Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Homemade Christmas

Good Evening All! Well, it is finally starting to look like winter in our neck of the woods. =) I am glad. I would so much rather have the white stuff than the rain, rain, and more rain we have been having. This Christmas the majority of my presents I am making myself. (I know, I know this should be REALLY interesting coming from the queen of big ideas that flop) lol

I can not share most of my ideas until after Christmas, because the recipients of said presents read my blog. I can share one idea though because no one in my family is receiving this present.

A couple of years ago I went to a Christmas Open House at a kitchen store. I came away with a stand by idea for the coffee or hot chocolate lover....chocolate spoons. My sisters and I have been picking up cool, unique vintage spoons at garage sales and thrift stores all year. I sterilize them first and then the fun begins.

You melt almond bark or any sort of chocolate that you use to make chocolate dipped pretzels or strawberries. I just melt mine in the microwave. Then you drop in candy flavoring oil. I always use peppermint but there are tons of flavors. I got a two pack of the oils for $2.00 and the chocolate was just under $4.00 I believe. I forget how many pounds of chocolate were in the package I used. I used an entire bottle of the oil that you pour into the chocolate after you have melted it. Then you simply dip your spoons into the chocolate and set them on wax paper until they harden.

I then take the completed spoons and put them in a mug with a ribbon. Now, the next time the person sits down to enjoy a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, when they stir it they get an extra flavoring of chocolate and peppermint. =)

Linking to

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Finds on the World Wide Web

Hello one and all! I am sitting here waiting on my contractors to come and install my new front door. Yippee! I am soooo excited to show you when this one is finished. We decided this is a project we didn't want to diy again. Anyways...while I am waiting on them I thought I would tell you all about a few finds on the world wide web. The hubby and I tackled some finishing up stuff in the guest room last week. (Can't wait till it completely finished and I can show you!) But, I was not going to let a little unfinished moulding stop me from FINALLY decorating it, which is my fav part! I had some really cool looking dark picture frames that looked like they had designs carved straight into them. My sister Maria picked them up at a garage sale for me for $.50 each. I have heard of other people finding cool free printable art online, so I decided to give it a try. I googled it and I find the most awesome site.

I couldn't get any to upload because they are too big and you can only resize them when you are going to print them. Take my word that they have some really neat pictures and I will be showing you soon when I do the guest room reveal which ones I picked. =)

My sister Maria has been making homemade crayons for a while now. She had interest them so she started making them to sell. Within one day she had almost an overwhelming amount of orders, offers to have her in craft shows, and boutique wanting them to sell. She is celebrating her gratitude for this responce by giving some away on her website.

Bop on over and enter! You will love them. So cute! Have a great Thanksgiving and remember how truly blessed we are here in the good ole' USA! I know I am counting my blessings and you all are in them!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Up'ing the Cuteness Factor

Happy frigid Thursday to one and all! I have another "wrap up" project today that Miguel and I got finished this week. Adaliah's room is basically a finished room, aside from installing blinds. There is one thing in her room that has always bothered me, her ceiling fan. It was just a plain white one that I picked up at a garage sale for a few dollars. I stenciled butterflys and dragonflys in the colors of her room, but it still seemed kinda blah. So, my decorating blogs to the rescue! I had saved this idea http://kadburyis.blogspot.com/2011/04/lampshade-redo.html ever since Kadbury first posted it. I knew I wanted to try this, but Addie already had several lamps in her room. Then I saw another blog that I love who did this project http://thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/2011/04/prettying-up-ceiling-fan.html. The wheels started turning, if I combined the two projects maybe this would bring the cuteness factor I wanted to the ceiling fan. So, I started searching garage sales and thift stores for a drum lamp shade and guess what?!!? I found one by the curb. It just had a bit of dirt on it. But hey people it was FREE and I would be covering it anyways. So I happily skipped (as decreet as I could of course cuz I was picking up trash lol) to my car. Now for the flowers. I decided to use pink, purple, and white. I searched high and low and couldn't find many second hand options. The dollar tree to the resue. And here she is.....

I followed Kadbury's instructions from the above link. I just didn't do the last hot glueing step. I realized something though when Miguel and I were deciding how to hang it.....

