I contemplated buying some pre-cut chalkboard labels from Etsy sellers, but then I discovered the wonder that is chalkboard contact paper. Paired with these fabulous chalk pens, which are easy to handle and simple to wipe away with a damp cloth, and organizing our pantry was a snap.
I wish I had a "before" pic to share, but you'll just have to take my word that the "after" is much-improved.
Some of our pantry shelves are too tall for our needs, so I found these wire shelves from Target that fit perfectly on our shelves and double our space. That gave me more for room baskets to corral types of foods.
Once I had organized the pantry, I cut labels out of the roll of chalkboard contact paper, and then edged them with some craft scissors.
That last row of baskets is another pin-inspired idea, although I can't find the actual pin at the moment. It suggested gathering snacks for your kiddo so they know where to go themselves when they want something. It's a blessing and a curse, actually, because Em will work her way through the baskets daily. "Mommy! I want fruit snacks! I want applesauce! I want a bar! I want snack bunnies! I WANT SOMETHING ELSE IN THE CLOOOOSSSSEEET!" Lest you think all she eats is processed stuff, know that she gets plenty of the fresh stuff, too.
I ran with the chalkboard labels idea and combined it with this pin for organizing bathrooms.
Don't know if you've heard, but it rains a lot here in Portland. It's drizzle most of the time, but it's enough to make you appreciate a break in the rain. When we get those breaks on the weekend, Brent is quick to take Em outside to soak up the fresh air.
I tend to stay inside as it's an opportunity for them to have some one-on-one Dad/Em time, and I can watch them from our big windows.
Sometimes they kick the ball around. Sometimes they draw with chalk. Em's new favorite thing is what one of them has dubbed the Magic Maze.
(darkened to enhance the maze outline)
Per her request, Brent draws Em these relatively elaborate paths. This weekend he filled it with random drawings along the way -- some to avoid and some just because.
1. Fairy 2. The Man (Not a man, as Brent was quick to point out. THE Man.) 3. A robot. 4. Indian food.
5. A dragon. 6. Ignorance. (Sweetie, does that say 'ignorance'? "Yes, because nothing is scarier than ignorance.")
Once the Magic Maze was complete, they ran it again and again from start to finish.
I saw a pin similar to this back in November and immediately ran out to buy supplies. It all sat, tucked away in a basket of my craft stuff, until today. That's the beauty of this Pinteractive thing -- ya gotta get stuff done, yo!
I was going to do "EAT," but at the craft store I realized that I don't need to be reminded to eat. I do plenty of that. I decided to go with "YUM" instead.
I chose some kitchen-themed scrapbook paper.
I traced each letter with a pencil and then carefully cut them out. If I were less lazy and more crafty, I'd have used an Exacto knife, but alas.
My original plan was to Mod Podge the scrapbook paper to the wooden letters, like I did with an initial for Em's room. Re-reading the tutorial that accompanied the pin today, though, I decided to try some spray adhesive I had instead. I didn't take any pictures of those steps because I worked quickly to spray, align and press the paper and letters.
Here's the finished product, though!
As Em would say, "TA DA!"
Here they are, hung up in our eat-in kitchen.
I like reading it in the reflection - YUM, YUM!
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1. I'm about to join a gym. I need to get active again, but more than that, I have a growing longing to be around more adults. I love my kid, obviously, but there's only so much "MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY!" one can take. Brent's company partnered with this particular chain to give employees a kick-butt deal, and our nearby location offers childcare, which I know Em would love, based on photos of the play area alone. They have a ton of group fitness classes, which is how I work out best, so I'm excited.
2. This afternoon is our first official parent/teacher conference, or as Brent's co-worker noted, the beginning of a lifettime of teachers telling us we're doing it wrong. I know, I know -- not really. I had an impromptu chat with her during the Valentine's party on Tuesday. She brought it up as she was introducing herself since she and I never see each other. Brent sees her when he drops Em off in the morning, and another teacher is covering by the time I pick Em off in the early evening. She said Em is "off the charts" in most cognitive areas (yay!), but could use more development in some of the self-sufficient stuff like getting her socks & shoes, which is no surprise. I'm totally guilty of "Here, sweetie. Do it yourself. (Three seconds later.) GAH! JUST LET ME DO IT!"
3. I assumed Em's days of modeling were over once we moved to Portland, but we happen to know folks at a big ad agency up here. We attended a casting last week and found out yesterday that she was chosen. Without giving too much away, you won't actually know it's Em as she'll be featured from the neck down. I'll share the campaign when it's out.
4. Brent's office is closed Monday, but Em's preschool is open. While it's tempting to keep Em home with us for some extended family time, I've decided that we're sending her to school as usual and planning a day-long date for me and Brent. I'm envisioning a swanky lunch and places filled with lots of breakables!
It doesn't bother me. I find it amusing, actually. And what's even more amusing is that the @NanetteLepore folks themselves favorited my tweet.
For my first Pinteractive post, I'm excited to share this delicious Valentine's Chex Mix I whipped up, based on this pin. I remember seeing a similar recipe somewhere, called Cupid's Crunch, which I think is a cuter name so that's what I'm going with.
Here's what you need.
9 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 cup white vanilla baking chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup red, white and pink candy-coated chocolate candies (I ended up adding another 1/2 cup, fyi, but add according to your own taste)
1/4 cup red or pink sprinkles
Gather your ingredients.
Optional: Enlist an adorable assistant.
Place cereal in large bowl.
Place white chocolate chips, butter and peanut butter in microwavable bowl.
Melt in microwave for 1-1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.
Add melted mixture to cereal. Mix well.
Don't get discouraged when adorable assistant decides not to help.
Place half of cereal in 1-gallon ziplock bag. Add powdered sugar.
Discover that your adorable assistant is suddenly excited to help again.
Put on your best "shake face" and shake, shake, shake.
Add chocolate candies to non-powdered half of cereal.
Add sprinkles to non-powdered half of cereal. Mix well.
Spread out both mixtures on foil or wax paper, and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes.
Once cooled, mix both halves of cereal together. Voila!
Optional: Pack 3/4ths of it up for your husband to take to his office. It's sinfully delicious!
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1. This weekend I'll be working on my Pinteractive project to post on Monday, and I'm beyond thrilled that it looks like there'll be lots of folks joining the fun!
2. I blame Mrs. Priss for my new obsession with Revlon Lip Butters. I'm not a big lipstick gal, but I have two, which I've fallen hard for. I'm already getting the shakes thinking about another fix.
3. I was catching up with my best friend, Shelby, and telling her about the stupid, bigoted comments a guy we grew up with made on my Facebook page about gay marriage the other day. I wasn't surprised when he made the comments he did because he was always a small-minded troublemaker growing up, and it was my first public defriending. Shelby said she had denied his original friend request, and I told her I'd given him the benefit of the doubt, thinking he'd matured after all these years. Then she likened me to Jess, Zooey Deschanel's character on New Girl. The recent episode centered around how Jess sees nothing but the good in people, which can lead to sticky situations. It's true. I am totally Jess. I see the good in nearly everyone, I have touched glitter within the past 24 hours, I talk in funny voices and respond in song lyrics. And I despise confrontation, but I despise bigotry more.
4. Recently I realized that any Facebook friend request I accept should come with the warning, "You've just friended an oversharer. I hope you enjoy lots of stories and pictures of life with a 3-year-old. Consider yourself warned."
5. Em and I both love this song. The first few times I heard the chorus on the radio, I would've sworn it was Sting. Obviously it's not, but I still adore it.