Our Paint Chip Family

Ooh, DIY art.  It's my favorite.  And since I'm really, really, really bad/slow at getting real pictures put into real frames, it's really easy too.

So, when I saw the above gallery wall done by Jessica at Pretty Providence, specifically that framed triangle artwork in the upper left, I was inspired.  I got to work one nap time and created my own version of it in the form of a little abstract family portrait, a very abstract family portrait.See?
It's Anthony and I on the left (he's Neutral Gray even though he's anything but neutral and I'm red/orange or "Red Hot" as Behr calls it...ha!), and the kids are two blues and a golden yellow (or boring "Sunwashed Blue", "Honey Beige", and "Harbor").  It's going to have to get tweaked a little bit here in the next few months but since I did this project months ago and am just now getting around to sharing it, we'll stick with five triangles instead of the six we really need now.  The question that now remains is, what color should the new little lady be?  I'm accepting ideas...
The five of us are hanging in the toy corner in the living room; a little area we moved all the toys to last year when we rearranged this room for better functionality.

Want a little triangular fam of your very own?

You know you do!!  Here's how you can birth one...

Grab some paint chips.  I used chips I had on hand from prior projects.  
(Soapbox note:  I don't condone just going into a home improvement store and grabbing paint chips for free for projecting.  I feel like, and maybe this is a little dramatic, but that's almost stealing.  Somebody pays for those and even though they're up for grabs and free for us consumers, I don't think that means going and grabbing a bunch for non-paint related purposes is cool.  However, I do think that going into a home improvement store to buy something and supporting them financially in another way gives you a little more justification to maybe grab a few for a project.  Just my two cents.)

A few of them were squares so I just penciled a line halfway down the middle on the back to create two little triangles.  Then, I used one of those triangles as a template to cut triangles out of the chips that weren't squares.

Then I just cut out the triangles...with my food scissors, yes.  Sometimes they're just the closest and sometimes I'm just lazy.


And then I apparently didn't take or lost any and all pictures of how I got them in a frame but luckily, that's Kindergarten-level stuff.  I just grabbed an old frame I had laying around that I had broken the glass to years ago, stuck a piece of white, matte photo paper inside, and glued my triangles in the order I wanted them to the photo paper.  I used photo paper because it's a little thicker than regular computer paper but really, you can use any kind or color of paper you want.  It's your family.  Make it how you want it.  :) 

Along with our family triangle portrait, I hung this print from Hatch Prints (also used in our recent pregnancy announcement) in a thrifted oval frame that I spray painted white and the mat black (they were a nice shade of gaudy pink), and framed picture of the kids I rehabbed from this thrifted frame:
I bought it for the color of the frame but painted the mat white and then went back in and painted in the gray border for flavor.

This little corner of the living room is set now but we've made some major progress in other corners that I can't wait to share with you.  Stay tuned for one rather large update next week!  I'll give you a hint, it rhymes with boo fantel...

Spotted: Goodwill

It's time for Roooouuuund Two of Spotted errbody!  (Did you miss Round One?  Click here to read it.)  I hope you're as excited as I am!  Seriously though because I spotted some pretty awesome stuff...all which I didn't need.  Ugh...  The tug and pull of materialism...I think it's even worse when it's cheap.  :(

Let's just start with these:
I'm a little frustrated with myself that I walked out without them.  I think our master bedroom is too.  Dang...I might have to go back first thing tomorrow.  There's no filter on this picture so you can see with your own eyes how gorgeous the brass is - not too gold or yellow.  They were a little crooked but that's never stopped me from buying anything before.  Plus, I think the shelf was a little unlevel, making them look worse.  They were also really heavy and I'm sure if I just tinkered around with them a little, maybe tightened the screw below the base, they'd be good as new.  They were $9.99 each.  Update:  I went back today to get them and got cold feet.  :(  I messed around with them and got the main pole screwed in tight enough where it was straight but I couldn't figure out how to straighten the top from that piece that adjusts the height and so...I left them.  I'm hoping maybe I can do a little research on how to fix them and go back this weekend.

