit, I appreciate it more when a parent respects me and backs me up, rather than telling my kid not to worry about it; no matter how embarrassing the situation.


What about you, do you butt in to make your guests feel at ease, or know better and butt out?



1 comments:

1920s Fixer-Upper HUGE Renovation Update- Wait Until You See These Before And Afters! #DIY

November 14, 2014 April McCormick 5 Comments

Well, my friends, it nearly killed FTD and I, but we finished the first floor painting, and immediate renovation needs.  Are you ready for some amazing before and afters??


Looking back on the past 6-months, I am in awe of the work we completed on the house. FTD laid floors in three rooms, we dealt with two major water leaks, put up a temporary bamboo fence in the back yard, completely killed and reseeded our entire lawn, spackled, sanded and painted seven rooms; half of which had layers upon layers of hideous wall paper (Thank you wall paper steamer for saving my sanity), scrubbed and scrubbed our Rookwood tile fireplace to restore it to it's original beauty... and replaced the blinds throughout the house.  I'm proud to say our first floor completely refinished, with the exception of the Kitchen... I have very big plans for that including blowing out walls, adding a backdoor and of course, all new appliances.  I'll let you know when I win the lottery for that...

Thanks to Heavenly eInterior design firm offering their services free of charge for the entry way, dinning room and reception areas, the house really came to life. We decided to go with the same colors for the wall and trim throughout the entire first floor to create a nice light space and airy flow.  We also used mirrors throughout to add even more light. We'll be damned if the winter blahs are going to make us feel like we are in a cave!

And now without further ado, my badass 1920's house renovations...

The Entry



Reception




Fireplace
The thing was filthy from years of being shined up with furniture polish, then sitting dormant to collect dust and dirt in the wax.  YUCK!
Dining Room
FTD killed it in this room. How he fixed the walls is beyond me...

Family Room
Between the wall paper and horrifying two color trim from the former owners half ass updates, this room was the most work and last to be finished. I worked in stages: Remove wallpaper, sand the glue off, prime, paint... cry... rinse. repeat.
SO WORTH THE HELL!!!
It's amazing to look back and see just how much has been done! 
 FTD's Office

This room was wallpaper hell with three layers, one that had been painted over and some crazy 1920's paste.
**HUGE thank you to FTD's Brother for flying over from Australia to spend his holiday prying the paper off the wall!**

I can't believe we finished just in time for the holidays and bitter winter.  Needless to say, we are hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas. And maybe one hell of a New Years Eve party too!

So what's next?

As much as I would like to say SLEEP, my bedroom is just not a sanctuary yet, so that's the next major renovation... it' needs a complete redo...


It's one big square with wonky hardwood, drafty windows, and what the hell is that molding???

Anyhoo.... wish me luck!

To see the individual posts on the various projects, pick a link from below!




  •  5 Important DIY Tips For First-Timers a.k.a 5 DIY Lessons I learned the Hard Way.
  •  Do You Know Why Wallpaper Is Called, Wallpaper? #DIY
  • I just want people to love my yard, is that too much to ask?
  • I'm killing 90% of my Lawn on purpose, and I am SO SO SO excited!
  • The Concepts Are In From The Interior Designer... I Need Your Help
  • 1920's Fixer-Upper Update: The Renovations And #DIY Are In High Gear!
  • 5 comments:

    Super Easy #DIY LEGO Cake

    November 12, 2014 April McCormick 0 Comments

    When I recently posted a photo on Instagram and the FTM&D Facebook Fan Page of a LEGO cake a friend made for her son's birthday, I had no clue how much buzz it would create. Sure, the cake was awesome, but no way did I expect all the comments and emails asking how she did it, if the LEGOs were edible and how the cake was dyed to match the LEGOs. As promised to those who asked, here is a step-by-step tutorial to make your own fabulous LEGO cake!




    What you will need:

    1. LEGO candy/ice molds.  You can get a set of three from Amazon for $15. (Link Below) or just Google it.

    2. Melting White Chocolate chips or wafers.

    3. Food coloring in LEGO Colors

    4. White cake.  Use a box mix or make from scratch.

    5. Icing. my friend used chocolate, but you can use any color/flavor you like.



    Step 1. 

    Melt the white chocolate then split into four separate bowls.  

    Step 2.

    Mix in the food coloring in each bowl to create the LEGO colors for the molds.




    Step 3.

    Pour the chocolate into the molds.  Fill half full for shorter blocks or completely full for large blocks. Then place in refrigerator to harden.

    Step 4. 

    Mix your cake batter, then just like with the chocolate, split the batter into four bowls then add the food coloring to each.

    Step 5.

    Pour the cake batter one at a time into the pre-greased pan(s); layering each one as you go.  Then Bake!




    Step 6. Once everything has cooled, pop the LEGOs and cakes out of the molds.

    Step 7. Create your masterpiece!  

    Start by icing the cake with your desired icing.  The icing works as a glue for the LEGOs.







    As difficult as the cake looks to make, it's surprisingly easy and so very yummy! 





    Here is a pin-able image that's basically a photo walk through...






    Just in case you feel like a LEGO making maniac and want a few more things to do with your molds, here are some ideas I found...



    I LOVE the crayon idea.  It's perfect for Ollie's little uncoordinated coloring hands. 

    To order a set of the Lego Building Bricks and Mini-figure Candy Molds or Ice Cube Trays - Value Set of 3 -  with Lifetime Guarantee, click the image below.  (Full disclosure: It's an affiliate link.)

                                                                    

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