G’s Room + The Five-Minute House

Poor Gianna.  Her mother has never devoted her time and energy into making her space “her space”.  Her older three siblings all had those spaces though.  This was the twins’ room when they were just wee babes…hardware 014_thumb[1] 
and here it was when they moved into a “big girl” room after baby bro came along. IMG_6558
And that little bro?  Here was his space:sebsroom2 (4)

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But all Gianna got were seconds in the decorating arena.  Her big bro moved in with her two older sisters and she got his room just as it was…a “boy” room.

I did have plans to feminize her room, I really did, but then we decided to work towards putting our house on the market and other things came first with that in mind. 

So then we sold our house and moved and in she went to the smallest room in the rental houseIMG_8748

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She was perfectly happy and I really had no plans to do anything to change her room since this is a really temporary rental situation but then…I found some cute stuff and things just kinda snowballed.  I mean, kids’ rooms are so fun to decorate, aren’t they?  How could I resist?!

Here’s what her space looks like now:

Christmas Cards on a Budget

‘Tis that time of year again, isn’t it?  Yeppity yep!  And who has it together enough to get Christmas cards out?  I mean, first you have to actually take pictures, burn an hour of time picking the one with the most eyeballs and smiles, spend another half hour second guessing yourself, stick a design with it, print it, buy stamps, get any addresses you might need, and finally, hand ‘em to the snail but HEY, it’s easy right?

HA HA HA

That’s why I have zero side-eyes for anyone who chooses to forgo sending out Christmas cards and the utmost respect for those who send theirs digitally…smart!!

I like sending out physical cards when I can, that is, when all of the stars align.  Even then, they might make it out before Christmas.  ;)  However, they can get pricey, right?  I hate to break it to anyone and everyone but as much as we love getting the cards in the mail, they get hung until the last day of Christmas and then they get tossed into the recycling bin.  I always feel so guilty for tossing them because I know the work and a lot of the times, the $$ that goes into them but I just can’t stand clutter so, whoop, they go.  Sorry! 

With that, I also get that ours will probably also get tossed BUT I don’t feel so bad because over the past couple of years, I’ve wised up and made our own cards.  The cards, envelopes, and stamps cost us around $70 for 75 cards.  I know that’s not a drop in the bucket but, considering that you’ll pay double, triple, and quadruple that at some online stores, it’s fantastic.  I mean, I won’t name the popular store, but their smallest (4.25” x 6” postcard) holiday cards start at $1.30 per card ($130 for 100 cards).  Yipe!  That’s not even including an envelope (since it’s a postcard) and stamps!  You’ve already eaten up our kids’ Christmas gift budget with that! 

Here’s how we do it so affordably.  Hold on tight…we take a picture, put some words on it, print 4 x 6 photos of it, stick them in envelopes, and send ‘em.  It’s still a good amount of work but with not a lot of money. 

DIY Fur Infinty Scarf

I have to give myself a reality climate check every fall down here in the South.  It’s something like - H E Y, I know everyone and their cousin is posting pixels filled with spiced lattes and covered toes but you live down where it’s still, not technically, but actually summer.  The humidity is still here to slap you in the face upon the exit of any a/c-filled abode and building and, your deoderant, yeah, it’s still working overtime.  You’d think I’d be used to it by now but no, no, no.  I actually grew up in the midwest where fall really feels like fall and summer stays back in summer.  But, I’m not complaining.  Sure, I miss the snow but I don’t miss the months on top of months of it and it’s great to not have to dress the kids up with 75 layers and then their Halloween costumes every year…you know, so they can actually go out as a little butterfly without looking like a stuffed butterfly. 

Anyway, the past couple of weeks have seen a little bit of chilly weather (chilly as in under 70) and so I jumped at the chance to finish a little project had started last fall…and by started I mean, I pulled out the fabric one day, threw up an Instastory about it and then never got around to moving it to my sewing machine.  But, with Gianna and Sebastian doing their synchronized napping thing, I was able to whip this up in a half hour and get the regularly scheduled homeschooling in with the twins one day last week.  #werkit 

Without further chatter, let me introduce my new, faux fur, infinity scarf:

IMG_6217jacket:  hand-me-down, altered // similar
button-down:  Target via Dirt Cheap // similar
jeans:  Old Navy (I heard great things about the Rockstar Built-In Sculpt jeans from ON last year and was so excited to try a pair but when I did, I was sadly disappointed.  I felt like they smashed my rear end down and were really uncomfortable.  Darn.  When I returned them, I tried their Rockstar Super Skinnies instead and LOVE them!)
wedge booties:  eBay // Amazon (I bought mine new off eBay three years ago and they are still going strong.  They’re really comfortable too!)
 

Want to make a fur scarf of your very own?  You know you do!  And guess what?  You could hand sew one in under an hour, maybe even in under a half hour.

