Thursday, March 29, 2012

DIY Pottery Barn SandBox Tutorial

Recently I came across this sandbox on pinterst and when I went to look at it on the PBK site it was no longer for sale. ( that has changed in the last week, I think they have it again now that its summer). 
Anyway, I googled for a tutorial on how to make one and came up with this one from Life in the Dub Lane , which was a great tutorial, done by a totally cute momma. ( link below)

Sandbox Tutorial 

I changed just a few things. I wanted to also change the spindles from fancy to plain, but forgot to tell Bubs before he went to Home Depot, so we had fancy ones. They turned out much cuter than I was expecting. 
I also changed the fabric, flags and stain color. The fabric I used is just some Robert Allen Outdoor Fabric from Jo-Anne's ( 2 yards). I think it looks better without the flags since I did not do a solid colored top. I like patriotic colors in our backyard since I have lots of 4th of July/Memorial Weekend parties.
I used a slightly lighter stain than the one recommended in the tutorial. I almost went with a reddish stain like our deck but thought darker would look better with the fabric.

All in all I think it cost approx $100 to build this ( $30 of that was fabric). Depends on what tools and such you have on hand. When I find the receipt I will edit this post with an itemized list because I think that is helpful for those who may wanna try this.

Step 1 : Build (by Bubs)
 Step 2 : Stain
 Step 3: Cover top with fabric and staple gun. It was pretty easy. I am contemplating going back and making a fancier awning with box pleats. I think it looked cool with longer sides shown here:

Sidenote: She mentioned in that tutorial to use scrap fabric and cover the inside bars and you can see in this picture one of them I had not finished yet. It looks SO much better if all sides are covered even on the inside because you can ( and will) see it when you are outside of the sandbox.
As you can see, it was a big hit with my boy, and I love that he is now shaded when playing in his sandbox, PLUS this one is actually big enough that once he gets in it he can still play with sand. 

 I also love that it is not super obnoxious looking in the backyard like all the other plastic toys we have! 

Supplies Needed :

{1} 4x4 Sheet of Wood. They sell it just like this at Home Depot. 
{5} 7"x8' Boards. {It measures 7'' across and is 8ft long and is about 3/4" thick} 
{5} 2x4 Boards 
{4} 3ft Spindles (approx $3 each)
{4} "L" Support Brackets (approx $2.50 each)
{1} Box of 1 5/8" Fine Thread Screws
{1} 1/4"Drill Bit
{1} Sander {or piece of sandpaper}
{1} small can of Minwax Walnut Stain} (approx $8)
{1} Foam Brush to apply stain
{6} Bags of Play Sand ( approx $2.50 a bag)
{1} Staple Gun/Staples
{2 Yards} Outdoor Fabric -your choice of design ( Approx $30 for outdoor fabric)

Now I just need to make the fabric cover like this:

Many Thanks to the Dub Life Blog for the great instructions and "inspiration"

****2013 Update*****

I see this post gets lots of hits so I thought I would update with more info now that we have had it over a year. My son still loves it and it was totally worth making. 

- Last year I accidentally bought the wrong kind of sand and it stained all of his clothes with a red clay tinge. MAKE SURE you buy " PLAY SAND". It takes about 8 bags I think

- This year we re-did the top because when it rains, water pools in the fabric causing it to sag and get really dirty. We added a plywood roof and then recovered with more outdoor fabric from Jo-Annes. I had a coupon and it was on sale and was much cheaper this year ( about $10)

- Several people who also made this from my blog talked about needed a cover to keep out cats. We don't have any lose cats running around so this is a non issue for us, but would probably be worth while for leaves, debris and cats. 

- If you come across those mini foam alphabet letters they make a great toddler scavenger hunt for them if you bury them in the sandbox and let them find them.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

iPhone Case Review : Incipio Stowaway

I wanted to tell you guys about an iPhone case that I am REALLY loving right now! I know that may be "conflict of interests" for me to review i-cases but, as an i-lover I still like lots of stuff, not just my own designs, and I feel fairly confident when my iPhone case is released that it will blow other designs out of the water! ha
So until then, let's take a look at the Incipio "Stowaway" Case. It is really fantastic and a great price point ( $17-24)

It comes in a few colors (black, pink/purple, Orange/grey, blue/grey), I ordered the combo you see below for like $17 on Amazon

This is why it's HOT:

