Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Toddler Bed

Back in February Evan decided to start climbing out of his crib (nonconvertible kind). Wouldn't stay in at all. I freaked, immediately found a white toddler bed on craigslist and bought it!

When Greg and I went to pick it up it was before our date night, so it was dark out and in the dim light of the people's house this toddler bed looked in good condition. The next morning in the sunlight of our home, we were very dissappointed to see different. Tons of crayon, marker, and who knows what marks. Not to mention teeth marks! Lots of old stickers residue, etc.... seriously if I would of noticed this I would not of paid $35 for it... maybe $10.

But I got the Goo-Gone out and went to town. Most of the ghosting from the crayons and markers (red & blue!) stayed behind but the rest of the crap I got off.

Then that day I simply asked Evan "Hey, it's not safe for you to climb out of your crib. You could get hurt and get a boo-boo. Could you please just stay in your crib until mommy or daddy helps you out?" His response (in a rather deep voice for a toddler): "Okay, Mama". He never got out again.

Fast forward a few months until now, it's probably time to convert him. So I got some primer (to cover the ghosting of the crayon & marker for once and for all) and some gloss white paint to finish it.

Time to prime & paint (done over a course of a couple days - no pics sorry!)

Finished! Only "real life" pics here... it's the "NEW BED! I gotta get in it NOW cause I'm TWO" sort of pics...

Complete with big brother goofing around as well...

I wish I could report a successful transition... but no... 2 hours later than normal and about 50 times of me silently returning him (talking or interacting just supports him getting up like some sort of socializing)... he is finally quiet, I daresay asleep.

I know it must be done, but I hate transitions/changes like this. I used to be able to just plop him in the crib and we'd be golden. Sigh, this kid just keeps growing up ;) But at least his little bed is a nice glossy new white!

Monday, April 25, 2011

H Family Easter 2011

Another Easter away from family, and we would be sad if it wasn't for another easter made perfect by friends!

Jake and I dyed eggs the night before....

Then they found their baskets in the morning! The Easter bunny was getting them prepped for the beach!

And of course it's not Easter without a chocolate bunny the size of your head!

Then some friends came over for a nice family brunch! We had yummy food.... biscuits & gravy, sausage, an egg & spinach stratta, hashbrowns, fruit salad, and cinnamon-sugar pull apart bread.

Had an egg hunt for all the boys! It was the Easter of the Cascarones! It's good luck to have one broken over your head. If you have no clue like I did as to what they are, read here. It's popular down here in these parts!

Okay, big mommy confession here (and we have photographic evidence!). It shows on the packaging, you can smash in on your head.

So that's what I did to poor Evan, and the egg DID NOT break... we all heard a "thunk" that echoed in the backyard! Everyone is all "you crack it first in your hand!!".... Ohhhhhh.....Let's just say Evan will probably have some fear of eggs near his head for the rest of his life. The look he gave me was so sad :( But after that, he did enjoy finding them and smashing them in his hands!

Tried for a group shot of the kiddos... Evan's new thing is to run from the camera. So this was as good as it got! He took his egg and ran ;)

Couldn't get a family pic (due to Mr. Evan) but Ellie was nice enough to take a few other pics (in fact half of these pics in this post are hers! Thanks girl!).

This handsome little guy is Ellie's. Him & Jake share the same birthday, just 3 years apart. They always really enjoy each other!

After all that it was naptime! Whew!

Later that afternoon Greg went to the gym (where he said there was almost no one there!) and the boys and I took a hot walk (well, they rode their bikes) to the park. Then we came back home to eat our brunch leftovers for dinner!

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom"
 ~Marcel Proust

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rearranged the Kitchen Counter

For Christmas I was a lucky gal and received my very Kitchenaid Stand Mixer! Woo-hoo!!

Since then, I've been trying to find a good home for it in my kitchen. I had thought "oh, I'll just store it in my pantry"... but um yah, that was before I had it... it's not really light enough as something you want to lug out each time you want to use it. Plus, the mixer is kind of like a decor item all on it's own.

Now the perfect scenario would be to get some custom cabinetry that it stores in and then pops up to counter level.

Heavy-Duty Mixer Lift

But that's just not going to happen around here right now.

So it needed a home on the counter. I don't like stuff on my counter. I feel with the paper towels, napkins, dog treat container, fruit bowl, the phone, the charging station, and the knives are enough!

