The Kim Six Fix

Disguise your AC with a DIY Louvered Screen

Disguise your AC with a DIY Louvered Screen.. hides your air conditioner and doesn't impede air flow via

Back in 2012 I shared my experience
replacing a post on our pergola that had suffered termite damage.  It was pretty bad (I’m glad ithat sucker hadn’t tipped over!)

15 Bloggers with Mad Building Skills!

If you have been reading blogs for a while, you may remember the days when blogs had blogrolls.  If you aren’t familiar with blogrolls, they are lists of a bloggers’ favorite blogs, typically in the sidebar or on a stand alone page.  In pre-Pinterest days, that was a really common way for readers to find new blogs and great new projects. This word of mouth recommendation for other blogs was a great way to connect.

I removed my blogroll long ago, as most bloggers have, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have favorite blogs. In fact, the longer I blog, the more great content I find from other bloggers..   So today, since I don’t have a blogroll anymore,  I thought I would share a few of my favorites with you in a post instead.

There are so many great blogs out there, I thought I would narrow it down to one category of my favorites: Builder Girls With Power Tools!

It is always disheartening to see women relegated to the pin-up calendar by tool companies and hardware stores.  So today I am going showcase a few of my favorite HARD CORE builder bloggers (who just happen to be ladies!) Since, power tools always go well with a side of estrogen!

You're Gonna Love It: Sew It, Build It, Eat It Edition

Welcome back to the last party of June!  Don't forget next week is ANYTHING GOES and if you own a small business, you can be our featured business of the month.. so come back and link up!
Last week I was busy with some summer projects, like this darling little picket fence American Girl doll bed: 

I made some super easy S'Mores Bars:

And gave you 5 great tips for getting your board games and puzzles organized

So what were the linky features this week? 

Easy DIY Picket Fence Doll Bed from Survey Stakes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #InsideOutEmotions #CollectiveBias
Easy DIY Picket Fence Doll Bed
Last weekend I took the kids to see the new Pixar movie, Inside Out and it was WONDERFUL.  I had seen it advertised for a long time and I was really looking forward to going, and I was not disappointed.  I loved the message behind the film; there are no ‘bad’ emotions and sometimes we just need to feel the way we feel, that isn’t wrong.  Seeing inside out movie
It was a great jumping off point when talking to my own daughters about all the feelings they have, about school and friends and family.  And I knew that having the plush characters from the movie, could make the discussion a little more light hearted and fun.   Luckily our Walmart carried all the plush characters from the movie: Sadness, Joy, Anger, Fear and Disgust.      
Inside out plush toys
I picked up the “big three” in our household.. Sadness, Joy and Anger.  One for each child. Inside out dollsAnd as a little DIY project we worked together to build a little bed for them, and of course, for all the other dolls in the house!
Joy doll sleeping in bedI wanted this to be a project the kids could work on too, so I needed it to be easy and quick (they lose interest fast) so when I found this pack of survey stakes at the hardware store for $1.50 I immediately knew what we could use them for.
Survey Stakes
In fact, here is the entire supply list:

  • 1 pack Survey Stakes (the short ones)
  • 1 8ft 1x2 furring strip
  • 4 lf (linear feet) Screen Molding (or any small molding)
  • small sheet hardboard (or pegboard)
  • batting 
  • white fabric
  • 1 inch pocket hole screws
  • 1 1/4 inch pocket hole screws
  • nailgun (or hammer and small finishing nails)  
  • Pocket hole Jig
  • Palm or Oribital sander (or sandpaper) 
  • Staple Gun
  • Jig Saw

Doll bed from survey stakes
Cut List: 
(6) Full Size Survey Stakes (12 inch)
(2) Survey Stakes (bottom 5 inches)
(2) 21 inch 1x2 
(2)12 inch 1x2
(3) 13 inch moulding 
hardboard cut to size (I find it was easier to mark the board and cut it to fit in case your bed doesn’t wind up exactly square.. which it may not if your kids are helping you!)

