DIY Bookcase Makeover

bookcase makeover 1

With school fast approaching, I felt motivated for the first time in a long time to re-organize and beautify my little classroom. I use the term “classroom” loosely here, because my room is a glorified closet. It literally used to be a janitor’s closet until they put in a window, took down some shelves, and called it a classroom. I’ll admit I used to wish I had a bigger room, but now I’ve grown to love my little space. This year I decided to decorate a little differently and make my room more cozy. I figure if my room is really cute and comfortable, then maybe I’ll want to be there. haha.

Chloe and I went into school to start setting things up and I saw someone was getting rid of a perfectly good bookcase. Sure the back was falling off and it could use a good cleaning, but hey, that’s the sort of thing I like to do. I put it in my car with visions of what it would look like once complete.

Here’s how I took my sad little shelf and made her beautiful again.

Step 1: Remove the back. This was easy for me because most of the old staples were falling out anyway. For the ones that weren’t, I just used a flathead screwdriver to wedge them out.

bookcase makeover 2

Step 2: Sand the entire shelf so you have a smooth surface to work with.

bookcase makeover 3

Step 3. Wipe it clean to remove the dust.

Step 4: Paint the shelf with regular paint or spray paint. I happened to have leftover paint from when we redid our laundry room, so I just used that. Two coats should do the trick.

bookcase makeover 4

Step 5: Attach contact paper to the back piece you removed in step 1. I found this cute chevron paper on Amazon. Order here.  The pattern was printed horizontally, so I had to work from side to side, rather than top to bottom. Very slowly peel the backing off and use a plastic card or ruler to smooth it out and make sure there are no air bubbles. You’ll want to leave a couple of inches of excess over the edges so you can wrap it around the back.

bookcase makeover 5

Alternatively, you could also find scrapbook paper you really like and use mod podge to attach it. OR you could just paint it a different fun color. It’s up to your creative self!

Step 6: Cut the corners of the excess contact paper off to make folding it over the edges easier.

bookcase makeover 6

Step 7: Use a hammer and small nails to reattach the back to the bookcase. Bonus- the nails will hold down the edges of the contact paper you folded over.

Here’s my completed shelf! Isn’t she pretty? Once my room is finished I’ll take you on a little tour. Emphasis on the word “little.” Stay tuned, friends!

bookcase makeover 7



5 Valuable Lessons Learned From a Lemonade Stand

Lemonade Stand

Summer is just about halfway over (insert crying emoji here) and we have been busily checking off items from our Summer Bucket List. Last week we had a very successful lemonade stand. My friends and I used to do this every summer growing up and we were lucky if we had 5 customers. Chloe, on the other hand, had 15 people stop in the first 10 minutes! I was shocked by how many people came to support our little entrepreneur.

Once we closed up shop and I had a chance to reflect on the day, I realized there are a lot of life lessons a child can learn from running a lemonade stand:

  1. It Takes Money to Make Money. Chloe recently turned 4, so she used some of her birthday money to buy the lemonade mix and cookies. She was so excited about the fact that she was buying something with her own money and got to use the self-checkout machine at the food store. Sure I could have just bought the supplies myself, but what would that teach her? She learned that in order to make a profit, you have to spend a little money first.
  2. Patience. Every time a car drove down the street Chloe would say “Oh look! A Customer!!” Gotta love the confidence haha. Just like any business, there were times that were busier than others. She had to learn to be patient during those idle times.
  3. Social Skills. Running a lemonade stand forces your child to be polite, friendly, and outgoing. Asking the customer questions about their day and thanking them for coming is so important! These social exchanges also reinforce good manners.
  4. Hard Work. When you’re preparing your lemonade stand, your child should be involved every step of the way. Even if it would be faster/easier to just do it yourself- resist the urge! It’s more than likely they don’t realize all the work that goes into having a lemonade stand. You have to go buy supplies, make signs, find a good location, measure and mix the lemonade, etc. When your child is involved in all of the preparations, they will realize it’s hard work, but hard work brings great rewards.
  5. Giving Back. You could also use this experience as an opportunity to teach your child about the importance of giving back to their community. We encouraged Chloe to use some of her profits to buy canned goods we could donate to our church food drive.

Now it’s on to the next item on our bucket list!