End Table to Planter–DIY

My last post dove into my most recent thrift store excursion, as you might’ve read, and I noted somewhere in there that I had walked out with only one thing that day.  This was that one thing:planter (3)
Only it didn’t look like that as I walked out the doors of Goodwill that day. planter2 (2)

Spotted: Goodwill

We’re trying to get on more of a weekly schedule over here.  We’ve got our daily schedules down pat pretty much but we’re trying to organize our weeks so that we know where certain things are going to fit in.  Things like me getting a little break from the kids for just a smidge of time.  I think they call that self care, right?  It sounds so whiny and poor-me-I’m-surrounded-by-littles-all-day-long and I hate that because, as you know if you’re a mama, one of the hardest things is to be away from your kids…yet getting a little breather once in awhile is good for the sanity aspect.  It’s one of those catch 22 things I suppose.  Mother bear can’t rip herself away from her babies she loves oh-so-much yet if mother bear is asked one more question about why the toilet paper is white or why a marker is called a marker or why we can’t stick things in our ears, mother bear might actually turn grizzly.  You know.  I bet that, if you’re not a mom, you might be able to relate in dealings with coworkers sometimes, yes?  Anyway, our budget doesn’t allow for a mothers’ helper or babysitter (nor does mama’s-girl Gianna) so we’re working with Anthony’s work schedule which makes things a little more difficult on the planning side but as you probably know, challenges are looked square in the eyes ‘round here.  Disappointed smile 

So far, we’ve pretty much figured out a morning when I can get a couple of hours to do whatever I want/need to do and last week, I spent that morning perusing a thrift store and it. was. awesome.  I feel like my most recent (of which there have been few) thrift store visits have left me feeling disappointed – I’ve found nothing of interest – and like thrifting as a spectator sport is dying out.  Around where we live, there are lots and lots of people trying to make money off of refurbishing furniture and things and so, if you’re not the early bird or the frequent peruser, you’re not the one getting the worm.  So basically, with the ability (or should I say the lack of ability) for me to get to thrift stores early and often, it takes some serious luck for me to bring in a thrift store win.

Anyway, I’m seriously rambling here when really I hopped on to share deets on that thrift store excursion from last week.  For this one, forget about all I said about the luck and stuff because I found SO MUCH GOOD STUFF! 

Look!


Marble Tray ~ DIY

It’s going to get real original over here today yo.  I’m not the first and I definitely won’t be the last to type about marble contact paper.  There are a myriad of pinned projects using just the stuff and mine will be just another to add to the collection.  There are a huge basketful of bloggers and DIYers who have written/talked about using the stuff and so I’ll just add my voice to the queue.  BUT, I betcha that of all the marbled contact paper projects you find out there, mine will roll in as the cheapest.  Not bragging…that’s just the fact.  You know how I do.  ;)

Internet, meet marble contact paper project…again.IMG_5576

‘Shrooms

Did you enter the TubShroom giveaway yet?  If you haven’t, go quick.  It ends tonight at midnight!  I’m back today though to tell you about some other ‘shrooms.  Gah, it’s still pains me a little to delve into this topic in order to write about it.  Do you remember when we laid brand new sod in the backyard of our ‘old’ house?

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A Catchy Giveaway

I’ve been pregnant three times in four years and therefore, gone through that awful post-partum hair loss phase three dang times and lemme tell ya, I post-partum hair loss like a BOSS.  It’s amazing I don’t more closely resemble Gollum after I’m through. 

So then, you can imagine what our shower drain goes through…or should I say what goes through it.  After the twins’ and Sebastian’s pregnancies, and really since we’ve been adults and had our own shower to take care of, we’ve always bought those cheapo hair catcher things you find hanging halfway down random aisles in Walmart.  They’ve always caught hair good enough (or so we thought) though cleaning out our shower drain was always a necessary chore every few months as our drain drained slower and slower and suddenly we found ourselves standing in a foot of water in the tub five minutes into a shower.  You might be able to relate WHICH is why this blog post is being posted.


Distressed Chandelier Diy

When we moved into our second house, one of the first things we replaced (if not the very first thing) was the chandelier in the dining nook.
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Before we moved in.

The existing one wasn’t an electrical light but a candelabra-type thing and, as romantic as daily candlelit dinners sounded, we prefered the 21st century and a little light if we needed to wander into the kitchen at midnight.  Thankfully and in line with our hopes, there was electrical running to the box from which the candelabra hung so we grabbed a brushed nickel, $70 chandelier online, said “let there be light”, and whoop, there it was. 
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We didn’t put much thought into its style at the time because we just desperately wanted something electrical, something that jived with the metals in the kitchen, and something that wouldn’t break the bank so, later down the road, I started dreaming of something prettier.

Tour De Rental

Prepare yourselves folks.  Prepare yourselves for the most exciting tour of a rental home in blog history.  Ok, so maybe just this blog’s history.  And considering we’ve never rented before, there won’t be much compeition so the honor is all this house’s and the unecessary excitement all mine.

