Monthly Archives: March 2013

Cute Cheap Baskets

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Hope you all are preparing to celebrate Easter, because He has Risen!  Our kids are older, but I still like to do a little something special for them at Easter.  I have never been crazy about those store bought Easter baskets.  There’s nothing special about them to me,  but they are good for hunting and holding lots of eggs.  Our kids don’t hunt eggs anymore, so I wanted something smaller to just hold a little gift.  I got this basket idea from the talented Margie Romney-Aslett. She comes up with AMAZING low cost crafts that you can put your own spin on.

These little baskets are so inexpensive and can be used for all sorts of things.  Spring decor, Sprint Mantel, used to hold small gifts or gift cards, hold party favors, the ideas are limitless.  Not only are you giving a gift, but the packaging is also a cute gift of your craftiness.

First I bought some peat pots used to grow plants in, and cut some squares from old book pages.  And then I used Modge Podge to adhere the book page squares to the pot.

EBasketMatl  EBasketModPod

The next step is to use your Modge Podge to coat the top edge of the pot, and then sprinkle glitter on it.

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Cut 2 circles the size of the bottom of the pot and Modge Podge book pages on one side.  This will be used later for the bottom of the basket.

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Once all this dries you can continue on.  Punch a hole on each side of the pot just under the glitter to hold the handle.  For the handle take 2 pipe cleaners and twist them together, then insert the ends into the holes and hot glue the ends down.

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Next take some crepe paper and just hot glue it around the inside edge of the peat pot making little ruffles as you go.

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Now for the bottom.  Take 3 to 4 coffee filters, separate them, and crinkle the center.  Then you will glue these to the bottom of the pot, and then glue the round cardboard bottom to the coffee filters.

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Here is what it will look like sitting upright.

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Now for the fun part….adding your embellishments to personalize it.

For each side where the handle is attached I made a small junk bow.  This is just a bow made from scraps of ribbon you have.  You can add anything you want to these.  I used ribbon, book pages, twine, and lace.

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Attach these bows to each side of the handle with hot glue.

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Then add any embellishment you want to it.  I added some tickets up top, because I love tickets and think they are fun.  I also embellished each basket differently to reflect our kids and something I thought they would like.  Our daughter likes flowers, and our son likes typography.   Here they are all finished, and ready to stuff with some fun Easter treats.

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These are very inexpensive to make.  Peat pots are cheap, and I got a stack from Wal-Mart.  The crepe paper, tickets, and pipe cleaners came from Dollar Tree.  The rest I had on hand.  These only take 30-45 minutes to do, and are so cute and original.  I hope you find time to make one for someone special for Easter.

Happy Easter!

Linking Up at

The 36th Avenue Spring Ideas

Sugar Bee Crafts

Homestories A to Z

Not Just A Housewife

Cedar Hill Ranch

The Ironstone Nest

VMG206

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Dandelion Chair

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Spring is finally here in Texas, well outside of this 2 day cool spell we just had.  However it should be close to 80 this weekend.  One of my most favorite things about spring is this…..

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Dandelions!  I love these.  I love to pick them and watch them blow in the wind.  So this was my inspiration for a recent chair project.

My Nana passed away almost 4 years ago, and I got this old chair when we were cleaning out her house.  She used this on her small patio.  I love the look of this chair, wanted to do something special with it, but never knew exactly were to go with it.  Is it in perfect condition – No.  Does it have character – Yes.  Is it special to me – Yes!

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The first thing I did was sand it down to remove the paint.  The back thin wood was a little warped from being outside, but I didn’t want to repair it and mess it up.  So we used wood glue and tried to smooth the back out the best we could.

I went shopping looking for a beautiful blue paint color that reminded me of the sky.  As I was looking at paint chips at Home Depot, I walked past the mis-tint shelf.  I looked over all the paint cans, and there it was, a quart of the perfect blue paint.  How lucky I was because it was also at the perfect price of $2.  Thanks Home Depot for such a beautiful mis-tint.

