Saturday, August 23, 2014

Adding Storage & Function to a Small Foyer: Elmers ProBond Advanced

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Elmer’s ProBond Advanced for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I've got an ugly metal garage door in my otherwise cute foyer, and I bet you do too. It's a surface begging to be more functional in our homes considering it's the last thing we see when we leave in the morning! But how to do just that?

It's the strongest and safest multi-surface adhesive for bonding mixed materials - such as ceramic to drywall, glass to concrete, and even wood to metal, without the foamy residue often left behind by stinky polyurethane glue.

We have a tiny front closet for our family of five. Even though we added a storage unit across from the garage door to house our three boys belongings, my husband and I are always looking for extra places to hang our coats or keys when our hands are full. 

I recently found a walnut coat rack to use in the foyer, and it couldn't have been easier to attach it to the metal door using Elmers ProBond Advanced

First I measured, leveled, and marked where I wanted the wood to go. Then I used a medium grit sandpaper to rough up both the metal door and wood surfaces. Next, I used a microfiber cloth to remove the dust and added Elmers ProBond Advance to the wood. Finally, I pressed the wood rack to the metal and had my son hold it firmly in place while I clamped it to the door with painters tape.


Because I was using a heavy piece of wood, I left it clamped in place for 24 hours in our air conditioned house. When I removed the tape, I was completely amazed at how strong the bond was! So strong in fact, that I won't even need to support it with screws!

Above the coat rack, I even used ProBond to affix this chalkboard for important out-the-door reminders, like taking out the trash. You could also hang cork panels or a burlap covered canvas to hang up those permission slips and reminders! 

Elmers ProBond Advanced adhesive saved me time and a mess (like holes in my metal door), and provided me with a translucent paint-able finish!  With its 100% weatherproof and performance guarantee, it's the perfect mixed material adhesive for your next project!

Do you have a Mixed Materials project in the works? Be sure to check out the Elmers Mixed Materials Pinterest Board for more home improvement ideas!

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Pretty Foyer Ceiling: FrogTape® Textured Surface™

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of FrogTape for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I did something fun to the ceiling. Please, please do not be confused by thinking that I actually HAD FUN painting the ceiling, because that was definitely NOT true. Not in the least bit. If you've ever worked with your arms above your head before, you know why!

I recently had the opportunity to try Textured Surface by FrogTape for a painting project. FrogTape® Textured Surface™ is treated with the patented PaintBlock™ Technology, a super absorbent polymer that reacts with the water in latex paint and instantly gels to form a micro-barrier that seals the edges of the tape, which helps prevent paint bleed. The Liquid PaintBlock® Edge Sealer™ helps deliver super sharp paint lines, even on textured surfaces.

We are fortunate enough to have smooth walls in our house. We got away without popcorn ceilings too, but not without orange peel texture. One benefit of our small house is the tall ceilings - except for the foyer. A little paint up there might give it a little more personality and oomph - making a grand entrance.

I am not a planner by nature. Not at all. So early in the planning process, I surprised myself by drawing up these plans. Don't get too excited, because when I got up on my ladder, those beautiful straight lines DID NOT happen for me. I was working alone and got frustrated really quickly, so I went into Sarah-mode (aka - winging it) and ended up with this quirky pattern, which, I love.

Aren't the clean paint lines amazing?!? Even on the bumpy surface?!?  FrogTape® Textured Surface™ is recommended for large surfaces like walls, so if you decide to work on your ceiling like me, here are some tips for great results:

1) Make sure the area you are taping is dirt and dust free to ensure proper adhesion.

2) Map out your pattern, apply the tape, and press the edges with a credit card or fingernails to ensure proper adhesion.

3) The PaintBlock™ Technology can be pre-activated with water by wiping the edges of the tape with a damp cloth. *Note – this step is required when using non-water based paint. When working on the ceiling, where the texture is more delicate than the walls, it is very important you wipe only the edges until they are just damp.

4) Work in small sections: slightly dampen (only the edges) and follow immediately with the sealer. (Be ready for sore arms here!)

FrogTape® has full written instructions, as well as an instructional video you can find here.


Our foyer is almost complete! The biggest goal is uniform flooring on the entire level. No more linoleum to carpet lines! A few final touches like painting the interior doors, swapping out the light, and adding a pretty rug, and we will have a grand entrance indeed!

What do you think? Do you have textured walls that need sprucing up? For ideas, follow the FrogTape Textured Surface board on Pinterest. Happy painting!
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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Mattress Shopping & Marriage

(Hello! Just got back from a make-the-soul-happy 10 day family/friend vacation! I'm working on fun projects this week, so here's a little storytelling while I work!)

Mattress shopping is not something you do with three boys. While other couples are lying peacefully, our children would be busy bouncing around like a trampoline park. This makes it hard to lie in place for longer than one minute, thus defeating the purpose of mattress shopping.

With our kids at their weekly park program, my husband and I took a rare opportunity to shop alone. We chose a mattress only store, and initially had the place to ourselves. After lying in a few beds, an elderly couple walked in. I was happy to have their company, as my heart belongs to their history, story, and quiet humor. This couple was no exception. 

We were lying in a fluffy pillow top bed when they arrived, listening and laughing at the soft, cheesy elevator music playing overhead. We sat up and began talking with them about the overwhelming options. While we all agreed to NOT lay on the expensive models; we didn't want to know the comfort we too could have for the price of a used car. We instead opted for the low-end section. They lay down in a bed close by, and I see him lay his hand on hers and say "now honey, don't try anything." They giggle, and already I want to take them home with me.

