Enchanted Mommy

How to Remove Paint from Brick

So I had a major accident in the driveway after one of my painting projects.  Danny was out of town and I was trying to finish a project in the garage during random snippets of time that I could occupy the kiddos elsewhere.  Of course I was rushing…

I spilled a big puddle of oil based primer right on our new brick pavers in the driveway.  So sad.  I googled and googled and all the ehow’s and the ask.com’s said it was impossible to completely remove.  They said to try paint stripper, but that it probably wouldn’t work and would just damage the brick.  Other’s suggested power washing or sand blasting.

This is what it looked like after using three coats of paint stripper. Paint stripper did close to nothing.
This is what it looked like after using three coats of paint stripper. Paint stripper did close to nothing.

I was desperate to clean it and tried scrubbing with the paint stripper three different times.  Nothing.  I kept scouring the internet and everything I read talked about the stone being too porous.

Use Vinegar to Remove Paint From Brick

Finally I found a random comment on a post along ways down on some website saying that he had used plain distilled vinegar to get the paint residue off from in between the bricks of his fireplace.  

Vinegar is often effective at removing paint from bricks. For best results you’ll need to soak the painted surface in vinegar and then scrub the surface. Depending on the type of brick or paver that you have, be careful to not scrub too hard as it can damage the brick.

I had vinegar on hand so I figured I might as well give it a try.

I basically poured the vinegar into a bucket, soaked it up with steel wool and scrubbed with some rubber gloves on.  A good 20 minutes of scrubbing took it right off!  Seriously, Danny didn’t even notice and will have no idea unless he reads this post. 🙂

After scrubbing with vinegar.  You can still see a slightly faded spot if you look closely, but overall it isn't noticeable.
After scrubbing with vinegar. You can still see a slightly faded spot if you look closely, but overall it isn’t noticeable.

This post is for those poor souls who think there is nothing they can do after spilling paint on their stone or brick!  Vinegar!  Who knew!?!?!

Use vinegar to remove paint from brick
The magic potion!

How to Prepare Your Child for Success in College

A large part of childhood is often defined by education. The school, teachers, and classes a child takes part in have profound effects on their overall development and trajectory. It starts in elementary school with accelerated learning programs which ultimately lead to honors and AP courses. These curriculums affect what (if any) college a student attends and what career path they ultimately take. 

But even if your child earns straight As and follows the highest curriculum, is it enough? College is certainly a big adjustment for anyone, despite all the prep-work high school students commit to. Just as parents are recommended to start making financial plans well in advance, it’s never too early to start thinking about plans to make the academic transition as smooth as possible. 

A recent survey by Grand Canyon University found that 79.2% said they felt adequately prepared for college by their high school. That means more than 2 out of every 10 struggled with the adjustment. When looking at preparedness by specific categories, 53.5% felt their high school failed them in ‘developing skills/knowledge to live on my own in the future’. 

Luckily, as parents, there are many things we can do to circumvent these struggles. If college is a goal for your child, it’s best to start preparing early to make the transition as seamless as possible. Few parents want to think of the idea of dropping off their child at university while they’re still in their early stages of life, but it’s best to be proactive years before you’re actually faced with the situation. 

From an academic perspective, this may mean enrolling your child in additional tutoring beyond what may be offered in school. It’s a common misconception that tutoring should be used when a child is not meeting expectations. In reality, tutoring can be used to build on skills being taught in the classroom and cultivate a customized learning experience for your child’s needs. No matter where your child is in their classroom, one-on-one attention can go a long way. 

What’s perhaps more important than building on what they are being taught is considering what they aren’t. Things like personal finance, time management, and relationship building are important components of living on your own that often aren’t emphasized in traditional schools. Sure, you don’t need to teach your toddler how to balance a budget, but you can start introducing smart money habits at a young age to build a routine. 

No matter what methods you take to prepare your student for a seamless post-high school transition, be sure to provide support and care for your child along the way. This way, even if they face battles when they finally get to the college stage, they’ll know they aren’t fighting them alone.

Make Cooking with the Kids Fun with an Air Fryer

At this point in quarantine, you’re probably running out of things to do with your kids. They’re tired of you and your activities and they just want to play with their friends. One thing that can help take their minds (and yours!) off their frustrations? Food! 

