Thursday, September 28, 2017

Dining Room Table Turned in to a Vanity

Here is the before picture. As I was taking off the hinges for the leaves, it dawned on me that it would be nice to have a before picture. So, it is upside down but you can see how big the table originally was and you can see the orientation of the table legs. I didn't want it to be this really long vanity and as luck would have it I could remove the sliders and reattach the legs to the short sides. I removed the leaves that fold up, they are great pieces of solid oak, so you might see them re-purposed in to some other project down the road. My husband did have an idea to use one of them.

***finally finishing post 2 years later***

So finally I will be finishing this post that I started over two years ago. I was looking through any drafts I had a post and came across this one.

As you can see the vanity is well used and loved. I ended up sanding it and painting it and covering the top with a faux marble contact paper. It has stood up for two and a half years of use and continues to work well. My daughter doesn't use it so much as a vanity yet but uses it as a place to do artwork and displays a variety of her art and craft pieces above it.

I had also sanded and painted a chair to go with it and recovered it. I use the same fabric to recover this chair as the one I had done for her years ago which is still in great condition but doesn't have room in her room for it currently. Someday when she is older she will appreciate that she has furniture that is all painted the same color and his matching that way.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Where Did We Go Wednesday? Sedona Red Rocks Jeep Tour

I have to tell you that taking a Red Rocks Jeep tour in Sedona Arizona was one of the best way to see a bunch of the formations and learn about the area and the Red Rocks. It was our family of four and another pair of adults that were on our tour. We did our tour through a day in the west. Our tour was called the Lil Rattler and it is a more mild tour meaning that you aren't bouncing around as much as you are in some of the other tours. It was a two-hour tour and we taken out among the rocks and given information about the history of the area, the Rocks, the plants, and some of the people that live and have lived there. The two were partly goes into Coconino National Forest.

We wore our hydration packs and also had cool it bandanas. We happen to be on our vacation in Arizona in June this past year when the flights were getting cancelled out of Phoenix, ours was one that got cancelled on the first day but we managed to get out a day later. I found that by wearing a hydration backpack it was easy to take a drink while we were riding and not worry about holding onto a water bottle. The cool-its work amazing as long as they are wet. We stopped once on the tour and when we stopped we rehydrated hour bandanas because they had dried out.
We would probably not have seen all of these formations had we not done the Jeep tour. It doesn't bring you to all of the formations that you might find listed on TripAdvisor that you need to go see, it takes you out and about to lesser-known places. We did make it to most of the other formations that we're highly rated on TripAdvisor but not on this tour. Those are easy enough to drive to yourself and have parking lots whereas we were on trails that required you to have 4-wheel drive in order to navigate them when on this tour.

Prepare to get dusty from all of the dry dirt and if you have a phone or camera out while on the tour make sure you have something along to keep it covered when not taking pictures because the finder can get into small areas.

If we find ourselves in Sedona again I would not hesitate to do another Jeep tour but next time I would choose a different tour only because I want to see more areas I haven't seen before. And if you are looking to save some money on doing this tour or any other Red Rocks tour check out Groupon first. We saved about 35-40% off the regular price by buying a Groupon. You do have to pay the taxes once you get there which is in the fine print on Groupon so it is not quite the price you purchased on that website. There are other companies that also have Red Rocks tours in Sedona and they all seem to be highly rated. The pink Jeep tours that are there theme to cost a little more and I did not find any deals for that company. This company claims they are the oldest Red Rocks tour company in Sedona.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

FREE Admission to National Parks THIS SATURDAY

Photo of bison near the Norris Geyser Basin

In honor of National Public Lands Day, there is FREE VEHICLE ADMISSION to all National Parks. Enjoy! 

Monday, September 25, 2017

EASY Strawberry Cream Cheese Crescent Rolls

These were super simple to make and everyone loved them. It was only 4 ingredients and made for a delicious addition to breakfast.

Easy Strawberry Cream Cheese Crescent Rolls
1 can of Crescent Rolls (makes 8)
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1 packet of Stevia (or sugar, Splenda or whatever sweetener you use)
Fresh Strawberry Slices


  • Preheat oven as directed on crescent roll package
  • Blend together cream cheese and stevia
  • Slice Strawberries so that you have 2-3 slices were roll
  • Unroll all 8 crescent roll pieces
  • Divide cream cheese among the rolls making small spoonfuls in the center of the wide end
  • Top cream cheese with strawberry slices
  • Roll up
  • Bake as directed on crescent roll package

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Girls Weekend Beach Tank Tops

I created theses custom tank tops for for our upcoming Girls Weekend. In the past I have made us coordinating jewelry, but this year I went for clothes. It's our first year doing Florida together, even if it is only for a weekend. We have done trips in MO, AR & MN together in the past.

Like the teacher t-shirts I made, I used heat transfer vinyl to make these. I used 2 fonts I purchased from the Silhouette Design Store and then cut out parts of images from other clipart in my silhouette library to add in the sun, stars and waves.

I don't like to make us all matchy-matchy, just coordinating and somewhat matchy. So, I purchased the same tank in four fall colors.