My previous case was a " Callet" and I used the heck out of it. I don't think I can ever go back to using a case that does not hold credit cards. It is way to convienient to just grab your phone and keys. The called, however over time, stretches out and it also retains smells. (So if you eat at a Mexican joint, you can bet your phone will smell like mexican food for a week.) 
Also, the Stowaway can hold THREE cards instead of just 2, or some cash! 
Next up is the fact that it looks, and acts pretty much like an OtterBox, but less bulky and MUCH less expensive. So when my tantrum ridden toddler chunks this thing across the room when I deny him a Cadburry Bunny egg, it will be totally safe. (This, written by the woman that SWORE her child would never touch her iPhone "iPhones are not toys")

And then , for that Same Toddler who is not allowed to use my iPhone, you can prop it up on the table and show some Mickey in a pinch, or Prop it up on your desk and use FaceTime, using the door to the wallet area.

SEE! I told you guys this is a fantastic Case! I am LOVING it. The one qualm, which is also kind of a pro, is that it does take a minute to remove the case if you wanna put it on a stereo dock.

Monday, March 26, 2012

We Went to Church! Finally!

I think I may have chatted about this before on the ole blog, but we have never found a church home in Nashville. I am embarrassed to say that, but it's true. I read my devotion every morning over coffee, say my prayers at night, yet we have no church life. 
   It started occurring to me that I needed to be setting a better example for my boy, and get him involved now.  I have mentioned before that I am not a teacher type parent, so I need to have someone be teaching him about Jesus so he will know what I am talking about !

Yesterday, we woke up , did our normal thing, and as I was sitting here planning our Easter brunch, egg hunt and church  service, I thought about how embarrassing it is to have become the girl who only goes to Church on holidays and with that, stood up told the boy to come downstairs with momma , because we were putting on our church clothes.
   We did not have time to shower, and I didn't even eat breakfast since this was all so last minute, but we made it! I got him checked into the nursery where he threw the FIT OF HIS LIFE while trying to pinch her ankles from his position of wallering all over the floor, but they assured me it was fine to leave, so I did. 
   When I came back they told me after 5 minutes of carrying on he was ready to be sweet and have fun and that he ate LOTS of goldfish and was very funny. Sounds like my boy. He was very smiley to the woman working in the nursery when we left so he must have had fun. I am excited for him to have social times with kids his age. 

It feels great to be accomplishing some things that are important to me, I have a running list in the head of things I know are good and right like daily exercise and regular churching, but I have just put them off over and over until lately and it is very satisfying to be doing those things now!

Other highlights of the day included going to my discount store to buy a jogging stroller. I am nervous about spending too much money on a jogging stroller since we already have a really nice stroller, AND because I am scared I will fizzle out on my new exercise routine. Bubs runs regularly so I guess he can use it regardless. 
We found a nice stroller for $100 and when I got it home to put together, whoever had returned had put all the extra accessories they purchased in the same box as the stroller so we got the cup holder, infant insert etc as well. The thing that shocked me was the front tire does not seem to rotate for turning. whoa! So I have been twittering about all that since a bazillion of you have jogging strollers and can tell me what to expect, but  90% of you all have BOBS!

After that, we had some friends over for a play-date! Heather and Bennett Anderson. Sadly I took no pics.

And just for fun, I took some pics of my ever opinionated Toddler after our walk yesterday afternoon. He Loves to be outside and almost every time you return inside, this is what you get:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tip Tuesday: Controlling your iPhone with the Headphone Remote

Recently I have been running, and could not remember how to control the songs on my iPod with my earphone remote. After some research, here is what I found and will share with you guys!