Once the glue was dried, I began painting the chair.

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I then let it dry overnight as I tried to figure out how I would paint the dandelions on it.  The next day, I finally came up with a pattern and lightly drew it on the back with a piece of white chalk.  I tried to tint this picture so that you could see the very light pattern I drew.

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Yes the wood is a little bumpy, but we were afraid removing that would really mess up the chair back due to how it was attached.  So we left it for added character, and to remind me of how Nana used it outside on her patio.

Then I took a bottle of white acrylic paint I already had and began painting over my pattern.

chairpaintingAs I painted I had great support from my entertaining daughter.  This girl makes me laugh! I painted as she recited Ag questions to me to study for her test.

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Here is the finished chair.  I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!!!  It has that look of spring, and now just needs the perfect spot.  Hope it makes you think of those fun times of being outside picking dandelions, and watching them blow in the wind.

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I am linking up at these fantastic websites!

East Coast Creative Creating With The Stars Round 3

The House of Smiths

Home Stories A to Z

Cedar Hill Ranch

Sugar Bee Crafts

Chef In Training

Not Just A Housewife

Domestically Speaking

The 36th Avenue

Someday Crafts

The Shabby Creek Cottage

Mandatory Mooch

Miss Mustard Seed

Bracken-man Has Got It Going On

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This project was thought up and done by our son.  Hence the title of this post.  So did you read the post title and start singing “Stacy’s Mom Has Got it Going On”?  (Because I totally did!)

Remember back on this post about the Junk Gypsy Garage Sale Battle that we went to?  Well here is the purchase made by our son, 5 insulators.  He had an idea to use these.

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Almost 2 weeks ago he found a map repo on eBay to use for this project.  So this week while he was home for spring break, project insulator was done.

First thing he did was trim the border off the map, then measured and cut the piece of wood to fit the map.  The wood backing he used was from an old poster frame.

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Next he used modge podge to attach the map to the board.  He also used a roller to make sure the map stuck all over to the wood.

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This was left to dry overnight before he continued.  The next day he prepared the insulators by first cutting off the long bolt attached to them.  To do this he used a man’s favorite tool……the zip cut.  I asked him what did people do before they invented zip cuts, and he said “On the 5th day God created the zip cut, then on the 6th day he made man to use it.”  Anything that throws sparks makes my hubs and son happy.  After cutting off the attached bolt, he used a grinder to make the end smooth.’

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Now here is where it can be easier or complicated.  I would have attached the insulators with E6000 glue, but he and his dad chose a different route.  They opted to use it on the lathe to drill and tap a hole to screw it to the wood.  Here are some pic’s to show you that process.

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Once all 5 had a hole drilled in them, he had to figure out the placement.  First he drew a star template so that he could mark the location of the points of the star.

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Once the 5 points were marked, he drilled a hole for each one to be able to attach the insulators.  Before he drilled the hole he place a piece of scotch tape over the mark so the drill didn’t tear the map.

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Next was to screw in each insulator from the back.

mapinsulatorplaceAfter all 5 were screwed in, it was time to bend the barbed wire.  Since he gathered a weathered piece from the pasture, we laid towels over the map to collect the rust.  This was a 3 person job, because we needed all the hands we could to hold and bend the barbed wire.

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Once his star pattern was drawn, he had to tie the two ends back together.  To do this they tried different things, but settled on a piece of leather cording.

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That is it.  He now has an awesome picture to hang on his wall that he thought up and created all on his own.  Thank you Junk Gypsies for being an inspiration, and supplying the items that sparked his creativity.

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Linking up at these sites.  Go check out all the ideas!

Cedar Hill Ranch   The Scoop

Homestories A to Z  Tutorials and Tips

Not Just A Housewife  Show Me What You Got

Some Day Crafts Whatever Goes Wednesday

The 36th Avenue DIY Ideas

So I married a craft blogger – A man’s blog!

