It is blurry, but still a keeper to me. My girls…and their dirty feet.

BeddysBed-01I took a similar picture almost 3 years ago to the day. Sweet babies.6.24.13-16

Friday I posed the painting portion of the girls’ bunkbeds. They’ve been asking for blue bunkbeds and wanting bedding like their brothers. I think they’ve been jealous of how easy it is for the boys to make their beds compared to all the steps the girls have to do. The boys got Beddy’s bedding when we built their sleeping loft last year. Since last year, I’ve been asked several times if we still like the bedding. The answer is “yes.” The girls and I were all excited to work with Beddy’s again on their room.BeddysBed-02If you are unfamiliar with Beddy’s, they are a bit like a sleeping bag for a mattress…or maybe like a fitted sheet with a top. It fits on the bed like a fitted sheet, but has zippers on both sides that attach a cover with a minky interior. To ‘make’ their beds, the girls just have to zip up the sides! Keeping bunkbeds neat, tidy and pretty is so much easier!BeddysBed-03BeddysBed-05BeddysBed-06BeddysBed-07BeddysBed-09BeddysBed-10We’ve had Beddy’s for a year now in the boys’ room and I am thrilled to have them for the girls. I am sure many of you have some logistical questions, so here some details:

  • How do I wash them? To wash them, I unzip them and wash them one at a time. One fits in my washer and dryer no problem. I do have to go through two dry cycles because it can roll up in a ball in the dryer.
  • How have they held up? They have held up terrifically and still look great. I chose solid colors (gray for the boys, white for the girls), so if they did fade any it wouldn’t be noticeable. I also chose solid, so I could change up their rooms if I wanted to in the future without changing the bedding.
  • Are they truly easy to make? Yep.
  • How hard is it to get on the mattresses? Basically the same as a fitted sheet.
  • Do your kids have special blankets they still want to use? One does. She just tucks it in her bed before she zips it up. Special stuffed animals sit on top. All of my kids really like the soft minky inside cover.
  • Do the kids make their beds now? All but one of my kids. There is a certain boy that has to be reminded…reminded to pull two zippers. Oy.

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  • Amy - I wish I had seen these when getting bedding for my son’s loft and day beds. I love this idea for my own bed also! One question I have and could not find an answer to on the website is if the top “blanket” is sewn to the foot of the bedding. Meaning it unzips on the sides only and is attached at the bottom. Thanks!

  • JenW - How hot are the Beddy’s? My boy is a prolific sweater as he falls asleep. We have a two sided Minky blanket he uses (calls it his “polka dot blanket” :). I’m wondering if the Beddy would be a nice option for his loft bed, while still giving him the soft Minky, AND be a smidge lighter weight.

  • Emily - Try throwing tennis balls in with the bedding when you dry them! Helps keep them from wadding up in a ball and fluffy! That’s how I dry our comforter and down jackets.

  • AshleyAnn - Emily – thank you for that tip!

  • AshleyAnn - Amy – yes, it is sewn on the bottom edge and unzips on the sides

  • AshleyAnn - Jen – I have not slept in one, so I am not super sure. All my kids keep the cover on them, but they also have ceiling fans in their rooms. My one that gets hot at night sometimes kicks off the cover. Sorry…I am not too sure. They aren’t heavy, but the minky fabric definitely warms them up as opposed to a plain sheet.

  • Byron - Boys are not good with zippers. Known fact. Should be known, anyway. This is why we live in gym shorts! 😉

  • Kortney - I want one of these for myself and I’m 24 haha. These look awesome!

  • AshleyAnn - Amy – correction! My boys are connected at the bottom. The girls actually can unzip all the way off, which makes washing so much easier. It has been a year since they sent the boys, so it might be a product update.

  • amy - Ashley,

    Thanks for the info and correction. I will double check with them if placing an order.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh your girls. They are so precious.

  • Heidi - That house pillow! Bought? Made? I need more information! It’s precious!

Almost exactly 3 years ago we transitioned the girls to bunkbeds. The original plan was to paint the beds, then it was to just paint stripes. I ended up simply adding washi tape stripes to the bed because we were in an overwhelming season. Painting the bed was more than I could handle at the time.

