Merry Christmas!

I thought (wrong) that it'd be fun to take a picture of our card for you all but as you can (or can't) see, it's a little indistinguishable   Yes, that is our little fam buried in the sands of the southern shore line.  No, it's not really "real" but only photoshopped "real".  The point is, Merry Christmas y'all and Happy Birthday to the Big Guy!

Almost every family member (about 9) singing pat-a-cake got us this gem after mass last night:

And, our tree this year:

The same as last year and the year before - fake, pre-lit, and wrapped with even more lights by light-lover me, adorned with our swelling stash of ornaments (thanks to gifts and an ornament party) and a $3 handmade star (tutorial found at Love Maegan) atop it's point. 

Merry, Merry Christmas!  

Just The Lid

Thought I'd had enough with spray paint for awhile?  Never.  If you have had enough of me not having enough with spray paint then I'm sorry, but I just can't quit it and I'm gonna slide in this last post about the stuff until I finish some other projects because it's a quickie and I've only got a quick minute and because I've been sewing and your gonna get the deets on that next week.  Aaanywho, we have this jar:
Plain, simple, and I'm pretty sure at least as old as me since it appears in my childhood memories..not to mention abundant in many forms in every thrift store I've ever been.

Well, as it happens I still have mucho of the same gold spray paint that I used to make my cap toes and jazz up my Mama so:

Bada bing, bada spray...not so plain and not so simple anymore.  Ready and willing to assist in keeping our ears clean.

Speaking of clean ears, make sure yours are because hooves will be hitting roofs this week and lucky is the person that hears 'em.  Merry Christmas and Happy, Happy Birthday Jesus!

In Living Color

It’s been five long/short months since the twins entered this the world and five long/short months since I stopped documenting the bump they gave me.  A couple of months ago I started to construct a collage of the belly pictures I took to show just how ginormous I got week-by-week.  I had this great idea to turn all of the weekly pics to black and white photos except for “the bump”, highlighting it’s presence…as if it’s size didn’t do that already.  Great idea, a long time to accomplish with my current job as mother keeping me on high alert.  Then Natalie posted a fantastic collage a few weeks after her son was born and it really lit the fire under my bum to finish mine.  :) 

So folks, here we have:

Born on their 37 week in-utero birthday, you can read Seraphia (5 lbs. 13 oz.) and Cecilia’s (6 lbs. 14 oz.) birth story in four parts – Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV, if you’re interested in that sort of thing.  Then, get a load of their cuteness at 1 month, 2 months, and 3 months…I’m a smidge behind on posting their 4th and 5th but who can blame me?  I’ve got twins.  :)

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P.S.  I used to create the colored bump effect.  First I opened a belly pic, duplicated it (duplicated the layer…not sure if I’m speaking technically correct), turned the duplicate (on top of the original) black and white by desaturating it, and then erased the area over my belly to reveal the still-colored photo underneath.  Easy peasy.  It’s such a fun way to edit a picture! 


There are no words to describe the sadness in my heart and every heart after Friday’s shooting.  The only thing we can do is pray.  Pray for the victims, the families, and for the world in which we live.  I find so much comfort in the fact that heaven is many souls richer after that day with the souls of these children and adults.  I hope that I too can live my life in a way that brings me to that beautiful place as well. 

A good friend shared this photo (she found it here) on Facebook and every time I look at it the heaviness in my heart is lifted a little bit more.  I thought I’d share it with you in hopes that you may see the profound beauty and reality in it.


May God bless Newtown, our country, and our world.

Project “Add Some Color”

You might remember that a few months ago we gussied up our kitchen with white paint, new countertops, a new sink and faucet, a newly installed microwave, and a subway tile backsplashsept122012 041

It looks mighty fine and we love how bright it is now, but it’s lacking some serious color infusion.  Well, I started that infusion with a few tweaks involving spray paint.  For example, see the dark brown spoon holder to the right of the stove in the photo above?  No?  It’s there.  It’s just melded into the color of the cook top, no individuality whatsoever. 

Well that spoon holder’s singing a new song these days to the tune of “Lemon Grass” by Rustoleum:dec72012 023

If I’ve written it one time I’ve written it a thousand buuut, all I did was spray each of my items to be colored with a thin coat of primer, let that dry, and then sprayed them again with a few thin and even coats of color, making sure to spray at every side and angle of each item to get full coverage. dec72012 009 You might’ve noticed my multi-tasking as I primed up Mama Mary at the same time.