Knock-off Pottery Barn Stratton Bed

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This spring semester our son moved into a house at college, and took his bed with him.  That left his room empty without a bed, and it stayed that way from January until now.  He was coming home for spring break and we hadn’t done anything in his room.  He would be home in 2 weeks with no place to sleep!

We are about to change our daughters room and have been looking for inspiration rooms since last October.  She knew she wanted to go more neutral in her colors, but wasn’t 100% sure what she wanted.  Then during Christmas break we discovered this absolutely gorgeous southern cottage in a post on The Lettered Cottage.  This cottage is swoon worthy! Here is a picture Layla and Kevin Palmer had from this post.  I just love what this couple does!  You have to go see all the inspiration they can bring to your life!

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Our daughter wanted a bed like what is in this cottage after she read the post.  So she searched the internet and found the famous Pottery Barn Stratton bed….for $1599!  We may have had a mild stroke over this price.  So as true DIY’ers do, we hit the internet looking for a knock-off version.  Enter the amazing furniture plans for this bed from Ana White.  (If you haven’t been to Ana’s site, go check it out!).

Since both kids have queen beds, the plan we came up with was to build this bed for our daughter, and move her bed frame into his room.  The difficult part was that it was March 1st and all this had to be done by March 15th!  Lots of work for 2 full-time working parents, and a high school student daughter!  We printed off these plans and made a few adjustments so that the bed would be 2 inches taller.  (We like taller beds in our house.)  Then we hit up Lowe’s after school the next day to buy all the supplies! While we were shopping, another plan came to our daughter.  Our kids have always done our county fair and entered some type of metal furniture/art for a farm shop project.  Our daughter said,  “hey, this can be my farm shop project for fair next year!”  Score! Knock out 2 things with one project!

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That first weekend it was project “get the bed built”!  Here is our daughter working her tail off measuring, cutting, building, and just being awesome!  We purchased plywood that was sanded, but there were still a few knot holes in there.  Whenever we came across one, we helped our daughter fill them with wood filler and sand it smooth.

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Per the plans, she had to build 3 cubes that make up the bed.  Here is what the cube looks like.

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Then we helped her carry each cube inside the shed and lay it out to see what it would look like put together.  Please excuse the HUGE mess in there, we are in the process of reorganizing, but it seems that projects like this take us away from that task.  Here are the 3 sections all put together and ready for painting.  The only part not on this is the center ladder looking section that the mattress sets on.

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Now the next weekend it was project “paint the bed”.  She loves the look of chalk paint, so she decided on a white (Annie Sloan Pure White) bed with distressed areas showing some gray (Annie Sloan Paris Gray) and beige (Annie Sloan Old Ochre).  So off we went to Jute to purchase more chalk paint and clear wax, and get some suggestions.  This was the first BIG thing we ever painted with chalk paint, so for some reason we were both nervous.  Thank you Tiffany for all the help!  We love how it turned out!

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First she primed each cube.  Due to the expense of chalk paint, we had her paint the parts that would not show with primer only.

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Also, instead of layering the Paris Gray and Old Ochre over all the parts that would show, she only layered these colors where she would distress.  This was mainly on the trim and bottom shelf of each cube.

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Once the 2-3 coats of Pure White was painted and dried, she distressed it.  We prefer to distress then wax because we like the look of that better.  Even though Annie Sloan recommends to wax and then distress.  Once she had the distressed look she wanted, she applied the clear wax.

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All the painting was finally finished Thursday night (March 14th)!  Talk about finishing the last minute.  Now it had to sit for 24 hours so the wax could cure.  Once everyone got home Friday evening, we began putting the bed in her room.  While we were putting the last pieces of trim on the 2 ends that show, her dad came up with an awesome idea to do on these.  This little treatment will eventually be on her headboard.  Great idea G!  Here it is all put together in her room!  The bed is painted so that it will go with the newer neutral colors she has chosen, not the zebra print she has in there now.