All Of This Happened By Taking Your Hand - Wall Decal Sticker Vinyl Art Quote Bedroom Romantic Wall Sticker Decal
image via

We each try out a few beds, and cross paths on their way to firm, ours to plush. Pushing down on a contour bed, his wife says, "I can't remember how long we've had our current mattress." He smiles at her, "Well honey, if it helps, we've been married 52 years, and have had only three mattresses. (He leans in to my husband) Only the last one hasn't seen the mileage the others did." 

Our meeting was only for 10 minutes or so, but we giggled and laughed with them, like a bunch of kids. I hated mattress shopping (leaving overwhelmed and empty handed, back to our air mattress), but left with a glimpse of 52 years of marriage. 

It's been almost 12 years for us, and I can only hope that in 40 more, we too will be hand on hand, giggling in the confines of a mattress store. 

Don't you?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

When Plans Get Derailed

July is such a gorgeous month. A perfect time to tackle outdoor projects. To freshen up a new, yet worn, deck. The perfect time to put finishing touches on the front landscape, and forget about the weed fest that is our backyard.  The great outdoors has seen some great progress.

Because it's summer, I hadn't intended on working on many major indoor projects. {My attention is mainly focused on three boys.} Until something magical happened.  After months on Craigslist I finally sold both my bed frame and mattress!  On the same day! I was excited to start working on this neglected room of ours, but just as quick as the money came in, it left again.  The house AC malfunctioned. Then the AC in the "new" car died. Traveling soccer dues were...due.  Isn't that how life goes? You finally have money set aside for something to give you pleasure {or in our case, a comfortable, inviting bed},and something functional breaks or your kids outgrow their wardrobe.

Our dreams of an impromptu master bedroom makeover got derailed.

See that! That's an air mattress we are sleeping on perched up on our old sleep number platform. Woopee!

See the under bed storage being used as a nightstand? Awesome!

The shade-less lightbulb-less bedside lamps perched in the corner? Super! 

The, um, bench dresser? Fantastic!

{I hope you noted the sarcasm. Are you wondering why my husband still loves me?}

Good thing we are flexible, and have experience in living minimal in order to start fresh.  We have learned to laugh through these experiences, and of how we will always remember the month we slept on an air mattress, even though our backs will remind us. I know it will help us to appreciate it more when we finally do finish it. 


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Stoli® Lemon-ade - A Refreshing, Versatile Summer Cocktail

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of STOLI® Vodka for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

One of my all time favorite summertime drinks is lemonade. As a kid, we learned business skills pushing lemonade to passerby's for a quarter at our lemonade stands. You didn't even need to use quality ingredients, just a little of your Mom's lemonade powder, water, a few glasses and POOF - money maker! Though we all know you drank half of your product yourself and refused to share your profits evenly with the neighbor kids, right?

Now I'm all grown up, and so is my lemonade. These days, not only do I prefer to make my lemonade from REAL lemons - but I prefer to make it into a refreshing summer cocktail, to be enjoyed in the sunshine!  I was recently introduced to Stoli® Vodka during last week's 4th of July celebrations, so I am excited to share them with you!

Considered a trail-blazer in the vodka industry, Stoli® Vodka is the original premium vodka and defines the benchmark for quality with meticulously crafted liquid that meets the highest Alpha Spirit standard.  Stoli® Vodka is positioning the Lemonade cocktail as the must-have drink of the season as it launches the “100 Days to Squeeze” campaign. Celebrating a fresh twist on the classic summer cocktail, the original vodka brand will highlight the cocktail’s versatility and infusion of local ingredients using its renowned flavor portfolio of Stoli® Ohranj™, Stoli® Citros™, Stoli® Razberi™ and Stoli® Blueberi™. 

It all starts with this simple basic cocktail recipe for a Stoli® Lemon-ade:

- 2 parts Stolichnaya® Vodka 
- 4 parts lemonade 
- Build in an ice-filled Mason jar or highball glass and stir. 
- Garnish with lemon wheels

I can attest that the smooth grain taste of Stoli® Vodka pairs perfectly with the tart and sweet notes of a crisp, ice cold lemonade. You can make it your own with Premium Stoli® Vodka, or one of the other Stoli® Vodka flavors. And example - have raspberry bushes? Pluck a small handful, place them in a mason jar with a few leaves of fresh thyme, muddle them with the end of a wooden spoon, and follow the Stoli® Lemon-ade recipe above. Garnish with a couple of plump raspberries.  No garden?  Head to your local farm stand for your favorite in-season fruits and herbs to make it your own! (I'm thinking strawberries and basil!)

Stoli® Vodka's "100 Days to Squeeze" campaign encourages you to squeeze the most out of your summer by stopping by one of their Stoli-branded lemonade trucks or national Stoli® Lemon-ade bar night events across the nation including: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, New York, and New Jersey. The trucks, deemed ‘limo-nades’, will head out across the country to sample Stoli® Lemon-ade cocktails, serve refreshing flavored Lemonade ice pops, and daring consumers to take part in fun summer challenges to win Stoli® Lemon-ade prizes.  In addition, Stoli® has created unique value-added packs (VAPs), complete with the iconic glass mason jar and lemon squeezer, to make it easy for consumers to serve their own cocktails at summertime events. Available at off-premise locations across the nation, the VAP will also include a 750mL bottle of Stoli® Vodka. 

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So grab a neighbor or friend, and come join the festivities! Squeeze the most out of summer and head to Thrillist or visit the Stoli® Facebook page to find out more!  Follow Stoli® on Twitter for details on the #StoliLemonade trucks and share your summer moments using #StoliLemonade on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on Facebook to squeeze the most out of summer with Stoli®.  

Where do you plan to have some fun in the sun with a Stoli® Lemonade in hand? 

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As with any cocktail, please remember to drink responsibly, like your mother told you to. Or else. 

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