Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mini-Man Cave

Do you have a mini-man? That's what I call my two boys. Except that one of them is not so mini anymore. He will be in 8th grade and still shares a room with his little brother; so, I anticipate that he is going to start wanting his own space soon. Being a single parent and owning a small townhouse means I have to get creative with finding more space. The only place I could really go was out. So I spent [more hours than I would have liked] cleaning out my garage, organizing, and creating a little corner for him I like to call our "Mini-Man Cave."

There is a loft storage, about 6 ft high, in my garage, and I created this man cave underneath it:

Here is how the space began:

What's missing in this view is the loft storage, but you can see that the garage is all slab cement and icky storage. [And the only before picture I have because my computer crashed as I started this project, erasing a lot of my photos.]

So, starting with such bare bones was a little intimidating, but exciting, as we started designing and things started to take shape.

THE PAINT: I started by painting the orange stripe on the wall [The color is Behr "dragon fire" paint picked out by my son. Isn't that a cool name for paint?]

THE FLOOR: I then started laying down the black and white vinyl tiles. [Self stick, 12" square tiles purchased at Lowes and super easy to install!]  They were perfect for a low traffic area and easy to keep clean in our garage!

THE EXTRAS: I wanted the space  to be a place my boys could hang out, play [the tv has no cable, it is hooked up to an old PlayStation 2,] read, play board games [stored in the storage cabinet pictured] and just relax. I had been collecting art and little things for this space for a while, so was happy when it finally came together! Here are some of the extras!

I picked up the two sports signs at Home Goods several months ago. I love their wooden background and texture...

The folding table and chairs are for camping. I had the table already but bought the chairs at Big 5. I thought they were easy to move around, the right size for a small space and we could actually take them when we DO go camping! Both the table and chairs fold easily if the boys want to clear the area to play a game.

The lamp is also a camping lamp. It can sit on a table or it has a hook for easy hanging.

Of course, our favorite part of the man cave [and the piece that took the most time] was the rock wall!

Every boy needs something to climb, right? This started out as a bare white wall. I hand painted the rock pattern then chalk marked the studs. Most of the rock holds are bolted into studs, and a fair few are anchored carefully into the dry wall. The rope was also anchored into the ceiling. [But before you hang a rope for your children to swing from, please make sure it is bolted and anchored securely into a stud, and always test it yourself or with a professional before a child swings from it!]

My boys helped make this wall. I think any time kids have a part in the creation of something, they feel more ownership over it and they take better care of it. They also felt really proud that they had a part in the rock wall. Through the process they learned how to tighten each bolt in case, over time, they come loose.

Of coure, the best part is getting to test your handiwork!!!

The boys are very happy with their new Man Cave. My son said now all he needs is a hammock and a refrigerator in there and he would never have to leave! We'll see kiddo, we'll see. lol

They have already tried to say "No Girls Allowed" and actually, I'm okay with that rule. In fact, I may hold them to that in a few years. [wink]

What do you think? Do you like our Mini-Man Cave? How do you create extra space for your kids?

I'd love to see you -- follow me on Facebook|Instagram!

Sharing at Somewhat Simple, Tatertots and Jello, 52 Mantels and some of my favorite places.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

{WIW} Value

When you look in  the mirror, what do you see?

Do you see someone big? Small? Ugly? Pretty? Significant? Or insignificant?

There is a battle raging.

It's keeping you from achieving your dreams...

It's keeping you from reaching your potential...

It's keeping you from accomplishing your goals.

There are no soldiers.

There is no supernatural course of nature.

There is no uncontrollable force.

There is only one  thing.


The voice in your head.

The voice that tells you you can't.

You're not good enough.

You're not worthy.

You are not enough.

But I am here to tell you that YOU ARE.

That the steady mantra inside your head needs to be replaced with the marching shouts of confidence.

And that when you look in the mirror you see


{Old Navy "Diva" skinny jeans and Old Navy ballet flats. The shirt was a gift. Smile}



and Beauty.

 Because you are beautiful

in His eyes.

That  your dreams are there for the taking.

That you have what you need to acheive your goals.

That your potential is withing reach.

And you are enough.

Sharing at The Pleated Poppy

Encourage others by liking or sharing here: Facebook|Instagram|Twitter

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you. {Eph. 1:18}

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Monday, July 1, 2013

4th of July Treat Pops. Sort of.

I love the 4th of July. It's my birthday month (woohoo), I love red, white and blue and there are so many fun crafts and food to make!

This year I'm having some friends over to watch the fireworks at our local lake. I thought to myself, "self, you should make some really awesome treats - one of those everyone will think is UH-MAZING, how-did-you-do-that sort of treat." And they should look festive.

So, when my grocery store was selling these at buy one get one free -- suddenly I had 24 cake treat pops.

Doesn't the picture make those pops look so pretty? So I immediately looked on Pinterest for inspiration (since you know there is no original idea anymore - even when I think I'm being creative and original, Pinterest Popper burst my bubble.) But I digress. :)

And I found these...

 I liked the red, white and blue - but instead of colored cake, I wanted colored frosting and white cake.

Yesterday I was at a party where I thought I'd practice these treats before the 'big show' on Thursday.

Lessons learned:

  1. Mini cupcakes are not EXACTLY the same size as a push up pop.
  2. If your cake is not the same size as your push pop, the frosting will "bleed."
  3. Buying store bought tubes of colored frosting only kind of works. There isn't enough frosting for 12 push pops. Each tube frosts 3-4 at best.
  4. Store bought frosting tubes are REALLY hard to squeeze out after a while. Especially toward the end. Your arms may hurt.
  5. You will need to do more push ups and maybe lift some 5 lb. weights for a bit to prepare for your next push up treat pop adventure.
  6. Smushy and messy treat pops taste just as good as perfect looking ones. True story.

So, I ask you, I am actually going to attempt this again for the 4th - any tips for success?
What's on your menu for the 4th of July?
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