Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A vandal and a thief...

I am in serious need of a break. I know this because at one point this morning I stopped thinking rationally and felt, with great conviction, that both of my children were destined for a life of crime...

Little miss Sydney hasn't slept for the better part of two days. She completely disregards the social norm of sleeping at night, assaults my ears with her deafening screams, and is slowly, torturously, robbing me of my sanity.

Mister Rex has taken to defacing personal property. See this step?

This step is where he does time takes time-outs. While explaining why he got a time out this morning (for stealing fruit snacks), I found this...

Sleep deprivation + crayon on freshly painted millwork = a deliriously tired momma thinking this...

In other news, we got new switch plates in the bathroom. Things are looking up! :)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Small space, small budget, small changes... big difference

Well, we put a little lipstick on our master bathroom :). A more extensive renovation is several years down the road, so we needed to do a "for the time being" update. I am pleased with the results. There is truth in the statement "a little goes a long ways."

What we did...

1. painted the trim SW dover white
2. painted the walls Behr pure earth
3. changed out the light fixture (It was one of those builder "runway strips". Awful.)
4. Orange oiled the vanity
5. Added an etagere behind the cam ode (is that how you spell that?) Typing "toilet" just seemed undignified...but then I had to anyways because of my spelling doubts... shoot.
6. gave the whole room a very thorough scrub down

What we are planning to do...

1. hardware
2. towel hooks
3. new switch plates
4. MIGHT try the rustoleum espresso cabinet kit on the vanity... we'll see...hubby seems like he's game, but he has started a new hobby (brewing beer) so I have a feeling he's going to be less of a weekend warrior...
5. New faucet fixtures


1. gut it!

Without further ado... our lipstick-ed bathroom :)



Monday, July 22, 2013


Let me begin with a confession: I am sometimes tempted to make Rex eat outside... and the only reason I don't is because I worry what the neighbors might think...

O.K., now onto the real content of this post...

I found myself in a very grumpy mood last night around 9. I had gone several rounds with Sydney trying to get her to sleep, and had finally made my way back downstairs (with an armful of laundry) to (hopefully) enjoy a little quiet time before bed. I reached the last step, looked around, and started seething. Toys everywhere. Dishes everywhere. NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING was in its place. A very busy day had left my home looking very, very untidy, and [GASP] dirty. I found myself feeling very weary, very frustrated, and very...guilty.

How can I possibly be mad?...

You see, becoming a mom was not easy for me. I had four miscarriages in 2 years...It is impossible to understand that kind of loss (miscarriage) unless you have personally experienced it. Words can't describe it so I'm not going to try. Anyways, I promised myself that I would never lose perspective of what really matters if God decided to bless me with children, and after two years he did!!

I finally became pregnant (and stayed pregnant) with Rex in August of 2010. He is my miracle baby.

We got pregnant (and stayed pregnant) with Sydney just shy of Rex's first birthday. She is my happy little surprise.

We are beyond blessed!

Kids come with messes. It's part of the deal. I knew that... So why? Why is a little mess so hard for me to handle? Why have I lost perspective? I am using the phrase "a little mess" pretty loosely here. In my defense, our house very closely resembles a daycare most days, and many (if not all) surfaces are at least a little bit sticky or covered in finger prints and dog hair. Did I mention that we have two dogs? Seriously. What was I thinking? I must have lost my Type A mind temporarily. It's the only possible explanation. Anyways, I clean. I do. It just gets undone... which in turn leads to me coming undone...What's a type A mommy to do?

After a lot of thought (coupled with some encouragement in the form a FB post from an old college friend), I have decided there is nothing I can do aside from changing the way I see things. I need to train my brain to see the beauty in the toy strewn room and smudges because joy and purpose accompany tripping hazards and sticky counters. My house doesn't meet my very type A standards most of the time anymore, but my home is perfect...because of the kids in it :).

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A pretty, little pantry - before and after

I have always wanted a walk-in pantry, and it was on my must-have list when we were house hunting... I didn't get one. Boo, hiss. But just because it's not a walk-in doesn't mean it can't be super functional and organized.

This is what we started with...

Not bad. Fairly organized... but still in need of some "Type A" love.

The problems:

1) It was in major need of a fresh coat of paint. Seriously. The previous owners must have had food aggression because it looked like someone got into a knock-down, drag-out fight with cardboard food packaging, and lost. Scuffs, scrapes, and food splatter EVERYWHERE. It was gross.

2) The door- ugly, old, in poor working order, and when opened would close off the doorway to the dining room.

3) Storage - normally, losing vertical storage is the problem. In this pantry, I was losing storage in the form of depth.

What we did...

We emptied the pantry, removed the door (good riddance), and gave it a fresh coat of paint. I chose a blue. It was supposed to be a pop of color, but due to my fear of dark paint, I ended up choosing a very pale blue. You can barely tell that we painted by looking at the picture, but we did. It is a very pretty blue... subtle, but pretty. I then maximized my storage by grouping like items in bins and drawer organizers.

What it looks like now...

More specifically...

Medicines are in the drawer organizer (I wrote about this in more detail in a post titled "Label It") on the top shelf next to the cereal. I considered purchasing containers for our cereal, but the packaging it comes in is fine and changing it wasn't go to give me any additional storage room... it was just going to give me another thing to wash.

On the second shelf, a bin holds our basics like rice and Bisquick. A tiered shelf holds our canned goods, and another, smaller bin holds extra condiments and dressings.

The third shelf holds all of our pastas (I labeled their containers so that I don't forget the boiling times), and two more smaller bins - one for pasta sauce and sides, and another for baking necessities.

The fourth shelf is home to a bin for chips and popcorn, and another for baby food (those little containers are a storage nightmare). The new three drawer bin for our K-cups is rocking my world (a drawer for decafs, a drawer for tea, and a drawer for the good stuff... what more could a girl want?)

The bottom shelf has three bins. One for crackers, one for sweeter treats (fruit snacks and cookies) and another for granola bars and nuts. Finally, the floor is home to a large milk crate used to hold our bags (reusable, paper, and plastic), as well as the puppy food container.

The final problem was the door, or lack thereof since we removed it. My very type A brain is screaming "It's a shame to hide all that pretty storage!" but I don't think the hubs would go for the open shelving concept. So, I purchased and hung an ombre curtain from a tension rod. I think I like it. It might not be a forever solution (we may buy a new, prettier door at some point), but it works for now.

It may not be what I dreamed of, but it is maximized, organized, and functional. Turns out I didn't even need a walk-in. Who knew? :)

Here is another before and after so you can really see the transformation...

Better, right?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

First impressions...

I am a firm believer in the impact of first impressions. The first impression of one's home is usually made at the threshold, and for that reason I am very particular about our foyer coat closet. However, since it is a coat closet, form MUST meet function. These are my tips for creating a functional, aesthetically pleasing coat closet...

1) use wood coat hangers (You can get them on the cheap at IKEA, and I found the kid sized wood hangers on Amazon)
2) purchase matching baskets to store like items (mittens/gloves, hats, etc)
3) label those baskets! (I made mine with gift tags and my label maker)
4) Purge (if you don't (outer)wear it, donate it)

Four simple tips and, voila, a pretty coat closet sure to make a good first impression.

Confession: I purchased my first closet organizer at the ripe old age of 10.

Note: We keep our shoes in the garage, which leaves room for baby gear and the diaper bag on the floor.