I know I went with the nutshell of the story in the last post but just for a little recap, we’re renting because we sold our house, found another, walked away from that other after the inspection, and had no choice but to rent because we had to close on our sold house.  So, here we are, renting for six months in the hopes that we’ll find a house to buy within that time period.  Fingers still tightly spiraled.

Part of me feels like it’s a little weird to post a tour of a home we’re literally just eating and sleeping in (although I did hang a curtain rod so…) but then there’s that bigger part of me that’s a sucker for house tours regardless of the ownership details.  Maybe you’re one of those interested peeps too and if so, here we go:

Why dontcha come on up onto our teeny porch…
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The Little Gray House

Well hellooooooooo there!  It’s been awhile…too long.  I have to admit, I’ve enjoyed the “down time” that having a shop on vacation and a quiet blog provides.  Only kidding.  We moved.  There has been zero down time.  Who am I kidding?!  If you’re looking for a “How to Move with Toddlers” post, I don’t know if you’ll ever find it.  But, if you did, it would be one sentence long and that sentence would read – “Don’t move with toddlers ever, ever, ever, ever.”  If you really have to, well God bless ya heart.  You cray.

But let’s move on since the thoughts of moving still sting just a tad.  I’m sitting here in our unpacked rental (tour coming soon!), pretending like we’re settled in, and it’s all great, grand, and wonderful.  No really, it is.  It’s not so bad having half of your belongings boxed up in one mountainous pile in what could be your dining room.  I’ve really been wanting to live more simply and with less stuff and being forced to do it via a temporary rental is just what I needed, what we needed.  Maybe half of that stuff will just be donated when we realize we didn’t need it later down the road…and maybe not since most of it is home decor stuff and we all know how I feel about that kind of stuff.  ;)

Anyway, I popped in today to talk about *dun dun dun* the house that got away.  It’s not even worth tippity-typing out the novel that it would be to tell you all about the gray house and the saga that went along with it so I’ll try the nutshell route and we’ll see how it goes.

S O L

D!!! 

So this happened – our realtor came over three Saturdays ago to take pictures for our house’s listing and afterwards, we just decided on somewhat of a whim, that we were just going to up and list our house.  We had no intention of listing yet, just getting the pictures taken so that we could list within the next week or two but then we just decided to go for it even though we still had some unfinished projects we had to get done…two of them being painting the kitchen ceiling and the siding on the new chimney.  The listing went live late Tuesday afternoon and on Friday morning, we were under contract!!!  I feel like I could and want to add a few exclamation points to that because they all mean so much; there are so many feels in each one.  I feel so, so sosososososo grateful that I only had to have the house 1000% immaculate for two point five days.  But I also feel a tiny bit sad because those 2.5 days of our house being squeaky clean were amazing…I love me a clean house.  I also feel so grateful that our house sold so quickly and for the price we wanted.  But, now I feel nervous.  We still have not found another house and have less than a month until we close on ours.  We had our hearts set on one house and had an accepted offer but that just fell through because of a contingency on the seller’s part.  Please say a prayer for us and our house hunt!  We’re feeling a little hopeless and rushed and the two don’t a fun combo make. 

So folks, let’s bid adieu to the house that bulked up the largest part of this here blog, shall we?  Here’s a picture I took last week: 

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And here’s a picture taken right before she became ours:lc8f02842-m0xd-w1020_h770_q80


There are a lot more befores and afters on our house tour page (some of which need to be updated…hehe :/  )  if you want to see the whole shebang.  And even now, we took a lot of things off the walls before we listed it so going to market even changed it a bit.  Our little cottage will always have a piece of our hearts as it was the first home all of our babies came home too…I think that’s the most sappy thing about it.  But, we’re excited to move on to another little fixer upper to grow into.  :)

With house-hunting and packing, the blog will probably be silent for the next month but I’ll try to check in on Instagram more often to post updates!  Thanks in advance for the prayers! 

Stay tuned!  :)

Bold(er) & Beautiful(Ler)

Calm down, calm down.  I know beautifuller ain’t a word.  Well, unless you ask Anna because she definitely tossed the term of endearment at Elsa without a fuss being raised so…

Switching gears and stories…

Once upon a time, I bought some secondhand furniture, like I often do.  I nabbed a pair of end tables and matching coffee table off a secondhand resale sight for $30 for all.  I added some fun to the coffee table and sold it and the end tables have been living here ever since – one out on the screened-in porch and one on the front porch.  You can see one in the upper corner of this shot post-stenciling the porch floor:

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Rewind a couple of years to a Goodwill trip whence I stumbled upon this set of four bamboo chairs for $40 and grabbed them as quick as I could:bamboochairs

DIY Grommeted Curtains

Hallelujah!  I got to do something “fun” whilst getting ready for this sell-our-house thing!  I’m tired of painting the kitchen ceiling, touching up loads and loads of trim paint, cautioning the kids against touching anything (“Do NOT drag your toys along the walls pleeeeease!!!”), washing siding and trim, etc…

