39 Hours

That’s about how many hours we spent on the road last week visiting my family in Nebraska.  It’s also the number of hours the twins spent getting to know their car seats.  It was spring break so we decided to take the opportunity to make our way up for Easter, to introduce everyone to the twins, and then to attend my cousin’s wedding last weekend.  We made the trip from Alabama to Nebraska (and vice-versa) overnight, hoping the girls would sleep through most of the drive.  Lucky for us, they did.

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On the way up, we stopped by my best friend’s house in St. Louis for breakfast before banking the last six hours.  The way back took us four hours longer than the way there due to more stopping to ease sore baby bottoms.  If I were to write up a “How to Survive a 16+ Hour Car Trip with 9-Month Old Twins”, it would include 1) a portable DVD player, played in 15 minute increments for maximum attention grabbing, 2) one parental unit sandwiched in-between babes in the backseat at most times, 3) overnight travel, 4) lots of annoying noise-making toys within tots’ reach at all times, and 5) just enough 5-10 minute stops to add a few hours to your already long drive.  And, if you were wondering (which you probably weren’t), we didn’t stop for feeding which means I got lots of practice in body contortion and hunching over strapped-in infants.  Lucky for me, I was smart enough to use my nursing cover to shield passers-by from feeding sessions.  I was under the impression during the drive to see my sister last year that our windows were tinted so I went about my merry way and nursed the girls while my other sister drove.  I found out months later that they are in fact NOT.  so. embarrassing.  I’m still praying I don’t find fame on YouTube because of it.  Aaanyway… 

Sunday circa 2:30 pm:
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So now that we’re home (but definitely not unpacked yet), it’s back to the regular blogging schedule starting tomorrow with a post all about Buzz Lightyear…ooor maybe just his infamous “To Infinity and Beyond!”  Hope to see you then!

Easter 2013

While I’m puttin’ back loads of leftovers and lots of cheesecake (on my seventh piece in four days), here’s some Easter pictures for you all to munch on.  I’m usually not a huge fan of photo dumps so I apologize to those of you who are bored out of your mind and I won’t hold it against you if you skip out.  I’m also not sure what the internet access situation will be this Saturday so I can’t promise a post but h0pefully this’ll hold you over until I can get some diy up.  I’ve got four completed projects – two cardigan makeovers, an easy diy infinity scarf, and a diy polka-dotted shirt – ready to be put into words and out onto the web with a click of a button so stay tuned next week.  It’s gonna be good, I promise.  :)

Until then, gaze upon the cutest grandparents ever:
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Last but not least, a sneak peak of one of those new cardigans the scissors, sewing machine, and I cranked out last week:
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See you next week!

Thrifty McThriftster

I had high hopes for this post but they all came crashing down when all of the dumbphone pictures I took on my quick 20 minute  thrift store run (without twins in tow) were accidentally erased while being transferred to my comp…  Needless to say I’m ANXIOUSLY awaiting April 8th, when our current cell phone contract ends and we can move over to a better deal and for me, a new SMARTphone.  Yip to the yee!

Anyway, Mary over at With My Sisters is having a great link-up where all you have to do is write up your best thrifting tip and share your wisdom with the web at large.  My plan was to hit up a thrift store (check), take pictures of home decor and clothing items I spied that were great deals (check), and show them to you all with notes on what you could do to each to make it even better (foiled).

So, in lieu of my thrifting experience by way of poor quality pictures gone missing, I give you some words to thrift by:

1.  What Mary said.  If it doesn’t “wow” you 100% in the thrift store, it’s going to “wow” you even less when you try it on or set it in your own space.  Then you’re plum outta luck because most thrift stores have a no-returns policy.

2.  Learn to sew!  It opens up a WHOLE NEW WORLD of possibilities and options…seriously!

3.  Be creative.  Snatch up a few boy’s belt to wear as waist belts.  Love the shoes but want to spice them up?  Take some spray paint to them!  Love the fit but not the color?  Dye it!  Wish it wasn’t so plain?  Add some studs, ribbon, leather pieces, rhinestones, etc…  As far as home decor goes, think outside the box.  Used, clean throw pillows can serve as inserts for new covers.  Fluffy comforters can be padding under fabric for headboards and cushions for whatever might need a soft place to land.  Curtains can be made from sheets, duvet covers, tablecloths, and vice-versa.  Old lamp shades can be reupholstered and set on a lamp base or attached to a ceiling fixture for a modern update.  Old coffee tables can be turned into new ottomans or benches.  Entertainment centers can be turned into storage meccas.  Chairs can be painted and their seats reupholstered.  I could go on and on.  And always my main mantra stands - spray paint can make anything new – baskets, wooden plaques, picture frames, lamps, ceramic animals, figurines, vases, desks, shelves dot dot dot 

