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Monday, May 30, 2011

Cool Ideas: Beat the Heat!

Just the thought of Arizona in the summertime makes people shudder. Things don't even start cooling down until October (last year it didn't really start cooling down until late October/early November and then it only stayed AC cool during the winter time! Craziness!). I don't think it's as bad but because I have 4 boys, you'd better believe that there'll be football! Our football season comes during those months that are the hottest in AZ! (Not to mention I will be at the field all day long because I have to watch 3 different games back to back!) 

This year, I decided to "Beat the Heat" by preparing my "cooling gear" early. On a trip to Walmart one day, my husband and I bought a garden sprayer (the kind that sprays insecticide and weed killer).  These puppies hold quite a bit of water and, thanks to a wand and nozzle, can spray streams of water or super fine mists that can keep you cool without making you look as if you could be a contestant in a wet t-shirt contest. The sprayer is portable and can be taken just about anywhere! You could also add ice to the tank to make the mist even colder! 
The price was not bad (about $8) and I knew it would pay for itself the very first week of football.

To personalize it, and make sure no one without my last name could accidentally take it home, I had some vinyl of my last name cut in our team's colors and applied to the outside of the tank. You could also use letter stickers or a permanent marker to spell your name out.

I also applied the symbol H2O so that we or other people wouldn't mistake it for poison. It was also so no one would use the "water sprayer" to spray poison.

Lastly, I brushed a layer or two of mod podge over the vinyl to seal out moisture that could cause the lettering to detach.
Now I am ready to Beat the Heat at all those upcoming football games! I hope you will enjoy using your sprayer just as much as I will!


BTW, don't forget to enter to win in our giveaway! You have exactly 3 more days to enter! All's you have to do is comment to enter to win! Good Luck!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Our family goes through buckets and buckets of ice-cream. Having birthdays and get togethers every month ensures an endless supply of buckets for me to use daily; it also forces me to find new ways to utilize them. This post is the first post in the "I have so many ice-cream buckets that I don't know what the heck to do with them" series.

Do your cupboards look like this?

. . .Then you need to find a way of utilizing all those ice-cream buckets instead of throwing them away. Here's a couple ways that I like to use these wonderful plastic pails.

First of all, I needed a way to get rid of the labeling on the outside of the bucket. One day when I was shopping at Walmart, I stopped by the paint section and saw that Krylon was changing out the labeling on their packaging so they had a buttload of their "plastics" paint on clearance (for more on paint for plastics, check out my "shopping spree:The paint aisle" post). I found this cute blue color that I thought I could use more than once. I'm not sure exactly how much I paid but I think it was like $2.00 or something. Awesome!

I put 2 coats of paint on the bucket. . .it covered like a dream! It was so pretty and it could've been used just like that (think those little buckets they sell at Walmart at Easter time).
You could now decorate it however you wanted: stickers, vinyl, markers, even more paint!

I actually wanted them for storage. . .cute storage. I came up with a lining for the bucket (similar to Mileka's makeup storage cans) utilizing old T-shirts (so I could spend as little as possible. Who doesn't have old t-shirts laying around!) Of course you could always use pretty fabric if you had some of that!

Here's how I did it!

Then. . . .here's the hard part to understand for those of you that has never done it.

Get it? Got it. Good!

If you did it right, your bucket (and lining) should now look like this!

It will look great on a shelf and help you with some of your storage needs.

Because I used what I had, this project cost me very little!

Ice-Cream Bucket: F-to the-R-E-E!!
Krylon Plastic Spraypaint: $2.00
Old T-shirt: FREE
 cloth-lined storage bucket=$2.00


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Knocking it off's very first giveaway!!!

This Giveaway is now closed. View winners here.

"Calling" all people!
We are so excited to announce that we are having our very first
Knocking it Off giveaway!! Yay!

We wanted to get the word out about how we at Knocking it Off love to decorate our homes for as free as can be and how much we would love to help others do it just like we do!

We know that times are very difficult right now and that's exactly why more than ever, people need to be able to know how to beautify and organize their homes and spaces for as free as they can make it (and believe it or not, a lot of people don't know how to decorate without spending a butt load of $ "Gasp" shocking!). Even if just one person got something out of our blog, we would still be helping 1 person other than ourselves save some moolah.

K, so you all must be dying to know what it is that we are giving away! Well, here's a hint: you've seen our pictures! (Brandi, Mileka, Both) What's the common thing that appears in every one of both our pictures?

Got it yet?

Yes, you're exactly right!

it's our FLOWERS!
We are giving away 1 Tiare FLOWER (just like Mileka's) to 1 lucky winner and 1 Plumeria FLOWER (just like Brandi-Lee's) to another lucky winner. Altogether we'll have 2 lucky winners!

Here's what you have to do to enter to win:

1.Comment on this post telling us what you like about the knocking it off blog. (One Entry)

Extra Entries
(leave a separate comment for each entry):

2.Become a follower of our Knocking it off blog. Leave us a comment letting us know that you've become a follower and What kind of posts you would love to have us do. (One Entry)


3. Post this giveaway link   

 on your Facebook page. Leave us a comment with a link to your post (copy the address in the address bar and paste into your comment). (One Entry)


4. "Like" Knocking it off on Facebook and leave a comment on this post telling us that you've "liked" our page. (One Entry)

That's a whole 4 entries that you could qualify for!
Open to U.S. and Canada residents only!  You must be 18 years old or older to enter.
Giveaway Ends June 1, 2011 at Midnight MTD (you have 2 weeks!).  Winner will be selected using  

Good Luck Everyone!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Cool Ideas: Pix Stick

Do you have problems hanging your pictures where you want them? Do your wall groupings look like they were hung by a blind man? Do your walls look like this?
(Kay, I'm sounding like an infomercial now! lol!) I had this same problem forever and I hated it! There is nothing more upsetting than trying to hang pictures up on a wall and having them look crooked and ill spaced!!

