Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Easter Idea Inspiration

Want to make some creative eggs without the mess of dyes?  Grab some plain plastic decorating eggs and a sharpie and start doodling to make the Doodle Eggs!

Create a cute little centerpiece or a hostess gift with a fun mug, small plant, and one of your doodle eggs!  More inspiration here!

For a different Easter egg look, try decorating your plastic eggs with tissue paper, newspaper, ribbon or paper punchouts along with some Mod Podge.  These confetti eggs can still be opened to be filled with treats.  Make your own Mod Podge Eggs!

With all of these eggs, you're going to need a fun Tutu Easter Basket to carry them in.  What little girl wouldn't love one of these!

Need an easy to make Easter morning breakfast?  How about this Hashbrown, Ham & Veggie Quiche!

Easter Basket gifts don't have to be candy, check out this list for other gift ideas!
Have fun decorating and Happy Easter!

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Spring Break so far...

Started Spring Break with a 15K

Plus another mile with my youngest

Family fun at Disney

2nd Day at Disney

Beautiful day!

And into the night

Mining for minerals

My daredevil girls

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Only halfway through our week!
Lots more fun to come!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Giant SURF Wall Letters

Looking for that big impact wall art without a lot of effort?  How about giant letters!  We are working to update our new beach condo, and are slowly changing the girls nautical bedroom into a surf themed bedroom.  We are keeping the blue bedding for now and transitioning the wall art as we have time.

I have been working on a surfboard to hang over one bed and hope to have a dolphin or shark art piece over the other, but we needed something large for the side wall.  I decided to go with the word SURF in 24" letters.  I found these cardboard letters at JoAnn's for about $10 a piece, but got them for less with coupons!

I used leftover blue paint that had been used on the bedroom furniture to paint the letters.  You could probably use spray paint as well, but I wanted to make sure the shades matched exactly.  After the letters had dried, we used velcro picture hanging strips to hang them on the wall.  The letters were light enough that the velcro would work, plus it won't ruin the wall.

I'm super happy with how the letters came out and how much of the wall they take up.  Now we just need to work on the other artwork for over the beds.  Have fun thinking for the perfect word to hang on your wall!

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Is there a time when you should give up running?

Is there a time when you should give up running?  If you are looking for an actual answer, I don't have one.  I struggle with this question all the time.  Not just running, but soccer and other workouts.  As I run I'm always thinking, "When is enough, enough?"  It's usually because my runs are not pain free. I started my soccer career when I was 8 years old. I went on to play high school varsity, recruited to play Division 1 soccer in college, and even played on a semi-pro team after graduation. Thirty years later and I'm still playing. Continuing to play while adding in running hasn't been without its trials.

It was the spring season of my junior year in college that I tore my first ACL. After reconstructive surgery, I rehabbed that summer and made it back four months later to finish my senior year.  My second ACL surgery came nine months after having my first child. I think I actually tore it in an indoor game before getting pregnant, but I had to cancel my MRI after I found out I was pregnant.  I ended up trying to play, but after I felt my knee slip in and out of place, I figured it was time to get it checked out again.  My third major injury came months before getting pregnant with my third child. I pulled a hamstring playing in an outdoor soccer game. I continued to play on it, making it worse. Five years later, it is a chronic issue and I have pain anytime I sprint, run long distance, or run uphill. But still I run (and play indoor soccer).  

I am a competitive person. It's hard to watch people my age train and compete when I battle physically and emotionally through each run. I try not to think about those things. I'm learning that maybe winning races isn't my priority. I'd rather spend my extra time with my family and cheering on my kids at their own sports. On the weekends, I'd rather wake up when the sun is up than run in the dark. I've made the choice to work out and run for my health and to make myself feel good, not to beat someone else. I want running to be fun and something I enjoy. I know each run will not be easy, if it was it's probably not worth it. I still challenge myself, but on my own terms. I still like to run races. This will be my eighth year in a row to run the Gate River Run 15K. This is one of my favorite races. With 20,000 runners, there is always someone to run with and the fan support is great. It's pretty much the only race I do each year, but completing it is one of my yearly goals.  I do feel the pressure as race time nears and my training does not even compare to my past times.  I look at my PR times and can't even remember how I ran that fast.  I guess that's what happens when your body gets older than your mind does.  It just can't keep up with what I want it to.