Food is the best way to soothe your soul and your body. Now I know, you’re probably tired of cooking at home too. You need to figure out what to make, how much to make, decide if the kids will eat whatever leafy green you put on their plate. What if I told you there was another way?

I recently discovered the air fryer and it has changed my life. You might think that the last thing you need is another kitchen gadget but this one is gold. Why? It can turn junk healthy and you can make it with the kids! There are so many recipes to make with an air fryer that the kids will love. And the upside is that it doesn’t use any oil. This means you can show your kids how to make it without hurting them and you won’t feel guilty about feeding them all that fatty oil because there isn’t any!

Here are five finger foods to air fry for your picky eaters. They can’t say no to this!

  • French fries
  • Corn dogs
  • Pizza
  • Onion rings
  • Mozzarella sticks

My personal favorite snack is jalapeno poppers– how can you go wrong with spicy cheese? But the fact that it is so oily stops me from making it very often. I can convince myself that eating that much cheese isn’t bad for me but I just can’t reconcile frying the poppers in so much oil. With my air fryer, the oil is taken out of the equation and I can enjoy my jalapeno poppers more often than before! 

If you’re looking for more quick recipes with a little more nutrition in them for adults, check out this list of popular air fryer meals that you can make for the whole family. Better yet, help the kids make the recipe and let them learn that healthy food can be just as delicious as their favorite fast food!

Bumbo Chair Recall Updates

A recent stop at my local thrift store scored me a brand new looking baby bumbo seat for $3.  I am stoked!

The bumbo seat retails for $40 to $45 and $50 if you buy one with the attachable tray.  Clearly the Salvation Army had no idea what this bumbo chair was or they would have priced it higher.  In the check out line the cashier actually asked, “What in the world is this???”

Bumbo Play Tray - Ivory _ Target

Anyway, this bumbo did not come with the new saftey belt bumbo added (along with the safety warning sticker) from the 2012 recall.

Just in case you have a bumbo that was bought between 2003 and 2012, you should know you can go to this link and fill out a form to have them ship the safety belt to you.  It was super easy to do and my belt came in 2 weeks.  It is very easy to install and takes only a couple minutes.

Here is my kit!  It arrived in less than two weeks!

Here is my kit! It arrived in less than two weeks!

My new seat belt!

My new safety belt!

My kit came with this warning sticker for the back as well.

My kit came with this warning sticker for the back as well.


This belt works great!  Snug as a bug!

This belt works great! Snug as a bug!

I Did It – I signed Up For Stitch Fix

What is Stitch Fix?

Basically, it is an online clothing design service.  You fill out answers to several questions about your clothing styles.  They picture some outfits and you rate them (this gives them an idea of your style).  You pay at $20 design fee that can be put towards your clothing/accessory purchase.  They send you five items and if you keep all five, then you get a 25% discount on the whole order.  From what I’ve read, the clothing is average price and you can even fill out the price range you like/usually spend.

So, I did it.  I caved and signed up for Stitch Fix.  Here’s why:

  • I’m a mom of three kids four and under.
  • My kids go nuts in malls so I can’t try anything on.
  • I love getting fun packages in the mail.
  • I stay at home and my sweatpants need to be put on the shelf when I leave the house.
  • I’m over 30.  Eek.
  • I’ve read great things about Stitch Fix and one of my friends constantly rants and raves.
  • I have zero style.
  • I have zero style.
  • and…. I have zero style.

I’m.so.excited.  I will definitely post pics of my first delivery on February 22nd.

Check it out!


Christmas Is Soon – Kids Favorite Toys

Hurryyyyyyy, Christmas is in like 15 days.  I cannot believe it.  I’ve been ordering like a champ through Amazon prime (free 2 day shipping).  I’m going to save your life and do your kids shopping for you in 5 minutes  list my 4 and 2 year olds favorite toys that we have.  They pretty much play with all the same toys together (one joy of having kids close together in age).  I will rank them in order of usage.

