Author Archives: Amy

please step all over me [IKEA hack]

ikea bekvam step stool hack

I’m baaaaaaaack!  Whew…that was a fun, jam-packed, exhausting August!  Two week trip to FL.  Daughter’s 7th Birthday Party.  Return to School for Both Kiddos.  My Birthday. The last few weeks have kicked my ass and honestly my little blog has suffered.  Oh, dear blog I do love you so and I promise to be more attentive.

Before we left for Florida, I tackled a DIY that I’ve been wanting to do for years!  Yep, YEARS!  If you have kids, or are vertically-challenged like myself [I'm 5'3" and swear I'm shrinking!] then chances are you probably have an IKEA BEKVÄM stool somewhere in your house.  Ours has been a permanent fixture in the past two kitchens as I cannot reach the top cabinets.  My husband thinks it’s “so cute” that I have to use this stool. Men!  ;-)

After many years of dirty feet, food, dog spit, kids’ spit, paint, little bums, you-name-it, our poor stool looked like this [everytime I look at this thing I hear horror music ringing in my ears]

ikea hack step stool_adding photos

I whipped out my gloss spray paint and gave the stool two coats [skip painting the top]

adding photos to ikea step stool

Let it dry and cure for at least a couple hours before tackling the next step.

personalizing an ikea step stool

I rounded up a few of my favorite pictures of the kids, hub, myself [very few of those exist] and made black+white copies on our printer.  I cut off the excess and laid them down to get a feel for where they would look best.

ikea step stool gets personalized

To attach my photos I sprayed the back of each with a light mist of this Krylon spray adhesive.  When spraying pictures or paper, it’s important to choose an acid-free adhesive.  This will ensure the paper doesn’t disintegrate.

an ikea step stool gets personalized with family photos

After all the pictures were in place, I let the adhesive completely dry for an hour.  Then I ran my [sharp] utility knife around the top of the stool to cut off the excess paper.

how to ikea hack a step stool

To preserve this very personal treasure and ward off any spills that are headed its way, I applied 3 light coats of this heavy duty oil-based poly.  It dries clear and even though the finish is satin, it dries a bit glossy which was just fine with moi.  [be sure to do this either outside or in a well-ventilated area and always wear a mask]

ikea hack_personalizing a step stool

I let this dry outside for at least 3 days before using it.  This should ensure that any toxic fumes are gone and that the poly has cured completely.

Now you can enjoy stepping all over yourself for years to come!  ;)

how to makeover ikea step stool

ikea hack_step stool

how to hack an ikea step stool

I swear my little man is going to be the next “Emeril” cuz the kid loves to cook.  As soon as my picture-taking was done, he asked if he could make his famous souffle [strawberries, blackberries, salt, honey, balsamic vinegar, pepper, and I think he sneaked some mustard in there as well.  BAM!!  ;)

ikea step stool gets a makeover


makeover an ikea step stool


how to makeover an ikea step stool


I love this project and it was so easy.  I love these personal ones especially and everybody loves seeing themselves frozen in time.  I think this would make a special [Christmas] present for the grandparents!

ikea bekvam step stool hack


See you soon!!


my weekend [a room, a house and a pouch]

weekend recap

Is it me, or do the weekends hit the fast forward button?  Not fair.  I thought I’d attempt a new series over here re-capping the weekend goings-on in my little family and ever-changing home.  I thought of naming my new series “The Seinfeld Series” as they will most likely be rambling posts about nothing.  Any of you former Seinfeld lovers out there remember it was the “show about nothing”?

First up…A ROOM.  While most of the country gets the frequent, predictable drizzle, it’s somewhat of a phenomenon here in Southern California.  It rained [more like a drizzle followed by hours of mist] the entire weekend so we enjoyed playing board games on our glam coffee table.  It was such a fun change and we played almost every game in the house.  However, the kiddos’ attention span lasts only for so long [as well as Mama's and Papa's] and we all occupied ourselves with our favorite individual activities for an hour or so.  My daughter bugged her brother, my son bugged his sister, the hub caught up on some work, and Mama broke out the paint brush!  I have been tweaking and tweaking the living room to the point of annoying just about everyone [including neighbors that pop over and never see the same look twice].   However, I visited my second home [aka, Home Depot] on Friday and picked up a dark greige.  Yep, the woman who proclaimed her high distaste of all that is brown, caved.  Now, I love gray and think it’s a timeless color in any room and when I spotted the paint chip labeled “Cement Gray” I was smitten.  Plus, you’ll see what sealed the deal in the next section.

painting a living room dark greige

I’ve heard great things about Behr’s new “Marquee” line and splurged on the $40 price tag hoping it lived up to the “one coat” claim.  [spoiler alert:  it does!]  I went through the whole can in no time and just love how this room turned out.  It is dark and moody, but I think I am drawn to this style.  Again, you’ll see my inspiration in the next section.

going dark greige in a living room

choosing dark greige in a living room

how to pick a dark greige for a living room

The only problem with finding an inspiration color is that I want to paint the entire house now!

