Monday, April 16, 2018

Find Fails

I had a request from someone on IG asking if I could do a post on the yard sale finds that didn’t turn out how I planned.  I thought about it for a while but decided to give it a whirl.  My hesitation came as it was hard to actually think of failed finds.  When I follow some simple rules its easy to avoid the fails.  It's only when I don't follow them that problem can arise.  However, the question still remained.  So here are a couple of recent items that would be considered “find fails.”

I think some of the simple mistakes come from not paying attention.  You are searching through piles of kids clothes grabbing several items and then, like I did below, I misread the size on the tag.  While all the other clothes I picked up were 18mo or older this set snuck into the bunch.  It’s a super cute outfit and for 25cents for all three items, it’s a massive deal.  That is until you factor in that Eve is almost out of 12mo clothes and winter is long gone here in Texas.  Meaning I’m out 25cents technically.  Honestly, it’s not really a big deal, I just get annoyed I bought something I can’t use.  I will, however, toss this in the pile of items I am mailing to a friend in New York.  They are still getting blasted with snow so maybe she will find this useful for the little one.  So not a big fail, but it is one that could have been prevented by simply reading the tag.  

You know the saying when you assume you make an ass out of you and me?  Well, it’s true for a reason.  Much like the find fail above this one could have been prevented by simply flipping through all the books I picked up.  This particular look and find book was one of four that I had picked up.  I quickly flipped through the first two books.  Everything looked fine.  I couldn’t even find a pen mark or a folded page.  They were in great condition.  I assumed the other two would be as well.  It wasn’t until I got home and Bear asked me what happened to the page that I realized one of the books was in rough condition.  There are several pages that are torn.  The worst being the majority of a page that is missing.  Had I taken the time to look through them all I would have seen this and not purchased it.  The cost was 25cents a book and for that price, I will let the kids use it as is.  No, it’s not a lot of money but I don’t like items that are in this condition no matter what the price is.  Once again it could have been prevented.  If I showed up at someone’s door for these books I would have flipped through every one and then not have purchased this one.  Why did I not do the same at the yard sale I will never know.  

tend to write about the great deals that I find often but you rarely see the fails.  In fact, I think I’ve only written about it once on here.  There is a reason for this, it doesn’t happen all that often.  I know you all were looking for more than just a 75cent (one outfit and two books) fail but the truth is I don’t break the “rules” when a decent amount of money is on the line.  Over the years I’ve learned what to look for when buying an item and more importantly I’ve learned when to walk away.  

Hope you all following along have learned from my mistakes and use the tips I share.  Since I prefer to focus on the good... what is your biggest yard sale score?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Kiddie Kitchen Organization

I love the kids' kitchen set that my dad got them for Christmas.  The more they play with it the more I started noticing that there were some obvious pitfalls I with the kitchen set.  Not just this one but kiddie kitchens In general. They try to replicate the real things but they fail to understand when is going into them.  In every kiddie kitchen, there will be tons of plastic (or wooden) play food.  They don’t stack like blocks well even the wooden play food. The designers of the wooden kitchen set and some plastic ones forget that we have drawers in our fridges and multiple shelves.  So how do you contain the mess without those?  

Clearly, I didn’t think of this in the beginning...
Please excuse the fuzzy screenshots from IG stories

The kids would open the door and toys would come flying out.  If they searched for something then more stuff would fall out.  This was not working.

Same captain as above (laziness)

So I put everything they were using in the picnic basket.  Which worked for a little bit.  Only they typically dumped the basket to find what they wanted and that has everything in it.  Ugh, what a mess!  I thought that was bad until I found more play food in another random box.  This one basket wouldn’t do.

I found a set of 5 (one extra) that will work.  I wanted the same print but that didn’t seem possible in my price point.  My plan is if they ever get destroyed to make my own baskets to go in here.  Regardless I am happy with the results!  Lots of organization.

