Kartwheels

Tuesday, November 27 2012

It doesn’t seem possible that life could have engulfed us like this; twisting us around and spitting us out the other side into late November!  It’s been a true whirlwind of birthdays, holidays, and travels.  Of course, the added dailiness tossed in as well; work, school   programs, practices, painting (up-date on this soon), and trying to balance it all.  I try to look back, about a month ago (when I lasted posted something), and I  am not sure where one event stopped and another started.  I have a feeling that this scenario might play out throughout our holiday season, as well.  Hopefully, I will be better at documenting it, however.

In preparation of Halloween this year, beginning to feel overwhelmed, I decided (just barely), to say ‘”No” to the expectation of throwing the best costume party EVER for a third year in a row.  Saying ‘No’ meant I didn’t have to entertain and feed 60 some people while most of them were souped up on sugar and about to run rapid in the streets.  Containing my own wild beasts ~ or, I guess, pirates and chicken ~ was all I felt up to amid the Halloween chaos.  And, I truly enjoyed the event this year, more so than I remember…well, except the year our chicken was born.  Mindful of our three-year old’s Halloween birthday, we celebrated extra hard three times that week as well.  I did not think my children could handle any more sugar without numerous meltdowns and bellyaches.  So, on November 1st, I tore down all the Halloween decorations and declared all celebrations OVER.

Detox began.

And,so did the countdown to Thanksgiving…

…as did the basement painting, which ate up all of our free time (AKA when the kids are asleep) in that three-week time span.

But we ended our whirlwind in a beautiful paradise with so much to be thankful for.  So, much to appreciate and so much life to soak up.  So much time without schedules to keep, appointments to attend, and routines to follow.  So much time to focus on the importance of smiles and being together.  So much so, that computers and blog posting were farthest from my mind.

Is this place for real?

This little man was ready to explore our magical island at 5 am every morning.

From swimming with dolphins

to hunting for sea turtles,

to enjoying the multitude of colorful sandy beaches,

we packed a lot in!

And, that’s what happened to November!

I have to admit that this vacation has given me a new sense of calm; island rejuvenation of some kind.  We came back feeling refreshed to conquer our routines and schedules again, for another quick four weeks, I suppose.

Bring on the holidaze!

I’m ready.

Laura

Images: All Laura for Monkeysonmyback

About these ads

Good Times with Gray and Pink Room Reveal

Thursday, October 18 2012

I recently revealed this dresser that we tweaked for our seven year old’s newly decorated bedroom.

Cute as can be and functioning well so far.  Finally, with a clean room this past weekend, I clicked some shots of the rest of the space. Taking advantage of the mere 2 or so hours before the messes started morphing in the middle of the floor once more, we have a room reveal to share.   Some final  pictures follow, but first, a quick reminder of our starting point.

Actually, this is really the only picture that I have of the room before, and the mess in this picture is not far from the caliber of mess that this room still reaches from time to time.  Now, however, we do have much more storage, with each paper and toy having its designated spot…whether it ends up in that spot is another story.

The end result.  Well, almost.  I still plan to add a valance over the window, and perhaps a fun little rug somewhere, too.  But the colors are so much more calming.  We love hanging out in this relaxing room, with plenty of cozy and inviting spots to curl up with a good book; one of Jada’s favorite things to do.

This picture shows the real colors better, without the window glare.

My favorite addition to this room might just be the 3D butterflies.  Not forgetting to mention this killer headboard, AND the awesome custom-made window seat, of course!

Having started this in May, yikes, I am ready to leave this room alone for a bit and call it done for now.  Some day my motivation will draw me back to that naked window.

For now, here are a few more shots of the room.  I love where the grey and pink meet.

Room Sources:

Paint Colors: Wild Rose BM, Graceful Gray Behr, White Dove BM (trim)

Wall Art:  Land of Nod, Art.com, IKEA (Frames Target and IKEA)

Pillow Covers: Flamingo Pillow (West Elm), Dots and Giraffe Print (Etsy)

Bookshelf: Old Target purchase, painted back board yellow

Star Mirror: IKEA spray-painted Silver

High Shelf: IKEA LACK

Butterflies: Umbra.com

More info on this room can be found here, and here.