Single Click:
-Answer, hang up or swap between phone calls
- Play/Pause Songs

Double Click:
- Reject a Call
- Skip a Song

Triple Click:
- Play Previous Song

Press Once and Hold:
- Activate Siri/Voice Control

Press Twice and Hold  = Fast Forward song

Press 3 Times and Hold = Rewind Song

*This iPhone tip has been adapted from iPhone life magazine**

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Toddler Discipline

I am happy to report that the discipline going on over here has made big strides. Every time PB acts out, I carry him over to a very lonely corner of the room and lay him on his back and walk away. I remain completely emotionless the entire time ( if I am talking to someone, I continue my conversation as though I am not carrying a 35lb monster across the room).  I do tell him why he is going there and that he can not get up until he cuts it out. 
It takes him about 20 seconds to re-join the group. He will even smile and act all sweet like nothing ever happened! 
 This weekend he tested me in public ( Lord HELP me) at a consignment sale.. early in the morning... on a day that I FORGOT to put on deodorant... so all that screaming in the floor in public had me sweating profusely. Most mommas understood. One said " Good for you! It took me till my 4th kid to get that comfortable " but there were those ever hopeful pregnant girls with all sorts of judgment in their heads, and that is OK because no doubt that will revisit that moment in about 1.5 years when their kid is live and in person. But after all that showing out I took him to TJMAXX just to make a point that he will not dictate our schedule by showing out. He was a complete doll in there. 
I had not ever realized how much I danced around like a circus monkey trying to avoid his meltdowns! It is the most freeing feeling to not try and avoid them, but rather anticipate and handle them with confidence.  I was always carrying food, drink, toys, iPad to distract him incase he had a meltdown while we were out, and now, I use none of those things and it feels freakin fabulous!
If he is being a good and sweet boy THEN I allow him to watch shows.

Now I wrote all of that a few weeks ago, and am revisiting this post to EDIT. I might have won the battle, but the war is STILL ON.
Peebs is in full blown terrible two's. I started reading John Rosemonds books lately to help and navigate this area. 
He has a FIERCE temper ( no idea where he got that from) and has taken to hitting, kicking, scratching, etc when he is angry ..oh and throwing! He will try to throw something important, like my computer, when he is mad at me.
He has also changed his mind about so many things like, being friendly in public, or taking baths.. he refuses to SIT in the bathtub now.
I am EXHAUSTED from trying to discipline and not backing down all day. His will is made of IRON.  He can be the sweetest  sweetie and the meanest devil all in a span of 30 seconds.

He has moved on from the tantrums, well not entirely, let's just say he spaces them out better. Now... I must get him to do what I say, and not go crazy every time we have to do something that isn't on his agenda , like cutting his fingernails.

Here is the book I am reading, and I highly recommend it. It is a Christian parenting book, from a guy who does not believe in parenting books. HA kinda ironic.
  It is available in hard back and kindle edition if you are interested!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tip Tuesday: Adjusting Your Notifications

 Adjust Your Notifications

You’ve probably already played around with your notifications, but there are tons of different ways to manipulate your apps and how they alert you, making it just about perfect to make each app function properly. This is also a great way to save some battery life , for instance  I don't need a notification every time someone pays me in paypal, but I would like to be notified if someone directly messages me or mentions me on twitter. 
To get there, it’s Settings > Notifications, and there you can adjust what’s in the Notification Center, and then get even more specific and tell the OS how you want each app to notify you. 
So first go through and select all the apps you want to be allowed to notify and turn off the ones that do not matter. Then you can customize if you get a blurb or the full message etc and where it shows up on your screen.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Visiting Family in Mobile

We have been on a family visiting trip and spent some time in Monroeville and Mobile. Everyone please pray for my Nonie! She had surgery for a detached retina last Thursday and has to keep her head facing the floor at all times which is pretty mis! So please pray for her to heal quickly!
Below is cousin Wilbur! He had a great visit with Baby Fenn and was so sweet. They had the TIME of their lives playing in the water hose. Will kept telling me " That was AWESOME let's do it again and again and again!" HA

Aren't they cute?!?!
Peebs got lots of outside time in Mobile and loved every second of it. He constantly stood at the door squeaking for us to take him out.
Bubs and I went to see the Avett Bros Friday night since we had some free babysitting and we also went to the outlets for a few hours before the show. We did some MAJAH shopping. I had a blast in Ralph Lauren and as you can see below I love the color navy. I got Erik some swim shorts, my boy a rash guard shirts and matching hat for his pool time this summer and a cute tie dye polo shirt! They had a polo dress in the same color and pattern and we could have been matching but Erik thought that was a ridiculous idea and I thought the dress was over priced!
He was SO tired from all the activity that every time he got into a car seat he was almost asleep! He fell down in Bunroebille on the concrete and busted up both knees and both big toes :( but he never seems bothered by that.
You may have seen on twitter recently that I am doing the Couch to 5K app again. I have not worked out in FOREVER but bubs and I are taking a parents only trip to Hawaii in May so I need to tone up stat. I've got crazy muscular arms from lifting my sumo baby, but  the bottom half needs some work STAT. Pretty jiggly down there. Anyway.. while in Mobile we heard about this new running shows called Newtons. Have you guys heard of them? Erik and I both got fitted for a pair and I can DEF feel the pain in my butt. I won't get into the specifics but if you are a runner you should totally check out their website and read about them .

and that is the haps with us! Y'all please take a second and vote for me today if you can by clicking that link in the top right margin on the blog OR texting 856 to the phone # 383-838 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tip Tuesday: Text Expansion

Sorry for Tip Tuesday coming on Wed! I swapped my posts by accident!