I thought this was a cute twin, bamboo headboard: 
It would add a natural element to a room just left as is or would be so fun painted white or a bright coral or mint or cobalt blue or any hue you can think of.  Polish it off with some cute pillows from my shop and bingOO.  ;)  It was $14.99. 

 This mirror would've come home with me if it was under $10:
They had it at $14.99 and I thought that was a little high considering it definitely needed a paint job.  But in white?  Gorgeous.  I'll be checking back for it in hopes of a price drop.  I'm thinking white paint and hung above our bed horizontally once we get our headboard made?  And then after I wrote this I couldn't get it out of my head and was dreaming about how amazing it'd be with some skewers glued around that recessed area like what I did to this mirror?!  Definitely going back for that thing.  If you beat me to it, I will cut you.

This painting or print, I couldn't tell which, was huge and the colors in it along with the color of the wood frame were so pretty:
It was seriously like three-or-four-feet-wide huge.  It'd be perfect over a big sofa or loveseat or even over a bed/headboard.

This frame would make a great fixer-upper:
It had a linen-looking fabric mat atop a second mat over the three picture openings.  You can see the quality of the framing in the (sort of blurry...sorry)picture below.
But if you painted the second mat under the fabric one gold, taped off that gold trim on the inside of the frame, and painted the rest of the frame white, it'd be so beautiful.  If we weren't pregnant with #4, I would've gotten it to house a picture of each little bean present day.

I loved the mat of this frame:
You could replace the picture, paint the under mat gray or gold, paint the lighter pink mat white and the frame whatever and, once again, so pretty and different.

I didn't have much time to go through clothes this trip since I had all three nuggets with me but the lace from this dress was peeking out at me while I was looking at the frames on the shelf above:
It was such a pretty navy blue and looked to be fitted and if I didn't have a belly in the way, I might've taken it home with me...or at the very least, to a dressing room.  It was made with some quality lace over a satiny shell and it wasn't stretchy at all; definitely well-made and probably very expensive for the first owner.  It was $6.

These pants were hanging on the end of a rack and I wanted them bad but didn't feel like paying $5 for them:
Our Goodwill has $1 days once a month so I'll be checking back for them then.  The picture doesn't do them justice though; bad angle.  They were super long (which is perfect for my stilt legs) and the fabric was a linen/cotton blend so nothing pajama-y.  The crotch wasn't quite as low as it looks in the picture but they probably would've hit at the hip in height.  So cute, pregnant or not.  I'm thinking beachy with a white tee and some strappy sandals with some simple gold jewelry...

And, the best find for last, these:

    Oh yes, Toilet Tattoos.  Need I say more?  Every toilet lid that wants to be a toilet lid needs one.  Flush away your elasticized carpet covers and grab a few of these puppies.  Change them out with the seasons and your house, ahem, your toilets, will be theee talk of the party.  My fave was the animal print.


Here & There

I just finished scrubbing our kitchen floor and call me weird, but I kinda love doing it.  For one, it's good exercise, something I need more of and two, the thought of a sparkling kitchen floor gets me all giddy.  I know, I said you could call me weird.

So, in leiu of writing about how I scrub my kitchen floor or how to get that cleaning solution mixed just right, here are some betters to capture your attention:

Stephanie at Captive the Heart asked me awhile back to give a few thoughts on different things about marriage and married life that she is and is going to post in several blog posts while she basks in the newness of her sweet baby girl.  It's been really fun to take a jog down memory lane and also to read the thoughts of a few other women - thoughts on our wedding dresses, how we tried to incorporate peace into our wedding day (the two usually are tough to meld), and honeymoon stories.  And then of course if you're a sucker for birth stories, you can indulge in part I of Stephanie's while you're over there too.