The girls have been asking to paint their beds for a couple months. They agreed on painting it ‘blue’, but the exact shade was debated. Instead of going through tons of paint samples, I picked 3 colors of paint and let the girls mix their own. It provided a great teaching moment in regards to teamwork, compromise, valuing another opinion…and color theory.

The girls wanted a light shade a of blue, so we started with 50% white and they slowly added more color until they found a shade they both liked.

My supplies:

I chose the Satin Enamel for this project for several reasons. I’ve worked with DecoArt for years, so when they asked if I would like to try the Satin Enamels…it was an easy yes. Since I was painting bunk beds, I needed durable paint that was non-toxic with a hard finish. It was also important to me that I NOT HAVE to sand the beds. I cannot imagine having to sand them. Nope.

2.16decoart-012.16decoart-03The girls started by pouring 8oz of the white and 8 oz of the True Teal. They added just a bit of the Seaside Blue. Once those were mixed, they decided they needed more white because it was a brighter blue than they had in mind.2.16decoart-042.16decoart-06I told the girls the paint always dries darker, so we did a few test spots on the slats of the bottom bunk. The final mixture was 16oz White, 8oz Teal, 4oz Seaside Blue. I did help them with the mixing a bit because I needed to know the ‘recipe’ if we had to mix more! Once the paint was ready, we began painting.2.16decoart-07My kids always want to help paint. I let them paint alongside me, but with a few things in mind they do not realize.

Here are a few of my tips:

  • Use a drop cloth
  • Let kids have a small cup for their paint and a small brush. Small brushes make less mess!
  • If they are just learning to paint, let them do an area that is hidden
  • I always paint the high traffic and highly visible areas
  • Teach them painting techniques like paint the direction of the wood grain and scrap excess paint off the brush
  • Watch what they are doing and come behind to smooth out globs of paint before it dries
  • Offer encouragement, but also instruction based on age

My eldest daughter has become quite the furniture painter. She’s practiced a lot with me over the years. She would have been happy if I surprised her by painting her bed, but she is so proud of her accomplishment mixing the paint and painting the bed herself. My younger daughter lasted about 10 minutes and she was done. It takes extra time and work to bring kids alongside DIY projects (or anything!), but it builds confidence and gives them practical skills. Totally worth the extra effort and mess.

2.16decoart-09Their room is tiny and the bunks take up almost the whole room, which makes it so difficult to get pictures of the whole bed.2.16decoart-102.16decoart-122.16decoart-132.16decoart-14Now to find my next painting project! You can find our more about DecoArt paints by clicking on the links below. I’ve partnered with DecoArt for several years as a blogger and am always so pleased with their products.


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  • jules - Great color – fabulous job girls!

  • Tiffany - No sanding and no finishing poly/wax – impressive.

  • Debbie C - I need to say “yes” to my daughter more, and worry less about mess and imperfection. Thanks for this. Question…we are looking into bunkbeds for our kids, how do you like the Ikea one? Is it pretty sturdy, holding up to jumping, etc?

  • Laurel Libby - I love the floors in the girls room, what did you use?

  • Seamingly Sarah - Great color blue!

  • Bekah Decker - They picked such a lovely shade of blue! Love it :)

  • Samantha - Would DecoArt work well on a dresser? We picked up a dresser on Craigslist and had plans to sand and paint it, but if I can skip the sanding that would be great. Thank you! ?

  • AshleyAnn - Samantha – the satin enamel has a hard finish, so far it seems very durable…the girls climb all over the bed. It also cleans easily. I like the chalky finish paints too, but they are harder to clean and require some kind of top coat. I’ve been pleased with it.

  • Heather Johnson - I love the color they came up with–pretty much the color I think my girls have been dreaming of! They have also been dreaming of bunk beds–and these Ikea ones have always been at the top of my list because of affordability. It looks like you put it together and then painted it–is that right? Did it take two coats? Were there areas that you did first (like perhaps the bed slats)–or how would you recommend doing it? Sorry for so many questions, I am just really intimidated by projects like this…or I guess I should say I am all in at the beginning and two hours in I don’t want to do it anymore! Maybe if I know exactly what to expect I will hang in there. Did you use the ikea mattresses as well? Thanks for the bedding post after too–I think those will be just the thing for my girls as getting them to make the beds any other way just isn’t happening!