Since this was going on a ceiling fan that hung in the middle of the room, you were going to be able to see where I punched the stems through. Not cute at all. So I thought and came up with cutting up an old white sheet and I used spray adhesive to attach it inside to hide the stems. If you have never used spray adhesive it is wonderful! I have been using it for a lot of projects lately and it is so much easier to use them most glues.

I was going to get it completely smooth, but I decided I kinda liked how it looked ruffled. Now, how to hang it. Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick showed step by step how she hung hers, but I knew we didnt have those supplies on hand and I wanted to work with what we had. So, I googled "how to add a drum shade to a ceiling fan" and came up with this awesome blog with a great idea for it. http://www.fingerprintsonthefridge.com/2011/04/how-to-add-shade-to-ceiling-fan.html Here's hubby installing it.

We ended up having to cut the metal parts inside and thread it through the wire through the shade with a needle. It was not hard to do just took a bit of time to get it to hang correctly. Then Miguel just put the shade back over the bulb.

Here is the finished result lit and unlit......

Total cost of the projects was around $11 for the flowers. Everything else was free or we already had it at home. What do you think? Does this project up the cuteness factor in Addies room? I have to say thanks to all the people who blog and give me ideas! It is one of my favorite things about the internet. God bless and enjoy your day!
Linking up to thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com and



Monday, November 14, 2011

Another Eyesore Gone! (AKA An Office Redo)

Happy Monday to one and all! We have been busy at home wrapping up some "little" projects that have been on hold for awhile. One of such projects is our little office area. Since this is an old farmhouse, over the years the various owners have done some remodeling that left some awkward spaces. One of said projects was a former owner moved the furnace from the utility room to a little space off of the living room. This space use to be a little foyer area from the front door. This door is no longer the front door because we do not own the driveway that you would enter by to get to the front door. So, we had a side door that entered into a room with a furnace that you had to open another door to get into the living room. Awkward yes? Confusing too. Whew! I hope that all made sense. Therefore, we decided to completely eliminate this door and we sided over it when we sided the house. This left us with a little room with a furnace in it. I do not like unused spaces so I thought "Why not make this a little office area" ? A place for the computer, some bookshelves with books, and a filing cabinet for our paperwork. It was pretty ugly in said room.

This is a shot of what the floor looked like. (Thanks to Adaliah for this random picture cuz it was the only "before" picture I could find lol) We also had a computer desk in it but it was waaayy to big for the space and gave no room for anything else. We also had a very nice, sturdy desk chair that I picked up at a garage sale for $2.

It wasn't exactly the most beautiful chair, but it was in great condition and only two dollars. Now, we had the makings of a projects list. I wanted new flooring installed, a new computer desk, and to recover the chair. Before we could tackle any of this Miguel had to cut a pipe that was sticking up above the floor. When the previous owners moved the furnace they repiped it with the pipes above the floor. Not so attractive. Miguel had to crawl underneath in the crawl space and cut and reattach them in the crawl space. Now we could install the new floor. Meanwhile I was on a hunt for fabric for the chair. I didn't want anything too pricey as the chair was only two dollars and this was my first attempt at recovering something. I didn't want to mess up expensive fabric. While I was hunting for fabric, I was at a thrift store one day and I saw 2 really nice full size sheets that were what I was looking for in fabric. I wanted something with brown or tan in it with some pops of color. They were only $1.50 each so I bought them. With the help of hubby I picked one for the chair and went to work. I dismantled the chair as much as I could. The back rest part didn't come off completely so I couldn't hide all of the staples. The bottom was easy though. I followed the advice from Lindsey from http://mrsbucks.blogspot.com/ when she redid her kitchen chairs. Thanks for giving me the courage to try this Lindsey! And here is the finished product.

I was pretty pleased with the turn out, especially since the entire project only cost $3.50 for the chair and the sheet that I used. I even had some of the sheet left over that I have other project in mind for.

