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DIY Lego Movie Costumes

Done

Halloween 2014 we wanted to go for a family costume theme and the kids absolutely LOVE the Lego Movie so it seemed like a great fit.

 

Batman

Wildstyle

Emmett

Badcop

Benny

 

 

 

 

 

My oldest think’s he is a pretty big deal (Batman). My only girl is a mix of emotions and yet not afraid to do her own thing (Wild Style/Lucy). My middle fella is a people pleaser and always happy (Emmett). My little man can be super sweet and then flip on a dime (Bad Cop). My toddler is so one-track-minded “SPACESHIP!!” (Benny). And then my baby, the piece of resistance of course!!. I did my research and found that many others had done DIY Lego costumes before which gave me the courage to give it a try. I took my ‘six-pack’ to the craft store and Menards to gather the supplies and get to it.

Basic Supplies: Concrete form tube, spray paint, rubber cloves, small plastic pot, insulating foam (get the good stuff or it’ll make a horrid mess when cutting), duct tape, craft paints, paint brushes.


Lego Batman1. Lego body:
The base for each costume is a costume. The larger costumes were other boxes which I snagged from the recycle bin. (Diaper boxes work great and with 2 in diapers that boxes were easy to find.) The kids each tried on their boxes and I cut the holes accordingly. We used some tape in various spots to make it more comfy too. I spray painted the boxes out in the yard although I am sure my neighbors thought I was nuts with a line of sprayed boxes. After drying throughly I was ready to paint the details. I found photos online and pictures from the kids Lego movie figurine books to help guide me. Drawing and then painting was a long and tedious step for me. I used lots of duct tape for the costumes whenever possible. Craft paints and Sharpie’s were a lifesaver here as well. I spent more time painting the details than anticipated but the kids reaction to the costumes made it all worth it.

Lego Lucy2. Lego head: The heads for the larger costumes were made from concrete form tubes which I cut into smaller pieces with powertools. (Side note: This wasn’t easy and if I was to do it again, I would have gotten help with this part). I sprayed the tubes yellow first; however, if I was to do this again I’d wait and spray AFTER cutting….lesson learned. The Benny costume was made for a 2 year old so I decided to use a small plastic pot instead. After cutting the tube into 4 pieces I used the tube as a stencil and traced the inside of the tube on the foam so I could get the right sized circle to fill the top of the ‘Lego head.’ After cutting out and then sanding the edge of the foam circles I pushed them into the top of each tube and rounded the edges with duct tape. More spraying took place after taping newspaper cut to fit as to not get black paint on the yellow lego faces.

IMG_00423. Finishing Touches: We added a cape to the batman costume by cutting holes to tie it within. I also used leftover pieces of the foam to create Badcop’s helmet, batman’s ears and Wild Style’s hair. Again,  I used duck tape to round them out and connect them. (Through researching online I read that the foam will basically melt if spray painted. I tested that theory which I found to be correct so I then proceeded to cover all of the foam with duct tape to avoid that problem which  I would say was a success). I totally cheated on the back of Badcop by finding a font that matched. I printed, cut and clued those bad-boys on the box and it worked great. To add to Benny’s spacesuit I  poked holes in 2 empty plastic bottles and affixed them to the back of the box.

Bad Cop BackLego Bad Cop

The kids had fun and won a local costume contest which they were pretty jazzed about. They all thought their costumes were “AWESOME!” If you are thinking of trying a Lego DIY costume-GO FOR IT! There are many people who have made Lego costumes and share their info online which makes this totally manageable.

Benny BackBenny

DIY: 3 bedrooms+6 Kids=Rethinking the beds

With 5 kids, 3 bedrooms and a baby on the way we had to re-think our bed configuration and of course where to put the clothes with less space. We originally had planned to add another bedroom because our floor plan includes a ‘teen room’ and an open area above the main entry. After reviewing the floor plans and looking into the truss situation we starting surfin’ the web for innovative bunk bed options. Once the kids saw how cool the bunk beds could be they decided they really liked that option. In fact THEY preferred to share a room rather than have us make the ‘teen room’ into a bedroom. Apparently they really like that living space to hang out and watch TV (Yes, we are those mean parents that refuse to let them have a TV in their bedrooms).

We found some really cool bunk bed options but some of them were in the $2,500 dollar range. (They do provide free shipping-seriously? As if that would get me to jump on that deal..ha ha ha). We found tons of other DIY’s from other families in the same or similar situation. It was a ton of fun to find many other great blogs to follow :). In the end we decided we would build them ourselves (by that I mean my husband) and that we liked the ‘L’ shaped triple bunks. We found some inexpensive plans online but decided we’d make our own. (My husband was pretty confident I guess). Although he is NOT a carpenter by trade I trusted him to complete this project. He felt some kind of calling to do it as his Dad built his beds and my Dad built mine as a child as well. Must be some type of Daddy right of passage. 😉 I was happy as long as they were strong/sturdy enough to handle 3 boys. I got my way and he used carriage bolts with the 2×4’s and 2×6’s which somehow made me feel better. I was impressed at how sturdy they turned out to be.