1.  Bounce House
That is the exact one that we have in our basement and my kids use it every single day and have for over 2 years.  Did you read that?  Every.Single.Day.  We set it up in our basement.  It’s awesome because we change it out with our ping pong table.  It folds up real easy too.  We also use it for all of our kids’ bday parties.  Right now it is $199 through amazon.  GREAT deal.  This is an awesome shared gift for your kids.


2.  Magna-Tiles
These are one of my favorite interactive and learning toys.  My kids play them with each other, by themselves, and with us.  I think my favorite thing about these is that they get used SO much and take up such little space.  They really are worth every penny.  If you get these, make sure you get the 100 piece set, the 32 piece set can’t build as cool of things.

Check out Jamie’s review of them here.

3.  Glider Bike
‘m a big fan of these.  My 4 year old can practically ride her bike without training wheels now because of this exact bike!

4.  Doctor Set
For some reason, my girls are obsessed with this exact doctor kit.  They have a few kits, but this one came with the bag.  It’s pretty cheap too!  I like it too because it makes them a lot less afraid of going to the doctor.  My girls also have this doctor dress-up.

5.  Tea Set
Let girls be girls, right?!  They can sit down and play tea for hours.

6. Play Doh Stuff
 My girls really love play doh.  These are also great for stockings!

7.  Dress-Up
This set is cute because you can match up different outfits for each princess!

8.  Stamp Set
For some reason kids LOVE stamps.  Last year, it was the only thing my 4 year old asked for from Santa.

9.  Board games
I saw that Wal-Mart dot com had a lot of kids board games on sale for $5.  My 4 year old loves Memory, Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, Hungry Hungry Hippos and Sorry.

10.  Puzzles
Both of my girls LOVE puzzles.  I actually ordered my 2 year old the one I linked to above for Christmas.  Very educational too!


Okay, those are my top 10!  There Santa, click away and in 10 minutes be done with your shopping and focus on spending fun, quality time with your kids.  Merry Christmas!


How To Keep A Popsicle From Leaking Everywhere

Sorry I’ve been a little MIA. Three kids is no joke.  A fun no joke.

I have a quick post of an idea my husband had because my 2 and 4 year old ALWAYS leak popsicles all over themselves and their clothes AND they become a sticky mess.  Here’s his genius idea:


He took a cupcake wrapper and put it on the stick to help with the leaking everywhere!

Yeah, he’s kind of smart.

What to Expect During a C-Section

I’d have to say that I’m part pro at the whole c-section procedure.  I mean I did it three times in less than four years.  None of them were really planned per say.  I mean they said for sure that I had to have one the third time around, but it ended up happening way sooner than expected.   I’m going to go through some of what happens and what to expect.  Overall, it really isn’t that bad.  I mean, come on, I did it three times and maybe just maybe might do it again.

1. Check-in at hospital.  You get to go through the whole question process.  Yadda yadda.  They might scare you with the whole living will part (get on that if you haven’t).

2.  Head back to your room.  Everything is very cool, calm and collected if it is planned.  You get to chill and if you have a scheduled section and wait until the OR is free.  With my third, I had a time, but someone that had an emergency section pushed me back a couple of hours.  They take your temperature, monitor the baby, check your blood pressure and urine.  Oh yeah, I almost forgot that you get to put on the heinous hospital gown that you have to leave open in the front, all modesty ends here.  They also start your IV and take your blood.  They also make you take off all jewelry except wedding rings.

3.  Meet with anesthesiologist.  I haven’t had a bad one yet.  They explain the whole process of the anesthesia and the spinal.  I told mine this past time that I get really sick and nauseous while it is all happening so he was prepared to put the antinausea medicine in me.  We found out this time that I get like that because the spinal causes my blood pressure to drop REAL fast and low.  You can ask them anything.  They do it a million times a day.

4. Husband gets ready!  They give your husband or one person of choice paper scrubs to wear.  Your “person” can watch the c-section or  do like mine does and stay by your head.

My hot husband ready for his job!

My hot husband ready for his job!

5.  Walk back to OR.  Yep, you walk back to the operating room.  With my second, my water had already broken so they let me walk back and fluid was gushing out and getting all over the floor – definitely do NOT walk around the hallway without shoes.