4.  Pretend you’re not in a thrift store.  I can tend to see something that I would love if I saw it in say, Target or in a Pottery Barn catalogue, but since it’s in a thrift store it’s really not that great.  For example, I found this set of 12 green, quality drinking glasses shaped like pineapples and they totally looked like they came straight from Anthropologie.   If we didn’t already own too many glasses, they’d have been mine.  But, with a “thrift store” mindset, I might’ve passed them off as old, used glasses someone didn’t want so why should I.   However, the other extreme is also true - you see something you might use and since it’s only $1, you buy it, even though you wouldn’t even give it a second glance in a department store.

I did walk away from my quick thrift excursion with a few things.  I’ve been itching for some printed cardigans but my usual haunts, clearance racks, are turning up short.  Lucky for me, I found a couple of sweaters and one XXL cardigan (total spent: $9) I’m planning on transforming into cardigans made for mwah:
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I’ve already taken a scissors and machine to this one:
You’ll have to stay tuned for that tutorial.  :)

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Happy thrifting everyone!  Remember, “One (wo)man’s trash is another (wo)man’s treasure”! 

P.S.  I’m spending Holy Saturday with family and the dude in the tomb so I won’t be posting but I’ll be back next week (with a possible WIWS appearance Sunday) with more of the same DIY stunts I’m liable for!  Happy Easter in advance!

WIWS – Clash of the Fathers

So I wasn’t going to post what I wore today because we weren’t home and weren’t on our usual Sunday schedule so I didn’t get a picture of the threads.  On top of that, we hit up our high school’s (ours as in the one associated with Anthony’s youth group) campus ministry retreat Mass, which I wasn’t planning on going to but then did, but didn’t really have Mass-appropriate clothes to wear to it but wore what I had anyway…yadda, yadda, yadda.  Whatever, right?  Right.  No big deal/bigger deal made by me.  So, no Mass attire still-shot to share with the web.  But then I remembered that our fave padre with the white collar  instagrammed a little shot of our fam + him (he’s the Godfather of Cecilia so it was a little “Godfamily” portrait) and so I stole it

653f069c949f11e2ad5622000a1f98e5_7 Don’t mind my humidity-struck mane, the blinding sunshine over-working our eyelids, or my sloppy, stretched-out tee (thank you week 33).  Do mind the fact that my outfit is a perfect clash between Anthony’s and Fr. Dan’s…totally not planned.  Now that’s a family portrait done right!  :)

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Annnyway, I just got back from the Mass I was planning to go to (I won’t let you think I’m that holy though – I had to sing) and my left arm skin is slowly being ripped off by a twin who needs her nails cut (I swear I just cut them!) and my right is cradling her passed-out elder so I’m going to skidaddle.  But not before I link my red and gray up with Fine Linen and Purple!  Head on over and see “What I Wore Sunday” done right!

Happy Palm Sunday everyone!!

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Sorry, one more thought before I click “Publish”.  Don’t you always feel like a jerk on Palm Sunday while reading your part - “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” – in the missalette?  I do.  Big jerk.  Sad thing is, we (I) do it everyday.  Nothing like that to strike a chord in my heart.  Thank God Easter is next weekend!  I’ll be needing a big pick-me-up after this sad week!

Painted Glass

Our first order of hanging-business in the twins room was getting the big painted window pane up.  A friend gave it to us for the nursery and so we couldn’t wait to get it up.  I even had the perfect spot…

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…and then the stud-finder shattered my decor dreams by telling me there wasn’t a stud dead center in the middle of the far wall.  Ever had that happen to you?  You want to hang something heavy somewhere, you go to find a stud, and the only one is like a foot to either side?  It’s one of my decorating pet peaves.  Either way, my two options were 1) rip out the wall and put a new stud where I wanted it or 2) improvise.  After pleading my option #1 case to the handy man around here, I took my shut-down to option #2.  I know what some of you are thinking, “Why didn’t you just use a heavy-duty dry-wall anchor?”.  If you came over and lifted this thing, you’d know why.  It’s a beast!  To be honest, we probably could’ve gotten away with a super-super-super duty anchor but I wasn’t taking any chances.  The last thing I want is a glass angel crashing into me while I’m rocking away. 

