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Great Painting Tips – Hiding your Sample Colors & CRISP Paint Lines

These are a couple of GREAT paint tips from my mom. She is super effective, and is always up to some big project. Her current project (one of them) is trying to find new paint colors for their house. Here are a couple of things to pass on from her – the first is a tip for how to hide paint samples on your wall so you can still see them when you want, but they can “disappear” when you need them to; the second is a tip on how to get crisp paint lines. These are both things I need to learn and take to heart.

How to Hide Your Paint Samples (and still get them on the wall directly):

I think this tip is very clever, and is definitely a subtle solution when you are trying to figure out colors for your room…..

She just took the pictures down in her living room and painted the sample colors UNDERNEATH where the pictures hang. Ha! This allows her to check out the color in several different places in the room, but still lets her cover up her handiwork as needed and everything looks normal.

I love that. It is much better than what I tend to do, which is this:

My way is not so subtle. But it usually comes at a time when I am desperate enough to change the colors that I need a reason to force myself to do it. I’ll have to try the “sample hiding” way next time so it will give me some time to think about things. :)

Another trick that she has done before is to paint the sample on a piece of poster board so she can move it around the room to check the color in different lighting, but I personally like the “hidden, yet permanent” sample idea even better – you can still check different areas out, but have the paint be directly on the wall with the texture and everything.

 

Now, on to the CRISP lines:

Step 1: Use blue tape to get a clean line. Make sure that you press it down well.

Step 2 (this is the extra step that makes it all work): Take the color that is underneath (for example, if you are painting a wall and your ceiling is under the blue tape to keep it protected from the new color – you will want to use the CEILING color) and cut in using that color.

The idea behind doing this is that this will create a seal on the tape with the color that is already underneath it. If any paint leaks through the tape, it is the color you WANT to leak through – one that matches – instead of the new color. She did not use globs of paint here, just enough to seal the tape off. Let this paint dry.

Step 3: Cut in with your new color as you would normally do, and then paint the rest of your wall.

Step 4: Take the tape off as soon as you are done painting and be amazed – CLEAN LINE!! Wahoo! Make sure you take the tape off right when you are done painting. This will keep your new paint color from chipping off like it could if the paint dries before you peel the tape off.

Look at those clean lines – awesome!

Great job Mom! And thank you for the tips. :)

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Clean that Microwave….Painlessly

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. I had a bit of a bout with a fever and the chills, but am doing much better now. It’s the last week of school here too – so the upcoming summer months should be exciting. On to today’s project: cleaning the microwave. Without much effort at all. A good thing for a Monday morning.

Our sad microwave takes a beating. We are not the most vigilant people at remembering to consistently cover our leftovers when we microwave them, and so we get splatters. And then some more. And then a couple more. Does it bother me? Yes, a bit. BUT, it is very easy to clean.

Here is all that you need:

Yep. Lemon juice and a cup. And a sponge to wipe things down when you are done.

Step 1: Take a look at your dirty, sad microwave. It is telling you to clean it.

Step 2: Take out your lemon juice, and fill a microwave safe container (I use a mug) about a third of the way full. I usually will put some water in there too just because I want to.

Step 3: Put your microwave safe container into your microwave and turn it on high for 2 minutes, or until you see your lemon juice boiling. Turn it off and LEAVE IT ALONE. Do not open the microwave. Do not be tempted to wipe anything off yet because it won’t work. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200. Just leave it alone for at LEAST 5 minutes and let your lemon juice steam do its job. I like to set the sponge in front of the microwave so I remember that the lemon juice is in there, and then I leave it alone for a good 10, 20, 30 minutes. This time I left it for about 30 minutes.

Step 4: Open your microwave, and wipe the walls down. Everything should come off easily. You will probably need to rinse your sponge a time or two in this process, or more depending on how dirty your microwave is. You’ll also want to pull out your microwave plate (if you have one) and give it a scrub.

That is IT! Clean microwave.

