Monday, July 24, 2017

DIY Monday:Wall Panels Offer a Modern Twist at Decor

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this info, free of charge,from CSI Wall Panels, for blog posting purposes on this blog. No compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it,  all opinions are my own.

Every now and then I have the TIME to really work on my house,
and change rooms to really reflect my current tastes.

For example, my bedroom- I have always loved the light green walls, as they help to really relax and allow you to go to sleep. The French prints and other puzzle prints,a lways reflected my love of travel. But after 12 years, it was definitely time for a change!

So when the opprtunity came up to try out a new, MODERN DIY method, it seemed like the perfect moment to get back in the DIY mode, and change out my bedroom!

CSI Custom Wall Panels are a new type of wall covering- 3d wall panels!

The panels are made of MDF wood fiber, or a Sugar-cane fiber (which mine was-which I thought was approproate, being in Louisiana!). These modern panels are made for the DIY'er to put up themselves, with the basic of tools!Not only are the eco-friendly, they are lightweight AND paintable. 

Check out some of the available designs, and how natural they look:

It was a VERY hard decision to make, as there were just SO many wonderful designs to pick from, 
but I decided on their 'coastal drift' looking design, that seemed to mimic waves to me.

Each package of tiles come with 12 panles, enough to cover 32 square feet, or a 3 x 8 area, if your math is rusty! Some of the different panel options come with 10 per box, for 27 feet, it just depends on which one you select.  The tiles are really good size at 19 inches by 19 inches (19.68 inches by 19.68 inches, to be exact), so you have different design options. I love how they come with plastic sheeting in between the, to not only protect them in shipping, but to keep you from getting any errant adhesive on the front panels, when picking up your next one to install! Plus they come with a set of plastic spacers, so you can keep your tiles perfectly spaced apart!

I decided to make my decorative grid 4 panles across by 3 panels down. So taking Gradnpa's advice to heart, I measure the walls twice, laid out the grid, and then again, while laying out painters tape (which is why you see it in the pictures below), so I would know EXACTLY where my squatre should be. This made it a LOT easier to move on alaong and get the tiles up in one sitting.

under construcion sign

Now FULL disclosure here:
 I had some problems getting the panels to STICK to my walls. Which is why you aren't seeing pictures from that process. The problem startedt when I decided to remove the old drywall, that was cheap and needed to come out, due to moisture issues, from the previous ac unit. This left me with the original plaster walls, to cover. And the beginning of the issues- I went through 2 different brands of pipe on adhesive, before finding the right one that worked- leaving the panels attached to the wall, and not sliding off (which is why you have no in progress photos- every time I'd step back to take a photo, they would slide off the wall! Yes, it was funny in retrospect!LOL)

From contact with the company and other DIYers, this appears to have been an anomally, probably due to the type of plaster on the 100 year old walls. So basically, I made my own issue, rather accidentally, and with the best of intentions (do it once, rather than having to repeat it later when drywalls needs to come down). Normally, putting the panels on regular dry wall, there should have been NO issues, using ANY basic adhesive!

But once they started to stick (and stay),
 the process went VERY quickly!

I did have my choice whether to vary the panel  edges, or to put them exactly the same way all the way across, so they would perfectly line up.This is the beauty of 3d wall panels- the ability to customize them!  On the bottom row I varied the panels to creat more movemebt, but then on the top and middle row, kept them all the same. In the picture above, you can see it in the top left picture. It's very subtle and once you realize it is there, you can see it, but otherwise the human eye just sees it as a more natural order. 

Then the decision on paint. 
That involved a lot of this:

Yup- it took a few days of checking out colors, bringing them home and looking at them in the light of the bedroom, and changing my mind twice. Yeah, I know, I know...

The end result was sticking to 3 colors all on the same paint card, so they naturally flowed into one another, but selecting the darkest and lightest, and middle colors. Then picking a neautral matching grey for the walls.  Course then the question was to paint all one row one color, or to go for a natural wave like picuture. Fate intervened with a picure in a magazine I was looking at, while waiting for Miss Grace to finish her piano lesson, that showed some beach waves cresting over one another, in the same hues I had picked out! Lightbulb moment if there ever was one!

