Merry Christmas!

Before I begin to pratter - Merry, Merry Christmas to you!!!  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas day filled with lots of family/friends, love, and Jesus!

Now then - We found ourselves at M & A Studios a few weeks ago for a family photo, finally, finally using a gift certificate we were generously given in Christmas of 2012.  (I know, our punctuality game is strong with a capital S.)  The certificate was for a studio session and some prints of the product after and, I’ll be honest, I prepared myself for the worst.  When I think of in-studio photography sessions, my mind brings me back to 1990…  12507581_10102257467084833_2552623346999014867_n…when sponge-painted backgrounds married with my mom’s infatuation with hair spray plus lotsa back-combing were a thing of desire.  I’ll let you guess which electric shock victim was me.  And then let’s all take a moment of silence to thank the Lord that that madness is passed us.

Back to our session though, I was very pleasantly surprised when the photographer worked his magic and kept 1990 in the twentieth century.IMG_2194
As you can tell, I even added a few flakes and glitter here and there and sequentially had our Christmas cards printed and sent out.  So, consider yourself a virtual recipient!  If stamps weren’t killer when it comes to snail mail these days, I’d have sent out a hundred more to you, and you, and you too!

More importantly though…

Happy second day of Christmas!  We are fighting colds and fevers after a wonderful Christmas Day which is all so fun but leaves me wishing for the turtle doves instead.  I hope you are all faring much better and enjoying this wonderful season.

Thanks be to God for sending His Son to save us from ourselves!  The Christ is born!  Hallelujah!   

Gold-Dipped Dresser

Holy moly!  I’m about to type up what was a whole month of work – an hour here, two seconds there, half hour here – in one post.  I’m not sure if it feels like I’m cheating or just not giving this project justice but either way…

Remember this dresser?
feb82012011_thumb1Well, that’s how it looked when we first got it.

Set inside the twins’ nursery, I gave it a two-toned look and some new, spray-painted hardware:
hardware 021_thumb[1]And now, I look back on that two-tone decision and I think “what the heck was I thinking?”  The french provencial style of the dresser married to a more modern, two-tone look probably wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had.  I mean, it didn’t look awful but it definitely wasn’t as pretty as I thought it was at the time.  It’s funny how your perceptions change, isn’t it?

Well anyway, it doesn’t look like that anymore.  I spent the last month turning it into this:IMG_8464
I was inspired by a picture of this gold-dipped dresser I saw on Pinterest (pin’s link is broken) months ago and vowed to dip this one someday and that someday, or should I say somedayS, finally came around.

The Baby Excuse

Oh my sweet readers, I promise I have not been avoiding you!  A three week break was not in the plans!  Haha!  The past three weeks have been abnormally busy over here!  Not that a single one of you noticed…and I don’t blame you because there is life outside of reading blogs!  We’ve been trying to finish half-done projects, clean the house, and keep kids alive and thriving and Anthony has been uber busy wrapping up this semester of grad work.  He finished writing his final paper last night so he’s done for a month and just him being finished with school work (especially with the hours and hours he’s put in this past week) feels akin to getting him home from a month-long trip!  We were laughing this morning about how maybe we could watch a movie tonight because we’ll have nothing to do!  :D  And maybe we can start planning our little kitchen wall removal project or finally get that little wall out of the kids bathroom and tile the floors.  Or maybe we’ll bawk all these big plans we’ve got and then just end up lounging around.  OR, we could finally get our Christmas tree up!  That might be a top priority considering the season.  ;)

Anyway, freedom is marvelous.  Well, semi-freedom.  The one thing that’s been majorly holding me back from blogging during the past three weeks is this little something:who meYes darling, you.  The one who has been keeping my beauty sleep nice and segmented thoughout each and every night.  The little reason why my brain and every thought, written and spoken, seems to be so discombobulated that I regret it coming out.  Seriously, I read posts from the past few months and I wish I had time to back and re-edit, rewrite, or just toss out.  ;)   

However, I’m NOT complaining.  I love this sweet little monster with all of my heart and I’ll glady do it for a few more months and maybe longer if she keeps up the cheeky smiles. 

On a more productive note, having this one attached to me at most times of the day does make it easy to get those monthly pictures done.

Her first month had me thinking, “Hey, I think I can do this whole four-kid thing!”

I forgot that all that infant sleepiness doesn’t last, even though it kept on through…
2 months (8)maybe because her newfound sainthood by Baptism made her a saintly sleeper? 

