Friday, August 29, 2014

New Couches, New Faucet | Reno Updates!

Well this post is LONG overdue! I feel like I have so much to share! It seems that we have been plugging away little by little with this renovation. I think we might be seeing a light at the end of the tunnel now though. We had a few technical difficulties which I will explain another time. I can't wait to have everything finished!

First things first... this glorious faucet. I can't even tell you how happy I am to have running water in my kitchen again. I have been using a big orange Home Depot bucket to hall it in from the bathtub for a couple of months now and I have never been more thankful for this little luxury of easily accessible water. It is a long story, but basically I picked a sink that was a little big for the area underneath and we had some difficulties with the installation. And, since we were ordering them online (we went through a few), it took a lot of patience while they were in transit. 

But, hallelujah, I have a working faucet! 

So, lets talk about the color I chose. I went with an antique brass. Which makes me either not very cool, or like 85 years old. I know it isn't a trendy or popular finish, but I LOVE it. It is warm and beautiful and vintage looking... and the color is absolute perfection with the warm tones in the granite. I know my favorite colors to decorate with are not the most popular, but what can I say... I am a warm-tones girl livin in a cool-tones world. 

My brother and hubby painted the cabinets during the big reno and... confession... I have yet to paint the primed beadboard to match. I kept going back and forth about the colors in this huge room and decided to spend the whole summer playing outside with my babies, procrastinating (lets be honest, I could have worked it into my free time >slacker< ).

 I think this week might be the week. Fingers crossed. 

