Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Super Hero World

I don't know about your family but, over here, we have been Super Hero obsessed thanks to this little guy:

{Sam + Dad superhero date: Hut's Hamburgers & Superman book}

This is how you probably remember our beloved Superheroes.  This phase has jogged all kinds of memories we had forgotten.  And, we've had a household education in all of the worlds and how they work.  Finding 3 year old appropriate cartoons was another issue.  But, you probably remember Super Friends and the Justice League which include good citizen tips and are completely age appropriate.  You can download them on itunes.  LOVE the Apple TV!

And, the Ralph Cosentino books are pieces of art that are perfect for 2-5 year olds.  Sam loves them.  We have Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.

There are also girl superheroes I have no memory of.  Go girl power.

This was an awesome birthday for Sam.  He is a Christmas Eve baby and this was his first real party with friends.  We knew it was time to pull the big guns out:  the big guy.... Batman!!  Bruce Wayne.  And, he not only made an appearance...

... He brought Sam a batman lunchbox with goodies for his friends, discussed Superman things including Wonder Woman....

He told them the Cosentino Batman story, was chased & chased them.....

... and stayed through cupcakes leading the "Happy Birthday" song before flying through the front yard to make an exit in his bat mobile.  Notice the hands in the telephone booth (hee hee!)--- Iris & her friend Ryder. 

So, for cupcakes to complete the Superhero look - superhero cupcakes!  The were not as hard as they look to make.  You will need to buy candy melts at Michael's which come in all different colors to create the logos.  Here's how you makethem
{The Superhero cupcakes!  minus Spidy cupcakes - I ran out of time :0}

 {This is how in a perfect world they would look!}

For decorations, I found a great vendor from Etsy. Here's the info. I spent $8.50 for a ton of images that we printed to card stock and hung up.
I love that they look like little superhero kids and have a vintage look to them - almost as if any little boy could imagine himself being the superhero.  

Another idea I lifted from pinterest.  I bought 1 can of red spray paint, had some left over poster paint, got a box from Target and made the Superman telephone booth.  My hubby, friend Kurt, and I had many conversations about whether our children would ever really know that Superman changed in a telephone booth since it was apparently referenced only once in Superman history.  I originally wanted a refrigerator box but, this small box was much better.  There was a kid hiding out in there at almost all times during the party.   

We also made felt masks for the kiddos.  Thanks to my dad, stepmom, and Aunt Donna for cutting and making them before the little Batmans arrived.  

Pinterest idea #3 - the jello desserts below.  Unfortunately, there were not rules attached and we didn't have a shot from the party.  We did ours Red, yellow, and green with marshmallow creme in between.  I would do just the jello if doing over - the marshmallow submerged to the bottom and didn't hold up that well.  All you do is make the jello color and put in the fridge about an hour, then add the next color, and so on.

{Chuck, Noah, Sam, Batman, and Sully}

All for a super good time!!  I think this guy's worth it.  It was a thrill for us to watch too :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Year (and a half) Of Mel DIY Projects

The last year and a half, I've been tackling DIY projects around the house most of the time in true Melissa spontaneous style getting a quick inspiration or idea in my head and rushing down to Home Depot, grabbing my products & the $1 snickers on the way out -- I bet most spur of the moment DIYers know these Snickers well ;) --- and getting to work on my project.  

Project #1:

It started with our deck after noticing how worn out and embarrassing it was.

Before {behind the cute little tattooed Iris}:


After:  {ignore the little footprints}

Project #2:

 I decided to tackle when my hubby was working 24-7 over 2 days with a 1 1/2 and 3 year old at home solo.  I was fed up with looking at my falling apart closet.  After I took every piece out of the closet and had all of our clothing out, I realized I had to finish the job when the kids were sleeping during nap and after bedtime.  THis meant I finished up painting about 3 in the morning. Whew!

I'm not sure who jerry rigged it but, seriously, it really was just random pieces of wood nailed to the wall.  I joke it is a walk-in closet in our 1941 bungalow because you can actually stand in it.  

I bought some dark gray satin shiny paint and Floetrol to prevent that drippy look.  I knew to use Floetrol from Centsational Girl ... who I learned about from my design loving jobshare partner Kelli, who quickly got me addicted to a host of design blogs & sites - namely Lauren Liess, Apartment Therapy, and Houzz

    Before & After:                                                

Notice the scary falling apart shelves - YIKES!

    Before & After:                                               

The paint, brushes, and Floetrol cost just under $50.  I spent another $110 on custom cut clear acrylic rods not pictured here but currently used - an idea from Sarah Richardson.  See her take here.  The one drawback is that they are not as sturdy as you would think and give a little in the middle.  I really love the modern, clean look though... so, if anybody knows a way to make this work better, I'd love to know.

Project #3:

I was inspired by Lauren Liess's laundry room curtains to do something fun with my kitchen.  I found the fabric online for $16 a yard and my amazing mother-in-law Rebie came over and sewed the curtains!

{Forgive the BAAADDD lighting and photography from my iPhone snapshot}

My sweet mother-in-law came back while I was on vacation and took the curtains to match the colors and make us a beautiful hand knotted/tied rug for the kitchen as a surprise.  There was enough fabric left over for a trivet for hot pots too :)

Project #4:  

I had been thinking about changing my mustard yellow dining room for several years.  And....stripes have been popping up every where.  So fun!!! The question was how to get them right.  Centsational Girl to the rescue!  If you have a DIY project and are not sure about how to do it where it will look professional, chances are Kate will know how to do it.

We have a very open format living room into dining room into kitchen.  The chartreuse color in the kitchen, mustard yellow in the dining room, and deep orange in the living room somehow all went so well together.  In our home, you can literally see every room if the doors are all open so, I was a little nervous to change the color from the warm palette to the cooler silver sage paint color for the dining room.

Just for fun, this is the home we photo'd before we bought - pre-orange living room and chartreuse kitchen.  The mustard yellow SOLD me because I could imagine my limited edition Kathy Womack print (a gift from Mike for my 28th) soooo perfectly in the room.

The "real" before right after we bought pre-curtains & rug with the Nicholson clan:

This is years ago but, the only photo I could find of the dining room with the heavy paisley woven curtains and rust rug. 

Wondering if I made a mistake half a wall in. Notice the Floetrol on the table.                      

Everybody wanted to know how I painted PERFECT stripes on walls but believe it or not it was easier than you think using clear caulk.  Here are directions.  The problem was the first time, I used the same Silver Sage paint in a flat finish and high gloss finish but, NOBODY could really tell there were stripes on the wall.

See??? NO, you don't.  So, back to the drawing board or, in this case Home Depot for a lighter paint in the same tone in a matte color.  The stripes are only on the the focal point wall.  The other three walls have silver sage sans stripes.

And, here is the ALMOST final product.  Finally --- stripes that people can actually SEE :)  I've got to take a photo of the dining room with the new rug and curtains.  It is still not perfect...  
...I'd like to do something like this cigar table from Wistera in the corner of the buffet later in place of the antique sewing table that is kind of bulky there.  But, for now, I'm happy with the result.  I promise to get a photo up of the room including the rug and curtains.

This is the Chenille Jute Rug from Potterybarn

And, here are the Goldenrod Thai Silk Curtains from Restoration Hardware

The best part about the project was learning how easy it is to sell your furniture/household goods on Craig's List.  I sold my old dining room curtains and rug easily plus a carseat Iris had outgrown to go toward the cost of the new rug and curtains --- another trick I learned from Kelli.  Thanks Kelli!