But then it puttered to a stop in the midst of the third.
3 months (47)
I also forgot about the four months sleep regression – all that newfound alertness during the day, taking in allll the surroundings, making nighttime the time when I need to catch up on all those calories I exerted during the day looking at ceiling fans and picture frames on walls, and those little creatures prancing around and prodding me and saying things like “HEYYYYY BABY SISTER!!!!!”.
4 months (4)
And then at… 5 months (13)everything around here is still so exciting so she’s still eating, eating, eating what seems like a thousand times per night and just when it seems like maybe she’s getting the hint that we eat during the day, sleep during the night, two little white things start making their way up the bottom gumline and any hope of sleepy nights is dashed until they finally make their debut and those aches go away (for now) and we’re getting closer to full REM cycles at…
6 months (2)
Closer being the key word because Lord knows we ain’t there yet, any and all of my yawns will tell you that.  ;)

Anywho, I started writing this post while the babe above was soundly sleeping and now she’s up gnawing on the remote on the floor, Seraphia is ten feet away begging me (for the hundreth time) to once again put the diaper on her baby doll (she plays this fun game of mom-puts-it-on-and-immediately-baby-poops), and the other two, our most devious, are being way too quite in the other room which has me thinking maybe I should check on them…or maybe I don’t want to find out.  It’s like they’re all trying to prove some point to me, the mom blogger, that I really can’t write well and mother.  Fragmented thoughts be mine, I guess.  ;)

But really I should skidaddle before too much slobber finds its home in the clicker SO…

if you’ll excuse me, I have a baby to tend to…and a toddler…and two more kids after that. 

Hardware Swap

Sometimes I get this wild hair to do something and I have to do it rightthisminute.  Those wild hairs have really been rare since having kids but last week told a different story.  After seeing John and Sherry’s amazing kitchen renovation, we needed new hardware on our kitchen cabinets….okay, wanted…wanted knew hardware.  I loved how they placed knobs on their upper cabinets and coordinating handles on their lower and our kitchen was begging for it.

So, last week I plucked that wild hair and replaced all of our hardware with new, more modern handles on the bottom cabinets and coordinating knobs on the top.

Our old pulls weren’t bad and truth be told, they were actually pretty nice as seen in these old pictures:
jan202012 003
But, they were definitely a little more traditional than the new bar pulls I bought and I thought adding modern pulls would make our refurbished kitchen look a little more modern; not like the old kitchen it is that we set new appliances in and painted cabinets to make it look new.

Old on the left; new on the right:

Replacing the lower cabinet hardware was easy peasy.  All I had to do was remove the old and install the new in the same holes.  The uppers were a different story.  I had to remove the old pulls, fill in the holes they left behind, drill new knob holes, and then screw in the new knobs.  On top of all that though, I figured it was high time I touched up the paint on our cabinets.  After almost five years, there were a few places where the paint was chipped just from normal, everyday use.  It was a simple fix though.  I just washed down all of the cabinets (something that also needed to be done) and used a small artists’ paint brush and leftover paint to paint right over those small chips. 

Once everything was painted, I got to work filling and drilling for the knobs.  To fill the holes in, I used Bondo (purchased on Amazon because it was cheaper there than at Lowe’s) after seeing Chelsea use it to repair her dining chairs.  The stuff is great and perfect if you’re like me and want immediate results.  It dries super quick!  I filled the holes, sanded them down, and had them covered in paint in under a half hour.  The one thing I didn’t do though was pay attention to detail.  I replaced all of the hardware in sections over four days time and everytime I had a chance to get to work, it was a small chunk of time while the kids were playing or Gianna was taking a cat nap.  So, I rushed and I shouldn’t have because there are places where I didn’t spend enough time sanding the Bondo so that it was completely flush with the door and other places where I should’ve went back and added more, like on this door:
IMG_8436Can you see those two small indentations right where the old pulls were installed?  *sigh*  Lesson learned:  Don’t rush through a project.  I’ll probably go back over and sand or re-fill the next time our cabinets need a touch-up and thanfully, the imperfections aren’t all that noticeable but the fact remains, they are there and I shouldn’t have rushed.  My OCD self will suffer everytime she sees them…

Anyway, lets get to the best part of this little project.  It will end up costing me a few bucks or even be FREE!  How?  Well, because we’re going to sell the old hardware for what we paid for the new – just under $25 for 23 pieces.  The old hardware is still sold at our local Lowe’s for $3 a pop and we bought the new at a fantastic price from the same place I bought the hardware for the kids’ play kitcheneBay!  The knobs cost us 99 cents a piece and the pulls were $1.39 a piece – a fraction of what you’ll find them at in your local hardware store.  And, we can attest to their quality.  They’re heavy, brushed metal pieces of hardware that I’m sure will last just as long as the ones in-store. 