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Project completed by March 15th!  She did an amazing job, and we are so proud of her.  Now to move on to the next steps of building crates to slide into each one of the cubbies to organize her teenage stuff!  Then to the fun decorating part.

Her dad had to help her during the project because she needed extra hands, or the wood would split.  The phrase of the building weekend from her dad was “Uuggghh, I hate wood”.  He’s a metal guy, so he would constantly remind us of why metal is better to work with.  In fact he said he will show us how much easier it is to build this same bed out of metal for our son’s room.  He said it will even have drawers, not crates.  Well darling, challenge accepted!  I’ll let you know how it turns out whenever it finally gets done.

Linking Up to these Great Sites, so go check them out!

Cedar Hill Ranch The Scoop

Homestories A to Z  Tuts & Tips

East Creative Creating with the Stars  (Round 2)

Not Just A Housewife Show Me What Ya got

The Ironstone Nest Transformation Tuesday

The Shabby Creek Cottage  Transformation Tuesday

Miss Mustard Seed

DIY Furniture Frame Repair

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Sometimes we think “you can’t have nice things with kids”.  I know as our kids are reading this their eyes are rolling back in their head.  Last week one of them sat on the couch and we heard this loud pop.  It really wasn’t their fault, but rather the cheaper furniture construction that is done these days.

You have to understand that I’m married to Mr. Frugal Fix It, and I thank God for putting us together because he saves us lots of moola.  He is super talented, and amazingly creative at coming up with ways to fix things.

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I knew that he could fix it instead of having to haul it to a upholestry shop.  Once he could see what happened, I knew he would have a fix for it.  After you see how easy this can be repaired, you will be able to tackle your own furniture repairs!

First we flipped the broken part of the sectional on its side., then pulled the staples off the black fabric that is usually on the bottom of furniture.  Just use pliers to pull those staples out.

couchonside  Couchbackoff

Once we could pull the black fabric down, we saw the cause of the break.  There was a big knot in the wood where a another piece was connected to it.  The breaking of this knot caused the bump you can see farther back on the upholstery in the picture below.

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Here’s what it looked like inside.  You can see where that knot broke out and weakened that joint.  Which later caused it to break.

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The first thing G did was to gather the finish nail gun, and the enormous amount of air hose.  Good thing he has hundreds of feet of hose (I could line my shoes end to end and not reach this far).  I mean really, look at all this hose.

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Next he cut a piece of 3/4 inch plywood in a rectangle to scab this joint together.

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This is the support that came out when the other part broke.

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He had to glue this support back into place, so the part where the knot was would go back into place.  He put wood glue on the joint, clamped it together, and then nailed it with the finish nail gun.

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Fixing this support brought the broken part back in line.  Next he glued together what was left on the knot joint.

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Then he took his 3/4 inch plywood piece, and glued it to that support he fixed earlier with the clamp and to this joint.  Once it was glued and put in place, he used the finish nail gun to nail it into place.  On the part that is glued to the knot joint, he just angled the nail in to the plywood so it would catch the bottom knot joint board.  He put in several nails to hold this in place.

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That’s all he did.  It was done!  All I needed to do to finish it was to staple the fabric back onto the bottom of the couch.

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So in a few hours we had it fixed and good as new.  We just let it sit for 24 hours so the glue had time to dry.  I hope that this calms your fears next time you hear that “crack” in a piece of your furniture.  This is a lot cheaper than paying someone to fix it for you.  I hope you will pull off that fabric and take a look to see if you can just fix it yourself.

Upcycle License Plates

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As you all may know, we think everything is bigger in Texas.  So why not upcycle something to represent my great state.  You’ve probably seen these pictures around everywhere from Target to Bed Bath & Beyond.

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I’ve always liked these, but thought “what if we just did Texas?”  WE, because this took 3 of us (me, G the hubs, and our son) to work with license plates.  I went to the DMV (Dept of Motor Vehicle) and asked if for some strange reason people actually returned their old plates to them when they were issued new ones.  The lady told me, “you would be surprised how many we get returned to us.”  So in true junkin’ fashion, I asked her if I could have some.  She gave me about 30 of them for free.  They were a little dirty, but so what they were free.

