Friday, November 18, 2016

Fall Happenings

While the weather lately hasn't felt like fall (it was 72 degrees yesterday!), the leaves on the ground are a dead giveaway. And the turkey prep for Thanksgiving.

The kids were excited to help rake this year, so I bought them each a little rake and they "helped" Mike.

Check out some videos of the leaf-jumping fun:

We also bought a turkey a few weeks before Thanksgiving so that Mike could try out a new technique, spatchcocking. It was a hit--very juicy though the skin didn't get as crisp as Mike would like. Ben was allllll over helping prep the turkey (he loves big cats so he thought "prepping a tiger's dinner" would be fun--okie dokie...)

We also enjoyed the last of the nice weather with S'mores in the backyard in the firepit.

It's supposed to cool down soon to more normal November weather for these parts, but for now we are enjoying the warm days.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Around Here Lately

Since I'm way behind in blogging, here is a recap of things lately:

1. New faucet. Our old kitchen faucet finally died. I didn't want to spend money on a new one when we are planning to get new counters, sink and faucet in the next year or two. But the nice guy at Lowe's explained that a new one can be installed now in our current 4-hole setup and then used later for the 1-hole installation that I prefer when we get new counters. So I was able to spend money on a higher-priced (nothing crazy) faucet, knowing I will be able to use it for years to come. Mike installed it, saving us a little money.

2. Entryway update. I added this round, gold mirror that Emily Clarke featured in a room reveal on her blog. I knew this old, outdated faux leather ottoman and black mirror needed to be replaced, and when I saw this mirror, I knew I had a winner.

Out with the old, in with the new! (And I hung it a little lower so that shorties like me can actually see themselves without standing on tip-toes.)

While I was at it, I decided to put the show cabinet on this wall, freeing up space on the opposite wall. I envision a bench over there, but it needs to be narrow so I'm still debating/window-shopping.

3. Wreath swap. This wreath was hanging on the large mirror in the family room, but it was too small. I bought some cute striped ribbon at Michael and hung it on the smaller chalkboard instead.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Back Up and Running

If you've noticed my radio silence, blame Windows.

Ourr laptop met an untimely demise thanks to stupid Microsoft's stupid Windows 10 forced update gone terribly wrong (and unauthorized, might I add). I was unable to blog for a while as I weighed my options. I refuse to buy another Windows OS matching, so Mac it is. But we have a few more pressing financial goals right now (new floors, new paint, etc.), so I hate to spend 2k on a computer.

I was chatting with Mom about this issue and realized that I really only use the laptop to write blog posts (because I hate using the iPad keyboard) and print things. Enter the Anker wireless keyboard. With the purchase of this $20 keyboard, my first problem was solved. With the purchase of a $100 printer that supports AirPrint, my second problem was solved...saving me quite a bit of money replacing the computer.

Down the road I'm sure we'll bite the bullet and buy a laptop. Until then, this solution is working out quite nicely. I hope to be blogging more regularly now that I've gotten past my computer woes.

Friday, July 8, 2016

School Pictures

I'm not a big fan of buying the overpriced, usually not very cute school photos. But I usually buy the smallest package just to have one or two to look back on. Since I don't buy copies to send out to friends and family, here is Ben's Spring Kindergarten photo, Liv's Spring Creative World photo, and Ben's baseball photo.

Why does his hair look so dark in this photo? It is not at all like that in real life. Must have been the lighting... And he chose that "awesome" waterfall background. :-)

Livvie, where are the cute sparkly silver sweater and pink hair bow we agreed on and that you were wearing when I dropped you off? Hmm. Also please notice the shoes and socks--not my choice. Girls are so stubborn about their clothes. And the hair. LOL. But she's still cute.

I almost didn't recognize Ben when I was going through the stack of photos. I was looking for a kid with glasses. I guess they had him take them off to avoid glare or something??? Either way, what a cutie.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Livvie's Looks

It will come as no shocker that Liv insists on picking out her own outfits, and she has no concept of "matching." Here are a few recent looks that she wore to daycare. Can you tell she's really loving those new sparkly shoes too?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Livvie's Room

Liv got this new Pottery Barn Kids big girl bed once she proved she wouldn't roll right off.

I made it up nicely, but it didn't stay that way for long. Little Miss Pack Rat insists on 30 stuffed animals and 20 blankets piled on her bed.

Then we got her a new dresser because the antique hand-me-down Mom gave us, while cute, has drawers that are really hard to open. Liv was always frustrated with them, as she is really a "me do" girl and doesn't want any help.

I stalked a beautiful dresser on Pottery Ban Teen for a few months, but even with sales and coupons it was 1k, and I just couldn't pull the trigger on spending that much. I still long for it a bit, but after seeing this much more affordable ($250 including tax during a sale) Ikea Hemnes dresser assembled (thanks Mike) and in her room, I'm good with our decision.

She chose what would go where and helped me move all of her clothes into the dresser. Liv really likes being a helper these days.

She picked the bottom drawer for her nighttime pull-ups. I'm happy to report that she is basically potty trained (except nighttime). According to her teacher, she is doing perfectly at daycare--not even wearing pull-ups at nap anymore. She has the occasional accident at home, but by and large she is trained. Yay!

The top drawers of the dresser are just a touch too tall for her, but she doesn't mind getting on her tip toes or pulling up her stool to check things out.

We still need to hang her ceiling fan and swap out some art work to bring in her beloved purple, but other than that her room is set for a while. Now, on to my million other projects...

Monday, May 23, 2016

Lazy Weekend

This weekend we finally had some decent weather, so we spent our days at the park, playing in the new kiddie pool, riding bikes, and hanging out around the house. Here are a few videos.

Friday, April 1, 2016

White Trim--Baby Steps

I'm scared to commit to painting all our trim white, as we have A LOT of wood everywhere in this house. But I've been painting white the small things I can without committing to the baseboards and such...yet.

I did the fireplace mantel and dining room chair rail last year. Over the holidays (you can see the Christmas tree in the background), I started tackling the stairs (which need a total makeover but that's a big project) and the divider wall between the kitchen and family room.

Here are some before and during photos as I taped and applied the primer.

And the after. Ah, much better!!!

Here you can see both done in one photo:

One day our ugly stairway will look like this... one day. :-)

Baby steps.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Birthday Parties

I didn't get many pictures of the kids' birthday celebrations, which is weird because there were a ton. But here are a few that I did get.

Celebration #1 - Dinner of his choice, cake, and presents at home on his actual birthday, since it was a weeknight.

Celebration #2 - Ben's friends party at Bouncetown that weekend.

Celebration #3: Family party for both kids at our house.

Celebration #4: Liv's actual birthday with dinner, cake and presents.

We hung up streamers the night before their bdays so that they woke up to this when they opened the door. I did it for Ben too but forgot to get a picture. Big hit with the kiddos!

Ben helped her put together her Duplo Lego set. She was thrilled!

Phew, that was a lot of partying. I'm glad we've got a year to recover.