So starting in the middle panel, I varied the 3 paint colors, in different widths. The lightest color on top mimiced the waves' foamy spray and got 4 'lines' of the panel. Then the darkest color came next, with only 3 'lines', mimicing the shawos under the spray of the dark water. Then the next 4 'lines' were the middle color, becoming the base water under the 'wave'. Then I repeated the coloration up and down the grid. Adding in one coat of the wall paint and then we let it sit for 2 days to see whether the wall color was enough. It ended up needing another coat to really make the panels stand out.

As you can see the blues in the panel perfectly mirrorded the blues in my linen set, and the nightstand that had been in Miss Grace's remove, til her room was redone. I took the middle water color and used it for the top and draw front, to add another burst of color. The cabinet on the left will get it's own coat of blue later, so that the color is on both sides.I will probably change the light switch cover out as well, from it's previou silver to either the same greay or the dark blue from the waves. 

As you can see the beach shades of blue and greay really work together to give that same relaxing feel, like the previous wall colo had, while really taking the wall to a modern level. The pixture above shows the wall in lamp lighy, while below shows natural light.

WShen there is a lot of light, you get more of the under grey tone showing, which is fine with me, as to be it is more natural. The ocean looks blue because it reflects sunlight. But having spent so many years in San Francisco, I like a grey overcast beach day!

Here is more a a middle tone, with the blinds shut. You can really see the beat effect and HOW well the panels took the paint, and work together to create a central piece of art! 

And really that IS what you are making- a wall of art! 

Would I do it again? You bet! 
I'm already contemplating using the panels for 2 walls in the upstairs creative room (new term- it's filled with nothing but art and craft supplies, and a TV! Miss Grace said 'craft room' sounded like a classroom, and we needed a new term- hence Creative Room, LOL), and for the staircase walls!

Want more inspiration before you take the DIY plunge with these great 3d wall panels?
Check out CSI Wall panels on their social media sites for more inspiration:

Music Mondey: Every Mile Mattered by Nochole Nordeman (review and giveaway)

Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

With the start of the school year, which some of you already have, others are getting ready for, doesn't the world seem new?

I don't know about you, but the lure of new school supplies, fresh pencils and paper waiting for ideas, thoughts and drawings, just make it seem like everything is possible. We all wish we can go back to those days and make different choices, but really should we?

Would we be the person we are now, have the family we have now, if we made choices. 

It's a lot to think about- would you change your past, if it lost you your present- your kids, your family?

Nichole Nordeman thought about this and what she would tell her past self if she could talk to her. What she decided was that she would not want to be changed, but that we need to learn from our past, and accept the person we were meant to become. With this new cd, that comes out later this week, she explores those ideas on the title track and the first single "Dear Me". Take a listen to the title track:

Track Listing:

1.Every Mile Mattered
2. You’re Here
3. Dear Me
4. No Longer
5. Lean
6. Hush, Hush
7. Listen To Your Life
8. Beautiful Day
9. Sound of Surviving
10. Anywhere We Are
11. Slow Down (feat. Pepper Ingram)

Listening to this CD really focuses you on thinking about who you are now, and how you came to be that person. I would say it's perfect for Moms to listen to, as school starts with the kids, and they feel life renew. It's the perfect CD to make you think about things you might have missd and to see if maybe, it's time to revisit those dreams, and make some of them come true! It is very inspirational and perfect for those long waits in carline, as it's great in bits. Taken all at once, it can be overwhelming and you can miss the central thought, as songs can seem to blend together, through similar melodies. But overall it is a CD you'll find yourself sharing with friends and family alike.

She has a book “SLOW DOWN” coming out in August(pre-order here), about Motherhood and the joys of taking each day as it coes, baed on the song by the same name, from her previous CD.

Buy links – ITunes

flashing Win


One Lucky BTHm reader will win their own copy of this greta CD

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

About Nichole Nordeman:

Nichole Nordeman is a recording artist and songwriter for Sparrow/EMI CMG, with numerous number-one and top ten singles to her credit and cumulativeCD sales of over one million.  A two-time Gospel Music Association winner for Female Vocalist of the Year, she has won a total of nine Dove Awards, including the best-selling album, Music Inspired by The Story.  Her best-known songs include "Holy", "Legacy", "Brave", "This Mystery", "Why", and "What If".  She lives with her family in Tulsa, OK.  

