So.  Sooooo… So.  You probably haven’t noticed that we’ve been somewhat absent from social media for the past week.  That is because we were enjoying this:
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Btw, I’m pretty sure the gates of heaven will bear more resemblance to this little swinger than any pearlies but we’ll see…hopefully.  ;)  Oh, and might I mention #nofilter

We skirted over to St. Augustine to see family that also headed down that way and to see my sister for the latter part of last week and we’ve been missing it ever since.  The time spent in St. Augustine was wonderful but the seven-hour car van ride?  Not so much.  We found out that traveling with three babies a fun road trip does not make and we found out that one of those babies has a tendency to get car sick.  Gagging and throw-up all around, literally.  Here’s the sopped-up aftermath and let me tell you, you’re lucky it’s no scratch-and-sniff.
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Poor sweet girl.  It happened on the way there and was not the fluke we thought because guess what?  It happened all over again on the way back…after a milk sippy cup was downed…and I used to like cottage cheese…  But, everything is washed and smelling flowery again so we have high hopes for the even longer vehicular trip we’re taking later this summer.  Any remedies I should know about to keep toddler motion sickness at bay?  Spill the deets…I mean, don’t spill ‘em…oh no…I’m having flashbacks…make it stop...(insert squinty-faced emoji).

Anyway, I won’t go into all the details of the trip because I know that vacation recaps are lots of fun to read when you’re not the one that went (sarcasm intended) but I’ll share these in case you’re curious:
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My family went out to see the sunrise the morning before we got there and got this amazing shot.  Waking up early doesn’t seem so bad when you have this as a reward, no?

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Me, my irish twin sis Farrah (separated by a mere 10 months in the year 1983), and our girls.

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This pinterest-ing idea is brilliant and works.  We were racing against a rising tide coming in so we didn’t have much time to build a huge hole but this did the trick for the time being.

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Me and our brood heading out to the sandy shores.  Do we look cool and collected?  Good because that was actually not the case.  It was quite the effort prepping all bare skin for the beach, getting there, and being on it.  Quite the effort.

So, with all that fun behind us, we’re well into this week and my best friend is here from St. Louis to join in on the craziness that is the Tobin household.  I hope your week is as exciting as ours!  :) 


Choose Happy

So.  I made a few tweaks to the frame collage in the girls room.  This are always at risk of getting changed around here so that should be no surprise, right?  I know I’m not the only ‘tweaker’ (not to be confused with ‘twerker’ which I most definitely am not…in public…sorry Miley).  At the time that I first hung the frames, I framed  a free printable I found online that said “Choose Happy” and I loved it (still do) but it didn’t fill the frame like I thought it would so I had to extend the mat and dah, dum, dee.  Not my favorite improv.  See? nurserycollagedeets 007_thumb[1]

So, I switched things up by spray painting the frame white and adding my own rendition.  Much better.IMG_4550

Here’s how.  Last Christmas I strung our Christmas cards on some glittery gold ribbon and hung them over our french doors.  Well, when I was taking them down I couldn’t bring myself to toss the pretty gold ribbon I used so I cut it up into little squares and packed it away for a rainy day via ziploc.  That day came around last week.  I snatched those squares out of hiding and glued them in a gradient pattern onto a piece of white freezer paper that I cut to fit the frame.  A tiny dab of Elmer’s on the back of each square was all it 1 (5)

Then, to keep the ‘Choose Happy’ (because let’s be honest, this hangs right over the changing table and diaper changes call for that reminder), I whipped up the phrase using, rotated it so it printed backwards, and taped it to the glass on the outside of the 2 (6)

Next, I took out the paint I used on these lamps and with a very fine paintbrush, painted the glass on the inside of the frame right over each letter.  I did three coats so that the next layer of paint wouldn’t be visible through the green.  The acrylic paint I used dried super fast so I was able to do all three coats, one after the 3 (3)

Then, using the coral paint I intended this desk to be cloaked in, I went over the dried green paint with a thicker paintbrush.
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Painting with the fine brush followed by the thick brush gave the letters this two-toned look:IMG_4551

And that was that.  While I was at it though, I also spray painted the frame I had stained with coffee grinds (far left).  Here’s what the collage looked like before:
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And here’s what it looks like now:
(See also –> the dresser makeover and it’s spray painted hardware.)

