Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received curtains from Eclipse Curtains for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

We recently decided to do a mini makeover to Little Miss’s room.  She needed more storage and we wanted to make it more of a big girl room.  We started by painting the walls a white with a hint of gray.  I replaced her old dresser with an armoire we had in the basement.  I painted it a pale blue and replaced the metal door panels with  white fabric.

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My husband made a nightstand out of pallets and we purchased new bedding.  I made some throw pillows and embroidered Little Miss’s monogram and name on them.  I also framed a little A for above her bed and hung the letters to spell “Dream” on the wall.

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I was not a fan of the traditional bi-fold doors on her closet because it didn’t allow full access. So I replaced it with  semi sheer curtain panel.

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Finally, we hung up some great blackout curtains from Eclipse.  It’s hard for Little Miss to sleep when there’s a lot of light coming in through the window.

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To her, light=playtime, not bedtime!  So, daylight savings time can make bedtime rough. Thankfully, Eclipse Curtains block over 99% of intrusive light, reduce unwanted noise, and help keep in the heat in during the colder months as well as keep the room cool during the summer months.

I loved the feminine touch of the ruffles on the Reese curtains and the back of the panels do a great job of blocking out light.

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I really like that these curtains make her roomer darker without feeling like a dungeon.  This is a picture of the room with the curtains open:

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And here is one of the room, at 11:45 am, with the curtains closed:

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They really make a huge difference!  I love that they help block out heat as well since A’s room faces east and can get pretty warm in the summer. They’re beautiful and functional at the same time.  Eclipse curtains are available in both traditional and contemporary designs.  They even have a fun chevron print that I plan on putting in the little boys’ room. You can find Eclipse curtains on Amazon and at Walmart and Target.

A thinks her new room is super pretty and it functions much better now too!  And bedtime has been going better so that’s a huge bonus!

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda

Disclosure: I received this WORX Drill in order to review it.  All opinions are my own.

Growing up, it was just me, mom and my sister.  That meant many tasks fell onto my shoulders.  I learned at a fairly young age how to use tools, mow the lawn, attempt to fix broken things and to tackle DIY projects on behalf of my mom.  After marrying my wife, we ended up with 2 girls.  Years later we added two boys but they are just now reaching the age where they (the boys) can really start to help me.  Honestly, Benjamin is just now showing an interest in learning these things.  But I digress.  All that was to say, I am comfortable around tools, do the bulk of the manual labor at home and now do DIY projects on behalf of my wife…like building climbing equipment in the woods.  During all my years of tinkering, building and DIY-ing a good cordless drill has been my constant companion.  Though I’ve had many great drills over the years, I’ve had one common complaint about all of them.  The constant switching of bits or having to lug around a second driver to get the jobs done.  Then this little fella showed up at my house.

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The WORX 20v Switchdriver is my favorite drill so far and I am not saying that because they sent it to me free of charge.  Why? Here are some of the standout features of my WORX Drill.

Rotating dual chucks make switching between bits faster than ever

Precise electronic torque control prevents the stripping of screws

Features 2 powerful and lightweight MaxLithium batteries

Variable 2-speed gearing tackles all common drilling & driving functions

1/4″ hex quick-change chucks for easy bit change-out

But if you’re like me, you could care less what the company says about the product you want to hear how your buddy used it to build his wife the most awesome pallet board sign EVER! Or how some other dude used it to build his dream deck.  Watch my video to learn all about it.

Hopefully you watched my little video but if not here’s the breakdown.  The WORX Drill boasts a true hands-free, quick change, rotating dual chuck that lets you flip back and forth between drill and driver with ease.  Wanna see?  Watch my video!  You can do it with just one hand.  My new drill is going be my best friend as I finish building a playground in our woods.   The downside of the quick change chuck is that you have to have hex-head driver bits and drill bits, which means older drill bits won’t work in it.  Anyone whose tried to use two drills at once knows this is going to be a lot easier.  I’m stoked to have it and would like to try out some other WORX products.

You ready to do some DIY?  Enter below for a chance to win your own WORX Drill.

Cliff: An accomplished author, in that I drink a lot of coffee, look at obscure websites, own a copy of Microsoft Word and know what an Oxford comma is. Hobbies include mocking Ab Lounger ads on Craigslist and napping. Former Marine, mail carrier and dental chair technician, now I spend my days trying to live up to my wife and dog\'s expectations of me and show my kids how to live life well.