And, just in case you needed something to look forward too…

Right now, on top of soccer Saturdays and flag football Sundays, we have suddenly switched gears to the lowest level of the house, by interest of Rory.  Yep, that’s right, we are suddenly full swing into yet another project, redecorating the basement.  In other words, football season started.  I wonder what sparked his interest?  Do the words, ‘man cave‘ mean anything?  We have big plans for our basement space, which will be written about soon.  Just for fun, this is what we are dealing with:

Lots of space and potential…but Brown!  for a basement?!  The color is in the process of changing to another shade of grey, which we can’t get enough of apparently.  We are currently looking for a really warm super light grey to lighten up the space without making it feel too ‘cold’.  Any ideas?  Please share.

I’ll be back with some updates soon on that end.

~Laura

Images: All Laura for monkeysonmyback

Hemnes Hack

Wednesday, October 10 2012

If you remember, we were pondering some customization details for a HEMNES dresser purchased recently for Miss Jada’s room.

We started with this.  A dresser that was too tall for her to see in the top drawer, while the bottoms of the rest of the shallow drawers were caving out due to the repetitive shoving of clothes that did not fit.

For our needs, this IKEA HEMNES did fit in many ways; large and short with deep drawers.

HEMNES 8-drawer dresser IKEA Extra roomy drawers. Smooth running drawers with pull-out stop.

The drawers are extra deep and the bottoms of the drawers are a rigid, colorful yellow and white stripe board; a pleasant surprise that matched our room perfectly!  Overall this dresser is very heavy-duty.  So much so, that I never did fully complete my idea of dipping the legs in pink…once this thing is put together, there is no moving it! ( I write this in case anyone is considering the purchase of this beast of a dresser, not because anyone told me to.)  For us, beasty dressers are good.

Here is our simple customization of our HEMNES dresser.

Jada loved the look of the shapes around the knobs in one of the inspiration photos,  and we decided together that it would be fun to add a pattern to the outside, as well.  She commented on how she really liked the boys’ curtains and thought we could glue some of the left over fabric to the outside…”maybe?” she asked, hopeful.  Of course, I had some other ideas up my sleeve.

Instead of taping off 12 perfect squares in the exact middle of the drawer and making them all level (which they would have never been), we went vinyl!  The squares are simple vinyl squares 4″ x 4″ and the chevron is a 4′ x 3′ vinyl sticker as well.

Jada chose the yellow knobs and it really makes that color pop in the room.  Such a sweet and personalized touch, especially because she choose the look of  the dresser on her own.

We are really pleased with how it turned out.  Now, if she would just clean her room so we could reveal the rest of it!

Dresser: Ikea HEMNES

Small Vase: Ikea

Mod Flower Poster and Frame: Ikea

Square Tray: CB2 (spray painted silver)

Vinyl squares and chevron stickers: Uppercase Living

Yellow drawer knobs: Myknobs.com

~Laura

Images: 1, 3-6) Laura for Monkeysonmyback 2) Ikea.com

Halloween Inspiration

Friday, October 5th 2012

I am trying to find a way to match my kids’ excitement about the upcoming Halloween celebration.  They anxiously and patiently waited until yesterday, the fourth day of October, when Daddy hauled the three huge decor boxes out of the basement and yelled, “Let’s decorate, Guys!”  (Mind you, this ritual usually happens on the 1st day of October.)  So, off they went.  Z put himself in charge of blaring the Halloween CD as he stuck ghost-puff stickers all over his face, while Jada wrapped the balusters in cob webs and fake plastic spiders, and Aris tore out all the orange lights by demand of his father and plugged them all in making sure they worked.  Borris the Spider is now greeting anyone who dares come to the front porch doorway, and Dead Bones lay glowing around the front yard gravestones.  I love watching the family work as a team, deciding where each small decoration goes…and,… I. did. nothing!  Notta!  I did not decorate one Halloween thing…yet.

I am a bit behind in my excitement, you see.  I am usually the one yanking the heavy boxes from the basement, or pleading that it be done, way before the 1st day of the month.  But this year, everything seems so fast….

