The Problem Wall

Apr 16, 2014 +

This is a wall in my living room that I rarely show. You know why? Because it bugs me. I have never known what to do with it. Do you have a problem wall in your house?

The TV really overpowers this space. It sits on an Ikea sideboard that I've had for a decade (and I am SO over the dark brown). The sideboard is filled to the brim with serving dishes and seasonal accessories and there is no room to put the DVD player so that sits on an old side table. And then there's the large blank wall. I could put art there but I wondered if it might be too distracting when you're watching TV?

But I've decided I can't take this mismash of cabinets, components, and clutter anymore. I need to find a simpler storage solution, one that makes best use of the space. I'd love to have something light and bright there too. We already have the painted hutch and dresser in the living room so a white or light wood piece would work well. I've searched the stores and there is nothing I can find that is wide enough and fits in my an Ikea hack might be in order. The Besta series is made for media storage so that seems like the likely candidate for a makeover. I've put together a little style board so you can see what I'm thinking:

1. I'd put three Besta units side by side to fill the width of the wall.
2. The VARA door which is a matte white would be a good basic choice. I'd mix some glass doors or open storage too, so that you're able to use the remote for the TV components.
3. This decorative trim from O'Verlays would dress the doors up nicely.
4. Ohmigosh, these dropped hinge pulls would blow my budget but they would make such a statement.
5. Add these furniture feet to give the console some height and a bit of architectural detail.
6. A marble slab on top? Why not! It definitely won't be looking like an Ikea console with that addition.

That's just one idea though. I could go in totally opposite direction and do a console that is maybe more open and industrial looking. Have you seen any nice media consoles lately? Ideally, I'd like something at least 70" long.

A Frozen 5th Birthday Party

Apr 14, 2014 + , ,

If you're not interested in kid's birthday parties, then you might want to turn away from this post. This is probably the most epic birthday party I've thrown so I'm just going to fill it with a gazillion photos. You've been warned!

We celebrated Chloe's 5th birthday on the weekend and it was a blast! Chloe has been asking for a Disney Frozen birthday party ever since she saw the movie. Five is a such a fun age... I love that Chloe is old enough to come up with ideas for her party and help me with the decorations and party food. The way I see it, there's only a limited number of years she'll actually want me to throw her a party so when we do, we go all out.

The Decorations:

We've had Chloe's last three birthday parties here at home. Even though our house is small, I kinda like the cozy feel of having dozens of people celebrating with us. We always set up the food table in our dining room. We have some pretty bold wallpaper in that room so this year, I wanted to hide it and decorate more in theme. I covered one wall in tissue paper fringe hung up with poster putty. It looks like a lot of work but it took only one evening. 

Over that, I hung a banner which I made on my computer. HandyMan made some giant snowflakes out of foam core which he sprayed with spray glue and covered in craft glitter. We stored the goodie boxes on the radiator in the corner and hung the pinata in the archway.

The party started as soon as people walked in the front door. I made some Elsa crowns and Sven antlers for the kids to wear. Chloe set up some of her Frozen toys and I used the extra foam to add icicles to the radiator cover. On the front door, we hung a photoshopped photo of Chloe as Princess Elsa. Too funny! It's hanging in her room now ;)

The Activities:

Most of the activities happened down in the basement. We created a little photobooth with a backdrop and standup cut-outs of Anna and Elsa mounted on foam core. All the images were found online. Here's my munchkin striking a pose.

I also found these Frozen snowflake templates online. My mom made tons of them and we hung them all around the basement. I used clear fishing line so they seemed to float.

We had a colouring station and a cookie decorating station. You can't go wrong with cookies and icing! While the kids were doing their activities, we played the movie on the TV. Want to know how to keep 5 year olds sitting in rapt attention? Let them watch Frozen!

Back upstairs, the kids played pin the nose on Olaf. Each child got a cute little foam putty snowman making kit.

The Food:

I admit it, I probably went overboard on the food. But how could I not? It was too much fun to think up Frozen themed food.

Every last drop of this yummy fizzy punch was finished. Chloe has actually never had soda pop so this was a really special treat. I found this recipe online, made some substitutions, added a Frozen spin on it and came up with this:

Frozen Slush Punch:

1 cup of sugar
6 cups of water
2 boxes Berry Blue Jello
6 cups pineapple juice
2L bottle sparkling lemonade
2L bottle gingerale

1. In a very large pot, bring the sugar, water, and jello to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. 
2. Add the pineapple juice and 4 cups of the sparkling lemonade. 
3. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
4. Divide the mixture into two large freezer ziploc bags and freeze. 
5. One hour prior to consumption, remove the bags from the freezer to thaw. Combine the contents of 1 ziploc bag with 1L of the gingerale and 1/2 of the remaining lemonade.
6. Add the other bag of frozen mixture as needed and mix in remaining gingerale and lemonade.
The kids' favourite food? Surprisingly, the pretzel sticks! Oh, and of course the jello. The kids made a beeline from the front door to the jello. It was finished in a matter of seconds. We ended off the party with store bought cake which I topped with Frozen figurines

And that was Chloe's 5th birthday party! It was such a joy to celebrate this little girl who has brought so much sparkle and sass to our lives. Chloe is a child who really attacks life. Its like she can't wait to wake up in the mornings... she is so full of happiness and seemingly boundless energy. I've learned so much from her!

Mommy and Daddy love you so much Chloe! You are the very very best thing in our lives.

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