6.  Sit on table and get your spinal.  The spinal is basically a more potent epidural.  If it isn’t planned, you might have already had an epidural so they can just add the spinal stuff to it.  You go completely numb from the middle of your rib cage down.  All you do is lean over and they insert it in your back.  You feel a sting, but it doesn’t hurt.  I promise!

7.  Catheter (the pee pee one).  I have to say this is my least favorite part.  You don’t feel it, but you have to keep it in until you aren’t numb anymore.  It’s mandatory whenever you get a spinal or epidural.

8.  Get ready for baby.  They will strap you down, put heated things on your body and get you all prepped.  I honestly don’t know all of what they do because they put up a screen right at my neck, so I can’t see what’s going on.

9.  Husband comes in.  My husband comes in and sits next to my head.  He usually holds my hand until baby is out.

10.  Here comes baby!  It usually takes 5-10 minutes and baby is out!  You will feel pressure, but nothing else.  If you feel something, start screaming.  They will tell you when he/she is almost out and then you will most likely hear a cry of a baby.  It happens SO fast.  My husband got to see them and they immediately take them over to the clean-up station and get to work on the baby while you are getting sewn up.  This usually takes about 15 or so minutes because they weigh the baby and do the other measurements as well.

11.  Mama gets to see baby!

Husband got to hold her and bring her to me.

Husband got to hold her and bring her to me.

My first time seeing sweet Marin.  Definitely love at first sight.

My first time seeing sweet Marin. Definitely love at first sight.

12.  Head to recovery.  Husband meets you there because he walks with the baby up to the nursery until mama is in recovery.  Recovery isn’t that bad and usually goes by fast.  You get to have some ice chips (I was SO parched with baby 3).  Once they think you’re okay and ready to go to post pardum (usually an hour), then you get to head up there.

13.  Enjoy this room for 3 more days.  This is your home for the next few days.  Each recovery for my girls was a little different.  Baby 3, Marin, was the hardest recovery.  Baby 2, Anna, was the easiest and baby 1, Ella, was in the middle.  I can’t tell you exactly how you will recover, but it really isn’t awful.  I mean your stomach just got cut open and it’s considered pretty major surgery so you really need to act like it and take it easy for a couple of weeks.  Live it up in the hospital.  STAY ON TOP OF YOUR PAIN MEDS.  Nurses get busy (I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt on this one and that they didn’t forget).  If it is 15 minutes before your next pain med is due, call them.  Do not wait until it’s time.  Seriously, listen to me on that one.  Call them whenever you need anything, that’s what they are there for.  The first night, you won’t get much sleep.  They come in so often to check blood pressure, temperature and to see how much your are bleeding down there.

Your spinal will stay in for a good amount of time.  They didn’t take mine out until 13 hours later after my 3rd.  I kept pumping it as much as I could to keep the pain away.  You don’t have to be in pain, so why should you be?  It takes a few hours to completely wear off.  I believe all three times one side became normal before the other.  Don’t freak out, that’s normal apparently.  Once you are free of numbness, you get the catheter removed and you get to go pee on your own!  Yaya.  Take it easy when walking.

During all of this, your baby gets to stay in the room with you.  Make sure someone stays with you the whole time.  You can’t get up to change the baby or even get the baby so you can feed him or her.  My husband stayed with me all three times on a tiny pull out, hard chair.  He’s sweet, but I guess it’s the least they can do, right?!?!  right?!?!

14.  Words of advice.  Enjoy your hospital stay.  Get all the help you need from the people there, whether it’s your nurse, lactation or even a doctor.

Don’t feel bad telling people to get out of your room.  If you’re like me, you need your space while breastfeeding.  Tell your husband to tell people that you need a little bit of time.  Breastfeeding is SO stressful, especially at first.  Also, if a doctor or hearing person or nurse or whoever comes into your room, it’s OKAY to ask people to leave.  Some people are CLUELESS and just sit in there.

If you’re stressed (because this is SO stressful, no joke) or tired, it’s okay to tell people not to come visit.  They need to understand.  I, personally, don’t love a ton of visitors.  I look like crap and am overly tired and really don’t feel like entertaining.  Most of the time, just my family visits and really close friends (maybe 2 or 3 tops).