I've been hankering for a long, flowy tunic for the past few months, one that would be great during pregnancy and beyond.  In fact, Groopdealz just rolled out these and they're only $14.99 plus shipping which is a pretty great price!  But, I really want a few (but I'm on a budget) so imagine my delight when Merrick posted this tutorial on how to make your own!  I can't wait to try it!  I should be able to get a couple made and come in under budget.  :)

I asked a mom's group recently what they'd recommend as far as affordable maternity leggings and their recommendation was a resounding nod to these* from Old Navy.  It was fantastic news for me since I had in my possession a gift card to the place.  So, I went, I bought, and I'm wearing.  And, they're just great!  I got two pairs on sale in-store for $11.95 and I plan on wearing them along with my faux leathers for theee rest of the pregnancy.  Not even kidding.

The grandparents went in with us at Christmas to buy the girls these Vilano bikes*, in pink of course.  I didn't want to write about them until we had tried them out so now that we have, let me tell you, they are great so far!  The girls are at the very beginning stages of learning how to ride a bike so they literally inch along but we're hoping that, by doing the whole balance bike thing vs. training wheels, that they'll be able to be on two wheels and skip those training wheels in several months.  The reason I love this bike is because, when we feel that the girls have got their balance, we'll be able to just install the pedals and go.  We won't have to buy a whole new bike, something we probably wouldn't be able to do financially anyway.  So, if you're on the hunt for a bike for one of your toddlers, I'd recommend these!  They cost just a smidge more than the cheapest training wheels bike we could find but you're only buying one bike so that extra is totally justified, in my opinion.

Last but not least, I feel like I should've done this months ago but, while we were traveling back to my home state of Nebraska over Thanksgiving, I suddenly saw those flashing red and blue lights coming for me for the fourth time in my life.  It was like 1:00 in the morning and I was just coming off this really cool steel bridge and daydreaming about the fact that it felt like I was driving through the twilight zone going over it.  So cool.  But anyway, turns out the speed limit on that cool bridge was 55 and I was going...wait for it...wait for it...SEVENTY-SEVEN.  When the policeman told me that I was shocked and I started to get weak with thoughts of bankruptcy, okay, maybe that's a little dramatic but really, I was picturing a spending freeze for the next year because of this dumb mistake.  So you can imagine my delight and utmost shock when the nice officer came back to my car after running my credentials, handed me back my license and registration, and told me to just be more careful and slow down!!!  I wanted to jump out the window and give him a big 'ole hug but I decided against it since he might've taken is a move of an insane woman and tossed me in the back of his cruiser.  Anyway, here's a shout-out to that police officer.  I have no clue who he was or any way to find out but THANK YOU dude!  Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you...


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*Denotes affiliate links to products I purchased.  If you click and/or purchase on these links, these retailers toss a few referral pennies my way at no extra cost to you.  These extra pennies usually go to paying for the gallons of milk we go through every month so thank you!  :)

When Fake Works

Sometimes fake is better.  (Hypocrite much?)  Ok, wait.  Scratch that.  Fake is probably never better.  Fake is definitely cheaper though.  And sometimes, just sometimes, cheaper is better.

I'm talking fake penny tile and a fake window over a fake sink and fake faucet and an entire fake kitchen made especially for three very real children.  Remember that fake kitchen we made two Christmas' ago out of a $6 entertainment center?  Read all about it here if you need a refresher.  It was definitely a project for the books.

That fake kitchen is holding up pretty well.  We did realize that we need to rework the oven to open from the side instead of from the top like a real oven.  The kids just didn't get that they really couldn't put any weight on it when it was down so put weight on it they did and now we've got some bent hinges.  Fixing it is on the to-do list.  Other than that, Sebastian did rip the sprayer off the faucet which just needs to be permanently glued on along with the oven and stove knobs which he learned how to remove by some diligent twisting.  That kid...or should I say, boys!

Anyway, I meant to create a fake backsplash for it way back when we built it but that never happened until right before this past Christmas.

Best thing about it?  It cost me zero dollars.