Sometimes I say the same things ALOT. For instance, when Erik and I run errands together he will drop me off at the door, then I text him when I am done to pick me up at the door. Well I finally found this tip and changed she phrasing in my phone so that if I type " PM" it automatically fills in the rest and it is super quick. May not seem like too big of a deal now, but it has been really convenient.
1.)  Go to Settings > General > Keyboard and look for Shortcuts after you scroll down just a bit. 
Then just enter the phrase and appropriate shortcut, and the next time you type that shortcut the phrase will appear. This is particularly handy for things like  your email address.

**Tip adapted from app***

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Curent Loves:

Y'all know I love some shopping and lately I have been too busy to discuss or even shop much but here are a few things that I have purchases over the last few weeks or would like to purchase that are neat!

First of all, OXO, one of my favorite brands came out with a baby wipes box! Hallelujah Why has NO one ever done this before? I do not own this yet, but I will ! This was also a problem for me when  I used cloth wipes because no one made an easy way to store them!
Months ago I saw this bag in Ballards Catalogue and thought it was cute. Then I went to my friend Emily's house in ATL a few weeks ago and she had purchased it! It looked MUCH better in person and I loved that it was wax coated for structure and easy cleaning sooo I ordered it too, and I love it!

I got a sample of this from Sephora when I bough the Clarisonic and I have really enjoyed it. In fact I like all the things I have ever tried from Cosmedicine, but dang they do not smell nice, and that irritates me.

and I got this, honestly because I had a gift credit and needed to fill it quickly, and turns out I Love it. It is like Vicks for your face and hands. Its very moisturizing and feels therapeutic going on. I LOVE it. It is supposed to be the "beauty secret of japanese skin" AND if you click here you can order some free samples!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy Monday: The Weekend Chronicles

This is from last weekend EEP! I forgot to post:

Well... not too much going on around here this weekend. Erik went out of town Thursday night ( Radiohead in ATL) so I feel like its been a 4 day weekend! 

Can y'all even BELIEVE that my boy got a stomach virus? He has literally been sick since Feb 12th! Croup>Double Ear Infection>stomach virus. Insanity I tell ya!  What's more is that ole bubs got the virus too! My mom sent me a homeopathic remedy where you boil rice and drink the water that comes from that. Third world countries use that trick and I have to say it works! I wish I could get my boy to drink it!  I have magically avoided the illness ( so far) and I have NEVER washed my hands so much.

Bubs was off all weekend and it was so nice to have him home and have the help! I have used my free time to try and clean out our closets, and prepare consignment sale items.

I think I have finally come to a place where, I almost don't even care to consign because of all the time and trouble. Everything has to be just so perfect and done just this way.. and it is irritating. Same way I feel about ebay etc. I have prepared a HUGE pile for Goodwill and am about to make the drop off of my life. I am a bit of a hoarder, but it is time to THROW SOME STUFF OUT and get this house clean again.
I am so sick of looking around and seeing clutter or piles of stuff. I am always working on this thing or that which leads to piles but they gotta go before I lose my sanity. I have to admit tho, It feels pretty good throwing all this crap out and not worrying about if I should sell, consign or fix it. 

So from this weekend:

We had a fun family brunch at Amerigos with Erik's bro and wife and Stevie and Chloe, Erik's sister Julie and her man Rico and his 3 girls and us with Peebs. It was a full house and very fun. I was shocked that my boy who lives in Tantrum City made it 2 hours in a restaurant at nap time!

Bubs did some yard work and worked some and Peebs and I did some house work and lots of tax prep and website work. It was more of a busy weekend than a relaxing one!

*every time I leave the room, my little dude runs to my spot on the couch and imitates me

Saturday, March 10, 2012

News Channel 4 Interview...

Friday was WILD! I am sorry if I am beating you guys down with all this but I have to save everything to the blog since it is my diary, and also it is REALLY important, like HUGE for me to win this Wal-mart Shelf Space contest so I have resigned myself to being the annoying tweeter until April 6th. Again , I apologize in advance for this. 
Friday, someone from the news channel called me at 11am wanting to know if they could come over and interview me! I was super excited but was like " Right now?" and he was all "yeah" and I said "look dude, I am feeding my boy lunch, I have not showered in 2 days and I need some time to pull it together" and then he says "Ok what about 11:30" WTH! HA so we made it for 1pm and I tried my best not to freak out. 
All in all I thought it went really well. I had NO idea how big that gap in my front teeth was until I saw this video! HA
I sincerely hope this gets me some MAD votes on the site because as it is now I am not even in the top 10 :(((((

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Grizas Update! Today Show, Wal-Mart etc

Right now a bunch of things are going on. The 2 biggest things I guess are:

- The Today Show. I think maybe some people misunderstood this situation so let me explain that further. One of the producers for a segment on baby gear requested a sample and that it be there by March 9th. That was ALL the email said and I was not the only person they requested samples from. No promises of TV time or anything ( although that would be awesome!) I am grateful for the opportunity of just being seen by someone so important though, and I am praying that my iLatch really makes a great impression and leads to more opportunity!