Using things I already had made this little project 100% free, just like I like it.  And, if the winds of spontaneity make me want to have “Keep Calm & Don’t Breathe It In” or something along those lines plastered in that spot instead, I can easily scrape off the happiness and paint on something else nice and quicklike.  Win, win.  :)

In case you want to post this little reminder on painted glass like I did, I’ve made the ‘Choose Happy’ downloadable for ya (thanks to Deme for the excellent tutorial on how to be tech savvy like that).

Click here –> Choose Happy – to download

Have a happy humpday!


Sebastian: Four Months

I know.  I realize these monthly updates can get monotonous and boring.  It’s a picture of a cute baby and a bunch of words on how his “personality” is coming out, how he spends his days (and nights), and how much we love him to pieces.  A lot of you are moms that know what kinds of trouble four month-olds can get into…none.  Unless you count spitting up all over your clothes, their clothes, your floors and walls and surfaces and everything in between.  So, here’s the cute baby:

Now feel free-as-can-be to move along because here comes my take on his personality.

Sebastian.  A happy-spitter, as his Doc calls him.  He eats, he burps, and woop, there it is.  Like clockwork.  Needless to say, I never wear anything more than once before it gets tossed into the laundry basket.  He started giggling this month when tickled.  Super ticklish that kid.  Still hates his car seat which is great for my social life (and my sanity).  Can we say “cabin fever”?  Yes we can, we do, and we will.  What else?  Oh, he’s in the 90-95th percentile for height, the 75th for weight, and the 50th for head size.  So much different than his sisters at their age.  They were always, always, always in the teens and twenties for weight and head size but above average for height.  He weighs now what they weighed at nine months of age (around 15.5 pounds).  That is crazy to me. 

He still sleeps right next to mwah in his co-sleeper but by “sleeps” I mean notallnight…yet.  He fidgets around for food twice or thrice per night which is wonderful for my beauty sleep (and the reason I should stay far away from selfies).  However tough some nights might be though, I awake to him every morning, on his tummy, propped up on his tiny elbows with a grin the size of Texas just staring at his one true love which leads me to the fact that… 

He’s a momma’s boy.  Only wants me, me, me…and Daddy too but mostly me - also great for my social life with the girls.  I sometimes wonder what they think about this kid who’s always attached to the mom they used to know.  It’s okay though because I ward off neglect by getting in twin-time during Sebastian’s several daily naps.  :) 

Speaking of those girls, they turned 22 months old last week.  Want to know about their personalities?  They’re bursting at the seams with them, like most almost-two-year-olds.  Let’s do it acrostic style:


She’s our “good girl”.  We say “no”, she stops.  We say “go”, she goes.  We say “jump”, she jumps.  The one exception to the rule is doing her biznaz on the toilet.  We’ll not revisit that nightmare but if you want to, have at it

Oh Cecilia.  I love her so much I want to squeeze her and she drives me so crazy sometimes that I want to squeeze her for that too.  Everything is a game with her.  ‘You want your cell phone back, catch me if you can.’  ‘Ooh, let’s see how close I can come to jumping on Sebastian’s head without actually jumping on it.’  She lives for the chase, for real.  If she was a hashtag, she’d be #comeandgetme with #tryandstopme coming in a close second.

Our girls, our girls.  Comrades, mutual entertainment, partners in crime, all of it AND beauties to boot.   

And, as is typical with that little thing called “sisterhood”, they’re the best of friends…

…and the worst of friends.

All cute, all ours and man do we love ‘em.  :)

Back & Forth

Our girls absolutely love to swing.  They’d eat, sleep, and p-double-o-p swinging if they could.  I imagine it’s a past time most kids share.  Lucky for them, for their first birthday last year Grandpa and Grandma bought them two of these swings.  Unlucky for them, we literally just hung them last week.  We’ve had them stored away in the attic over the winter in hopes that this spring we’d have time to hang them.  The plan was to find a solid branch or two in the front yard and hang them from a tree.  The other part of the plan was to paint them so that 1) they’d sort of match the house a little better since they’d be right in front of it and not detract from curb appeal and 2) so that they were more gender neutral since Sebastian would probably share his sisters’ love of swinging one day.

