News Releases

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Room makeovers with kids- Getting them motivated!!!

Randi's room makeover
(previously posted 4/13/17)
In our house we have been spring cleaning. My goals were to declutter, be more organized and simplify what we have in our house. 

Randi taping off the edges before
priming her room.
My two girls decided they wanted to get involved in the process. My oldest daughter, Randi who is 12 years old wanted to give her room a makeover.  It's been a few years since we really did a deep cleaning getting rid of old toys, games and knick knacks.  It was also time to get rid of clothes she had outgrown. While we were doing this, she asked if she could redesign her room with a new coat of paint and rearrange  her furniture. I gave her the ok and she was off and running with it.

She got on the computer looking for picture of a room she liked and was ready to replicate the look. Her walls have a chair rail already, so she wanted two paint colors for the wall. The bottom half she picked a beautiful baby blue color and for the top half she went three shades lighter.  
Randi was so persistent in doing her room, before I knew it she she taped off the walls, primed the walls with the help of her sister, Graci age 11, and then started painting.  

Randi priming her walls before she paints.
My husband helped get her the supplies and helped paint a little of the room, but most of it Randi did on her own. She really did an amazing job.  

She went online and found several items for her room including a beautiful tapestry to cover part of the wall for only $9.99.  I was impressed.  She also picked out a wall photo organizer and new blinds and a new comforter and few other items. She gave me the list and ordered them for her. She knew exactly how she wanted her room. Did I mention she was using her own money to pay for the items and the paint? We agreed before she started if she wanted to do this she would pay for it with some of her money she had in her savings account. 

Graci and Randi having fun
Of course once Randi's room was finished it looked like something out of a magazine at least that's what friends and relatives said when they saw a photo of her room redesigned. It really made Randi feel good because she picked out everything and paid for it. Even my friend, Julya who is a home stager gave her stamp of approval for how Randi's room came out.

As you can imagine if you have two children who are close in age, once Randi's room was finished Graci was ready to do her room. Graci wanted more than a new coat of paint on her walls. She wanted to get new furniture too. We decided to sell her furniture. The money we made we used to purchase new furniture, which worked out perfectly. 

Graci also picked out a picture on the internet of what she wanted her room to look like. She wanted her room to feel more relaxing. She went from dark purple to gray walls giving her more of a spa atmosphere.  With the help of my friend Julya, we were able to make Graci's room look like the picture without spending a lot of money. Graci needed more help than Randi at painting her room, but I expected that. She is younger. 
Graci with Julya Kemp, a friend
and owner of New Outlook
Home Staging, helping her pick out
a color for her walls.

Graci is the second child and as you can imagine gets a lot of hand me downs, so we needed to get rid of toys and clothes she didn't use any more.

Once we got all her things together I had the girls help me with a garage sale and told them any money they made from their stuff they could keep.

My goal during all of this was to teach them a little about money and how hard they have to work to make money and how fast it can go when you buy things. 

Graci's room makeover
I think their rooms will mean more to them since they helped pick out the paint, decorations and used their own money to pay for it.

I never knew my girls would take spring cleaning to a whole new level. Since they are getting a little older now, it's great that they can help me with their rooms. I feel so much more organized and I know the girls do. It's like a breath of fresh air! 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

All Aboard: Making Memories on a Train

(re-post first published in 2016)
It's not too often you get to take your kids on a train ride in Florida.

For past few years, I have heard from friends about the wonderful holiday-themed North Pole Express train rides offered at the Florida Railroad Museum in Parrish, Florida, but it sells out very fast. This year was no exception, but when looking at the Polar Express, I saw they also offered another excursion called the old fashioned Hobo Campfire Cookout. 

It was very similar to the North Pole Express including the 6.5 mile train ride to a location they call Willow Yard, but this excursion included campfires along with a dinner of  hot dogs, marshmallows, lemonade. They even had a folk band!  

I was able to purchase tickets online, so we went the end of January. If you are wondering where Parrish is, it's about 35 miles south of Tampa. It's really not too far of a drive.

When we got to the museum, the locomotives were ready to go. That afternoon was one of the colder days of winter especially for us Floridians, but good weather for a campfire. 

My girls ages 10 and 11, loved it because we had our choice of railroad cars we could ride in. Some were open air while others were closed with heat. We chose the train with heat. My parents, who also went with us and loved it because it brought back memories of riding the train when they were younger.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Making memories in the Florida cold!

Gaylord Palms Resort's ICE! Christmas Around the World
It’s not too often Florida kids get to play in freezing cold temperatures and throw snow balls. Even though we’ve had some bitterly cold temperatures lately, it’s nothing like the nine-degree temperatures in Orlando at Gaylord Palms Resort’s ICE! This year the theme is Christmas Around the World.  

The Tubbs Family at ICE! 
Recently my family was invited to experience ICE! It is in its fifteenth season and is self-guided walk through experience of a winter wonderland, where two million pounds of colorful ice has been carved into larger-than-life ice sculptures by some of the finest artisans from Harbin, China. This year the sculptures represent holiday scenes from various nations including a two-story ice sculpture with slides visitors can go down.  There’s also ice sculptures of the traditional Santa’s North Pole and a beautiful nativity scene created with crystal clear ice. The nativity is my favorite part because it brings in the true meaning of Christmas.

Graci and Randi inside ICE!
Kadi, Graci and Randi at the nativity.
My two daughters Randi (13) and Graci (11) are Florida girls, so feeling the freezing cold temperatures and seeing ice sculptures isn’t something they experience too often.  Even though their teeth were chattering at times, they loved it!

They could only stand the freezing temperatures for about a half an hour, still it was plenty of time to see everything and go down the slides, which probably was their favorite part.  It truly is fascinating looking at the details in the sculptures.  
The slides made of ice inside ICE!