So there we have it, a leedle bit more color in our stark white


The best part about this whole paint party is that it only cost me $4 for the spray paint.  I already had some spray primer on hand and the napkin, spoon, and paper towel holders were wedding gifts from Target five years ago.

Still on my back burner are a hand-painted/stenciled runner, some colorful cookbooks, random decor here and there, and maybe a spray-painted coffee maker?  Not sure about that last one but I’m not going to lie and tell you I positively won’t do it…

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Happy weekend!

Jingle All The Way

Well our internet is back up and jogging Praise the Lord.  It was agonizingly painful to not be able to facebook creep, blog hop, and pinteretize whilst feeding the sprouts.  Sad maybe, but true.  

But, let's put all that behind us and get into the holiday spirit with a little video of our five month old prodigy.  A real singing sensation she is and it'll only get better as we go I'm sure of it.  Cecilia LOVES to "sing" along with me and our recent collaboration was "Jingle Bells", in english and gibberish.  I apologize for the awful camera handling.  I can't hold the camera up in her face because she all of a sudden becomes super interested in only it and any performance I might want just doesn't happen.  So, I hid it/tricked her by holding it to the side, thinking that I had her entire face in the picture but a corner is all you'll get...and sideways too.  Oh well, once the music hits your ears, you won't care.  So, without further ado:

The very appropriately named (St. Cecilia = patron saint of music), Cecilia:  

Boo Hiss

Boo for zero internet at our casa which obvi means you're all stuck without a Saturday read (which I know many of you have shed a tear or zero over) and I'm stuck writing up this little explanation for where I was not in a two minute sit inside Anthony's office at work.  Comstupidcast is supposed to be out Tuesday so we'll just see if they can fix our net and my attitude over the whole ordeal...

Mama Got A Makeover

Not this mama, this Mama:nov122012 001 Years of looking on, occupying everything from bookcases to dressers, had yellowed the whites in her eyes and everywhere else.  (In case your suspicions are peaking, I’m fully aware “she” is a statue.  Fact number 488 – Catholics don’t worship statues.)

So, I put my pointer finger to work with a little primer and the usual “few thin coats” of happiness in a spray can and gave Mama a new do:dec52012 001And she got her groove back.

The end…or is it?

A Flawless Mirror Revamp

*Before I start on my DIY rant and rave, I want to take a few typed words to announce to the www that it’s our fifth wedding anniversary!  Holla!  Neither of us can believe that it’s been five years!  We’ve been verbally noting our happenings at ‘this moment five years ago’ for the past couple of days and it’s been so wonderful to relive those precious moments.  This year is even more special as we have two beautiful little human beings that are the tangible blessings of our love and we are so thankful to God for them, for us, and for all the years ahead!  Happy Anniversary Sweets!*

*Pst…You can get in on a smidge of our sappy love fest with this video!  Otherwise, it’s back to normal programming!*

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A couple of years ago, a friend gave us a really cool, antique mirror that’s been floating around different closets in our house, perpetually waiting to be the star of a DIY project.  I had always envisioned replacing the old artwork framed at the top with a family picture or some custom art.  Well, the twins came along and their nursery with them and it gave me the perfect spot and the motivation I needed to give my idea life.  Before I had even started working on the mirror, I had Anthony hang it one day during a minute of his rare free time right next to the girls’ closet:sept122012 008 

During the weeks of stripe painting it came down and I finally took a few extra moments this week to create a somewhat new mirror mirror on the wall.dec12012 001

I went back and forth between wanting to paint it and wanting to leave it gold.  Once the stripes were finished, I thought it’d help my decision to bring it back into the room and when I did, I loved the contrast of the gold with the stripes and the pinks and peaches in the room and also liked the idea of less work so gold it stayed.

Next up was the artwork.  The original artwork was held in place with some very stiff, very old cardboard and a few rusty nails.  I simply removed the nails and pulled everything out.dec12012 003

Here’s a better glimpse of the old artwork that was inside this thing.  It’s actually pretty cool and ‘vintage-y’ so I’m going to keep it for some rainy day project.dec12012 004

So, the artwork.  I loved the whole feel of the mirror being not just any old mirror, but one with a picture frame atop it and so I wanted the frame to hold something that would be a reminder to our girls of just how special and beautiful they are while they’re looking into the mirror.  With that, I whipped up this with noflaw 

After I had finished the design, I had it printed on matte 8 x 10 photo paper.

