Colleen’s Favorite Things

I have been loving some products lately for myself, for my home, and for my baby – thought I’d share!

1. Sally Hansen’s Salon Gel Polish Kit

Sally Hansen Gel Kit

Back in March I attended a conference for fundraising professionals that had many take-aways, one of which encouraged me to pay attention to little details because they are noticed and send an important message of detail-orientation to people.  Since then, I’ve been intentional about making sure my nails and hands are manicured, make up is good, and hair is finished (as much as possible with mad curly hair).  Getting a regular manicure when you work for a non-profit, however, is cost prohibitive.  Gel/shellac manicures are awesome since they last so long, but after a week it starts to look terrible and then you have to start over.

After about a month or two of this, I decided to invest in a DIY kit – not the cheapest thing considering they’re $65 at Walmart – but Amazon had a much better deal and it costs less than 2 salon gel manicures. There are mega benefits to doing it yourself, I learned after — when a nail chips, I can simply re-do it!  Secondly, it takes WAY less time than painting your nails with nail polish because there’s no drying time.  For a busy working mom, this is the answer to having your nails look nice – hands down.

2. Genuine Kids Alice Sandals

Genuine Kids Alice Sandals

My little girl is learning to walk, but has narrow, small feet.  And, like most babies, she likes to kick her shoes off.  When I tried to find baby shoes for her, either they wouldn’t stay on her feet, or if they did stay on they were crib shoes and had no sole and they got ruined in an afternoon of her toddling around.  I actually loved baby TOMS for her, but it’s summer and too warm for a closed shoe.  These sandals are supportive, stay on her feet, protective, adorable and affordable at $12.99.  I just ordered 2 more pairs in the next sizes.

3. Google Chromecast

Google Chromecast

This little device is so flipping awesome.  For $35 (and, in this case, we have a great friend who gave us one!), this device allows us to stream HD video to our television from our phones, computer, and tablet.  As a millennial family without cable, primarily using Hulu Plus and Netflix for entertainment we love that we can watch in HD and have the freedom to control it from anywhere in our wifi network.
I really need to find a way to monetize this blog.  In the meantime, enjoy!

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The Official Guide to Painting a Chevron Wall // In 6 Simple Steps!

Did you just get home after a long day of work and have 20 minutes to kill?  If you answered yes, you should probably stop because this is not a good idea for you.  Otherwise, go on.

Did you just get a new place or are you in the mood to redecorate?  If the answer is yes, keep reading.

I have envisioned a gray & white chevron nursery for months – I think even before I got pregnant.  I mentioned it to my husband who, rather than flip out on me, embraced the idea.  And we then quickly recruited my bestie’s graphic designer husband to help (this is a wise choice).  Yesterday, they tasked themselves to this while we shopped for nursery decor.  They photo-chronicled the process so that you can recreate.

PHOTO GUIDE TO CREATING A CHEVRON WALL

Step 1: Paint the wall one of the two colors you intend in your chevron and let it completely dry (this may take 2 coats).

Step 2:  Grid off your wall using chalk.  Your grid should be the exact width you want your lines to be – I wanted 7 inch lines, so they made 7 inch boxes.

Step 2: Grid off your wall with chalk
Step 2: Grid off your wall with chalk

 

Step 3: Cut painter’s tape to approximately the lengths you want, at a 45 degree angle and apply to grid.  You place the tape corner to corner, staying outside the boundaries of the new color.

Painter's tape applied to grid creating 45 degree angles
Painter’s tape applied to grid creating 45 degree angles

 

Painter's tape

Step 4: Paint the stripes between the tape lines.  Allow time for drying and then paint second coat (if needed… probably needed)

Step 4: Paint the chevron between the tape lines IMG_20130602_201201_256

Step 5: Remove painter’s tape before it is completely dry, so as to not flake the chevron, and touch up as needed.

Remove the painter's tape and touch up any spots as needed (in this case, the tape took some chips of paint off the wall)
Remove the painter’s tape and touch up any spots as needed (in this case, the tape took some chips of paint off the wall)

 

Step 6: Bask in your awesomeness while you allow the paint to fully dry and then come back in a day or two and wash the grid off the wall with a soft cloth and lightly soapy water.

Enjoy it while it dries - you just did something awesome!  Then in a day or two, wash off the chalk grid with a soft cloth and soapy water.
Enjoy it while it dries – you just did something awesome! Then in a day or two, wash off the chalk grid with a soft cloth and soapy water.

 

HUGE thanks to my incredible husband and our friend Steve on this one – I am so thrilled that this is the room where we will welcome our baby girl home!