Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Cutting Edge Stencil Review for our Playroom

Our playroom is a great space. We absolutely love it...but the color....we have hated it since we moved in over 5 years ago. As you can see I put several paint samples on the wall but we never finalized anything. 

So when Cutting Edge Stencils asked me to do a product review I knew we were finally going to get rid of that awful paint from the previous owners. I chose to use the Sweet Dreams stencil from the Nursery stencil section and it's perfect for our space.

This was also going to be a great time to rearrange and make the room function better for our family. Not only is this our playroom, but it's also our home school room, and where do I do all my crafting and blogging. 

The current layout just isn't working for us. It feels small and cluttered. So one day I had my mom come out to keep the kids mostly distracted from what I was doing and I went to work with the base coat of paint.

I chose Valspar's Granite Dust from Lowes as my base coat. Doesn't this room already look so much better? I gave the room for a solid 48 hours to dry before I broke out all the goodies from Cutting Edge Stencils

I got my handy dense foam roller with rounded edges, a stencil brush (for reaching the corners the roller doesn't quite get), and a very handy level to make sure your work turns out great!

For my accent wall color I chose to use Liquitex Titanium White from Hobby Lobby.

I worked a little backwards from how you're supposed to do the stencils. I started up as high as I could standing on the ground and then worked my way down. (I didn't have anyone to help with the kids and ladders just aren't an option with two little Tarzan wannabes) That evening when my hubs came home I continued with no issues because the stencils are interlocking! 

I used light pressure on the roller. I didn't want the stencil or the paint to be too severe. Even though we do our school work here I want this is be a relaxed space where the kids can also go crazy.

I even had a half a stencil which could be flipped and turned to make all four sides of this design for the funky angles on the walls.

My favorite extra stencil was the border. I used this to go above the window and finish the design before the kids came back in and tried to climb on everything!

 Not even two hours of combined work and check out this wall! Our room feels so much bigger and nicer with the accent stencil! Isn't this the best stencil pattern!

And now that walls are done I took the time to reorganize and change our layout in the playroom and I'm absolutely in love!

I'm thinking of doing a second accent wall using the Sweet Dreams Stencil back here after we get our climbing wall installed! If you want to check out some more ideas for stencil projects check out Cutting Edge Stencils Blog

Do you have a space in your house you'd love to make over with a stencil pattern?

*Cutting Edge Stencils provided me with the stencils, roller, level, and brush. But all thoughts, opinions, and love of products are my own.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Painting Vinyl Chairs

If you follow me on Instagram you saw the before photo of these pink vinyl chairs. Well they're done and I'm absolutely in love with them.

We got these chairs from my husbands Great Aunt who passed away last year. They had been sitting in her storage room not being used when I noticed them and asked if we could have them. We were told she hadn't left them to anyone so I called dibs they were too beautiful to not have. 

I have no idea how long they were in the storage room but they were pretty grimy so I cleaned them with my Thieves Essential Oil Cleaner and just a bit of water to dilute it and all the built up residue came off. And the rest of my prep work included covering the chair legs with painters tape to protect them.

I knew I wanted to paint these chairs a nice bright clean neutral color so instead of going to with plain white I decided to go with Rust-oleum Heirloom White. I made sure to pick up the 2x Paint and Primer because this pink had to be covered up.

To make the job a little easier I picked up this spray nozzle from Rust-oleum to make the job easier. (and to save the manicure I just got the week before.) 

I'm not going to lie. I love to paint with watercolors, and paint walls in my house... but my spray paint experience is lacking big time. Here's what the first chair looked like after the first coat. It's pretty rough I know....I totally blame it on the wind that day.

I didn't do much better on the second chair....

But after putting on the second coat things are looking much better if I do say so myself.

Here is the finished product after 3 coats of paint! I think they look glorious with their new Heirloom White paint. Since we were had a second day of sunshine and glorious weather I let the chairs sit out for another day to air out any fumes before moving them to our master bedroom.

I don't have any photos for you at this time because....that room needs a lot of work and some new paint to show these beauties off. I'm also planning on making some cute pillows for them using my pillow slipcover post Big Comfy Floor Pillows (I'll be making much smaller pillows of course.)

I can also tell you that so far sitting on them for the last two weeks enjoying drinks, conversation, and a little tv and with the hubs and the paint are holding up great!

It only cost four cans of spray paint and a the nozzle which was less than $20 total! Would you be willing to give a vinyl chair a makeover?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Patio and Backyard Design Part 1


Hello Spring! So glad you have finally arrived! I've been slacking a bit over here at Upside of Chaos due to warm weather and the start of tee ball season for my oldest little. Do I have stuff to build....yes. Do I have stuff to organize....always. Did I write a to do list and show you all how long it is on Instagram the other bet I did. (By the way that this has more than doubled in size.)

But it's been hard to say no when friends say lets get the kids together and play at the zoo or park or why don't we come over and we'll drink some beer and grill out. Which bring me to our patio and backyard. We have a great space. I'm not going to lie it was the biggest reason we bought this house. 

But it still needs a little work. As you can see the in photo the flower beds are looking a little rough. I have always wanted a beautiful garden section So this year I have vowed to get it started. 

Then there is the massive hardscape patio. Last summer I shared my No Sew Outdoor Curtains which really helped the space. But the one thing we've been missing for the last four years is a nice table to eat on. Usually we would pull up chairs to our tiny patio table and hunch over it to eat our food. So I moved the couches and chairs out into the open area around our fire pit. 