So, finally and with some spray paint specially made for painting plastic (by Krylon), the swings went from this:

with this:
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to this:

As you can see, we ditched the front yard/tree swings idea after a good friend gave us their old swing set.  Now all the fun is in the backyard.  (Side note:  If you’re on the market for some swings and not opposed to a little DIY, check these out.  Our original plan was to make two of them but by the time we could have gotten them done with everything else on our plate, the girls (and boy) would be inhabiting them in high school.  Not cool.)

Unfortunately, I’m not enthused with the spray paint.  Even though it’s made for plastic, it has seemed to easily chip away in areas where plastic meets plastic, like where the safety bar meets the bottom of the seat.  The seat itself however has held up pretty good so far.  It’s withstood a few rainstorms and a week of being outside in the heat.  Time will tell if it’ll hold up for the long haul though.  I’ll keep ya posted. 

I used one can of spray paint per seat and could’ve used more.  I’ve found that as much as I like the way that Krylon sprays in a line vs. a circular spray like Rustoleum and other spray paints, it doesn’t seem to cover as well.  One can would probably have been good enough per swing had I used Rustoleum but since it sprays with a circular spray, it may have been tough to not have the swing look blotchy.

Either way, the kids really don’t care what the swings look like as long as they move. 

And move they do.

Check It

Hello, hello, hello.  I was hoping to have some sort of something DIY for you this week but alas, I don’t.  The next thing up on the ‘ole to-do list is to paint a rug for the entry way.  I’ve got the rug and paint but I’m still on the fence about the process and in need of a few more supplies so hopefully in the next week I’ll be able to get out of the house solo to grab those things and get that done and shared.  Until then, clickety-click on these:


Have you heard of Fall for DIY?  It’s where Francesca creates a whole lot of things, all DIY and all beautiful with excellent tutorials to boot.  I found her on Instagram (@fallfordiy) somehow and her jewelry tutorials grabbed me by the sleeves and sucked me in.  I don’t have a ton of jewelry, one because I’m pretty plain in that department (but I’m working on it) and two, because it can get expensive.  So, when I saw some of her tutorials on how to make your own jewelry, I swooned and tucked them away for a quiet moment or two.  My favorites are this statement necklace and these concrete earrings.  On a related note, JoAnn Fabrics and Michaels both have jewelry sections with pre-made statement necklaces that only need to be strung by a chain.  I’ve spent many a minute in those sections and have sworn that for the next special occasion we attend, I’m bringing in a coupon and buying the supplies needed to whip up a new necklace.

A few weeks ago, Anthony came home to chaos (happens a lot) and no dinner.  Quickly, I did what I do best and searched for an easy recipe involving a whole bunch of random things we had on hand and stumbled on this one for Fire-Roasted Mac & Cheese at Everyday Reading.  We substituted fresh cherry tomatoes for the canned tomatoes simply because those we did not have but it was SO GOOD.  Seriously.  I even bet you could use any type of pasta and add chicken or sausage if you will it.  It’s fairly easy, a must try, and a definite staple meal.

You might’ve noticed we’ve added some new-ish blog buttons on the side bar over yonder --->
Head over and check out Britt at The Fisk Files, Katie at The Lane Above, and Elizabeth at All Kinds of Things.

So, yesterday.  Two ‘o clock rolled around and everybody was fed, clean-diapered (minus one me…duh), and ansty so we packed up and shipped out to Goodwill where I snatched up a few cotton tops to turn into headbands for the ladies in the family.  I’m not quite done with this endeavor but you know I’ll share when I am.  Here’s a sneak peek from Instagram:
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Last, a little housekeeping.  I’ve had these pillows in the girls room on their window seat since they were wee ones and they’ve recently been taking up residence to “read” on said window seat, but not before throwing the pillows off. 

