Monday, June 17, 2013

Renovations and list making

We are in the middle of Matthew’s bathroom renovation; which is taking longer than I had hoped but the labor (Mike) is free so I can’t complain.  So of course while one project is being done I have my eyes on the next one or twenty. Here is the current list of updates that we are going to tackle.

We are in the middle of Matthew’s bathroom renovation; which is taking longer than I had hoped but the labor (Mike) is free so I can’t complain.  So of course while one project is being done I have my eyes on the next one or twenty. Here is the current list of updates that we are going to tackle.
Listie McListerson:
Front Entry:
·       Paint front door- preferably yellow but mike wants a new wood door with glass inlays which I don’t prefer in case I have to ninja crawl to the peep hole one day.
·       Change light fixture to Monrovianstar 

Living room:
·     Comfortable seating- chairs and sofa/ loveseat. Currently we have antique ish seating which goes well with the d├ęcor and feel of the house but isn’t very comfortable for someone who is tall or weighs more than 100 lbs since the springs sink to the floor. 
 I would love something that looks like this. It is keeping with the style of the rest of the furniture but more comfortable. I also love this feel but am not sure I am cured of my OCD enough to handle sloppy slip covers.

·       Hang window treatment- Mom took down the last one to make a few tweaks

·       Pillows- I feel in love with this fabric and didn’t have a good place to make use of it until I figured I could always use more pillows. So I bought striped fabric for the back and will use the gazebo cloud on the front and voila I am satisfied.

·       Bigger rug- I bought this rug from Overstock about 2 years ago because it helped to bring in some other colors and it was fairly cheap but it has been pen marked by my brother, peed on by the dog and about 2’ too short, so I am considering buying the same rug in the next size up or looking for a different rug altogether. I am not sure yet.
Dining Room

·       Bigger rug- again I purchased a rug for the living room that was too bland so I moved it into the dining room, it fits okay but by decorators law it is too short, the chairs should touch the rug when people are sitting in them, not just when they are pushed in.

·       Refinish table- I found this table at a stationary store in Florida about 5 years ago, they were closing and selling everything in the store. I got it for $300- 6 chairs and a nice table. I have recovered the chair seats (twice) and am now considering ombre dying the legs from deep pink to at the feet to a high gloss white on the actual table top.


·       Seal tile backsplash- We finally replaced the horrid brick glass tile that darkened our kitchen to this much more airy small subway tile. It just needs to be sealed. Quickly. Before grease splatters and stains the grout.



·     Move light fixture- the previous owners had a ceiling fan in the dinette area in the kitchen. First I think that is weird, Second it was a horrible are deco fan that made no sense with the above mentioned brick glass tile and other questionable choices they made in their kitchen upgrade. So when we took down the fan to hang our light fixture, it hung not over the table, but over one of the chairs, meaning when you stood up – tall people that is- you  boinked your head on the chandelier. In a quick fix my father in law zip tied the chain to itself at a higher point. So we need to actually take it down, patch the hole, climb in the wall and saw another hole, move the electric and then re hang the light. But we are waiting to do that until we are ready to texture the ceiling. More on that below.


Downstairs bath:

·     Paint trim- I have neglected to paint the trim in this room and every time I am in there with the door closed (which is rare when you have kids since as soon as a door closes its like their spidey senses go off knowing you are looking for a moment of privacy and come knocking/kicking/yelling for you) I see that there are paint drips from the wall and make mental note “gotta paint the trim”

·     New staircase rail- There is nothing technically wrong with the rail but I am sure I can find something with a little more visual appeal.


Bonus Room:

·     Flat screen tv- thanks to my brother in law and friend matt, Mike and I were gifted for our wedding with a nice large tv, since then though tvs have become flat, instead of 2 feet deep. BUT we have a preschooler who occasionally hits said tv and I bet his little sister will likely do the same- so we have opted to keep the large out of date eye sore until we can rationalize the expense. Perhaps it will be our Christmas gift to us this year.
·     Console table- when we get said flat screen- I want to get a repurposed console table like this one


·     Area rug

·     Flooring- I am undecided about new carpet or using wood floors throughout the entire second floor including the bedrooms.
·     Large scale prints above sofa- Currently I have a swirling bird thing going on above the sofa- I like this but do not love it. And I know that when Lily becomes mobile those will be plucked off one by one. I like this idea of oversized photos


·       Remodel bath- add shutters to window

·       Scale down furniture- we have LARGE furniture in our room. The bed is very tall and the wood is very dark. When they delivered it I was pregnant with Matthew I was hesitant about it, then wasn’t sure if it was my hormones making me wishy washy or because it was actually extremely large. Turns out it was the later. Its quite the show when I am late in pregnancy trying to heave myself up on to the bed multiple pee breaks a night. 

