How to Make a Reuse a Pillow of Different Size with Poly-fil and Insulate a Bag

Who likes spending time outdoors? We love it here! One of our favorite spots to spend time is the deck. It overlooks the woods. We can hear the birds chirping and leaves rustling. It is the most relaxing thing ever. I have three kids so time by myself is hard to come by. But I try to get out for at least an hour without them and sit in piece on my patio and relax. I was super excited to do some projects with some products Poly-fil sent me. All opinions are my own.

This blog post contains affiliate links.
To make my time even more relaxing I stuff some pillow covers with Poly-fil Premium Polyster Fiber Fill and lined my bag with solarize. That way if I take out chocolate it will not melt in my bag. 
I found a pillow cover at Bed Bath and Beyond. I honestly do not know why more pillow covers are not the norm. At Ikea they only sell pillow covers. Instead of buying pillows every season and storing them in a random closet pillow covers can be stored like pillow cases for a bed. And then taken off and washed from time to time.
I stuffed an old pillow in the pillow cover, but because the pillow was a little smaller than the pillow cover there was lots of extra room. I then stuffed the Poly-fil around the other pillow to make the new pillow nice and fluffy.

To insulate the bag I cut the inside of the bag and put the solarize inside. Then I sewed the bag back shut. Now I can keep chocolate in there and not have it melt super fast!

What do you like better the insulated bag or the stuffed pillows?
There is even a giveaway going on for more Poly-fil and a $100 JoAnn Gift card! 


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Our Family Story Wall Hanging

We have been renovating our house like CRAZY. I am excited to finally start putting things on our walls. I thought a "Our Family Story" would be a great addition to our wall. It has the day we met, our anniversary, and birthdays of all the kiddos. It can be made to accomodate any size frame. For this project I used an 8x10.

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1. The first step is to select some paper. 
  • white cardstock
  • black cardstock
2. The second step is to put in the correct dates and number of kids. To put in the dates change the text box. To add kids or change gender copy and paste the kids in front of each date. Here is the file.  After the dates are changed weld the text together otherwise it will come out in separate circles.
3. Cut this file with the black cardstock.

4. The cutouts can be removed two ways, with this Cricut tool flat, or bending the board and gently separating the cardstock from the board. This helps prevent the paper from bending.
5. The first time I did this I did not cut deep enough and the letters were stuck in the circle. Instead of using the scissors, I opted to cut again deeper and save myself a headache.

MUCH BETTER!

6. The sixth step is to clean the extra letters off the mat and put it away. This way the mat will not get sticky.
7. The next step is to arrange and glue the letters to the white cardstock.

8. The final step is to put the cardstock in a frame and put on the wall. My kids love this! Enjoy!

Check out some other family fun craft ideas from some of my friends.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
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Thanks so much for 100 Directions, Mad in Crafts, 33 Minute Crafts and The Country Chic Cottage for putting this together!



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Whole House versus Room By Room Renovation

Whole house or room by room renovation? Do you have a fixer upper? Are you trying to figure out how to tackle it? Look no further. I will guide you through the different approaches to home renovations and give the advantages and disadvantages to each.

First I want to explain that the difference between a renovation and redecoration. Redecoration is changing color and design elements of a room (paint, curtains), and a renovation changing the structure, ie flooring, structures etc. I will use the term renovation in this article, but redecorating can apply as well.
What is a room by room renovation?
A room by room renovation is when individual rooms are tackled. ie this summer the bedroom is done, next summer the kitchen, next winter the master bathroom. I personally do not like room by room renovations because they end up looking super choppy and disrupt the flow of the home. It feels too completely different when going from one area to another.
What is a whole house renovation?
A whole house renovation is one that is usually seen on the HGTV shows. They look at the big picture and gather a vision for the house. Elements from each room are tied in with one another and everything is done at once.  I prefer whole house renovations because they really tie a home together, create a sense of coziness and can add that extra wow factor to a home.
Why do either one? 
A whole house renovation can be EXPENSIVE and needs to be done in order...ie If the floors are being redone then the baseboard needs to be removed. Painting the baseboards before removing would be a mistake, trust me I did this one.