I had penny tile in mind from the very beginning in hopes that I could sort of live my penny tile + kitchen dreams out vicariously through their little kitchen.  How I did it?  Well, we ordered a rain barrel this past fall and it shipped to us in a big 'ole box so I cut out a big section that was a little wider than the width of the wall over the kitchen sink and stove and a little taller too (and then in the end I decided I wanted to slice a tiny corner off just because so that's why that upper corner is gone).

Piece 'o box:

The space is so big I had to use the body and one flap of the box so that's why there's a fold on one side.  A non-folded piece would've been even better but I didn't have the motivation (first trimester of pregnancy will do that to ya) to hunt for a bigger box so fold it was.

To get a matte background to mimic the matte look of grout, I painted the side of the cardboard I'd be 'tiling' with primer since it's super matte.  Then, I laid a drywall square we have horizontally across the width of the cardboard to use as a guide for making straight lines.  You could also use a ruler or a yard stick to guide you but you'd have to make some marks across whatever you're 'tiling' to make sure you're straight when lining the straight edges up since they might not stretch the expanse of space you're 'tiling'.  If you're doing this to a wall (which would be uber cool!), painters' tape would make a great guide.  Then, using the 3/4" sponge from my favorite sponge pouncer set*, I just sponged circles along the drywall square using leftover paint from our guest bathroom (Lyndhurst Celadon Green by Valspar).  The paint has a semi-gloss sheen so it shines in comparison to the ultra matte primer which is exactly what I was going for.  Originally I was also going to give each circle another coat of a super gloss acrylic but then I realized that that might be a little overboard since I was, after all, painting a piece of cardboard.  Ha!  As far as the circles lining up, I didn't do any measuring and there were a few moments while I was sponging that I was sure things were going to look really imperfect and crooked but when I was all done, any imperfections that there were, blended into the pattern really well.

I'm super happy with the way the fake penny tile turned out and I'm wishing I would've thought of doing this to our kitchen backsplash during those first few years when we couldn't afford a real tile backsplash.  Next house...or maybe an accent wall in the laundry room?  Hmmm...

Next up, the fake window above the sink.

I love the idea of a window over any kitchen sink to give the dishwasher (person, not thing silly) a view so I had to create one here.

To make it, I used a thrifted frame and watercolor painting I found at our church's yard sale last year.  I spray painted the frame and mat white and to add a little more 'architectural' interest, I added some faux molding to the window.  My dream house has this molding on every window so when I have a chance to fake it somewhere, I must.

It was easy to make by just taping four strips of white paper behind the mat of the frame and then placing the watercolor over it from the back.  (I cut out four strips of freezer paper since I didn't have any other pieces of white paper big enough to extend the entire width of the frame).

I love the watercolor painting.  It's of an old general store and it hearkens back to those good 'ole days when I was still just a future idea and when things were so much more simple.

So basically, my girls live in on an imaginary Main Street of Old Small Town, America across from the general store and where people wear big dresses and hats and wave at each other and peace and harmony run like milk and honey.  It's a great place to fake live.  ;)

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I hope you all had a great Monday!  I know they don't have the greatest thoughts associated with them and sometimes I think those thoughts a lot but in the past few weeks, I've been loving my Mondays.  I wake up with this renewed sense of what I'm going to accomplish for the week and I usually make a pretty good head start and that usually continues into Tuesday and sometimes Wednesday but usually fizzles out by mid-morning Thursday.  And then for the rest of the week it's all big pep talks to myself, telling myself I really should get moving and Lord knows if that ever happens but...Monday.  You're not as bad as you're made out to be.  ;)

*affiliate link

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In case you ever want to fake tile something, you might want to pin this:

XX or XY

I KNEW we were having a boy.  Just knew it.  The smart old wives tell that if an unborn baby's heart rate is low, it's a boy; if it's high, it's a girl.  That tale has held true for all three kids before this one so why would it fail me now?  So, I just knew we were going to have another boy.

Our ultrasound Monday confirmed that...
...we were, in fact, having a baby.

So, there's that.