I wanted a matte over the new artwork, but being an odd size and not wanting to get a custom matte made, I took matters into my own hands and made one myself.  It didn’t come out the greatest (which might have a lot to do with the fact that I quickly did it last night around 11), but here’s how I made it anyway.  The process worked, just not the creator.  :)

First, I took the old cardboard that had been in the frame and measured out a rectangle a little smaller than my artwork.dec12012 005

Then I grabbed a razor blade and a cutting board and cut along the ruler to get this:dec12012 006

I cut too quickly however and my top and bottom edges turned out a little less than straight which means that one of these days I’m going to have to make another matte but until then, the perfectionist in me is letting this one slide.  A few coats of some white, flat spray paint, a quick reinsertion, and back in with a few rusty nails and here we are:dec12012 007

 dec12012 008

I still have the editable Pixlr file, so if anyone is interested in printing it out for your very own, just email me (because I’m not tech savvy enough to include a download) at and I’ll send it right over (for free of course).  You can mess with the colors, the background, the font, the size, whatever you like.  Then, just get it printed, frame it, and zootolo, some words to live by.  :)

Have a great weekend you flawless folks!

Baby’s First Haircut

We seem to have a hairy situation here.  My hair is falling out faster than you can type ‘follicle', partly due to the great nature of post-partumness and partly due to four tiny hands finding, yanking, and coming away with 100 or so strands every five minutes.  Cecilia is on the sure path to Mulletville as her mane is sparse on top with a whole lot of shiny, dark hair in back.  And then there’s Seraphia:nov122012 003Not really lacking in the amount, just in the symmetry. 

Right side: nov122012 004

Left side: nov122012 006

Something  had to be done.  I was having daymares of my sweet first-born turning into Peg from Edward Scissorhands in a matter of months and down that hair style lane I was not willing for her to go.peg (Image from here.)

So, a little snip here and a little snip snip there…nov122012 008

and she was back on the straight and narrow, albeit the left side still a smidge more voluminous, if I can even say that for the ultra-fine nature of her baby soft locks.

  nov122012 009

The back however, is another situation for another day.  nov122012 007 Here’s to hoping baldy fills in soon because, St. Francis, as much as I love ya, your hair on my daughter I do not.

What I Wore Sunday

“What are you dressing for the color blind or something?”  That’s what came out of the hubs mouth as I walked out in my Sunday best tonight before mass.  “Go bold or go home” is what I should’ve said.  Instead I spouted that “Actually, I saw someone wearing these colors together and it looked good”, withholding anymore info than that for fear of opening a door Anthony would love to walk through.

You see, last night we were indulging in some mind-numbing tv viewing whilst trying to coax two over-tired babes into a peaceful dreamland when my brows perked up at a particular outfit one of ‘The Big Bang Theory"’ nerds sported.  I thought “Hey, I can do that”.

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And so I did:nov242012 003(Is it weird that I copied a dude’s outfit?  Or is it weird that he was wearing that in the first place?  Either way, I think the verdict is in in that I should’ve copied his stance as well.)

Shirt:  Hand-me-down from me seester
Pants:  Tarjay clearance rack
Shoes:  Fashion Bug and then capped by yours truly

If I were a little more spunky I’d have added a gold necklace or two or three and maybe some bangles or a bright colored scarf but I played my usual role as plain jane as far as accessories go and slipped some studs in my ears, calling it a done deal.

There’s many much more (Brian Regan anyone?) pretty, pretty ladies with much more fashion sense than I over at Fine Linen and Purple so hop, skip, and interjump over there for more.

Happy Sunday!  Go Giants!

In Between the Lines

I finally finished striping the nursery walls circa eleven in the pm last night, one hour before Anthony’s birthday!  Happy Birthday to the love of my life and my babies Daddy!  So, in lieu of writing up a wordy post all about how long it took me to check off this project, what’s next on the nursery agenda, or the various thoughts that painting provokes, I’m just going to put up some pictures and spend that time with my three loves.

If you want to put up some lines too, click here for last week’s pre-reveal tutorial! 

4 001  4 002 4 004 4 005

I’ll be back next week with another project down in a much more organized nursery!  Until then, have a great weekend everybody!