Cartwheels and Cupcakes

Last year Chloe had a Perfect Pinkalicious Party. This year she wanted to have a gymnastics party, so that’s exactly what we did. We went to Schafer’s School of Gymnastics, which is actually where I used to go as a kid. I even had one of my birthday parties there too 🙂 . That’s me in my stunning red leotard. The room looks exactly the same 20+ years later.


She did gymnastics with her friends and then they had lunch and cupcakes. Aren’t the cupcakes so cute?! (Not to mention, delicious!) A friend from work made them for me.

party 1

For party favors we filled water bottles with candy and attached jump ropes. I found the cute tags on etsy (here), printed them on card stock, and attached them with ribbon.

party 2

Since I don’t know most of the kids’ addresses, I set up this little sign. Now we’ll be able to write everyone a thank you note.

party 3

Chloe had the best time! Here are some photos of all the fun.

If you like Chloe’s shirt, you can order one here!




Summer Bucket List

Today was the last day of the school year. Summer break is officially here!!! (Not that I needed a break because I just got back to work 21 days ago, but hey- I’ll take it 😉 ) As excited as I am, I know these next two months will fly by, as time always does, especially when you have children. In order to make sure I don’t find myself saying “Summer’s over already?! I feel like we didn’t even do anything!” I decided to brainstorm a list of things I want to make sure I do with the kids. I came up with about 65, but that seemed a little too ambitious, so I narrowed it down to 50. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, my summer bucket list!

summer bucket list

Want to try it too?  Click here to print



Jump to the Letter

On June 1st I went back to work for the first time since I was pregnant with Miles; which explains why I’ve been MIA recently. Only a week and a half until summer break though!! haha

Anyway, we were playing outside this afternoon drawing with chalk on the driveway. Chloe wanted to write the whole alphabet, but she forgot how to make some of the letters. I told her I’d write it and she could copy me- which ended up turning into a game. Don’t you love when that happens?!

We played so many different games with the alphabet. She was entertained for a good hour, and it only took 2 minutes to set it up. That’s the best kind of activity as far as I’m concerned.

jump to the letter

  1. I’d call out a letter and she would jump to it.
  2. I’d call out a sound and she would jump to it.
  3. Follow the leader- she would jump to random letters (saying what they are), and I had to follow her
  4. She would throw a rock and say the letter it landed on. Bonus points awarded if she could think of a word that begins with that letter.
  5. She had to try to make it across the driveway without stepping on a letter. If she accidentally stepped on one she had to say what it was and what sound it makes.

The list goes on…

It’s funny how something so simple could be so engaging to an almost 4 year old. Now if I could just think of something similar for Miles…







Bridal Shower Gift with Free Printable!

bridal shower gift

A good friend of mine got hitched last month, and all of the bridesmaids wanted to go in on a joint gift for the shower. Now I do have to disclaim this wasn’t my idea. It took 7 brains to iron out all the details, but in the end we had a gift we were so proud to give our bride and she absolutely LOVED it!!

So what is this amazing gift? You and your team of bridesmaids plan 12 dates for the newlywed’s first year of marriage- one for each month! This gift is meant to be given by a group of people, because it would get very expensive to do on your own.

Step 1: Brainstorm. Think about what your couple likes to do, what their interests are, and start making a list of possible dates.

Just to give you a few ideas, here’s what we decided on: Couple’s massage, Philly date night, honeyfund certificate, brunch, mini golf, fall fun date, dine-in theatre, NYC date night, ice skating, pizza place, bowling, and bed and breakfast. You could also do sports games, concerts, amusement parks, etc. Whatever your couple likes!

It’s a good idea, if you’re doing this as a group, to determine the amount of money everyone is willing to spend ahead of time. Of course some dates will cost more than others, but if you decide on a budget in advance, it makes things easier.

Step 2: Divvy up the responsibilities. Decide who will be in charge of which dates and work on collecting all of your gift cards. You may want to set a deadline to keep everyone on track. bridal shower gift 2

Step 3: Make a scrapbook to pull it all together. One of the bridesmaids came up with this really cute poem to display on the opening page. Feel free to use it! Click here to print. Then, the maid of honor designed and put together the pages. She arranged the gift cards on the left side, leaving the right side of the spread open for them to add pictures after the date. Here’s the great part- by the end of the year, they’ll have a completed scrapbook of their whole first year of marriage! How cute is that?!

