Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lego Instruction Book Organization

If you have a child that loves LEGO's, chances are you have a million instruction booklets. We were constantly digging through piles, books, shoeboxes to find the one we needed - I knew I had to devise some type of system. The hopes of keeping each set in it's own box, long went away - so I needed a universal system for the instruction booklets.

I started by laying everything out on the table. This is what I was left with...

After I thought about it (for awhile) I realized that the only real solution for now was to put them in a binder. To simplify things, I bought several packages of sheet protectors at Dollar General, and, put a booklet in each packet. As much as I would love to divide the booklets up & put a page on each side to make it easy to flip through them to build...I would have needed a 12 inch binder for that! This was the easiest solution for now.

I have visions of laminating each booklet - but, that will take a ton of time, patience & laminating sheets. Maybe someday :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Home Managment Binder

This may be my proudest project yet. I HATE being unorganized, and, I was finding that the paperwork was taking over my life. This is step one in curing that!

I had seen ideas for several binders on the internet, but nothing that really worked for me - so, I decided to make my own!

I started with a 3in, 3-ring binder. Of course I wanted it to be pretty, so I opened up photoshop & worked on a cover page & a spine cover for my binder.

Here are closer looks at my covers. {you will see a different name on these - my SIL could use a little help in organizing too, so I made her one for Christmas!}

Inside my binder I have the following categories...
Meal planning
Gift Giving
And my volunteer projects (which include the church website, and, Mom's Group)

Each of these categories have customized printables that I use to plan my meals, track birthdays & Christmas, household projects, warranties & online log-ins & passwords. Household maintenance, vehicle maintenance & a long term "to-do" list area ll included. I also have sheets for pictures to edit, and, pictures to order - so I don't forget what I'm working on!

I have been successfully using this for 3 months now, and, It's safe to say it's now a regular part of my routine. It makes everything so much easier!

Next up...organizing Cole's school paperwork, projects, artwork :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Homemade Christmas Gifts

This year I had so much fun taking a little extra time & making some homemade gifts... all pinterest inspired, of course :)

I'm not a super crafty person, but, I think these projects were even easy enough for me.

Picture Ornament (this picture was taken before the ribbon was tied on the top)

Personalized Coasters. These are awesome! I made both photo & monogram ones. We gave them to teachers & friends.

These puzzle piece ornaments were perfect gifts for our Autism Support Group friends and therapists.

Next year I hope to make many more homemade gifts :)

Our surprise Christmas Adventure

{I'm determined to get our Christmas posts up before Easter! ha!}

On a Friday morning, Darky our Elf brought the boys a letter from Santa. Because they had been so good, he was sending us on a Christmas Adventure with Big Papa & Nana!

Ready to go! It was just me & the boys :)

When we got to the hotel, we found they had the best Christmas Decorations!

The staff made Gingerbread houses & guests got to vote on them (our vote was for the UP house!)

That sneaky Elf even followed us to the hotel, and wreaked havoc on the boys pictures.

Headed home after our fun weekend! (well, until we got stuck in an hour long traffic jam :/)

So..are you interested in knowing where our surprise Christmas adventure was too?? My parents took us to Historic St. Charles! It was so fun :)

Our LONG awaited new floors!

Since Cole was old enough to walk, I have dreamed about having different floors. Something that does not stain every time apple juice, ketchup, (vomit) hit the floor. Last fall we picked out what we wanted, and, started saving...right before Christmas Lumber Liquidators had a huge sale that finally made our flooring affordable. Bright and early the day after Christmas, my hubby got started!

We decided to run this beautiful Vintners Reserve Laminate Hardwood through our Living Room, Kitchen & Laundry Room. It was a big project!

This picture shows the {ugly} laminate we had before in the kitchen & laundry room, and, the beautiful wood we replaced it with :)

When we started to pull up the carpet in the living room we found real hard wood! Sadly, it was pieced together in several places with plywood - so we didn't have the choice to refinish it.

Here's the living room...almost done!


Don't worry, I have plans for those kitchen cabinets. Soon they will be a beautiful antique white :)

And look, we even got a housekeeper as a bonus!

There is still so much work to be done. Paint in the living room, stairway & kitchen. Trim painted & back up. Area rugs to purchase. Cabinets & counter tops to refinish. Yep...the projects just keep coming! (too bad the money doesn't come with it!)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Darky, our Elf

Because my life is so very crazy at times, it's February 22nd and I'm just now getting caught up on Christmas posts. Seriously.

