January 1, 2011

What a way to start the new year!

Today was one of THOSE days. I had so much planned and was so excited to get a ton of stuff done- finally! I guess I was a little too excited, because in my haste, I tripped on the last step. Not a huge deal (besides the blow to my pride), except that I was holding my two-year old daughter in one arm and carrying groceries and a brand new can of paint in the other. As I fell, I quickly weighed out my options in my head...option A: fall onto my tiny daughter, or option B: drop the bags (paint) and catch us both. Option B quickly won out and everything seemed to be okay, until I picked up the bag the can on paint was in and quickly realized it was dripping everywhere. When I'd dropped my bag, the paint had hit the corner of the stair at just the right angle to pop the lid off so black paint was pouring everywhere. To make matters worse, it was -13 degrees outside, which caused the paint to freeze almost instantly. So not cool. Ben (because he's super sweet and nice, took pity on me and cleaned it all up- which took him over and hour and multiple trips up and down three fligts of stairs with pitchers of boiling water(cause he had to melt the frozen paint first and then clean it up). I know, what a great guy, huh? Yeah, I totally owe him. So between that and multiple trips to the home improvement store trying to get the right color of paint for Broox's nursery (yeah, he's still in our room cause we have had zero time to finish his), and taking care of two kids, plus trying to get the house put back together after the holidays... let's just say, my list didn't get done. I guess thats okay...the important things were taken care of: the kids were loved on, played with, fed, bathed. And I got a sweet and humbling reminder that my husband loves me so much that he's willing to go clean up my messes in -13 degree weather and not once complain or make me feel guilty about it because, "accidents happen". Even though my list didn't get checked off, now that I think about it, it wasn't a bad day at all. Besides, it's only 8:30, the night's still young, right?

November 28, 2010

{ christmas spirit }

It is finally looking like Christmas around here!
Nice and snowy outside (personally, I prefer the snow to stay in the mountains, where I don't have to drive in it, but it does make it look much more festive and it helps it feel like Christmas!), warm and cozy inside!

We usually break out the Christmas decor on Black Friday (after shopping all morning!), but this year we didn't get around to it until tonight.  (and apparently in the blog world, you are supposed to decorate like a month early...whoops! Newbie here :)

Since it was pretty late when we finished, there was no chance of getting pics in nice, natural light, so I just snapped a couple real quick to give you a little sneak peek.

That little lamp project took waaaaay longer than it should have and cost me a couple burnt fingers.  Luckily, I finally outsmarted it and love how it turned out!  We don't have a mantle, so I decorate the top of our entertainment center.  This little lamp really warms it up and brighten up the room.

I absolutely LOVE nativity scenes.  I think it's because my mom has always loved them and collected them, so growing up, they were always a staple in decorating our house for the holidays. 
Sadly, this is the only one I own (I totally wish I had this WillowTree set...one day, right? :), so I display it proudly on our dining room table.  It's just a little one piece nativity, but I love it's simplicity.

I'll take pictures of everything else we put out tomorrow when my light is back.  This is the most I've ever done for Christmas, and I'm loving it!  I've always wanted to decorate more, but it's taken us some time to build up the Christmas decorating stash!  Stay tuned for more pics!

Show me your holiday decorations!  Any easy, festive ideas I can steal replicate from you?  I am always on the lookout for a new project!

November 19, 2010

{ entertaining: the little touches }

I am a firm believer that special events or occassions are really made special because of the extra effort you put into it.  Maybe it makes me a little more stressed out or anxious beforehand, but I don't mind.  I really think it's worth it.  To me, it shows that the person we are celebrating is important and our guests are important.

When we blessed my daughter a couple years ago, I made a fruit bouquet for the luncheon afterwards.  I had never done something like this before, but thanks to the infinite wisdom of those on the internet, I was able to do it...
(shocking, right? :)

And here's a little close-up for you.  You're welcome :)

So, when we blessed our son a couple weeks ago, I knew I had to make him one too.  Only, since it's November, it was hard to find good fruit in season.  Luckily, after going to 4 different stores, I finally found strawberries (seriously...it was ridiculous!)
With Taelie's, it was REALLY top heavy -- I was so nervous the whole time that if anyone bumped the table, the whole thing would tip over, so instead of doing a tall crystal vase, I went with a crystal bowl this time.
I underestimated how much fruit I would need to make it as full as I wanted, but it still works.
And, wouldn't you know it -- the crystal bowl was the one that ended up breaking. :(  Not at the luncheon, luckily, but I was pretty sad when it happened.  Gotta love irony, huh?