Disclosure: I received a gift card in order to share this post on small space decorating.  All opinions are my own.

Our home is full.  We have 7 people, one dog and one cat.  Our home is not tiny, but it’s not big either.  It does not have much in the way of storage space.  Though we have 4 bedrooms, all of the bedrooms but one have 2 people in them.  So we have had to become pros at small space decorating.  My big secret? At Home. Check out my Facebook Live video of our most recent trip to At Home and get a sneak peek at all their lovely goodies!

Small space decorating #ad

We have three girls living here.  Our two biological girls ages 11 & 12.  And then our foster daughter also age 12.  They were having some issues with their rooms.  Our girls were lamenting the lack of seating.  We kept pointing out that their room was too small for additional seating.  But on our visit to our Jenison, MI At Home store, we found a great solution!

Small space decorating #ad

Each girl snagged one of these chairs.  They are super comfy for the girls and best of all..when they are not in use they can fold them and place them in their closet or elsewhere (out of the way).  Kayla chose that orange blanket too.  She sits on her chair, covers up with her new blanket and knits or reads.  Grace chose a matching chair, but she fell in love with this super soft pillow.

Our foster daughter had a different problem for her (very) small room.  She need some small space decorating help in the form of a place to do her makeup and get ready in the mornings.

Small space decorating #ad

She fell in love with this zebra print table!  It is like a TV tray so when it is not in use she can fold it up and store it under her bed if she wants to (she never wants to).  She also picked out that mini organizer for her hair bands, ponytail holders, bobby pins etc…  Another complaint she had was lack of a full length mirror.  We found an awesome body mirror on sale and she uses it every day (see photo in the bottom right corner)!

Small space decorating #ad

I love how she keeps her scarves on it.  It adds a cute touch to her room.  Another thing she needed was a place to set her makeup, since the new table was not quite large enough for all her morning items. LOL!

Small space decorating #ad

She found that stool that completely folds up and she keeps her makeup right there beside while she gets ready.

Small space decorating #ad

On our trip we scored two chairs, a blanket, a stool, some cool wall cling stickers, a pillow, a table, a mirror and a few more items (for me) and STILL came in under budget!  The girls are all thrilled and just want to know how soon we can go back.

If you have a kiddo leaving for college (sniffle) or a small space to decorate, then check out this great checklist.

What are your best tips for small space decorating?

 

Kristen: Kristen is a wife, mom, blogger and Brand Ambassador. She has four children; 2 boys and 2 girls. Kristen enjoys her role as a stay-at-home mother. Her oldest children are home-schooled. Her interests include gardening, coffee, reading, cooking and finding new ways to be eco-friendly. You may contact Kristen at mudpiesandtiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Kristen

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DotComDIY #CollectiveBias

Vacations are awesome! This time last year we were in the midst of a lovely 10 day vacation.  This year, we are simply taking a mini getaway.  It does not matter if we are leaving for 2 days or 15 days, there are just somethings we always feel we must do before leaving on a vacation.  Here is my personal list of 5 things you must do before leaving on a vacation.

Pennzoil at Walmart #DotComDIY #CollectiveBias #ad

  1. Call your bank.

First on my list of 5 things you must do before leaving on a vacation is to call your bank. A day or two before we leave home, we make it a point to call our bank and let them know we are traveling and the major cities where we will be.  This was especially important when we went our cruise.  You don’t want to show up somewhere and have your card fail to work.  We call ahead each time and have never had to worry about using our card in a new city.

2. Get some cash

When you call your bank, also make sure you visit your local ATM and pull out some cash. This is important for two reasons. One, you likely do not have fees at your local ATM. Two, you have cash for a random emergency, parking etc.  How much you withdraw is up to you.  Since there are 7 of us, we typically like to have $100 tucked away.  This would cover us for an emergency meal and a tank of gas.  You can never expect an emergency or “cash only” place when traveling so it’s comforting to have that tucked away.

3. Check your tires

Before we leave my husband always carefully checks our tires.  He checks for any new, or unexpected wear and tear and also checks the tire pressure.  You get optimal gas mileage when the pressure is accurate and it is also safer to have your tires at the recommended levels.  *Another tip, tuck away a pressure gauge in your glove compartment and check your tires from time to time when traveling for extended periods.

