Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Happy Little Announcement

A couple of weeks ago my hubby had a little surprise waiting for him when he came home from work ...

The funny thing is, I was waiting for him in that chair and he stood there talking to me for 5 minutes without ever noticing the announcement.  I actually had to point.  Isn't that so like a man sometimes!  
Now before you start casting stones (not that you would)  I realize that "sequel" is misspelled.  Granted it took me about 2 weeks for it to dawn on me, I did figure it out.  And anyway, it would be out of character for there not to be at least one mistake.  

But, YES, we're expecting again!  We're so happy, but between the extreme exhaustion, the taking out the garbage every 10 minutes because every foul odor makes me sick, and doing everything possible to try not to toss my cookies at any given point in the day, I haven't been able to devote any time to blogging.  I'm trying really hard though.  It's also thrown a little cog in my De-Crap and Make Pretty Operation only because now we have to rearrange things to make room for baby in our tiny home.  It's an exciting adventure!  What's even more exciting is that the baby is due the same month as my little guy, so from now on July is going to be the most fun month of the year for us!

With all of that being said, tomorrow I have an easy space saving craft for you - and you probably already have everything you need!
Now if that's not your kind of project, I don't know what is!

Thank you for sharing in our joy, I'm glad you stopped by!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Regarding Finding Inspiration and Giving Thanks

Here's what I've learned in my four years of being married and even more so in my one year of being a mommy:  housekeeping is war.  A constant war.  And most of the time it feels like I'm on the losing end.  I've started this campaign to transform my home and get rid of the clutter and I have to tell you, I'm struggling.  It's not motivation I lack, it's vision and inspiration.  Because this is me stretching and working out my "design muscles", if you recall my "Waking Who?" page you'll remember I am not a born decorator, it can be mentally exhausting.  Some times I find myself standing in a room just staring at walls for a good 15 minutes racking my brain for vision.  It's comical really.  But I've found a way to keep me going.  What is it that Dory says on Finding Nemo?  "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming."  I have a few small areas in my home that are like little breaths of fresh air when I see them. They're like blips on a radar, where I got it right.   I'm sure if you're experiencing the same frustrations as me you know what I'm talking about.   Maybe it's the way you stacked a few pretty books on a table, or the display of vases you have on a window sill.  No one else may ever comment on them or even notice them, but you see them and they make you smile.   Here's one of my happy spots....

The little tray was an Ikea find, the creamer was thrifted, and the stirring spoons passed down from my step-father's family.  I threw the yellow Tupperware in the shot because bright vintage-y things always make me smile!

 Seems silly right?  But you see, although there's nothing brilliant about this set-up and for sure you'll never see it in a magazine, it resonates with me.  The whole kitchen can be a wreck but this little nook is always well kept and it inspires me!  So that's what I have to say today, nothing mind blowing, but kind of important to remember.  Find you're happy spots and let them be your inspiration and motivation to just keep swimming. 

This Sunday my pastor mentioned Paul's letter to the Thessalonians in his sermon.  In it Paul tells them "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks..."(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).  That seems like a tall order doesn't it?  It seems to me that even the most pious would struggle with praying without ceasing.   How do we do this when our hearts are often hard and our minds are constantly preoccupied?  Well he actually tells us - by giving thanks.  Let that be our starting point.  When you don't feel like praying, when you've been wronged, when you're overwhelmed by the seemingly lost battle in keeping house, give thanks.  God is abundant in His blessings towards His children, we should and must thank Him.  When having the king of all bad days, do not forget that you have a heavenly Father who loves you and delights in you.  Delight in Him!

Can you find a parallel here?  It may be a stretch, but do not be consumed by the to-dos, be thankful and revel in the bright spots in your home. Visit them often and perhaps use it as a moment to thank God for something!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mommy Fix: Cool it on the Paper Towels

We go through a lot of paper towels.  A lot.  Most of them go to cleaning up the little guy after he's done eating.  Luckily we have a wholesale club membership which allows me to buy in bulk, but dang, it still gets expensive!  So if you're in the same boat, jump ship because I have a quick fix for you!  Baby washcloths.  Duh, right?  Well, the coolness of this idea is not so much the cloths, but the way and where you store them.  Instead of keeping them in the linen closet or the baby's room, keep them accessible in the kitchen.  Look, what I've been learning when it comes to decorating is that you don't necessarily need to go out and buy decor.  But rather, use what you have!  The ordinary things, displayed in a nice way, is my favorite way of decorating.  So here's my fix, roll a set of baby washcloths up (I'm sure you have a gazillion) and pop them in a cute vase, mug or planter, then display the heck out of them bad boys. 

This has seriously been a big help to me.  As soon as he's done I wipe him off, put him down, then wipe down the highchair with the same cloth.  Bam, done!  And if you're like me and constantly doing laundry just throw them in with the next load.  

I love easy fixes that save me money!  So whether you're trying to keep costs down, or just wanting to go a little greener - mommy fixed!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Master Bedroom Update

As I explained in my intro to this whole operation, I'm a little dense in the design department so I have to emulate what I like to get what I want for my home.  That being said, here is my muse for the master bedroom...

Isn't it cozy?  I love everything about this room.  The neutral color scheme, the pops of color, the gold knobs, the non-ginormous sleigh bed.  The family's kind of cute too!  Actually this room, although narrow, is quite long and opens up in the back.  Hop over to see more pics. 

So with that in mind, I've made some progress and wanted to share it with you.  

is now this...