Here's Addie trying it out. (Please ignore the wild hair. lol)

Here's the shot of our new office area. The flooring was peel and stick tile from Lowes. We had to purchase two boxes so I think it was like $35 for the floor plus we had to purchase some underlayment since the floor was way uneven. That was $20 I believe. We also had to purchase a room divider t-moulding thing because we were transiting from one type of flooring to another. That was probably the most expensive item at $35 for the one piece. Sheesh! The desk I found at another thrift store for $4. So, total this project ran us around $100 total. But, getting rid of another eyesore in my house and marking another project off our list is priceless to me! =) Have a blessed day.

Linking up to thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pause for a Tuesday Update

Happy Tuesday! As promised here is the much anticipated, I'm sure you are waiting with baited breathe update. =) First off, let's talk about my cutie, Adaliah. She is going to be 3 in January so she is not old enough to start pre-school, but this girl needs to be kept busy. So, Maria, Nicole, Keb, and I all started homeschooling are kids 2 days a week. It's going really well and we are having fun. We try to do a color, number, and letter a week. With the colors we strive to get them to start identifying objects for themselves that are a certain color. This skill is pretty much master with all of the kids. Since all of the kids have been able to count to at least 10 for a while we are having them write their numbers. The letters have been the most challenging. All of the kids love, love "Big A" so they seem to only wanna write "A' no matter what letter we are on. So, we have only progressed to the letter "E". The kids write the letters and know the sounds they make. Here is Addie on the first day of school.

Ok, not sure why this picture is next but I do not feel like moving it, so I will tell you about it next. =) We have been wrapping up the harvest of our garden. Tomatoes and most of the other veggies did not do well at all, so we were not able to can many of those. Peppers did fantastic so we have a bunch froze up for this winter. A sister from church and another lady had tons of green beans and had enough for their families so they graciously gave us some. This is the picture of the PILE we worked on one day. The second lady told us to just up root the whole plant so we could just work on it at home.
Notice the little helpers in the background. All of the kids helped for a bit, but Maria's two won for staying at it the longest.

As you can see we were at this for many a hour. I believe Maria, Nicole, and I worked for 9 hours or so on this pile. But, our work paid off and we each have about 60 cups frozen for this winter. Now back to Addie. =)
Her and her buddy/cousin Micah.

Grandma Esther send this adorable dress and headband. Thanks Grandma!

Another one of Addie. She loves to wear "bubbles" which is polka dots to the rest of us. =) And yes, that is a sneak peek at one of the heart stopping purchases behind Addie.

This is the most recent picture of her taken only a few days ago before church. She is pretty good about letting her curl her hair and it stays soooo well. =) She is styling a zebra print outfit from Grandma Janis in this one.

This is her dressed up for some fall fun. I know there are mixed feelings of that holiday in October, but Miguel and I both feel there is no harm in letting her dress like something nice and go and play the kids games that were taking place in town. We feel its a balance with everything. Just like we do decorate for Christmas and teach Adaliah about Jesus, not Santa. (Not wanting to start a debate on here and I am sure some disagree with that, but that's ok. God leads each of differently and we have different convictions about the "gray" areas. I said all of that to explain why Adaliah is dressed like an Indian Princess. lol)

With that last picture of Adaliah its pretty clear now what one of the purchases is, a new ventless fireplace for our living room. We have one already that was in a dining room but it was not decorative and it wasn't centrally located so it didn't heat the areas of our home that we are in the most. We love it and pray it helps with the heating bills! I thought I had a head on shot of the fireplace, but I can't find it. So, I will post one soon.

Drum roll...............