·       Window treatment- to be determined as I do not want to close the room in any more than it is

·       Foot throw- I head of this at a fabric store. Instead of taking your comforter/ coverlet etc and folding it up at the foot of the bed, why not just have the right size and beautiful fabric made so that there is no messing around in the morning?

·       Pillows- will coordinate with foot throw


Matthews room:

I just went hell bent for election as Gramma would say in Matthews room and to tell you the truth I am not sure why and/or if I accomplished what I wanted.

When we found out we were pregnant with Lily,  I almost immediately made the decision to take the queen out of the guest room (now Lily’s room) and put it in Matthews room-rationalizing that if we had guests, they could sleep in Matthews room and Matthew could sleep in the twin that I was putting from his room into Lily’s room and when Lily grew out of the crib she would already have the twin, Made sense to me.

 WELL, that worked fine at first. Then I realized how massive the queen was in Matthews’s room and it didn’t leave him much room to play. And then I got a hair and sold his dresser (mdf special) on Craigslist without having any idea of what to replace it with. I knew I wanted to get him a desk, so that all his crayons / craft stuff could be contained plus give him a space to make a mess without coloring my other furniture. I had previously bought a VERY LARGE scale world map, in hopes that he would be smarter than me geographically and add visual interest to the room as a plus. So I was left with a large map, moving the twin bed back in his room and a bunch of clothes on the floor since I could not find the perfect dresser. Chaos.

 I wanted second hand because I see no reason to spend $800+ on children’s furniture just so it can get destroyed. I scoured Craigslist hourly- I wanted to spend under $200 for a real wood dresser and not have to put a lot of time into refinishing if I didn’t have to. Almost a month went by before I found this gem.

I love the knobs, the color of the wood, the wheels on the legs and the height of the dresser. I loved the price too- $100. I do not like that the drawers stick a bit but my knowledgeable mom will help me soap the rails for a smoother glide.

·       Window treatment- We had these in his room but they no longer made sense so I am reviewing my options.

·       Refinish Pie safe- I have become a believer in Chalk Paint


·       Create larger fire pit- with chimney so that you aren’t overtaken with smoke when trying to enjoy a nice fire on a cool autumn night with the kiddos

·       Add pergola to deck for shade- our house is white which just reflects the sun and makes it impossible to enjoy the deck after noon, ever.

·       Refinish deck- previous owners did poor job at staining and it is peeling up

·       Stain playhouse- afternoon job- paint gun ready- stain purchased, just have to find a dry 2 day period
·     Oh and why not add a doily hammock?


·       Remove diseased Bradford Pear tree – Replace with weeping willow or another fast growing tree


Throughout the house:
·     Flooring 7” plank walnut

·       Ceiling texture- our home has flat ceilings, just painting, no texture- no popcorn which is good- but plain flat just painted ceilings shows every roller mark. We are going to have the whole house textured with knockdown. This is ONE thing mike is willing to let someone else do, they say they are in and out in an afternoon- move and replace furniture and clean up. BAM!


·       Add sunroom behind garage which would extend the kitchen

·       Second floor addition above sunroom extra bedroom and laundry room



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It’s a Wish List Wednesday

I have been going full speed ahead this year, I cannot believe its late April already and that I am 33! So far I have ran three 5Ks with more on the horizon, I won a trip to Tampa, Florida to see Kenny Chesney in concert with my bestie as well as see my family and friends to show of the babies, on top of that I was gifted free tickets to Disney so that Matthew could see the Magic Kingdom while Mike didn’t have to have a conniption over the cost, I then re did Matthews bedroom for probably the third time since living in SC, Mike has his car habit and I have my decorating- I will blog about the transformation later, I celebrated my 33rd birthday with a dinner out with friends and was able to sleep in while Mike tended to the kids as well as a sweet heart necklace that Matthew picked out with love (surprisingly it has yet to turn my skin green),I had the opportunity to go to Vegas for next to nothing and although I didn’t come back a huge winner, I did win enough to cover my expenses which included $21 drinks and tickets to see Peep Show with Coco which was quite amusing, I was then blessed enough to find a cohort to attend the Carrie Underwood concert with me last night and had a great evening out- phew. Now that all of that is done and I am putting myself on a spending moratorium, it is time to put all my wants down on paper- sort of like window shopping:

 I have a thing for chevron- no surprise

And I have a thing for comfy throws

So Why not mix the two?

I am sorta obsessed with these flats from Target but cannot find them in a store

Who doesn’t need a bright orange egg crate to display tasty  treats like this one from Rachel Ray?


And speaking of tasty treats- I like to make home made whip cream and this nifty little contraption will dispense it like RediWhip!


And what better way to display your berries to top with said whip cream then with these porcelain berry baskets?