I actually quite enjoy making these fruit bouquets.  I like spending the time to put them together and give myself a little bit of time to just focus on the arrangement and the person that I'm creating it for.  I turn up the music and just zone out in my own little creative world.

Have you ever made on of these?  Or any other edible centerpieces?  I love finding new creative ways to share food, so I'd love to see your creations! Share 'em with me! :)

November 15, 2010

{ and three years later... }

We have shelves in our master closet!

This was one of those projects.

You know what I mean -- the kind you always plan on doing, but it takes a gigantic kick in the rear to actually get moving -- right? (or maybe I'm the only one that procrastinates like that...)

Before we bought our condo, um, THREE years ago, we knew we wanted to add more storage.  But, in between babies, and moving every year, it just wasn't a priority.  Well, when we had our second little bundle of joy this summer, adding storage got shoved right up to the top of the list.  We have a three bedroom home, and I wanted our kids to have their own rooms right now so they don't wake each other up and maybe because I wanted to decorate them for each kid.  Maybe. 

Anyway, Broox's room has been a junk room of sorts...okay, that's a total lie.  It's been an absolute DISASTER.  We always kept that door closed because it was overflowing with crap.  We'd clean it out about, oh, once a year, and it would stay that way for maybe a week.  Then it got buried again.  Awesome. 

So, we knew it. Was. Time.

With my hubs being home so much now, we decided to tackle it.  (and by "we", I mean, I told him what I wanted, and he built it for me :)

Here was our closet before:
One shelf all the way around the top of the closet.
I had one of those canvas shoe hangers from Wal-mart, but even still...
 the floor usually looked like this.
 I didn't get a shot of hubby's side, but it was pretty similar.  Clearly, shoe cubbies were a must.  As were additional shelves.
This was before we painted.  We were so exited to get organized and not have our clothes strewn all over our room that we put half of our stuff back up and painted the closet it halves.  Note to self: next time, be a little more patient and paint beforehand.  Man, those cubbies were a ridiculous pain!
 Broox's closet was STUFFED wtih boxes.  We still have to go through them (again), but for now, we decided to just move them into our room so we can get his room set up as quickly as possible.  This is only a fraction of the stuff we moved out of here...how embarassing.  :)
 Moving the storage stuff in.
 Shoe cubbies! Love, love, LOVE them!  I actually put my shoes away now!  Something my hubs is particuarly excited about...haha!
 Plus two extra shelves!  Perfect for storing Christmas presents, Christmas trees...etc. :)
 My Mister's side -- he organizes his clothes by color/style because I get all stressed out if it's not that way -- It doesn't bother him one bit if they are all mixed together.  I get hives just thinking about it.  Sweet guy to do that for me. :) 
 I think I may be completely a teensy bit obsessed with organization...
{sigh} Love it!
It feels soooo good to have this project done!  Plus, it means we are one step closer to getting to Broox's room -- which is SUPER exciting to me.  I just love being able to check projects like this off our list -- especially because then we can move on to the more fun ones.  It is amazing how much more storage we have now, and it doesn't make our closet feel any smaller at all -- just utilizing the space better.  And, we have been hanging shelves in other rooms of our house like crazy, so we will have plenty of room to grow for the next little while.  I love it!

Do you have any projects like this -- that you dread doing, and then once it's done, you could not be happier?  What are your storage secrets?  I love finding new ways to make the most of our space! Share your ideas with me, I'd love to hear them!

November 9, 2010

{ my first ever sewing project }

I guess to be perfectly honest, I DID complete my 8th grade sewing class...because it was required.  But even that was pretty sad. 
I was one of those girls that thought sewing was SO NOT COOL.  And I wanted nothing more than to NOT be domestic.  So, with my awesome 14-year old short term thinking, I absolutely avoided ANYTHING that could be even remotely related to domesticity.
I never learned to cook.
Or clean (until I lived on my own.  Then helloooo neat freak!).
Or sew.
Or budget.
I think you get the picture.

