Tag - DIY

» DIY: Kitchen Makeover for Under $250
A DIY Year: Kitchen Tile Backsplash
DIY: Multi-Sensory Weighted Lap Pad Tutorial

» DIY: Kitchen Makeover for Under $250

We purchased our current home 2 years ago as we anticipated the homecoming of our fourth child. It truly is my version of a dream home. Colonial style, traditional touches throughout and a cozy sitting room with a fireplace. When we moved in I waited patiently and did little updates as we could, which is totally out of character for me. I can be a bit of a bulldozer with projects and sometimes I end up with things that I don’t really like. So this time, with this house I love, I was much more careful with my decisions.

The kitchen project was a must, I spend 75% of my time in there. It’s the hub of the house. Which is exactly what I want. A kitchen remodel was not in the budget and really not necessary. The cabinets were sturdy and changing the layout of the kitchen wasn’t a priority. I decided that paint, back splash, hardware and more paint were the keys to lifting the mood in the dark kitchen. Here are the before pictures.


I chose to use Annie Sloan Chalk paint in Old Ochre to repaint the cabinets. Originally I decided to go for the two-tone look and left the bottoms black but recently painted the lower cabinets with Old Ochre as well.




Mass Chaos I tell you. It’s worth it in the end but I don’t love being the mom that keeps saying “please don’t touch anything in the kitchen” all day long. But hey, it’s one day and we got to eat Blue Coast Burrito since the kitchen was out of commission and it was $1.99 kids meal night.

Now it was time for the back splash fun to begin. A full tutorial will be up on Friday but for now I’m just going to share the beautiful results. We chose a simple white subway tile and grouted with Earth colored pre-mixed grout. I’m in love with the results. (and the black ovens… well… they are on their last leg so I’m stalking the whole town for a crazy good deal)




So, once again, I’m spending all my time in the kitchen. But I’m really really enjoying it right now. I can’t wait to share how we accomplished this look on Friday, hopefully you’ll be inspired to pick up a paint brush (and a grout float) and have some fun!

And just for kicks, here is one more side by side view of the before and after:

A DIY Year: Kitchen Tile Backsplash

As we begin the new year I’ve got at least 7 home projects on my mind. Things we can accomplish with a few YouTube tutorials and a little Pinterest Love. The first project on my list is finally installing a back splash in my kitchen. I have the tools, I’ve watched the tutorials and I’m ready to go. Ask Calvin, he had to listen to me critique the family on HGTV last night. “They obviously don’t know what they are doing, they aren’t using a float and their thinset is too thin, no wonder their tiles are falling off. And hello… tile spacers!” That poor, sweet man. I’m sure he held his tongue and will silently chuckle to himself when my tiles are falling off next week.

Before deciding on the final backsplash we decided to get input from our favorite Facebook and Instagram friends. We posted the following picture and had a great time following all the comments.10906348_1521128701480733_4250485521740634196_n

An interesting thing began to happen. The FB friends clearly favored the first choice, while the Instagram folks were favoring the second choice! I was pretty conflicted at that point, although I will admit I already had a favorite. And then I found these pictures.


After seeing creamy cabinetry paired with white back splashes in action I was completely smitten. I think it will really compliment the brick floor I’m planning to install once Spring weather hits. So Instagram friends… you guys got this one!! Good choice.

DIY: Multi-Sensory Weighted Lap Pad Tutorial

Since discovering that Lola has sensory processing disorder we have been reading tons of books, adjusting our parenting style and adding lots of new, fun items to Lola’s daily routine. One item, Lola’s current favorite, is the weighted lap pad. The lap pad is used primarily when she is sitting but she has enjoyed lugging it around the house as well. A lap pad is intended to provide calming proprioceptive input and aid tactile defensiveness. I initially intended to make one lap pad, for Lola, but when you have lots of kiddos everyone ends up wanting one.

I’m really glad I gave in and made one for each of them. I’ve observed the kids using the lap pads according to their personal needs and it’s truly therapeutic. Elliott likes to drape his across his shoulders or toss it in the air repeatedly, while Charlotte prefers to cuddle with hers and lay on it while sleeping.

Today I’m going to share (through terrible iphone pictures taken with my free hand) how to create a multi-sensory, washable weighted lap pad. Multi-sensory? It just means I added a few embellishments that can be rubbed or pulled on for addition sensory stimulation. I hope this helps another momma out there! Happy Monday!

1. Gather your materials:

Fabric (enough for two 12×18 rectangles)
Embellishments (texture, ribbon
sewing machine
poly pellets (amazon)
scissors or rotary cutter
self healing cutting board
funnel and a measuring cup

2. Lay out pre-washed fabric, iron if you desire and cut out two 12×18 in rectangles. I saved time by folding the material in half and cutting once using the rotary cutter.

3. Lay the fabric with right (pretty) sides together and sew up 3 sides leaving one long side (18 in side) completely open.


4. Turn the fabric right side out. I sewed an embellishment, an additional piece of green minky dot fabric on top of the main fabric at this time. You will now have what looks like a BIG fabric pocket.



5. Measure the width of your fabric pocket and divide it into four sections. Mark the sections by drawing a line with chalk and sew up the lines from top to bottom. Continue to leave the top open. (little hands may start joining in at this point)


6. Fill each section (you have four sections at this point) with poly fill beads. Do yourself a favor and use a funnel to do this. I did not have a scale so I divided my 2 pound bag into 8 equal parts using a measuring cup. It’s important to make sure the sections have equal weight/amounts of poly beads.

A weighted lap pad should equal 5% of the person’s body weight, so take that into account when purchasing supplies.


7. Once the four sections are filled find the halfway point, or the 6 inch mark from the bottom and draw a line across the entire pad. This will be your sewing line to divide the four sections. Carefully shake the poly beads to the bottom and sew straight across your line.


8. Repeat step six for the top four pockets. My suggestion, to avoid spilling poly beads everywhere is to fill a section and then immediately sew that section. It would be faster to fill all four sections and sew straight across, but I’ve done that and it resulted in spills and me saying a bad word. So yeah. Take your time on this part.

9. Once everything is safely sewn together you can add more embellishments for soothing touch. I added a silky blanket binding and a rough, textured ribbon.

And that’s it! I’ve made three of these babies now and it gets easier to contain the poly pellet beads every time.

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