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Disney Magic: Sorcerer Dylan

What a fun surprise we had recently when Dylan had the opportunity to "open" the Disney Store with a little magic!

We set out for the mall to buy some new shoes for school and accidentally arrived before most of the mall stores opened for the day. Strolling around to pass the time, we were walking by the Disney Store when I remembered having seen photos on social media of other kids getting to "open" the store. Without telling Dylan (in case I was wrong), we convinced him to wait outside the store. We spent the time encouraging him to search out hidden Mickeys in the window display.

So glad we waited! I'm not sure when we'll get this chance again and it was such fun for the 3 of us. Dylan got to dress up like Sorcerer Mickey and do some "magic" to get the book to light up. Then one of the Cast Members gave him a special Mickey lanyard as a gift. He wore it the rest of the day and it now proudly hangs in his room with one from our visit to Walt Disney World last year.

Thanks, Disney, for helping us turn an ordinary day into something magical!

Supplies: Storyboards 1 template and Digi Essentials by Karla Dudley; Bermuda Triangle collaboration from Pixels & Co; Create Something Beautiful kit by Sweet Shoppe Designs; Dude kit by Robyn Meierotto; Peachy Keen kit by Dawn by Design.


Baby Girl Nursery Ideas

The weeks are starting to fly by and we're beginning to put together the nursery for Baby Girl.

Same as when Dylan was an infant, the nursery and guest room will be combined. We have the space in our new house to split them up, but there were a few times when he was little when I really appreciated having a full size bed in the same room. The guest room is larger than our other remaining bedroom and also quieter & darker.

Having an existing room to build off of gave me the inspiration for the colors. The comforter on the guest bed is navy blue. The dresser is one I found on Craigslist a year ago and painted yellow. I've recently acquired a changing table also from Craigslist and painted it the same yellow. Adding navy and coral elements such as the new fabric for the crib bedding to help tie it all together.

I'll share more photos as we make progress. Hoping to start sewing the bedding and new crib rail teething cover this weekend.


Kids Consignment Sale Tips

One of my favorite things each spring and fall? A local kids consignment sale - Kids EveryWear. I've been selling and buying clothes, toys, and gear at this bi-annual sale for the last 4 years. It's definitely helped me "keep down the cost of growing up" as their slogan says. I can clear out old stuff from our home and outfit Dylan for an entire season for as little at $60. The average price I pay per item is under $2 and this is offset (sometimes completely covered) by my own sales depending how many items I sell each time.

I typically make at least 90% of the possible highest amount I can return. How do I know this? For starters, I created a spreadsheet that I update as I price my items. It totals up all my prices plus subtracts out the consignment costs (i.e., Kids EveryWear has a single fee of $12 and then return is 65% of your earnings). I've built these amounts into the spreadsheet calculations. This way I can see that my efforts are worth it and have an idea how much money to expect afterwards.

Find my full post on everything from pricing to presentation to get the biggest return possible in kids consignment sales on Mom in Chapel Hill today: Consignment Sale Tips.

Do you shop or sell at consignment sales? Feel free to share any thoughts or tips you have in the comments.


Sports Themed Bedroom

When it was time to move Dylan from his toddler bed to a twin bed, I knew it was time for a change from the zoo themed nursery decor of the toddler room to something a little bit more grown up. I wanted to create a room that would grow with him. Lucky for me, he actually helped make the decision when he picked out a fun metal wall art of a baseball player. That was the start recreating his bedroom with a sports theme.

Some of the details have remained from his rooms in both this house and our previous house. The triptych over his bed, for example - he still likes all three elements and now regularly asks me to read the Dr Seuss quote to him (find the canvas quote art tutorial here).

Kermit the Frog and Scout were also "friends" before the transition (as well as Seahorse who was on vacation with him when I took these photos). We added a plush soccer ball to help pull in the theme on the bed with the new striped quilt & pillow sham.

On the opposite side of the room from his bed, is his dresser, larger toy & plush toy storage (beneath table) and a shelf of sports memorabilia.  I had fun pulling together a few items we owned plus a few extras to create this mix. We also purchased on a whim the fun basketball goal wastebasket to use for a hamper (perfect size for his small clothes). When he gets older, we can actually use it for intended use.

Home Goods: Quilt & pillow sham; Ikea: plush soccer ball; Pottery Barn Kids: letter 'D'; Overstock.com: curtains; Target: curtain rods (Umbra), bed skirt, plastic bin with wheels, & monkey bean bag; World Market: bookcase; Hobby Lobby: metal wall art baseball player; BJ's Wholesale: basketball goal hamper (waste basket); Land of Nod: red shelf; The Container Store: acrylic canister for baseballs; Carolina Hurricanes: foam finger; Durham Bulls: Section 120 sign & Durham Bulls hat sculpture; Autographed baseballs - single a gift; grouping in jar were signatures I got at Richmond Braves games growing up; Consignment sale: light; Thrift store: small table, trophy (repainted); Gift: ceramic baseball piggy bank; Canvas wall art: DIY project. Tutorial here.