And it also confirmed that it was a boooo..."girl"?  Wait...what?  Can you say that again sweet ultrasound tech?  "It's a girl."  Wait just a minute until I first convince myself that really you do know how to do your job, that you're not lying to me to play a joke on a total stranger, that you aren't in fact blind, or that you're not having a small Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner moment.  Ok there.  Now, tell me again.

"It's a girl."

Wow...a girl...okay...awesome!  I'm still trying to redirect all my thoughts about what I thought it was to the completely opposite direction but...a girl!  

I'll be completely honest with you.  I'm still only 95% convinced, even though one of those ultrasound pictures is pretty darn clear but I'm not ruling out the fact that there might be a boy hiding in there.  We shall see on b-day, won't we?  It has happened before to people I know so I won't back down on that 5%.

Three girls, one boy.  Here's the funny thing about that - Anthony is one of four - three girls and him.  Anthony's dad is also one of four - three girls and him.  Sebastian now shares the same fate.  I smell genetics.  I know science would scowl at me but history don't lie.

Anyway, we're having a girl!  We're over-the-moon excited for another little lady and I personally cannot wait to dig out all those cute baby girl clothes and bows I have stashed away "just in case".

But, once again, we're reminded of what lies ahead of us in our days of raising girls and how hard it's going to be considering the world we live in.  I'm not talking about things - how they're going to decide or we're going to decide which princess they'll relate with the most or what color will be their favorite or how girls supposedly having a tendency to like the swipe of the 'ole credit card which is not so great for parents on a budget.  I'm talking about self-worth.  I'm sure, if you're a woman yourself, have a sister, or are married to a woman, you know and you've heard/seen how tough it is for us women to love ourselves, to see our physical and inner beauty, to "add up" to what the media portrays as a woman.  We fall into the lie that we have to be perfect or have this much hair or eyelashes that are this long or noses that are this perfect size or a tiny waist and a big butt or a little butt or, or, or...  We use digital filters and smoothing and altering to hide what we don't want our followers to see and to make ourselves what we're not.  I ran into two articles the other day.  One was "How to Make Yourself Prettier on Social Media" and one was "How to Fake Self-Confidence".  I mean, did you know there are apps out there to smooth your skin to perfection, to take 20 pounds off your body, to whiten your teeth, and to give you a fake tan?  It sounds pretty two-faced to me - I'm this person on social media but this person in real life.  I mean, maybe smoothing your skin out a little isn't so bad, or is it?  Is it being fake?  What do you think?  Is it portraying something that isn't real?  And self-confidence...it makes me sad that someone would think to write an article on how to fake it.  Maybe we should be writing articles on how to love yourself more so that you have real, bonified self-confidence.  Boob jobs, lip jobs, lipo, botox, photoshopping away was is there or adding what isn't, hiding behind anything and everything so as to not age a day or to portray an almost perfect ideal that we are most definitely not - it's all becoming normal and even more scary, it's all those changes are being portrayed as things that are natural; things we were born with; things we do and then think no one will ever know about.

It's hard for me.  I just want my daughters to not struggle with their self-esteems as they grow into womanhood in this world.  I want them to be able to look at themselves in the mirror and see pure beauty; the benefit of being made in the image of God.  He carefully constructed you.  How many of you, after being handed a play-doh construction of something from your favorite person in the whole world, would take one look and quickly smash or remove or tweak something you saw that you did like.  Anyone?  Anyone?  I struggled with my weight growing up - I was uber thin - and was driven to drink wrestlers' weight gaining powders so that I'd never again be told in the most condescending ways that I was "too skinny" or "anorexic", as was stated by a stranger as cheerleader me walked onto a gym floor at the age of 16.  I believed I was supposed to have these perfect proportions, proportions that were very much not me.  Not only was I a stick but my legs were too long and my figure too boxy.  I wanted those perfect thighs I saw in Seventeen mag, anything over my 32A's, and a more pouty pucker.  If you gave me a million bucks back then and told me I could spend it on whatever plastic surgeries I'd like, I'm afraid of what I might've done to myself.

