My Secret Elf On The Shelf Addiction. Help, I Have A Problem

Hey Everyone,

Yes, it’s been like 35 years since I have written a blog post. Ok, not 35 years, but way too many months. If you follow my other social media channels, then you know that I post to them, and my YouTube channel almost daily. I really want to challenge myself to get back into blogging, because there is something about the written word that just reaches people and clarifies my soul like no Instagram post ever can.

I was posting my Elf on the Shelf ideas to my personal Facebook account, when a friend of mine (thanks Tracy) suggested that I should blog these ideas, because she had not seen anything like them before. If I may be so bold, she even used the word ‘Innovative’. 🙂

Anywho, it must be fate or something, because I have really been itching to blog lately, so here we go.

Let me start off by saying that up until about 2 weeks ago, I was (everybody hold onto their seats) genuinely irritated when I heard people talking about the whole Elf on the Shelf thing. Why? Simple. I am a bad person :-). Alright, no, that’s not true. It’s because I really didn’t understand what it was, and I kind of thought it was a little creepy.

Two weeks ago, as I was picking up my son from day care, he showed me his Elf at school, and asked when ours was going to arrive. Never one to take the last open seat on a bandwagon, I said, “Um, I will have to text Santa and find out.” After the kids went to bed that night, I looked up the general idea of the Elf kind of policing children for Santa, and by extension for me, and thought, “Yeah, I’ll give that a spin.” Oh, don’t judge, you know how this ends…with me spending $30 on a somewhat creepy little elf like millions of other parents.

I went to Walmart, then Target, to try to purchase this little North Pole Narc, and they genuinely laughed at me. They were like, “those things have BEEN sold out.” Ok, well, excuse me for not knowing that the freakin’ Elf was #trending. 🙂

Moving on. In comes my personal favy favorton Amazon.com. With the click of a button, my own little personal Elf was on it’s way from the North Pole…Ok, yes, I know it’s from the Birmingham, Alabama Amazon fulfillment center, but go with me here. We are dealing in suspended reality.

He arrives. The kids go through a slew of names from Stinky and Jingles, to Flake and finally circle the wagons back around to Chippy. Yeah, super original, I know. 🙂 Cut them a break, what they lacked in originality for naming our Elf, they make up for in creative ways to destroy their bedrooms, so I guess it all evens out.

The first night, I read them the story, and explained the rules, at which time I was promptly informed that, “Everybody knows that stuff mommy.” Oh, my bad for missing Elf 101 at the local community college. Geez, where’s the magic anymore?

After I put the kids to bed, I had two choices; 1. Hit up Pinterest for ideas. 2. Search my own brain for crazy stuff and see what falls out. Of course, you know I chose option 2, because I feel like I need to make everything in my life vastly more difficult than it actually needs to be :-).

The first night, I wasn’t feeling that adventurous yet, so I stuck him in the cookie display, and positioned him like he was holding a cookie and got stuck in there.

Night 1: Chippy Got Caught With More Than Just His Hand In The Cookie Jar.

Originality Score: I don’t really know, but I am assuming it’s somewhere near a 1, on a 1 to 10, 10 high scale.

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Elf In A Cookie Jar

The kids freaked out. They loved it. They were yelling at him about stealing their cookies, and laughing that he got caught. They of course overlooked the most obvious question…How Did That Elf Escape From His Packaging Without Mommy Touching Him? Ah, the magic that is Elf. 🙂

Night 2: Elves Need To Netflix and Chill Too

Originality Score: I think I was probably tickling like a 3 here, maybe.

Night two. I am starting to feel a little more like I can actually do this. I was studying while sitting on the couch, and I thought, man, I would really just love to Netflix and Chill right now. Then it hit me, Elves work hard too. Those little guys deserve to kick it on the couch in their fat pants too, and so this next idea was born. I staged him with an empty soda, and a half eaten popcorn bucket. I crushed up some Oreos and Cheese balls and sprinkled them around him. I added a remote for good measure, on account of it being somewhat difficult to Netflix and Chill without Netflix. Sure, he could have watched it on his iPad, but we decided to go old school, and use a real TV.

 

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This Elf Needs To Netflix and Chill

The kids were sold! This one really made them think this little guy was for real. The crumbs were the real hero of this set up, or as I like to call them, The Elf Question Closer. There was no doubt left for the kids, this little dude was up and about in our house while they were asleep. They said, “he must have been so tired from flying to the North Pole and back.” Yup, mommy win!