Second, A HOUSE.  About 2 miles from our house is a brand new little development.  When I say little, I mean this “community” will consist of approximately 8 houses nestled on a cul-de-sac.  I have been dying to tour the model homes for several reasons…most of them have a panoramic view of the valley and ocean; they are HUGE [4,000 sq ft plus]; and they are pricey [starting at a meager $900K!]  I guess I love seeing how “the other half” live.  So I dragged the hub and kiddos [a little unwillingly] to the models and was awe-struck.  I’ll be doing a much longer post this week with a ton more pictures, but here are a few to get you drooling.

This is a mini tour of the single story model.  As you might imagine at this price point, every bell, whistle, upgrade you can imagine is in this baby.  When you open the front door you immediately see all the way to the backyard.

model homes richmond america

richmond america model home tour

touring a model home

The entire living room wall is made of sliding glass doors that open completely to the back yard.

touring model homes

touring model houses

The kitchen is amazing complete with professional Wolf appliances.

model home tour as color inspiration

The color palette was moody, full of gray, beige…greige!  Alas, my color inspiration was born!  I love how you can pair bright white accents, black, basically anything with it.

model homes serve as color inspiration

Lots of gray tile, white glazed cabinets.

inspiration comes from model home tour

My favorite part of this home was the wine room just off the dining room.  Mama likey!  How cool would that be?  Stay tuned for more pictures this week and I’ll be posting about another model.  Stunning doesn’t even begin to describe that one!

credit:  Richmond America Homes

Lastly…A POUCH.  This might sound a bit frivolous, but the older I get the more fashion revolves around comfort.  Yes, I want to look good, but you won’t see me stumble around town in 3 inch heels.  I have also ditched the purse for a simple, easy-to-grab-from-the-kitchen-countertop pouch.  I keep all the essentials in this lovely and it’s my favorite accessory.  When the amazing people at Red Envelope reached out to me and said I could choose any accessory of my liking [to say I was humbled and giddy is an understatement!] I was immediately drawn to this baby blue leather pouch embellished with a sea horse.

red envelope leather sea horse pouch


The quality is excellent and it’s a great size to hold my wallet, hair brush, paper, pen, make-up and all the paraphernalia that I accumulate from my kids throughout the day!  A big thank you again to Red Envelope!

So that was my weekend in a nutshell.  I spent most of the morning and afternoon Sunday on the couch with some stomach bug!  Lovely.  I sure hope it’s gone by Wednesday!  We head to Florida for 13 days!  Yep, our last vacation of the summer will be spent in one of the most humid states.  More on that later.  There’s a method to our madness, trust me.

Have a fantastic day!

weekend recap


DIY Word Fridge Magnets [aka "keeping the kids entertained"]

diy word magnets for the fridge

So we are in the home stretch of summer vacation [only 3 more weeks to go!] and while I have loved doing and seeing new things around San Diego with the hub and kiddos, there have been days that I just want to rip my hair out!  Sound familiar?  I have tried to force, I mean gently persuade my 6 year old to keep up with her writing and reading, but she is quite the stubborn one.  [I have no idea where she gets that from].   So I put my vintage Rotex label maker [any of you out there remember these or am I dating myself?] to good use and made a bunch of word magnets for the fridge.  I figured it’s a fun way for her to “write” and be creative.

Of course you can use any kind of label maker for this project.  I love my Rotex that I recently purchased off eBay.  I put it to use to create these.

how to make fridge magnets

To start, I typed out 25 common pronouns.  Boy, it’s been waaaay too long since I thought about what the heck a pronoun is!  Embarrassing.  I used this website as my guide.

how to make easy word fridge magnets

diy easy word fridge magnets

how to make word fridge magnets

make your own word fridge magnets

make easy word fridge magnets

The label tape has a sticky back and of course the magnet tape does as well so these magnets should last at least until the end of this upcoming school year [she said a bit sarcastically].

how to make your own fridge magnets


I typed out my kids’ names and they loved that.  My 4 year old boy wanted me to make a “fart” magnet.  ”That’s a verb, right Mama?”  Technically it’s a noun, but that’s ok.  Ahhh….boys!

easy diy word fridge magnetsHere are the other links I used to create my magnets:


Common VERBS


This little project took all of 15 minutes and my kids have been busy little bees making sentences.  I hope their new teachers are seeing this post!

diy word magnets for the fridge