Behold, the other heart-stopping, major purchase. A 2012 Ford Focus. Here's the story. A couple of months ago we sold my Jimmy. It is a gas guzzler (yes dad and grandpa you can say "I told you so") and was costing more and more money to maintain. So, good bye to my first vehicle it was. Then Miguel purchased the scooter which I told you about in an earlier post. Well, that left us with the 2000 Ford Contour and the scooter. The weather was turning and my Arizona born and raised husband didn't think he would like riding a scooter 30 miles to work in the cold. I tried to tell him he was being a baby, but he wouldn't listen to me. ;) just kidding, honey. Well, that means he would need our only car pretty much full time and I would be left without a vehicle. I was fine with this, but Miguel wasn't real comfortable with the idea. So, here comes the clincher. I was driving Adaliah to her very first day of pre-school and our only car started acting up. I was pressing the gas but it was losing speed and it was making a really funny noise. So, I pull over and thank the Lord Miguel wasn't working that day and he came to help. He had no idea what was going on and was not to keen on further examination along the highway so I had to drive the car across all 4 lanes of traffic on 30 while it was stalling. I was praying and crying thinking "If I stall in the middle of this highway a semi is not going to have time to stop". God was watching over us (as always) and I made it across, but I was very shaken up. This incident happened after we put $700 into the car just a few weeks prior. We only paid $1700 for the car 2 years ago. So, Miguel went car shopping. The thought of a car payment, after 4 years without one made me sick to my stomach, but I told Miguel I believe you are the head of this house and I will trust your judgment. That is how I have my very first brand new car sitting in my drive. I do love it and it gets excellent gas mileage. About 47 on the highway and approximately 33 in town. It also has the inSync feature where my cell phone is linked to the car and I just say "Call Dad" and it does and I speak and hear through this speaker thing. Pretty cool stuff.

Well, there you have it folks. You can stop holding your breathe for the update and go on with your regularly scheduled Tueday. Blessing!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Life in the Valley

Life is the valley is not what I want

Yet, I loyally work on and live here where you have placed me

I sow the seeds, wipe the sweat from my brow, and continue faithfully toiling

Sometimes I feel there is no purpose to the work you have given me

It is then my ever present, loving God you pick me up, place me briefly on the mountaintop and reveal a glimpse of the beautiful design you have simply asked me to plant.

I have a lot to update you on my dear readers and I will very soon. I feel like I have been in survival mode for a while. Not depressed or even troubled, just living day to day for the past couple of months. So, at the end of the day I seem to have little energy to write about our adventures here. Has anyone else ever felt like that? =) I will give you some teasers though about our recent projects.....one is something I have wanted to curl up in front of and read books for a long time and two others are heart stopping, major purchases. Back soon! Blessing from my family to yours!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Little Things

Good morning dear readers. Once again I have been remiss in keeping you all in the loop of the lives of the Buckeye Calerons. I will be back later with all that has been going on. I just wanted to bop in and say "hello" and to ask you to savor the little things today. Tell your family and friends you love and appreciate them. Cuddle your baby close. Read that book you have been wanting to. Call that friend you have not talked to in awhile. Make the most of every moment. Have joy in the journey. Lots of love from me to you all!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July Shut Down

As promised, I will update you my dear readers on Miguel's shutdown. He ended up being off for 16 days so we had the chance to get a lot of things done around the house. There was a small catch though, outside of one purchase that I shall show you later in this post, we challenged ourselves to make no non-essential purchases. This is was great though because it forced us to do the "little" things that we had the materials for but never got around to doing in light of the "bigger" things we are always working on.

Let's start with the fun thing we did on shut down...we went with Nicole, Mike, Micah and Jordan to the Toledo Zoo. I have not been there since I was a kid myself. They had a baby elephant that I could have watched all day. The kids had a great time even though it was pushing 100 degrees that day. I give Nicole a merit badge for being 9 months pregnant walking all over the zoo! After the zoo we went to The Elephant Bar, one of my favorite places.

Ok, now on the "things we got accomplished on shut down list". Miguel started with the loose ends in his man cave. He finished putting outlets in, completed the install of moulding, finished sprucing up the trim around the window, touched up the paint, and installed the door. Here is the finished product.

Right now nothing is in his man cave expect for his keyboard, an area rug, and his chair. We are going to put a futon/couch in so this can dub as a guest room as well. We haven't hung any pictures yet or decorated until we get the furniture all arranged.

Miguel also got the door hung that is in the living room that leads to the upstairs, finished the moulding in the guest bedroom and hallway, and worked in the guest bedroom closet. I will show you pictures of the guest bedroom when it is completely finished and then we will take numbers of people who wanna come stay with us. Seriously, I love to have company and entertain and I will be so excited to finally show guests to a guest room all set up for them instead of a half finished room or the couch.

It was so great to wrap up all these little things. I know just reading it it doesn't sound like much, but all the little stuff kept us busy during Miguel's shut down. It was also nice to make use of the materials that have just been sitting and waiting so now we have more room to work with upstairs.

