Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Duck, duck, duck.......duck!

So I was inspired by a little challenge over at Young House Love to pick up a project (big or small) that's been sitting around waiting to get done.  I think that most homeowners have one (or more) projects that they haven't gotten to for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes it's because you haven't figured out where to hang a picture or what color to paint your side tables.

It's a little generous to call this a "project", but this has been waiting for years to get done.  Hanging rubber ducky pictures in our bathroom.  It's so simple that it's embarrassing that I haven't done it yet.  There have just been other things that were higher on the list of things to do.

I'll give a rundown of what I got and where:

Set of 5 rubber duckie art cards - $5 - Ikea no longer has the ducks, but this set is pretty cool
Four photo brushed metal frame - $10 - Homegoods (love that place!!)

So the grand total here is $15.  So simple.

I picked my four favorite ducks and stuck them to the matte with some tape on the back, popped it into the frame and it was ready to go!  And then it got put in the bathroom closet for like 3 years.  In my defense, the whole thing was purchased and planned before we renovated the upstairs bathroom, so a whole DIY bathroom reno (which we did very slowly) was part of the 3 year wait.

I had considered using a 3M Command hook to hang this, but with the steam in the bathroom, I was concerned that it wouldn't hold and we'd have a busted frame, broken glass, and ducks on the floor with the first super hot shower.

On the back side of the frame there are a few little rings to be used for hanging (one for vertical, two for horizontal).

I thought about adding a picture wire to the back (allowing for a single hook) but the rings were too close to the top edge and the wire would have shown.  So I went with plain old picture hooks.

I held up the frame where I wanted it, used the level to make sure it was nice and straight and then used a pencil to draw a nice line.

Then I marked the top of the frame where the loops were, so that I'd be able to mark for the hooks without actually measuring anything.  I think it's good to mention here that the tape measure was back downstairs and I'm lazy.  So here you can see where I marked, sorta.

And it's the top of the frame so even if it didn't erase, you wouldn't be able to see anything.

Holding the frame UPSIDE DOWN at the line I marked earlier and I made two little dots signifying where I was going to put the hooks.  I basically eyeballed that the frame was left/right centered when I did it.  I popped a few standard picture hooks into the wall and up she went!

It looks much better on the wall than it did in the closet, right?

Here you can see the wall is between the window and the tub.  Please excuse our messy towels.

Bingo, bongo, doneskies!!

It feels good to have this checked off the list.  What shall I do next week?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Little Housekeeping

As a relatively new blogger, I'm still getting to know the tools at my disposal and trying to find ways to get my stuff read by people who may be interested.  So I decided to set up a Facebook page.

I was actually talking to a few people who said they wished I was on FB too.  Of course I've been spamming all my FB friends every time there's a new post, but with the new handy-dandy FB page, only the likers will see it!

Setting up the page was super easy and I'm still trying to figure out how to add things to "like" posts and the blog itself, but until then if you want to "like" the page on FB, you can click on the link I added to the right and it'll take you to the FB page for Goofy Monkeys!

The plan is to cross-post a Facebook update there whenever there's a new post to read here!

Also notice that I've rearranged things to the right.  Hopefully it'll be a little less cluttered.  Decluttering is my theme of the week next week.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Let there be Light!

OK, so blog post titles are supposed to be punny or at least a little witty.  This is neither, but it IS about lighting, so I've got that going on, right?

When you have a toddler in the house I think it's almost inevitable that certain items of home decor will bite the dust.  My little demon seems to have a penchant for lighting.  So far he's busted 2 lamps (and countless light bulbs in Christmas window candles - we eventually gave up on those).  Most recently was the floor lamp in the living room, which had already been 3/4 destroyed and was held together by electrical tape when Chris pushed it over plunging us into darkness.  I'm currently looking for the right thing - must be cheap because chances are he's just going to do it again.

Not too long before that he climbed onto the side table and broke the silly little table lamp we had.  I put out this one from our desk area.

It's a fun little Target light, but not at all right in this spot.  It took some searching but I finally found something that would meet all my needs.  A oil rubbed bronze finish, drum shade, swing arm lamp on the cheap!  Check it out here.  Once all was said and done I got the lamp, a cord cover and free shipping - WAHOO!

It arrived today (4 days after ordering) and I busted the box open.  Usually mounting or hanging stuff on walls is Jason's realm, but I wanted this done.

Following the instructions for the lamp, I removed the mounting plate.  I held up the lamp to get a sense of where I wanted it to hang on the wall.  Then I used a level to make sure the mounting plate was level and I marked where my screws would go.

A few holes and screws later, it was ready for action!

It was easy to slip the lamp onto the mounting plate and secure it with the finials.  Next up is the cord cover. This was another fairly easy install but I wanted it to look just right so again I used the level to mark where it would go.  Two more screws and BAM!

The cord fits inside that little channel and the covers just snap over it for a polished look.  I like it.  Nice and neat.  After cleaning up, unwrapping the plastic from the shade, and plugging it in - here's what it looks like:

Big improvement!  It looks like the shade is a little lopsided, but I think that's photographer error :)

The side table is begging for some sort of a makeover.  I see paint and maybe some stenciling in it's future...what do you think??

UPDATE:  So I left a comment with a link over on YHL and Sherry said she likes the new light and the curtains :) I feel all starstruck and warm and fuzzy when she comments back to me.  

