Friday, September 30, 2011

Caught on Film

After years (literally) of complaining I finally bit the bullet and bought a new camera.  Poor Hubs, complaining is such an unattractive habit of mine.  At least the camera-related whining can no cease and desist!  After quite a bit of research I settled on the Canon PowerShot Elph 300HS and am very pleased with it thus far.

It is super light weight, 12.1 megapixels, 2.7" LCD screen and HD video.  All in all it is all you could ever want in a point-and-shoot.  One day I would like to also have a nice Nikon SLR but I figure starting small is a good way to go.  Not to mention the fact that a SLR is a bit pricey for this little pony.  Check out how well it took photos in the hospital two weeks ago when my two sweet friends had their babies less than 48 hours apart!  Hospital light can be tricky.

Pretty new mama, Lisa!                      Sweet baby Vivianne (Alison's bean)

        Mr. Noah, Lisa's pride and joy.

Okay, so this post might have been just an excuse to share adorable baby photos.  Stay tuned for pics of my little bundle...whenever she decides to make her grand entrance that is.  

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall in Line Part 1

Alright kiddos, it is officially fall!  It doesn't feel like it in West Texas today - this 95 degree temp isn't exactly agreeing with my 39 week pregnant self.  Once you are this pregnant the weather should never be over double the weeks you are along.  Agreed?  Agreed- I have to agree with myself on this one.

Photo courtesy of
Back to fall.  I know that some of you have been dreading it but it is time to edit and purge again!  Those strapless summer dresses and linen pants will need to be packed away soon or moved to the less accessible areas of the closet to make room for all of those fabulous skinny cords, sweaters and boots.  I heart fall fashion to the point of silliness, as I know many of you do too.  Here are some tips for those feeling a bit overwhelmed as where to start...

1. To thine own self be true- go through those summer duds and pull out anything and everything that you did not wear this summer.  If you didn't wear it this season chances are that you won't wear it next summer either.  I know what happens (everyone does this!) you hold stuff over from the previous year(s) because you used to love it, paid a fortune for it, got it for a steal or it is that size that you know you will one day wear again.  Don't let that tube top take up anymore space in your life or your house!  Donate it and be done with it.  You will want to shop at the beginning of the season next year anyway so make room for the future pieces that you will actually wear.

2. Get it out - I'm a firm believer in editing ones wardrobe at the beginning AND the end of every season.  If that is too much for you stick with one or the other but don't cheat yourself by not editing at all.  *Tip* If you are going to consign your rejects you will want to edit at the beginning of the season.  Most consignment shops only take the current season's clothes.*  

Now take out everything that is out of season and if you can, try it on!  Wash or dry clean what needs it and fold it up for storage.  If you have the luxury of having another closet where you store "out of season" clothes than make sure that clothes are on proper hangers and are in appropriate garment bags.  I personally keep my out of season clothes in Space Bags nestled inside of under bed containers.  

 Fold those sweaters! You don't want the Lady Ga Ga look of pointy shoulders from your hangers.  Natural cotton garment bags like the ones above are great for storing leather, wool and other natural fibers as they allow the fabrics to breathe.  You can even find under the bed storage options in cotton, like the one below from Rubbermaid.

Cedar planks are another great thing to put in under bed boxes and garment bags.  I love these from The Container Store

3. Welcome the new season - as you are pulling out this season's wears edit as you go.  Try on those clothes before you put them back in your closet.  If they don't fit or need to be tailored get on it!  Don't waste time hanging it up and risk not wearing it again.  Put those items in a bin to be taken to the dry cleaner or tailor and if it doesn't happen in 2-4 weeks donate it.  If you aren't willing to take the time to get it fixed you probably weren't all that excited about wearing it in the first place.  Also, items can get musty and wrinkled after months of storage - wash, steam or iron it now so it is ready to wear.    

4. Get your kicks - on Route 66...or not.  Fall isn't just about denim and sweaters it's about boots and cute flats!  Time to retire the flip-flops and sandals for a while and fish out that fall footwear.  Boots do take up considerable room in a closet; far more than flip flops.  In order to prevent what I call the "ankle break" in your tall boots and to keep them in order I like to use a couple of different boot shapers.  These are all great for keeping your boots looking their best and to save you time by not having to search for mates. 

