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.


Images: monkeysonmyback

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“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.


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!
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!
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.


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

Bamboo Shade:

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: (clearance)

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

Elephant Head:

Dino Sinclair Sign: Hobby Lobby

Hanging Metal Buckets: IKEA

Large Map:

Duvet on Beds:  (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…

Smoothie Madness ~ Recipe

Thursday, August 8 2012

We have been really into smoothie making lately, mostly due to our new Ninja !  And, during many a concoction on our road to the ultimate smoothie, we happened upon this delicious and nutritious, ‘double-thumbs up’, blended perfection of veggies and fruits;  The Pink Drink Smoothie (I did not name this).

This was voted a favorite by my kids and they ask for it every morning.  It has some great ingredients, which, since they don’t watch me during the blending session, the kids don’t really know what is in it.  I am not sure they would drink it if they did, so don’t tell!  But it’s oh-so good, I thought I’d share.

Pink Drink Smoothie


1 cup Orange Juice

2 heaping spoonfuls of organic vanilla or french vanilla yogurt (fat-free? you decide)

1 cup Almond Milk Unsweetened

1/4 cup shredded carrots

1/2 small avocado

1 Banana

1 Peach

2 generous shakes of Flax seeds

Handful of spinach

1 1/2 Cups Strawberries (frozen)

(We add frozen blueberries if we have them around, too, but then it’s not really pink anymore.)


Pile ingredients, in no particular order, in blender and puree to desired consistency.  (Ingredients will reach the top of the blender before blended.  Fill ‘er up!)  This makes almost 8 cups of smoothie goodness!  Our blender is 7.5 cups.  If using a smaller blender, adjust ingredient amounts accordingly!  Also, the sweetness comes from the yogurt, fruit, and juice, but we have omitted the juice altogether and just added a cup of water or extra ice cubes and it is still delish!

This Pink Drink is my secret way of getting  my kids to eat some fruits and veggies in the morning, waking their bodies up with energy and natural sugars.  And, it’s so tasty, they will never know how good it is for them either!

I hope you’ll try it!


Images: all for Monkeysonmyback


Fear not, Friends!  We are back!…just barely!

During our sicksteen-hour (yep, you read that right, SICKsteen), car trip home, I was reminded how painful driving for so long can be.  Perhaps it was the sick children, (Summer flu?  Really?)  or extreme Nebraska boredom that set in, but I was right there complaining and whining with the best of them.  With a good night’s crash in our cozy beds, we are ready to focus a little bit more on the fun that was had during our annual summer ‘Sconsin visit.

We sure kept busy during out trip, of course, enjoying every minute of it.  Sharing time and laughter with family and friends whom we don’t see often enough.  Here are only a few of the 250 plus pictures we took during our visit.

EAA Oshkosh

County Fair

Put-Put in the Dells

Swimming Fun/JO Family Reunion

We truly enjoyed our visit!  (Forgetting the awful drive home, of course!)  And, we are getting back to the grind around here,… well, when everyone is feeling better.


Images: All Laura for Monkeysonmyback

Simple Wall Art Ideas for Kids’ Rooms

Tuesday, July 24 2012

One of my son’s favorite features of his newly decorated room, (which, by the way, is almost finished…), is the art on his walls.  I am not talking about the individual cars that I painted, each taking two hours (x 15)! Nope. He loves the simple art that I framed.  He has thanked me multiple times.  He thinks it looks, “so cool, ” and I had equally as much fun pulling the pieces together.

The best part for him, I think, is that he can relate to the pieces on his wall.  It can be easy to find wall decor for bare walls.  Here are just a few ideas that we used to ‘spice up’ his walls.

See the Potential 

Take an ordinary photo, from a special occasion, or one that highlights something special to the child, and get creative.  Play around on a free photo editing site, such as and see how cool it can turn out!

 Wrap it Up

Using fabric, simply wrap a canvas, which can be found pretty inexpensive at local craft stores, with fabric. I found this cute grouping of canvases wrapped with IKEA fabric and thought it looked so cute.  

I just happened to have two old canvases and some of the same fabric from IKEA, so I thought I’d give it a try.