Friday, July 21, 2017

Special Fun THIS Saturday at Toys R Us!

Did you enter our Learning Resources Giveaway Yet?

If not, run on over and enter, and be sure to mark your calendars for a special events from our friends at Learning Resources this weekend:

toys r us ad

Family Movie Night: My Little Pony Equestria Girls Magical Movie Night (giveaway and review)

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this DVD, free of charge,from Shout Factory Kids, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about .them, all opinions are my own.

i'm bored button

Grab your popcorn, because the Equestria Girls are back for a magic-filled triple feature! 

My Little Pony Equestria Girls – Magical Movie Night comes to DVD on August 8, 2017 from Shout! Kids in collaboration with Hasbro Studios. Pre-order is available now at and

My Little Pony Equestria Girls Magical Movie Night  dvd cover

There's a reason these seven girls look familiar. . . as they step through a magical mirror, they transport from the world of MyLittle Pony, transforming into teenage girls at Canterlot High.  Full-time students and part-time magical pony-girls, the Equestria Girls are always ready to save the day with the Magic of Friendship! So, gather round for three mystical adventures 

Check out the Trailer:


JUST when you think your daughter is past the MLP come the Equestria Girls!

Yup- move screams "NOOOOOOO", kid scream "YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS" even louder! 

With the Equestria Girls you have the same MLP gang your kids know and love (yup, same voices too), but they are in a new dimension, and are now 2 legged humans, but with magic and friendship of course! Miss Grace LITERALLY took off with this one as soon as I pulled it out of the envelope,  as apparently the arrival of Starlight Glimmer had been anxiously awaited! 

With 3 mini-films on the DVD, you get a good family night viewing. As usual, we had discussion after each one, about the girls' actions, and morals. Sometimes it can be funny for your kids to equate cartoon characters actions to lessons from VBS, but hey if it helps them remember bible lessons, who am I to argue? LOL. This is a fun DVD for the kids, and perfect for hosting an Equestria Girls End of Summer blow out party! 

Here's a couple of coloring sheets to get you on your way!

My Little Pony Equestria Girls Magical Movie Night  coloring sheets

About the DVD:

Dance Magic
With the Camp Everfree fundraising deadline looming, the Equestria Girls realize they need a new plan to raise more money and are ready to try new things. Rarity finds out about a music video competition, with a huge cash prize, and she’s eager to convince her friends at Canterlot High to enter the contest. However, the girls soon learn that Crystal Prep Academy is also interested in participating in the contest. The students at CPA have many more resources and are better dancers! The girls learn that sometimes coming together instead of competing is the best plan of all!

Movie Magic
The Equestria Girls have been specially invited by A.K. Yearling to go on the set of the upcoming Daring Do movie and they are overjoyed. For super-fan Rainbow Dash, watching behind the scenes as her favorite heroine comes to life is a dream come true. However, when a rare and important prop from the set goes missing, putting the movie on hold, Rainbow Dash’s dream becomes a nightmare. The Equestria Girls take it upon themselves to track down the missing prop and end up trotting into a real-life Daring Do adventure!

Mirror Magic
As the pages in her journal run out, there’s only one thing for Sunset Shimmer to do: return to Equestria as a pony to get a new journal! There, she meets new pony Starlight Glimmer and agrees to bring her back through the mirror portal to experience life as a human girl at Canterlot High. However, while Sunset Shimmer is away, a revenge‐seeking Juniper Montage finds a beautiful hand mirror enchanted with Equestrian magic. Not only can it provide a window into another land, but if you push the right button, It can also make things disappear into limbo, trapped between the two realms! Sunset Shimmer and Starlight Glimmer return to find the Mane 6 missing and Juniper Montage acting extremely suspicious. Will Sunset Shimmer and Starlight Glimmer save the girls, or are the Mane 6 lost in limbo for good?

Bonus Feature:

Find this and more My Little PonyTM titles at

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One lucky BTHM reader will win their own copy of this DVD,
 in time for their own Summer family movie night!