I got to make curtains!IMG_8717


If you’ve been a long-time reader, you might remember that once upon a time, I scored a long curtain rod at Dirt Cheap and flanked our living room’s french doors with some long curtains to make the room feel more “homey”, as I put it.  I started out with some sheers and then later made some tan and white, geometric-printed curtains that I loved for a long time.  Well, I wanted a change in pattern so I sold those and found some plain white, thick fabric remnants that I thought would be a perfect medium to do knock-off these curtains from West Elm with…but then I decided that I wanted the curtains to be more subtle and blend into the walls a little more so I just kept them white.  There’s still a chance they’ll look like those West Elm curtains someday but right now, I am loving them as-is.  Phew.  That all sounded like a mind-making disaster, didn’t it?  If you’re looking for someone to pick a design and stick with it, don’t look here.  The winds of change blow quite frequently in this casa. 

The parts I love the most though, are the grommets at the top.  I’ve always used rings to hang curtains because it was the easiest to just sew a big rectangle and hang it up.  But then a good friend of mine put grommets at the top of her living room curtains and told me how easy it was and I just had to.  I mean, look at how they fall!  I toyed with them a little before I took pictures but really, for the most part, the grommets create those big folds that go from top to bottom and they hold them there.

I bought these grommets at Walmart.  They’re the exact same grommets sold at the fabric stores I looked at, only without the coupon mark-up (I’m convinced stores that always have running coupons mark their items up…these are $12.99 at JoAnn Fabrics.)  You can also find them for a little bit more on Amazon.   

So, let me tell you my grommet story.  It’s so easy.  You’ve gotta make some grommeted curtains.

A Grand Entrance

We haven’t been doing much house hunting lately (yep, we’re moving soon-ish, in case you missed it) because we’re still spending every free minute finishing up some big projects at our current house. But there has been a little bit making this post possible.  This next house I’m about to show you, we didn’t really even physically see at all.  It was on our list of houses-to-see but was already under contract when we found it so we were just keeping an eye on it in case that contract fell through.
I loved it based on what I saw on the inside in pictures – good-sized bedrooms, a big kitchen, a big entry way, a double car garage, and ugly as heck.  Every single room had wallpaper.  The fixtures and cabinets were all dated and the curb appeal was non-existent.  But, unless a home inspection proved otherwise, it looked like any updates that needed to be made were just cosmetic and therefore, DIYable and fairly inexpensive.

westbury

Its only downfall was the small backyard.  It was on a corner lot and the so the attached garage extended into one corner of the backyard leaving a small corner of grass (maybe a 15’ x 15’ space in) the back far corner.  I was almost willing to overlook that though just because I loved the house so much. 


Floor Score

Hey!  I’m just popping in to let you know we did NOT fall off the face of the Earth but our living room floor did…well, kinda.  You see, we had some water issues (you might remember me blabbing about the chimney leak and a water influx on the patio-now-screened-in-patio) that are now solved but that left some of the planks of our laminate wood floors in the living room warped.  Well, since we’re about to sell our house we reckoned yesterday was good time to replace those.  Unfortunately, the previous owner didn’t leave us any extra planks BUT something crazy happened, while waltzing through our local ReStore last year, we spotted a box of the exact same flooring and swiped it up quicker than quick.  Fast forward to yesterday morning, when we pulled that box out of the closet to finally repair the flooring and guess what?  The new planks are ever-so-slightly different than the existing.  They’re from the same company and look exactly the same to the naked eye but the tongue and groove were about a millimeter different.  WOMP, WOMP.  So, this was the scene in our living room yesterday evening:

FullSizeRender (11)(old floor on the left; new on the right)


One Year With Gianna

Also known as “The Year Parenthood Kicked Our Butts”.  Right after Gianna was born I thought, “Hey, this isn’t so bad, this having-four-kids thing.”  And now, looking back I realize I was naively basking in the sleepy newborn stage, soaking in life with the big kids getting more independent, only having one in diapers, and spending hours of “free time” nursing on the couch…  But now?  Now we have a one-year old and for this particular one-year old, that means being on your toes and on top of your game allllllthetime.  I don’t remember the twins or Sebastian being as busy as this girl is and, for the twins sake at least, that’s saying A LOT.  Girlfriend seems to have been born with a seek-and-destroy/eliminate/rough house/erradicate/obliterate motto and also a lemme-taste-test-every-tiny-thing-I-find-on-the-floor mentality.  Her favorite things?  The slightly open dishwasher, toilets, drawers, cupboards, toilet paper and any paper which she loves to pick to shreds (and then eat, of course)…nothing is safe.  In short, we get nothing done when she’s awake unless, and this is a big UNLESS, we turn on Moana.  She will sit and watch that movie and let the world crash down around her. 

Technically she’s now 13 months old but we’re going to go back a month and celebrate this girl who, for all her crazy business, brings all the smiles and laughs to the other five faces in this little fam bam over here.  Gosh, we love her something fierce.

