Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A little bit of art...

Well today was just one big mess. We awoke this morning to find out, through Facebook, that my husband's grandmother had been life-flighted to Houston. Evidently she had a stroke last night, and we had no idea. So as upsetting as this was, we had no information on her. We finally got a call from a cousin who was with her last night and things are looking ok. Evidently her stroke was on the left side of her brain and so if affects her right side. My mother in law texted me a little while ago to say that she seemed to be improving. My husband starts graveyards tonight and so we were unable to go today for a visit, but hope to get up there this weekend. I originally wanted to go tomorrow, but there are so many people there, I don't want to be a bother. And in that time I was supposed to have lunch with a friend tomorrow, but rescheduled it to Friday. Can't wait for that!!!

A little while ago, I saw this picture and thought it was a great idea..

So I grabbed Caleb's medals to do the same.

As he gets more, I plan on doing an art piece on his wall with them. Just something a little different from just hanging them on his bulletin board. :) I can't remember if I posted these pictures before, and today I am frankly too lazy to look back through to see if I had, so you may be getting a double post. Kind of feels like my mind today :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dining area makeover...

Earlier in the month, I shared a picture of my Pottery Barn inspiration dining room. Of course, in the magazine, the dining room was GIGANTIC and had seating for 8-10 people. We do not have a formal dining room, just a smaller breakfast area that we call our dining room.

I am happy to say that this room is complete, minus decorating for holidays. We are so happy with how it turned out! It is delicate, fresh, warm, and beautiful...if all those attributes can be used together. We decided against the chair cushions for now because of our children. I mean, this room gets used a lot, so we needed something that was fresh and easy to clean. Dream above dreams: to have gorgeous place settings out all year round. Reality: a 5 and 7 year old boy live here.

Again, here is the PB inspiration room...

And here is our dining room...

This was the final addition from Overstock.com.

It is the perfect size; delicate and sparkly, but rustic and appropriate. Happiness!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Another Ode..this time to Freecycle

Let's discuss the miracle that is freecycle. In our area, we have two different online freecycle groups that are both wonderful. If you are unfamiliar with how freecycle works, here is the lowdown. Basically you can post about items you would like to offer someone else or about items you are looking for. There is no money exchanged and it is just a beautiful way to both give and receive. We have given so many things to others, and have gotten more in return, especially when it comes to childrens' items. From clothes, shoes, sports gear, toys, small furniture, etc....you name it and someone probably has it to offer.

My children are probably pretty sheltered. We don't allow them to watch many things that are in TV today, so while they do have a TV in their room, they do not have cable. They operate purely on DVDs that we feel are appropriate. About a month ago, the DVD player broke, and no longer recognized any of the kids' DVDs, so dad to the rescue. My electronically inclined husband took it apart, worked on it, put it back together, and it worked for a day. And so it sat, broken with a TV with nothing to watch. We discussed the possibility of getting another DVD player, and started casually browsing in stores without being in too much of a hurry to replace this little luxury item. I never posted my desire for a DVD player on freecycle, but came across someone who was getting rid of one that no longer had a remote with it. So I emailed her with my request and met her the very next day to pick it up! Win-win situation right?! The boys were so excited to be able to watch a movie again.

LOVE, LUFF, LURVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Freecycle and the person who donated this to us. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

To find the freecycle group near you, go HERE

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My newest challenge

Massive budget fail. Hopefully ours is not the only family who goes through this. As much as I try to keep up with our family budget spreadsheet, there are inevitably times that we just didn't or couldn't stay on track. This is one such month...poor money management skills.

For punishment, or actually motivation, I am issuing a challenge to myself to not spend any extra money for this week. Obviously, this does not include the bills that we have to pay such as mortgage, car, or even piano lessons. That means, no last minute runs to the store for milk or eggs, no eating out, no shopping, etc. All our bills for the first two weeks of September have been scheduled and I have a full tank of gas. Let's see how it goes, and how creative I can be when unexpected things come up. :)

On a fun note, today was the first soccer tournament of the season. Caleb had three games today, at 8:30, 11:30, and 5:30. Let me just say, the Texas Gulf Coast is incredibly hot and humid and this field had not a bit of shade. It was a beautiful and clear, sunny day, but was every bit of 100 degrees. These kids and parents were HOT! Good note: we won the first two games (16-1, 5-4), but lost the last one (6-2). We are so proud of how well our team played!!! My Caleb scored two goals and his little face lit up like the sunshine. But by the end of the day, he said, "Mom, my batteries have run out." I completely understand!! Way to go, Pumas!!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Oh boy! It's Friday...

