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DIY Personalized Mickey and Minnie Frames

DIY Mickey and Minnie FramesTracking Pixel
I recently found out that Disney On Ice’s latest was coming to the Bay Area and I wanted to come up with a clever way to pop the news.

I decided to leave a little note on the kitchen table so that when the girls came down they would find out.  But I wanted something a little more special than a plain note, so I decided to create some custom frames for each of them.

Marquee Lights Made From Keurig K-Cups

Heart marquee light from Kcups
I am SO EXCITED to share today’s project.

I actually finished it about two weeks ago, but never got around to taking photos and writing about it until now.  But I just LOVE IT!

I have been obsessing about all the great marquee lights I’ve been seeing all over the internet, but now they have gotten so affordable and accessible in stores that I never felt like it was worth my time to make one from scratch.

At least not in the traditional sense of making a marquee light.

But then inspiration struck when I was washing out a set of old K-cups (I always save them since they aren’t recyclable and I have had project ideas for them in the past). I was lining them up on the counter and I realized how cool they looked when I started creating shapes. 
Of course, with Valentine’s day around the corner, a heart shape was the first thing that came to mind.
Heart marquee lights
I thought about gluing them down and spray painting the whole thing so it was one color but three dimensional, and then I thought, “WHY NOT LIGHT THEM UP AGAIN?!”

And that is exactly what I did.   This time with pink mini-lights
KCup Heart LightThere aren’t many projects where with each step you finish, you get more and more excited about it.. but this project was one of them:
Love marquee light mantelSo how did it come together?

You're Gonna Love It Link Party: The "Great Minds" Edition!

Okay.. so I said last week was insane, but it had NOTHING on this week.  Seriously, I'm running on pure coffee and adrenaline.

I did manage to get some new posts out:







Now.. on to the party!

I'm so excited by this week's features.. because they remind me of me!  (But not in that condescending "I'm the bestest blogger ever!" way.. but in the "Can we be BFF's since you really know me?" way...)

The most popular link this week was: 

Wooden Shim and Burlap Heart: A DecoArt Project

Wood Shim and Burlap Valentine HeartThings are still in full “Valentine’s Day” mode at our house.  And the decor is slowly rolling out.   So I was excited when DecorArt offered me the chance to team with them** and create a project using a non-traditional surface and Americana Multi-Surface Paint.  This is the project I came up with, inspired by Christina’s intertwined heart made from old chair rail scraps.


I didn’t have any chair rail scraps, but I knew immediately what I wanted to use!  A set of old wooden shims I had leftover from another project.  I love how rough they are, with the knots and imperfections.   I also picked up a wood cut heart to us as the backer and a decorative script ‘Love’ from Michaels.
Wooden shims and paint
I love how in the finished product you can still see all the imperfections in the wood, giving it a rustic ‘reclaimed’ feel:
Reclaimed wood heart
The first thing I did was line up the shims side by side alternating which end was the ‘thick” end and which was thin. Remember that shims are actually tapered to help ‘shim up’ things like cabinets and door frames etc.  So they aren’t flat when you lay them down flat.  I wanted the surface of the heart to be rough, so I got that look by alternating them.

Then I traced around my wooden heart with a ballpoint pen:
Tracing heart shape onto shims
Next I used a coping saw to cut out the heart shape.  You could use a hacksaw if you don’t have a coping saw, but anything larger that that would probably destroy the shims.  They are super thin and want to crack. Cutting shim with coping saw
Once I had all the shims cut, I hot glued them onto the wooden heart and sanded the edges with course sandpaper just to knock down the splinters.  I didn’t sand the flat surfaces since I wanted the texture to show. Sanding wood shim heart
Next I added some American Multi-Surface paint to a styrofoam tray. (I used the Cottonball, Lipstick and Pink Cadillac colors)This was the perfect paint of for the project because it sticks to almost anything! It was great for getting into all the crevices and cracks of the shims.

Like the other supplies for this project, Americana Multi-Surface paint is available in Michaels. Visit the DecoArt Multi-Surface website for more crafting ideas and inspiration. Red pink and white paint
 Because i wanted to let the wood grains and knots show through, I diluted out the paint with a little water.  It worked beautifully:
Painting red pink heart
Next I decided to play off the rustic look by adding  burlap heart (I found that a Michael’s as well) and the Love woodcut (I had painted white.)
Americana painted wood heart
I glued a little piece of twine on the top in case I wanted to hang it, but I decided that I liked it propped up in a vignette much better.
Wooden shim heart
It is so cute and rustic yet fits in well with the rest of my Valentine's stuff.
Burlap wood heart
I think I'm going to incorporate it into this year's mantelscape.  If I ever get around to it!
Rustic painted wood heart

Wooden heart vignette
**This post was sponsored by DecoArt and Michaels.  I received compensation for my time and supplies, but the project ideas, tutorial and opinions are my own.  I was not told what to make, or what to write. 