Let’s skip down memory blevard, shall we?

First, you might feel like skimming the story of her birth or back even farther to when we found out she existed.

1month

To Market, To Market

To buy a new house!  But first to list this one within the next couple of months!

for sale

Yep, we really, really, really want to move closer to where Anthony works for a good many reasons and so we’re taking the leap this summer and shooting for it.  Cue the tears though because we’ve brought home all four of our babies to this house. 

The Grass Is Greener

…in the backyard.  Whereas before, it was a mix of dirt and weeds that left me feeling blue and the kids, well, brown.  I know, kids and dirt.  They go together like peas in a pea pod and I’m a farm girl, I should know that.  Right.  But I also know that trying to keep the dirt from infiltrating the home by capturing said kids before they traipse inside all while juggling a sweet little angel but very needy babe is not my idea of a good time.

So that’s one reason we laid grass in our back yard last weekend – so that we could let the kids roam free, graze, skip, jump, and holler without hollering ourselves to “please stop digging in the dirt!”  The other reason is one I’ll dive into in another post but for now, some befores.

I took these pictures back in February, I think, when spring was around the corner but not quite here.

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Seven favorites

Hey!  I hope you had a great Memorial Day!  We spent the weekend and holiday at home doing tons of work in our backyard.  I can’t wait to show you guys the progress!  We’re putting in an outdoor patio right off the screened-in patio and I’d say it’s about 75% done and so far, it’s only cost us maybe $100.

So anyway, we don’t have any finished projects to share right now though we do have a HUGE project in the works that I’ll type of soon BUT I do have a list of about 30 (possibly more) things I keep on my phone of things I want to share – stuff we’ve bought that we love, recipes I’ve found that have been awesome, excellent reads, companies we’ve had great experiences with, you know, mumbo jumbo that you just might find interesting and that we think is worth passing along.  I meant to share five today, thereby making this the old Five Favorites but then I got a little carried away with seeing Memorial Day sales and so we’ve got Seven.  Lucky, I suppose.  ;)

Ahem…

You might’ve heard or read my words about our Berkey water filterIMG_8603Well, we’re still super happy with it and are so glad that we snagged one last Christmas.  Why am I telling you this again?  Because, Berkey is having a Memorial Day sale that ends Friday!  You can grab one for 15% off with code ‘BERKEY15’!  The filters don’t need to be replaced very often but even with the price of those and replacement, you’re looking at spending about $17 PER YEAR to get good, clean water.  And then of course there’s no plastic being transfered out into the world, which is huge for us.  Anyway, the biggest reason we settled on a Berkey was because it filters pharmaceuticals like acetaminophen and pesticides out of your tap water like a boss.  I know.  Those things are found in tap water.  Scary, right?  You can see everything else they filter out here.  So anyway, the Berkey.  We highly recommend.  We have the Big Berkey and it’s the perfect size for our fam.  We fill it before we go to bed every night and it usually lasts us all day.  The link above is our affiliate link as is the graphic in our sidebar.  You can also grab one on here on Amazon.

Last year our lawn mower broke right in the midst of summer and it was a $60 fee just to get it looked at to figure out what was wrong, not including repair costs.  Boo.  Anthony wanted to see if he could fix it himself before we shelled out cash but didn’t have time at the moment.  In the meantime, our grass wasn’t growing any shorter so we bought this reel mower off a Facebook resale site and have been very happy with it!  So much so that we’re thinking about just fixing and selling our old power motor.  I love that I can mow the lawn while the kids play around me and we don’t have to worry about buying gas, me throwing my shoulder out trying to start the dang thing, or changing/checking/draining the oil.  I also love that the kids can mow the lawn with a little heaving and hoing.  As you can see, Sebastian is patiently waiting his turn.  :)IMG_4520We also have a friend who owns and loves this one.  As for me?  I think I’m a reel mower fan for life.
 

A lot of homes built in the 70’s and before were built complete with the craziest of tile choices in the bathrooms.  You know what I’m talking about, right?  Those bathrooms with the pink or blue or green or yellow or shmellow tile that adorns the floors and walls and whose color spills over onto the toilet, tub, and sink?vintagebath

Well, I was so amazed at how beautiful Rebecca made her green-tiled bathroom look by just swapping out the vintage mirror and light fixture for something circa 2017, adding new cabinet hardware, and adding some neutral decor.IMG_4510

IMG_4510There’s budget-friendly hope for the rest of ‘em!

I posted once or twice about the fiddle leaves my sister gave us that I propagated (successfully!!!) and then you never heard about them again and you probably don’t care but either way, I’m happy to report that I planted them in one big pot they’ll share for the rest of their days (or at least until they grow out of it which probably will take years and years?  I don’t know…) and they’re doing great! IMG_4519 There hasn’t been any new growth in the form of more leaves (yet) but their stems are growing taller so I’m hoping we’ll have some trees, or at least a bush, in the next year or so.  Go find yourself a friend who is pruning their fiddle leaf and offer to take a few of those clippings off their hands!

