Monday, September 5, 2016

Bathroom Cabinet & Dresser Makeover

I recently had the opportunity to try out a few products from the Giani company.
If you're not familiar with them, you can visit them here.

They have many products to choose from, I tried (and loved) the Nuvo Cabinet paint and their Chalkworthy line.
As I said in my kitchen makeover post, our house is full of oak. It's everywhere. And while I don't mind it on our floors, the oak cabinets and fixtures are somewhat dated and wearing on me.

I chose Cocoa Couture for our bathroom vanities and Hayride in the Chalkworthy line for our dresser, which I had been wanting to makeover for at least a year.

Hubby got started, he wiped the bathroom cabinets down really well, did a light sanding job and then started painting. He only had to do two coats of the Nuvo to get it to cover well. The time it took him from start to finish was maybe four hours and that was letting it dry a bit between coats.

Have a look at the before and after

This product is beautiful! It goes on smooth, finishes nice! I would definitely, 100% recommend it to anyone needing to makeover cabinets! 

Now on to the dresser 
It was awful. HA! I mean, yuck! We redid a dresser last year for Maverick's nursery. We used regular paint and it took 3 or maybe even 4 coats. 
This took 2 coats... he washed the dresser well, removing any dust, dirt, etc. Sanded a bit with a light sand paper and started painting. Two coats later it was ready for a coat of wax. I received two different wax colors from Giani, a black (which would give it a more antiqued look) and a clear, which obviously is clear. :P I still need to buy new hardware, but all in all I love it! It's exactly what I wanted. The color is beautiful and just enough yellow! I did forget to take before photos before we took it outside, so the before pics are in the garage... but you'll get the idea. 

Before and after coming! 

Here is their Chalkworthy Line 

And the cabinet paint 

I want to thank Giani for allowing me to try their products and review them! I am in love with the afters!!!! 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Kitchen Renovation for under $500

We've been in our house now for almost three years. The first thing I snubbed my nose at when we viewed it was the kitchen. While it wasn't awful and was livable, it was dark and dated. Our house was built in the late 90's, apparently at the peak of the oak era. 😂 We have it everywhere and I really don't like it!

My shiny new kitchen!

before and after iPhone shot


Home from vacation we set our sights on redoing this kitchen.
We started with painting the walls, it took us no time and I took this as a great sign that maybe everything else would be quick. 🙄 If you think painting cabinets will be a quick fix, think again. It was tedious, soooooo tedious, but so worth it! I love my new kitchen so much!

Step 1;  clean/wipe down the doors and drawers with a bleach water solution. Do not skip this step! The paint we bought says there is no prep work, such as sanding or priming, but you absolutely do need to wipe off the years of grease and grime.

Next we removed the doors and drawers, using painters tape, we numbered them, that way when we reattached we would have no guessing. Saves you time and hassle!
Hubby sprayed the doors and drawers. If you have a sprayer, use it! It saved so much time and effort and honestly the paint coverage is so much nicer! He used Dixie cups to hold up the doors while they dried after painting each side.

It took about three coats of paint for the cabinets that we did not remove. With the sprayer he only did two coats, see what I mean? Much better coverage! We started painting on Tuesday and were completely finished by Wednesday. We probably should have left them to dry a bit longer but I was so tired of not having a useable kitchen, we sped it along. 

New sink, new hardware  and light fixture and we were finally complete! 
Price breakdown;
Wall Paint; Sherwin Williams Sea Salt $100 (they had a rebate for buy one get one so I'll get half of this back!)
New Light Fixture $20
New Sink $80 
New Faucet $120
Cabinet Paint (Valspar cabinet enamel, it's a new line, you can have it tinted to any number of shades they have available) $80 (we have almost a whole gallon left)
Cabinet Hardware $100

total cost $500 with $50 coming back to me in the form of a rebate! YAY ME!!! 

To do; I still need to paint my hideous oak light fixture that hangs in the kitchen. I figure this is the cheapest option. 

I love love my new kitchen. Would I paint cabinets again, not any time soon. It wasn't horrible, just time consuming and I'm sore from painting. HA! 
But for us, to get a "new" kitchen it was the cheapest option. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Summer Road Tripping

My favorite things about summer 
1; it's daylight later
2; schedules are pretty much zero
3; vacation! 
We leave on Thursday for our annual pilgrimage to Dauphin Island Alabama. This will be our fifth year! Obviously we adore it! It is so laid back, honestly, it is beach and a few restaurants. But more on  that when we return! 