We also did a lot of organizing to assess what materials and supplies we had and what we needed to finish things up upstairs. We tackle the utility room, AKA the room where you put everything that doesn't have a home. So, we made homes for everything. I had these clear Rubbermaid totes that I was using in various other places in the house. I empty them all out and sorted the items and put them in bins and labeled them.

Not as pretty as some of the really cool basket organizers I have seen online, but I'm trying to work with what we have. It makes me wanna do a happy dance every time I open the door and see everything nicely labeled and put in the correct place, oh and I can find things now.

Ok now on to the only project we spend money on in July. Look closely at this next picture of these plants.
They were dying at the beginning of this month. I can see you all wondering "Well, how do they look so nice now when we have been having record heat in my little slice of the world"? Well dear readers, let me introduce you to my new BFF......

The Mister Landscaper Drip and Irrigation System. It was taking me almost 2 hours every single day to water all my flowers and trees and berries and veggies. It was so not relaxing any more and even spending 2 hours watering the plants were struggling like they weren't getting enough water. We have talked about installing one of these systems before so we decided to go for it. I got online and this system had all 5 stars and glowing reviews. So, we set out to Lowes and picked up the starter kit which was around $33. We knew that would not be enough, but the great thing is they sell all of the pieces individually as well. All you do is hook up this black tubing to your outdoor spigot. We decided to get this little "t" piece to attach to the spigot so we could have this system going out one side and still have our hose attached to the other. You then have these stakes that you attach wherever you want along the black tube. There are then various misters that can spray in a fan shape, 180 degrees, and 90 degrees. There is also a tool that you can poke holes in the black tube to have it drip on various plants, trees or bushes. We then either buried the black tubing or put mulch over it so you couldn't see it. It is soooo wonderful. It seriously has been super hot here. I texted my brother in law one day in AZ and it was hotter here than there. Weird! In spite of all of that, my plants look better than ever. It was worth every penny. We don't have it installed to the veggies, herbs, berries, or trees yet. It is installed all the way around the house though and it only takes me under an hour to water now. Sorry for my less than technical description, but seriously people if you have a garden I completely recommend this.

Miguel also finished the last path in the veggie garden and sorted through the rest of the brick to decide what to keep and what to get rid of.

We have already canned and froze some of the veggies. My tomatoes are struggling, but hopefully when it cools off they will do better.

I also had the chance to do some garage sale'ing and I found some great stuff. I got 3 shepard hooks one day for 50 cents each and these great lanterns for 50 cents each as well. I love how they look and they create such a neat atmosphere when lit at night. (Please ignore the really big Internet satellite in this picture. It mars my view but its the only option for Internet out here.)

We were also blessed to have some of our friends from AZ over while they were back here visiting family and friends. It was so great to see Josh and Sarah again and Adaliah had great fun playing with their two girls.

Baby number one was born for this summer as well. Maria had a healthy, beautiful girl on July 7th. Her name is Jana Rene. Adaliah simply adores "the baby" and Micah is warming up to the idea of having a baby brother after being around her a bit.

Well, whew! That's our shut down adventures for the month of July. Anyone else been getting some things accomplished lately? Do tell! I will leave you with one of my all time favorite pictures of Adaliah. She loves bugs and Miguel caught this shot of her as she was coming down the stairs after a nap when she was yelling "Look! It's a bug". And yes she is wearing PJ's. She now insists on wearing PJ's for nap time, not just at night. lol God bless you all richly. Remember to have "Joy in the Journey" cause you will never have this moment again!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hey all! This is a quick post but I will be back soon with lots we have accomplished while hubby was on a two week shutdown. I wanted to tell you all that I linked my last project to one of my very favorite blogs http://www.thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/. She does amazing things with her house and she doesn't fear power tools. If you are at all interested in home improvement/ decorating you should check out her blog. Once a month she does a before and after party that I linked up to. The projects people post on her blog are simply inspriring. Sometimes when I lack motivation, I get on and look at what everyone has done and it motivates me to get in gear and get things done. So, go check it out and stay tuned for what we have been accomplishing around the Calderon Abode!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Someone's Trash Became My Treasure