The first thing you will need to do is sand all the survey stakes.  Because they do not have a finished surface (since you are supposed to be driving them into the soil) they are really rough.  Nothing a few passes with the sander can’t fix:
Sanding survey stakes
For the headboard I used the stakes at the full size I bought them at (12 inches).  I started with the two outside stakes, that would also become my bed’s legs and I attached the 21 inch 1x2s to them using pocket holes.
Drilling pocket holes in shims
I attached both 1x2s 2 inches up on the headboard using 5/8 inch pocket holes and 1 inch screws. Attaching headboard to doll bed
Next I added the 12 inch cross pieces using 5/8 inch pocket holes, only this time I used 1.25 in screws because the 1x2s are thicker than the stakes.  I then used the nail gun to attach the rest of the stakes to the cross brace and added the trim on both sides (for both decorative and support reasons) How to build a doll bed attaching siderails
I repeated the process for the legs, adding the 5 inch cut down shims on both sides and then adding the cross piece. Picket fence bed frame
For the ‘mattress’ itself I used a piece of pegboard I had left over from my painted cross stitch project.  I just marked the edges and cut it down with a jig saw to get a tight fit.
Picket fence bed
I added three sheets of poly batting and wrapped the entire thing with a piece of white muslin. Batting for doll bed mattress
I secured it using a staple gun.
Doll bed mattress
I popped the mattress back in and I was ready to go (I didn’t attach the mattress with nails since I wanted to paint the rest of the bed.  I had a tight enough fit that it didn’t fall out, even without nails. Adding mattress to doll bed
The last step was priming and painting.  I used spray paint since it was easier to get into all the nooks and crannies.  Then I 'made the bed’ with a mini quilt I had lying around.
Easy doll bed DIY project
According to my kids, the dolls love it!
Doll bed for Joy emotion inside outIt was great little project to work on with the kids and a great way to talk to your kids about emotions.
Inside Out Doll Bed

Easy Oven Toasted S'mores Bars

Oven Toasted Smores
Has anyone else noticed how S’mores is all the rage these days?  The flavor combination of chocolate, graham cracker and marshmallow is the epitome of summer, and so I guess it makes sense..    Of course, I couldn’t let the “summer of the s’more” pass without sharing my own version on behalf of the Cans Get You Cooking campaign.
Chocolate marshmallow bars
The ingredients in these bars include not only what you find in regular campfire s'mores (chocolate, marshmallow and graham crackers) but also an extra addition straight from my pantry:

5 Tips to Tackle Board Game and Puzzle Organization

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Glad, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #pressnsealhacks
Organize Board Games, Card Games and Puzzle with these five tips. You will never lose those game pieces again!
Having three kids with an age range of 2-10 means we have large variety of games and puzzles in our house.  From the most basic of wooden board puzzles to complicated hundred piece games like Risk or Monopoly.. we have a little something for everyone.  And because of that, it is important to have a system to keep all the pieces in place and everything sorted.   Plus I like to sell my board games and puzzles on consignment after my kids have outgrown them, and knowing you have ALL the pieces for a game is important.

With these five tips you will be much more likely to never lose a game piece or put it in the wrong place! 

TIP 1: Keep an Inventory of Game Pieces

The time a game piece is most likely to get lost is during the time you are putting the game pieces away after you have finished playing.   We used to just throw the game pieces back into the game box and put on the lid and that was that… then a few hours (or days) later we would find an extra piece under the sofa and it would get thrown back into the game cabinet since tracking down he box and putting it away was to much of a hassle.  You would have to dig the box back out, open it up, and put everything away again.  FORGET IT!

Once a game piece wasn't back in the original box, we may have well just thrown it away because chances of reuniting the piece with the original game was pretty slim.

But now I keep a little index card and a zip-top bag (or bags) inside the boxes with a list of what goes inside.  Sort of a ‘check list’ for game pieces.   That way when we are cleaning up we know exactly what is supposed to be in the bag and we are sure we have all the pieces.
Organizing board game pieces
If you have old games and you aren’t sure if anything is already missing, you can check on the game instructions since they almost always come with a list of contents.  If you have lost a few cards or a game piece, you can note it on your index card so when you are putting stuff away you are sure you are putting back the right number every time.
Tips for not losing game pieces
Some games will require a lot of little bags, or sometimes items don’t fit in the bags, but I want to make sure they go back.   Here is an example of a game where the spinner doesn’t fit in the bag, but it is included on the checklist.
Organizing game pieces
Making sure everything gets back in the bag (and the box) after playing is the key to not losing the pieces.  Plus the zip-top bag means the pieces won’t slip or fall out when the top of the box gets loose.. another time when game pieces tend to get lost.   (And helps with the clean up!)

Tip 2:  Store Wooden Puzzles Vertically and Keep Pieces in Place

How to store puzzles easily
In our game cabinet, horizontal space is at a premium, and sliding puzzles in and out tended to dislodge the pieces and create a huge mess.  Luckily I discovered Glad Press’n Seal when visiting some thrift sales.  I saw people were wrapping their board puzzles in this cool film wrap and it was securing their pieces perfectly.   And because it releases easily it doesn’t damage the pieces:
Securing puzzle piecesThe kids can take it off and on themselves, it is reusable and since it is food safe and BPA free, I’m not worried about them playing with it. Plus you can find it at WalMart which means I can pick it up on my regular shopping trips.