If you have a hankering to replace hardware (or if you didn’t before, maybe you do now!), we highly recommend these! 

Maybe it’s just me enjoying the change, but it kind of amazing how much of a difference hardware can make in a space.  We have original-to-the-house, ugly pulls on our master bath cabinets and I can’t wait to swap those out for these too.  Of course there’s a whole laundry list of updates we want to do in there eventually so you’ll have to stay tuned for those.  ;)

On another note relating to bathroom hardware, do you think it should match what’s in your kitchen?  I’ve seen lots of HGTV remodels where they install the same throughout the house.  Or is it better that it just coordinates?  Or maybe it doesn’t really matter at all and they can all be different and as long as they go with the rest of the decor in that particular room.  What say you fine readers?  I’m kind of asking because we were thinking of grabbing matching pulls for our bathroom, but in brass since a lot of the fixtures might be heading down the brass route.  Should we stick with the same or go different?  Of course this will all be happening months from now but it’s never too early to get a head start with plans, right?  :)


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P.S.  I’m sorry this isn’t more of a tutorial!  We’ve been slowly tackling a lot of boring things around here like hemming Anthony’s pants, fixing broken toys and books, and doing an entire house purge so I didn’t have a lot of time to document this whole process while it was happening.  Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll be sure to answer them!

*affiliate links included in post*

Painted Sneaks

Whew!  What a week, huh guys?  I’ve been staying away from social media and focusing all my nervous energy on doing things like swapping out our kitchen cabinet pulls with knobs, a very spontaneous decision, and letting the girls paint their new kicks. 

They both started complaining last week, while wearing their old sneakers, that their feet hurt.  Maybe it was because, when I checked out the situation, their toes were stuffed into their now-too-small sneaks and needed a tad more space.  (Seriously?  Didn’t I just buy those yesterday?!)  So, to Walmart we went where we grabbed the same sneakers as the ones they had that had lasted us several months.  You can’t beat the price at $5.67 each and really, they hold up so well!  I really loved these tennies too but they didn’t have them in the girls size at the store and I didn’t feel like waiting for them to be shipped so we went another route – plain white with a project in mind.

I had to push my fear of messes aside to set out all of my (very permanent) paints so that the girls could get their customization on.

First, I removed all of the shoelaces.
IMG_1710(And speaking of the shoelaces, the girls don’t know how to tie their laces yet so I’m thinking about grabbing some of these laces!  They look so cool and would make getting out the door without having to bend over (twice) so much easier!)

Then I stuffed the insides of the shoes with plastic bags so that paint didn’t get inside and also because they kept the sides from collapsing in while the girls painted.
I wrote in this instagram that I let the girls “go to town” on their new shoes and maybe that was a little misleading because I didn’t just hand over the paint and walk away.  I did a little bit of what’s called micro-managing.  :)  Gianna and Sebastian were both sawing logs so I had two free hands to help, clean-up, whatever.  Part of that micro-mamaging was only letting them do one color at a time.  They wanted “rainbow” shoes and we’re still working on the concept of color-combining.  They have a hard time understanding how you get brown when you mix ALL the colors instead of rainbow… 

I asked them to try not to get paint on the rubber soles.  I knew that the paint would end up peeling off of the rubber and so I just figured we could skip that part.  They did pretty good staying off the rubber and the little bits that they did paint, I could scratch right off.

I also told them that they could paint them however they wanted – stripes, polka dots, zebra, whatever.  And I told them that they could paint them differently than their sister was.  Haha!  They tend to start coloring differently and then, once they see how their sister is handling the crayon, they do the same.  I wanted their shoes to be totally different 1) because I was interested to see what each’s idea of painted shoes looked like and 2) so I could tell whose was whose without asking (even though I did mark their initials on the bottom soles just to be safe…not that they can’t share shoes but more so they won’t forget which they painted and fight over them Surprised smile).


I thought about grabbing some NeverWet to spray them with so they’d stay cleaner longer but I haven’t had a chance to grab some.  By the time I do, their little feet will probably be begging for the next size up and since this paint-fest went so well, we might have to repeat it later.


Next time, maybe I’ll grab a pair of my own and join in!  Anybody else?  :)

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*affiliate links included in post*

painted toddler sneakers