We were so excited this year when a little package showed up on our doorstep. Our Elf on a Shelf quickly became a beloved tradition in the Lenczycki House.

Here are a few of the crazy places we found him...

Fishing in the toilet!

Bringing a treat for Cole :)

Sneaky Elf was found in the fridge drinking Cole's soda!

Making a total mess in the boys bathroom...

Delivering a letter from Santa!

He followed us to the hotel & drew on the kids pictures!

He was caught skyping with Santa!

Switch out the stockings for our unmentionables!

Taking a bubble bath in Mom's antique gravy boat :)

Hiding on the Christmas Tree

Pillaging through Mom's purse...

And hiding in the drink cabinet :)

I can't wait until next year when Darky returns...:)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Our LEGO Build Table Project

My son is CRAZY about legos! For 2 years I searched & searched for a lego table that would work for us. We had a small space with built in shelves that I really wanted to utilize for legos - so I had to be very choosy. One day I stumbled upon this blog post by Jen at iHeart Organizing..and I knew what I had to do. First, check out my inspiration here

So, first, I started with this cheap table I bought from the hotel I worked at years ago. It was $5 when I got it. I originally picked it up as a desk for Cole, but it never fit where I wanted it to - so it had been in the basement for several years.

I started by priming the entire table, so that the paint would adhere. (only the top is primed here..I forgot to take a pic with the entire table still white)

After it was primed, I taped off the top & began painting the rest of the table the beautiful blue paint I used as an accent color in Cole's room.

And, finished the top off with 2 coats of chalboard paint so the boys can draw roads, buildings, space - whatever goes with their lego creations.

The most expensive part of this project was definitely the chalk board paint. At $15 a can, it was a hard pill to swallow - especially since I only used about 1/4 of that & still have tons left. Hopefully I will find more projects in the future to use that up.

So far, Cole is loving the table - it gets used quite often :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My new love :)

5 years ago my husband got me my first KitchenAid Mixer. This little red beauty is gorgeous and I love making cookies, cakes & other special treats with it. But, when it came to making my homemade bread...well, it just couldn't make the cut :( The motor wasn't powerful enough to take on the 4 cups of flour it takes to make one loaf. So...I sat & waited, dreaming about the day I could purchase the professional 600 model. Then came Christmas....

Jason's Mom & Dad SHOCKED me with this sleek baby as a gift. Just look at her. If the little red beauty is like a 20 year old newlywed, well, this beast...she's like a cougar :)
This baby will whip through 8 cups of flour on speed 2, without even a thought. Oh, how I love her.
And you see that beautiful spot she's in...yep, the hubs had to cut the cabinet for her to have a permanent home. But it's perfect...she just belongs there :)

Her she sits with the little red beauty...
There is just no comparison. Sorry beauty, I've had to upgrade to more experience :)

Honesty is always the best policy...{maybe}

Monday, February 13, 2012

Homemade Valentines

I'm always looking for cute, homemade things to give to the teachers, and, valentines day is kind of hard. I searched & found the cutest idea on Pinterest, and it was so easy!

Our Teachers, Therapist & Bus drivers will all get a birdseed valentine to hang outside & feed their feathered friends. How adorable are these?!

All I did to package them was cut open a fold over sandwich baggie, lay some red tissue paper behind the heart, and, tie with raffia.

I thought these turned out so cute!

If you want to make your own...mix 3/4 cup birdseed, 1 tbsp flour & 2 tbsp water together. Pack tightly in a heart mold, poke a whole for the ribbon to go through (we used a sturdy straw), and bake in a 170 degree oven for 1 hour. If they aren't totally set after the hour, leave them in a bit longer. When they are done, transfer to a cooling rack & allow to cool several hours. Then just tie your ribbon on & package up.

A day in our life...

Meet my monkey...

and my 6 year old ladies man ...

They keep me busy!

with lots of shenanigans..

and, of course sword fights...

But the big grins let me know we are doing something right :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Best Buddies :)

Jacob & I get the pleasure of hanging out with a sweet, sweet boy during the day. Mommy has fallen in love with Mr. Matt, and, Jacob has found his best-est buddy. (not to mention, it's greatly helped Mommy's baby fever, which makes Daddy very happy too!)

Sometimes I just watch Jacob play, dreaming about when I'm big enough to jump on that turtle....

Occasionally he decides he wants to play when I'm trying to take a snooze...

We love to snuggle together & watch TV. Sometimes I just wear out & have to grab some shut eye :)

"'s for you!"

And, we love to sit & wait for my Mommy to get home. I love her :)