So very not perfect, but so very real. See all of those paint samples on the wall. It took me forever to decide. Forever. I wanted a super warm gray and it was very hard to find. I want to go away from the taupe to freshen up the space, and I love how the warm grays pull both the grays and browns from the granite. 

~~~ So this couch! ~~~

I am in love with our new (old) couch. I saw this gorgeous tufted girl on Craigslist and just had to have her. We threw our couches on Craigslist to see if they would even sell and they were sold within minutes. I guess I under priced them. Needless to say, on a whim I went from a set of couches one minute to just this beautiful one the next. Thank goodness for a patient and trusting husband who just gets me. 

I had actually purchased my old couches off of Craigslist too, and they were wonderful for our family. But, I had washed the covers so many times that they were getting a little pink and I had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to make a change at some point. We even went to all of the local furniture stores that day to make sure there wasn't something new that we wanted to buy... but I just kept coming back to this one. I love the shape so much. 

The hard part was finding another couch to coordinate. My plan was to find one that had a similar rolled arm, similar seat height, and was small enough to fit in the area... pattern didn't matter at all because I am going to be making a slipcover for it with big pillows to increase its height to mimic the tufted one. I liked the idea of making their shape coordinate, without having to find something that matched exactly. 

Anyhow, I lucked out when I walked into my favorite thrift store and saw this one sitting right there. It was almost absolutely perfect, and I think it will be gorgeous once I get that slipcover made. My hubbs shampooed the heck out of both couches (the tufted one was already really clean and nice, but the toile one was completely covered in cat hair... no gross smell or staining or anything... just hair).  It is nice and clean and ready to be covered now!

I give you permission to think I am crazy at this point. I know it looks so bad and unfinished! It will all come together, I promise. 

Here a side view of the tufted girl 

We also sold the mirror above the fireplace on Craigslist and I am thinking we will plank the space to match the kitchen cabinet planking {see here}. I am not sure what our plan is past that... but sometimes I guess you just have to fly by the seat of your pants! What would you put up there? 

(Ignore the Duck Dynasty granite... I want to change that out at some point too.)

Can you believe how different everything looks!? I just wanted to share a little bit of our home in-progress. I think sometimes there are a whole lot of magic before-and-afters in blogland, and it is totally not like that around here. Things are imperfect, and sometimes things are pretty scary before they get better! I'm hoping I am not the only one and that some of you lovelies can relate :)

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pictures of My Babies | Summer Thoughts

Our summer has been pretty great. These babies of mine have made it so wonderful. 

I asked my awesome brother in law, Nate {Nathaniel Ray Photography}, to take pictures of them out at my parents' house and I love how they turned out. He is so talented. 

My heart feels so full sometimes looking at their little faces. I am so profoundly grateful for the blessing of being their mom. They both call me mama, and there is nothing that sounds sweeter or makes my heart happier. 

This summer we swam in the kiddie pool more times than I can count, played at the park, jumped on the trampoline, watered our flowers every day, lay in the grass, practiced riding the tricycle, explored the back roads, giggled and laughed and shared secrets.

 Ella's favorite thing to do was work on her garden, She dug and raked and watered, and picked her veggies daily. I love that my girl knows where food comes from.

These 2 sidekicks of mine are so fun. 

I am so very thankful. 
I hope you had a wonderful summer too. xoxo 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Getting More Organized

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Sharpie, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #SharpieClearview

This summer has been wonderful. I have enjoyed spending time with my little ones and I will be posting some really fun pictures tomorrow of a little country photo shoot. As Fall is approaching, I am finding myself a little more stressed. It seems that the old schedule is filling up so quickly that I can hardly keep on top of it all. 

I probably should have titled this post "getting my crap together!" I decided that I really needed, to get more organized~ especially with my planner. I am the kind of person who always has a million things going through my mind, and unless I have a plan, I just get more and more stressed. 

My babies are my top priority and I try to schedule a couple of fun things a week for them. Ella will start preschool in a couple weeks and my schedule will just get more packed. This blog is also something I enjoy and love and am so thankful for, but it is a business that helps to contribute to my family's income. As with any business, it comes with a lot of careful planning and organization.

So I made a plan! I tried out this new little system of mine and it is working pretty well.

Here are my necessities: 
{I had a few things on hand and I picked up a few things while I was at Walgreens}
:: Planner 
::Non bleeding pen
:: Sharpie Clearview Highlighters (to color code)
:: Little sticky pads (I prefer the kind that has stick all over the underside instead of just one edge)
:: Bag to hold exras
:: iPhone (program important reminders)

I always purchase the planners that have the full calendar as well as the weekly calendars, so I can create an overview and then put more details on the weekly pages. I got this planner from Target. I LOVE IT and hope they carry them again next year. It is made by Sugar Paper LA.

I started by writing down brief descriptions of everything I had planned on my monthly overview.

Then I color coded everything using the Sharpie Clearview highlighters
::Pink~ Kids
::Orange~ business (blog)
:: Yellow~ Household and other life responsibilities

My sweet friend Blair gave me the cute Pottery Barn "Be Happy" bag for my birthday. Isn't it adorable?

Once I finished with my monthly overview, I moved on to the weekly. The weekly is where I can add more details, come back and scribble in later, etc. I used the coordinating sticky pad color to make lists, ie. shopping lists, etc. My leftover blue pads I use for personal things for me. 

I am really liking how this is working for me now. And I love that I can quickly glance at my planner and easily see what I am looking for. If I need to find the address to take the kids for a playdate, I just glance at the pink on that date. It makes everything so much clearer, and makes sure nothing gets forgotten. 

Bring it, Fall! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Ella Goes to Preschool | Free Printable

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Del Monte, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #DelMonteBTS

My baby girl goes to preschool this year. Just a couple of weeks a way, in fact. She is beyond excited and I am more than a little bit sad that she is growing up so fast. It seems like every day she learns a little something new, and grows a little taller. I feel like I am going to blink and she will be going away to college. I couldn't be more proud of her zest for life and learning though, and she fills my heart with so much happiness. My sweet Ella girl. 

We went and met with her awesome preschool teacher and got to see her classroom, and she has been begging me every day since to "go to school with my friends." Oh how I love my sweet girl. Her teacher asked that we send a snack with the kids to share for the semester, so I thought this would be a fun opportunity to make a cute little something to send. I will share the printable in case you want to make one too. 

This is super easy to throw together. And I love that it is a healthy no-mess 100% fruit snack that is also great to have on hand to throw in their lunch boxes. 

You will need: 

Printable {HERE}
Basket/ bucket /bowl 
(A fun idea would be to use a tote that the teacher could reuse)

You can get a coupon (I always love a coupon!) for these Del Monte Fruit Squeezers (and a free back to school photo print) at select Walmart Supercenters. Here is what you do: Have a non-copyrighted photo of your kiddos printed at the Walmart Print Shop using their Free Back to School Photo Offer 8/1- 9/13/14. You can even bring in an SD card or upload from your phone while you are in-store. You will receive a 4x6 print with a back to school border which makes it an actual 5x7. When you pick up your print, you will receive (in the envelope with your print) a $1 off coupon good toward (2) Del Monte 4-pack Fruit Cups or (2)Fruit Burst Squeezers packages. Not bad considering mine were only $2 a package to begin with!

Free photo, nice coupon... win, win. 

I filled a big, vintage enamelware bowl with the Fruit Squeezers. A couple of extra ideas: You could also attach one or more of the tags to the Squeezer and throw it in your child's lunchbox just to let them know you love them.  You could also leave a handwritten note on the back of the tag if you would like. 

Then, I cut out my tags.

I then just punched a hole and strung my ribbon through the tags and attached them to the bowl, one on top of the other. You can also attach them back to back so they look more like a real flashcard if you prefer. 

A super simple way to love your kiddos on their exciting first day of school. {wiping a tear from my eye} I just know I am going to bawl my eyes out. I am so, so proud of my sweet girl. 

Those of you with school-aged kids, I hope you have a great couple of weeks as you send your kids back! 

Friday, August 15, 2014

3 Freezable Breakfast Bites | Busy Morning Prep!

As school starts and everyone gets back into their routines, I thought I would share my 3 favorite go-to freezable breakfast bites. Cereal can get so old, and my family loves these! I love the convenience of having a bunch in the freezer that I can just pop in the microwave whenever I need them. I always pack them with extra veggies too... usually just whatever I have on hand, but we especially love spinach, mushrooms, peppers and onions. These are really easy to customize for your family's tastes. 

Just click the link below to take you to the recipe: 

I hope you are enjoying the last couple of weeks of summer! I can't believe it is almost Fall! 

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