Thankfully, I've grown to love myself for every so-called imperfection and now, I wouldn't change a thing.  Don't get me wrong, it's tempting to download a smoothing app to hide some of those splotches or better yet, grab a round of botox to smooth out my ever-deepening smile and eye wrinkles.  But why?  So I feel better about myself?  Ok.  But is it so I feel better about myself because I think other people think I look better or because I'm the only one I care about?  You'll have a really hard time convincing me it's just and only because of what me, myself, and I think.  We're always trying to impress someone, right?  And why?  Does our happiness lie within or does it depend on others?  

 I guess I should take a step back though and tell you how fun I think putting on make-up is or coloring my hair.  I don't think there's anything wrong with using those things to accentuate what you already have.  I have a deep love for mascara, I admit it.  On the same lines, I don't think there's anything wrong with using photo-editing techniques and filters to make a picture prettier or give a cool vibe.  But when we're using them to add or delete things we think are "wrong", I think we're hiding behind them, using them to cover up things we don't want anyone to notice.  Bags under your eyes?  Own 'em.  A zit or three?  Own 'em.  I've never known a person who has never, ever had a little acne but if so, let them throw the first stone...or tube of acne cream.  I know.  I get it.  It's SO tempting to just grab an app to erase that zit that just popped up or to smooth my splotchy skin.  Even I'll admit that.  But why?  Because that's just not me so why would I lie and make people think it is?

I'm not meaning to come down on anyone who has ever used any of these things so I apologize if I sound judgmental.  I'm speaking as much to myself as all of you and I'm speaking for the sake of my daughters.  It's hard.  It's real hard.  But it's happier on the 'true me' side...the grass grows green without chemicals.  Perfection is not what society thinks it is - we've gone very wrong in that notion.  It's who you really and truly are before the masks and surgeries.  It's a big pill to swallow, I know. 

Usually I like cutting my head off selfies for the blog just because it's too hard to come up with a face of some sort and smiling is just too posed but for all intents and purposes of today's post, I kept my head on and my face make-up less so you could see the real me. 
 My hair looked pretty good this day but I promise you I didn't fix it for the picture - I was going on day three of it being unwashed and still curled from the day before.  If you want an even more natural look, picture wavy curls hanging in my face because that's just where they like to jam.

This is 100% me...no photoshopping (which, for the record, I never use to alter any part of myself...ever), no smoothing, no nothing.
If you get closer you can almost gaze into my tired eyes.

And even closer in you can see where Sebastian drew blood with a scratch to the upper lip three mornings ago, not to mention my splotchy face and those apparent wrinkles around my 30-some year old eyes.

It's all good though because really, I don't care what you think and you probably don't even care either way so it's funny that we think other people care and then go to sometimes great lengths to keep up good opinions that were probably the same at the point we started.  It's maddening, isn't it?  My body isn't yours and yours isn't mine so why would we compare?  My nose isn't Adele's seemingly perfect nose and hers isn't mine.  My butt isn't J. Lo's and hers isn't mine.  So who's telling me the two should be one and the same?  Ha!  Silly, isn't it?

So, let's stop the lies.  Please, for the sake of our daughters.  Let's stop hiding our so-called imperfections.  Let's stop using photoshop to add or delete and push for the fashion industry to do so too.  Let's stop using filters and smoothing and altering apps to cover up and change what we don't want anyone to know is there (I'm talking to you John Mayer...that face ain't that smooth).  Let's stop putting ourselves into boxes - too skinny, too fat, butt's too big, butt's too small - and focus on being our healthiest selves; different from every other woman on Earth.  You are beautiful.  So beautiful.  Beauty is not what's on the cover of Vogue unless you're just as gullible to believe that Barbie herself, in all her *ahem* humanity, is beautiful.  Beauty is what God created you to look like.  Let's not hide that.  I know a girl that got a nose job to make her nose more slender and it is post-surgery, but what it isn't anymore is the exact, beautiful nose her dad had, her dad who died in a car accident when she was young.  How incredibly sad.

 You. Are. Beautiful.