Here's a really simple solution that I've been using for several years now. I call it my "Pix Stick".

All you need is a paint stick and a screw  or nail (like my artwork?).

 Now I know you're wondering "How the heck is a paint stick and a screw gonna help me hang my pictures?" When you find out, you'll be thinking "Brilliant!".
As you can see, there's a screw "screwed" into one end of the stick.

You'll want as short a screw or nail as you can get and insert it about half way into the stick. Instead of putting the screw in so far down like mine (my stick split at the top cuz someone stepped on it so I had to lower the screw), you might wanna screw it in closer to the edge but not too close cuz the stick might split or break. I'd say screw it in about an inch from the end of the stick.

K, here's the back of a picture frame. Locate the picture "hanger". 
Another common hanger is a sawtooth hanger. (not all hangers look the same but the pix stick will work with all types of hangers)

Place the picture frame hanger over the head of the screw like you're hanging it.

It should look like this.

Pic 1                                                     Pic 2

While firmly holding the handle of the stick, put the picture against the wall. As you can see, you can either hold from the bottom (pic 1) or from the side (pic 2). Yes, I had a hard time holding the stick and taking pictures at the same time so I had my baby help me. See his chubby arms!

The "flatness" of the paint stick is ideal for getting the frame against the wall as close as possible to the way it would really look as if it were hanging on the wall itself.
Place your picture (on the stick) against the wall where you would like it to hang until you are satisfied with the placement. Press lightly but firmly against the frame (over the screw) to make a little mark on the wall. If you are hanging more than one picture, while the 2nd picture is on the stick against the wall, pay attention to placement by looking at 2 things. 1, you're going to see if pictures are horizontally level and 2, you're going to see if pictures are equally spaced.

Here I am pressing firmly against the frame at about the area of the screw to make a small mark on the wall.

The mark made by the screw is exactly where you will be putting your nail in the wall to hang your picture.
Your frame should hang nicely in the exact spot you "chose".

Here's a peek at some of the groupings in my home.
my kitchen entryway

My foyer

My livingroom

downstairs hall

my room

The loft

Soon, you will have all your plaques, clocks, picture frames and wall decor hanging so perfectly on the wall that they'll look like they got hung by a professional! The pix stick will be a wonderful, handy addition to your arsenal. It is one of the most utilized tool in my own arsenal. I really don't know what I would do without it! (I'd probably have way more holes in my walls than I'd like)

Happy Hanging!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Big Reveal "The desk"

Howdy! k, so remember the old desk (from my sneak a peek post) that I got a century ago from a friend, that I was supposed to fix up? Well, I'm just about done with it. If you've forgotten how it looked before, here it is. . . .

It had some cosmetic issues including wonderful crayon art compliments of the kiddos. Also, it was pink. . . .and I do NOT have any girls in my house (besides me), so although pink is one of my faves, it had to go!

And did I mention the leg was not attached?

Aaah, here it is.

Well, after doing some work on it, I pretty much finished the desk except I hadn't put any hardware on it yet.

K, don't be angry with me but. . .I didn't take pics of the process but I will tell you that it was basic and simple. I worked on the drawers and the desk at 2 different times but they both got the same basic treatment.

1. Sand
I sanded the desk.

2. Fix
 I re-attached the broken leg. 

3. Paint
I painted the desk covering each area with several thin coats.

4. Wait
 I waited at least overnight for the desk to dry before I used it.

Here's the already sanded desk on it's side waiting for it's leg to be fixed. I used my mouse sander and because it couldn't get everywhere (like all the intricately carved places), I hand sanded it. As you can see, I did not have to sand all the "pink" off  as long as I passed over it once with sandpaper. I used only a 150 grit sandpaper although because I was trying to strip paint, I could've used a more coarse paper. I decided not to distress the desk (although it would've looked awesome!) because the finish of the desk wouldn't have gone with the finishes of the other furniture in the room I wanted to put it in. Plus I was really lazy and I needed to finish it because I had guests coming.

I also had some helpers. . .

My hubby helped fix the broken leg and my baby helped by entertaining himself while we worked.

I love hot glue! I personally believe that hot glue will fix anything! To fix the desk leg, 1.we hot glued it to the desk so it would stay in place and 2. we attached the leg onto the desk with skinny finishing nails. It was important to use the skinny nails instead of thick nails or screws because it could 've damaged the desk further and made it harder to cover the cosmetic damages.

Here's the paint that I used. It's our leftover housepaint. I would rather use paint I already have then buy new paint unless that paint is in the clearance aisle*;) (I also used this same paint to redo my guest bedroom headboard)

I'll be posting this one up. . .someday!

I covered each area of the desk in several thin layers one after the other. For example, I did the top of the desk, then the left front, then the right front, then the left side, and finally, the right side and then I started again. By the time you get to the top of the desk again, it should already be dry and you can start all over. It seems very time consuming but actually, it went really quickly. Several thin layers of paint is better than 1 or 2 thick layers. The thin layers dry faster and cover better.

 Here's the hardware that I wanted to use on the desk. I got it off an old dresser at my mom's when I went back to Hawaii in March. I would've brought the dresser back to AZ with me (cuz my mom was gonna chuck it anyway) but I couldn't fit it in my bag*;(

whaddya think? I may not even use these because it won't go with the decor of the place I'm thinking 'bout putting it. Oh well, we'll see.

Stay tuned to see where I put my desk. . . .here's a sneak peek!


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