Sunday, March 29, 2009

Grateful Sunday

Today I am grateful for:
  • After a very long week - my husband looked at me and saw I was on the verge of losing my mind, and said the three words every wife loves to hear (you know the ones, Steph): Let's Go Out!
  • The kitchen window over my sink looks out over my backyard. I don't know how many hours I have logged looking out while I do the dishes and dreamed of what it will someday become! Most other models in our neighborhood (maybe all of them) look out to their neighbors home. I'm grateful for this simple pleasure.
  • I made 3 fabulous dinners the past 4 nights. Maybe the apron is working!
  • A fun snow day! The day after is got us good is was sunny and pleasant outside! By Saturday, we were working in the backyard again, stomping through the mud.
  • March, my least favorite month of the year, is almost over.

Have a great week - I love all your comments and appreciate you stopping by.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm No Baker . . .

but I might be convinced to try if I got to wear this:

I used to like cooking, then I had kids. I enjoyed making food for them, then I had to feed a toddler while I had a baby. I got really good at one handed cooking. Then my husband started commuting from Phoenix to Denver every week, while I was left trying to sell our home. Chicken nuggets and toaster waffles became the norm - easy clean up and the kids loved them. Then we lived in a little apartment with the tiniest kitchen. I used the excuse that all my baking stuff was in storage. Then we moved into our home and I have a big beautiful kitchen. No excuse here. Then I had another baby. Then we found out she was allergic to wheat AND eggs - no more baked goods. Then I figured "what's the use?" Now I call myself a "get the job done" kind of cook. Now, I feel like trying again. I'd love to take a gluten free baking class, but can't find one in my area. My kids have started complaining less and just eating. One of my biggest pet peeves is picky eaters, and my kids are finally getting past that stage! Yeah! OK, so that was a long boring explanation to introduce one of the cutest aprons ever:

I made this apron this week from Sew Liberated. It's called the Emeline Apron, completely reversible and completely cute. I used Amy Butler fabrics, of course.


It inspired me to get out the gluten free flours, the egg replacers and make some banana bread. The kids devoured a loaf and I put another loaf in the freezer - the whole time flitting around the kitchen like Donna Reed. OK - I had a toddler emptying out every cupboard and a hungry boy who ate 3 cups of yogurt while I kept saying "I'm working as fast as I can." But I dreamed that I was flitting.

PS - which burns more calories - a 5 mile run, or an hour and a half at Pump It Up? After last night, I'm not sure!
PPS - See you later - I'm participating in this:



Gotta make sure my "ducks are in a row"!

Monday, March 23, 2009

I'm a Copy Cat

. . . a big one ! That's why I love reading blogs so much. I can never think of anything myself, but if I see an example, though, I'm pretty good at trying to copy them. This weekend, I copied my favorite inspiration - Pottery Barn. I absolutely love PB, but I hardly have anything that actually comes from them. Once you learn to be a copy cat, you can never pay their prices. So . . . I was reading All Things G&D, about her pillow problem. I stared at this picture for awhile:
I love pillows and I love what they do for a room. I know I said I was burnt out on pillows, but apparently this is what I needed to jump start my creative juices. I loved those ivory ones with buttons, but at the site they are $25 for an 18" pillow cover, then you still need the insert.



So, this is my copy:



The fabric is a nice nubby linen, with an awesome texture. I made them 20" square.
I spent $2 on fabric, $5 for a 20" pillow insert and $1.75 for a button- all purchased at JoAnns, either on sale or with coupons. How's that for beating their prices? The pillow cover only cost $3.75! I made 2, and even comtemplating a third - I bought 3 buttons. I think it looks awesome. The fabric matches the drapes I got for our family room! What do you think?
Isn't this button awesome?


It got me going. These are the things we are working on today:

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Grateful Sunday

I don't particularly consider myself a grateful, happy go lucky type of person. That is why I have to force myself to come up with these posts. It would always be so easy to skip them, but usually by the time I am done coming up with my weekly list, I really feel like I am a better person. So . . . . please excuse my selfishness as I use this blog to better myself.

I am grateful for


  • The way M. gasps anytime she sees something she likes.