I am still looking for a great floral shop where you can pick freely, the farmers markets are hit and miss



And lastly I am looking to the future to bring Mike and I to somewhere exotic, romantic and serene where we would be greeted with these – perhaps for our 10 year wedding anniversary? (honey… are you listening?)


Oh this is on top of my Macys Wish list with a plethora of cute tops and dresses- but since I am still working out I don’t want to put too much money into my closet plus after reading the book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess; I have cleared out my closet from anything that doesn’t fit or that I know I wont wear and have a box in my trunk to send to a friend and a bag to donate so it seems counterproductive to just fill it up again. However I do recommend the wish list, as it alerts you when items you desire are on sale, just in case.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Things

7 things you didn't really want to know about me
  • I cannot eat soy- I am soy intolerant- you have been warned
  • I cannot set the thermostat- it does not like me- I touch the upstairs unit and the downstairs turns on, I shivered the other night in bed whilst I am sure downstairs was nice and toasty
  • My singing makes Matthew cringe and I find it hilarious-I prefer NKOTB and Sir Mix A lot for my morning serenades
  • I need a warehouse for all the craigslist finds that I want to re do
  • I have my credit card number memorized and my settings saved on Amazon, this is very dangerous
  • My chevron addiction is getting stronger- even Mike has picked up on it. I bought a chevron bathing suit.
  • People who back into parking spaces annoy me

1. Being in relatively good health (even if there is always going to be room for improvement) and having a lot to look forward to in life.
2. Having one or all of your grandparents left, because so many people grow up without ever knowing what it is like to have them in their life.
3. Being able, through the internet and cellphones and other magical devices, to keep in touch with whomever we want at whatever time we want, from anywhere in the world. (Even if we don’t always use this to our fullest advantage and let people go for long periods of time without hearing about us.)
4. When you go to the beach and the sand is incredibly hot — almost too hot — just before you put your feet in the ocean to cool them off.
5. Low-maintenance friends who don’t require much from you other than you being caring and entirely yourself.
6. Friends whom you can go months or years without seeing, but with whom it always feels like you are picking up exactly where you left off.
7. Kind neighbors who will do things for you such as keep your spare key, or take in your mail when you’re out, or even babysit your pets.
8. The fact that travel is less expensive and more accessible than it has ever been, and you can even find people with whom to cross states and countries sharing only gas money.
9. That we live in a time at which, though there are still limits, we are more free to live and choose our paths as individuals than we have ever been in history.
10. That all of the music you have ever loved or could ever discover is literally at your fingertips, waiting to be listened to at any moment.
11. Skype.
12. Learning about what is going on in other parts of world which used to be completely inaccessible to us in real time, through every medium from Twitter to international news organizations.
13. People with whom you vehemently disagree but always have a good, respectful debate that never feels personal or resentful.
14. The way it feels when the first few snowflakes start to fall and you aren’t sure at first if it’s actually snowing or you’ve just imagined it, until you realize that they are actually coming down quite quickly and you’d better get inside where it’s warm.
15. Having a warm, safe vantage point from which to watch the snow.
16. Having dozens of people pass by on our various social media to wish us a happy birthday and send us a few kind words, even if it seems like relatively little effort on their part. It’s always nice to be thought of, and to realize how many people you have touched in life, even briefly.
17. Seeing pictures of all of your friends growing up and changing and doing incredible things with their lives you would have never anticipated, if even from afar.
18. Fresh, hot donuts, and how easily accessible they are.
19. Places from your hometowns that stay the same, continue to be just as beautiful and welcoming, and always feel like you’re stepping right into your house when you go there.
20. The people you encounter throughout your day — from the energetic barista to the helpful person at the information desk — who take the extra moment to be kind, to smile, and to make you feel tended to.
21. Couch surfing.
22. Living in places which enable you to experience the best of all seasons, exactly as you want to see them, even if it means choosing somewhere which skips over winter or never gets that hot in the summer.
23. Hugs in the airport after an extended period of not seeing someone you love.
24. The fact that we are able to explore and falter in the pursuit of what we want — that no one way to do things is perfect or correct — and that we have never had more options for what our life could look some day like than right now. TC mark

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Honest Bomb

Since having Lily I have felt like a bad mother toward Matthew because I am constantly correcting him, don’t be too rough with her, hold her like this, I can’t snuggle with you because I have to feed Lily, etc etc the list goes on and on and I know he feels it because he has no qualms about voicing his disappointments with me on the regular. Along with this feeling of poor mothering, I feel overwhelmed that there is something more out there. That along with mother I am supposed to be doing something greater than I am currently. I am 32 and 10/12ths and I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