FRIDAY! It is the end of the first week back to school and we are quickly getting into a happy little routine. The boys know what to expect for school, home, and extracurriculars and I am settling into a new phase of my life. I have to admit, it has been a more difficult transition than anticipated and yet very exciting. What is in store for us when our kids transition out of the home?! Wait, stop. Rewind.

Today is also the first day that the boys have nothing scheduled. Monday is piano, Tuesday is soccer, Wednesday is allergy shots, Thursday is soccer, NOTHING ON FRIDAY, Saturday is soccer game day (this weekend just happens to be a tournament with three games), and Sunday is church. So while the boys are at school, I have to get a To-Do list rocking because I am easily overwhelmed by things that need to get done. If I didn't have a dry erase calendar, my life would be utter chaos. Please tell me I am not the only one....no one? Anyone? Oh well, I own it.

1. Have Caleb's name put on the back of his soccer jersey
2. Laundry, because I let it slip into monsterdom this week
3. Menu planning for the next month
4. Bill paying-oh JOY
5. School meeting at 2
6. Work out

Oh boy! I can mark off #6 because I hit the track across from the school at 7:45 this morning. Go me!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Whatever Wednesday...little plastic tray

Last week I purchased a cute little plastic tray at our local thrift store for $0.50.
It had a cute enough pattern on it, but unfortunately it was showing some signs of wear and tear. But that is no reason not to love it.

We have this wonky bar area in front of our sink that overlooks he living room. There isn't really enough room to put bar stools there and still maintain a walkway through the living room (unless I find a more creative furniture layout, which is a possibility). But this little bar has three different angles on it, so nothing really sits on it except for massive amounts of papers from school, work, etc (organization for this to come soon...)

Anyway, whatever I place here cannot be tall so as to not block the view into the living room, and it has to be small because of the strange size and angle of the bar. So spray paint, some leftover clear marbles, and a few pears, made a nice little addition to the bar. I think I will live with this for a while before I change it to pillar candles (one of my favorite things!).
On a side note, I am getting a little impatient about my new dining room chandelier. The hubs has been extremely busy working graveyards over the last 2 weeks or so, and so I cannot complain. It's been a while since he was able to get some overtime, and when it is available, he takes it! Maybe it will get hung today. If not, it probably won't be until Tuesday of next week. We all know that I am no electrician :). I will be patient, I will be patient, I will be patient.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Transform Tuesday...the dreaded closet

Ok, so I have been dreading stepping foot inside Caleb's closet, partly because I could not step foot inside. Now that both boys are in school, and I have a chunk of time to myself, I am ready to start getting this house in order. Hopefully we can all maintain it for a month or so...

Without further ado, this is the closet.

It is an awful, black hole of a closet. Much like my drawers, my closets have never been high on my list of priorities (and especially since I have minimal organizational skills and get bored very quickly). But I feel like a hoarder and that is not good.
I pulled EVERYTHING out of the closet...
and an hour and half, three bags of trash, and two bags of donations later, it is finished. I have Martha Stewart dreams of having color coded tubs, labels, and tags, but let's face it...that is never doing to happen. But it is clean. AHHHHH!

I find comfort in the fact that over a month ago, I cleaned Jansen's closet, and it looks EXACTLY the same! :)

Monday, August 23, 2010


Ok, so this morning I am feeling a little bit lost. This is the first day of school for both of my boys. I woke up feeling anxious and excited, but both of my kids were very calm and ready to go. By the time we got to school, Jansen was very excited and I was crying. We are so proud of them both and can't wait to share this school year with them. Congratulations to my kindergartner and 2nd grader! Here are some pictures and videos of the big 1st day...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

New arrival...

Look what little beauty arrived on my doorstep this weekend
Yes, this sweet little chandelier was purchased at overstock.com for half the price of the inspiration chandelier I have been admiring at Pottery Barn. It seriously took me the entire Mamma Mia movie to wire all these little crystals on, but it is so worth it. Now I just have to wait for the hubs to finish his round of graveyards to hang it, which should be mid week!!!!!

While I wait, I recycled a few more paper towel rolls to make this little art piece. Reduce, reuse, recycle.

Tomorrow school begins. Bags are packed, lunches are made, clothes are set out, camera battery is charged, kids are in bed, and mom is a little depressed/excited. :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

From 70's drab to modern FAB!

From the moment I saw THIS, I knew I had to have one of my own. There are just so many things you can do with this, each and every holiday. Speckled eggs for Easter, mini pumpkins or gourds for Fall, glitter ornaments for Christmas...anything would be so super cute in this.