What I Wore to Thanksgiving Dinner

Quickest post ever because we just got the little beans down and this big bean is sure to follow.  But, not before I over share and easily fall into the ebb and flow of the cool crowd over at Camp Patton.

Here, ladies and gents, is what I wore to eat and eat and eat and eat…nov222012 007 After a little coaxing I was lucky enough to go sans tripod and got the love of my life to snap an awkward shot three seconds before we pulled out for mass.  As I was uploading the freeze frame tonight, I couldn’t help but notice that spot on my left foot.  Verbalizing my question, “What the heck is on my foot”, my photographer who was sitting next to me at the moment said “You mean the leaf?”  I proceeded to give him the death stare that said “You knew there was a leaf on my foot and didn’t say anything?!"  He laughed, I moved on, here I am, leaf and all.

Anyway, it’s no surprise that my entire outfit hails from various Target clearance racks of the past few years.  My black wedges are Target too but were purchased at a discount store, Dirt Cheap, for $4.

More importantly though, here’s what the mini-Tobins wore:nov222012 round  Cute and cute…and goodnight.

103 Degrees

Hey folks!  I'm just checking in, a huge bunch of tissues at my side ready and willing to catch any and all of the flowing river that's currently running from my sore nose.  Yesterday was a little rough.  I had a 103 degree temperature and felt like I had just run a marathon without any prior training.  Yeah, rough.  I was so excited to show the nursery today but alas, we've been a sick family all week and finish the stripes in the nursery I did not do.  It seems I'm on the up and up though so get it done I will asap and post it asap too.  

I hope you're all having a great weekend!  

Mission (Sorta) Accomplished

Well, I did it.  Okay, I sorta did it.  I tried, boy did I try.  I took Mary up on her Challenge to hunt down an entire outfit at a thrift store only my one trip to seconds heaven turned up lots of options only they were ‘in need of alteration’ options and half-way through scoping out the racks, the twins woke up from their peaceful slumber so the heck outta there I went.  So, I thought I’d just try one night this week while Daddy was on duty but then luck would have it that Daddy got sick leaving Daddy Daycare closed until further notice.  Luck would push even further and get this lady sick today.  So, thrift store outings no more will I make before the deadline. 

Soooo, with all of that said, I didn’t want to call it quits so I pulled a few thrifted threads out of my closet and called it done.  Here’s what I’ve got:nov152012 024  I tried again and failed at getting my entire person into the picture using a tripod but the clothes are really all that matters anyway, right?  I thought I’d drag Cecilia in with me a get a half-family portrait while I was at it…too bad she’s headless.  Also, don’t mind my ashy knees, all the lovely wrinkles, or the fact that I quickly stuck a little piece of toilet paper in the front of the dress to protect my modesty…

Back to the thrift store finds though:nov92012 017 Dress:  $6 (purchased on a whim while six months pregnant, happily worn six months later)
Shoes:  $5
Belt:  $.75 (found in the little boys section)
Total:  $11.75

I’m back to jostling the two sprouts, sniffling and sneezing as I go.  Go see Mary for more thrifted finds!

Oh and by the way, the challenge ends next Tuesday, so get on it if you haven’t already!

Almost But Not Quite

So, since it’s taking me waaay to long to finish the ‘secret’ nursery project I’m going to just give in and let you all in on a sliver…nov92012 011 

I’ll let you in on the full monty next week but just to tide you over, I’ll spout out a little tutorial just in case you wanna go painting stripes before I get that far.  :)

Before I start, let it be known that it was not my original intention to paint the nursery walls even though the thought of stenciling them or painting them was tempting.  I could’ve worked around the beige walls and thought that leaving them was free made it the right choice…until the diy in me got the best of me AND I saw this on Pinterest:stripe insp (image found via Pinterest from here)

The stripe-lover in me had to.  I loved the look of the thinner stripes.  I also loved that diy-ing stripes would be relatively cheap considering I had most everything I needed to do it on hand.  So, thin or thick, white or red or blue or pink, here’s how I did it (correction…am doing it):

Step 1:   Decide how thick/thin you want your stripes.  You can make them all the same width, you can alternate thick and thin, you can even do a bunch of different widths, horizontal, vertical, diagonal…whatever gets your inner zebra goin’.  I went horizontal and did a mock-up with Pixlr to figure out how many stripes I wanted.  I ended up with 14 stripes all the same width.  Also included in this step is picking out colors.  Depending on the colors you go with, you’ll probably have to paint your room a base color before you put the stripes up.  I went with the custom beige I already had up and an off-the-shelf plain white in a satin finish by Olympic.