I went a little overboard with the organization, but I do not expect them to keep it this way.  It was just a way to help them see what they had.  At some point, I will need to go back through here and reorganize it back to this but I think it will take a month or two before that happens.  The kids are really good at putting things back where they came from.  Adults, not so much.

I would love to hear how you contain the kiddie kitchen mess?  Do you toss it all in and hope for the best or go overboard organized like me?

Thursday, April 12, 2018

A Temporary Find

When we moved into this house we knew we needed another tv stand or some piece of furniture that would work under our tv in the formal living room.  Eventually, when this TV dies and the texture is off the wall behind it we want to mount a similar size TV on the wall.  That said we haven’t found anything we love to go in this spot.  So when we purchased two of the cube units I suggested that one could go downstairs for the time being.  This worked until recently.

Now, six months later, we have unpacked all the boxes and there are toys overflowing in the game room upstairs.  This cube unit was meant to contain all of that.  This wouldn’t be a huge deal if it could go into their rooms, which some of it will.  However, we have planned all along for the other half of the game room to be a play area for the kids.  I want the kids to feel like they can be around us and not have to go to their rooms to play with their toys.  That is after all that is what the game room is for.  

On top of this, soon (not too soon) we want to get rid of Eve’s corral.  We pretty much have her out of the corral half the time but I would like to remove that entirely.  The gate will then be used to go around the tv stand upstairs to keep her out of there.

Clearly, something needed to be changed out and Hubby found this one for us that will work for a while.  I wasn't expecting to like the style or size of it as much as I do.  So take a look...

From this...
There was more on top much like you see below on
the empty right side.  I just snapped this pic moments
before swapping out the units.

To this! 
Imaginary bonus points if you can guess the name of this
pretty good kid's alien movie.  Its one of our favorites.

Please excuse the kid's movie, but this is a yard sale find that was all Hubby.  We had the community yard sale not that long ago and just we were about to clean up Hubby scrolled through the neighborhood sale page.  He saw this for $10 and thought it would work until we found the right living room furniture we want.  I love the smaller width compared to the cube unit.  It doesn't look so crowded there anymore but I think it is too low especially if we hung the TV on the wall.  I don't want to go too much taller but we will need to find something more dresser like possibly.  I'm really happy overall.  It's OK quality.  A better pressboard than the Walmart cheap stuff but it will hold up well for the time we have it.  For $10 it's getting the job done so I don't care about resale value.  This I will likely get trashed when we are done with it.

What do you think of temporary finds?  Are they worth the time or money?

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Not you too!

Have you ever had one of those moments where you see your kid doing something weird that your spouse does?  Yup, today I spotted my toddler crossing her toes just like my husband does.  It’s strange and cute all at the same time.  

I have yet to catch either of our kids doing things that I do but they are still little.  What weird things have your kids picked up from you or your spouse?  

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Getting a Handle on it

 When we went to our new favorite place, Home Depot, to pick out a new kitchen faucet we also picked out handles for all of the cabinets.  I thought they needed to work together.  If we had a satin nickel faucet meant we needed satin nickel hardware. 

We played around for a bit with the various option in the finish we liked and came up with the ones you see above.  They have a great feel and the design is simple.  Exactly what we wanted.

We are opting for handles instead of knobs for the kitchen cabinets.  The smallest handles will go on the cabinet doors in the kitchen.  They aren’t cheap so to save a few bucks we will do knobs in all the bathrooms.

We have some different sizes that we will be using for handles.  The long drawers will get the longest handles obviously.  All other drawers will get medium handles and all cabinets will have the small handles.  Like I said before all bathrooms will have knobs.  I am super happy with this.  Trying them all out the sizes work perfectly for where we want them to go.  

The knob verse handle debate for the kitchen was a big one in our house so I’m tossing it out there to you all.  Knobs or handles on the cabinet doors?  Why did you pick what you did?

Friday, April 6, 2018

Friday Thoughts

It's Friday and we have been super busy getting the house in order.  I have been meaning to post more about these things though I really don't have the time.  None of which really needed their own posts but here is a brief bit on some of the things that have been going on.

