Lindsay Gill: January 2015

Sunday, January 25, 2015

7 Awesome house ideas! Creative, functional, and on our house bucket list

I wanted to compile a House Bucket list.  I've come across so many creative, unique, and helpful ideas for homes that help keep things organized and running smoothly.

If you've been following our Gill Renovation, you have seen that we did some major projects since closing in October.  I feel relieved that the major projects are done, and excited to start some smaller projects.  I do get frustrated that I don't have to tools or knowledge to do them!  Maybe over time I'll get more of both.  Here's my list so far, and maybe you can help me add to it!

1.  Hidden Cutting Board above the trash: Reduced spilling during transfer from cutting board to trash.  Probably safer since you're not moving things all around the kitchen with a sharp knife.

2.  Hang wine glasses: We are working on replacing the old pantry doors with beautiful glass consignment doors I found for only $20! I would love to eventually put these wood pieces on the tops of the shelves so we can hang the glasses upside down.  I assume these stay less dusty this way, too.

3.  Reading Closet: What a cool yet organized way to display books!  I don't like collecting my books but I think this is an awesome idea for Luke's books!

4.  Recycling Doors: This is by far my favorite.  I think it might actually be feasible if we make the holes from our front closet into the garage.  I want to be diligent about recycling, and Luke has been collecting bottles to make money!

5.  Mail shutter: Simple yet effective.

6.  Hidden Drying Rack:  I love keeping things out of the way when they are not in use, yet nearby for when you need them.

7.  Convenient Ingredients: Maybe not until Luke is older.

Have you come across any home ideas that you hope to use one day?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

September Farm Cash Giveaway!

A big thank you to Karli from September Farm for including me in this January cash giveaway! If you're looking for some extra cash after the holidays, you've come to the right place!  Enter below for your chance to win $115! I especially love September Farm giveaways, because I'm eligible to enter, too!
hannah | shane
karli | mar
lauren | rebekah
lindsay | amy | sara | karisssa
if you would like to get in on february's group giveaway action, click HERE to see your options!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Letter to our two year old

Dear Luke,

Or "Loote," as you call yourself.  Two years ago, at 12:34 AM, we got to hold you in our arms for the first time!  We are so proud of you and we love you so much.  You're learning and growing so fast, so I'll document some of what's going on with you right now.

You have a great sense of humor!  You love people.  But you aren't afraid to tell them, "bye, beep beep, mah," meaning: "it's time to go, I'll wave to you in your car, I love you."

You just involuntarily gave up your "mama" or pacifier.  You miss it very much and aren't sleeping as well.  Luckily, you still have your gang of stuffed animals: the neigh, the nunny, two gahgoo bears, and a quack quack.  Now, you also sleep with your "uhbuh" (football.)  You just started gymnastics with your friend Julia.  You are the only boy in the class, and you like to hold Julia's hand.  You spend the day with Nana Nina on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when Mommy is at work.  She loves you so much!  You're going to start soccer class with Nana on Wednesdays!

You have been doing pee pee on the potty and we are so proud of you!  You are so proud of yourself, too!  We clap and cheer and dance, and eat thousands of M&Ms.  You have always been a great eater!  You love apple juice.  You love wagon wheel macaroni and cheese but will pretty much try anything!  You have become a great cook with your new play kitchen from Santa.

You are so good to your grandparents and great grandparents.  They can't get enough of you.  You've been so much healthier with your ear tubes in and adenoids out, it's wonderful!  You love playing with your cousin Owa and uncle Sha Sha.

You're so curious!  You say "Waz zat? and Waz zat beep beep?" when you hear and see things.  You love playing sports now, especially "hoop."

We feel so blessed that we get to be with you.  You are the best.  We know you will have a great year!  We hope you never lose this zest for life, your curiosity, your love for people, and your willingness to try everything!