Packing for said vacation, for five people and a baby. Augh! We traded in our Volkswagen last fall for a Honda, love the Honda but we traded in our storage space under the seats. Boo. So I got creative! Instead of bulky suitcases, I packed us in three 58 qt Rubbermaid containers. Two people to a container! It worked beautifully. We are taking our time on the way down and stopping at a hotel, those clothes will be in a duffel bag to take in. Everything else, including toiletries, in the Rubbermaid. It is looking to be much easier looking for things, carrying in and we have SO much space.  I'm pretty excited! What we have are three Rubbermaid containers on the bottom for clothes, one more 58 qt container for supplies for the house, a small container for toiletries, stroller and first aid supply box. So much room, and we still have to add in that duffel and our cooler for the lunch stop! 



Full vacation post in about two weeks! Until then, peace out! 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Friday Favorite

Friday and a long holiday weekend! 🙌🏻 
This week my Friday Favorite pick are these adorable bandana bibs I ordered from MatiMati Baby. They are seriously the cutest thing ever! And.... Great quality! They have some sort of fleece backing, really nice sturdy snaps on the back to keep them in place, and they come in some super cute prints! 

You can find them on Amazon or here
And right now they are running 10% off with the code Mati10 

Have a great weekend!!! 



Thursday, June 30, 2016

Girls' Trip {Vietnam & Singapore}

I went to Vietnam you guys! No really!
So, background, my best best best friend in the whole wide world is an Australian. We've known each other for 10 years. We see each other when they come to the US for holiday, we have traveled to them once. They are our people. ;) She emailed me last year and mentioned that she's turning 40 and planning a girls' trip to Vietnam, would I want to go. Are you kidding?! Now, I had just barely had Maverick... and we have three others, so this was going to be a bit of a thing for me, ok... it was a HUGE thing. I've never traveled alone, LIKE EVER... and I was leaving my hubby and kids for 10 days. By the way, they survived just fine without me, I'm super lucky to have an amazing husband who held the fort down while I was away.

I was to fly alone to Singapore, I then met up with Rachel and the other three that were with us, we then boarded another plane to Vietnam. I can't lie, I was SO nervous, scared, anxious, etc. when I boarded that flight for the 14 hours to Hong Kong (my first stop) but once we stopped there, I had to deplane, go through security, find my other gate (I also stopped off and grabbed a Starbucks ha) and then get back ON a plane and fly on to Singapore... once all of THAT was done I was ok. I could actually breathe. Something about that LOOOOOONG flight over the ocean to Hong Kong. UGHHHHHHHH
Anyway, I made it. Arriving in Singapore, I then had to transfer terminals (insert me with GIANT anxiety face) and find the gate. I did it and I found my friends!

We arrived in Vietnam and I expected, well I don't even know what I expected. I guess guards standing around with guns, etc. It wasn't that way... I mean yeah there were some but not like what I was thinking.
On to our resort, which was amazing. Fusion Mai Da Nang.  You can view it here. If you ever get a wild hair to go to Vietnam, I HIGHLY recommend this beautiful spot. Vietnam is beautiful in itself, I want to go back, I will go back someday with my hubby. Anyway, it's gorgeous and we were treated like royalty from the very first day.
We did travel out onto the economy. We did some shopping at the markets a few days, we visited an amusement park at the top of a mountain, my photos don't do it justice. It was so beautiful and strange all at the same time. It had a very bavarian vibe to it, so strange. The ride up was nerve wracking, you go up in a cable car and it is HIGH... but it was breathtaking.  We had some authentic vietnamese coffee, complete with condensed milk (YUM) and did some mall shopping. I had a really great time. The people there are so laid back and we really didn't have too much of a language barrier, well not too bad. haha!!!

Then on to Singapore which is beautiful. We were there for two nights, I had a little issue while I was there and ended up in the ER in Singapore, this took almost all day of the first day, so Singapore for me was not as good as Vietnam, but I still enjoyed it and got to soak in the atmosphere. It is a little high, to this midwestern girl. A bottle of water at lunch, probably 32 oz bottle of Evian, was $10. Yeah.... their prices are just a tad steep. Still, I would TOTALLY go back!

On to the photos!
 In Hoi Ann, I believe she was a street cleaner

 I watched this little boy for at least 20 min.

Night markets in Hoi Ann 

Fishing boats 

Lady Buddha 

breakfast at Fusion Mai is AMAZING 

Asia Park 

Rach's bday extravaganza ;-) 


Vietnamese coffee 

Sentosa in Singapore

Having Singapore Slings 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Long Time No Write

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It has been WAY too long since I blogged. Maverick coming into our lives has proven to make our lives busier, in a good way! Work and homeschool also has kept us on our toes. 
I'm vowing to start blogging again, fingers crossed! 

A little update on us; 
Maverick starting walking at 9 months (way too fast, his whole first year went too fast) 

The girls turned 15 and now have their driving permit (again life is going too fast)

Jackson is plugging along. No really exciting news on him. 


I had a whirlwind trip to Vietnam and Singapore in March with my best friend for her 40th! More about that soon. 

It's summer and things are finally settling down and vacation is coming up fast. We're excited and anxious to get away for a while! 