That should be enough to get you started for now, I will be giving you some more tips in the week to come.  You can de-clutter and give yourself the closet you have always wanted.  If you need a hand to hold or a trained eye, just contact me and I can help.  Happy fall! 

This blog is in no way sponsored or endorsed by The Container Store

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cake for Dinner

No, this is not a post about sugar bomb meals but it is a review of Scythian's children's album entitled "Cake for Dinner".  Just about the only thing that I dreaded about having kids was the music that you associate with minivans and peanut butter and jelly devouring wee ones.  Even as a kid I was not a fan of Raffie (Hubs' favorite musician from his childhood) or other kid-focused music.  Flash forward to 2011 and there is great music out there for babies and kids that keeps the parents that also have to listen to it in mind, like the Rockabye Baby series.

If you don't know Scythian, you should.  Scythian is an eclectic and uber-talented, Celtic/gypsy/Americana/punk band based out of DC.  They are all super cute and the two founders and brothers are classically trained musicians from the Ukraine (but raised in Dallas!). 

If you are sick of the Disney Music Channel you have to pick up "Cake for Dinner", you won't go crazy.  "Tumba" and "Cleaning Hullabaloo" are two of my favorites.  You can also get a free listen at iTunes.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

They Were Framed!

If you missed it, earlier today I posted a little DIY project that I completed yesterday.  I was curious to see if any of you out there in the blog-o-sphere have been up to any crafty business yourselves and I received a response!  It is from my very own mama and she did a bang up job of expanding the visual space above her wine cabinet.

She started with the adorable canvas of my brother and nephew.  It has hung in this spot for a while now but just wasn't quite big enough in relation to its surroundings.  To solve this problem Mama hit up her local thrift store and found this solid oak frame for $3.50 and bought a can of black spray paint for $3.  She then hung it around the existing canvas and voila!  

You might remember the post from a couple of years ago that Mama is quite crafty spray paint and thrifted picture frames. 

Reading Rainbow

The Hubs has the neatest collection books from the series "Redwall" by Brian Jacques.  There are 34 books in the series and we have 14 of them.  We want Baby A to have them to grow up with so we bequeathed them to her and her nursery.  You can see them here:

Being the neurotic mama-to-be/design obsessed woman that I am the book jackets just weren't doing it for me in the context of the nursery.  My first attempt and making them over was to simply take the jackets off.  Alas, all of the book spines are red and I was not feeling 14 spines of red.  Luckily, a solution was found and executed yesterday.

After a quick field trip to Michaels for paper and wrapping I was ready to start the process.  It was all pretty easy.  The largest scrapbook paper that I could find was 12"x12" and didn't quite cover the book so I purchased some white matte wrapping paper to cover the books.  

After cutting out 14 white book covers I trimmed the scrapbook paper to size and secured them to the white book covers with double-sided tape.  A silver paint Sharpie was used to write the title on the cover.  I'm still debating about adding the title to the spine as well but I kind of like the simplicity of the monochrome rainbow right now.

Have any of you been crafty lately?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

One Room. Six Months.

After seeing Young House Love's eight month update post I was inspired to share the transformation that our living room has made over the past six months.  We made some major changes to this space in our house since we moved in.  We started by ripping out the carpet and painting the walls and trim.  
February 2011
September 2011
Our living room was a roller skating rink for two months before we could get the installers out to put in our new laminate floors.

Matching the existing floors in our dining room/library was easy due to the fact that they were recently installed and the previous homeowners still live in our town.  It's amazing how helpful people can be!  We ended up matching the dining room floors with Armstrong's laminate flooring in Fireside Oak.  Our installers from Lowe's were fantastic and got all 442 sq. ft. of living room AND our hallway finished in one day.  Thank you, Lowe's!

The new floors made a huge difference but without furniture we went from roller rink to bowling alley.  This is cool with me because I am an excellent bowler.  Excellent.  At least on Wii.

