Zack’s Closet Update + HomeRight Giveaway

Many times, there are projects that we have to do around our home that aren’t particularly jaw dropping, like cleaning the garage or reorganizing the Tupperware cabinet.  They are necessary evils that don’t exactly have that “Wow!” factor when it’s time to blog about them.  Today, I have one of those projects to share with you.

Not long ago, this was Zack’s closet.

Builder's closet upgrade

Builder's closet upgrade

DIY Plastic Pink Flamingo Planters

This morning, I woke up to the news in my Facebook feed that Donald Featherstone, the creator of the plastic pink flamingo, passed away on Monday. He created the iconic, kitschy flamingos back in 1957 when he worked for Union Products (also makers of many of my beloved blow molds).

I thought it only fitting that I share with you a project that I created just last week – easy, kitschy, fun outdoor pink flamingo planters.

DIY Pink Flamingo Planters

DIY Pink Flamingo Planters

There’s a story behind our new yard ornaments and the full tutorial is up today over on the My Colortopia blog.

$100 At Home Giftcard Giveaway

After revealing my Staircase “Moment,”  I’ve been in an out of At Home several times.  I stopped in to check out some patio chair options for a Father’s Day gift.  The kids and I grabbed a couple of pots for some of our houseplants.  And yesterday, I picked up a couple of these little guys for a project that I’ll be showing you soon.

Win a $100 giftcard to At Home

Fun, right?  Or scary?  You know I definitely have my own sense of style, so stay tuned for more on that project.

But regardless of your style, At Home has so many great items that will keep you going back for more. I’m lucky that there is one just a few miles from my house, which makes it way to easy to just swing in for a peek.

To get you started on my newest obsession, At Home is offering a $100 giftcard to one of my readers!

Win a $100 giftcard to At Home

Happy Little Cacti

The overarching goal for my home has always been one thing: fun.  I want my family to feel happy, energized and in good spirits the second they walk in the door.  I accomplish that through crazy wall treatments, boldly colored furniture and generally unexpected little touches.

And thanks to my latest find, I can do that through my plants, too.

Colorful cacti

Taking On the World though Destination Imagination {Part II}

If you missed Part 1 of this series, please read it here.

When we last left our team of creative kids and their fearless (and tired) leaders, they had just won 1st place in the Capital Region Destination Imagination tournament and advanced to the Texas state competition.  We had been so ready for DI to be over for the year, but that win completely excited the kids (and us) into getting ready for the state competition.

Destination Imagination - why I think you and your child should get involved

The kids had a little over a month to prepare for State.  We immediately knew that we would go in as one of the top teams to beat.  The Capital region is the largest region in the state, so we essentially had to beat the most other teams to qualify.  The kids knew that they were now “kinda a big deal,” so they starting talking about going to Globals (the competition after state), They just knew they were going to go.  As managers, we kept encouraging them to produce “Globals ready” work for the State competition, but it was more a ploy on our part to teach them that they can do really hard things if they are persistent.  They upgraded their costumes, props and backdrop and made a new structure to take to competition.

We are really lucky to live in a school district that is supportive of DI.  The district paid for our entry fee into the tournament, hotel accommodations for the kids and even gave them a stipend for food while we were gone.  We rented a U-haul trailer (their backdrop was huge) and made our way to the state tournament in Dallas.

The State tournament was a completely different experience for us than our experience at Regionals. NOTHING seemed to go our way.  The tournament site was pretty hectic and disorganized.  The team performing before us had some kind of rules violation and ran like 30 minutes long, so our kids were standing in the sun in their costumes getting more and more anxious about what was going on.  We saw other team managers repairing their team’s props and helping put on costumes (which is a HUGE no-no in DI).  When we were trying to check-in, another team manager brought his team up behind us and they were singing and clapping so that our kids couldn’t hear instructions (I mean, c’mon).  So many other teams were in the audience of our performance room that there wasn’t room for Tom and I to even sit down.

And then there was the performance itself.

Our team did just okay.  Their performance was fine, but some little things went wrong.  A sign was upside down.  Zack’s hat was itching him, so he kept taking it off and throwing it on the floor.  Our structure creaked and cracked like it was going to come crashing down.  And our prop that was supposed to transform (I talked about that in Part I) just flat out didn’t work.

We came out of it feeling pretty bummed.  The kids had worked so hard, but at this level, little mistakes are costly.  They did very well in the Instant Challenge part of the competition, but we didn’t think they had done well enough to make up for the mistakes.

At the awards ceremony, we told them that we hoped they received a medal, but that we just didn’t think it was in the cards.  We told them that win or lose, we were so proud at how much they had learned and accomplished.  We told them that we couldn’t have asked any more from them and they gave it our all.  We told them that they were bright and funny and we knew that they would accomplish big things.  And we took one last team photo for the year.

Destination Imagination - why I think you and your child should get involved

My Staircase Moment

I don’t know about you, but I used to love watching The Rachel Zoe Project on Bravo.  As a celebrity stylist, Rachel is the perfect mix of witty and ridiculously un-self aware.  I don’t have a fashion bone in my body, but I always loved how she referred to a great outfit as a “moment.”

I think about areas in my home as “moments,” too.  When I am working on different spaces, I think about how they may look from other parts of my home since we have a fairly open floor plan.  Recently, my staircase moment wasn’t working for me as I viewed it from my living room sofa, and I just couldn’t take it any longer.

Here’s what it looked like.

Staircase landing makeover #AtHomeFinds

Now, let’s be clear.  The vast majority of this picture is my EVERYTHING.  I literally sit on my sofa and swoon at it – the feature walls, the built in desk, the rug on the wall, the red bar cart, the drum light, the Elvis painting.  But, my problem was the accessories on the green wall.  They were just too much going on right there and it needed to go away.

Luckily for me, an At Home has opened up just a few miles from my house.  This is dangerous, I tell you! At Home is a store about the size of a Target, but it only sells home decor items – furniture, rugs, lamps, pillows, bedding, accessories, patio stuff, and more.  It is literally a store I can spend 2 hours in and not see everything.  I absolutely love it.  They have many different styles – cottage, coastal, modern, industrial, traditional, etc. – so there is always something that I can use.

At the same time that I was “over” my staircase “moment,” At Home asked me if I’d like to head into their store and pick up a few things on them to rework a space in my home.  Um, yes!  So this week, I literally spent about 4 hours going up and down the aisles of my local store.  Between some of the incredible items I found and a few things I already had at home, I transformed this area into one that I truly love.

The first thing I did was take down the stuff that was on the green wall and patch/re-paint the holes. Then, I went on a recon mission to At Home.  I intentionally left my gift card at home so that I wouldn’t let myself buy the first thing that I saw.  I took pictures of everything that I loved so that I could go home and look at the pictures and look at the space and back and forth and back and forth until I decided what I wanted.  It’s super scientific.

Staircase landing makeover #AtHomeFinds