I played around with it, and quite honestly I wasn't happy moving things at all. It feel "wrong" to do. Finally came up with an arrangement I could live with then found it I had to add "something else" to the counters to help balance it out. Unfortunately, I have no before and afters as I was rushing to do this before company arrived!

But here's the finished arrangement. Does it look okay?

I had to add in the little caddy thing with napkins & wooden utensils to balance out moving the knife block. The knife block used to be in the corner I moved the mixer too... there's really nowhere else to put it that makes sense. Is it too much? Does it look dumb? Does it need tweaking?

I still find myself putting stuff back in the wrong place... especially when I'm in the cooking zone! But I think that corner is the best place for the mixer! Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Feeling a bit scattered...

Not necessarily in a bad way. I feel scattered all due to good things!

The Gym: Remember when we joined a month ago? I'm proud to announce I've gone almost 5 days a week every week since (only dipping down to 4 days when we had all of our company!). I've lost only two pounds... but the difference is a lot thus far! My posture is better, my jelly belly is smaller and not hanging over my waistband (and oh my, I have some ab muscles forming!!), and I have arm & leg muscles starting to form where I've never had any definition before! Oh and I'm sleeping like a rock at night now! Woohoo, after dealing with insomnia for so long, this is awesome. I'm still tired, and Greg has to do anything at night with the boys because I'm seriously out cold... but finally some sleep after 4 or so years!

Been doing a mix of things, that way I don't get bored with it. More or less I do some cardio and some weight machines (focusing different days on different parts of the body), I do one yoga class a week, and I swim laps for about an hour once a week too.

I've tried a couple classes and did some interval running with a friend, but nothing that's become a routine yet. We'll see!

The boys are so-so on childcare, but I just keep on trucking. Jake usually throws a fit every morning and would cry. Evan was golden. Now I've noticed the last few times, Evan is crying and being held by a worker when I get there. It's super frustrating... but like I said, we keep on truckin' anyway! Eventually they'll like it, right???

It's full fledged summer here: lots of being outside, lots events involving water or a lot of sweating (on top of the gym stuff) = lots of more laundry! We're seeking out more parks, so we spend more time going there, playing, and finding ways to clean up all the sand, dirt & sticks we bring home with us!

My Kindle: my new mission in life... to find quality free books on Amazon to read. Which requires me stalking Amazon... which is a two-fold time suck ;)

The Hermit/Social Butterfly: I jokingly declare us (myself) hermits... but really we aren't anymore. I've made so many wonderful friends & neighbors down here! There's tons of stuff to do all the time! Lump all that together for a fun but busy schedule! Not sure how it happened, but it did. I do enjoy it, but I'm not one of those people that get all energized by being busy... it wears me out!

Last but not least... I dare say I've lost the blogging bug? Sometimes I wonder who/what I'm blogging for? Six months ago I was so enjoying all the home decor, and being creative, etc... now I just kind of fizzled out. Usually once I declare myself fizzled out, about a week later I get a renewed sense of blogging ;) So we'll see. I have a million ideas bouncing around in my head that I'd love to do... but then I look at the mound of laundry, my unorganized vanity drawer, or take a peek at my side of the bed that needs picked up. Maybe I'll go take care of all those little yet essential things and the ole hobby will fall back into place?

Hope so!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Two years ago today...

We were moving into our home here in Texas! I was holding a 3 mth old and trying to keep an eye on a 2 yr old as they carried in our boxes and furniture! It was such an exhausting and exciting day!

That 3 mth old baby is now a big toddler of 2 and the 2 yr old is now a KID of 4!!

We've tried to make our house a home... but was in for a big surprise in moving from a townhouse in Chicago to almost tripling our space in Texas... and all on a one income budget! I think we've done it though!

Had to refigure all my errands, what stores to shop at, and figure out how to get a HUGE sprawled out city! There have been some downsides... like the lack of an adequate library system, the whole ghetto post office ordeal, and we don't live on a wooded street anymore - the last lot was cleared a few weeks ago :( But those are really about it as far as the negatives! There's a whole slue of positives!

We've immensely enjoyed our time here. I can hope we're here forever, but with Greg's job I know better than to think things like that!

Our time here has been filled with lots of exploring, meeting some great friends, and watching these boys grow into some handsome, happy, healthy boys!