  • As I sat and listened in church, G. slept on my lap and M. slept on my chest. Although 1:00 is a tough time to start church, I believe there is nothing better than my kids snuggling while they sleep. I had nowhere else to go or do, so I just sat, enjoyed the cuddling, and the chance to just listen.

  • We have 2 daffodils that have opened up - more to come!

  • Multiple park days this week.

Amber at The McIllece Spot passed along an award, and I love getting the comment that says someone left me something on their blog. I get giddy. This is the Sisterhood Award. Thanks Amber.


I'm supposed to pass this award on to bloggers who show great attitude and gratitude. Easy enough -

Kelli from Outside My Kitchen Window

Susan at Runner Mom

Amanda from Imperfectly Beautiful

Have a great week! It's Spring Break - I have so much planning to do to keep these guys from being bored.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hoop-La

Kristi, one of my dearest friends (and my running partner that I always gush about) makes awesome earrings that are oh so stylish. She sells them at several boutiques around here and online. On Sundays, at church, I can probably count an average of at least 10 women wearing her earrings. Why am I telling you this?
Because, she's having a special spring sale for two weeks only! She's marked down a bunch or earrings and is offering free shipping! Perfect for Easter, Mothers Day, or just because they are adorable. Go check them out, and tell her I sent you!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Our Encounter With The Leprechaun

I don't really understand St. Patricks Day. I don't know why we really celebrate it. I don't really get it, but, it is a holiday - so celebrate it, we must. A month ago, while waiting in the lobby for I. to finish her art lessons, I was flipping through a magazine (Family Fun, I believe). G. saw Leprechaun Traps and the idea exploded from there.


Last night, we spent family night making traps. G. kept telling us facts he remembers from the magazine. Leprechauns like shiny things, they don't like to follow rules, they are very tricky. So, both I. and G. tried to make a trap they were certain would work. They taped pennies underneath a sheet of plastic wrap. Then put candy in the bottom of the box. I. put tape, so he would get stuck and be trapped. To top it off, they had to put signs on it, that they knew he wouldn't follow. I. was so certain it would work - she even told us she would be on the TV and in the newspaper because no one has ever caught one before.

Alas, this morning when we awoke, their traps were empty. There was a note and a box of Lucky Charms.



The fun was far from over. I. wrote a nice polite note:



Then she came running out of the toy room - green toys had been gathered and she was absolutely positive she put them away last night.

At lunch time, G. found his plate looking like this, and it kind of made him nervous to think that someone so sneaky might still be in the house:

I. came home telling me that the leprechaun must have packed her lunch today, because she knows I would never pack a lunch that had so many fruits and vegetables in it! It was all green - even her water bottle had green punch in it!

It took many hours to assure G. that we were safe. I overheard him telling his little friends that leprechauns are really sneaky and smart, just like the devil! For dinner, we had broccoli and cheese soup, whole wheat bread sticks, and green jello.

So, that's how we celebrated a holiday I don't even understand. I feel it's my motherly duty. Now I am tired, and am ready to go to bed (5 am is very early and I'm still working out then).

Extra pictures, just because I want to. Look how cute M.'s hair is today (mom, the scab on her forehead is from her scratching so much in her sleep last week when she had her allergic reaction. Poor girl)!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Honestly . . .

I've got to thank Kasey over at All That is Good for this little award. I got the Honest Scrap award, and I can just imagine Tom shaking his head at me getting awarded for my "honesty." He thinks there are times you just don't say things, even if it is honest. Anyways, Kasey hosts Friend Makin' Mondays every Monday and asks the best questions. I've yet to participate, but I do read others.

The requirements are that I have to list 10 things about myself and then pass it on to others. So, here we go (wish me luck) ...




  1. I love hot water, the hotter the better. I won't wash my face, shower if I don't see the steam coming off it. I wash dishes in scalding water and think it feels good.


  2. I'm a huge homebody, so are my kids and my husband. We hardly ever go out to eat, watch movies. We prefer to be at home.


  3. I love neutral colors. I dress in whites, browns, blacks. My house is decorated in neutrals. I have to make goals to wear color, but those goals never stick.