We worked from the floor up; naturally, furniture came next.  Thanks to our family we miraculously received some major furniture that fit perfectly in our large living room.  The couch is our haven.  For two people who were never big fans of sectionals we are all about this one.  Our room is so big that unless we bought multiple sofas, chairs, ottomans and tables the room would just swallow furniture whole.  Multiple new pieces were not in our budget so this gift of furniture could not have come at a better time.  

March 2011
April 2011
 Living Room after introduction of giant Heritage sectional.  So much seating!

When you have a large room create "areas."  We actually have four areas in our space: an area for writing, the lounging area, the reading corner and the game space.  These spaces have changed as we have settled into the house.  The addition of lamps, accent pillows made a large impact and really helped to start tying the room together.  Now for the barrage of photos!

September 2011



This is where I write my blog everyday.  This area also doubles as our game table area.
This room was not an exception for organization - all the little boxes around the room have a purpose, they are not just to fill the space.  The green box under the TV holds stationary, the white croc-embossed box on the coffee table holds all our remotes and Wii accessories, the pink box on the side table contains playing cards and dominoes for the game area.  The secretary acts as our "Bill Pay Center" and keeps us both on the same page.  
There are still a few projects that we have in mind for our space that include:  
  1. moving the two chairs on either side of the secretary over to the game table and relocate the secretary and replace with a statement like this-
  2. we have all the hardware and now we just need to hang our amazing piece of beach wood that my dad brought us from the lake
  3. before Baby A starts crawling we need to replace our concrete and glass coffee table with something a little more kid friendly, it also matches the style that we are going for in our living room a bit better than the pseudo-traditional one we have now
  4. Ballard Design will be getting a call from me soon to place an order for a 108" tablecloth
I saw this photo on YoungHouseLove and nearly fell out of my chair, think of all the great storage for hiding toys...


I heart the Essex Printed Ottoman from West Elm that is the same shape and size of our existing table but it is upholstered to keep little heads from hitting sharp corners
I'm thinking using two or three of these Ikea STRIND tables would be fun and break up all of the the angles in the $99 you can't beat that.


    So that is where we are right now.  For now; we did just come to the realization today that Baby A could still be four weeks away which leaves this little mama-to-be with some time on her hands to get crafty.  Oh, so crafty...

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Tales from the Garage

    I love me a good garage transformation, as you may know.  It is that area of your house that is usually a pit for most American families.  You are either in the situation of not being able to fit both or even one vehicle in at all, it has sports gear, tools, and/or misc. crap strewn about or your are one of the very few that keeps a tidy and sparse garage for your cars.  Our garage fell somewhere in between.  First off, it looked like a murder room.  Our walls were riddled with holes, spray paint spurts and random shelving. 

    Here is our pitiful before:  Don't you love the gaping spaces around our pipes?  We had our entire house re-piped (all new plumbing!) and not all of the evidence of the repairs have been remedied as of yet.

     Notice our old toilet...

    I made a small effort to start the process last week and made my way through all of the piles to at least get it to the place you see below.  This included a coat of primer (leftover paint from the previous owners that I used to cover up the hideous stains on the walls behind those shelves on the right).

    Hubs was up next and he had the hardest job of all; patching about 1,000 holes.  Like his shirt?  *Side Note Alert* We visited the first ever legal Texas bourbon distillery last summer in the Hill Country.  It is awesome and if you are lucky enough to get your hands on some Garrison Brothers Bourbon count yourself blessed. *Side Note Complete* He also had to sweep a graveyard of Daddy Long Legs off the walls.  Gross.

    Had to give you a close-up of our laughable attic access.  It is as shoty as it looks and yes, that is a jump rope that you see attached intended to act as a way to pull down the ladder.  Yikes.

    Up-close and personal with random wall graffiti. 

    Look at all of those glorious patches!  And the glorious hole we found behind the peg board.  This is why you always take everything make sure there are not huge gaping holes in your walls.

    We got a steal of a deal on paint at Lowe's by purchasing a 5 gallon bucket of mis-tinted Valspar.  It just so happened to be in a color similar to what we were wanting and in the right finish.  For 1/2 price you can't beat that!

    We are still in the process of painting the ceiling and we will eventually get to painting the floor as well.  But for now, this is where we stand.  I'm hoping to get it wrapped up by the weekend so that both of our cars can move back into their shady home.  Who else was a weekend warrior?