Remember a few days ago, I found this little jewel at our local thrift store for a whopping $1.00......It was a combination of wood and ceramic and sported a nice 70's pineapple and raspberry theme.

Here is the way it looks now....

So super easy even I could do it! I had an old hurricane vase that was broken by one of my children, but the base had just the right amount of substance to it. I was not looking for something small and dainty! Both the cheese dome base and the hurricane vase base got a quick coat of glossy black paint, and then I just glued the two together. I threw in a few pieces of plastic fruit I had hanging around and TA-DA!!!

I love it! And the total cost was a whole $1.00!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Flashback Friday

In honor of school starting in three days, and in honor of my sweet baby beginning his adventure into kindergarten, I am posting a few retro pictures of our kids, and I will try not to break into "Sunrise, Sunset."

This is my precious first-born... (note the tiara, although I wasn't feeling like much of a princess)

The hubs, Caleb, and his new baby brother...

More recent picture of the four of us, at Jansen's birthday party in May this year...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I am so blessed and I have so many things to be thankful for.

Today, I am very thankful for my wonderful husband, who works extremely hard so that I can be home with our boys and be very active in their schools.

Meet the Teacher was today, and I was working it with the rest of the PTO. Our group got to meet our teachers early since we had to be back to work the school supply table. All summer long, I prayed about my youngest's teacher. He is a new five year-old with a late May birthday and is a little immature. He is attached to me at the hip, hates to write, is easily bored, and still sucks his fingers. Early this year, I had a dream that he got Ms. Whitby and I went the whole summer thinking that he was going to get her. Honestly, I would have been SHOCKED if I saw a different teacher name by his name. So today, my dream was confirmed! He got Ms. Whitby!

I am thankful that my children are excited about school, that they each got the teacher they and we wanted, that I have the desire to be involved in their schooling, and that my dreams for them are supported by my husband. I am looking forward to Monday as if it were Christmas.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Whatever Wednesday...Thrift store goodies

In our area, we don't have a Goodwill, but we do have two small thrift stores. Oh, how I wish we had a bigger variety. But I digress...

The kids grabbed a handful of quarters, basically $3 each, and we headed to check out what the stores had to offer. There are a few projects that I have floating around my brain, so I had an idea of what I was looking for. The first store was having a BOGO on puzzles and wouldn't you know, neither one of my boys wanted a puzzle. Caleb left the first store with a stuffed penguin for $0.25 and Jansen picked a stuffed puppy for $0.50. I don't like to buy stuffed animals second-hand, but the boys insisted and I will sanitize.
Jansen's purchases

Caleb's purchases

In the second store Caleb found a transforming tiger for $0.25 and a Curious George book for $0.10. Jansen bought a racing game for $2.00. Caleb came out the big winner spending only $0.60!!!!
Here is my loot for the day...

The Nike shirt is for Jansen, long sleeved for our mild winters.
The Carter's pajamas are for Caleb, who only wears long sleeved pajamas ALL YEAR ROUND. Needless to say he is growing and needs some more.
The Lil' Champ picture frame is brand new and will be a gift. (Please excuse the reflection of my light fixture)
The mirror I LOVE and bought it just for myself.
The glassware is for a project floating in my mind, and the plastic platter will be completely revamped, hopefully this weekend.

Total cost for today...$10.50.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Transformation Tuesday...soccer skills

Today I want to give transformation credit to my oldest son, who inspires me everyday! Although he has been diagnosed with Autism, he is slowly transforming into a neurotypical child. Many people have told me that they can't tell there is anything different about him, and don't get me wrong, that is a good thing. But living with him, we notice the little things like inability to make eye contact, lack of appropriate emotion, and lack of awareness of other people.
This afternoon we had only a minor issue over his clothes for soccer practice. To him, they smelled funny, but in actuality, they smelled exactly the same as his current clothes. By the time he got to practice, I really noticed a difference in him. His coach is incredible with him, reminding him to look at other players, what to look for, and to not be afraid to go to the ball. I watched my child quickly learn to use the inside if his foot, to keep the ball close, and to dribble while looking for an open teammate! In two short weeks his awareness is skyrocketing.
His quote for the day was, "I am getting more excited, Mom!"
So am I son!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Makeover Monday...The entryway

I have this really narrow entryway and I never know what to do with the space. Fortunately, Pottery Barn to the rescue...this is a little space I LURVE, no, LUFF!!

Here is my entry table before... beware, it is rough...
After scouring my home for all my silver photo frames, and about 20 minutes printing out some black and white pictures, this is my take on the PB room...

My goal is to decorate this space for each holiday, with this being the every day look. I like it. Cost- $0 and 20 minutes.