Have you jumped on the animal head bandwagon?  Although faux animal head decor can be pretty pricey, the idea of having an elephant on your wall is pretty cool, at least for my two boys.  Not only does this art add another dimension to the walls, it is super fun to put together!  (Search for your favorite animal head)

Pick your Subjects

This was a fun photo shoot.  Take your child’s favorite toys and see their eyes light up (your kid’s eyes, not the cars!) when those favorites are in a glossy 8×10 on their wall!

Go Random

Sometimes the best art is not ‘art’ at all.  We have found great framable pieces from magazines to clothing tags, and fabric swatches; all looking great behind a crisp, white mat.

Pulling it all together got us this great bedroom gallery wall; kid style!  Hope you found a little inspiration!


Images: 3) Just Bella Blog, All other Images) Laura for monkeysonmyback

Grandma’s Dresser Update

Thursday, July 19 2012

Grandma’s dresser” is coming along nicely..

A few coats of polycrylic and some fancy handles and she’ll be ready to go!  Aris chose the stenciled numbers along side the drawer fronts, as opposed to simply numbering each drawer (01, 02, 03, etc.).  I think it’s looking so cool.  We can’t wait until it’s finished!


Image: Laura for Monkeysonmyback

Planning a Shared Room ~ Hunk-o-Bunk Progress

Tuesday, July 17 2012

Looking at this before picture again gets me really excited for what I have been seeing lately in our shared room.  Here is the refresher picture:

And our current view, a sneak peek:

I truly feel like screaming, “The bunk beds are done!  The bunk beds are done!” Which, around here, is quite an accomplishment.  I don’t recall what inspired me to try out my spray paint gun on a typical hot and gusty Colorado afternoon, (p.s. Not a good idea to spray paint in 55 mph wind gusts!) but I did, and I’d say it turned out okay.  We love the color and how it mutes the bright green background walls.  We are working on the final tweaks of our shared space as the room comes together, nicely..and, slowly.  Celebrating this small feat of spray painting bunk beds (each board individually) triple coated, of course, is surely necessary.  After finishing this hunk-o-bunk, I swore I’d never spray paint again…  Of course, that was short-lived! (Dresser reveal is on its way).

But I am proud of my accomplishments, including hauling the air-compressor to the back yard without tipping over the wheel barrow and breaking my toes!  And, the end result is oh so much nicer than the once honey-oak.

Paint color: Benjamin Moore’s Arctic Shadows 1559

Images: All Laura for Monkeysonmyback

Grandma’s Attic

Wednesday, July 11 2012

I recently acquired this lovely piece of  furniture from a local thrift shop.  I love this mid-century modern look.

Buying thrift and non-profit, I was justifying my purchase in my head at the time.  Since their area of expertise is rescuing injured or endangered wild life, after the Colorado wildfires, there has been a lot of rescuing needed around here.  Justifying too simply because it would have been much easier to buy a new dresser, however much more expensive and I could not find anything I liked enough to spend the money on.  I knew this piece needed some work, but in this case, my donation helped out a worthy cause and Aris may finally get a dresser!  Remember this plastic disaster?

With his pajamas in a bundle on the top (and his undies too because his pajamas don’t fit in the drawers) we need some kind of replacement.

And, although Rory’s first comment when he saw this ‘new’ dresser sitting in the garage was, “Where did you get that?  Grandma’s attic?” I was not disheartened.

Instead I quickly dug around the internet for some inspiration.

House & Home

Original Source Unknown


Ombre perhaps?


So many possibilities!  We are leaning towards a light gray outer finish with some pops of orange or turquoise somewhere, yet to be determined.  I think it will turn out great, but at our snails pace, let’s hope that happens before summer’s end!


Images: 1) Laura for monkeysonmyback, all others linked as known

ps.  What do you think of the new page design?  Honestly.  I have been wanting to change things up for a while now, but wasn’t quite sure how to accomplish what I have sketched in front of me.  It does look better.  Much easier to see the post with a lighter background for one.  It could still use some work.  So, don’t be surprised if there are more changes!