The plan now is to build a patio table and benches for under the covered portion of the patio. We love to eat out there every chance we get and we also entertain guest outside every chance we get. 

One of the small projects I have planned is to get this fire pit back into shape. It's rusty from spending 4 summers outside in the rain.

The first thing to get done is finish planting our vegetable garden. A quick run to Home Depot with one sleepy kid and one very eager to help kid and this is what we were able to grab in one of the fastest trips on record for us.

I was able to get the vegetable garden finished pretty quickly while the sleepy one napped and other ran crazy. This year we have our 4 tomato plants, 4 pepper plants, 2 rows of red romaine lettuce, 1 row of spinach, 1 row of kale, 2 rows of red onions, and two rows of carrots. Last year I started to keep our herbs in in pots due to lack of space in our garden. (Plus I think they look great as patio decor.)

With a few of the herbs planted in pots I placed the shrubs in between our existing bushes. The plan is to return to Home Depot today and grab some more plants. I like to save money and buy them a little smaller and let them grow into the space. Yes I know it'll take time for them to really look good. But with the money that I save I can get more planted now and I'll have enough of my budget left over to build a table and benches and add some decor. I have two plans in mind both built by the girls at Shanty 2 Chic. Which do you like better? Outdoor Table and Benches for $125 or this Farmhouse Table for $65?

I'll be sharing with you updates as we finish projects!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Easy Crock Pot Chicken Tacos (Plus 2 Bonus Recipes!)

So one of my go to favorite dinners for a busy day/night is Easy Crock Pot Chicken Tacos! (with two bonus recipes!)

Here's what you're going to need!

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Your favorite salsa
Homemade Fajitas Seasoning: Mix all the ingredients together
(I triple this recipe because we use it all the time)
     1 1/2 tsp ground cumin 
     1/2 tsp dried oregano 
     1/4 tsp salt
     1/4 tsp ground red pepper 
     1/4 tsp ground black pepper
     1/8 tsp garlic powder
     1/8 tsp onion powder
     (optional a little cayenne pepper for a kick)

Lime Rice (Toss in some chopped cilantro and it's just like the rice at Chipotle!)
     1 cup brown basmati rice
     2 limes 
     1 tbl butter
     2 c water
     (optional) handful chopped cilantro 

Toppings: Pick and Choose your favorites or lay them all out for a taco bar!
     Black beans

First up the Chicken! Grab your chicken, fajita seasoning, and salsa.

Place your chicken in the crock pot. Generously sprinkle your homemade fajita seasoning on top.

Dump most of your salsa on top of the chicken.

Place your crock pot on low and put on the top. Typically I use frozen chicken breasts but since I just picked up the chicken at the store that morning I had not portioned or froze them yet. I let mine cook on low all day. In a pinch turn it on high and give it a few hours and you'll have a quick dinner ready!

Once your chicken is thoroughly cooked (165 degrees!) take a fork and shred your chicken in the pot.

How good does this look already!

Bonus recipe Lime Rice! Start by putting a tablespoon of butter in to a hot pot with the juice from one lime. 

Once the lime butter is all melted and a little bubbly take your cup of basmati rice and dump it in and sauté it for about a minute.

Then add your two cups of water, bring the water to a boil, put the lid on a reduce heat and simmer for 30 min.

Once all the liquid is gone add the juice from your second lime. (You can also add chopped cilantro to make it like the rice at Chipotle if you like...our kids are at the stage where they won't eat food with green stuff in it. So we add it to our individual tacos.)

We prefer to eat Chicken Tacos in bowls. You can totally make this into a giant burrito if you prefer. To start layer a heap of your Lime Rice on the bottom.

Next I like to pile on some black beans.

Then go crazy with the chicken....go on put a little know you want to.

Diced avocado...yes please!

And why not add a little salsa to the top! I'm starving!

This is one of our favorite dinners. The littles thoroughly enjoy it too. They love to customize their own bowls too. And the best part is you can make this for just a few people with leftovers or throw in a couple more chicken breasts and serve a crowd....can you say TACO BAR!!!! You can even throw this over some chips and make nachos!

What's your favorite taco toppings?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Building Kids Stools

So 2 weeks ago I posted about Building a Kids Table. Once you have a table you have to have a place to I right? The plans are from Ana White but I modified the plans to make stools instead since our kids are quite crazy (we have one small wooden chair that was given to us and it ends up toppled over due to kids sitting on the back.)

So here's how it went down. I turned the space heater on and got to measuring. 

I cut all my wood to size according to the plans except for the back legs. I cut them to the same size as the front legs.

Make sure you're wearing your protective ear and eyewear. 

I then used my Kreg Jig to drill my pocket holes for the aprons to makes the base of the stool.

After the pocket holes were added, I assembled the base of the stool making sure that everything was square as I worked. Then using the pocket holes I screwed the legs onto the base.

That's a pretty good looking stool so far. 

Then I carefully measured in-between the legs to add the supports.

Added a few quick pocket holes and forced it into the gap.

Next up was adding the slats to the top.

Using my counter sink drill bit I drilled both ends of every slat.

Secure the slats onto the base of the stool with screws.

The last step is to sand everything down as smooth as you can. It's bad enough the kids are going to flip them over pretending they are mountains but theres no need for them to get splinters too.

There you have it. A nice little stool for you Kids Table!

Now all that is left is to fill the holes with wood glue give those a brief sanding and then I still have to choose a color for both the stools as well as the table.