A room by room renovation can be less expensive, but it may cost more in the long run and may not make the house as cohesive.

I suggest PLANNING a whole house renovation for the major items, but making a plan and focusing on various elements one at a time. Here are some elements to focus on to plan a whole house renovation:
  1. Find a color scheme for the house. This will help out soooooo much with so many decisions. When we moved to our house we decided to make it light and airy by painting our kitchen and bathroom cabinets and bathrooms, our walls gray,  a white wash wood flooring, gray laminate and gray carpet. We decided to do elements of green and blue throughout the house. While doing painting our kitchen cabinets our appliances were black. *PICTURE OF KITCHEN*We did not want to invest the money to change them out because they were in good working order. We antagonized over changing the hardware in the kitchen, they were old and starting to rust. We settled on black. Because we made that decision we are going to change all our door handles, hinges, lighting, towel racks, shower curtains and so on black. It makes it super easy. When we were looking for rugs, shower curtains, window hinges etc for our home we knew what colors we wanted. It is coming nicely and looks super cohesive.
  2. This was my inspiration color scheme for my home.
  3. Make a plan. Plan out each step of the project and make sure things are done in order. Do not make a mistake and paint the baseboards just to have them ripped off and looking terrible the next week.
  4. Take it one step at a time. We have slowly replaced/renovated one step at a time. We focused on flooring one month replacing the flooring in most of the house. We were super lucky to do this before we moved our household goods in. Another month we worked on painting the entire house. Another month we found rugs for the whole house. Another month I focused on bathroom shower rods and curtains. Another month door hinges. Another month baseboard heaters. Another month we focused on mold in the basement and fixing the entire basement up. And I want to add that finding a good shower rod is next to impossible!!! Target finally had the winner. In the coming months or years we will replace doors, replace door handles, pick out drapes and paint our trim inside our house. Every little step brings us closer to our dream house. It can be cheaper overall this way because items can be bought in bulk, a contractor can come out and do the job all at once instead of for each room, sometimes items can not be bought except in large quantities.
  5. Be patient. Whole house renovations can be antagonizing especially if everything can not be done at once. But keep a head up because they will get done eventually.
For bathrooms and kitchens I would love to recommend a whole house renovation, but this is not always possible. These areas can be soooo expensive to renovate especially if major changes are being made. Small changes such as light fixtures, mirrors, towels and decor are easy, but changing layouts, cabinetry, flooring and such can be so expensive and hard to do all at once.

For these reasons bathroom and kitchens I recommend room by room renovations with a few caveats.
  1. Still make a plan and a color scheme. Even if the bathrooms and kitchens will be done in different years make a plan. Create a cohesive element for the home. Look at matching or complimentary cabinet styles, tiles for the bathroom, countertops etc.
  2. If there is an element desired in both or many places buy extra and save it for the other location. For example if there is an amazing tile for a backsplash but also for an accent in a bathroom, just buy extra and save for the other location. If there is a flooring desired for both rooms buy extra of the flooring and save it for the other location. Trust me if it is not bought at the time there is a very good likely it will be gone when doing the other location. Trends change sooo  much. Buy those matching handles and save them.
  3. If it is affordable do the renovations at the same time. This can help save money on time and materials.



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Renovating Our Home

When we were looking for a house we could not find anything that was perfect, especially where we were looking, upstate New York. The winters are super hard on houses up here. There is soooo much snow. Then the summers are super humid. It can cause a lot of problems like; roof damage, mold, rotting wood, flooding...the list goes on an on. Every house we looked at had some of these problems. This house we found had the least amount of problems, but we still had a lot of work to do.

Follow along on our adventures as I share everything we have done. I will be updating this blog post with all of your adventures. Follow along to see the transformation.

Here are our before pictures. What would you change?
Kitchen
Family Room
Den
Hallways
Front Door

Bathroom
Living Room and Dining Room
Fireplace
Foyer
Bathroom
Master Bedroom
Master Bath

Bedroom
Bedroom
Bathroom
Laundry
Bedroom
Bedroom
Entertainment Room

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