  4. I teach piano lessons, and have done it for at least 10 years - but I don't think I'm a good teacher. I'm not trying to get sympathy, just being honest. I do play piano and taught elementary school, but I never learned how to teach piano. Every time we move, or I have a baby, I tell Tom I'm done teaching. I just can't say no when people ask me.


  5. I used to not like chocolate, until I was pregnant.


  6. I have 3 brothers and 1 sister. My husband has 4 brothers and 2 sisters. They're all married except my youngest brother. We have LOTS of family, yet the closest realtive is still an 8 hour drive away. I'm working very hard to try to convince family to move to Colorado, and I will keep trying. I love everything about Colorado except for the fact that family is far away. I miss them.


  7. I would much more prefer a one on one get together with a girlfriend, than a huge party. I don't like those huge social gatherings. I'm very slow to make friends, but dearly dearly love the friends I have - forever.


  8. I chased my husband and worked very hard to make him "mine." In hindsight, I can't believe I did it. It is SO not my personality to be so agressive, but I'm SO glad I did.
  9. I can't go to sleep without checking every door and making sure my kids closets are closed. I have to sleep with all our bedroom doors open. I get nervous that my kids will need me in the middle of the night and I won't be able to hear them.


  10. This was extremely difficult for me to write.


Now here are my picks for this award...Keep it goin' girls!



Life Uncluttered



Harried Mom of Four



Newly Woodwards







If you have a moment - go drop on by (and make sure they passed it on!)


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Grateful Sunday

What a week - I miss my husband. He's been working so much lately, but instead of complaining I have tried to be very supportive. He brought me home some daisies because of it. Guess it's hard on both of us.
I am grateful for
  • I can put M. in her bed with a book and walk away and she falls asleep - the two bigger kids took a lot more work to get them to take a nap.
  • A great Parent Teacher conference with Mrs. Rossi - I.'s a super star!
  • A night out with Tom on Wednesday. Although very short and quick, we still made it. The kids had a fantastic babysitter, so all was well.
  • M's allergic reaction. This is a weird one, let me try to explain. M. is allergic to wheat, among other things - deathly allergic we've been told. She grabbed G.s Thin Mint cookie and popped it in her mouth this week. I, of course, freaked. I fished it out of her mouth, which made her scream. I forced her to take some Benadryl and then just watched for the next 24 hours. She seemed fine that night, just mad that I took away her cookie. The next morning she woke up with hives all over her tummy and back (on top of her brown hives for those of you who know what I'm talking about). It was bad, but that was all! I was expecting a trip to the ER, or at least the Pediatrician. She often gets really bad poopy diapers if she gets close to eating something she shouldn't, the kind that wake her up in the middle of the night and we need to change all her bedding. She didn't. So, although I am sad that she has the hives, it could have been so so so much worse. The hives, with a little bit of Benadryl and ointments, didn't even seem to bother her and we soared through this!

Wow - Have a great week. We're building leprechaun traps and hoping this is the year we catch that devious little guy!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

In Need of Some Inspiration

I'm just not feeling it. Maybe, the girls' room did me in. Maybe, it's because I know we are planning on spending lots of moo-lah on our backyard this year and every penny counts. Maybe, it's because I've been getting up at 5am every. single. morning., so I can get a workout in before my little ones wake up. Probably a combination of everything. Anyways, I want to do something, but I can't figure out what. Here's a couple of things I've been tossing back and forth:

Cozy baby blankets from the purl bee - lots of babies being born real soon, but I'm feeling selfish and want to make something for us - sorry.

Pillows for my bed - but I'm kind of burnt out on pillows. (also from the purl bee)


Table runner - think browns and muted greens- more my style than bright colors. But, what's a table runner for - it would probably just get trashed anytime G. sat down at the table. From Camille at Simplify.


I've been advised that the king bed I've been dreaming about is probably NOT going to happen, so maybe making a headboard like this might help me be OK in my queen size:


She even gives a tutorial. But then, I'll want new bedding, and the room needs paint, and we have a window above our bed in desparate need of window coverings. That brings me back to us spending the bulk of anything extra in the backyard.