Don't let anyone, anyone, make you think differently, not even you.

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Happy New Year!

I'm not big on making New Year's resolutions.  As a matter of fact, I think I've made one maybe three times in my life.  Why?  Well, why start tomorrow what you can start today?  I get that it's a new year and so maybe that chunk of time can be well spent on improving some area of your life and I think that's great!  Maybe I just don't have my stuff together enough after the holidays to come up with a resolution.  Or maybe it has everything to do with the fact that, in my childhood, I used to make birthday resolutions.  Haha!  I was so weird.  They were basically the same thing as a New Year's resolution except I'd start them on my birthday.  The thing about them though is that I'd think of these things that I wanted to change in my life and I'd think of them in July or November or months before my February birthday but I'd tell myself the change wouldn't take effect until next February 18th.  Procrastinating my better person.  Yep, that was me.

I know.  Cue the well deserved "ha"s followed by the eye roll.

But, I've learned from those silly days and tell myself now that if I want or need something to change in my life, I'm going to start tomorrow.  "Tomorrow, tomorrow, I'll love ya, tomorrow, is only a day away!"

We just finished watching "Annie" and the girls loved it so you can't blame me.

Aaaanyway, what I stopped in for today was to one, wish you all a Happy New Year!  I'm not going to do a whole recap of 2015 because, even though it sounds fun to rehash what I got done (and the hundreds of projects I didn't get done), I'd rather a fresh start with a little re-introducion.  )If you want a recap, scroll down the side bar just a tad and you'll see the archive.  Lots of fun to be had there, I tell ya.)  ;)

I write mostly about projects and tutorials but I don't write about myself or hash out thoughts very often mostly because I don't have the time to do both and on the fun meter, projects always win.  However, the funny thing is that most of the posts in my drafts folder are heart-to-hearts - posts written after a thought-provoking moment that I just never finished hashing out.  Maybe I should make a resolution to finish those...  

Not today though because I grabbed a random little questionnaire that I found somewhere in the depths of the internet to unload on you.  My hope is for you to get to know who I am a little more (you can read this post too) and for me to get to know you a little more too!  I'd love if you introduced yourself to me in the comments!  Answer all the following questions for yourself or just give me a quick paragraph.  Or, if you're a blogger yourself, do the same!  Either way, I'd love to see who exactly is out there because as much as I can tell myself "I blog like no one's reading", I do that but I also know I have some pretty sweet people reading.  :)  

Let's begin shall we (throat clear)?

This, is me:
Sheena Tobin - oldest of five, love to Anthony, and devoted servant to Seraphia, Cecilia, and Sebastian.

A-train and I are currently expecting our fourth little bundle of crazy...

...and I'm a thinker.  Like my brain never stops.  I'm always seeing things and getting ideas and scheming how to do something with not a lot of money.  This is probably what I look like most of the time:

I decided to start blogging to have something to do while Anthony had his head in his books while studying for his masters'.

Since then though, it's become so much more than just a tool to beat boredom.  Like I said above, I like doing and making things with just a little bit of change.  We're on a really tight budget but I have a desire for a really pretty house and wardrobe and the two don't really mix...unless I can make myself there.  I know there are other people in the same boat and I also know that as a country, we could afford to spend a lot less on things and a lot more on people, so here I am, showing a few ways we can do that.  The more you read my blog, the more you'll realize what my idea of "affordable" is.  Affordable has zero to do with West Elm or Pottery Barn or even full-priced Target to me even though I love all of those places.  Affordable is concocting a kid's room for under $100 or making over a kitchen for $1100...or maybe that's just plain cheap but to me, the two go hand-in-hand.  Affordable has lots do with being patient.  It's finding something you really want and then gathering the patience to wait until you can save up for it or it goes on sale or you find it secondhand or until an idea pops up in which you can make it for a big fraction of the price.  I could write a whole post about what else I think affordable is and why everyone could embrace it but before I jump down that rabbit hole, it's onto that questionnaire...    