Cheers to TWO years... thanks to all who have been here in person to make it great... and to those that always gave me a kind word to hang in there and gave support during my transition in the big move!

Today we celebrate by taking a morning trip to the Arboretum & Botanical Gardens!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Time for a Spring Mantel!

I already had an Early Spring Mantel, but with Easter 2 weeks away it was time to change it up a bit.

Honestly, I really liked it and didn't want to change it... but I really couldn't leave shamrocks up, ya know? So I messed around with it for a few days. I wasn't really feeling any combo or anything I did... but finally was happy enough with this...

I know it's just screamin for some height, like budding branches in a pitcher or vases. But my goal is always to do my mantel changes at no cost! Getting them from outside wasn't an option as everything has budded and now has a full thing of leaves! I also felt like I couldn't go pale with my accessories as many wonderful mantels are decorated for spring since I have such a pale fireplace & wall (and yet again, can I complain how much having a window there changes things!?).

There are a few little Easter-y type goodies in mixed in there without being too much, I think.

Ever have that happen? The creative mojo just doesn't come to ya when you want it to?

Thought I'd link up with Beth's Spring Mantel Party, even if this edition of my mantel isn't my fave! I still like to see what everyone else is doing, only fair to share too... the good and sometimes not so good ;)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Made another tshirt necklace!

Ever since my first go at making a tshirt necklace, I wasn't as thrilled as I wanted to be. Come to find out the shirt wasn't the best material for it. You really need a good ole cotton shirt!

So round two! I didn't take many pics for a tutorial because it was during the boys naps and I was just in the zone! But WOW I love the results a hundred fold this time! Just google it and you'll get a ton of amazing ideas!

Started out with a plain ole maternity shirt that was always too short. It never covered my expanding belly and I usually just wore it to sleep in. So if I ever get pregnant a third time, I doubt I'll miss this shirt too much!

I liked the color, so it got chopped! Did the same as before cut off the bottom hem, then cut the shirt into no bigger than inch long strips (cutting them to include the seams to make a circle). Varying widths make the necklace more interesting I think! Pull at all the strips to make them curl up and get longer.

This time I cut 2 of the circles, added a yellow wooden bead, then cut some excess off and then sewed them to a third tshirt circle (where a seam was already) to include in the necklace!

I LOVE my new necklace!!! (I took two more circles and really stretched them, then looped them around my neck to make a bit more of a tiered look)

I'm so happy with it, I think I'll link up to a couple linky parties! If you're visiting from these parties, thanks so much!!

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Our Hallway Gallery Wall

In July, I blogged originally about my photo collage/gallery wall project... but I also included other projects in that post and it got long & wordy. I saw that Melissa at the Inspired Room is having a Gallery Wall linky party. Thought I'd show that wall again real quick to join the party :)

The wall is in this little hallway that goes from our living room to our master bedroom

It's a bit harder than I thought it would be. Getting all the right photos (wanted more b&w so the color ones would pop), the right frame (just used what I had in black), and then figuring out the layout. I had the layout all spiffy and I actually thought I'd remember it. Um, that'd be a big fat negative. So took me even more time to figure it out again ;)

Then we just hung the left picture and went from there. Eyeballing the layout to match what I figured out... measuring this would of caused us to either divorce or each have a stroke. It all turned out great though!

I love it, I look at it every time I walk by and it makes me smile! However, I'm noticing the photos all are starting to seem old... not sure I'm ready to re-do it quite yet though!!

Thinking of a gallery wall in your home (yes, Mary, I'm talking to you!)? Go check out this party and see what others link up. I love the walls that also add in art, empty frames, etc... fun! :)

Some color in the Foyer!

It's been baby steps but so far in the foyer we've gone from the "ballroom" look

To "It's a start" (you can read about that mirror transformation, here)

To "Now it has some function"

And now "Maybe a little personality"

Got the runner on sale at Target for $80... more than I wanted to spend... but it was exactly like what I was looking for colorwise. I snagged that cute little artichoke from our side tv console cabinets. I still want/need a wrought iron coat rack to put on the left, a colorful little picture to hang to the right of the mirror and a plant would be good too! Oh aaaannnd the lamp, still gotta jazz up the lamp! Almost there ;)

But WAIT... why do I have this overwhelming urge to paint that little table??? A nice warm gray perhaps??

Geez, I post so much about such little changes in this space I think I should start calling it the "Foyer Series" :)