Night 3. Elf with OCD

Originality Score: I feel like this one pushed me over a solid 5. If not, please allow me to exist in my own delusion. Thank you very much. Hey, not everyone’s work is appreciated during their lifetime, ok?

So the kids had gone to bed. I was sooo tired that night. I was unplugging the Christmas Tree, you know, because I don’t want to burn my house down and all. Yes, I have a real tree…GASP! I digress. I accidentally knocked a candy cane off of the tree, (clutz) and it hit me like a 2 x 4 between the eyes. Let’s get Chippy to try to fix the broken candy canes. Oh yeah baby, it’s show time.

I go into the garage and grab every kind of glue that I can find; Elmer’s glue, glue gun, Shoe Goo, Gem Tac, yup that’s it. I fooled you with that last statement, huh? I made it sound like it would be like 20 different kinds of glue. Seriously, I was just using a little puffery. Maybe you should lower your standards a little. Who the heck has 20 different kinds of glue?

Aluminum foil in hand, I set Chippy up on the back of the glue gun and touched the gun to the cane. Of course, I had to break a few more candy canes to really sell it, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Whack! Sorry little candy canes, it’s all for the cause.

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Elf with OCD Fixing Candy

The kids were particularly fond of this one. They said, “Man, Santa must really get angry when the Elves break candy canes, huh?” I’m thinking, “You better hope so, or our little elf Chippy has a wicked bad case of OCD. Let it go Chippy, it’s a candy cane. You can buy a whole box for a dollar at Walmart.”

Night 4. Time to Get Shredded Little Dude

Originality Score: I am definitely somewhere near a 6 or 7, but not yet at Innovative.

Ok Elf, If you’re going to stay, then you gotta stop eating that garbage and get fit! We don’t play around about fitness in this house, and I think that Chippy the Elf was feeling like he may have overdone it on his cheat meal of Oreos and Cheeseballs. As I was getting my own gym bag packed for the next day, I thought that maybe Chippy could get in on my bodybuilding action.

He really went ham and decided to lift 200 marshpounds, but hey, Go Big or Go Back to the North Pole, right? I set him up with my Beats headphones, some BCAA powder and a polka dot straw with two large marshmallows. Side note; it is super frustrating when you are trying to complete your evil Elf plan and you can not find the Sharpie, again! Why kids? Why must you constantly take Mommy’s one marker, when you have an entire basket of crayons and markers? Ugggghhh. I showed them. I went into my daughter’s room and took one of her markers to finish this set up. Nanny, nanny boo boo. My marker! 🙂

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Elf Getting Shredded

The kids literally dragged me out of bed at 5:10 in the morning to show me that Chippy was messing around with my gym stuff. Some parents have golf clubs, dishes, or electronics that you don’t touch. I have BCAA’s, protein bars, and Beats headphones that are punishable by death. 🙂

They said, “Oh Mommy, since Chippy has your headphones, I guess you can’t go to the gym today.” My face went blank. How had I not considered this outcome? Don’t freak out. I’m freaking out. I calmly said, “It’s cool, mommy has another set of headphones in my gym bag, so I’ll just use those.” Translation, once you are buckled into the car, I will say that I forgot my lip gloss and make a mad dash to separate Chippy from MY headphones. Bad elf!

Last Night. Night 5: Twisted Elf With Weight Issues

Originality Score: This is the one that pushes me over a 9, and may even qualify as Innovative. Hey, relax, I said may.

Alright, as you can clearly see if you have read the post to this part, I may be a little too invested in this Elf situation. Pump your brakes their Judgemental Jenny, you may want to find a mirror, because you’re the one who read all of this. We may just be in this Elf thing together. 🙂

All of that said, when you are this far down the rabbit hole, who knows what you will find, so of course, I keep digging.

I have to attend an event next week, and I have to wear a dress that is very elegant, but in no way forgiving. Though I work out like a crazy person and am super careful what I eat, I think this dress is going to give me nightmares. I keep trying it on thinking that it will fit differently next week, and yet, same result. Hey Oreos and Red Wine, you’re up. I quit :-).

I decided to make the Elf the living embodiment of my struggle. I went to my daughter’s room to pull a dress off of one of her Barbies to complete the look. Sidebar for a second: Remember when dolls had dresses that came off? I had to go through 5 dolls to find one where the top of the dress wasn’t permanently affixed to her body. Who are we kidding here? What Barbie wants to wear the same dress, day in and day out. Who is making these dolls?????