Ahh.  It's like a breath of fresh air.  It's not done for sure, but man do I love my room again!  I painted the walls the same color as the above picture, Owl Grey by Benjamin Moore.  That was the biggest task, and now my job is to warm it up and add some color.  Eventually I will switch out the curtains, and I'd love to get the duvet they used.  It's called Poetical by Barbara Barry and you can get it at Bed Bath and Beyond.  You can also see it in action in this beautiful bedroom makeover over at Centsational Girl.  But I am quite proud of my KMart coverlet find for only $32!!  Sure the quality isn't anything to brag about, but the thinness of it is a nice compromise for my furnace of a husband.

My side table used to look like this - 

but I painted it White Dove by Benjamin Moore (like in the pic above) and now looks like this -

The pull is off because I still need to spray it a metallic gold.  I threw a magazine box on the side to house my note pads.  Most of my blog and craft ideas come to me while I'm lying down, so this allows me to keep them handy without cluttering up my dresser.  The wicker basket holds some baby toiletries and my new favorite thing - my homemade facial/baby wipes!

I definitely still have some work ahead of me, but I'm ecstatic with the progress.  And I should add that with my newly organized closet I am staying very neat and picked up now that everything has a place!  

So how are your operations going?  Have you made it to the next phase or are you still de-crapping?  Where ever you are, fight the good fight - and take lots of pictures!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

a little happy.

I spotted this on one of my favorite blogs: You Are My Fave.  I thought it might make you smile.

It's by a book company called Assembly of Text.  I think some of these would be so much fun to do with your kids, or just to do by yourself to keep from becoming too stuffy and adult.  And if you love lists like me, well, this is perfect!  You can find it here

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sweet, Sweet Pinterest

Well, I wasn't able to get pictures taken of the bit of redecorating I've been doing in our bedroom like I promised, so I don't have anything to show you as far as Operation De-Crap and Make Pretty is concerned.  However, I thought we could take a little break from that and enjoy some manna that flows from the amazingness that is Pinterest.  And if, by the slightest of chance, you haven't experienced Pinterest stop now, I'm serious, leave my blog and go.  You can kiss any chance of reading that book on your nightstand goodbye, but it will be oh, so worth it! 

I've tried many a thing from Pinterest and thought I'd share a few that have really worked out for me!  (So far, most of them are food related because now I use it to meal plan.)

Ok, this tip has changed my life!  To shred chicken really well in 20 seconds, throw it (warm) into your mixer with the cookie paddle attachment on speed 6 or 7.  It works so well!!  

These recipes have all been a huge hit...

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken with Fried Rice ... seriously, the best recipe ever! 

Mini Deep Dish Pizzas - We've had these twice all ready they were so good!

Quinoa Burger - well, it's really a patty - and really amazing!  If you haven't tried quinoa before, this would be a great intro.

Italian Stuffed Zucchini - Yum!  and so easy!

And probably my favorite thing I've found on Pinterest - Homemade Organic baby (or facial) wipes!

The whole process is genius, using select-a-size paper towels and soaking them in coconut oil, water, and baby shampoo (optional).  I made them for the first time tonight and used it on my face and I'm so in love!  Took my make up off and my skin felt great afterwards.  I'm definitely going to start using them on the little one's bum as well!  Click on the link below for complete tutorial.
(From White House Black Shutters)

So that was the first (of many I'm sure) list of myPinterest favorites. I hope they gave you some good ideas.  It's always nice to hear from someone who's actually tried the ideas you find around the blogosphere.   See you soon for my room update for...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Master Bedroom De-Crap Update

Well I can say that I have seriously de-crapped my closet.  A little too much, in fact.  I went to get dressed the next day and realized I had no clothes, so I had to dig through my black bags of crap and retrieve a top or two.  I mentioned earlier that Let's take a look at what I was up against one more time...

I used Jen (you know, my best friend who doesn't know we're best friends) over at I Heart Organizing for inspiration.  Here was her fancy closet...

and now for my version...(ugh, when you look at hers and then at mine it doesn't look like a good transformation at all.  Ok, take a second and erase your brain of that previous picture.  Got it?  Ok, now look...  Ta-da!

 I know, I know, my clothes are not organized by color and type - just thinking about doing that exhausts my brain - but I'll work on it.  Eventually, too I'd like to get those fancy slim hangers so that everything is uniform.  I do have to say it's uber less stressful getting ready in the mornings when you have enough space to actually see what you have as well as not having to deal with the clothes you don't even really like.  With my new found space, I was able to add in a wicker drawer set that now houses some of my jewelry, under-thingies, and makeup.  Up top I have bins (which I'd like to eventually swap out for pretty wicker baskets) holding my purses and a (small) portion of my maternity clothes.  The rest of my maternity things and workout clothes are in piles still awaiting a pretty box.  At the very top are my extra bed spreads and thicker sweaters. 

I'm still working on getting the Mr. to de-crap his drawer as he has an absurd amount of old t-shirts (he has a harder time letting things go - don't tell him I told you!).  But I feel really good about calling this phase complete!  Now on to the Streamline and Make Pretty!  I may have kinda started on the Make Pretty all ready and I'm really excited to show you what I've done - tomorrow.  I know, I'm sure you're on the edge of your seat in anticipation.

So how is your de-crapping going? I'd love to feature your pretty closets - shoot me a picture - we all need the inspiration!

Senor Nacho Libre!

Hello Lovelies!  Happy Halloween!

A little trivia about me...

I gave birth to one of these Nachos (he was just under 10 pounds), which one was it? 

If you guessed the one on the left you would be quite wrong (and shame on you for thinking I was that old)!  Although Jack was probably close to that in birth weight, I can not claim him as my own.  No, the little Nacho on the right is mine.  We had a blast on Halloween, and of course we took a lot of pictures!

We went to a nearby church that was having a Fall Festival and then we went trick or treating for the very first time!  The little guy loved it, and I can imagine each year will get more and more fun as he grows!  

Did you or your little ones dress up this year?  I'd love to hear all about it!  And don't forget to stop by tomorrow for an update on

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