Step 2:  Mark your measurements.  The easiest way is to simply grab a ruler a make pencil marks at every point a stripe edge would be.  You should only have to do this once (if you go horizontal like me) since, once your stripes are drawn on, you can simply follow them around the room.  Since I wanted 14 thinner stripes, I measured the length of my wall, top of the baseboard to ceiling and divided by 14.  Doing that meant that my stripes would be 6.6 inches wide.  So logic would follow that I would make a mark every 6.6 inches.nov92012 001

Step 3:  Draw the lines.  If you’re lucky, unlike me, and have a laser level you can probably skip this step entirely and move on to step 4.  We have a plain ‘ole long level that I used.  nov92012 002

If you don’t have either you could continue marking and just connect your marks around the room.  I started at a mark, leveled up against it, and drew, and drew, and drew…all around the room.  Actually, I did one wall at a time but that’s a moot point.  I also used a pencil for this step because I could simply wipe it off after if need be.  It would be helpful to use a pencil of the same color but depending on how much drawing you’re doing, sharpening it might be pain in the rear.

nov92012 003

nov92012 004

Step 4:  Tape along the lines.  Make sure to tape a teeny, tiny smidge under or over your pencil line so that it’s painted over and therefore disappears.  I used Scotch, one inch, blue painters tape.  I also stuck a few little pieces of duck tape into the areas I didn’t want paint just to make sure there were no accidents.nov92012 006

Step 5:  Make sure tape is securely adhered to wall.  Meaning, press down hard when applying it.  You don’t want leakage.  Our walls have an orange peel texture making my stripe painting a little more difficult.  To make sure my tape was stuck on good, I put an old sock on my hand and went along every tape line, pressing as I went.nov92012 007

Step 6:  Paint.  The width of your stripes will determine the roller size you use unless you go at it with a paint brush.  I actually thought I’d use what I already had, a small foam roller, which ended up getting a big, fat ‘F’.  I should’ve used a roller with a nap to it because of the orange peel.  I ended up painting one entire wall, removing the tape, and then realizing I needed another coat.  It was back to step one and a lesson learned for me – use the right tools, even if it means you can’t use what you already have.  Thankfully, ReStore had what I needed for mere pennies and it was back to the wall I went.

Step 7:  Remove tape while paint is still semi-wet or asap.  Waiting until hours or days pass could mean taking tape off will also take paint off.  I removed it right after I was done painting.

Step 8:  Do touch-ups.  I had some drippage in a few corners and a few minor leaks under the tape here and there so I just touched up those spots with the extra beige paint I had on hand and a small paint brush.

Step 9:  Pat yourself on the back and admire…or rush back to life with twins, whichever your life situation allows.

Step 10:  Stop in next Saturday and see the final result!  I’ve got one wall to go but I’ll be sure to have it done by then!


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Cost breakdown:

Paint:  $12 (I used leftover paint from painting our guest bath cabinets plus a purchased quart.)

Tape:  $10 for three rolls (I had one already and probably would only have needed to buy two more if it weren’t for my mistake mentioned in step 6.)

Paint rollers:  $1 for two (I had the handle.)

Things I owned and used:  retractable pencil, a level, and an ipod to keep me company  :)

Total spent:  $23

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Hope to see you next Saturday!

Until then, Ana clued me in on Mary’s thrift store challenge and I’m totally doing it.  It’s right up my thrift loving alley.  Also, Grace, Erica, and Kayla are having another Open to Interpretation partay and I can’t wait to join in on the fun.  And the girls at Fine Linen and Purple are holding a Sunday ‘What I Wore’ link-up that I swear one of these Sundays I’m going to jump on.  As if that’s not enough, Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy has a ‘What I Wore Wednesday’ link-up.  Can you tell I need a million and one excuses to get out of the gray sweatpants and stretchy tanks I’ve been donning for the past hundred days?  Well, I do.  So, look for me next week, the lady with the twins who’s dressed to the nines whilst spending hours feeding and changing diapers and not even leaving the house…all dressed up with nowhere to go…except that’s not me, I’m ‘all dressed up and at home because it’s too much work to leave the house’.  Yeah, that’s me.