-Wal-mart get on the Shelf Program.  I am learning a lot about the retail business and the short version is that it is very hard to get shelf space in an actual retail store. Generally you have to start out on their website ( which ain't easy either!) and prove your sales before they will carry it in the store, and even then they may only carry one color or version. Wal-mart is having a contest for people that is decided SOLELY on votes from the public and the winner gets shelf space in Wal-marts. I would LOVE to get that shelf space . Consider this the "American Idol" of the retail business, in that this contest could mean a short cut for my success. 

I am gonna try not to beat you guys down but I do need to solicit votes daily. You can vote on Facebook, via text  etc and its VERY easy. You don't have to sign up for anything. Voting for round one goes on for ONE MONTH ( ends April 6th) so I need as many votes as many ways as possible until then. 

You can text "856" to the phone # 383-838. It will send you back a text saying they got your vote. If you leave that text open on your phone you can just easily send 856  daily.

or you can  click on that badge in the margin that looks like this:

Vote in Get On The Shelf

I also wanted to say THANK YOU to all of you guys who have been SO sweet and SO supportive with the retweeting and reposting on Facebook and emailing your friends. It has been amazing and I wish I could convey in a better way how sincere I am about my appreciation! 

Thank you ever so much! Let me know if I need to answer more questions!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tip Tuesday: Taking Quick Pictures

Since the launch of iOS5, there have been lots of easier way two take pictures.  Today we will cover 2 of those ways!

You can take a quick photo from the lock screen like this:

Take a Picture With a Double Tap

 Double click the home button and look to the right of your Unlock slider where you’ll find a little camera icon. Touch it, and you can begin taking pics.

Snap a Picture with "+" Button!
You can also take pics using the plus sign ( volumn up button) on the side of your camera. That is especially helpful when you are taking self portraits.

**pictures from app****

Monday, March 5, 2012

Visit with @EdwardsEdition

@edwardsedition and I go way back and she came to stay for 4 days with her 2 kiddos recently. We had a great time and stayed VERY busy. After she left, I was talking to my mom about this or that and  I said you know what? I was with her day and night for 4 days but we did very little talking! HA We were too busy taking care of sick kids to chit chat!
That is right, all THREE of our kids were sick. I think they swapped germs! It was a full on schedule of antibiotics, tylenol, baths etc.. 

While they were here Sus talked to me about how I need to discipline my boy. I was blinded by motherly love, and she could see objectively how I was getting played!  I followed her advice and it worked like a charm!
Emma taught peebs how to take the top off of his markers and that has unleashed a whole new world of trouble  and fun! ha
Harrybear started crawling while they were here! 
One thing that really got my attention was how much siblings entertain and love each other. That baby boy could not take his eyes off his big sister. He laughed and was amused by every single thing she did and he seemed to me to be pretty advanced because of how hard he tries to keep up with her!   It was really cute! 
We had a great visit and I am sad they are gone! 

We both missed the blogger lunch on Sunday after blissdom due to the sick kids and no babysitter. I was pretty broken hearted about that! Hope all your blissdom ladies had a great time!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Iphone App Review : "The Lost Gorilla - Mom It's Me! "

I got an email this week from an app developer about their new kids app. See below:

"The Lost Gorilla - Mom, It's Me!™", which will launch on Thursday, March 1st. This is our most interactive, fun and beautiful personalized book yet. It tells an engaging and educational story of a young child helping a baby gorilla find its parents. Like our other books, this will be a universal app and we decided to price it at just $0.99 to make it a great deal for any parent. 

It is a book app that you personalize with your child's picture. I don't know about you guys, but my boy sure is fond of his reflection. He tries to kiss it in the bathtub when he see's his face on the bath tub drain LOL. So books with his picture in them BIG HIT. It is on sale today for 99 cents so if you are interested in buying it, make sure to take advantage of the sale price! 

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