Sigh, what to do? Does anyone else get in a slump like this?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

OK, OK,. . . The Girls' Room


After repeated requests, I'm breaking out the horrible camera and taking pictures.






I really love how this turned out. We painted it Sherwin Williams' Verona Pink, a pale, yet still little girl pink. We put up the crown moulding, the beadboard, and the chair rail. I totally underestimated how long it would be to paint the beadboard.



As I mentioned in a previous post, I made all the bedding using Amy Butler fabrics. I wanted it to be something that a 6 year old and a toddler would like, and I wouldn't have to find new bedding in a couple of years - well, until M. goes to a bed.


I have another nightstand. I sanded it down, painted it white, and put on new hardware. I haven't finished the other one, or started the other one yet.


My father-in-law made the rocking chair - custom to my size.


I quick tacked up this fabric after I put some pom-poms onto the bottom and I don't really like it, but it will do until I think of something better.




I get the most comments from these Martha Stewart pom poms - $5 from Michaels.





I still need to paint the frame (the one by the rocking chair) and I'd like to hang it from a glass knob and ribbon.
I'm looking for a cute girly mirror to put in here.
Then, there's headboards - but that will wait until we are done with the crib.

So, there you have it. I'm not sure it will ever be "done" but all that is left is the fun stuff. Actually, I think all of it is pretty fun.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Grateful Sunday

WOW - you guys really know how to validate someone! Thanks for so many uplifting comments on my past post. This week I am grateful for
  • the 70 degrees weather we enjoyed a couple days this week
  • My daffodils are starting to poke out of the ground - springs a'coming (hopefully)
  • My running partner and our long runs. So many things get sorted out when I have a listening ear for at least an hour. We "solve the problems of the world" - don't we?
  • Sophie Kinsella books - mindless reading the totally entertains me.
  • No school tomorrow and Friday! I love having I. home - she's invited 5 friends over tomorrow, oh boy!

Till next time

Laurel

Friday, March 6, 2009

Better Full Than Empty

It seems as if I can't go ANYWHERE without hearing how I have my hands full. It's always said in a negative tone, like I must be crazy. So, my kids might be running around the store and throwing things in my cart. They might even having a bit of a tantrum because I'm not buying doughnuts. For the most part, my kids are really well-behaved. It's the sheer number of them that elicits the comment. I was talking to my friend about this. Why, does it seem, that being a stay at home, with a house full of kiddos is a BAD thing? Why, does it seem, is it better to have no kids, but perfectly manicured nails, clothes without snot wiped on it, and a bag that doesn't have cracker crumbs? Really . . . do clothes make us happier than a snuggle? Can your bags make you laugh because they hear a beat and can't resist dancing? I just don't get it. What truly brings us happiness almost always involves people.
My friend had a reply to the judging people. She says . .

Better full than empty.

Isn't that perfect? It's exactly how I feel.


Have a happy Friday

Laurel

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Start of My "Mud Room"

When my in-laws come in, they want a project. And not a watch-the-kids type of project. My father-in-law works from the second he wakes up until dinner time. He's an animal, I tell you.














Anyways, we have this dead-space in our garage. That picture above is after I cleaned it all out and remembered to grab my camers. Usually it's where a lot of junk piles up. It's about 8 feet by 5 feet, and I thought it would make a good psuedo mud room. Enter my inlaws




He got to designing it right away, priced it out for us and had the cubbies up by the end of the day. Next came the bench.











We have 16 cubbies! It's an organizer's dream. All the storage makes me smile. All we need is some type of flooring (any ideas?), so we can get from the inside of the house to the bench without our socks getting trashed. I just put a rug pad I have down for right now. We also have a ton of hooks to put up on the wall for coats, backpacks, etc. etc. Those will go on the wall on the right.

Now, hopefully it will inspire Tom to do something about this (I'm not allowed to touch his
garage):

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Grateful Sunday

With family, there is so much to be thankful for:
  • Tom has a deep love for his parents. He is so kind to them. It's a nice interaction to observe.
  • Tom's parents are good, good people.
  • We are getting so much done with them around - can't wait to show you my garage!
  • They live in San Diego, so we always have a reason to visit that area.

Have a good Sunday and count all your blessings - I'm sure you'll find many.

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