Saturday, July 30, 2011

Challenge accepted!

And accomplished!

pinterest challenge banner

Sherry, Katie, Emily, and Lana have declared a Pinterest Challenge! What is it? Well, basically its a call to get your rear-end in gear and actually complete one of the DIY knock offs that you want to do from your Pinterest boards (check out any of their pages for a MUCH more exciting description). I know I have a few things pinned that I want to create and this was a good kick in the pants to get me going.

With my little E's birthday coming up I decided that working on something for her party was priority numero uno.

pinterest board first birthday

E's first birthday Pinterest board

And whats the first thing you need for a party? That's right! Invitations!!!

first birthday invite

Invitation originally from HERE.

And here is my knock off version:

first birthday invitation rainbow pennant banner

I used PowerPoint to create it and made the pennant with triangles, adding the colors and patterns to go with our rainbow theme. Each pennant has a different pattern which is hard to see in this pic but it adds a lot to the cuteness. I still need to buy cardstock for printing but that's the easy part, right!

And along the lines of the party... I started feeling a little bad for being so unoriginal. The rainbow theme, the rainbow cake, the pennant banner, the Martha poms...well, its all been done so well (and not so well) over and over again. But then I decided, if it wasn't so cute and clever it wouldn't be repeated, right? And it will be a fun reminder in 20 years of what was popular and stylish when my sweet E turned 1.

So don't worry if you're a fan of sticking to the trends and incorporating things all over blogland into your life, home, and decor. If its beautiful to you and makes you happy, I say go for it!

Hope you've been inspired to knock one of your Pinterest to-do's off the list, too! Join the fun and get on board with the Pinterest Challenge! I'll be linking up my invite tomorrow, August 2. Will you be linking up?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Getting back control of my closet: Phase I

Yesterday morning my closet looked like this:

unorganized closet

But after being inspired by Ashli at Maillardville Manor I decided to take back my closet and regain a little bit of calm (just a little... there is a 3 1/2 and an almost 1 year old in this house). So after running a quick errand to do this:

clothing donation

And after sorting thru everything hanging, on the floor, and up above on the shelves (at first I wrote shelfs...weird), I now have this:

organized closet

It may not look like much to you, and it definitely still needs some gussying up, but its so nice to be able to actually WALK into my walk-in closet. The biggest improvement was getting rid of the GIANT box that has been sitting there since we moved in (9 months ago!!!). I put it there so we could toss garage sale/donate items into it and we definitely used it for that. But it just got so full that I was overwhelmed and started ignoring it. Oops. Isn't it so easy to let that happen? I'm sympathetic with those crazies on Hoarders for sure.

So here's a side-by-side comparison of the old and the new and improved!

unorganized closetorganized closet

So much better!!! I'd love to paint in here but with us living here for a short time (2 more years) I hesitate to take that project on (especially considering that our stairwell, hallway, toy room, master bed and bath still need paint). But I do think there are a few things that'll personalize and pretty up this little but oh-so-important room. That, my friends, will be Phase II of this closet revamp. Unfortunately, I think organizing the other 7 closets in the house should be the priority. Boo.

I'm so excited to have the empty space on the short wall when you first walk in the door. I'm thinking a cute little chair(maybe something I thrift that I can test out my upholstering skills with?) or a small demilune with a garden stool tucked underneath to use as my dressing table. Definitely something with some pizazz!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A chair affair (part deux): Emeco 111 Navy

emeco 111 navy chair grass

I'm dreaming of this chair tonight and here's why.

I just read a post over at Strawberry-Chic that got me thinking about the furniture for my eat-in kitchen. Oh? You didn't know I had an eat-in? Thats because when I showed you this pic of my meal-making (or microwave-using) space I intentionally sliced that side of the room out of view. Besides the fact that there are icky vertical blinds on the sliding door, play-doh accessories overflowing from my hutch, and a kids art easel planted in the corner (along with a persistent infestation of cheerios on the floor), I have a HUGE secret over there. Actually, it's a tiny secret. Tiny in the form of a table. A table from Pottery Barn Kids.