A good friend gifted us a Baby Brezza at a baby shower for the twins and we used it for them and every kid since.  Ours steams and then purees the food so all we had to do was cut up the big stuff and toss it in.  I didn’t keep track of how much money we saved making our own baby food for the tots but I know the number was somewhere in the hundreds at least.  If any of that sounds fun to you, you should run quick and grab yourself a Brezza while they’re 25% off with code ‘25food’!  The sale ends tomorrow!


I’m a greek salad junkie and Anthony loves them too though we’ve never been able to find a really good, bottled Greek dressing (that’s fits in our grocery budget at least).  So you can imagine how delighted I was when this recipe popped up in my Pinterest feed one day and, after quickly tossing it together, makes my taste buds sing.  There are measurements for a smaller batch in the comments too since the original recipe makes a boat load. 


Last, take 15% off any pillow cover order of $24 or more in my shop with code ‘MAYIPLEASE’!  The code is only good until the end of May, so tomorrow!  (Where the heck did May go??!!)sale


Ciao!

.           .           .

*affiliate links included in post

Wrapping Paper Mat

Are you sick of me writing about a juvenile bathroom yet?  (I’m pretending that was a nonchalant, no…color me oblivious.)  Oh good.  Because there’s more.  I’d fill in space between these bathroom posts with something oh, I don’t know, not about a bathroom but one, two, three, four kids and they all nap at different times these days so, no.  Not happening.  Bigger fish are not being fried here…at least not right now.

Back to the subject matter though…

You might’ve read about the kids’ bathroom mini-overhaul, specifically everything that went on on the right side of the room but now let’s slide on over to the left side.  Here’s what it looked like after a fresh coat of paint several years back (the lighting and poor photography make it look worse than it actually did):Picture 003


And here it is now:
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West Elm Knock-Off Rug

I was set on a black & white rug to set down in the kids’ bathroom.  Black & white screams “gender neutral” to me and since I needed all of that I could get in this little bathroom for two girls and a boy, that’s the direction I was headed.

Enter this little thing:
IMG_8655Not black and white (even though it could argue the gender neutral case pretty well) but a great path to getting there since the other side was a blank slate.  You probably read the post about this rug and how I sewed, cut, and frayed the edges to get fringe. 

Now enter the Torres Kilim from West Elm…aka, my inspiration.
torres-wool-kilim-iron-oI saw it first on an episode of Fixer Upper and knew it would be super easy to imitate since the lines are perfectly imperfect.  Rug.  Kids’ bathroom.  Now.

Vanity Facelift

The kids’ vanity used to have no reason to harbor the homonymous vice.  I wish I had a better before but all I have is this half shot:

guest bath b4But you get the jist – the only thing the worn, brown cabinets had going for them are the fact that they are well-made, solid wood.  The cream-colored laminate countertop were (and still are) blah-zay (concrete tops coming soon!), the drain on the back of the sink was rusting and the faucet was old and worn.  The mirror was great but needed an upgrade and the lighting was a builder-grade fixture the previous seller put up.  Those 80’s posts/poles/spindles had to go and, this is completely unrelated in that it’s personal decor taste, but who puts a lamp on their bathroom countertop?! 

Anyway, the lamp and everything but the countertop is now much changed and much better and barely cost us anything considering the change.

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Kids’ Bathe-room

B-A-T-H-E room because of T-H-E hooks…you might remember.  You might not and maybe you’ll need to read this post first.  Either way, we are 90% done (until the winds of change blow usually) with the kids’ bathroom and man, for a room that’s had an upgrade coming for years now, it feels real good.  Here’s what this bathroom looked like before we moved in and were just crushing on the house, thinking about putting in an offer:
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Bow Whoa Whoa

Once upon Sunday, minutes before church, we were rushing to get out the door and I had the girls dressed in the cutest of outfits that would be best topped off with a pretty little bow on their pretty little heads.  The problem?  We had no bows.  I don’t know about you but you might know this about me…I work pretty well under pressure.  Actually, that’s when a lot of my out-of-the-box ideas come loose.  So, with seconds to spare, I remembered I had some scraps of felt laying on my desk.  With a little snip here, a little snip there, a twist here, and a tuck there, we had bows. 

Lemme explain in pictures…

You’ve got a little piece of felt:
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Spotted: Open Doors

There’s no non-awkward way to jump back into superficial, almost-meaningless blogging after my last post so I’m just going to go right in, head-first with…

*drumroll*

another round of Spotted – things I’ve seen at local thrift stores!

This time I pranced the secondhand corridors of quite possibly my favorite thrift store here, Open Doors Ministries Resale and Thrift Store.  Their prices are awesome (at least half that of Goodwill!) and they always have something good when I go in.  Always.