4. Check your oil

My husband always checks our oil before a trip and changes it if needed.  Some times, he remembers this just a day or two before we leave.  Which is why Walmart is so awesome! When Cliff remembers that we need to change the oil, and we are leaving on a vacation the NEXT day, neither of us has to leave work on our lunch break and rush to the store.  Instead, I simply visit the website and order the exact Pennzoil Oil we need.

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Our cars are both high mileage so we go with the Pennzoil Platinum High-Mileage 10W30 oil from Walmart.  We stick with Pennzoil, because it is perfect for high-mileage cars like ours.  Regularly using their oil means we have better protection against friction and it helps reduce leaks and oil consumption in your cars.  Our vehicles (Vannie Annie and Scratchy) really appreciate this!

Pennzoil at Walmart #DotComDIY #CollectiveBias #ad

It took me less than 60 seconds to place this order.  My husband got a text when it was ready for in store pick up and took him less than 5 minutes to pick up our order when it was ready.  What a time saver! Other perks about ordering online are that we got some (surprise) Rollback savings on the oil we were already planning to buy! Plus, we did not have to wait in line or search around to find our specific Pennzoil oil.  And if we’d been in less of a time crunch, we simply could have had this delivered straight to our home (which is quite awesome).

Pennzoil at Walmart #DotComDIY #CollectiveBias #ad

5. Pack an Emergency Kit

On a recent day trip we took, we had a total of 6 kids with us.  That morning I packed a mini-emergency kit that included water bottles, peanuts, apples, grapes, granola bars, gum and sunscreen.  Guess what happened?  We broke down and were stranded for 6 hours!  BUT because I had this mini emergency kit, we were fairly comfortable!  What goes into your kit, will depend on your family.  Our kits include water, non-perishable foods like peanuts and granola bars, blankets, sunscreen, flashlights, a charge for a phone, coats (in the colder seasons) etc…

What about you? Any trips coming up soon?  We are your best tips for things you simply must do before leaving on a vacation?

Kristen: Kristen is a wife, mom, blogger and Brand Ambassador. She has four children; 2 boys and 2 girls. Kristen enjoys her role as a stay-at-home mother. Her oldest children are home-schooled. Her interests include gardening, coffee, reading, cooking and finding new ways to be eco-friendly. You may contact Kristen at mudpiesandtiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Kristen

I absolutely love the look of barn doors.  However, when I starting looking at them and saw how much they cost, I was pretty discouraged.  They averaged $300-$400 and that is definitely not in the budget, especially when we would still need to buy the track for it!  So I dragged my hubby to Home Depot and we looked for materials to build our own.  We considered just using 1x 6’s but then a Home Depot associate suggested using 1×6 8 ft. Tongue and Groove boards since they were a few dollars cheaper.  He helped us pull some down and put them together and we really liked the look it gave, plus my hubby liked the fact that they locked together and would provide more stability for the door.  We also bought some 1×4’s to hold them together and give the barn door look.  We ended up spending about $55 on the wood.  We picked up two black iron gate handles(one for each side of the door) at $10 a piece.

We cut the boards to the length we needed and attached the tongue and groove panels together.  I stained them along with the 1×4’s with Minwax Special Walnut.  We then screwed the cut 1×4’s to the panels, attached the handles and voila!  We had our custom barn door for about $75!  We then turned our attention to the metal track for the door.  Again, I was shocked at the prices!  Home Depot had them for $179.  Way more than we wanted to pay.  So I turned to eBay.  I was happy to find dozens of vendors and styles there to choose from.  We found one we loved for $66.59, less than half of the one in Home Depot!  The only downside, which we knew from reading the reviews, was that the tracks use metric measurements so we had to modify the installation a little.  But for such a huge savings, it was well worth it!

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I am so so happy with how it turned out! It transformed the look of whole area since this doorway is seen as soon a s you walk in our front door.  The door itself was a pretty easy project.  It took about 2 hours total with sanding, cutting, staining and assembly.  The track installation took about an hour and a half due to the modifications we had to make.  Now I want my hubby to make one for our master bedroom closet 🙂

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda