Pretty Bitty Chaos

Conquering life one crazy mess at a time


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A little bit of life: surgery recovery and general life update

I’m sure this post is going to be all over the place, so just bare with me. My head has been all over the place so it’s fitting I guess!

Things have been slow going around here lately… just trying to survive this AWFUL cold and flu season (that *fingers crossed* is almost finished). It seems like it was just one thing after another – I could hardly keep everyone healthy for more than s few days before the next wave hit.

But now that things have quieted down and we can get back to our normal routine, I need to get back to my projects! I also started back to my regular workout routines recently and have been feeling amazing!! At 4 months post op from my left total hip replacement, I really felt I should be further along in my recovery than I am, but starting back to weight lifting and some cardio has really helped push past this slump I’ve been in.

We’ve seen right from the get go that this replacement has been far superior to my first go round on the right side, although things seemed to be progressing rather slowly at first. Fair warning: there’s a few photos coming up of my lovely incision progression… It’s healing up so pretty this time!

Here was day 2: getting my dressing changed

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1 week post op: the bruising this time was pretty insane!

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4 weeks post op: it’s healing so pretty

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And now: almost 4 months. It’s still very dark, but I know in time that will fade. This incision was s a good 2-3 inches shorter than my other side.

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I just need an X-ray photo now where you can see both prosthetics at the same time. That will have to wait a while since I am officially cleared and only go back for my yearly check up next March!!

Anyhow, I’m getting ready to head on back to work in a couple weeks, the kids are just about finished with their winter sports, and we’re FINALLY seeing some nice weather here now!! I can’t wait to get outside and do a little work around the yard. We have some “blank slate” flower beds that need some loving, as well as lots of room to be able to have our own little garden, which the kids are super excited about!

I guess that’s all for now. Just a general life update, which is pretty boring. Just a lot of recovery time and laying low. The excitement begins now!

Until next time……

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DIY name hanging plane smoke

To continue on with all the DIY in the first bedroom I am redecorating, I (again) was searching Pinterest for ideas — because who doesn’t love Pinterest???

I came across this plane smoke shaped into a name and thought, “PERFECT!”, since my guy has a little collection of metal planes to hang/put up on a shelf.

Today I rummaged through all my crafting supplies and found everything I needed, and since it’s storming and we needed something to do, we got started.

For supplies, you will need:

• hot glue gun

• washable stuffing (any stuffing would work but this is just what I had on hand)

• wire (I used floral wire)

• screws for the ceiling

• fishing line to hang it with

• some sort of aircraft to hang with it

Grab your wire and just start bending it. If needed, you could always follow a print out of whatever name you want. Just print it big enough that you can lay your wire on it and just bend to follow the lines. I just freehanded it, and I think it turned out pretty good!!

Next up, plug in your glue gun, pull out a handful or two of the stuffing, and just start gluing. I just did a small section at a time, flipped it over, and then “stuffed” the other side.

This was by far the slowest part of the entire project. I’m sure I spent at least an hour or more sitting at the table with my glue gun. I *might* have even glued it to the table a few times while pressing the stuffing in place. Oops!!

As I went along, I also glued the wire together anywhere that it crossed over itself. Personally, I just found this made the entire thing a little sturdier.

And voila!!

Now time to hang it up!

Neither the plane nor the “smoke” are very heavy, so I just used some clear fishing line and a couple screws in the ceiling. I found the best way to tie it all up was to use the same type of knot we use to tie hooks and leaders onto an actual fishing rod (here’s a link to a tutorial from YouTube for you).

I just tied a couple lines on the planes, a couple on the smoke, and put up 2 screws. I adjusted how I wanted them to hang and then made another loop at the other end of the line to hook over the screw and pulled it tight. Worked like a charm!!

(In case you missed it, here’s a link to my DIY moon and star clay mobile you see hanging in the corner)

One step closer to having this room complete!! I’m almost there, then I can move on to the next one.


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Mountain wall mural

I was going to wait until I had this room 100% complete before making this post, but sickness after sickness keeps hitting my house and I’ve been spending my days tending to the kiddos. So while I lie here rubbing a back with one hand, I figured I may as well get this done and do an updated post once everything is done.

One of my boys is very outdoorsy, very into camping, fishing, walks in the woods, etc… so when I saw these mountain murals on Pinterest I knew it would be something he would love! I had lots of different cans of paint in the basement already, so those plus a couple half used cans my mom had lying around were all I needed. But if you needed to go and get your own paint to use for this project all you need is a white, a black, and a medium shade of whatever colour family you want. In this case, I went with a blue base. And you really don’t need much for each shade. I still have LOTS left over!

To start, all I did was wash the wall since there was nothing that needed any crack-filling. Then, with my phone in hand open on a mountain range photo from google, I drew some mountains with a pencil. My freehand mountains weren’t EXACTLY what I wanted, but as I painted I adjusted my lines to where I liked them. I didn’t bother priming the wall since the colour already there wasn’t super dark, and I had lots to do extra coats if needed.

Just a plain boring wall to begin with. The room needed a little sprucing up for sure!!

Starting at the top, I put some white paint in a little container and added a very small amount of the grey/blue I had and just started painting. Instead of using a big brush, I actually used one of the kids’ small paint brushes to go along the edges of my mountain lines, then used my larger angled wall brush for inside the lines. I did have a more brownish colour that I incorporated to a few of the shades, so that was my second colour. You can see in the photo below where I adjusted a few of the lines a little bit.

Having a piece of white paper with you helps IMMENSELY when mixing shades from here out. I used the same container the entire time and just added little bits of black or brown or grey, and used my finger to dab a tiny bit onto the paper next to the last shade I had mixed. It made it soooo much easier to see if there was a big enough difference from the last one to be able to see each separate piece. But be sure to let it dry. Sometimes the colours looked almost the same until they dried, then the darkness really showed. Most of the colours needed 2 coats of paint, so it took a little longer to finish than I initially expected.

Once I made to this level I started adding some teeny tiny trees to the mountains. They were pretty spaced out initially… just a few trees for each colour, and added a few more with each level.

As I went, the trees got bigger. At first I wasn’t sure I was going to like it with them added to it, but I think the trees added a nice touch when it was all said and done.

Now I just need to find the time to finish painting the rest of the walls a solid grey and get everything hung up on his wall. We have a couple very special custom pieces coming from friends that I can’t wait to show off!! Stay tuned for the finished room once everything gets set up and organized!!


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2019 in pictures: 365 challenge update

This year I decided to do a 365 challenge. Basically, you take a photo a day of anything around you. I thought it would be a good way to get those creative juices flowing and try out different perspectives of our everyday life.

So far, I’ve only missed a few days, but it’s been so much fun finding all the little pockets of light in our new house. I’m really looking forward to when all this ice here in eastern Canada melts away and it’s safer for me to take my new hip outside!! Exploring the woods in our backyard and getting started at fixing up the old barn out back….. I just CANNOT wait!!!!

Anyway, I wanted to do a little sneak of a few of the photos I’ve created so far this year. It’s a big undertaking — and a little daunting to be honest — but also very rewarding! Plus, these will make my annual photo book sooooo much easier to fill!!

Here’s a few of this year’s memories this far. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!


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DIY Valentine’s Day window clings

Happy Monday!!! The start of a new fresh week, a week I’m hoping is less eventful than last week! We have had so much sickness and injuries in this house lately that I barely know what day it is anymore. Baby girl is still fighting off some bugs, but the rest of us seem to be on the mend.

In an attempt to occupy everyone over the weekend, I searched Pinterest for an easy Valentine’s Day craft to do with the kids. Window clings seemed like something they’d enjoy, so I dug out one of my hot glue guns and went to work while hubby kept the boys occupied playing hockey.

I grabbed some parchment paper and plugged in my glue gun and just started making hearts. Big, small, different designs inside — lots of different options for them! In the end I had more than enough to have the kids busy for at LEAST an hour!

Once everyone was ready, we dug out the kids’ paint and filled up some paper plates. They all sat and decorated all the hearts. It was a lot of fun watching them play with colours and be so proud of their finished pieces!

We waited most of the day for them to dry. Some pieces had very thick coats of paint, and by evening some still had a few wet spots. They were all set out on newspaper to dry and, for future reference, was a bad idea!! Next time I’ll be setting them out on either wax paper or parchment paper. When we went to peel them off, a few of the more intricate pieces had stuck to the newspaper and peeled paper off with them. I spent a good half hour picking pieces of newspaper off these hearts!

To hang them, I plugged in my glue gun again. I had searched for good ways to hang these window decorations, and the best option I found was to take the glue gun and just put a small dab in a couple spots on each one and stick them to the window. It worked like a charm!

I think they turned out pretty cute for our first go at it! And it was a good way to keep the kids busy for a while during this crazy cold weather. They’ve always loved painting and creating, so it was a fun time. I’m thinking we’ll have to make a bunch of four leaf clovers and coins for Saint Patty’s day next!!


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Kitty door drama!!

Anyone have a dog that just will not stay out of the kitty litter (GROSS 🤢!)? Well, my golden retriever, Penny, seems to just LOOOOVE it!!

Our kitty, who my son has named Troy, is a rescue cat. We found him along the shore one day when we went fishing. He was hiding under an old abandoned truck and cane running out as soon as he heard the kids laughing and running. He spent the afternoon with us and then followed us home. For 3 days he followed us back and forth from the house to the shore (which was just a short walk away). Now, clearly he once belonged to someone as he was friendly, fixed, and housetrained, but he was starving. This gentle giant was so far gone he wouldn’t have lasted more than a few more days on his own. Long story short, we ended up adopting him. He’s a weirdo, but we love him.

Troy has his own room downstairs. It’s just a storage room where we put his food and kitty litter, but we call it “Troy’s room”. Up until now, we’ve just been leaving the door open a smidge so he can get in and out. This apparently has been open invitation for the dog to go in and eat cat poop.

So after getting tired of constantly reprimanding the naughty puppy, I went in search of a cat door so we wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore. Amazon seems to have a pretty good selection, and after reading lots of reviews I ended up purchasing this one. I ordered the large size because Troy’s nickname is “Big Boy Troy” for a reason!

Installation was super easy. I traced the opening onto the door, cut it out with my skill saw, and screwed the new door in place. Easy peasy. I also love that it has a locking ability so if I ever need him to stay in there, I can just lock it at the bottom. Now I just had to teach Troy how to use it.

And apparently my cat is a dud.

I put him through it a few times, then put him in the room. I stood outside pushing the door open so he would know to go through it. As long as I hold it wide open, he will go through. So I went in, closed the door, and put food in his dish (because food will ALWAYS make him come in).

He stood there looking at me through the door, yelling at me to open it. I went out, shoved him through it, and went upstairs. I figured if he really wanted out, he’d figure it out. A few minutes later I saw him upstairs, so obviously he CAN do it.

Fast forward to evening. I tried SO HARD to get this on video because oh my gosh… it was just too funny!!!! We sat outside the door for a good 15 minutes, putting him back and forth through the door after attempting to feed him again left him standing there yelling at the door. He just couldn’t seem to figure out he has to push the swinging door in order to get through. Eventually, we once again just left him in the room thinking he’ll figure it out, and we went to bed. Now, our bedroom is just next door to his room, so we knew we’d hear if there was any issues.

About 5 minutes later we hear him clawing at the door trying to figure it out. After 2 minutes of clawing, I guess he decided he HATES this new cat door, and it is evil. We hear him hissing and growling at this door like he was in a nasty cat fight. I peek my head around the corner and he’s sitting there smacking it while still hissing and growling. I couldn’t help giggle at his attempt to scold this door for not opening to let him out.

Needless to say, Troy and his new kitty door are not friends.

Hopefully today he forgives us. He’s definitely not impressed. And hopefully he figures it out. Otherwise I guess we’ll just be removing the little door and leaving it as just an opening. At least it’s too small for the dog to get through, so it’s not it’d be the end of the world.

So, fair warning. If you’re planning to get a kitty door, you may end up with one very disgruntled and ticked off kitty!!! Although, if your cat isn’t a walnut like mine, you should be fine.


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To the moon and back: a DIY clay mobile/wall hanging

This weekend I decided to start working on a few of the DIY decor items I wanted to make for the kids’ bedrooms (which still need painted, but we’ll get to that another day!). I had been scrolling through Pinterest and came upon these cute salt dough star wall hanging decorations, and thought it would be perfect for Ryder’s room!

Instead of making some salt dough, I decided to use some of the polymer clay I had left over from a previous project. Which in the long run is probably best since this kid has been known to eat salt dough decorations (and really anything his hands come in contact with, but if it tastes bad it’s a bit safer!).

So I grabbed everything I would need:

white polymer clay

• a stick I found outside

Jute string

• a knitting needle (for poking holes)

• scissors

• cardboard

• a knife

• baking sheet

• parchment paper

• rolling pin

• cordless drill

The drill isn’t exactly a necessity since you could easily just tie the string on the ends, I just like my power tools!

First things first, I sat down my little man beside me and we started kneading the clay to make it workable, and rolled it into little balls to flatten out with my rolling pin. I ended up cutting out 2 different sizes of stars from cardboard to use as a stencil since free-handing it wasn’t working out!

Rolling out the balls, I laid the stencils on top and then just used my handy kitchen knife to cut it out. Easy peasy. Afterwards, I took my knitting needle and poked a small hole in one corner for stringing them up later on. I’m not a huge fan of straight sharp edges, so after cutting out each star I picked them up and molded the edges slightly to be more rounded. I also made a crescent moon to give it a little something different.

Fast forward through a couple hours of meticulous cutting, shaping, and poking holes, finally they were ready to be baked. You can follow the baking instructions written on the packaging of your clay. To be honest, I found it took significantly longer than the packaging said, but maybe I overcooked them. Either way, they turned out fine!

Next came the stick. We luckily had a few already cut out on our front porch, otherwise those might have been a little more difficult with all the snow on the ground right now!! I just found one that was a decent length and drilled a hole in each end, stringing up some jute through each hole and tied a knot to hold it in place.

Now for the stars. I had 3 options: the jute, a white string, or dental floss (which I have used for similar projects in the past). I strung up one of each to decide which one I liked best.

While I was trying to decide, Ryder walked in and was ADAMANT that I had to use the jute. I guess it just seemed the most manly to him. Personally, I love the white string as it just gives a cleaner look, but ultimately this IS for his room, so I let him have his way and used the jute.

There really wasn’t and particular method for tying them up, I just kind of stuck them on willy nilly. When it was all said and done, I really still think the white string would have been ideal, but once I get his bedroom walls painted I think this will look very cute against his mountain mural! The darker wall will hide the dark jute and pop the white stars a little better. I may still add a bit of greenery to the edges of the stick… haven’t quite decided yet.

All in all, it was a super easy and simple Saturday craft that the kids could help with. I know Ryder had a blast rolling out the clay balls and poking holes in each star. He’s my little artsy kid though so this is the kind of thing he just loves doing!

I can’t wait to be able to add this piece to his finished room!!!