Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Faux Granite Countertops (Take 2)

It's been 4 years since our counter tops have been refinished and they were looking like they needed a facelift. The paint was beginning to chip at the corners and sides, so I decided it was time to update them. 

When I first painted our kitchen counters years ago, I tried to go with a faux granite finish and it worked out okay. The tutorials I watched online called for using a sponge to get the look. Since I was too cheap to go out and actually purchase one (I know, crazy right?), I decided to use paper towels. This method worked out okay and we got lots of compliments on the look of them once they were finished. However, they never actually ended up looking like granite, so I recently decided to give it another shot.

I went out and bought a sponge this time (only one...haha- there I go being cheap again!) and it did the job nicely!! It does take some patience and time, but I think it's worth it in the end if you want to "diy" this. Plus, you save a lot of $$$.

Once the painting was complete, I gave our counters a couple of coats of clear poly and let them dry for 24 hours before putting our items back on them. 

Here's to hoping we get another 4 years (or more!!) out of  'em. :)


I will post a quick step-by-step process of how I painted our counters and hope this helps anyone out there who wants to give it a try!

Step 1: Prime your counters- I used a latex based primer. Use a couple of coats and let it dry for about 24 hours before moving on to step 2.

Step 2: Buy a sponge (trust me, this is a lot easier than using paper towels ;)) and dip it into a dark paint. I chose to use a dark gray that we already had in our paint storage stash. ;)
Let your paint dry before moving on to Step 3.

Step 3: Take your sponge and dip it into a lighter shade than the first color you started with and start painting over that darker color. 
Repeat this process a few more times lightening the color as you go. I chose to use a base white paint as my last color to lighten the counters and achieve the look I was going for.

Step 4: Once you've painted all your layers, let it dry completely and add a poly coat for protection.

Step 5: Sit back and enjoy all that hard work! :) 

We are very happy with the way our counters look. I think they ended up resembling more of the granite look I was aiming for. 

Have you ever tried painting your countertops? How did it turn out?

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

When All 3 Of Your Kids Share a Room

Ever since our youngest turned 2, he has not been a fan of sleeping alone in his own room. He would fall asleep in his toddler bed (he was already climbing out of the crib) and around 2 or 3 in the morning wander into our room or his sisters' bedroom. It wasn't until recently that we decided to move his bed into his sisters' room so 1) he isn't alone and 2) we see if this move would comfort him enough during the night that he wouldn't wake up multiple times.

The plan worked! If only we had figured this out sooner!!

So, now all 3 of our kiddos share one room and surprisingly, it's not crowded at all. I feel like it's actually even cozier and comfier than before. 

The change involved repainting the walls with a color the girls chose- Benjamin Moore Iceburg. I was hesitant about it at first because I didn't really know how it would work with some of the other elements in the room. But I have to say, they were spot on with the color! We love it! It's a blue that reminds me of the sky on a clear summer day. :)

Here are a few photos of their new space. 

I spy a little boy reading :)

I did end up keeping the painted closet doors because the girls use this for their clothes. Our son's clothes are still in his old room, since he will be moving back there eventually.

 I spy a cute puppy! (even though he's actually not a puppy anymore, he's still cute)

The doll bunk bed was a DIY project from last year. A few of the dolls sleep there...and did you happen to notice the doll in the basket that is missing her shirt? Why do kids love to take clothes off of dolls and not put them back on? Something I'll never understand.

Behind the closet doors, the girls share an over-the-door organizer. It was a couple of bucks at Wal-Mart and holds plenty of their little toys and stuffed animals. Happy to have them off the floor at the end of the day!

This little spot next to the door of their room is special to me because it holds sweet memories of when our girls were little. :) We had the pictures taken at Colonial Williamsburg. Such a sweet day!

We still have that dollhouse I made for the girls a few years back. They still play with it occasionally, which is nice. Little brother and little sister have also doodled on it quite a bit. It's not lacking in color, that's for sure!

The large B/W picture above is another one of our favorites. It was taken about 2 years ago when our kiddos still loved each other. Just kidding! They still do. ;) 

The framed quote is from Katie Davis Majors, founder of Amazima Ministries (a ministry we support). It says,"I have learned that I will not change the world. Jesus will do that. I can, however, change the world for one person." You can learn more about this wonderful Uganda-based ministry here.

I also hung up a shelf (fence board that my hubby cut down to size) above the picture for all the kids' arts and crafts.

With all this, I hope the room is a place for our kiddos to rest and relax after a busy day. So far, it has worked out that way and for that, I am thankful!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

7th Birthday Scavenger Hunt

Recently, our daughter, Tess, turned 7! 

Still can't believe that our little girl is not so little anymore. Seems like yesterday I was holding her in my arms rocking her to sleep her first night home after being born. My how time is flying!

To celebrate 7 beautiful years, we wanted to do something a little bit different than what we've done in the past.  We decided that spending the day as a family would be best. 
Since my husband was out of town the week of Tess' birthday for a work trip, we rescheduled to a weekday when he got back.

I wanted to come up with a fun way to celebrate our girl's big day, so I thought that making a scavenger hunt would be fun. The hunt began at our house and took us across the river. It was a fun day for all (most importantly, the birthday girl)!

Clue #1
    Happy birthday to you!
    Happy birthday to you!
    Let's celebrate this day,
     By opening a gift or two!

Tess began her birthday by opening a few gifts- one of which was a floral dress she wore for her special day.

Clue #2
Let's all go somewhere,
Let's take a drive.
It will be a surprise!
And very soon we'll arrive...
(Where do you think we are going?)

The first destination was a park in our area that we've never been to. We ate lunch by the water with ducks and geese nearby (which was fun for the kids), and let the kids run around together. Even though it was a hot day, water and shade helped and we made some good memories!

 Fun kids' play area!

We made it to the top of the hill! Hooray!

Both girls brought their new purple sunglasses to wear, but for some reason decided to take them off when they were running around. Of course...  ;)  

This girl...she ran up and down these stairs and never tired out! We wouldn't be surprised if she tried out for the track team some day. She's got endurance! 

Clue #3
 Why don't you open another gift?
It's something you can wear,
And maybe something colorful too,
Perhaps you will want to share!

Hooray for colorful jeweled shoes! Tess was so excited to wear these with her new dress before heading to our next stop. We also got her a colorful pack of molding clay (but left it at home for her to open so it didn't melt in the car).

We took a little detour to the mall nearby to cool off from the heat...which led us to a pet shop where the kids got to see lots of puppies.

Our little boy was enthralled with these particular puppies in the window. So much in fact that he kept talking to them. :)

Deep conversations...

After we were all cooled down, it was time for the next clue.

Clue #4
Do you like cheesecake?
Of course you do, why do I even ask. 
Let's head to your next destination
Where eating will be your task!

Any guesses on where we ate dinner?

The Cheesecake Factory! Yum, yum, yum!!!!

Always creating something with her food...  

Not only did we all enjoy a nice dinner, but we also ordered some delicious cheesecake. We asked our waitress if she could sing to Tessa.  She and a few other servers were glad to do so. 

We ordered the chocolate mousse and birthday celebration cheesecake. So, so good and most importantly, the birthday girl approved!

Time for a group hug!!!

This picture cracks me up! Love the love these 3 have for each other!

I say it every year and this year is no different...happy, happy birthday, sweet girl! We love you so much and are thankful for your kindness and thoughtfulness towards others. Keep loving big!