  • Cassandra - Love this! Thanks for sharing I also have a bunkbed I’d like to paint…someday…:-)

  • Ingrid - It’s the perfect shade blue! Well done!

  • Mary-the boondocks blog - I have the same exact bed and I’ve been trying to convince my daughter to let me paint it. I think now that I will show her your bed… in her favorite color no less, I may be able to persuade her. Thanks for the inspiration.

Parents often tell me they could never homeschool because of what is involved as kids get older. Well, the older they get, the easier it gets. At least in this house. Reading has my biggest challenge when it comes to teaching the kids. Every one of my kids has taken to reading in a different way and different age. What worked for one did not work for the next…and on down the line. Part of the challenge of teaching reading, for me, is it requires so much time and focused attention from me. That is a little difficult with 5 kids.

I am a huge advocate for sitting next to a child that is learning to read…letting them read to me and me read to them. Older siblings read to the younger ones too. This spring I noticed my girls needed a bit more help and it needed to be fun. I’m not always the most fun teacher. While I was looking for options to give my girls extra practice, I was contacted by Red Apple Reading to see if I would be interested in writing a review. You bet.

RedAppleReading-01Red Apple Reading is an app and online reading program for children ages 4 to 8. The girls do not do any schoolwork on the computer, so I also like that they are learning basic computer skills. They each have their own login and I can watch their progress.RedAppleReading-02If you are looking for extra ideas, tips and helps regarding reading (or school in general for young kids), I would recommend checking out the Red Apple Reading pinterest page too. So many resources!RedAppleReading-03RedAppleReading-04RedAppleReading-05RedAppleReading-06RedAppleReading-07The first thing they ask to do in the morning is, “Can I do my reading program?” That pretty much sums up my review!

I never commit to positive reviews for companies. I was told that if I wasn’t pleased with the product, my insight would still be valued as a way to improve the product. I truly appreciated and respected that approach. Turns out a positive review couldn’t be easier.

I have to limit how long the girls spend and how many lessons they can do at once. I have seen tremendous strides forward in both girls. I find them reading books, signs, flyers that I had no idea they were ready to read. Their progress and confidence surprises me daily. If you are looking for extra help when it comes to getting young kids reading, I very much recommend giving Red Apple Reading a try.

Now, I just have to figure out how to juggle one computer with 5 kids (and me!) all needing to use it once school starts back up!

For more on Read Apple Reading:

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Until July 15th you can use the code FREEDOM50 for 50% off all memberships. There is also a free 7 day trial.

(edited to add: if you read this after July 15th, be sure to look at the comments below regarding how to find out current specials)





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  • Lauren - Thank you for sharing Ashley. This looks like a wonderful resource. I teach Kindergarten in Canada and look forward to sharing this with parents in the community. The children in my class also enjoy the site Just in case you and the girls want to check it out. :)

  • Seamingly Sarah - I don’t homeschool, but I read once that every parent part time homeschools whether they realize it or not. So during non school hours my kids are big into the Reading Rainbow (also called Skybrary) app on our iPad. Stories they select are read to them or they can read them by themselves. I see it as a boost for all of us as I cannot fill their hungry need for being read to.

  • Laura - Thx for this great resource! I’m currently teaching my 4th child to read and it’s a bit more challenging for me this time. Has anyone heard of or used I’m curious how Red Apple Reading would compare. We used Starfall with my first 3 w great success but my 5yo hasn’t taken to Starfall as much.

  • Brittany Sanchez - Thank you for the resource! We are starting our first year of homeschooling soon and I’m a bit nervous about being the one responsible for teaching my son to read! Do you happen to know how long the discount code is valid?

  • Tammy with RAR - I saw the comments and wanted to add that the FREEDOM50 promo code is good until July 15th. And interested readers can always email us at and ask for current specials to get a discount code. :)

  • Momofthree - Thanks for the recommendation! My oldest pretty much taught herself to read and now is often found in some comfy corner with her nose in a book but my two boys have very different learning styles. They go to public school but I felt that over the summer we needed to do something extra that would help them improve their reading while keeping it fun. After reading your post I poked around looking for more reviews and found a groupon that got me both boys signed up for a year for $32:) They are super excited to get started!