Start of Kindergarten

I've seen so many first day of school photos in my social media feeds this week. Hard to believe Dylan's first day of kindergarten was over a month and a half ago. I took a few minutes last night to look back and put together a page for his yearly photo book of this latest milestone:

He's currently on his first "track out" break from the school year and won't be back in class until early September. The first quarter went well so while we're enjoying a break, we're also looking forward to seeing what the second quarter has in store.

Has your child (or children) started the school year yet?

Supplies: Road to Success kit by Karen Funk; Right Now brushes by Karla Dudley; Bugaboo elements by Deena Carter.


DIY Cork Boats

One of the activities during Dylan's Pirate Birthday Party last month was creating Cork Boats. They were very easy to do and a lot of fun. Here's how to create your own:

  • corks (ours were purchased from The Scrap Exchange)
  • foam sheets
  • wood skewers
  • foam stickers (optional)
  • hot glue
To keep the craft simple & do-able during the party, I did a bit of prep work beforehand. I used hot glue to attach the corks together in sets of 3 to create the base of the boats. Then quickly sketched a sail pattern onto a piece of scrap paper and cut it out to trace onto the foam sheets. I precut all the of sails.

The skewers purchased from our grocery store were far too long so I cut each in half with a pair of scissors and poked them into the sails. Then separated all the pieces into plastic containers and set out on our Little Tikes picnic table for the kids to have easy access. We put together one boat so they could visualize the project.

Admittedly, craft projects with young kids can be hit or miss. Depends on the personality and interest. These cork boats were a huge hit. I think the simplicity and quick assembly helped. Plus, the allure of water is always a huge hit with boys. We had a low container filled with water just to the side of the picnic table so they could test out their boats.

After the party, we found Dylan happily playing with all the leftover boats. A lot of fun pirate play resulted from this simple craft.


Summer Fun - No List Required

I love summer. The warmth. The sun. The long days. The water. So many good reasons. I've never made a summer bucket list though. Partly laziness but most recently - why put that stress on myself? We're juggling full time jobs, house projects, one child in kindergarten (already over a month strong there!) and another on the way. So many things. But amidst the busy days and lack of a list, we're still squeezing in a lot of summer fun...

We've watched outdoor movies with neighbors in the parking lot of the neighborhood pool.

We're visiting the pool as much as possible to swim and take some gravity off my growing belly!

Dylan has had visits to see all 3 sets of grandparents (aka "grandparent camp") and been fully spoiled with swimming, fishing, his first ever trip to South Carolina, etc.

We celebrated Dylan's 5th birthday with a great at home pirate themed party complete with plenty of time playing in the backyard thanks to unusually cool weather.

We've gone geocaching.

We went to a Durham Bulls baseball game to celebrate Trent's birthday and attended a Carolina Railhawks soccer game with a good friend.

We played mini golf for Father's Day and the boys have played their own version of putt putt in the garage on rainy days.

We made S'mores.

We took a trip to the mountains and visited Tweetsie Railroad.

No trip to the coast this year, but we still managed to find the beach a bit closer and spent time at a local lake with friends.

Hmm ... thinking perhaps I should continue with the "no bucket list" thing - seems like we manage to squeeze in a lot of fun without one and summer isn't even quite over yet.

What do you do? Summer bucket list or no list?


ProBlogging MiniCon 14 #NCBN14

If you're in North Carolina and a blogger, you will want to know about the new NC Blogger Network. One of the founders is none other than my good friend and blogging partner at Mom in Chapel Hill - Allison Carter - and I'm proud to be part of the Leadership Team. NC Blogger Network (NCBN) is a brand new online community formed to help connect, educate and support bloggers across the state of North Carolina.

The first NCBN event is next month in Durham and features a 1 hour "spark" session where each speaker has 5 minutes to present their topic. There will also be networking and giveaways. It's sure to be a fun night!

Find more information such as the awesome speaker line up and purchase tickets (hurry - early bird ticket price of $15 ends August 22nd) at the NC Blogger Network here.


Half Bath Makeover

During a visit to see my mom a few months back, I helped her with a simple makeover for her half bathroom.

It had been pretty much the same (minus some fresh paint and replaced outlet covers) as it was when the house was built in the late 1980s.

We replaced the mirror, outlet covers, towel ring, toilet paper holder and light fixture. Away went the brass and off yellow to make way for the slick, modern feel of brushed nickel. The mirror frame and outlet covers are slightly different finishes, but have a similar trim detail which helps bring some consistency to the design.

The single brass light fixture was replaced with a double wall sconce also in a brushed nickel finish. Not only does it look more up to date, but the bathroom is much brighter now.

The makeover took about an hour to complete with the bulk of the time spent on the light fixture. If you want a fresh look in about 15 minutes, start with just the decorative items (mirror, towel bars, wall plates). Replacing those simple items can make a huge change in the look of a bathroom.

Cost breakdown: approximately $110 (all purchased from Lowes):
- Fallsbrook Bathroom Vanity Light
- Delta Windmere towel ring and toilet paper holder
- Brainerd pewter wall plates 
- framed rectangle mirror

For more bathroom makeover ideas - see the half bath and hall bath makeovers we've done in our foreclosure house as well as the built-in shelving we installed in the half bath in our first house.