DIY Easy Bistro Table Makeover
 
Breathing new life into old furniture couldn’t be more simple with Easy DIY Bistro Table Makeover!
 
We have two simple black bistro tables that used to live in our master bedroom as “temporary” night stands.  But, earlier this year we purchased actual night stands. So, after 7 years (you read that right) in our bedroom, the black bistro tables became homeless.  I considered selling them in a garage sale we had, but then I thought they could be useful somewhere else in our home.  So, I held onto them and they bounced around from room to room until inspiration hit.  

Bistro Table MakeoverThe windows in our living room face a bare and boring small side yard with a glorious view of a brick fence.  It’s just as lovely as I’m sure you are imagining it.  We plan on planting a couple fruit trees over there eventually, but the space could use some color regardless.  So, I decided to give one of the bistro tables a makeover so that it could live in our side yard outside our living room as… wait for it… a bistro table!  Original, I know!

The process couldn’t be easier and this makeover cost less than $20!!  Don’t you just love it?  It makes me so incredibly happy to see this bright and fun table outside the window!  I carried the colors from our living room outside so that it would be a natural extension of the room.  I am seriously smitten with it.  
 

DIY Bistro Table Makeover

Here’s how I did it:
Materials:
Bistro Table
Indoor / Outdoor Spray Paint – I used Rust-Oleum Real Orange
Craft Paper – I used solid white, teal and orange
Octagon Paper Punch
Outdoor Mod Podge
Foam Brushes
Outdoor Urethane

Process:

 

DIY Bistro Table MakeoverI started by disassembling my bistro table and covered it with 3 coats of orange spray paint.  I let the paint dry completely over a few days.

 

DIY Bistro Table MakeoverMeanwhile, I punched a ton of octagons out of my craft paper in all three colors.  And then the fun started… My Love, Lovebug and I played around with the octagons to come up with different patterns  for the table until I, I mean, we settled on one that we like best.  

 

DIY Bistro Table MakeoverNext I measured out the midpoint of the table and started gluing the paper octagons down with Outdoor Mod Podge, starting at the middle and working my way out.  The table has little holes shaped in a design on it, but my paper and glue covered them up perfectly. 

 

DIY Bistro Table MakeoverWe ended up with a flower-ish design, which is interesting because that is exactly what I had envisioned! ๐Ÿ™‚  Anyway, I started by gluing down an orange octagon right in the middle of the table, using my Outdoor Mod Podge and a foam brush. Then, I added a row of teal octagons around it, then followed with a row of white around that.  I continued with that pattern, orange, then teal, then white, laying down a little glue as I went along.

DIY Bistro Table MakeoverI continued until the table was covered.  Then, I let the Mod Podge dry completely for a couple days.

DIY Bistro Table MakeoverOnce the Mod Podge had dried and the craft paper was secured on the table,  I sealed the top of the table with 3 layers of Outdoor Mod Podge and let it dry completely. 

DIY Bistro Table MakeoverThen, I waterproofed it by putting 3 coats of clear urethane over it.  I let that dry completely and my table was done!

DIY Bistro Table MakeoverFinally, I took my table outside and admired my handiwork!  I absolutely love how it turned out!  So vibrant, colorful and the perfect pop of color to add interest to the small side yard (read: brick wall) outside our living room.  

Now, I just need to find a couple bistro chairs to go with it and my little outdoor seating area will be complete!  I’ll update the pictures once I find the chairs.  In the meantime, I am so in love!   I’m even considering doing something similar with the other bistro table we have and setting it up in the front yard or entry.  I just need to come up with a color scheme and design. Any suggestions?
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If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we did a fun little countdown to kindergarten the week leading up to school starting.  But, I thought I’d share it here in more detail.
 
Last year, Lovebug was leaving the daycare/preschool she had attended since she was four months old to attend Pre-K at a different school.  She didn’t know the teachers, the school or any of the students and she was a little sad and anxious about the change.  So, we decided to do a countdown to Pre-K to get her excited about her new school.  We did fun little surprises each day the week before school started, like painting her nails fun designs, putting chalk colors in her hair and taking treats to her preschool.  We just wanted her days to be a little more special so she wouldn’t be so sad.  By the time school started, she was more excited than anxious about the change.  Mission accomplished!
 