Okay, so I went out searching for a little inspiration, internet style, of course.

Check it out! Chevron pumpkins!  Someone else loves chevron as much as I do?This looks like it would be easy with a little painter’s tape and spray paint.

Under the Carolina Moon via Polyvore

Country Living

Such cute little ghosts!  Are these those accordion wedding bells that you can buy at craft stores?  I think so!

Laura Lindquist / Pinterest via Polyvore

Martha Stewart

Simple decor idea.

Halloween

Cobweb mat and broom stick, Simple.  I love it!  Too bad our front porch is filled with a fog blower, Borris, and a screaming Zombie head!

Halloween Craft Ideas for Kids - Halloween Craft Projects - Country... via Polyvore

Martha Stewart

A bigger front porch idea.  There are so many things I love about this arrangement…#1 No Spider!…#2 The trees…#3 the black candles in the lantern with white pumpkin…I could go on and on.

Halloween!

Loving the white pumpkin look, of course.  These even look a little sparkly, too.

halloween centerpiece halloween-decor

This simple wreath looks like a spray painted craft wreath; silvery-white, ghosts and ribbon.

#halloween decor

And, for the little monsters…

I was considering this, but I know it would get ripped down way before Halloween! However, I still might do this for Trick-or-Treat night.  Too cool! Glowing eyeballs, perhaps?

Totally doing this

Ha Ha!

My daughter would LOVE this.

And, of course, some yummy treats…

Boo! I’d serve these with a Witches Stew!

Fun idea for Halloween

I must admit, after a good three hours of searching and pinning and searching some more,  I am getting a bit more motivated and excited about Halloween.  I found a lot of yummy recipes to try, along with some fun-looking crafts to tackle, if time.

 Who knows, we just might happen to cross paths with a pumpkin patch this weekend?

Halloween decor garden

~Laura

Images 1) Countryliving.com, 2-3) Martha Stewart blog, Halloween section, All others searched key words Halloween Decor on Pinterest, origional sources unknown.

Rock On! An Educational Game

Friday, September 21 2012

When I was little, I collected sea shells, caught turtles and snakes, and made piles and piles of papers which I stapled together and called ‘magazines.’  It must have driven my mom crazy!  My kids collect rocks.  From the shiny little pebbles, to the rough and jagged larger version.  Yep, rocks!  It really used to drive me crazy.  I had pebbles in the wash machine, rocks in the cup holders of the van, in jacket pockets, in my purse, and just piling up and up.  “You don’t need any more rocks!”  I’d beg…but, boy, was I wrong!

For my daughter’s birthday last year, she received this box of rocks.  Some may have second-guessed receiving a box of rocks, but this box contained the most intricate collection of beautiful stones, rocks, and colorful game boards.  Her interest in collecting ‘ugly’ landscape rocks was blown away by this amazing assortment of geology.

The game is called Rock On! (by iLaughnLearn) and was invented when a mother of four answered her six-year-old son’s request for a geology themed birthday party.  She ordered some rocks and created a game board.  After many tweaks from the original, this Rock On! game is rock solid!  The game not only keeps the kids engaged with its brightly colored pieces, it teaches kids (and adults) while they play.

I am so impressed with the fact that the rocks are not plastic, myself.  I mean, check out this short collection of a few, my favorite the Green Calcite.

“The response has been overwhelmingly positive. And since the birth of ROCK ON! my children’s fascination with the earth’s elements has resulted in some amazing collections and their geology knowledge is equally amazing. But maybe most important of all, some of our best times together are now spent in nature looking for treasures the earth has to offer,” says Melissa Weisner, creator of Rock ON!  

We certainly agree!

Here are two of my kids setting out the Rock On! game.  They often spend equally as much time matching the rocks with the cards and copying down the interesting facts located on the playing cards.  This game encourages education on so many levels, and might I add, without having them stare at a computer screen or TV!

Perhaps my favorite part about this amazingly beautiful display is the container in which it comes.  No matter how scattered these rocks become, the clean up is so simple, with each rock having its place, which does not include a spot in my cup holders!