Hope everyone had a great week since I last updated. I had a very busy week, hence no updates in a week. I did some babysitting last week and I got some items marked off of my "to do" list. I am sooo excited to show you some of them. My staircase going to the upstairs has been a thorn in my side as far as decorating. I have been looking around for some ideas that aren't super expensive. Everything that I found that I thought would work was way out of the budget. All over decorating/do-it-yourself craft blogs people have been talking about and designing their own version of the sunburst mirror. I thought to my little self " I think I can do that and it would look great going upstairs!" I was determined that this was a project I was not going to involve poor old Miguel in. So, I pulled ideas from the various blogs and got started. I wanted to use what I had on hand so I had to improvise some. I used shims that I cut in various lengths with Miguel's miter saw and spray painted them varying colors of silver and gray. I then followed all of the blogs tutorials and cut a piece of cardboard and started to hot glue these babies to the cardboard. So far so good. Well let me tell you dear readers, all those blogs made it look easy...........it wasn't for me! I think the shims were too heavy so the glue wasn't holding them to the cardboard. Ok...plan B, I will nail them. Well, that didn't work either because the cardboard was too flimsy to hold all those nails. By this point dear hubby had awaken for the day (he is still on third shift) and wanted to know what I was doing. I became VERY emotional and starting blubbering about how all the people on the blogs make such cool things very thrifty like and its always so easy so them why can't I do anything right?!?!!? I think Miguel thought I was losing it and I'm sure he was praying we would just go out and buy something for the staircase because this meltdown was so not worth saving money for. We finally decided to cut the thinnest piece of board we could find into a circle with his jig-saw. I then could go to plan C. I used the nail gun and stapled the shims to the wood. Then I glued glass beads to it and glued the circle mirror to the board with Tacky Glue. And after a melt down and three tries......it didn't fit where I wouldn't it to. I did measure people, obviously not good enough though. So we put it on a different wall on the staircase and here is the result.....
The opposite wall has vinyl lettering that says "Joy in the Journey" and has pictures of the fam. (Please ignore the frame that has no picture in it. We were trying not to put a bunch of nail holes in the wall so we decided to use the 3D commander hanger things. Everyone else seems to love them, but alas they so did not work for us and all the pictures came crashing down. This is the only one that broke, but we nailed it up there anyways so I could work it in when I get a new frame.)

At the top of the staircase, I had pictured a skinny entryway table with some decorations. I have been looking and looking at garage sales and thrift stores and haven't found what I wanted. Well, one day after garage sale'en with the sisters, Nicole was taking me home and I saw two nightstands by the curb with someone's trash. We drove on and I was talking about them. Nicole wanted to know if I wanted to go back. I swallowed my pride and said I would like to. Of course I think every car in my hometown was driving by as I was taking trash and I was kind of embarrassed. Nicole gently pointed out she would rather someone get use out of her trash then it end up in a landfill and I felt better. So, home I went with my free find. This is what they looked like when I started.....

Yep, they were rough. Not sure why someone glued cork board to the one on the right. They had several things going for them though. They were solid and nicely built and they would be the right size for what I wanted. Here is a front shot. You can also get a lovely view of a room I have never shown before....the kitchen. I believe everyone can now understand my eagerness so make this kitchen nothing but a bad memory. shudder shudder

So, I picked the big pieces of cork off the one and began sanding to get the rest off and all the glue they used to glue the cork down with. Here are my helper for this project. The sanding alone took about 2 hours. The one helper is of course little Miss Addie and the other is the girl I was watching last week for Nicole as Nicole wanted to get the baby's room all set up. And before you all think I'm into child labor, they wanted to help. =)

After sanding, I put on four coats of my free white Menards paint. In between coats 2 and 3 I went to a garage sale and they had the coolest lion's head draw pulls and I knew they would be perfect for these tables. After the paint was dry I distressed one table. Miguel came and wanted to try his hand at distressing and he did a much better job than I, so he finished it up. And here are my tables that cost me $2 for the draw pulls and a bit of my time.

I love the way they turned out and I am so happy to have my hallway decorated. So, have you found any treasures yet? Ever picked up something from the curb? Do tell! Have a stupendous day and God bless you all!