If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?  Ugh, parties.  I love them but I am definitely not a planner of them which is why you'll never see a party post on this here blog (I recommend Kathryn for that!)  I like simple.  I'd rather plan my next household revamp than plan any sort of party.  However, I'll admit it has been sort of fun in the past to plan low-key birthday parties for the kids - trying to see how much I can get for not a lot of money...no surprise there.

If you could paint a picture of any scenery you've seen before, what would you paint?  Really, I shouldn't be painting anything but abstract because no Picasso am I.

If you could choose to stay at a certain age forever, what age would that be?  Hmm...maybe if I was 120 I could better answer that one but right now there's a possibility that I have more than half of my life left so who knows what age will be the best, right?

If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?  Gosh, that question makes my mind go bonkers.  I guess if I had to choose, it'd be our master bedroom, specifically, whipping up that upholstered headboard that's been on the assembly line for too, too long.  

If you were immortal for a day, what would you do?  I'd take a huge flashlight (like huge) and go trolling around the bottom of the ocean for all sorts of treasure.

If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?  Had to?  I've actually come to love my name (I wasn't a fan of it growing up) so that would be hard for me.  If you would've asked me this question when I was 10 I would've told you either Nicole or Valerie.  Now though?  Probably Fiona.  It's my favorite girl name that probably won't ever make it down to one of our kids because it screams "Shrek" to Anthony; not cute, sweet baby girl.  :(

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you  meet?  Jesus.  Duh.

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?  Obliterate our mortgage...right before I bombed our student loans.

When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?  Free-time?  What's that?

What's the hardest thing you've ever done?  Raised newborn twins.  Phew!

What was the last experience that made you a stronger person?  Raising newborn twins.

What is the best party you've ever been to?  Raising newborn...kidding.  That's a party of a whole different sort.

What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?  Anything I wasn't supposed to be doing that involved my youngest sister or that she found out about.  I love her now but back then?  Well, we won't rehash the past but let's just say she was that little bird always leaked info to my mom.  Info about driving home from school with my knees, doing cookies in a cornfield with my then-boyfriend in his truck, stuffing all of my clothes under my dressers when my mom told me I had to clean my room before I went to a friend's house, etc, etc, etc.......................... 

What do you miss most about being a kid?  Definitely not anything involved the above question.  It has to be living on the farm.  The (usually) carefree life and great outdoors.

The best part of waking up is?  That first, warm, sip of creamer with a side of coffee.

Old house or new house?  Old.

Heels or flats?  Flats or semi-low heels.  I know maybe this sounds ridiculous to some but I've got really long legs that look way too long with high heels.  We're talking like stilts.  Three inches is about as high as I'll go and even that height makes me self-conscious.

Favorite food?  Ice cream...and don't even tell me it's not a food, it's a dessert because it goes down the trap just like everything else.  So, it's a food.

Favorite color?  Green.

Best gift I've ever received?  Anthony.  He's the gift that just keeps on giving.  

There.  You can now claim to know me.  I have a real fear of coming off as fake and so I try to be as real and true-to-myself on here as possible.  I won't ever share something I don't like or don't know enough about just for the sake of a sponsored post or to get paid.  I feel like the blogosphere has become increasingly infiltrated with advertising and I don't ever want to become that here.  I want to share things I really love with you, things I pay good money for, things you might like too because they have a really good track record over here.  I want you to be able to trust every opinion I state and not wonder if I'd really buy that if it wasn't given to me or if I am not just saying I like it under the pressure of a good product review.  Maybe, and probably, this all means that I won't ever make big bucks off my blog but that's okay with me.  I write for the sake of sharing and teaching and that's it.  No ulterior motives here.

Thank you for reading.  Truly.  I'm so thankful to have this outlet and it's been a great source of therapy for me as I go through this stage in my life when all I hear most my days are toddler talk.  I love this stage but it does feel great to be able to contribute to the world in a 'more adult' way sometimes.  :)

I hope you all have a great upcoming weekend and I look forward to finding out more about you!