I am feeling super conflicted about my life path. Should we have more children? Would Matthew love having a brother? Am I crazy for wanting to have a huge family when sometimes 2 kids makes me want to crawl into the dust filled corner and rock myself like a detoxing drug addict? Or is it because the moments of pure love that I see between them, and the look of Mike holding his daughter so gently and wrestling with Matthew on the floor makes me know that this is a house of love and we could surely add to it. If we have more kids would I then stay at home? What would make sense? Making less money as a family to feed more mouths? Or going to work to feed the kids that I wouldn’t get to raise? If I didn’t work would my kids feel the same way towards me? Would they feel less empowered as an adult to work hard? Matthew asked me why I didn’t snuggle with him last night after he got home from school. I told him I had to make dinner- he asked why can’t daddy? The thing is Daddy does make dinner most nights, I am blessed with a husband who likes and does a good job at cooking, probably more out of necessity since I like my food pretty bland. But he sees that and it sticks with him, he doesn’t know about society’s norm of gender roles, mom in the kitchen dad at work. Does that still exist? Should it? Would we have as many problems in our world if we were able to stay home and pay more attention and have more quality time with our kids? The constant race to have more and be more is suffocating us. Let’s look at Valentine’s day just as an example, I bet a lot of you moms out there felt a twinge of guilt after seeing some of those super extravagant home made valentines the other kids brought in to pass out at their class parties. I know I tried to up my game a little bit this year by not buying a box of premade valentines and actually finding something that Matthew could be part of (really just gluing an eye to a card I printed out).

 We moms do this to ourselves. I don’t think blogs and social media have caused this game of comparison and shaming (of ourselves or others), but it’s certainly heightened things. Even without Pinterest to make us crazy, we size each other up at the play ground, at school pick up, Sunday church, and even by the items in each other’s grocery store carts. Preservatives? Sodium? Are those bananas organic? LUCKY CHARMS???!!!

I am trying to not let others make me feel bad about myself, possess an aura of positive light and smile at my kids all the time – regardless of all the questions swirling in my head. So if you see me, know that I am a ball of contradiction at the moment and my words, actions and thoughts won’t likely all be going in the same direction. I am celebrating the absurdity that is parenting and practicing gratitude for everything that has happened in the past and that is possible for the future.
“Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him. Does that sound strange? The same principle holds, you know, for more everyday matters. Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it. The principle runs through all life from top to bottom. Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favourite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end. Submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Biggest Loser : Post Baby Body

Best compliment - “You don’t look like you just had a baby”.

I was very weary during my pregnancy weight gain that I was going to have a hard time losing the weight. I thought that since I was a little older and had a child already that it was just going to hang on me.
I just want to say that after two babies, two c-sections, two serious weight gains, (60lbs with Matthew and 40lbs with Lily) I am down to my pre pregnancy weight and then some. Not to say that some extra flab isn’t there but I fit into my clothes!  I am eating healthy, snacking mindfully and making working out a priority. There are a lot of moms out there that say they would rather spend time with their child then get fit which I think is comical. The hour a day I spend away from my kids is enhancing our relationship, since I will have more energy to play with them, more stamina to keep up with them and feel better about myself in the long run.

Since returning to work my new schedule allows me to go Saturday and Sunday mornings and two nights throughout the week. I just this week stopped breast feeding so I will learn if I need to make any adjustments to my diet to maintain my weight. I would like to lose another 5-10 pounds but I am not going to obsess about it. Santa brought me a bike for Christmas with a child seat so Lily and I can race Matthew around the neighborhood. Swimsuit season is right around the corner which means Matthew will be dragging us to the pool and one of my New Year’s resolutions is to run a 5K a month, and my first one is this Saturday.  So just living an active lifestyle will help stave off those extra pounds. In addition to the 5K goal, I am also committed to not eating candy this year (thanks Michelle Pizzo for the idea). Now I am solely talking the crap from the grocery store that is laden with corn syrup, hydrolyzed milk protein, or artificial ingredients. So a homemade cookie or treat is not off my list of things to indulge in. Also I am going to try to stick with the no fast food thing. I don’t eat McDonalds or anything like that anyhow, but sometime Chic-Fil-A sneaks in there, so I am going to make an effort to not do that anymore either. I recently purchased a Fit Bit calorie counter/ pedometer, which I think I am going to return because it does not seem entirely accurate but I do want to find one I like because it does make you aware of your movement and keeps you accountable plus it feels great to finish a combat work out and see the number of calories burned, instant gratification if you will.

My biggest goal/resolution is to just be happy! I had waited so long to get pregnant that I sorta lost sight of all that I have. I am ecstatic with my life right now, sure some things could be better, I could be more affluent, I could have 6 pack abs and a personal chef…maybe a goal for someday but for Now, I am present in the moment and happy with all the things in my life.