Creative Kristi

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Creative Kristi: August 2009

Creative Kristi

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Skid in Sideways

As wedding 'season' is starting to wind down I thought I'd post this wonderful video that I first saw on the Today show a month or so ago. It reminds us all that life is best lived with JOY & is best lived to the fullest.
How does that saying go? "Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely with an attractive & well preserved body but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, drink in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out screaming 'woohoo what a ride!'"
Traditions are ok. They are lovely. But a marriage is a celebration of LOVE and Love should never be stuffy, somber or least of all quiet. Love is fireworks in your heart, it is pure joy, it is the loudest, biggest, best emotion and it should always always be CELEBRATED! These two get it.
I read a few blogs and one of them (this one) said it best about this video & these two lovebirds: To choose joy over the fear and vulnerability of being different or weird or ridiculed is a tremendous act of courage - one that touches all of us.

So go out this weekend (and everyday) and live your life to the fullest, Love people & life- not stuff for you can't take anything with you when you leave this world except your memories.
Have a great weekend everybody!

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Friday, August 14, 2009


So my son turned 2 a few weeks ago. Where does the time go? That's so cliche but it's so true!

Anyway a birthday always means a party and a party always means a THEME! I love a theme!

Well my son (as many 2 year old boys do) LOVES Thomas the Train!
I make cakes so my first thought was: Need to have a Thomas cake! Then I started thinking up easy, inexpensive ways to make things in the 'train' theme.
I made up cute little invitations (which I think are on my external hard drive that went kaput :'( right before the party ) & on the day of the party with a little (ok they did it!) help from my little brother & cousin we 'laid' rails on the floor with black electrical tape:
I made signs for our 'menu':

And we can't NOT tell people where the bathroom is right?? (my husband thought this was overkill but I thought it was cute!)
Then I needed to establish our "Stations" (aka: dining room, playroom & living room)

Next up was disguising those bottles of soda to match the theme: (We also had Rail Yard Root beer-not pictured)

And of course the Cake!

And last but not least the goody bags! I made molded white chocolate trains, homemade mini coloring books with coloring images I found online and re-sized then stapled together, mini wooden train whistles & Thomas stickers all in a plastic bag (not 'green' I know- sue me)

So there you have it: Thomas the Train themed party! It was a hit!
P.S. My husband and I got our son tickets to go see the real, live Thomas & take a ride on him coming up tomorrow! Cant wait to see his reaction!

SYS Thurs

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

'New' Counters on a budget

*Warning: kinda a long blog post! lol*

My husband is the sole provider money-wise for our family. This comes with a set of challenges when you live in an older home. When we do our budget each month I consistently come out with $0.64 left over for 'home repairs that are not immediate' can you imagine how long it would take me to save up for a kitchen re-do?? We live in a house built in 1932. Let me tell you about some of it's charms: LOVELY trim everywhere you look- really it's amazing- none of that 3" wide trim that is in every. single. house. built today. Here let me share some pictures of it:

Now those are views from my dining room table taken just now with my iphone. I also have about 9" tall baseboards (yes BASEBOARDS) throughout my home. All that door trim is repeated on every window and door in my house. I LOVE IT! These will be painted white in the future because I don't love the almost 70's looking varnish/clear coat but the trim itself: LOVE.

Another charm of our little abode is hardwood floors. Original hardwood floors, my guess is they laid it as a 'sub-floor' and covered it with wall to wall carpeting because I can see the holes from tack strips and it's in unimaginably great condition for being so old. We thought we didn't have it in the kitchen under not one, not two but THREE layers of laminate/vinyl flooring but we pulled them all up and voila! There they were!

Ok I also pretty much like the layout & size of rooms (would like more size in the bathroom and bedrooms but downstairs suits our needs). My husband and I both say we love the house- hate the location. I am seriously looking into moving the house. really. That way we can keep the house, get a flatter piece of land not on a busy busy road and add on the back part of the house.
Whew! Ok now onto the point of this whole post. We live in a older home. Things need to be updated and repaired. We have $0.64 a month to do so. Our kitchen was updated in 1980 I'm guessing by the um, lovely, white laminate office type cabinets, baby blue laminate countertops with matching wall paint, and vinyl flooring (which as we've established is now GONE!).
We can not afford to rip out and start over. We can't even afford a new faucet. But those darn baby blue counters were haunting me. I HATED them and I can usually live with things for awhile until the money is saved. But oh those countertops. UGH. So I started searching the internet for green, affordable ideas. Love the idea of cement counters with a built in farmhouse sink (all made from cement you pour yourself then polish- they are gorgeous trust me) but still- expensive. Love recycled glass countertops- but still out of our price range. And I kept coming back to my mantra "the greenest item is one that already exists" (because no more energy has to be expended to make it) but those blue countertops already existed and while I think I'm fairly green, I'm not about to live the rest of my days with blue counters. Sorry mother nature- I love ya but not unconditionally.
Let's take a look at those counters & cabinets shall we?

oh yeah- and not a single knob or handle on any of the cabinets. Go figure.
Anyway lovely aren't they?
Ok so the greenest item is the one that already exists (hence why I want to move the house not build new) Well here's what resulted from that mantra:

Oh hey! New counters! Granite? oh heck no! Not on $0.64 a month (I'd have been like 175 before I could afford that!) So what is it? It is blue laminate countertops...that I painted. YES painted. Oh I can't tell you how excited I was to find that info on the internet that laminate can be painted and many people had painted their countertops! So it took me a bit to 'talk' my hubby into it but I did it and I love it!
It's just Kiltz primer rolled on like you are painting a wall (tape off your cabs & wall with painter's tape) then I took craft paint (yes those tiny little bottles) to match a picture of granite I found online that I liked (search for granite images and find one you like) So there are 4 colors here: grey, brown, black & ivory plus I used a toothbrush to add some gold to look like the metallic you see a lot in granite. Then I added 7 coats of a clear high gloss sealer. Yes, 7. BUT you are able to put another coat on after only 2 hours drying time so I could do 3 or 4 coats in a day.
I just ripped up pieces of paper towel, dipped them into the craft paint and 'sponged' them on the counters. I tried a real sponge but hate the fake look it gave. This way I could re-scrunch the paper towel and get a different 'image' so it looks more random and like natural granite.
After all the topcoats were on (I did a really thick one as the last coat) I let it 'cure' for a week before putting anything back on it. I think it is still curing 3 weeks later because it's so darn humid out but after some cool breezes this fall I'm sure I'll be all set- a lot of people I've talked to about topcoats like this say it's common for items to stick a little bit to it if it was applied during the summer because it takes so long to cure.
Anyway that is step two in the kitchen remodel (step one was finding those hardwood floors- they must be stained because they are unfinished but they are there!) & it only cost me with paint and supplies: $60 and no I didn't save those extra $0.64 each month- my husband had quit smoking for two months so I took that money to pay for it. He has since resumed so I'm back to the $0.64 lol!
Tell me what you think! Would you ever do this to your counters?

Linking up to: A Soft Place to Land's DIY Day

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