Getting dinner on the table -  One of my goals recently has been to make sure that I get dinner on the table at a reasonable hour.  We are always eating by 6pm but by the time we finish the kids need to go to bed.  That doesn't leave any time for them to burn that last bit of energy they stored up while sitting down while I cook and while we eat.  I've been pretty good about staying on top of it so that we aren't eating late.  Thankfully Hubby is on board which helps a ton.  He's helping me make sure we stay on track with this goal.

I Joined the Social Committee - After our experience with some of the recent community events, I decided its time I quit bitching about them and start doing something.  The only way to do that is to join the Social Committee.  I am hoping that I can help out and maybe toss out an idea or two when needed.  Nothing too big as I am new and just starting out in the group.  Maybe I can gain some insight as to why some of the things were planned the way they were.

Selling the Baby Gear Blues - It's been a long time coming but I have finally sold a lot of the baby gear.  We don't have any need for crib bedding, an infant swing, or even baby bottles.  All of which need to be out of our house.  I'm also glad that we have been able to make a few bucks off them in the process.  On the flip side, it is sort of sad to see them go.  It signifies the end of having babies in our house.  No more snuggly little ones that love to be held.  No more of those major firsts of walking or rolling over.  This also means no more lugging around heavy awkward equipment.  No more midnight or 2am or 4am feedings.  I am enjoying the stages our kids are at now and don't want to go backward.  So while it's sad to close that chapter, I am happy to be pushing myself to move on.  The extra cash in the pocket didn't hurt either.

Call of Duty Night with Extended Family - Every few days Hubby and I have been hopping online and playing Call of Duty with his brother(s).  I really like playing prop hunt but when that disappeared we switched over to war.   While I really like War, I do prefer to play prop hunt.  They brought back the game recently but I am still learning the new maps.

Aging Pups - Our dogs are 7 1/2 years old.  We have been talking about what we can do to help our dogs as they age.  To start with we have switched to a mature dog food formula.  We want to keep them in a healthy weight like they have been.  Keeping them on the proper formula will help us do that.  I also have been looking into a glucosamine supplement for them.  Labs tend to have joint and hip problems as they age and I have heard that glucosamine supplements can help lessen the effects.  Do you have your pup on this?  Any brand suggestions or other supplements we should be looking into?

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Starting to Decorate Finally!

As we are cleaning and putting things where they belong we are starting to think about how we want to decorate things.  Normally we just slap some pictures on the wall and call it good enough.  After all, we would be moving in a year or two.  We just made what we had work regardless if whether it really fit or not.  Thankfully we don’t have to do that now. We have been taking the time time to decide if the art fit in the space or decor we have going on.  Should we swap out the pictures or leave them as is.  All things we are thinking about since we found our “forever home.”

The dining room was the first logical spot to start decorating as it was the cleanest room in the house.  We aren’t sure of the artwork that will go in here but I knew I wanted to display the fine china we have barely used but have owned our whole marriage.  Seriously take this as a warning... if you are military, skip the fine china.  Moves and breakables, need I say more?  If you aren’t military, skip the fine china.  By the time you start hosting formal extended family meals, you will be old enough and financially able to buy your own set of china without a problem.  I promise no one will miss it. 

That said, I stupidly pushed for fine china and now that we have a fancy hutch it needed to be displayed.  Here is what I came up with.  I think this works nicely.  

The next area that I knew what I wanted to the were the kids' bathrooms.  They both have similar themes but I wanted it to be for bigger kids rather than the little kid stuff I was seeing. I wanted them to grow into the decor.  I think I did a pretty good job of achieving it.  Here is a sneak peek of what will go in there.  

Bear’s bathroom has a nautical theme.  Below is just one of the pieces of artwork that will go in his bathroom.  We have plenty more but it hasn’t all arrived yet.