I'm still playing soccer, but only indoor.  Full field outdoor games seem to be too much for my hamstring.  Should I give it up?  Maybe.  My Mom teases me about my future knee replacement surgeries.  I do have pain on a daily basis, but nothing that I can't handle.  It's been something I've dealt with for years, so it's just my normal.  For now, much of my social life and workout life overlap.  I even wake up at 4:30 am once a week, just so I can run with friends that I don't get to see enough otherwise.  So maybe I should stop running, but I'm not ready to give it all up yet.  For now I'm living in denial.  I don't want to have to give up a part of me.  Have any of you had to give up what you love to do?  What did you decide to do instead?  Maybe I can practice yoga.  Thanks for listening as I try to avoid getting any older or just complain about it!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Octopus Canvas Art DIY

With all of the painting, projects, and renovations that we have going on at our beach condo, we were in need of some inexpensive wall art.  We have some big walls, so I wanted something larger than would make an impact.  We didn't have a lot of time before our renters would be in town, so I needed some artwork that I could make quickly as well.  I needed a beach theme and I loved this octopus I found on the internet.

To make this DIY Octopus Canvas print you will need Mod Podge, a foam brush, a canvas size 24" x 36" inches, and a black and white graphic drawing.  I had a canvas frame that I took off another canvas that I spray painted silver, but you could also hang it unframed.  Paint the edges of your canvas a coordinating color for the framed look without the expense.

Source: The Graphics Fairy Octopus
I found this Octopus graphic at The Graphics Fairy.  I saved the graphic to my computer.  I then went to Staples online print shop and ordered an engineering print 24" x 36" of this graphic.  The site warns that this type of copy is not suitable for photos, but this octopus graphic came out great.  Cost: only $4!

To attach your print to the canvas, use your foam brush to apply a heavy coat of Mod Podge to your canvas.  Press your print onto the canvas, smoothing out the bubbles.  I wish I had put a heavier coat of Mod Podge on my first layer.  I think this would have helped it adhere better and reduced the number of wrinkles.  Allow to dry and then paint a layer of Mod Podge to the top of your print.  Allow to dry and continue to add Mod Podge until it is securely attached.  

Now you can frame your canvas and hang it on the wall.  I love how big this print is.  Plus, after a 50% off coupon from JoAnn's, my canvas was under $15.  Making the total of this project Under $20.  Looking for a different theme?  I'm sure you could find a great black and white graphic for whatever look you need.

We've done as much work at the condo that we could before the renters came.  While we won't be able to visit for a couple of months, I'm looking forward to getting back there to actually enjoy it soon.  Of course, there are still quite a few projects we would like to do as well.

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

And the Winner of our Free Spartan Race Entry is...

Thank you to everyone that came to enter my giveaway for a free entry into a Spartan Race!  I'm so excited that someone gets to do one of these crazy, challenging races.  Everyone should have a goal to aim for and these races are definitely a big goal to work towards!  If you missed our giveaway, you can still find out more about the Spartan Race!  Check out their new Spartan Up Podcast as well.

Congrats to our winner Angela R!!  Best of luck in the race and let us know how it goes!

Not everyone can win a free entry, but we can all be winners.   Use Code SPARTANBLOGGER to get 10% off any race.  


Wood Plank Accent Wall at the Beach Condo

We knew we wanted to make a statement on the staircase in our new beach condo.  A big impact, but still be simple and beachy. This Wood Plank Accent wall was just that.

This was our Before staircase.  Still don't like the yellow and the table with lighthouses seemed like an accident waiting to happen.  Plus it was just cluttered looking.  The first thing was to paint!  We didn't have to paint the whole back wall since we would be covering it up, but we did paint into the edges a bit to make sure no yellow showed through.

I found this plank paneling at Lowe's.  Each pack come with six pieces of 8 foot tongue and groove paneling.  We were able to do our stairway wall and another smaller project for a little over $100.

Starting at the bottom of the wall, we lined up our pieces with the base board and nailed in place.  The pieces had to be trimmed in order to fit our six foot wide area.  Stack your next panel in place with the grooves and nail in place.  Continue up your wall.

Once we got to the top of the wall, we were left with a small gap.  It wasn't big enough to add another strip of paneling, so we found a piece of quarter round molding that we were able to nail in place as well.

After all pieces were in place, we stained the wood with a medium/light stain.  Do a smaller section at a time so that you can keep your color relatively even.

We also used this wood plank accent on the wall above our fireplace in our Family Room Makeover. I love how the two projects tie together.

After the stain was dry, we hung our flamingo canvas and added a large vase.  A simple and inexpensive project that we completed in about half a day.  I really think it makes a big impact for the money we spent.  Love how it turned out!

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