Rock on!….

~Laura

Images: Laura @ monkeysonmyback

I like sharing great finds and this educational game is one of them.  I was not compensated in any way for this write up.  

To find out more about Rock On!, click here, here, and here.

Pondering.

Friday, September 7th 2012

Today I purchased this dresser for Miss Jada’s room make-over.

HEMNES 8-drawer dresser IKEA Extra roomy drawers. Smooth running drawers with pull-out stop.

IKEA, HEMNES

It is not exactly what we had planned, but this HEMNES from IKEA is roomy and straight; two of our main criteria.

We are considering adding a bit of personal touch to it, somehow.

What do you think?  Do you see any inspirational ideas below?

cg dresser left side

Think design ideas.  Jada is all about Pink!

Furniture Trends | perfectly imperfect | painted furniture

Perfectly Imperfect

I have a feeling that there might be a bit too much pink in this room after it’s all said and done.  But I also have to remember it’s not my room.

Below is my top inspiration picture.

Via

Those HEMNES legs might have it in them to add a bit of pink to that bad boy.  The dresser will sit against a Graceful Gray (Behr) wall.  Yellow looks great with grey.  Maybe a pop of an unexpected color like turquoise will win out?

Honestly, we are still pondering it all.

~ Laura

Daydream Believer…

Monday, Labor Day, 2012

We had no problem enjoying our extended weekend with a family mountain escape to the largest freshwater, natural lake in Colorado.  The lake is not very big, but the area is gorgeous.  My favorite spot.

Waking up Saturday morning, we were greeted with this beautiful scene from our front deck.  I could not inhale enough of the crisp, fresh mountain air.    The kids got a good deal of play time in that little beach below.

One, two, three, JUMP!

And, we enjoyed this little boat ride.

We also took a bike ride to a small hike and played in the river some more.  I think we could’ve played at this spot all day.

It seemed as if time stood still.  No one complained of being hungry, tired, or uncomfortable.  Bliss.

~Laura

Images: monkeysonmyback

“to the moon and back”… Headboard Complete!

Wednesday, August 29 2012

We are over the moon with our faux – barn wood headboard!  Our inspiration, once again, was this awesome piece.

Design Sponge

Seeing this photo online, Jada knew right away that she wanted it in her room.  What can I say?  The girl’s got good taste!  I just had to re-create it somehow, and barn wood around here is pretty pricey.  So, for a long while, I put it off and toyed with the idea of making a fabric covered headboard.  Then, one day, I happened upon some beautifully grayed Ceder fence planks at our local ReSouce center.  Bingo!  Here’s our the end result!

We customized our headboard with a little message and friendly reminder.  I traced the words onto the headboard after coloring the backside of my printed paper with chalk.  The end result was a nice outline.  I then painted the words with a paint pen from the hobby store…well, actually three paint pens.

A wider view of the room progress.

Uh oh! Noticed the nicely organized, and unmentioned -for-a- L O N G time, window seat, did you? I’ve been very bad at sharing our updated window seat progress and I don’t know why.  But we have been very busy decorating in here and love how this room is turning out.  Oh, and, the horizontal theme was not planned.  We just really like stripes!

I looked for a before picture of this space and this was all I could come up with; a very messy ‘during’ scene.  Notice how the room layout was so inviting to the possibility of a window seat.

And, a closer view of the area now.

Now, if I could just find the time to hang art, a shelf or two, and a window treatment..being very careful not to block the view of the moon, of course.

~Laura

Images: 1) Design Sponge 2) monkeysonmyback

Inspiration Link~DIY Headboard

Thursday, August 23 2012

Have you checked out the ‘inspiration link’ to the right of this post?

If not, it’s time to get inspired!  We did!

Design Sponge

We are currently working on a similar headboard for Jada’s room, and are almost finished.  Can’t wait to put that puppy up on the wall and share the results!

Of course, there are two methods of thought when it comes to decorating a room, such as the bedroom:

1. Buy the bed with the matching headboard (and, possibly purchase the matching side tables  dressers, or armoires).  This is a great way to get a room furnished all at once.