This year, Lovebug was already excited about kindergarten, but she was changing schools again so we decided to implement the countdown again, just for fun.   We planned simple, inexpensive and fun activities to surprise her each day of the week leading up to school starting.  
 
 

We started the countdown with donuts for breakfast with 7 days to go…
countdown to school ideas

 

With 6 days left, we had a sleep over and movie in mommy and daddy’s room.  It was fun for her but so very precious to me.  I loved cuddling with my sweet girl thinking about how quickly time has flown by and how my little baby would be starting kindergarten in a few short days.
Countdown to school ideas

 

5 days and counting… We surprised her with bath time fun!  I went to the dollar store and picked up 7 packs of glow sticks.  Each pack had 4 – 6 sticks in it so the tub was full of light.  She had so much fun that bath time took twice as long as normal!
Countdown to school ideas

 
With 4 days left, I took Lovebug to the Disney Store for an Alphabet Scavenger Hunt.  If she could sound out Disney characters or items starting with each letter of the alphabet, she could pick out a prize ($15 or less).  I was so impressed with how many she came up with on her own, but have to admit the end of the alphabet gave us a run for our money. Luckily, the lovely cast members at our local Disney Store helped us out and we were able to come up with all but one letter.  I still gave her a prize and the cast members did too!  She walked away with 101 Dalmatians figures and awesome Disney trading cards!  
Countdown to school ideas
* Free printable of the Disney Store Scavenger Hunt sheet is below.  ๐Ÿ™‚
 
 
3 days until the big day meant special mini ice cream cone treats for Lovebug and her friends!  Her absolute favorite!
Countdown to School Ideas
 
My Love had won tickets to the Phoenix Mercury game from work and Lovebug loves going to the women’s basketball games.  So, it was the perfect surprise for one of her last couple days before school.
Countdown to school ideas
 
 
We celebrated the last night before school with one of Lovebug’s favorite meals and ended the meal with frozen yogurt, toppings and all!
Countdown to school Ideas
 
 

We had one last surprise for Lovebug on the first day of school.  We decorated the bathroom mirror with encouraging notes using dry erase markers and filled the bathroom with helium balloons.  We just wanted to start her day off with a smile on her face.  And boy did she ever!
Countdown to School Ideas

Lovebug loves school and was already really excited about kindergarten.  But, we wanted to create some fun memories leading up to the big day.  When she thinks back on kindergarten, will she think about this countdown?  Probably not.  But, I know I will always remember it and the excitement on her face as she would ask what her surprise was for that day.  So, maybe the countdown was more for me than for her. But, either way, we had some fun and made some lovely memories.  So, it was worth it.  In fact, it was so worth it that we will likely do a countdown to school every year going forward! ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is the free printable for the Disney Store Alphabet Scavenger Hunt.  Just right click and save to your computer.  Then, open it in a word processing program, adjust the size, if necessary, and print.

 
Disney Store Alphabet Scavenger Hunt Final
I hope all your kiddos have a fantastic school year this year!
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Building out Littlebug’s Library – Bookroo Subscription
Littlebug’s two favorite things lately are babies and books.  She loves to take care of her babies by changing their diapers, feeding them and patting their backs while they sleep.  But, even more than that, this kid loves to read!  If she ever gets a little too quiet, I usually find her somewhere with a stack of books surrounding her, “reading” to herself or to her babies.  
 
While we have amassed a decent collection of children’s books over the years, I’ve really wanted to add to the library in Littlebug’s room.  So, when the lovely folks at Bookroo reached out asking if we’d like to participate in a product review, I jumped at the opportunity!  
Bookroo
If you don’t know already, Bookroo is a children’s book subscription service that delivers new books to your door every month.   All you need to do is select the plan that works best for you (month-to-month, 3 months or 6 months) and the type of books you want (3 board books or 2 picture books) and presto!  Books show up at your door like magic!!  
 
Here’s what I love as a parent: The subscription price for the books is less than retail.  So, not only do you get new children’s books at your door, but you’re getting them at a great price too!  Plus, the cost of shipping is included in the subscription price.  So, no added costs!
 