Back on the bunk beds…He built each each bed first building them to the measurement of the mattresses. Then we hauled them up to the bedroom and determined the height we preferred for the middle and top bed. Here is what they looked like put together. (although we have since added railing to the side so they don’t roll out of bed and added the same ‘head board’ as shown on the middle bed to the bottom one.)Triple 'L' Bunk Beds

The most impressive part of this whole project was my amazing husband completed it on a drill weekend. Nothing like working all week and then doing some carpentry on the weekend after 2 long days as a soldier. The Red Green show says, “If women don’t find you handsome they should at least find you handy.” I feel blessed because he’s both. ❤

You may be wondering where the other 3 kids will be. We’ll the only girl has her own room (spoiled princess). The baby and our almost 2 year old are in the third room. The crib, changing table and a toddler bed fit nicely. We don’t know the gender of the new baby but are assuming it’s a boy (we have 4 already so odds seem to favor boy). If it turns out to be a girl that will really be interesting. Stay tuned….

DIY: Organizing closets for 6 kids!?!?!

Preparation for Baby #6 means hauling the baby bins from the basement storage and organizing the baby clothes. This made me somewhat frustrated as ALL of the kids closets and drawers were a mess. We had 2 dressers in each closet for socks, undergarments, pants and shorts. We would hang all of the tops above despite the massive amount of hangers. :/ Trying to put this away was a challenge with so many drawers open and shut. The kids seemed to be constantly breaking the drawers or ‘pushing out’ the bottoms as they stuffed the drawers with the clean clothes. (Laundry day at the Menne house is pretty interesting) I wanted some sort of bins for their clothes but didn’t know how it would work. This is what my hubby came up with.

Closet Organization 1

Each child has a color for their bins and they have 1 bin for each drawer that used to be the dresser. We once again hung up the tops. You’ll notice the shoe storage in the middle. This is my way of keeping sane but I’ll get to that in a minute. Back to the bins, in order to allow the kids to help with putting things away we labeled each bin with words and drawings. It’s hard to see in the second photo but we did our best to draw socks, tights, etc. and then label them with words as well. We used post-it’s and clear contact paper.

Closet Organization 2

Back to the shoe storage bins….At some point on the weekend (when things are less crazy) I take the time with each child to help them pick out 5 outfits for the week including socks and undies and we fill each shoe slot with 1 outfit. This makes mornings much easier on all of us because they know where their clothes are, they match (for the most part) and they have the independence to open the closet and find the outfits on their own.

This project was completed a few months ago and has been going well. I am SO happy with how it all turned out.

How do you keep your kids clothes organized? I’d love to hear your ideas!! Please share 🙂

Pumpkin Poppers and Jack-O-Latern Cupcakes

Halloween Cupcakes? Heck Yeah! Who doesn’t need an excuse to break out the frosting and food coloring. :)I found these cute lil’ pumpkins in a magazine and knew the kids would love them. What convinced me to make these cuties was the fact that I could make both the jack-o-latern cupcakes AND the pumpkin poppers. How cool is that?

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I did one batch of cupcakes using regular food coloring but they just weren’t orange enough for me and trying to add more coloring was affecting the consistency of the batter. I learned my lesson and ran to Target for orange food coloring gel which proved to work very well.

You can use a white cake recipe and make cupcakes from scratch or use a white cake mix.

(After making my first batch from scratch I decided to cheat the second time around and used a white cake mix). Color the batter with the orange food coloring gel. It doesn’t take much and the color ‘pops’.

After letting the cupcakes cool using a serrated knife cut the rounded tops off of the cupcakes and put them in the freezer to prep them for frosting. While they are chillin’ mix up the frosting. You’ll need  a small amount of green and plenty of orange. Again the gel food coloring works much better than the regular liquid food coloring to allow the frosting to maintain a thicker consistency. Once your frosting is ready and the cupcakes are nice and cold you’ll frost!Image

Pumpkin Poppers

Frost  the bottoms of half of the the rounded tops. (This can be a pain to frost which is why putting them in the freezer helps.) Then place another rounded top. The stem is a Tootsie Roll and in order to make it stay up I used a Wilton filling tip to gently great a hole for the Tootsie Roll. Finally using the Wilton leaf tip and green frosting I made the leaves and ta da! Pumpkin poppers ready to eat!

ImageJack-O-Latern Cupcakes

These require a bit more work. This time you’ll frost the tops of half of the cupcakes and then place them together connecting tops to tops. There is no right way to connect them as the irregularity helps for creating cool faces. Use plenty of frosting to ensure the teeth have something to ‘stick’ to. 🙂 Once they are all frosted you can make fun faces using white mint Tic-Tacs for teeth, and Wilton candy eyes. Again, I made a hole using the Wilton filling tip to place the Tootsie Rolls for the stems and then finished it off with the Wilton leaf tip and green frosting to create the leaves.