Tip 3:  Store Card Games in Dollar Store Cheese Containers

In our house the cardboard boxes that card games (or even playing cards) come in tend to get beat up and broken. It is hard for my kids to get all the cards back in the box.  But American sliced cheese storage containers are the perfect size.
Keep cards from getting bent or lost if you no longer have the original box.  Use a cheap dollar store cheese storage box!
Plus as a bonus, the edges of the cards don’t get bent like if you stored them in a rubber band.  Plus I make sure to keep the instructions inside the container as well… so we never forget how to play!

Tip 4:  Don’t Lose Puzzle Pieces when you take a break! 

For the older kids, puzzles take a lot longer to complete than one sitting. Often they will get halfway through a puzzle and leave it on the dining room table.  That is a recipe for DISASTER.  Between siblings and pets, loose pieces sitting on a soon to be on the floor, kicked under the rug, and pretty much lost..
Keep puzzles organized
But after I discovered the board puzzle trick with Glad Press’n Seal, I realized it would work on other puzzles as well.  You can seal down half finished puzzles, or even loose pieces, to the table and they aren’t going anywhere.
Sealing down puzzles
And just like the board puzzles, you can peel it off without damaging the cardboard puzzles: Press n seal for puzzlesNo more scattered puzzle pieces all over the floor!

Bonus Tip: If you want to move assembled puzzles from place to place or store them, using Glad Press’n Seal on a cookie sheet is a great solution.  they won’t slide around and they will stay in place and assembled, even during transport!
Taking puzzles on the go

Tip 5:  Number The Backside of Puzzle Pieces for Easier Sorting

This is a tip I learned from our local library.  The librarian would have to sort and assemble dozens of board puzzles at the end of the day and knowing which pieces went where (especially when they were upside down) was a headache. Organizing puzzles
So they started numbering the backside of each piece so it was easy to figure out which pieces went together.  Now you can easily find and sort the pieces.. yeah, you still have to put them back together, but I aways recruit my kids to help me.
Number puzzle piecesThen we seal them up in Glad Press'n Seal!
Store puzzles vertically
Hopefully these five tips will give you some ideas on how to tackle your own Puzzle, Board and Card Game Chaos!  So you can spend more time playing and less time lamenting the lost pieces!!
Organizing games and puzzles

You're Gonna Love It: Come Sit A While Edition!

This week was definitely a whirlwind for me.  The kids are out of school and my schedule is crazy.. but I did get some great new posts up this week.

My Coffee table with hidden LEGO and Train table was a huge hit on facebook.  I'm really proud of it and the kids still love it, even weeks later.

I also have a new post up for all you Bloggers on Blogger.. about how to setup your custom domain URL

And of course, in honor of Father's Day.. I wrote a tribute to my dad

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and can't wait to see what you have in store!

So.. who was featured last week?

Get Rid of The Blogspot: How to Setup a Custom Blogger Domain on GoDaddy

Step by step tutorial on how to set up a blogger custom domain redirect on godaddy and get rid of the .blogspot in your blog URL

One of the biggest perks with using the Blogger platform for your blog is that is is 100% FREE.  You don’t have to pay to be ‘self-hosted’ like other blogging platforms.  (While I’m on it, the term ’self-hosted' is a misnomer actually.. unless you have a server in your garage, you aren’t self-hosted, you are paying for a hosting service.. you aren’t actually hosting your own content. It should be called “privately-hosted” or “third party-hosted” or something.)

In the case of Blogger blogs, our host is Google.. which is a pretty sweet deal!  Like any other hosting company (Bluehost, HostGator, FatCow, DreamHost..) Google DOES NOT own your content, the same way any other hosting company doesn’t own their client’s content.  (That is another big misconception about Blogger.) Hosts (even Google) are just ‘holding’ it for you and displaying it on your little corner of the internet, it is still YOURS and cannot be taken away from you. The biggest difference between Google-hosting an other privately-hosted blogs, is that Google holds our content for free, and without any bandwidth limitations or a big monthly bill!

Thanks Dad! I Love You! (In Case I Don't Say It Enough)

Today's post is tribute to my dad (and ALL the fabulous dads and grandpas who touch our lives!)  I can't believe I haven't written about my dad before, and I'm grateful to Minute Maid® for encouraging me to finally do so!  
I've always been close to my dad, and as I get older, I see him in myself more and more. He is the one who gave me the courage to be a DIY'r and he also showed me what it means to be a good parent.

This is my dad and me (the ONLY time you will see me in a bikini on the internet) feeding the ducks circa 1977. 
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