5 Easy SEO Tips Everyone on Blogger Should Be Using

Is Your Car Winter Ready? 10 Simple Things to Check!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DropShopAndOil #CollectiveBias

I am not personally experiencing it right now, but I know most of the nation is in the throws of deep winter… and I am feeling you!  My winters in Boston gave me great empathy for everyone dealing with cold temps and snow.  These memories are forever burned into my brain:
Winter snow in boston(At least there is snow cream right?) 

Well, if you think YOU hate the cold temps, just imagine how you car feels..  Even if your car is garaged in the winter, the weather can still wreck havoc on your four-wheeled baby.  Since I have empathy for your poor vehicle, here are a list of 10 things you should check out before it to make sure you car doesn’t let you down this winter!

Car Winterization Checklist:

SNICKERS Or Starburst Creamsicle Milkshakes

Today’s post is actually TWO recipe posts in one.  And if you like milkshakes, you are in for two times the treat!  I have been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, however all opinions and recipes are my own.  #BigGameTreats #CollectiveBias
Candy Milkshakes with Snickers and Starburst
We are big football fans (both college and professional.. I mean, who else decorates their mantel for football season?)  This year, as a special treat on game day I decided to use SNICKERS® and Starburst® candy to create milkshakes for the kids.

I Have A Big Announcement! (And Why I Love Blogger!)

So in the interest of keeping it real, I want to tell you that originally I had planned to post about K-cups (yes.. those coffee cup things I messed around with at Halloween) today.  I wanted to hold off this announcement until later next week, when I had all the kinks worked out, but I ended up spending so much time working on this exciting rollout, I just didn't have it in me to churn out a second post.

Seriously.. my kitchen floor currently looks like this since the baby thought unloading every thing out of my purse would be fun, while the girls played wiffle ball in the house:
#KeepingItRealWithKimSix
I can't face writing about KCups right now. I just can't.

So instead.. you all get to hear my big news a week early!

Are you ready for it?  Well if not, too bad.. here it is:

You're Gonna Love It: Take Life By the Horns Edition

How is everyone doing?  Have you recovered from the holidays yet? Starting to get back in the groove?  My kids are finally back in school and so my schedule is finally starting to level out.. But you know how that goes.. It is always something!

This week I shared a few fun projects for 2015:

First my "Word Of The Year" was selected.  I am not sure I set the bar too high with this one, but hey.. We all do what we can do.
I show you my glittered book page heart garland (I'm hemming and hawing about what do with the rest of that mantel..)


And this awesome Life Cereal Pecan Toffee Bark (there isn't any left in my house.. it was eaten the day I made it!):

But let's get down to what you are here for.  This week's features!
Both of the links this week share a common theme: Tackling life's little problems head on.

Chocolate Pecan Toffee Cereal Bark (and Snack Mix)

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This Quaker Oats recipe has been compensated as part of for #CollectiveBias and its client. #LoveMyCereal #QuakerUp
It has been a while since I’ve shared a recipe and so when Quaker® gave me the chance to come up with a new idea for cold cereal, I jumped at it. We are huge cereal eaters in this house, I even love eating it by the handful out of the box late at night as a dessert alternative.  With that thought in mind, I knew I could come up with a great cereal dessert recipe.

I love chocolate toffee bark, especially with pecans, and I knew the crispiness of Quaker® Life cereal would create the perfect base to absorb the sweet buttery crunch of the toffee. Pecan chocolate life cereal toffee
The recipe itself couldn’t be much easier.  It only requires 5 ingredients:  Butter, brown sugar, pecans, chocolate chips and of course.. Quaker® Life cereal.  (You could also make it with Quaker® Cinnamon Life or even their new Maple and Brown Sugar flavor.. that would be awesome!)

2015's Word Of The Year: Yeah.. I've Got One

So, once again this year, the blogosphere is all aflutter with this whole “Word Of The Year” thing. This is where you choose a word which symbolizes your goals and hopes for the coming year.  Sort of an alternative to a resolution.. a yearly motto.

Now this is not to be confused with the Oxford Dictonary’s Word of the Year, which was recently selected at the end of 2014. Every year the dictionary people choose a word or phrase that has gained popularity and become more common in public usage over the past 12 months.  They aren't the same words of the year.

You will understand why you don’t want to mix these two up when I tell you the Oxford folks chose “Vape” as their 2014 word of the year. As much as I’m sure “quitting smoking” makes quite a few resolution lists every year.. I can’t imagine the type of person who would choose “Vape” as their annual mantra.
Well.. maybe I can...
Ecig vaping
image source 
Now where was I?

Oh yeah.. MY word of the year.  Right. 