Here’s what the kids love about it:  They are getting new books.  And the books arrive wrapped up like presents! 
Bookroo 1
Who doesn’t love opening presents?  It makes the whole experience so much more exciting!Bookroo 3

The Bookroo team selects books based on personal experience and recommendations from parents.  So, you can feel confident that the books will be fun and entertaining.  Ours certainly were!  I think we read our two picture books at least 20 times in the first week and they are still in pretty heavy rotation!Bookroo 5
The kids couldn’t get enough!  If they weren’t listening to us reading their new books to them, they were flipping through the books on their own.  Bookroo 7

And sometimes, they would settle in together and Lovebug would read to Littlebug.  Books and sisters are the best!Book 4

And if you get a book you already have, you just send the awesome Bookroo team a picture of you giving the book to someone else and they’ll give you a $5 credit on your next subscription!  They’ve thought of everything!Bookroo 8

Want more good news?  Right now Bookroo is running a buy one, give one promotion for new customers!  So, you can not only get a subscription for yourself, but you can gift one free!  How awesome is that!?  

If you have a young book lover in your life or if you are trying to inspire a future book lover, head on over to Bookroo’s website and give this subscription a try.  I promise you will not be sorry!
 
To the Jane and Bookroo team – THANK YOU for helping us build out Littlebug’s book collection!  You made my little book lovers so happy!
 
NOTE: This is a sponsored post, however all comments and opinions are my own.
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His & Hers To Do List { Free Printable }
With both My Love and I working outside the home full time, carting two kids to various activities, running errands, making meals, spending quality time with the kids and squeezing in a little time for each other or ourselves, our home sometimes usually suffers from neglect.  Dishes pile up in or around the sink, floors are covered with a crumb carpet, mountains of laundry take up valuable space on the couch, toy land mines make it impossible to walk through common areas, etc.  Does this sound at all familiar or are we the only ones?
 
The problem is that after a long day, we are pretty exhausted and the last thing My Love or I want to do is spend another hour or two cleaning up.   But, if we don’t tidy up, the problem gets worse because now there are more dishes, toys, laundry, etc. to deal with.  Then, there is the whole issue of frustration and resentment if one of us works on cleaning up and feels the other isn’t really carrying their weight or if one has an expectation that the other will take care of completing a task that just doesn’t get done.  
 
We used to argue about why the house was a mess, who was responsible for what, who’s spent more time cleaning, who dropped the ball, etc .  But, we wizened up recently and decided to divide and conquer by assigning tasks.  We made a list of what needed to happen regularly to keep our house tidy and then divided up the work.    
 
 
You guys know I love to make lists so, naturally, I made a fun little His & Hers To Do List to keep us on track.
Our To Do List
 
To make sure that we addressed everything, we sat down and created a comprehensive list of the things that needed to get done.  Then, we spent the next week adding to and editing the list to make sure we didn’t miss anything important.  Then, we went through and assigned tasks and timelines.

This wasn’t a you take one, I take one type of deal.  It was more of a ‘what do I usually take care of and does it make sense for me to continue doing it’ scenario.  For example, My Love does the yard work.  I sometimes help in the garden, but for the most part, he trims the bushes, fertilizes, makes sure irrigation system is working properly, etc.  So, it made sense for him to take on the yard work.

We also took into consideration how much time each item would take so one of us wouldn’t be more overloaded than the other on daily or weekly tasks.  The only exception is the yard work.  Depending on what needs to be done, that can take up more time than the other tasks.  And in those cases, I help My Love with some of his designated to do’s to compensate for his time in the yard.

 

In looking at our list, you may think that loading the dishwasher and washing dishes is the same thing, but we don’t run our pots, knives, cutting boards, measuring instruments, etc. in the dishwasher because it can damage them and/or shorten their lifespan.  So, our dishwasher is used for dishes, cups and silverware.  And I, the human dish washer, take care of everything else.  Also, you might notice that we don’t have clean bathrooms, mop floors or dust on our list.  That is because we hired a house cleaner to help us with those tasks once a month when I went back to work after having Lovebug.  It is such a huge help to have those things taken care of so that we just have to maintain them.

Suddenly, our house was routinely tidy and we weren’t arguing about the mess anymore.  We know what is expected and what the timeline is and generally we’re able to accomplish the daily tasks in 30 minutes to an hour.   Plus, we are usually getting things done at the same time, after the kids go to bed, so it gives us time to chat.  Not an ideal ‘date’ but with two kids and busy lives, I’ll take what I can get!

Don’t get me wrong, things still get away from us from time to time and we try to keep things flexible and step in for one another when necessary. But for the most part, creating our His and Hers To Do List has really simplified our lives.