More to come soon, I promise! 😏

Follow me on Instagram fivehappyyolks 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Time 4 Learning Review

As I stated earlier, I was given a free month in exchange for a review for the website " Time 4 Learning" 
Jackson, 4th grade used it for all of his curriculum. Overall we found it very useful! It seems to be right on track about where we should be, and if I felt he isn't grasping a subject as quickly (math for instance) I had the option to start him a little behind in a grade back which has also proved helpful. 
Jackson really overall tolerates it (I mean it's still school right) he loves the science portion! This is a big plus for us, I have found it increasingly difficult to find a good science home curriculum. Time 4 Learning science also provides him with experiments to do, which he loves! 
My high school age kids already have a great language arts and history program that they are following. So I only had them test the science and health portion. I have one behind (grr) so only one of my girls technically tested. She liked the science portion (we tested Biology) but after much thought, $80 a month was just way too high for all of my kids. The elementary level is $19.95 a month, high school is jumps to $30 per child. Just a little too steep for us. Which made me sad because we need the science and would benefit from it but I can't justify $80 a month right now. 

The parent portal is great. You can view lessons completed (or skipped) see what needs to be done for the week and print records and scores! All in all I believe it is a great program and we did continue with our elementary student for the year. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

One Week In & A Recipe

So, one week in to the Bellyfat Cure, I am not starving! Yay!!! I'm still eating bread (just not as much) and the major thing is I have cut my sugar back dramatically! On a regular morning, I would probably have 15 grams of sugar in my morning coffee. Coffee is less than great at this moment, but it will do and it's not awful.
I think the hardest thing for me are snacks. I'm a huge snacker. I love crunchy salty snacks. I decided to buy some bagged popcorn (it was the healthiest of the bagged snacks) and have it. Carb content was low and sugar was 0. 
Mistake! Two nights ago I fixed a pasta dish with a gluten free pasta that was made with quinoa and corn flour, it was delicious and fixed my pasta craving. After dinner I was starving, so I snacked on  some of that delicious popcorn. Yeah.... Guess what, I think I have a BIG grain issue and it also includes corn.  I was miserable and swollen the next morning. Lesson number two, wheat and corn are not nice to me, both cause inflammation (that I have seen) and horrible pain. So I am trying now to avoid both. If I only have a little of each I seem to be ok, but too much and wham. 

Anyway.... Snacks! I also get a sweet tooth at night. I really just need a little bite of something to satisfy it. I found this date ball recipe and let me tell you, delicious!!! Tastes just like a peanut butter cookie! 

They are easy to make, which is another huge plus! 
Here's the recipe I took from here 

10 Medjool dates (pitted)
1/4 C of peanuts
a pinch of kosher salt

Combine all in a food processor and process until combines. It will have a crumbly texture, which I found is fine. I just kept testing it and trying to smash it together to see if it would form a ball. Once finished, form into balls. I store mine in the fridge, I like them a little bit more firm and cold. YUM! 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

My Getting Healthy Journey

I have always fought my weight. When I was nine my parents divorced and I ballooned to 140. Everyone fed me, "oh Emily is sad, let's feed her" and so on. 
So as I've grown up, I have a lot of feelings about food. I was never taught nutrition or the benefits of exercise. I am hoping to pass along the opposite to my children. I want them to know that an active lifestyle is not torture but necessary and good nutrition is key. But in this also comes learning for me. 

After having baby #4 at 39, my body is less than willing to let go of the minimal weight I gained with that last pregnancy. Really, I gained the least amount with this baby. So after I had him I thought, this will be a breeze! Wrong!!!! 
I have found that I can work out and eat the minimum amount of calories that I should eat (1200) and the scale either doesn't move or I'll lose one day and gain the next. Cue frustration! I drink a gallon of water a day, watch what I eat and really don't eat junk. So what gives? I believe I have some inflammation and lately have discovered that grains hate me. Grains in them self can hold on to a lot of water within your body. 
I recently went to my midwife and had her do a complete blood work up on me, ruling out my thyroid, etc. thyroid was great, perfect even, my cholesterol was elevated. 😒 What the heck? My dr told me that I needed to do a low carb diet and exercise (which I already do) to bring it down. I know one thing already, as I said, grains hate me and I crave them like crazy! This was not going to be easy! 

So after I received this news, I did a lot of researching last night and I'm starting Jorge Cruise's eating plan, The Belly Fat Cure. It combines low carb and low sugar eating. Which will take care of my grain problem and my sugar issue, yeah I have that as well. I'm hoping that if I blog it, that it will keep me motivated and accountable. Here's to day 1 of a sugar/grain detox. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Time 4 Learning Review

Back at it again for us and school. We had a great break but it's time to get serious. 

I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as a homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment and for summer skill sharpening. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

I'm excited to give it a try and see if it helps my 10 year old enjoy school a little more!