Alas, I found one. My victim was to be none other than, Cinderalla. Naked doll in hand, I tossed her back in the bin and went looking for her shoes. Why can’t those things be glued on? Oh, there you are shoe, in the VERY LAST bin that I looked in. The Barbie Gods are against me, but I will prevail!

I grabbed my scale, an empty wine bottle (give me a break, who doesn’t keep empty wine bottles lying around their house), some Oreos, the shoes, and a tissue. I propped Chippy up, with his butt not able to fit in the dress. Let’s overlook for a moment that he was even trying to put a dress on in the first place :-).

He clearly tried to fit into the dress, which he could not (no comment), probably because of his Oreo and Cheeseball binge from the night before. Sure, blame it on the water weight Chippy. We feel you. He weighed himself, saw the nasty cold hard number staring back at him from the scale, and decided to cry himself to sleep after drinking wine and eating more Oreos. Yeah Chippy, that’s the way to solve that problem. You show those Oreos who’s boss!

#elfontheshelf, #elf, #elfontheshelf2015, #ideas,

Elf With Weight Issues

I snapped the picture of Chippy with the wine bottle for you guys, but I don’t think leaving that out for the littles would have won me the Mother of the Year award, so I did the responsible thing. I pitched it into the trash can with reckless abandon and almost woke up the kids. Way to go Mom!

The kids were laughing so hard at this in the morning. They were like, “Oh Chippy, you can’t fit it the dress because you ate too many Oreos little buddy.” I wasn’t sure that they would understand the set up, but they totally did.

Again, I was really not thinking ahead on this one, because I left him in the middle of the kitchen. Elf:2 Mom: 0. Now I have to tap dance around this Calorie Crime Scene until the kids go to bed tonight.

If you want to know what other crazy ideas that I come up with, I put these pictures on a Pinterest Board for you. I will add a new one each morning. I don’t promise that they will all be ‘innovative’, but I may have 4 or 5 more slam dunks rattling around up there.

I just wanted to say another thank you to Tracy for taking the time to not just click like, but to encourage me to get blogging again. I forgot how much fun this is. I am usually sitting here laughing while I am writing, and hope it brings a smile to your day.

Gratefully,

Raphaela

 

Mirror Mirror On The Wall..DIY Luxury Gold and White Mirror Redesign

DIY, To, Do, Tips, Mirror, Design

This is a fun and super quick project to change the way your mirror looks. Create Your Own DIY Luxury Mirror for Only $3.00.

We are finally just about settled in here in New Orleans. This city is absolutely amazing. You will never want for something to do if you live or visit here. That said, I have spent most of the last 8 weeks inside the walls of our home, not out of them. Am I a recluse? Um, survey says, No!

Then why would I do this? I am the kind of person that must settle my home after a move. I have this cathartic need to open every box, ask myself if I still need it and what I need it for. If I no longer need it in its current form, I try to repurpose it, or to redesign it. If that doesn’t work, I call the Salvation Army and make a sizeable donation.  They will pick up your stuff, so that you do not have to pack it all up and haul it over there. Check, that’s one less thing on my to do list :-).

I have been ‘designing’ things forever. As a result of being a military family, we move quite a bit, so I have a lot of practice. I know that I love to read about how other people repurpose or redesign things, but I definitely have my own wild and crazy design ideas. It just never really occurred to me that others would be interested in that. However, after seeing some of my projects, my mother in law suggested that I should be showing other people how to do this. So, I thought about that, then I bought a domain name, and now I am writing the first post for that new section of my blog ‘Girl Meets Tool’.

The mirror in this project survived my final round cuts of ‘Flip It or Skip It’ (this is the name that I have given this ‘sorting’ process every time we move). I have become absolutely obsessed with painting everything. There were so many items in our home that have been given a new personality with a simple touch of color. Seriously, the people at our local hardware store know me by name, so I think ‘obsessed’ is a fair word to describe how much time I have spent in their store building my paint and tool collection.

I have so many exciting DIY projects to share with you over the coming months. I have taken hundreds of pictures and videos to use on this blog, so let’s get started with this super easy mirror redesign.

This mirror sat in our entryway for years, and for some reason it escaped my clutches until now. I was sorting through all of our mirrors after everything was opened, and this one was the right width and height for my new vanity, but the color—yuck! Spray Paint to the rescue.

I took this dull metallic mirror from drab to fab for about $3.00.

 

Painters, Tape, Mirror, DIY, Butcher, Paper, Redesign

This is the mirror before anything was done to it. I taped off the edges with painter’s tape and butcher paper over the mirror.