Originally I wasn’t sure if I was going to do a post on it, because I haven’t done it in the past, but I asked about it on my Facebook page and a few people said “why the hell not?” and so I thought I’d listen to them.
Facebook
(Lesson here: If you want to influence content on this blog.. pipe up on Facebook! No complaining that this post is stupid if you didn’t vote! ) 


I thought about it for a little while.. (not too long, because, come on, let’s get serious here.. I have better things to do with my time) and decided upon...


Wait for it...

Glittered Book Page Heart Garland

Glittered book page heartsA book page project is one I’ve wanted to do for a long time but I never had a book I didn’t feel bad about cutting up (and I wasn’t going to go buy one just to cut up.)  But this winter my 9 year old picked out this copy of Ramona Forever (Ahhh.. Nostalgia! Did anyone else read Beverly Cleary books as a kid?) at the thrift store and while she was reading it, it began to fall apart.
Beverly cleary bookSo as soon as she finished it, I snapped it up and started brainstorming.    With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching I decided I would do a heart project.   These paper hearts are super easy to make (in fact, my 4 year old helped make a few) and require nothing much more than a paper cutter (or scissors), a stapler, and whatever type of paper you want to use.

You're Gonna Love It: 2015's First Anything Goes Party


It is 2015's first You're Gonna Love It Party!  And to make it even more exciting, it is the first Monday of the month which means ANYTHING GOES!  Link up your etsy shop, sponsored posts, giveaways.. The sky is the limit!

This week was all about looking back on 2014.. and I shared my top 10 posts of 2014, along with 100 Top Posts from 100 Awesome DIY bloggers.  (Seriously, if you have a bunch of time to kill.. try browsing though all those links.  AMAZING STUFF!)

And finally.. to start the new year off right, I'm talking toilets!  Hey.. they may not be glamorous, but they are better than the alternative!


Okay.. enough about me.. let's talk about YOU!

Time for Last Week's Features!!

Once again, there were so many great links, that besides from the features here, there are dozens more on my Pinterest board (and on Kathe's.) 

Plus a few of our absolute favorites went up on my Facebook Page and on Kathe's Facebook page (just look for the hashtag: #YoureGonnaLoveIt)  


The most popular links (again there were two) were:

How to Choose and Install a Low Flow Toilet

How to Choose and install high efficiency toilet. Everything you need to know before heading to the home improvement store.

If you are using toilets installed anytime in the last century (okay.. it sounds crazy when I say it that way.. but I mean “Pre-2000”) it is pretty likely that you are either using way more water than you have to, or are using outdated technology which conserves water but is not very efficient at flushing waste or frequently clogs.

The toilets in our house were 1988 monsters using almost 4 gallons per flush. (For perspective, todays standard of “low flow” is 1.28 gallons.) If you are using a toilet from the 70s, you could be using as much as seven gallons!  SEVEN GALLONS!!  That is the equivalent of flushing a modern toilet more than five times.  (Side note: if you are using toilet from the 70s.. it is probably pretty gross by now and you should change it anyhow!)
Low Flow Toilet Options
Today’s low-flow toilets are pretty amazing, considering that some of them use as little as 0.8 gallons of water and yet have astounding ability to flush a small pony down the drain (okay, maybe that is a slight exaggeration.. but they are much more powerful than their previous water saving counterparts.)

I’ve previously written about the pros of saving on your utility bills, and so this project was a no brainer.  And to make it even better, our utility district has a $50 rebate on any Water Sense toilet, so this project practically paid for itself.  (Most water districts do offer rebates, just check with your local company.)

In our upstairs bathrooms these are the toilets we had:
High water usage toilet
You can see how large the tank was in order to hold all the water.

It was just a huge WASTE even though they weren't in the most commonly used bathrooms.  I chose a new 1.28 gallon per flush American Standard model as a replacement.   I took a side by side photos with the new one (the ruler is for reference) to show you the difference in tank size when you covert to a water efficient model
Replacing low flow toiletYou also will notice the tank is tapered, to give you more flushing power with less water.   Plus it takes up less space in your bathroom, which is never a bad thing right?

So how did I decide exactly which one was the best choice for me? 

When figuring out what kind of toilet you want to upgrade to, there are lots of things to keep in mind.

TOILET SELECTION:

100 DIY Bloggers Share Their Most Popular Post in 2014

2014 was a great year!  The amount of amazing projects floating around the blogs I read and love were overwhelming.   Yesterday I posted my own top 10 most popular projects of 2014 and that got me wondering what posts were the big hits for all the other DIY bloggers out there.

So I asked a few, ok.. more than a few.. a HUNDRED AND TWENTY of my favorite bloggers for their most popular posts of 2014 and I have assembled them all here. It always so interesting to see what piques people’s interest.

Because there are so many I have split them into categories. Please note, just because a blogger’s most popular post is in a certain category, that doesn’t mean their entire blog is about that subject. When visiting these blogs you should definitely check out their archives!

 
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