Some of the things I made in the past include:

I think I got them all listed and not I have gone in to clothing. I should really look in my jewelry box and find all of them I made to bring along to wear on this trip too.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Where Did We Go Wednesday? Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth, MN

On a day trip to Duluth, MN we decided to check out the Lake Superior Zoo. With our Science Museum membership, we actually got in free to this zoo which I think it totally awesome. There was quite a few animals and they were more awake and active than we have seen them at many other zoos, perhaps it was because we were coming later in the afternoon. While we were there they had a zookeeper that was doing training with the lions and that was pretty interesting to watch and ask them questions about.

There is also a beautiful waterfall located within the zoo and there is one geocache there to be found (which we did!) It is definitely worth checking out if you are in the Duluth area.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Free AAA for Teen Drivers

I have started to make a habit of reading the AAA magazine that comes in the mail with our membership to find out about different perks that are available that can help save me money.

This one doesn't affect me now but it will in the future and that time will come way too quickly. I thought I might have some readers that didn't know about this who might be interested in this perk. Any teen drivers with a learning permit can be added on to their parents policy for free. It covers them if they are driving or if they are riding with someone else.
With one little conversation you can let your child know some of the perks that their AAA membership provides them, including lockout service and gas delivery or Towing, just to name a few.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Healthier Choices at Caribou Coffee

The local Caribou Coffee in the Hy-Vee supermarket has a Dietitian that shared this info. This is handy info to help you decided on a beverage with less sugar/fat/calories. Of course the best options are plain tea (iced or hot) and coffee.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

DIY Silhouette Teacher T-Shirts

This is another fun project to do with your silhouette machine, but using heat transfer vinyl instead.

I bought both of the images from the silhouette design store. I know that you can find your own images to use in the silhouette software but I have found that sometimes trying to use something that has mostly a font can be really putsy and takes more time than what it cost to buy the image.

When I bought these images last week there were almost a dozen other images you got free with purchase so I got one free image with each one. If you are looking at it today it might be worth your while to see if those are still there. And in case you didn't know the silhouette design store offers a new image that is free every week. If I remember I tried to log in and get that image in case I want to use it in the future. It's just get stored and my digital silhouette Library.

These were back-to-school gifts that the kids helped make. I admit I did All of the cutting and design work but the kids had to do the ironing. I thought these would be something fun and different that their teachers might not have.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Where Did We Go Wednesday? "Radiator Springs" Seligman, AZ

Such a quirky little town on Route 66. I found out about this town when I was looking up ideas of interesting places in Arizona. It was listed as a fun place to take kids. This town is touted as being the inspiration for radiator springs in the Cars series. We did stop and have dessert at a restaurant there.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Free Passport Photos!

I really wish I would have learned this before I renewed my passport earlier this year, but now I know for when the kids need theirs renewed, which will be the next ones due in our family.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Taking Geocaching to the Next Level

 I was hoping that we would have done some of this earlier this year during the summer when we were out and about but we didn't. I had bought the ammo can to start our own regular cash this summer but we still have it. Still thinking about where we can ask to place it.

Midday do quite a bit of Geocaching here and there this summer and I now am up to 60 found Cash's, which in the grand scheme of Geocaching isn't a whole lot but it's a start and we are ready to continue. I finally decided to break down and buy some travel tags. I bought mine on Amazon because they came shipped free with Prime. They do cost $20 for a pack of four and these are the cheapest ones. There are some special designed ones that cost even more.

I know there are even more trackables out there that I haven't learned much about. We received our first trackable geocoins this summer and I know there are other items as well.

The small containers are to start micro caches. I have registered all of my travel tags and found one fun keychain to put on one of them. It is a keychain I made from pressed wildflowers on a trail up north by our cabin. I think I will call this one flower power

We are excited to start having our own Cashes to track and watch people check into them and follow our trackables.

You can read more about our first Geocaching Adventures and see where we started. Also, as a related thing of a future next level -- some day it might be fun to go to GeoWoodstock. I only stumbled upon it because the geocoin we placed up in Duluth was retrieved by someone who included a link in their post about this event. Sounds fun!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Smithsonian FREE Museum Day is coming up soon!! 9/23/17

We have taken advantage of this opportunity a few times in the past and I have in the back of my head as a possibility for our Girls Weekend, in case of inclement weather and we can't be on the beach, plus who know what Irma is going to do the beaches in Florida (yes, that is where we are heading). There are a TON of museums participating in Florida (85 to be exact!), but if you one of my many readers from MN, there are 26 to choose from here. Or for my readers from WI, there are 14 to choose from.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

After School Snack Wine Glass - Teacher Gift

So, these are #3 & #4 that I made. I used my Silhouette machine to create the vinyl to put these letters on wine glasses. I had purchased 2 different fonts from the Silhouette Design Store to do the words and modeled it off of a similar craft I found on pinterest. I originally made 2 of them to give to each of my children's main grade teachers during teacher appreciation week in May, but then was commissioned by one of those teachers to make 2 more for a couple of teachers that were retiring. I thought they all turned out really cute.