Total Cost: $9.50 **Materials used for this project were only about $3.00, because I still have a lot of all 3 left over.

$4.50 Each Can of Paint (I could do another 2 or 3 mirrors with the paint that I have left)

$ .50 Painter’s Tape (I still have 75% of the roll)

Tools Needed:

-Spray Paint: Flat White and Metallic Gold (I use Krylon with primer)

-Painter’s Tape (Any width will do for this project)

-Piece of Paper (old magazines, a trash bag, anything to cover up the mirror)

-Pair of Scissors or Exacto Knife (to cut sharp corners in the tape)

Step 1: Cover the mirror with anything that will block out excess spray paint. Some suggestions would be; a piece of paper, a bill that you don’t feel like paying :-), or that nasty old shirt that your boyfriend/husband just will not throw away.

Step 2: Spray the entire mirror flat white. 

Flat, White, Luxury, DIY, Mirror

After taping over the mirror, spray the entire mirror border and sides flat white.

-Put some old books, bricks, or whatever you have on hand down under the mirror to lift it off of the ground while you are spraying. Otherwise, you will almost always get these little marks where the mirror was in contact with the surface that you were spraying it on.

-Walk around the mirror when it is on the floor and spray from each side to make sure that you cover all of the angles and sides evenly. For example, stand one side of the mirror and spray the side across from you, and the edge nearest you. Then simply keep moving around the mirror until you have completed all four sides. Yeah right, like I am the only one who dances with the things that they are painting :-).

-Three light coats are better than one heavy coat. Allow 2-3 minutes between coats. If you try to cheat on this step, you will end up with paint drips, so just don’t do it. Trust me, I have old projects that still stare at me every time that I walk by them and beg to be repainted, because I tried to do it the easy way.

Step 2: Allow mirror to dry overnight.

-Your project requires two things inspiration and patience. Don’t put the tape down just yet, or you may rip it off when you go to pick it up. I find it helpful to work on three or four projects at once, so that I am always rotating back and forth between them. This way I am not only distracted, but patience isn’t really an issue, because one of the four is always ready for the next step.

This is my patient face :-)

This is my patient face 🙂

 

Step 3: Add painter’s tape to the inside corners only. This mirror has a recessed lip so that was easy, but if yours does not, just create your own by moving the tape in about 1/4 inch from the border all the way around.

Mirror, DIY, Design, Idea, Inspiration

Apply the tape just inside of the mirror’s border.

Step 4: Very Important Step: Respray the mirror in white.

-No, I am not drinking on the job. This looks requires very precise lines. I read once (sorry, can not remember where) that to make sure that you have very sharp lines, always spray a coat of the base color (in this case white), before spraying the accent color (in this case gold). When you pull the tape, you will see why. The lines are perfect every time, but DO NOT SKIP this step. You do not have to wait more than 2 minutes before beginning to spray the gold.

Step 5: Spray the border (the area without painter’s tape) in gold.

Spray, Paint, DIY, Mirror, Lux, Luxury

Spray the border, not the edges to complete this look.

-For my mirror, I wanted the gold to just be a small line, so I did not spray the side edges of the mirror. I also did not want to tape off each edge, so I just sprayed the gold on from across each side to make sure that I only hit the trim area with the gold spray paint. In other words, if you are standing at the foot of the mirror, you would spray the top trim piece only from that angle, and then work your way around the mirror. This will give you a nice gold trim piece, while leaving the edges a beautiful white.

DIY, Gold, Luxury, Spray, Painted, Mirror, Idea, Project.

See how the gold is only on the trim area, but the sides are still white.

Step 6: Another heaping helping of patience. Relax, it’s manageable this time. You will be able to paint your beautiful face in this one before your hot date tonight.

-Wait about 20 minutes (or 10 if you are just too impatient) and then pull the tape off slowly. I find pulling tape straight up and back leaves me with the cleanest lines.

Painters, Tape, pull, direction, guide

Pull the tape straight up and back to get crisp clean lines every time.

Step 7: Hang on your wall, stare at your unbelievable beauty, and figure out where to invest all of the money that you just saved yourself. 🙂

After, DIY, Mirror, Redesign,

Finished DIY Mirror.

I hope you love this DIY mirror tutorial, and that it sparks an idea in your mind to do something fun with a mirror that you already own. I would love to see your take on this idea if you want to share. Stay tuned for many more of these types of DIY projects.

Thanks for spending a few minutes with me.

Gratefully,

Raphaela Laurean