When we found out we were expecting our daughter (and had gotten past the "danger zone" of miscarrying), I started looking around at bedding.  NOTHING was jumping out at me.  And the stuff I did like was SOOOO expensive.  So my sweet hubsters, Ben, suggested I make it myself.
Um....what the wha???  Do you not know me at all?
We'd been together for 8 years and yet you haven't realized I can't sew a straight line?

But he had confidence in me.  So I thought I'd give it a try.
Not by myself.  Not that brave.  But my sister-in-law's mother is uh-maze-ing!  So, I got her to figure it all out help teach me the basics. And lo and behold, I COULD do it!
Who woulda thought?! (certainly NOT me)

Well, now that my baby girl is almost 2 (seriously? It's crazy!), it's about time to get rid of the crib, so I thought I'd post some pictures of my first ever sewing project (that I was secretly SO proud of myself for creating) before we get it all changed out.

Her adorable little crib:
 The bumpers.  Um, can you believe I didn't know that people MADE piping?  Yeah, I might have been pretty excited about that... :)

Inside of the bumpers.  I did not make the sheet though - that's all Target, baby!

Crib skirt.  Obviously it doesn't really poke out the slats like that.  Just pulled it out to show you the detail.  I'm nice like that. :)

The window valence. This is one thing I will definitely do differently in the future.  My Taelie-girl needs it dark to sleep, so her window had been covered up with a blanket for the last two years.  A blanket that I take down in the morning.  And put back up for nap time.  And take down after nap time. And put back up for bedtime. It's ridiculous.  But otherwise it's either too dark or too bright.  New curtains will be a MUST for her new room.

Her rag quilt.  Probably my favorite item in her room.  After she got bigger, I moved it from her crib to the armchair in her room.

A little close-up :)

Terrible picture, but this is where we hung all her bows.  I added horizontal strips of ribbon across it and attached her clips.  It is defnitely too busy, and I will be making something new for her hair stuff for her new room.  I'm just not loving it, but it worked for awhile.
We painted the entire room and installed the faux board and batten.  We had no idea what it was called when we did it, we just liked how it looked. Yeah, we're decor-savvy like that.  It's pretty tall too, as you can see from the pic -- sits above the light switch.  I wanted it to peek out above her crib, and I love it.  :)  We still have that glider, but are planning on selling it, it never worked with her room, and we never used it, so I never finished it.  Her dresser is in it's place now.

I wanted to do the traditional name sign, but change it up a little bit, so I made hers out of the same fabric using a tutorial.  I love the font -- sooo adorable!

Close up of the letters and the adorable knobs I got to hang them from.  They were originally pink, but didn't stand out enough on her wall, so they got a quick coat of spray paint!

And finally...the view from her doorway. I know it's hard to see, but the chime hanging in the corner I brought all the way over from Ukraine, and saved it for years before it found it's home in her nursery. I want to add sparkle too it or even make it brighter pink, but I am worried about messing it up since I can't exactly run out and buy a new one if I do. Any pointers?

Whew! I'm pretty sure this was the longest post in the history of the world!  ha!  It's crazy to look at these pictures and see how much has changed and evolved since we first put this sweet little nursery together.  I will take pictures of the changes so I can document it and remember it after it "grows up".

This is still my favorite room in our home.  I wanted to be a mom for so long that the first time I was able to cuddle my baby in her own room was a monumental occassion for me.  Everytime I walk into her room, I'm reminded how lucky I am to be a mother.  Her room totally symbolizes that to me. :)

I am SO glad I got passed my "fear" of domesticity!  Now I love all things having to do with it and only wish I would have learned earlier because now I am desperately trying to make up for lost time!  I should have listened to my mom when she told me one day I'd want to know how to do these things.  Moms seriously know everything. :) (Hopefully my kids feel the same way one day.)

What is your favorite room?  Have you ever taken on a project like this, having no idea how to do it, and loving the results?  I'd love to see your creations!

Linking up to:
Between Naps on the Porch:Metamorphosis Monday
C.R.A.F.T's:Making Monday's Marvelous