Here is the inside of the microwave door, right after I opened it. This is after the lemon juice steam had been hanging out in the microwave, but before I wiped it off:

Here is what it looked like after 3 swipes of the sponge:

Yup. Clean. {Cue chorus.}

Here is the rest of the microwave before:

And after:

Easy, easy. It’s nice when you can start something and have the hard part done for you while you get other things done.

Enjoy! :)

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Oh, the Places You’ll Go – Future Graduation Gift Idea

Since the end of the school year is FAST approaching (hooray!), I wanted to implement and pass this awesome idea along. This one comes from Denise @ A Sprinkle of This. I LOVE it. Seriously, this ranks high up in fun gift ideas in my book.

For a baby shower gift, she gave the Mom-to-be a copy of Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” for the Mom to give to the future baby as a graduation gift. Her idea was to have the Mom sneak the copy of the book to all of the child’s teachers from Pre-K through high school and have them sign a quick note, and then the parents then give this almost as a “teacher yearbook” to the child. That is so cool.

Also, if your kids (or grandkids) are already later in their school years, you could get some of their favorite teachers and some of their friends to sign it. I think that would be an awesome idea too.

I’m taking this idea to use for MY kids right now, but I may use this as a baby gift in the future as well (think nieces/nephews/friends/grandkids/etc.). My oldest is in 2nd grade and we have lived in the same place since he was in pre-K (miraculously enough), so I think I can still backtrack for his teachers. My middle one is in pre-K, so it will be easy to start this with him. And my youngest still hasn’t started school yet, so we should be good to go for her.

I just ordered three hardcover copies of the book (one for each child) from Amazon for $10.79 each (no, I don’t get anything if you buy from the link – I just wanted to make it easy for you to find). This qualified me for the free shipping, which saved me over $26 over buying it at the normal price with tax at the store. Good deal!

Thank you, Denise, for making a graduation gift that much easier for me to figure out. As long as I don’t lose the books along the way…… :)

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BEST Playdoh Ever. Really.

The other day as the kids were playing with Play-doh and I was weeding out the Play-doh that had dried out from the Play-doh that was still good to use, I sighed to myself and wished that I could find a recipe to make playdoh that would yield results like the good, soft, freshly-bought Play-doh from the store.

Then I got my lovely recipe holder from my 5-year old, and the recipe that his pre-K teacher had attached was one for Kool-Aid playdoh. She had very thoughtfully also put a packet of Kool-Aid on the recipe holder as well, so we were set to make some playdoh at home.

A lot of the recipes I have tried before either are really salty and leave your hands dry, or the playdoh ends up dry and flaky – no good. This one was a little different than the ones I had tried, and it was SPOT ON. Wahoo!

Ingredients

1 c. flour

1/4 c. salt

2 T. cream of tartar

1 envelope Kool-Aid

1 c. water

1 T. vegetable oil

Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar, Kool-Aid and water in a medium saucepan. Stir in the oil.

Mix over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until the mixture forms a ball in the center of the pan. This took me the full 5 minutes, and it takes stirring the whole time or it gets selectively clumpy – just a heads up there.

Remove from pan and knead until soft. I was afraid the dough would be hot, but it was just very warm and I could knead pretty much right away.

There you go! Awesomely perfect homemade playdoh. And the Kool-Aid packet makes very vibrant colors. I love preschool teachers – thank you very much!

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Potted Recipe Holder

We just had Muffins & Moms at my 5-year old’s pre-K, and this was the sweet gift that each child had made (with a LOT of help from the teacher) for their moms.

It is a recipe holder! I thought it was a fun idea and needed to be shared. And it is definitely an idea that I appreciated and will use for my printed recipes.

Each child painted a little terra cotta pot. You can tell that my 5-year old is pretty meticulous by the fact that the pot is painted in its entirety. And he knows that I love red. Sweet boy.

The teacher then put in a styrofoam ball just the size to fit comfortably into the pot.

She then put a fork in, handle side down, covered the styrofoam ball with spanish moss, and added a bow for a finishing touch. I bent the middle two fork prongs backward a bit so the recipes won’t get bent when I slip them in.

Cute, easy, functional Mother’s Day gift idea – I love it. :)

 

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