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The first thing I did was give them all a good washing with dish soap and water.  Then once they were dry I picked out the cleanest ones.  We needed a pattern to shape these plates into Texas, so in comes the Texas size pattern out of cardboard.

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We then put the plates side by side, to form a large square that was bigger than our pattern. We flipped them all over and laid the pattern on them backwards.  Next we drew around the pattern on the plates so the state of Texas was drawn backwards on the back of our square of plates.  So sorry I didn’t take a picture of this, I totally forgot.  We got so busy trying to keep it all lined up that I forgot to snap a pic.

Then we needed to cut each plate to form the borders of the state with tin snips.  These are just like big scissors for tin.  This took all 3 of us because it was SLOW going with all those river boundaries.  If you do this with a state that has straight lines it will be a lot easier.

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Cut your pattern out of these plates just like cutting out a pattern.  Once you get them all cut out and flipped over you have the state of Texas. (I’m not showing you a picture here because I don’t want to spoil the end result.)

To hold all this together we went through our stash of old weathered lumber.  We gathered up enough pieces for G to  screw them together to form a base to mount the plates on.

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Here is what it looks like once you lay them out and screw them together.  You can use a Kregg Jig, or just put a smaller piece of wood (1×3) vertically along the back and screw to it from the back.  Either one of these ways will keep you screws hidden.

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Now you need to lay your plates down of the wood mount in the shape of Texas, and screw them in place.

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Once we had them all screwed into place, G took a star brand and fancied up the corners.  Here is our finished project that is hanging in the game/workout room.

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G just screwed it in directly to a stud due to the weight of it.  We now have Ian original piece of art work for our workout/game room.  (Sorry you can see the shadow of the weight bench, but I couldn’t move it by myself.)

Go shopping at your local ReStore, Goodwill, or DMV and see what you can upcycle for your home.  Let me know what you’ve done.

Linking up at:

East Coast Creative Creating With The Stars Contest.  We didn’t get picked for the actual contest, so we are linking up in their mini-contest.  There is some really creative ideas going on in this contest so go over and check it out.

Sugar Bee Crafts  Take A Look Tuesday

Home Stories A to Z  Tutes & Tips

The Ironstone Nest  Transformation Tuesdays

Tishomingo Pink Pistol

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Our weekend started off with going to see this guy, because we sure do miss him.

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 We had a great weekend just hanging out around OKC, and spending time together.  On our way back to Texas Sunday, we made a detour over to Tishomingo to go to this place……

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The Pink Pistol!!!!  We have been trying to get by here on our trips up there, but would never make it during their store hours.  Now that they are open on Sundays, we put it on the list to do this weekend.  It was a great detour that was well worth it.

The road trip to Tishomingo and the town itself are so “vintagey” (I know that isn’t a real word, but that is how I felt while there).  It’s a small town in the middle of the country, with one main street.  Because it was such a vintage feel, I decided to through it back with some Polaroids of the store itself.  Nothing like traveling back to a simpler time!

The pink and white awning grabs your attention once you hit town.  Then the window displays are amazing.  They were so inviting, and we just stood there looking at all the details like it was Macy’s Christmas window.  There was so much detail and imagination put into them.

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  Once inside there is something to been seen from the ceiling to floor and in every corner.  The displays are fantastic!  They have used old furniture, truck beds, shelving, just about anything quirky and cute.  I knew that Junk Gypsy’s helped out, and you could see their flair in there as well.  I love the styling of those 2 girls, and that combined with Miranda Lambert made for a great store with Attitude!  Just take a peek of what was inside!

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Before you leave though you have to stop off at the soda bar to get a soda, float, or the signature “pink pistol” drink.

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This fun little detour had our daughter feeling like a princess for a few hours!  She has been dying to get by there, so this made her day.

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