About Hasbro
Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) is a global play and entertainment company committed to Creating the World's Best Play Experiences. From toys and games to television, movies, digital gaming and consumer products, Hasbro offers a variety of ways for audiences to experience its iconic brands, including NERF, MY LITTLE PONY, TRANSFORMERS, PLAY-DOH, MONOPOLY, LITTLEST PET SHOP and MAGIC: THE GATHERING, as well as premier partner brands. The Company's Hasbro Studios and its film label, Allspark Pictures, are building its brands globally through great storytelling and content on all screens. Through its commitment to corporate social responsibility and philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to make the world a better place for children and their families. Hasbro ranked No. 1 on the 2017 100 Best Corporate Citizens list by CR Magazine, and has been named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® by Ethisphere Institute for the past six years. Follow us on Twitter (@Hasbro & @HasbroNews) and Instagram (@Hasbro).

About Shout! Factory
Shout! Factory, LLC is a diversified multi-platform media company devoted to producing, uncovering, preserving and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their entire careers sharing their music, television and film favorites with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s entertainment offerings serve up feature films, classic and contemporary TV series, animation, live music and comedy specials.  In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast digital distribution network which delivers video and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America.  Shout! Factory also owns and operates Shout! Factory Productions, Scream Factory, Timeless Media Group, Westchester Films, Biograph Records, and Video Time Machine. These riches are the result of a creative acquisition mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention.  Shout! Factory is based in Santa Monica, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit

How to Solve the Baby Shower Question! (review and giveaway)

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received these products, free of charge,from Thinkbaby, for review and giveaway purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it,  all opinions are my own.

It's Summer, and you know what that means....

Well yes, lots of heat, heat and heat.

And kids driving you up the wall....

But it also means you may be attending lots of baby showers!

baby shower cake
Courtesy of Pixabay

And there are just SO many choices now, that you might have NO idea what to give the new mom, that fits your under-$40 baby gift plan!

thinkBaby understands and has come to the rescue!

Meet the

Baby Body Care Essentials Set!

Not only is this an essential at-home set, it's perfect for Summer travel, as it has all the essentials!

What's inside the set?

First off, each of the body care items comes in a 8 oz bottle with a convenient pump. And the sunscreen is their full 3 oz tube  No sample sizes here!

Secondly, Thinkbaby has been creating non-toxic products for little ones.since 2006! Each ingredient of the Thinkbaby body care product line features the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s Skin Deep safety rating.  So you KNOW every one of them is safe not only for your baby, but for those you are giving the set to!

thinkbaby sunscreen
Free of biologically harmful chemicals. No Avobenzone, Oxybenzone, Paraben, phthalates, PABA, 1,4 dioxane or UV Chemical absorbers. This was the first sunscreen to pass Whole Foods Premium Care requirements. With the highest SPF, water resistance (80 minutes) and UVA/UVB coverage allowed by the FDA, it is EWG rated “1” since 2010. It is non-greasy and easy to apply,absorbing quickly into the skin. I was pretty impressed with how well it absorbed actually-much better than otehr natural sunscreens I've used on Miss Grace!

thinkbaby lotion

This combination product is free of Parabens, phthalates, 1,4 dioxane, sodium lauryl sulfate and harmful chemicals!  The no-tear formula is also calming thanks to Chamomile and Arnica in it!. And it's easy to use one handed, thanks to the easy to use pump top! It definitely made Miss Grace's hair clean and shiny!

baby in sink

Thinkbaby Bubble Bath
You can’t really have an effective baby body care line up without having a bubble bath. Formulated with safe ingredients, it is also free of Parabens, phthalates, 1,4 dioxane, sodium lauryl sulfate and harmful chemicals. With White Tea, Calendula, Arnica and Sunflower, it is suitable for boys and girls alike, to wind them down for bed! And Miss Grace was pretty impressed with the amount of bubbles a baby bubble bath made!

thinkbaby lotion

Thinkbaby Baby Lotion
This light and unscented baby lotion is great for daily use. The Parabens, phthalates, 1,4 dioxane, sodium lauryl sulfate free natural formulation will also not leave your little one oily. It also absorbs quickly and completely into the skin. Containing Aloe, Sunflower,Arnica, Green Tea and Chamomile, it also helps to ease your little one to sleep, and calm any skin irritations gently, and naturally.
flashing Win

Thinkbaby LOVES BTHM readers SO much, they are offering not one set,
 but FOUR to our great readers!
That's right!
FOUR lucky winners, 
will each win one of these great gift sets to give at the next baby shower you're attending, 
or to keep for use with your bundle of joy!


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