Eve’s bathroom also has an under the sea theme to it but that’s the only hint I’m going to give.  There are some great craft project that I’m working on to go in there. Those are for another day.  Below are just part of what can be found in her bathroom.  

Not a whole lot of decorating but it’s a start.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and I know our house won’t be fully decorated in a day or even a year at the rate we are going.  What I can say is that I am super happy with the stuff we have done so far.  

Monday, April 2, 2018

Easter 2018 Recap

Easter this year was half celebrating and half normal day.  We did our typical food shopping in the morning.  We followed up by getting donuts for the kids on our way home.  We eased into the afternoon with our snack before doing the Easter Egg Hunt.

Hubby watched the kids while I put 150 eggs all around the yard.  I was afraid the dogs would mess with them, but thankfully they did not.  As long as I did not throw them in their direction they left the eggs alone.  

Hubby brought the kids outside with their baskets for me to snap a quick picture before they were set loose.  This was about as good as it got.  Bear waited and Eve took off. 

Since we had so many eggs I feel like the kids weren't stressed out about grabbing as many as they could before it was all over.  They started out rushing but then quickly backed off when it was easy pickings.   While we hung back and just watched we noticed that Bear was only picking up the blue and yellow eggs.  He literally picked up all of those colors before going for another color egg.  It was really funny.  

Eve was just a picky when getting eggs. at first, she picked up whatever was near her before wondering around pickup specific ones.  She would pick one up then look in her basket before deciding to keep it or toss it back down.  There were many tossed back down before she started to try to fill the basket.  

She was really excited to have free reign without people knocking her over or having to fight for eggs.  In fact, I think we all were happy for that.  

After Bear maxed out his basket he dumped them all into his dump truck.  He pulled it off the patio and headed out with the dump truck as his basket.  I guess it is needed when you have 150 eggs spread around the yard.  

Eve toddled along while Bear ran back and forth looking for specific colors.  Both were very happy the whole 30 minutes it took to pick them all up.  

Then things began to turn as naptime got closer and closer.  Bead accidentally dumped the eggs out of the back of his truck and lost it.  All that work and he needed to do more.  The waterworks came pouring out.  They quickly ended when we helped him pick them up.  

Though they came back when Eve tried to swipe some his eggs.   Clearly, it was time to headed inside and have a quick lunch followed by a quiet nap.  Though we still had some eggs laying around.

We sent Eve around to get the last few.  She happily collected them for us.  Bear was done so he sat with the dogs playing with the plastic eggs.

One last attempt at a group picture of the little one before lunch.  This was literally the best one.  Eve did not want to sit still.  They ate lunch and had some goldfish before taking a nap.  

While they napped we watched the new Jumanji movie.  I have to say I think may better than the original.  I like the humor of it all.  

When the kids woke up from their nap they opened their Easter Baskets.   Bear was excited about all the planes and Cars items. 

Eve was most excited about the treats in hers.  She liked the egg chalk as well but we didn't have time for them to play with it outside on Easter.  She then went for the snacks.  We gave her a few but since dinner was soon we had to cut her off.

The glow stick wand was also a hit.  I think dollar store baskets are the way to go for now.  They are still little enough that it will work.  

His favorite was clearly the large foam plane.  He does not realize he throw it and I am happy to keep it that way.  A great find from Hubby.  

For dinner, we decided to make easy and do something everyone liked... snack plate dinner.  We cooked up a bunch of finger foods and let the kids eat what they wanted.  It's not the healthiest meal but its Easter and they can have what they want.  We also didn't feel like cooking so why fight it.

We started them off with some stuff but when hey finished what we had given them they asked about some of the other stuff we had out.  We also had plenty of fruit and some sliced veggies but they were the first few things to go and I forgot to get pictures (I'm a bad blogger clearly) of all of that.