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1 box White Cake Mix

(ingrediants listed on the box)

2 cans of white frosting

orange food coloring gel

green food coloring gel

1 pckg white mint Tic Tacs

1 small bag of Tootsie Rolls

1 pckg Wilton Candy Eyes

Guest Post: Creative Ways To Enjoy Your Summer And Make Money

Creative Ways To Enjoy Your Summer And Make Moneymoney

In the middle of the summer, you might find your mind wandering toward thoughts of sunny beaches and get-away vacation spots. For most families, the price of leaving town and booking a hotel isn’t always easy when there’s business to attend to and bills to be paid. However, there are ways to have fun and make some money during these dog days of summer. Whether you’re managing the family at home or working at your office, see how these four creative tips can improve your life and your bank account while the sun is still in full force!

Sell Your Photos
Do you love snapping pictures with your camera? Don’t let those gorgeous photos you’re taking go to waste! If you’ve taken hundreds of photos that only a few people have seen, you could be missing out on a great opportunity. Make some extra bucks by selling your beautiful images as stock photos. There are several sites online that let you sign up for free which allow your photos to be sold to their users. It’s a good way to build your portfolio and make some money at the same time!

Become a Dog Boarding House

If you enjoy animals like I do, then you will love this idea! A great way to make a pet-owner feel at ease while they’re out of town is dog boarding through a service such as DogVacay. It’s a fantastic way to make some extra cash in your free time! Some people feel uneasy about the idea of leaving their furry friend in a kennel. This way, you give the pup some much needed attention while their owner is gone and you get paid to let them stay with you. It’s a win-win for everyone involved!

Switch Off Your Air Conditioner
Your home doesn’t have to be an icebox in the summertime! If you’re not living in an area where the temperatures rise to 100 degrees in the warmer months, chances are you could turn off the air conditioner more times than you think. Buy yourself a few portable fans that can move from room to room. Open the window and let the fans push the air around your house. It’s easy to lay off the air conditioner when the cooler evening hours set in. It’s a great way to lower the electric bill that has a way of rising a little on the high side around the middle of the year! 

Go on – Double Your Recipe

This idea might sound a little bit out there, but it could really save you some cash! Next time you’re cooking, go on and double the ingredients in your recipe! It might seem a little odd staying out of the kitchen too long, but having food for longer than you planned goes a long way. Doubling your recipe means fewer trips to the store and less time leaving the oven on. All in all you’ll save time, decrease your electric bill and have energy left to relax!

The summer season is the perfect time to find small ways to enhance your life. Take some time to soak up the sun and increase your savings. Let your creative side and your budget skills collide by trying some of these tips for yourself!

Shaye is a single mom that has a passion for family, budgeting, healthy living, fitness, and travel. She loves finding new ways to cook healthier and stay fit, all while doing it on a budget. She has a beautiful son and one eccentric dog, but wouldn’t have it any other way.. Follow her blog athttp://simplyshaye.wordpress.com!  

Simply Shaye

Minecraft Madness

My 10 year old and well frankly my 8 year old and almost 6 year old are all obsessed with everything Minecraft. As I read in another Dad’s blog, unless you’ve been under a rock-Minecraft is all the rage with 8-12 year old boys.

We’ll my 10 year old recently had a birthday and in fact it was his golden birthday so he decided it needed to be extra special but the word he used was, “Epic.” Under a bit of pressure I checked out many blogs and photos of Minecraft cakes and birthday parties.

Here is what I came up with under the direction of my kids because honestly am pretty clueless about this Minecraft business.IMG_3979

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Minecraft Cake: We used 2 cake mixes and experimented with cereal treats. We ended up making the trees out of straws, cereal treats and fondant. Steve is made of cereal treats and fondant. (I made the fondant myself with a easy marshmallow recipe) In order to make it authentic we had to add a ‘torch’ so the candle was stuck to Steve’s hand with a tooth pick.

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I googled to find the Minecraft font and then watched a YouTube video on how to install it. (very handy that YouTube!)

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After checking out many blogs I decided to use balloons, construction paper and crepe paper to make spiders.

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The treat bags are just green bags with construction paper. A cool idea from another blogger. Check out his way-cool blog here Dad-Geek-Gamer

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I think this is a birch tree?? Lots of paper taped up to make one for them to chop down I guess. Another idea from the blogger cited above.

The kids made their own axe’s from cardboard, crepe paper and tinfoil. They seemed to like it but not as much as playing the actual game. It was a real gamers kinda’ party and they all had fun.

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Happy mining folks and remember, “Don’t mine at night” 😉