It’s Moving Day…

See you over @ pbjstories.blogspot.com

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We’re moving….

I want to thank everyone that is a regular already for this blog!  It’s been fun and I continuously am looking for ways to make this grow.
I initially thought a WordPress.com blog was the best option… but it quickly has began to feel more like a studio apartment.  This pb&j family needs something a little bigger, something that allows it to have a little more personality.

So, we are in the process of moving.  Over the short time being hosted by WordPress.com I have began to look a little something like….
It’s very limiting in personalization unless you want to invest in more of a mansion type of dwelling.  Well, we’re more in the market for a three bedroom price range… so off to another neighborhood we go.

Just as you can forward snail mail, I will be forwarding this address to our new address once we are all settled in to make it less hassle for all of you!

Just think of this as “Save the Date” {without an exact date?} for our moving day.
It should be soon though, I’m just making sure all the details are fine tuned before we’ll be throwing the House Warming Party.

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Painted Night stand, My weekend DIY project

{All professionals started as amateurs}
I sit and repeat that to myself anytime I attempt a project for this first time.  I am always searching blogs for ideas, tips and advice on how to do various types of projects.
Anytime I start working on a project I get so nervous that I’m not doing it 100% correct and that I’m gonna mess it up.
But then usually the paint fumes get to my head and I quickly stop worrying and start having fun.

This was the second painted furniture project I’ve done, and the first “distressing” painting I’ve completed.
{and I LOVE the results!}

I’ve been searching for night stands for our bedroom since we moved into the house.  However, every nightstand I find I like, has a $200+ price tag
{and that’s just not going to happen}.
I did buy two from online that were about $80 and white, however next to our massive bed they just didn’t match.  Instead some lucky shopper on Craigslist will be purchasing those from me.

Now meet Chuck:
Chuck is ugly. But Chuck was only $24 at Goodwill!  {now that’s a price tag I like!}
I removed the knobs already, but they were just as ugly.
Chuck got 2 layers of spray paint primer,
(most people recommend sanding first but since there were so many grooves and details on the front I wasn’t about to attempt that)
I let him dry overnight just to make sure the primer was nice and dry.
{This took patience I didn’t know I had when doing DIY projects}
Next was painting.

Originally I was going to paint it white, but after noticing I didn’t have any white paint and antsy to continue working on the project I went with spare paint that we had left over, aka FREE!

The little roller and paint tray is sold for trims, and also touch ups.  But I know consider it my best friend for painting furniture! Made it SO easy and smooth.

Next step after painting was completed, was the distressing.
I was SO nervous to begin.  Taking sandpaper to a piece of furniture you’re hoping to keep and just finished a perfect paint job on is nerve wrecking.
I concentrated on areas that typically would be “high traffic areas” to make it seem more natural.  I then rubbed some wood stain on the sanded down areas to make them stand out more.
{don’t worry, Chuck didn’t feel a thing}
The last step was the knobs.  I originally had my heart set on clear crystal looking knobs but couldn’t find any at the craft store on sale, and only saw them at Target for $15 for 4 and I needed 6.  No way was I blowing my $24 project at this point and spending $30 on knobs.
Instead I spray painted the originals with white gloss spray paint and purposefully kept it a little uneven coverage to keep up with Chuck’s new distressed look.
After putting all of Chuck back together I was left with this beauty
Chuck is now Chuckerella, my bedside night stand.

Can’t wait to put some more perfect accessories on top!

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The Jackson zone

I think one of the hardest challenges all new parents find is how to handle all the clutter that comes with kids.  Kids come with A LOT of baggage!  I remember when Jackson was in his first year we didn’t even try to keep our living room an “adult” space, 99% of the time it was converted into a barricade jungle gym.

When we recently purchased our first home, all decorating and painting has been something we have wanted to be proud of and reflect more of “our” style rather than the “Jackson’s endless toy mess” style.  However, we couldn’t make a kid-free zone when our living room and kitchen are one big open floor plan and where we spend all our time.

That’s when a “Jackson zone” came into play.

With creativity and some organizing tools, Jackson now has his very own “kid corner” where there are very little rules and to-do’s except to have fun, and play hard.
His artist center holds markers, crayons and chalk {to use on his chalkboard table I DIY’d from a $5 thrift store find}
His big dump truck stores all his Thomas the Train track goods
The amazing book shelf I’d recommend to every parent! {It’s so easy for the kids to choose their own books, and put them away themselves}
His overflowing toy bin where he puts all his toys {while we all sing the clean up song}

The big wooden toy chest was a hand me down from me.  I had that in my room since I was in middle school and hope it’ll stay in the family as long as it can.
He absolutely loves this area and it’s great to have where his toys and belongings can just kind of gather in one area of the living room rather than spread all across our whole house.

