Show Prep - Vintage Whites Market SLC 2016

I promised you that I would be better at showing you what real life is like around here since its pretty obvious that I don't spend all my time on DIY projects and room makeovers. Today is just that. A glimpse into what my life looks like right now.

Trust me, there isn't anything pin-worthy about my house and I didn't even bother cleaning up for you because I've been painting nonstop in preparation for the first show of the season. That show just happens to be Vintage Whites Market (which is NEXT WEEK! eek!) and I'm so incredibly grateful that the founders of Vintage Whites (yes...the same ones with a killer blog and recently featured in Country Living Magazine!) chose me to be a part of their amazing show, that I don't even mind all the hard work and long hours I've been putting in.

Let's face it, the kids are watching way too many movies...

...the house is almost a lost cause and could really use a little attention...

...not to mention, my pregnant body aches from sitting on a hard metal chair for hours at a time.

Just when I think I can't paint any more, my husband comes home from a long day of work and immediately jumps in to help with framing signs, working on vintage furniture or anything else that might help me reach the end of my to do list.

In the end, I may not know exactly what the future holds or whether or not I will be successful in what I'm doing, but I have peace and faith in HIS plan for me no matter how crazy things are right now. So, if you need me, you know where to find me. I'll be the one covered in paint at my kitchen table painting the day away.

PS. I've added a list to the side bar of all the shows I'll be doing this spring!

Diy Little Mermaid Cake (no piping skills required!)

I don't know about you, but when it comes to decorating cakes, I pretty much suck. It is not a skill set I possess and even though I've tried really hard to learn, it's just not happening. I can bake a cake, but when it comes to fancy frosting and Just, no.

Lucky for me, I have some awesome relatives who DO possess said cake skills, so its not often the kids go without awesome birthday cakes (you can see what I'm talking about HERE, HERE, and HERE ), but what happens when mamma is on her own and the kid requests a Little Mermaid Cake? 

Well, I discovered a little secret (well, its probably not really a secret) .... frosted, but NOT decorated cakes from the bakery! In my case I used a huge cake from Costco (hello...$18.99!!) Obviously, I could've just ordered something decorated from the grocery store bakery, but Costco cakes are a really good deal, taste super yummy(ours was chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling) and are huge! There's only problem with Costco are limited on what they will actually decorate your cake with and they don't offer any character cakes. Lame.

My solution?

How about a Costco cake combined with a cheap play set from Amazon? #winnerwinnerchickendinner !!

This is what you'll need to recreate your own Little Mermaid Cake:

Follow the steps below to easily build your cake!

DIY Little Mermaid Cake from a frosted but not decorated cake
If ordering a cake from Costco, just specify on the order form which flavor cake you want with white frosting and with piped edges, but no design.

DIY Little Mermaid Cake using a Disney Mini playset
My daughter loves these little sets and they are the perfect scale for a cake, not to mention its a built in gift for the birthday kid! 

Little Mermaid Cake tutorial  using a prefrosted costco cake
I place the castle first so that I can squish it into the frosting. This keeps it stable if you will be transporting the cake. Follow up by sprinkling crushed graham crackers around to resemble a beach.

DIY Little Mermaid Cake - no piping skills required
Sprinkle the blue sugar where you want the ocean to be. I found it helpful to press the sugar into the icing slightly to help it stay in place. 

DIY Little Mermaid Cake - cake tutorial - costco cake
Place your figurines around the cake. My daughter really wanted to recreate the scene where Ariel gets her legs, but I thought it was best if Ariel kept her clothes on for this one. 

Little Mermaid Cake tutorial using a costco cake
We happened to have leftover candy from our goodie bags so we used it to embellish the cake even more. My daughter had a lot of fun telling me where to put all of them.

It's that simple!!!

Little Mermaid Cake tutorial

If I didn't know I made it, I would've totally thought it came done from the bakery, wouldn't you!?

Little Mermaid Cake tutorial
Letter E - built by my husband | Cake Stand - Vintage | Plate - IKEA | 

I almost didn't even write this tutorial because of how easy it was, but then I thought, why not!? I'm sure there are lots of times when we want to add our own DIY touches to a party, but things like frosting and piping a cake are out of our comfort zones. This solution is so easy that your kids could probably do it themselves!

I really hope you will give this idea a try and if you do, I want to see your cakes!

DIY Little Mermaid Cake Tutorial using a costco cak and a disney play set

Using Restor-A-Finish or How to Restore a Vintage Bed Easily

I have to say, this was one of the easiest things I have done in a long time. In fact it might have taken me longer to run to the store for supplies than it actually took me to give this bed a little makeover.

Now, I realize that keeping this bed the original finish might not be for everyone. Some people wouldn't hesitate to paint it (which could be beautiful too!) or there is the option of stripping the bed of its finish and either leaving it raw or staining it a new color, but honestly, non of these options were something I wanted to tackle at the moment. All I really wanted was to clean up the bed and it get in Ellery's room as soon as possible.

So, I turned to an option that I heard about, but never tried myself.... Howard's Restor-A-Finish. (aff. link)

My friend Jess at Bright Green Door has used this product on a mid century dresser with fab results and it worked great on my mom's kitchen cabinets so I thought it was worth a go!

Here's what I used:

Yup, just 3 things!

Before doing anything, I dusted the bed and got rid of any obvious dirt and grime. A little diluted vinegar is perfect for this job.

I chose to start with the bed rails since they were in pretty bad shape and if the Restor-a-Finish couldn't help them, I knew there would be no help for the rest of the bed.

I poured a little of the Restor-A-Finish on a cotton rag and rubbed it into the wood.

Rails before (sorry for the slightly blurry pic!):

In the next picture you can see that I used the Restor on the bottom rail, but not on the top. Quite the difference. You can barely see the scratches and dings from the before picture!

Here's another angle of the bed rails before:

And after- again with the Restor-A-Finish only applied to the bottom rail:

After I got the whole bed done, I went back and applied the Feed-N-Wax as directed. I figured a little added protection is never a bad thing when you've got a house full of kids. Obviously, its not a miracle product and you can still see some dings and scratches, but it is a massive improvement over how the bed started out! I would definitely recommend this product if you are trying to save the finish on wood furniture.

Here's the bed set up in her room before we added makeshift bed slats. You can see there are a few blemishes still, but overall, it looks pretty good and will work perfect while the kids are little. Nothing can be to precious right now if you know what I mean!

I'm still playing around with how to set up her room, but here's a iPhone shot so you can see how it works with some of the other items in her space. I'll do a full bedroom tour later when I get some decent light! (not to mention... all three kids are sleeping in Elle's room while I finish up the boys space which basically means its a hot mess!)

What do you think?
Have you ever tried this product?
I plan to try it on the vintage dressers that will be going in the boys room in hopes that it will tone down their orangey color. I'll keep you posted on the results!

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