Optional- you could also write a little poem for each date to help fill up the page in the scrapbook. If you need some inspiration, here are ours:

Couple’s Massage- The last few months have been hectic for you, so enjoy a relaxing massage for two!

Philly Date Night- It’s a hop, skip, and a jump away. You should go to Philly for a day! Take a picture in LOVE park, or a walk down the street. Then off to one of your faves, for a bite to eat!

Honeyfund- Your honeymoon to Greece will be magical, no doubt. You will see many sights being out and about. Here is our gift, a dinner for two. Just a reminder that we’re thinking of you!

Brunch- Summer’s almost over, the leaves will start to crunch. Enjoy the last few days of sun, with mimosas and brunch!

Mini Golf- A day of golf and fun in the sun, I wonder which of you will get a hole in one!

Fall Fun Date- The leaves are all brown, and the air has a chill. A haunted hayride is surely a thrill. Whatever you do, beware of the night. The shadows and sounds will give you a fright!

Dine-In Theatre- Dinner, movie, and drinks, oh my! You couldn’t beat it if you tried. So sit back and enjoy the show, Movie Tavern is the place to go.

NYC Date Night- Time to head to the city and be of good cheer, to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. We’ve arranged for you to have dinner for two, at a place that is both exciting and new. Then, enjoy shopping or visit the tree, the place where he got down on one knee. Whatever you do is sure to be fun, New York at Christmas can’t be outdone!

Ice Skating- The hustle and bustle had come to an end. You’ve sent your love to every family and friend. So take some time for just you two, but be careful you don’t end up black and blue! Just tighten your laces and grab a drink, hold onto each other and head to the rink!

Pizza Place- Roses are red, violets are blue. Pizza tastes better when you eat with your boo.

Bowling- Knock down some pins and stay in your lane, this makes for one fun little game!

B&B- Well that was fast! It’s been a year. Your anniversary is already here! In order to celebrate your special day, this Bed and Breakfast is where you will stay.

Hope this has inspired you! If you like the idea please pin and share!!








Bunch O Balloons

Have you heard of Bunch O Balloons? You guys…this thing is seriously cool. You can fill and tie 100 water balloons in just 60 seconds! 60 seconds!!! That’s insanity. Doing it the old-fashioned way takes SO much longer, and when you have little kids who smash two at a time, you can’t possibly keep up with them. Well now you can. With summer fast approaching, I’m always looking for new, fun things to do with the kids. This one’s a winner.

My hubby and Chloe picked these up for about $9 at Toys R’ Us. We had so much fun with them I ended up going out and buying more the very next day haha. Each pack has 3 bunches of balloons. All you have to do is connect it to your hose, fill them up, and then pull the hose off to release the balloons. I wish we had this thing when we were growing up. Sigh.

The downside? At $9 a bag, they’re not exactly cheap entertainment. Especially when you blow through them like my kids do. You know what is though? A shallow plastic storage container, water, and cups/watering cans. I got that idea here and absolutely loved it! I didn’t use food coloring, but you could to make it even more fun! A flower sprinkler is always awesome too 😉

What are some things you like to do to keep the kids busy during the summer?


Note- ZURU did not sponsor this post and these opinions are my own.




End of Year Teacher Gift

Chloe’s school year ends in May, which means her last day is next Friday. EEK!! I wanted to give her teacher something special to show how much I appreciate everything she’s done for my girl this year. Lo and behold….a COOLER end of the year gift! See what I did there? Ha! At least I amuse myself…

end of the year teacher gift 2


  • Small cooler
  • Letter stickers
  • Magazines- Option 1: Time, US Weekly, Lucky, Entertainment, People, Cosmopolitan, Travel+Leisure  Option 2: Time, US Weekly, Glamour, Woman’s Day, Cosmopolitan, People
  • Free printable Option #1  or  Option #2
  • Ribbon, twine, or tape
  • Tissue Paper
  • Beach towel
  • Donut pool float
  • Water bottle
  • Gift Card

I had letter stickers leftover from one of the Father’s Day gifts we made, so I added a little message to the front of the cooler- “I hope you have a COOL summer!” Then, I printed my sign and used twine to tie it around the stack of magazines. Don’t have any twine or ribbon lying around? No problem! Just tape the sign on top. Don’t forget to have your child sign his name at the bottom after.

End of year teacher gift 1

*Update- it was brought to my attention that a few of these magazines were hard to find, so I’ve included an alternate option with titles any convenience store should have.


Next, I put tissue paper and a $10 gift card to a local smoothie shop into the water bottle for an added surprise. Finally, I arranged all the gifts in the cooler, and then added tissue paper wherever there was enough space.

The great thing about this is you can do as much or as little as you’d like. The water bottle/gift card, magazines and sign, towel/pool float, are all nice gifts in and of themselves; so if this is over your budget or you’re short on time, you can just pick and choose whatever part you’d like to do. 🙂

There are 3 other teachers I wanted to buy gifts for as well, so I just picked up extra water bottles and gift cards for them while I was out.

Hopefully this inspires you to get creative with your gifts this year!






DIY Wreaths for the Kids’ Rooms

wreath 6.jpg

You guys…I’m excited about this one!! I was browsing around Michael’s and I had an idea to make wreaths for the kids’ doors. The process to make them was really easy, albeit a little time consuming, but so worth it!


  • Styrofoam wreath
  • Yarn (something to match the room)
  • Gorilla glue or a hot glue gun
  • Command hook or wreath hanger
  • Whatever else you’d like to attach


Gather your materials.

wreath 1

Wrap the wreath in yarn. Keep in mind, if you choose a thicker yarn, you’ll get done faster. You want to wrap it until you can no longer see any of the Styrofoam.  I found it helpful to work in 2 inch sections at a time. Once it was covered really well, I’d move on to the next section until the wreath was completely wrapped.

wreath 2Cut the yarn and glue the end on the backside of the wreath.

Glue on whatever decorations you’d like. For Chloe’s wreath I chose the letters of her name and attached pink jewels (left over from her pinkalicious party). For Miles’ wreath I painted a big letter M using the leftover paint from his ceiling. Told ya- you never know when you might need it! 😉

wreath 3

Stick your command hook on the door, and slide it through a few pieces of the yarn. It may poke out a little on top. It was a bit more noticeable on Chloe’s, so I just added a matching bow to hide it. No biggie! If you’d rather, you could always use a wreath hanger instead.

wreath 4

Overall, this was a really easy DIY project, and I absolutely LOVE how the wreaths look on their doors. What do YOU think? Are you going to give it a try?







FREE Father’s Day Printables!

FREE Father’s Day Printables!

FREE Father's Day Printables

Mother’s Day has come and gone and now Father’s Day is on the horizon. Before the panic sets in, rest assured, I got you covered 😉 With these free printables, Father’s Day gift-giving will be a breeze! The first four options are perfect for printing and displaying in a frame. Dad can even put it in his office at work.

Fun Facts About My Daddy- I love this because it’s always hilarious to see the answers your kids will come up with. If your child is old enough, they can fill it out. If not, you can write their answers for them.

Fun Facts About My Daddy pic

Father’s Day Chalkboard- These days everyone loves a good chalkboard sign. Print here!

Father's Day Chalkboard

Dad is my Hero- This one’s perfect for all the superhero dads. Print here!

Dad is my Hero

Our Rock- Print here. Extra credit- buy some rock candy and put it in a mason jar to display next to the frame!

Daddy’s Tackle Box- This one’s probably my favorite, but requires a little more work. You’ll have to buy a plastic organizational case like this one from Michael’s. Or you can buy a real tackle box from amazon or any sporting goods store. Then you’ll want to stock up on gummy worms (for the bait), sweedish fish, sharks, or any other ocean-related candy you can find. has some really cute choices, like these fish candies. Now comes the fun part…fill up your case with all the sweet treats! Don’t worry if a few fish escape. I won’t tell anyone 😉

tackle box 2

Once you fill the tackle box, you can do one of 2 options.

Option #1- print this, cut it out, and attach it to the top.

tackle box 1

Option #2- Use letter stickers from a craft store instead. Helpful tip- cut the letters out so you can make sure they’re centered before you stick them on. The lines in the case are also helpful in making sure your letters are straight. You’ll notice I added some fishing stickers as well. Totally optional! I just thought it was fun.

Hopefully you found my printables helpful. If you did, please pin and share them to spread the love! Thanks friends!