This time was no different.  I went in looking for a light fixture for the kids’ bathroom and after looking where I had seen light fixtures in this store in the past, came up short.  But, BUT, when I went up to the checkout desk to ask if they had any more light fixtures anywhere, the lady behind told me “Did you check the room in the back?”  WHAT?!  What room in the back?!  Y’all, there is a WHOLE ROOM/AREA FILLED WITH LIGHT FIXTURES in the back of the store that I had never known about!  Mind you, I’ve been scouring this thrift store for over a year now.  Crazy!!  Behold:IMG_3693I know it’s hard to make out from this angle what exactly is in there but to the right there are shelves of lights and light parts.  It was nuts.  I still didn’t find what I was looking for (I needed a two-light fixture and lucky found this one later on sale on Amazon) but you bet I will be back to hunt down something to replace the boob light in our master bathroom.

Anyway, besides all the cool chandeliers I saw that I didn’t need, I spied all of this stuff:

Help Wanted

I’ve been having a hard time finishing a blog post recently.  I’ve got several drafts started but I can’t find the energy to finish…or the concentration but that’s thanks to a lack of sleep and never a dull moment ‘round here.  :)  As I sat down, once again, at the end of last week to pound out a post, it hit me why I’m having a hard time.  There’s so much going on in the world these days.  I mean, there always is but recently the weight of it all has come down on me - friends who have sick children, a friend (wife and mom to four) from college passed away a couple of weeks ago, the refugees and their war-torn countries, bombings, the list goes on and on.  It’s hard to watch the news. 

All of my drafts are about superficial stuff, you know, the stuff I love to write about – a DIY tutorial, a thrift store trip, the new pair of jeans I just got – and it’s all fine and dandy to write about those things but they can wait.  I can’t just sit down and write about paint while I’m acknowledging the suffering that is going on in the world past my doorstep.  So, this Holy Week I’m going to skip the shallows for some deeper water.

It’s hard to make myself aware of the turmoil around me but it’s necessary.  As a stay-at-home mom of small children, I don’t have the ability currently to just pick up and volunteer whether it be at a local or international level.  But, I can empathize and I can pray and I can give money.  So, I’ve asked a few trustworthy friends to recommend some legit sites (I know that in a society where scams seem to run rampant, it’s easy to be skeptical) where we can do just that.  I hope you’ll join me.  :)  If praying is all you can do, this is a great week to dive in.  If you’ve got some cash you can part with, part with it with your right hand while your left is praying.  Learn about these causes not because they’ll make you want to go cry in your pillow but because we are the Body of Christ.  Our brothers and sisters are suffering and they need us to think about them, to acknowledge them, to pray for them.  And I know I can take that knowledge and turn it around on myself – stop taking what I have forgranted, start living more fully, start cherishing all of the blessings I’ve been given.  It’s easy to forget how good we’ve got it sometimes.  :) 

I hope you all have a powerful Holy Week.

(I’m going to be updating this list as time allows and I’d love to you to add more causes close to your heart in the comments section!)

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Help support the Garcia’s  I went to college with Katie and was lucky to travel with her in Europe while doing a semester abroad.  She was just amazing.  The best thing I can say about her is that she’s the kind of woman you want your daughters to grow up to be like.  Her husband and four small children are here on Earth missing her along with a whole slew of friends.  Also, check out Katie and David’s blog, especially this post.  
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Preemptive Love Coalition – a non-profit that brings relief to families on the frontlines of war in Syria and Iraq and empowers refugees to rebuild their lives.

Lifting Hands International – they collect and ship high-priority items to refugee camps.  They keep in touch with volunteers on the groung in those camps to figure out exactly what is needed (and what’s not needed since space is so limited in the camps).

Humanwire – donate, follow your donations progress, and see it delivered to a refugee!  So cool!

Ananias Mission – “We are responding to the Syrian refugee crisis by helping refugees as they go through the resettlement process. We are working to educate our communities to help them understand the crisis and to inspire compassionate action. We build direct networks between Americans and the Canadians who are sponsoring refugees, as well as personal contact with Syrian refugee families as they move to safe countries where they can live and worship freely.”

Kids Against Hunger – they work to get food to hungry children in the US and around the world.  You can donate or you can go hands-on and pack meals.

Carry the Future – they deliver donated diapers, baby beds, and baby carriers (along with much more) to refugees.

CNEWA – they help those in poverty by getting them basic supplies and healthcare among much, much else.  87.9% of every dollar donated goes to those in need.

Little Leo was diagnosed with a form of cancer and his family needs help paying medical bills.  Donate here and follow his journey here.

Christopher and Winter are raising money to build houses for those who need them in Haiti through Food for the Poor.  They’ve raised enough money to build three houses and their mom got to go to Haiti to meet the people living in those houses.  How awesome is that?!

Calais Action – a direct-giving and advocacy group geared towards refugees.

Jesuit Refugee Service – they help and advocate for refugees and forcibly displaced people (just reading those words “forcibly displaced” on their site breaks my heart…can you imagine?)

Light House Relief – an organization that provides help for refugees in Greece.

MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station) – working to save lives on the sea along migrant routes.

Cheap Change

Let’s play ‘spot the difference’, shall we?  What’s changed from this picture:
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to this picture?
IMG_8676I mean, they’re not exactly a reflection of each other anymore.  One is the fairest (or fairer) one of all.  A mirror image they are not.  Ok.  I’ll stop.  You get it, you had it before I even started up with my ridiculousness. 

I painted the mirrors.  We ditched the dark, dusty rose for lighter and brighter white with a gold touch.  (And yes, in case you noticed this too, I spray painted the light fixtures quick-like.)

Here’s how:

Be A-Frayed

So, as you know, we’ve been slowly plugging away at the kids’ bathroom (see the mood board here).  It’s amazing how slowly really.  We actually made ourselves a deadline of last weekend to finish this baby but then we got thrown for a scary loop when we had to make an ER visit resulting in a hospital admittance for Seraphia that pretty much ate up our entire weekend…not to make it sound like it was an inconvenience because of course we’d rather coddle a sick child than work any day but also of course we’d rather have healthy children and do fun things like diy.

Praise be to God she’s ok and on the mend – she had some breathing issues and as it turns out, allergy-induced asthma maybe on top of a virus.  It was one of those scary moments in parenthood where you have no clue what’s happening to your baby girl and why she can’t breathe and your mind scans a thousand of the worst options.  Love makes your heart bubble up and over and it also makes of you a hyperventilating worrier, I suppose. 

But anyway, like I said, thank God we are past that and all is well here.  Let’s move onto greener, more superfical pastures, shall we? 

Like our kids’ bathroom:IMG_7717This is where we left off after hanging some colorful art and letter hooks on the wall to the right and out of the frame of the above shot.

Since then, we’ve ripped out that half-wall and those nice 80’s spindles, getting us to here:
IMG_8658
I know you appreciate my skillful styling courtesy of la tools.
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The wood mirror is an option we’re toying with since Anthony accidentally broke the existing mirror (bottom center has a big ‘ole crack).  It’s actually the mirror off one of our dressers, which you probably gathered, and would be a free replacement.  Our best friends, Dan and Lauren, used a dresser mirror in one of their bathrooms and it looked so cool so we’re just following their lead.  :)

Let’s talk about what’s gracing the floor - that blue and green-striped rug.  It’s a Target runner I paid $10 for at Dirt Cheap a few years back and I actually bought it because I intended to make it our entry rug until I found this one instead.

I got it because it has this striped pattern on one side:
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and is plain white on the other, making that side a perfect canvas for a paint job.  :)
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So this rug has been sitting under the vanity in the kids’ bathroom for forever now, waiting for me to paint it and place it under their toes.  Well, I still haven’t gotten around to painting it but I did add a little something by way of fringe to the edges and so down it went.
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It was pretty simple to do.  First, I figured out how big I wanted the rug to be (minus the fringe) and sewed a straight line across on both sides, where I wanted the rug to ‘end’.
IMG_3216  Yes, I sewed the rug.  I didn’t know if it would work or not at the first press of the foot pedal but it actually went pretty smoothly.  I used the black thread that was already residing on my machine and you can barely tell it’s there.  See?IMG_3217 

After I had my two lines sewn, I cut off the ends of the rug where I wanted the ends of the fringe to start…IMG_3218

…and then I just started pulling the rug apart.  I frayed it.  #hencethetitle
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The large threads came off in one piece and they were pretty darn cool.  I saved them.  :)
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So the fringe is pretty thin and wimpy as far as fringe goes but it’s still fringe and I kinda like it.IMG_8656(PS, behold the new tile floors!  They’re nothing special but they only cost us about $15 in tile so, huzzah!  Anthony laid them.  He’s kinda amazing.  <3)

Now I just need to figure out what to paint on the other side of that rug.
IMG_8662

At first, I was going to go for this design:565df8bb764e0de56cde185f5be1c8f6(rug via trouva.com)
But then I thought maybe I’d grab the stencil I used on our screened-in patio floor and do that all over again but in mustard yellow? 

And then I saw this West Elm rug on Fixer Upper and kinda loved it:
torres-wool-kilim-iron-o
Or maybe the same rug except mustard yellow instead of black?  I don’t know.  What do you think?  The shower curtain (shown all the way above) is black and white striped so I don’t want it to compete too much with that though I think a little healthy competition and pattern playing is good.  Decisions, decisions…

Either way, the bathroom is coming along.  From the first picture up at the top of this post, it would seem like we’re moving backwards as far as decor goes…
IMG_8660 
But then you think back to where we started and it looks like we’ve made leaps and bounds, tool decor and all.
guest bath b4
This weekend we’re going to work on touching up the paint, putting baseboards back on, and the mirror.  We also want to either thrift or make a new light fixture and have plans to diy some concrete countertops.  Phew, we better get a move on.

Stay.

Tuned.

Per the usual.

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