Tuesday, May 28, 2013


The hubby and I decided at the last minute this weekend to break out our Kennywood season passes and spend a few hours taking Claire on some of the rides. Last summer, she was teeny tiny and barely stayed awake on the two rides we could hold her on (the carousel and the train). Needless to say, this summer will be FAR more exciting, and I can't wait! Claire was an absolute ANGEL and enjoyed herself thoroughly. Looks like I have another amusement park-obsessed member in my family! My nerd bomber husband is a card-carrying member of American Coaster Enthusiasts...wonder if they make ACE cards to fit tiny hands...

Enjoying the sights and sounds of Kennywood
Enjoying the turtles with daddy
Enjoying the performers

Silly daddy didn't know how the game was played...so Claire showed him how it was done!
Holding onto the handrail like a big girl!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Piano Bench to Patio Seating

Despite the ridiculous weather, it is the most incredible feeling to know that summer is upon us which, for me, means a few things...school's out, pool's open, and I get to spend all day, every day with my little munchkin doing whatever our little hearts desire! Can I get a whoop whoop?!?! I've had an old piano bench from my brother sitting in my garage for months and, in preparation for days spent outside on my patio, I decided it was finally time to convert it to an outdoor bench. My future plan involves an upheaval of my current patio furniture (or lack therof) using the fabric I used in this bench as the running theme, so stay stuned for more...

Here's how I turned an old piano bench into some snazzy, outdoor seating...

Comfy and inexpensive (2 of my fave words!)


-Piano bench
-Indoor/outdoor spray paint (I used Rust-oleum American Accents
 paint in "London Grey
-Drop cloth
-Foam roll
-Outdoor fabric
-Fabric scissors
-Staple gun and staples


1. Sand piano bench

2. Place the bench onto drop cloth and spray on two coats of paint  
    (you do not need to paint the top of the bench, as it will be

3. Cut foam roll to fit the top of the bench

4. Once paint is dry, place foam on top of bench

5. Cut fabric to fit top of bench, leaving four inches on each end to
    tuck and secure with staples

6. Place fabric on top of cushion, securing the excess fabric on the
    underside of the bench top using the   
    staple gun.

Excuse the ragged edges. They have since been trimmed, I promise. I currently use the storage for bubbles and small toys when we play outside!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Water Bottle (Pittsburgh) Penguins

I saw the cutest project on Pinterest where penguins can be made out of water bottles and have been dying to make them with my students ever since. After saving up our bottles of H2O, we simply cut wings and feet out of black construction paper and adhered them to the bottle using double-sided tape. Using Poly-fil, (for whatever reason, I had a ton of it) we filled the bottles (the instructions on Pinterest call for cotton balls) to the top. We cut thick strips of black, tissue paper to wrap around the tops of our bottles and cut fringe into it to resemble feathers. The students were instructed to cut out their own beaks and eyes out of construction paper and adhere them to the bottles. Wa-lah!...except, we weren't that impressed and thought it needed a little somethin' somethin'...

Here's a pic of the original water bottle penguins. LOVE!!!

 Enter my staff's collective brilliance in suggesting we make them Pittsburgh Penguins, in honor of our favorite (and best ever) hockey team! We quickly printed and cut out Penguins logos and hockey stick and puck clip art found online and adhered them to our no longer lame birds. Unfortunately, the penguins were sent home with the students before I could suggest jerseys and names for them, but maybe simple is better...maybe! Anywho, as our team moves on to the second round of playoffs, all I can say is...

LET'S GO PENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mother's Day Grandma Gift-Scrabble Tile Plaque

You know I loooove me some Scrabble tiles!!! I have used them for coasters, necklaces, frames…you name it, I’ve tiled it! My current Scrabble tile project is in honor of my mommy, an incredible mother and human being. Mom has dedicated her life to children, not only her own, three children, but to the students she has taught for almost 35 years, as well as those she has mentored in organizations such as Girl Scouts (over a decade of being a leader of a rowdy bunch of chatty girls, no less!), PTO, midget football, and Cub Scouts, just to name a few! Now that my siblings and I have children of our own, nothing brings me more joy than to see her work her magic on her grandbabies! She finds ways to bond with each of her grandchildren in different ways and lives for moments when she can see or Facetime with them again. She is the cat’s pajamas, to say the least! I really hope she doesn’t intend to check this blog within the week, as I plan to give this to her for Mother’s Day!

Here’s how I made the plaque:

-scrapbook paper (your choice of color and design)
-plaque (I found one at my local thrift store for $1. Whoop!)
-Mod Podge
-paint brush
-Scrabble tiles
-pictures, poems, etc. for embellishment

1.       Cut scrapbook paper to fit the front of the plaque

2.       Coat front of plaque with a coat of Mod Podge using a    
            paint brush.
3.       While plaque is still wet, arrange Scrabble tiles (I highly
            recommend playing around with the tiles on a floor or 
            tabletop to determine your final arrangement)in the way
            you want them.

4.   Add photos onto remaining areas of the plaque. I added        
       pics of each of the grandchildren on the days they were  
       born, pics of my mom with each of the babies, and a little
       poem I made up, on behalf of the kiddos.

5.   Paint a final coat of Mod Podge  over photos and 
       embellishments and allow to dry