So, back to option two – improvising.  That’s exactly what we did when we added these Target shelves I found for $3 (at Dirt Cheap) to the left side of the painted window last weekend:nursery32013 004 
To accessorize them I just used things we had laying around – a St. Philomena statue (love that girl), a candle from my sis, a piece of fabric I cut out from a tablecloth, metal l-o-v-e letters I found at Goodwill for a few cents a long time ago, a candle votive and vase from my mom, a tissue paper pouf (good tutorial here) made for my baby shower by my friend Jenn, and a jazzed-up Dollar Store frame showcasing some homemade, 10-minute art.

Today you’re gonna get to know the art and how that all went down.  You see, when we put these shelves up last weekend, I needed an easy way to fill the frame so I simply place a few sheets of tissue paper inside and then painted the girls’ initials onto the front of the glass with the same gold paint I used on the mirror over their bed and the corners of the frame, which I’ll get to later.  I got the idea from it’s side-kick, the angel painted on window, and thought it’d complement her by copying.  Not to mention that down here in the South, monogramming is the bees knees so I figured I’d semi-cave to that trend.  At least everyone knows now that “s & c” live here, right?

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But, I wasn’t in love with the way the initials turned out – I meant to make them smaller – but this was a late night project and I wasn’t in the mood to re-do them.  So, the next day I snapped some pictures for the Fresh Coat of Paint feature and went on my merry way.

A couple of days passed and, perfectionist being my middle name, I had to do something about my frame art.  Since I had just painted right over the glass, removing the initials was as easy as spraying some glass cleaner and sliding the paint right off with a razor.    frameart 003

This time around, instead of trusting my free-hand again, I went to work on Word where I simply typed up the girls’ names (free font:  Porcelain), printed it out…

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…cut out each word, and taped them underneath the frame glass to be painted over like so:frameart 005 

Then I got out a smallish paint brush and started painting right over the letters.frameart 006

Ten minutes later it was done and up.frameart 009

And, once again, I wasn’t satisfied.  "Seraphia” was a tad crooked and the whole thing a tiny bit off-center, and all-in-all a little fancier than I thought it’d be.  So, a glutton for painting, out came the glass cleaner and razor for another go at it and off I went to Word, where I created these two new designs:


After  much debate (inside my own head of course), I ended up going with…frameart 010 
…option #1 (free font:  Matilde except for the ampersand which I randomly picked).  I painted it on the same way I painted the previous design, but instead of cutting each word out, I stuck the whole document behind the frame to make sure everything would be nice and straight.  So easy and just imagine the options.  You could print just about anything, paint over it, and have some great looking art…and then you could get out the glass cleaner and do it all over again, and again, and again…fun, fun, fun.

And that’s that…but wait!  The frame.  I could’ve sworn I took pictures of how I painted the corners of my $1 frame, but alas, they are not to be found.  Either I hid them from myself or I’m just losing my mind.  Probably the latter.  But, in case you’re interested in knowing, all I did was lay pieces of tape a couple of inches from each end, painted within the taped areas, and removed the tape (while the paint was still wet to reduce peeling).  I whipped up a little diddy in pixlr.com for ya below to further explain:frameart 005tape
The blue lines represent where I taped.  It was a super-easy way to dress up a frame and I love how it turned out.  I’m thinking I might have to do the same elsewhere in our abode.  Maybe a whole gallery wall?  Who knows. 

Anyway, that’s the story on the shelves and their contents.  My nervous twitch cause by the off-center angel is now settled and it’s on to the next (and final) wall of the nursery – the one over the dresser.  It’ll have a frame collage with a side of unconventional art.  Stay tuned to see how that turns out!

Until then though, I’m off to brush my teeth, put some real clothes on, tame my hair, etc… (the stuff I should’ve done before I sat down to blog… lucky for you, we’re separated by a whole world of web) before the twins wake up from nap numero uno. 

Have a great weekend y’all!!!!

P.S.  I’m back (still have to do the aforementioned things) to tell you that you have to check out my Godchild, you simply have to.  If you need a smile, you’ll find one, an ab work-out/laugh, you’ll get it, fashion ideas, you’ll get them, a sense of care-free living, you’ll get that too.  GoI promise you won’t be disappointed!!!!!!!!!!!!  (Just one more.)  :)