We love you so much,
Mommy and Daddy

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Planning a Barney Birthday party

We planned Luke's Barney birthday party last minute.  Between moving and the holidays, we just didn't have our act together!  Luckily, even though his friends were busy and/or sick, most of the family could attend!  Here's how we pulled off a great Barney party:

1.  We rented a Barney costume from a woman in town.  If you are in the Western MA area and are interested, email me and I'll give you her contact information.  My younger brother was kind enough to wear the costume!

2.  I downloaded a bunch of Barney songs for the background music.  My grandfather played kid songs while Barney danced around, and we even did a little parade!

3.   We had bagels, donuts, egg casserole, muffins, ham, and purple/green grapes along with juice and coffee.  My cousin made a Barney cake!  Again, if you're in my area, email me for her contact information, she does a beautiful job with cakes!

4.  I had a small Barney ready for the birthday boy and a wrapped book for Luke's cousin for Barney to hand out.

5.  I found balloons on Amazon's not easy to find Barney things right now! With Amazon Prime, we had everything on time!  To fill them with helium, I had to pay the store as if I bought the balloon from them!  Not ideal!

I have always felt grateful for my family coming to celebrate my birthdays, but it is a whole new level of gratefulness that I feel when they come to celebrate my son.  Everyone is so generous and it is so awesome to see how much they love Luke.  The loving family and friends are the backbone to any party.  If you've got that, then all of the details will fall into place.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

5 Steps to DIY Fabric Roller Shades

I was on the hunt for an easy and cheap solution for window treatments.  I called a few places for estimates for "hardware" window treatments (I learned that this means more functional than decorative).  One woman told me that due to the width of my windows, I would have to spend around $600 per window, on the low end.  That's when I knew I would, once again, be putting cardboard boxes in the windows for privacy (we did this in the condo at first!)

Well, desperation breeds creativity.  I found a few DIY tutorials for roller shades on Pinterest.  I found the tutorial at most helpful, but would like to share my experience so you can avoid gluing your hands I just did.  Here's how to make cheap and easy custom roller shades:
1.  Buy cheap vinyl roller shades.  I paid $8 for mine but I have heard you can find them for $3!  I had mine cut at Home Depot to my window width.  Buy the right adhesive! Something that is for fabric and sprays clear. If the adhesive is semi-delayed bonding, that gives you some leeway in adjusting your fabric once it is placed, too. 

2.  Hang 'em up!  Pull them down to the full length of the window (or as far as you plan on pulling them down).  Make a tiny mark so you know how far up to put the fabric.

3.  With the curtain extended, lay on flat surface and cut your fabric with about 1 in extra around all edges.  Take your time and make the edges straight and clean because they will show from the other side!

4.  Bring it all outside.  I set up shop in my garage.  Ain't nobody got time for fumes around here.  Spray the shade making sure to get all edges and avoiding any pools of adhesive.  WEAR GLOVES OR USE A CLOTH to flatten the fabric onto the shade.  Pull fabric taut to get rid of wrinkles or bubbles.

The shade on the left was with the WRONG ADHESIVE.  Note that any pooling of adhesive creates an undesirable mark on top right of middle shade.
5.  Use a fabric glue gun to glue the edges to the other side of the shade.  

DOs and DON'Ts:

DON'T press fabric on with bare hands.  It's like getting super glue all over both palms, but worse...I've heard.

DON'T use 3M vinyl adhesive even though the shade is vinyl.  It is yellow and soaks through the fabric.  Use the one listed above.
DO cover the roller portion of the shade when spraying the adhesive to avoid getting glue on the rest of the shade.

DO choose a darker fabric, when it is bright out, you can see the extra fabric glued to the back.

DO use thin fabric if you want the roller shade to continue to function and roll up.  Otherwise you might have to manually roll the shade.  Mine does still work with the fabric on it, but does "stick" a little bit in places where the fabric is slightly thicker.

DO cut a square off of the bottom edges before gluing for a clean corner.

I would love to see your DIY fabric roller shades!  Please share!  Here's how mine turned out...