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Since the girls will be moving to another bedroom to make way for Sebastian in a few months and neither of their preliminary room designs will include these pillows, I thought I’d see if anyone here would want them.  They’re by Dwell Studio from Target and are blue on one side, white on the other and the geometric print is embroidered on and dark brown.  They have a couple of loose embroidery threads that I’ve dabbed a tiny bit of fabric glue on to prevent from coming off more but are overall in really good condition with no stains and perfectly working zipper enclosures.  They measure 17 x 17 inches laying flat.  I’m asking $15 shipped for both pillow covers (I’m keeping the inserts).  Email me at with your paypal email if you’re interested.  First come, first serve.  :)

Happy Humpday! 

Ten Years

I wasn’t planning on posting today but then I listened to a song that I played over and over and over when the twins were born, not because it pertained to my life at all at that point in time, because it didn’t.  I just loved it and it’s melody took me outside of myself.  It’s been awhile since I’ve listened to that song but today I pulled it up again just for kicks and it pertained to today.  If you’ve been reading the blog for awhile, you might know that my dad passed away when I was in college.  It was 10 years ago today.

When he died, it was one of the hardest times in my life.  I was closer to him than I was to any person on the face of this earth.  He taught me everything I needed to know about love and how to love in the very, very worst of times, especially those who hurt you the most..  He was a very faithful Catholic and while he wasn’t immune to sin nor was he perfect, he placed everything he had into God’s hands and sought to be with his Maker by going to Mass regularly, not just on Sundays but any day that he could.  We’d go together when I was home from college, my siblings and I and him, to the gorgeous chapel at Boys’ Town near our home in Omaha, Nebraska.  While I was off at college he’d go and tell me about the amazing confession he just had with the great priest there.  In the year before the end of his life, our family broke into pieces and although he struggled immensely with the situation, his faith never waivered.  It’s that faith and knowing how close he was to Jesus and how he depended on him with his life that got me through his passing.  We were given an immense amount of grace at his funeral, so much so that joy overtook us (my siblings and I) and instead of feeling sorrow, we were so happy that he wasn’t suffering anymore and that he was headed to heaven.  We heard through the grapevine that a lot of people were really skeptical seeing that we weren’t all crying at his funeral.  We actually wore white instead of black because we wanted to not mourn the end of this life, but the start of his new one; a better one.  I know that you might raise your eyebrows at this but the truth is that the pain and heartache and missing him will always be here with me and yes, I cry sometimes because I miss him so much.  But, I try and focus on how I’m living my life.  I want to be like him.  I know he’s on his way to heaven, if he isn’t there already and I want to meet him there.  (As a Catholic, we believe that before heaven, one goes through purgatory.  Think of it as a shower.  While you live life, sin makes your soul dirty and so, before you get to heaven, you go through a cleansing or “shower” of sorts so that you’re squeaky clean when you arrive at those pearly gates.  Yes, there are people who go straight to heaven; I doubt I’ll be one of them.)  I want him to be one of the first I see.  I want to move on from the suffering and pain in this life to one where suffering and pain don’t exist…forever!  Thinking about that and focusing on walking the narrow way keeps sorrow far from me and hope right in front of me.  :) 

If you have a minute, please say a prayer for my family, the soul of my father, all souls, and for all those who have suffered and are suffering.  There’s a joy to be had in sorrow and a hope to be found and I pray that all find it. 

Here’s the song I was talking about at the beginning of this post.  I hope you are as touched by it as I am.  It’s “When a Heart Breaks” by Ben Rector.

[I know in his song Ben says "and you don't need Jesus, 'til you're here" and I'm not sure what his thoughts are with those lyrics but we always need Jesus.  It's in the hard times however, that we need Him most.]

A fond memory:

We lived on a farm and so, obviously, my dad smelled like crap every time he came in from work.  He’d always try and rub his “aroma” off on me with hugs and I always told him to stop because, obviously, that ain’t no “aroma”.  Being the wise-crack that he was, he gifted me a snazzy nose plug for my 18th birthday…
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…so that my excuses were zero.
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.           .           .

Miss you daddy!