Another big bonus having a table that’s his, is being able to teach him he only colors in coloring books and nothing else and everything stays on the table {thanks to Magic Eraser no real fear if he lands on the walls though!}
As mentioned before, table was a $5 find at a thrift store and I sprayed it with $3 chalk board paint to make it a fun kid friendly table.  To hold all his markers, crayons and chalk I used a spare piece of wood, stained it, and the tin cans were in the $1 bin at Target.  I used little hooks to attach them allowing Jackson to take off each bin for easy coloring.

Though he is a fairly neat and tidy little boy {with a few OCD tendencies} … sometimes even his corner can’t contain his wild and crazy times.  That’s when this occurs…

{Disaster strikes}

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An attempt at baking

Cupcakes have become such a HUGE fad over the past couple years it’s amazing the decorations people come up with!  It’s so fun seeing so many different recipes and ideas that people can create with tiny little cakes.  Some of my favorite are…
{sooooo adorable!}

I’ve never been a baker… or someone who belongs in the kitchen even.
However, I wanted to attempt to surprise Jackson’s daycare class with cupcakes for their Easter party.  I searched for a bit trying to find an idea that was idiot proof easy enough for me to attempt.

{here goes nothing}
First step {seems harmless enough}: follow recipe on cake box.
Done.
Step two: Eat a lot of batter Pour batter into cupcake pans.
Done.
Step three: {here’s where it starts to get tricky} I melted white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl just enough I could stir the chocolate smooth. I read that over melting the chocolate in the microwave will make it taste icky.
{Just before I stirred it to smooth perfection}
Done.
Step four: Add ample amount of hard crispy rice noodle things. I also read the key is the more noodles the better because you actually don’t want them dripping in chocolate otherwise your nest won’t take shape.
Done.
Step five: Scoop small amounts of the mixture and place on wax paper.  I then used little chocolate eggs, but whatever candy you what to use for eggs will work perfectly.
I stuck these in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes while my last batch of cupcakes was finishing in the oven.
Done.
Step six: Top your cupcakes off with chocolate frosting and smoosh your little harden nests on top of them and VOILA! Little bird nest cupcakes for Easter!
They turned out pretty cute!
{And I didn’t even burn down the kitchen , or set off the smoke alarm!}

Just wish one of the teachers had been able to snap a picture of those 12 little two-year olds eating these with frosting all over their faces!
{enter awwwwe moment}

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!

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Progress update of the yard

I won’t say it’s been easy.
I think so far of the homeowner’s process… this fence and yard has been our largest challenge.  We had some hiccups with Lowe’s installation team in the beginning with the fence, but I let my voice be heard and problems were resolved very quickly thanks to our amazing sales representative Ron.  Once the fence was installed and the mess was cleaned up (most of it at least… the remainder of the mess you’ll see in a later post), we have just been back to concentrating on our lawn.
Remember those seedlings I gave the little pep talk too? GROW SEEDLINGS GROW.  Well… they weren’t a fan of the temporary renters of the lawn {fence installers} so they pretty much gave up.  However, with a little luck of mother nature giving us rain…. and what I’d like to call cover up grass, it has began to look like we will eventually get a lawn!
I call it cover up grass, because it’s like concealer… its temporary grass that is just there to mask what’s truly underneath.  {others may call it crabgrass}
So here’s a quick snap shot of our back yard … hopefully in like a month {fingers crossed} I can give you another snap shot with far better results.
We have SO much work to do with our back yard, even beyond the grass, it’ll probably be our longest lasting project of this home.  Hopefully one day, {probably the day before we sell it} we’ll be able to sit back, feet up, and sigh with complete happiness of it.
{and if you notice… yes that grass is incredibly long…first on our to-do list.. buy a lawn mower} … until then we have this little helper
That is until he gets distracted…
and gets into a face off with Makinney {Jackson’s sub-in pet}

To be continued…

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Oversized Letter DIY project

Another obsession of mine for home decor is oversized letters… like seen here
or HERE!
But the DIYer in me never wanted to spend all the money that those beauties cost…. so one day while Jackson and I were aimlessly wandering around Michael’s… the light bulb appeared above my head.
{I’ll make my own}
Two of these from Michael’s cost a couple of $
Slapped some glue between the two pieces….
{once again, I use too much!}
Nothing a little wet rag won’t clean up.
Then I used Rustoleum Multicolored Textured spray paint to give them the effect of stone.
{VOILA!}

{Eyes off the sideways frame!….measuring up sizes of something for another DIY project}

I sit and stare at those shelves just about every night… eventually I’ll get everything I want up there.  The two smaller pictures, will become something bigger.  The sideways frame will become … something. I believe it’ll happen.

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