We skipped dessert and jumped to bathtime before bed.  Overall I think the kids had a great time.  I think we will definitely put just as many eggs out again next year.  I like that it was super relaxed and they didn't feel the need to be mean or rude while picking them up.  They both seemed to have a great time.  I wish we had more hiding places in the backyard but we don't.  As they get older we may need to move to the front yard as well as there are more placed to "hide" them there.  

Friday, March 30, 2018

Dye all the eggs

This is the first time we are actually going to dye eggs with the kids.  Crazy I know seeing as Bear is 4 1/2yo.  However he never really wanted to do it before so we did not want to push him.  This is not one of the more enjoyable Easter activities if you ask me hence not pushing the topic.  However, this year Bear dyed eggs in his pre-k class which sparked the interest so we jumped right in.  

Bear counted the number of tabs in the package then helped count glasses.  While I was doing that with Bear, Hubby came behind me and put vinegar in each glass.  Trying to keep it all very simple.

Bear put the tabs in the glasses.  As the tabs dissolved we reviewed the colors.  He told us about the yellow one and how he wanted to do that one.  Bears favorite color is yellow.   

I'm sure he could have helped pour the water but he was way too hyped up to do so carefully.  We didn’t want a mess on our hands.  Hindsight I should have laid an old towel down on the counter.

We couldn't leave Eve out the mix and so she did little tasks with hand over hand help.  She did not want to let go of the egg that is for sure! Hubby gently persuaded her to do so.

Since they are still little we decided to do single color eggs.  We tried to get them talk about anything really but trying to inject colors into the conversation.  “Your truck is blue, can you point to the egg in the blue dye?”  

They took a bit longer than we thought so by the time the first batch was done so was Bears attention span.  Eve had already moved on so we put a movie on while we finished up.

Well, doing on single colors lasted until we got down to the last two eggs.  They were our eggs we had fun dying them.  Hubby did the orange/red colored egg and I did the blue/pink ombré one.  These will be ours for the egg crack whenever we get around to it.

Here are our dozen dyed eggs that The whole family worked on.  The kids seem to enjoy helping make them.  I think next year we need to change it up a bit to keep them entertained longer.

Isn't it great to have too many hard boiled eggs the kids won't eat, lol.  Really thought we don't mind as it forced us to use them for breakfast or lunch because we won't waste them.  Who knows maybe we can even get the kids to try a bite or two.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The School Egg Hunt

The night before the egg hunt it poured!  Massive thunderstorms all night long.  The power even went out for a bit.  There was also an 80% chance of thunderstorms the day of the Egg Hunt.  It was supposed to hold off until after 1pm but everything was clearly soaked outside.  Clearly, we could not hide the eggs outside on the playground. 

When I got to the school in the morning I dropped Bear off with his class like normal.  Then popped in the see what the plan was for the egg hunt.  I was pretty early so I was asked to wait like I thought was going to happen.  They wanted to gather the items from the kids that parents sent in the day of.  So Eve and I waited near the main office until they needed us.  She had breakfast and was pretty great right up until I walked to the cafeteria to help. 

We were given a giant bin of eggs to put around the cafeteria.  These are the eggs all the kids brought in.  The instructions we were given were not to put them on the stage, seat of the chairs, and not too hidden.  Easy enough to do.  They are after all preschoolers so make it easy but fun.  

Since I had Eve with me I left after we set up.  I didn’t want her to feel like she was left out of the egg hunt, however, I did want to help out.  They don’t seem to get much if any parent participation.  Granted I know many parents work so that will limit it as well.  Though I was happy I could help them out.  The teacher kindly sent me some pictures of him during the hunt but because there are other kids in it I don't want to show it on social media.

I have heard nothing but good things from this school event.  I am so happy that I was able to help out even if I couldn't stay to watch.  The kids came out of school super excited.  Bear was telling me all about the egg hunt and what he got.  I'm so glad he had a great experience with it.  It is ready for the egg hunt Easter morning.

Find Fails

I had a request from someone on IG asking if I could do a post on the yard sale finds that didn’t turn out how I planned.  I thought about ...