And because I love you guys so much, I’ve made this cute His and Hers To Do List a free printable!  You can print it and fill it out or open it in an photo editing tool and add your to do’s on it.

Free Printable Mr. & Mrs. To Do List
 

How does your family keep your home tidy?  We are definitely open to suggestions to make our lives easier!

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DIY Lace and Ribbon Bridal Shower Invitation

So, my younger sister is getting married and her friends, our older sister and I are working together to plan a bridal shower for her.   We decided to split up the tasks and I took on the job of creating invitations.  This might be one of my very favorite things to do.  Invitations set the stage for the event and are the guests first glimpse of what is to come.  So, I love coming up with creative ways to give guests a small taste of the event while providing them with all the details they need.
 
For the bridal shower, we decided to go with an antique lace theme with the colors being grey and coral.  I looked around online for inspiration and eventually popped into Michaels to pick up some materials and play around.  I ended up with this simple and elegant invitation.  
Step 13
 
 

 So, here’s how I made them:

Materials:
Heavy card stock – I used Bazzil – Ash from Michaels
White card stock – I bought a package at Michaels
1-3/8″ wide lace – I used Celebrate It cream colored ribbon from Michaels
3/8″ wide ribbon – I used Celebrate It coral colored ribbon from Michaels
Paper cutter
Glue Stick  
Scissors

Instructions:
Step 1First I cut the ash card stock into 5″ x 7″ pieces.  I was able to get two out of each sheet, the rest will be used for later projects.  

 

Step 2With the card stock laying with the 7″ side down, I spread some glue vertically along the 5″ left side of the card, leaving about a 1/4″ border along that side.

 

Step 3Next, I laid my lace over the glue and pressed down to secure.  You can see that I left that 1/4″ border on the left uncovered, which is why I didn’t put glue there.  I also left a 1/8″ – 1/4″ overhang of lace on the bottom of the card to ensure the card was completely covered.  

 

Step 4Then, I turned the card facing down, and laid glue on the back side of the card directly above where I laid my lace and glue on the front side.  Again, I left a 1/4″ border on the right unglued.

 

Step 5Then, I pulled the lace up and over the card and laid it down on the glue, pressing down to secure.  You don’t want to pull the lace too taught because it will make the paper start to warp.  But, you want to ensure that lace is as close to the top as possible before securing it down on the back of the card. 

 

Step 6Using sharp scissors, I trimmed away the extra lace.  

 

Step 7Next I printed my invitation on the white card stock (two per sheet) and cut it down to size (4-1/2″ x 5″).  Then, I turned my card right side up again so the lace was on the left.  Using the glue stick, I attached the invitation to the card, doing my best to position it leaving a 1/4″ boarder around the top, bottom and right sides of the card.  I wasn’t too worried about the left side at this point.

Step 8
Next, I carefully ran my glue stick over the space between the lace and the white card stock, on the left side of the card.  Occasionally, the lace would snag and move a little, so I just put it back in place and continued.  
 
Step 9
 

I quickly laid my ribbon over the glue, leaving a 1/8″ – 1/4″ overhang on the bottom of the card, pressing down to secure.
Step 10Then I turned the card over, and carefully ran the glue along the left side of the lace.  Again, if the lace moved, I put it back in place and continued on.

Step 11Just like with the lace, I pulled the ribbon up and over the card and laid the ribbon down over the glue and pressed down to secure.  Again, I didn’t pull the ribbon too taught, but I made sure that it was laying as close to the top of the card as possible before securing it down to the back.

 

Step 12Using my scissors, I trimmed away the excess ribbon and allowed the glue to dry completely.

 

DIY Bridal Shower InvitationThen, I stuffed my finished invitations in envelopes and sent them on their way.  

 

So pretty!  And I love how the back of the card carries the lace and ribbon over giving a little bit of detail to keep things interesting. 

I am super happy with how these invitations turned out!  They were super easy to make but did required a little time to pull together.  My sister, the bride, called me when she received it to ask if I had them professionally made, which made all the effort worth it.   I was able to purchase all the materials on sale, so it wasn’t too expensive either.  Also, the materials I used did not add much bulk to the envelopes, so I was able to use basic stamps.  
 
I just think these invitations are so simple and elegant.  Just what a bridal shower should be!  I can’t wait to see what the other ladies do with decorations, games, prizes and favors.  I’ll do my best to take pictures and post to Instagram.  
 

 
 
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