Home Renovation – Pinterest to the Rescue!

At our new house we have many of the original doors upstairs, but they have been painted over and over and the Easy way to remove old paint from door hardware - 17th Street Blessingshardware is coated in paint. This makes the doors hard to open and close, and to me it looks very sloppy. Also, Lego Man’s room used to be pink, and I don’t think pink hardware is something he has in mind.

So I headed over to Pinterest and pinned a few ideas to my 17th Street House board. But this is the one I decided to try.

I had all the hinges, door knob plate (is that what it is called?), pegs and screws. They were all were covered in many layers of old paint. The knobs are a beautiful clear glass, so those did not go in the pot (thankfully they do not have any paint on them).

The pin said to boil 1 quart of water with 1/4 cup of baking soda and soak the hardware for 15-20 minutes. I’m not much for measuring, so I filled up an old, old, old stockpot and dumped some baking soda in (why dirty a measuring cup!?!).

Make sure you keep an eye on it, I got distracted (by Facebook!) and the pot almost boiled over. After fifteen-ish minutes I carefully dumped everything in the sink and then I ran each piece under hot water as I did a little bit of scrubbing, most of it just peeled right off. I did a second set from a different door later that day (I’m trying to do one at a time so I don’t mix up the hardware!) and after a first run and I dumped them in the sink, the paint didn’t all come off. So I took any that were clean and set them aside then I put a fresh pot of water and baking soda and put the rest in for another fifteen minutes. Then it all came out clean!

Easy way to remove old paint from door hardware - 17th Street BlessingsI was so excited to hang Lego Man’s door back up today! It really makes his room come together, having a door!



Parent Hack for Vacations

My mom sent me this idea a few years ago and it has been just so helpful! I have a 6 year old boy and 4 year old girl. We like to travel, and usually make it to the beach once a year, and occasionally we get to go in my Grandma’s RV.

It is very simple, before vacation head out to buy some generic zip top bags. Then you can put one day of clothes for each kiddo in each bag (one bag for each day, unless you are going to do laundry on your trip and re-load the bags).  We are headed to Virgina to see my brother and his family for Thanksgiving, so my kids each put out a stack of clothes to travel down in, then I helped them load four bags, each one with a shirt, pants, underwear and socks. If you have fancy girls, you can even add in headbands and other accessories (my girlie runs with the boys to much to care about fancy things!).

Pic 1I had each of them make four stacks, then we loaded up the bags.

Pic 2Then (since it is a short trip) all the bags went into a shared suitcase. The only thing loose is the jammies. Now when we are on vacation each morning the kids will each grab a bag and get dressed! It makes packing and getting dressed on vacation so much easier!

Pic 3As you can see, the only one that got folded nice was the one I took pictures of. Hopefully my son won’t mind you all seeing his Sponge-Bob undies and mis-matched superhero socks.

See you next week when we get back!

Did you know you can “Pin” this post to your Pinterest boards? Just click “Pin It” right below this text! Thanks!

Cleaning Eggs

A few years ago we started a new way to encourage our kiddos to clean up their room independently. At the time they were 3 and 5, and it was such a headache convincing them to clean up their toys, I really felt like Mama Bear with a big box, ready to throw away any toys that were left strewn about. I got angry, they got upset, oh it was just all bad.Couponing In Birdland Eggs

So I devised the “Egg System.” (I really haven’t come up with a better name than that) When it is time for the kids to clean their room, they always ask, “Can we do the eggs?” Start with an empty egg carton and a dozen plastic eggs. Then what I do is put a dime in each egg. You can adjust the reward to your kids, it could be each egg is worth 5 minutes past bedtime, or some other creative reward. Right now my 4 and 6 year old are content with the dimes, so we are sticking with it!

When my kids were very small, I organized their room so that toys all had their own bin, and I laminated a picture label for each bin. Then when it was time to clean up, I would push all the mess to the middle, making a pile, and put all the bins back on the shelves. That way the kids just had to pick up toys from the pile and put them in the correct bin. Now that they are older, they can handle much more by themselves.

Then, when it is time to clean their room (usually I do this once a week, but we don’t have a set schedule) I pull out my kitchen timer and set it for 5 minutes. Each kid starts with 6 eggs, after 5 minutes if the room is not clean (it never is!) I take away one egg from each kid and set the timer for another 5 minutes. Then once the room is clean, however many eggs are left, they get to keep the money in those eggs. They are often left with 2-3 dimes. I am probably going to have to upgrade to quarters soon!

Couponing In BirdlandNow, I don’t always pay my kids for contributing to our family, they are often asked to clean, take out trash, help with dishes, and whatever age appropriate task is needed to be done (without any pay). And every once in a while I have them clean their room without the benefit of the eggs, I don’t want them to think that they should get paid for every little thing they do. But I do think it is important to teach them about money, how to work hard to earn a paycheck, and how to budget and spend money, and this helps with those skills.

I am personally *just terrible* at keeping up with sticker charts and things like that. This is something that requires no continuous upkeep, and it still motivates my kiddos after almost two years.  And if money rewards are not your style, there are lots of other rewards you can use! You could equate a certain number of eggs to a parent-child date night, or time with electronics.

So what works for your family? Are you one that can keep up with sticker charts? (You have my envy!) Or is there something else that works well?

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