American Furniture Warehouse

2. Find furniture pieces that balance out the room by complementing each other and add texture and visual interest to the room without being too matchy, matchy.

I choose the latter approach.  (This does take me quite a bit of time, however).  Mixing new pieces with older ones, and modern pieces, such as the small table, with traditional, can add visual interest to a room.  And, if we can put our personal touch on something in the house, consider it done!

You may remember Jada’s room idea shared awhile back.

Gray & Pink Room
So far, we’ve purchased the bed, the duvet, some wall art and painted the walls.  It’s coming together nicely as we pull pieces together from various sources.  But, as mentioned earlier, this method takes me a long time…it’s not one stop shopping!
So, in the mean time, here are some more great DIY Headboard ideas!
Door-Turned-Headboard
tufted headboard final
We hope to have our headboard up shortly.  Have you thought of trying a DIY headboard?  Or, maybe you were just a little bit inspired?  I hope so!
~laura
Images: All Image sources linked below picture

Planning a Shared Room ~ Final Result & Sources

Tuesday, August 13 2012

I am finally here to share the end result of the boys’ shared room, which was first mentioned w a y back in April; see that here, and here, and here.  And, considering everything (from building benches, to taking two distant vacations, from day-to-day fun), I am pleased with the speed of our progress.  That being said, why beat around the bush?  Let’s take a quick look at the beautiful bright green room beforehand, with its minimal furniture, and little storage, this room was in dire need of a revamp.

Not to mention, Big bro still thinks Little Z will sleep with him, which has not happened and is protested daily by Z.  I think Z will cave eventually since most of his toys are now stored   in this cool, newly organized, room and he has a dresser here as well.  Let’s take a look, shall we?

We are really pleased with how this room turned out.  And, in our books, the room is complete for now.  I say this knowing that at this time there is still only one boy sleeping in here full-time.  When Number 2 moves in, he will bring more toys, which will mean I get to buy more storage containers and organize again!  There is plenty of room under the bed for storage and I have already eyed up some handy low storage for the future, such as these from Land of Nod.

Storage_TubTrug_LG_Shallow_1011

I am also really considering some more book storage for when Zander moves all his books over, each his favorite so there will be no parting.  I am liking these, also from the Land Of Nod.

LockerBasket _0111

Now back to the room reveal.  Of course, we love our low storage shelf under the window that holds some books and a few baskets of toys.  The small table to the right,  fits perfectly in this strange little corner, and is used daily for Lego building.

And, one of our favorite pieces in the whole room, is the mid-century dresser that was found at a local consignment shop.  After being painted in greys, orange, and teal, this dresser has found its new home.

The stenciled numbers, in case anyone is wondering, are actually the boys’ birth dates.  They are mixed in with some random numbers.  If you look closely, you can see one birthdate, 02/07/07.  (The other birthdate is painted on the top of the dresser.) A neat way to add a little personal touch to something made especially for the boys!

Here is the Room Source List:

Bunk Beds:  Owned and painted Benjamin Moore Arctic Shadows 1559

Book Shelves above beds:  IKEA Spice racks

Curtains: Fabric is Premier Prints Storm Twill Zig Zag from Fabric.com

Bamboo Shade: Homedepot.com

Book Shelf under Window: IKEA EXPEDIT

White Storage Tub (in book shelf):  The Container Store

Floor Pillows: Made from old Duvet (PBteen still carries  this Duvet)

Small White Table: IKEA

Espresso Table Chairs: Target.com (clearance)

READ Letters/A & Z Letters: Hobby Lobby (spray paint Rustoleum Aqua)

Elephant Head: Amazon.com

Dino Sinclair Sign: Hobby Lobby

Hanging Metal Buckets: IKEA

Large Map: Wayfair.com

Duvet on Beds: Target.com  (RE Style Duvet)

Dresser Paint Colors: Drawers, Benjamin Moore Classic Grey; Outside, Benjamin Moore Silver Song; Drawer inset, Behr Citrus Blast; Stencil/handles, Behr Spring Stream
Lastly, a few close-ups of some personal touches, here and there…
~Laura