Make every single person that touches your baby wash their hands.  Once again, people are CLUELESS and don’t understand that they carry germs.  I actually make people up to six weeks wash their hands.

You are VERY hormonal.  You might cry a lot, like a lot and for no good reason.  Let your husband know this ahead of time and make him be your advocate.  Tell him how you’re feeling and that you don’t want visitors or make him tell people to wash their hands.  They gotta be good for something during this whole thing, you just gave birth.

Hospital food ain’t good.  If people offer to pick you up food on their way there, jump on it.

You will bleed for several weeks.  You make up for all your missed time the last nine months.  I will leave it at that.

Once you’re done bleeding and you lose all your baby weight, you can wear a bikini again.  The scar won’t show!


Okay, I guess that’s all for this LONG post.  I guess the moral of all this is to not be nervous.  Doctors do this SO many times a day and it’s routine for them.  You will be fine and so will your precious little baby.  See, look at mine!

Patterson  (216)




Keep Track of You Keys!

What a day… seriously!

It started out normal enough.  We got up and left the house at 630 am to drive my 2nd grader 40 minutes to school.  Yes, I know that is crazy, but I promised him he could finish the school year in his same school when we moved.  Anyway, we dropped him off and picked up my nephew that I babysit then headed over to my sister’s house nearby to wait until school gets out.

We got to her house and I realized hubby had borrowed my key to their house and didn’t put it back.  So I have 8 hours to kill with three kids and no where to go.  I call my other sister who I know has a key and works a few miles down the road.  She agrees to meet me in the parking lot to hand over her key.  I get there and she holds up her keys to show me that someone had borrowed her key and she doesn’t know why it isn’t on her key chain anymore.

Now it stands out!

Now it stands out!

Awesome.  So I have no choice but to call my brother-in-law who is a PE teacher to get his key.  I got lucky and he actually responds to my text that his class is outside and has me pull up along the outside fence.  I get there and he jogs over and hands me several keys through the fence.  He is pretty sure it is one of those keys, but he never remembers which one.  Awesome again.

Luckily one of these keys worked, but of course this is after driving around with three kids for 3 hours.  I vowed to never have a day like this again!  I painted the top of the correct key with black nail polish so I can see at a glance if I have the key with me or not and know which one it is!  I also made copies of all my keys and color coordinated them with different colors.  Here’s hoping this solves some of the madness!!!



Just in case you haven't seen this before.  I have no nails and use this to get my keys on and off the key ring.

Just in case you haven’t seen this before. I have no nails and use this to get my keys on and off the key ring.


A Great Way To Take Someone Dinner

I just had my third kid. Third girl in less than four years. Third csection too. Enough said right?!

I honestly think people feel sorry for me. We were doing our newborn shoot last weekend and this lady asked me “are all three yours?” I said “yes” and her response was “Looooord, you’ve got your hands full.” Not only this, but people have been over the top kind and generous to us and I’m sure they’re thinking they need to help me out (ha, maybe they do). One way is that we’ve had SO MANY dinners brought to us. NOTHING is better than a home cooked meal that you haven’t had to cook. They have all been so delicious and have made my heart melt that we know so many kind people.

My next door neighbor told us a few days before it that she wanted to bring us dinner. All she said was that it was going to be BBQ. Hot dang. We love BBQ. So, she brought over a basket of food. It was covered with a hand towel. We opened it and WAHHHHHLAHHHH. Look at this beauty. She put everything in Mason jars.


There is BBQ with two kinds of sauces, chips, buns, baked beans, cole slaw, mac n cheese, potato salad, and the best bangin’ dessert – chocolate lovers delight

I bet you wanna know what’s all in here right. There is BBQ with two kinds of sauces, chips, buns, baked beans, cole slaw, mac n cheese, potato salad, and the best bangin’ dessert – chocolate lovers delight.


Look at this presentation. She put it all in Mason jars with fabric and she labeled each jar.


Here are a couple more pics.


The girls getting ready for some grub!



We put a nice dent in it, but there were plenty of leftovers!

Look at how great this looks!

Thank you sweet Marin for making me a Mama again (and not just for all the tasty food)!