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Next Picasso? No doubt!

Today is a gray and rainy day.  With the snowfall two days ago and the rising temperatures, there is a fog that's sweeping through the neighborhood.  It's the perfect inside day and the perfect day to try something new.

I picked up some big fat crayons and a pad of newsprint at CVS ($0.00 thx to my Extra Bucks!!).  And plopped them down in front of Chris so he could go to town while I made his daily PBJ for lunch.  Oh my, what fun he had!

A blank page = endless possibilities!

I love the way his beefy little hand looks holding a crayon.

I remember doing this with Sarah when she was about fifteen months old.  Being a little younger, she wasn't quite sure what to do.  She gnawed on the crayons as if they were carrot sticks.  It made me glad that Crayolas are non-toxic, but I thought maybe they should make them a good source of vitamins and minerals.

Chris had so much fun that he immediately asked to color again right after he finished the sandwich.

His first ever picture is in a place of honor (on the fridge).

OK, I drew Elmo, but the rest is all Chris!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


If you are the parent of a baby or are expecting on in the near future, it is likely that you are familiar with Sophie the Giraffe.  I wasn't aware of Sophie when Sarah was a wee one, but when Chris was a baby I found out about this must-have item from some other moms of new babies.  They all said their babies LOVED their Sophie, so I decided that we needed one.

Here's what you should know if you're considering a Sophie.  Sophie is from France.  And she's expensive. Today Amazon.com lists Sophie at a little over $17, which is crazy expensive for a teething toy for an infant if you ask me.  I had to have one.  I stalked her on Amazon for about a month before I pulled the trigger (I think it was $14 - a deal!! - when I got it).

I waited for her arrival with such anticipation - as if this was going to be THE thing that pacified my crankypants baby.  When she arrived, I ripped that sucker open and was a little disappointed.  She's a little creepy looking and holds her neck at unnatural angles.  She is very rubbery and loud.  I was in denial and convinced that my child would eventually fall in love with this thing, but I had basically spent $14 on a dog toy for my baby.  He never liked her.  He paid her no attention.

Somehow that stupid giraffe always ends up on the floor in the middle of the flow of traffic in the house and inevitably I step on it 2-3 times a day.   Every time I step on it, I pick it up and chuck it into a corner and by the time I'm meandering through the room again it's back.  The loud squeak is jarring when you're watching TV in the evening.  It wakes the dog.

The dog LOVES it.  At first I wasn't too keen on Rosie playing with one of the kids' toys.  I thought it was setting a dangerous precedent and eventually I'd be dealing with her stealing everything from them, but Sophie isn't really Chris' toy anymore.  Now Sophie belongs to Rosie.  I'm just glad she has someone who really loves her.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Catching Fairies

There's something fantastic about being 5 years-old and today Sarah reminded me of that.

Today was a drizzly, gray day and I had decided just to hang out and stay inside.  I did some house cleaning and some relaxing and some laundry.  Sarah decided that it had been a while since she played outside so she donned a light jacket and went exploring around the yard.

She came running in the front door with a blade of grass and declared that FAIRIES ARE REAL!!  "Just look at the water drops, the water fairies put them there!!" and she ran back outside to do some more stuff. About ten minutes later she came in and said "I made a trap for fairies in the mailbox," and she showed me the stuff she had stuck in there in the hopes that some fairies would be tempted to go in.  Then she asked for her fairy wings (from her Halloween costume 2 years ago). Wearing the wings, she flitted around the yard and sang so that Tinkerbell and her friends would know it was safe to come out.

My silly daughter honest to goodness believes in fairies.  I can't remember when I had that kind of belief in something I had never seen.  She also believes in unicorns, superheroes, elves, and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  I hope she does for a long time.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I can't believe it's already mid January.  Here we are.  Jan 10 and I haven't posted since LAST YEAR!  Oh my.  What happened?

Well I'll tell ya, I got sick.  Some time around New Year's Eve I came down with a bit of a cold, which not only put a kibosh on the huge party we had planned (ha!) but spiraled into about a week of solid illness.  I was bedridden (almost) for about a week. Poor Jay was on primary parent duty for days on end when he was supposed to be enjoying the final days of his vacation.  We had to cancel my birthday (1/2) and I wasn't sure that we'd be able to do it a week later when Aunt Gin & family came up to have Christmas (part 2) on 1/7, but I made it.  And finally I think the worst is behind me and I'm left with a loud and annoying cough.

So I didn't post while I was sick.  For some reason when I get out of the habit of doing something - even something I enjoy - it becomes almost a chore to get back to it.  And that is how a post about Christmas came to sit there in the dashboard for about 2 weeks.  Time to get back to it!

So what did we miss??  CHRISTMAS!!  Holy moly, what a whirlwind that was.

Christmas day was spent here at our house where the kids opened presents from Santa, my parents came in the morning for a quick visit, we had some breakfast and some playtime and a nap.

We went to my parent's house for dinner.  It was a loooooong day, but tons of fun.  Food was delicious, decorations were perfect.  The family was there - even Lee & Hannah came down from Maine.

Sadly, I forgot my camera so we have very few photos :(  Here's a few highlights from the day.

I didn't even get a pic of the kids all dressed up in their fancy clothes.  I guess I'll get 'em at Easter!


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