That's right. We eat dinner in our dining room (the one "finished" room in the house) every night because there is no kitchen table in my kitchen. I do usually eat lunch with G at her tiny table (it's true and it's fun) but it wasn't meant to be a permanent piece of furniture. The bummer is that I had a perfectly awesome table but gave it (back) to my mom before we moved here. I didn't want to keep it and feel obligated to buy a house with 2 eating areas OR have to store it if we only had one space for a table in the house. Of course now I am kicking myself.

I usually ignore this "little" problem but Strawberry-Chic got me all fired up about my favorite chair so I thought I'd look for some inspiration for that space. And boy, did I find it!

emeco 111 navy chair rustic table

emeco 111 navy chair rustic table
emeco 111 navy chair rustic table
I've been loving the Emeco 111 Navy chair for awhile now. I always pictured it in Grass at my house with 4 of them snuggled up to a nice rustic round table (walnut to be exact). The images above are all great examples of how this works Per.Fect.Ly! And of course I love the red recycled Coke bottle version (featured in Dwell article earlier this year) but my sofa is red and that would just be too much!

But now, Emeco has stolen my heart again!!! I don't know how I overlooked the fact that it came polished OR, and I can hardly contain myself writing this, polished or brushed with a WOOD seat!!!

emeco navy chair wood seat

That's the stuff my dreams are made of! I mean, its just what I always imagined...a little wood, a little (very shiny) metal. Now if someone could only spare me $1200 x 6, let's see, carry the 1, and (give a girl a second, math isn't really my thing)... Oh yeah. $7200!!! Man. Sheesh.

Maybe someday I'll splurge and get one for a desk chair. For now I think my little G and I will keep on having HUGE fun eating lunch at our little table.

Oh, and I love bentwood chairs, too. And bamboo. But I think that's a story for another day.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Paint chip pandemonium!!

Have you noticed all the fun paint chip DIY projects out there lately? What a great way to use the 20+ little squares and rectangles always laying around after a project (I know I brought home a gazillion when choosing a blue for g's room here, here, and finally here). There are a few that I find inspiring...

paint chip banner
Sugar and Dots

paint chip banner
A Bit of Sunshine

paint chip eggs banner
Modern Parents Messy Kids

I love all these ideas for my little E's rainbow party next month. But, at what point does "taking" these "free" paint chips become stealing? I think its obvious based the color schemes above that these weren't leftovers from a project. Hmm. I'm struggling with a moral dilemma (but they're so darn cute).

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I be trippin'

That's right. We're off for a car trip to CA. Nothing major planned, just heading to the in-laws in sunny SoCal for a wedding (and hopefully a trip to Disneyland...we still have 2 days left on our tickets). Hope everyone enjoys their weekend and I'll see you next week. Hopefully I'll start finishing one of the MANY projects I've started around here next week. And if not, I'll just enjoy seeing what you've been up to!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bye-bye baby. Boo hoo.

My sweet little E was officially 11 months old on Sunday. Its was quite a challenge to get a pic and I eventually had to turn on my flash (gasp) to keep the photo from being blurry.

She says "mama" "dada" "bye-bye" "nite, nite" waves, claps, commando crawls, and other general awesomeness. We love her so much (even if she is extremely demanding and expresses every emotions the second she feels it with extreme gusto).

But even more exciting (or sad, I'm not sure which, MY BABY!!!), is that I'm planning her first b-day party. Like so many others, I'm jumping on the rainbow train. I don't think there will actually be any literal rainbows, just the color scheme. EVERYTHING will be Roy G. Biv'd. Here is a glimpse at my Pinterest board for the par-tay.

I've only just gotten started so if you have any great ideas or links, even if they're not rainbow themed but can be adapted, pass them my way!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Feeling "Light" headed

Last week I mentioned that there are a few things I'd like to do in our kitchen. Just to spruce it up and personalize it a bit so its not the same as every other new house in LV. One idea is to change out the glass shades on the pendant lights over our island. I have totally been left light headed and overwhelmed after checking out all the options out there for new pendants. Here's a little reminder of how it looks now...


There's absolutely nothing wrong with them and they do match the other fixtures (in the ENTIRE house which is what makes it BOR-ing). Here are a few pendants that I'm sweet on (as of today).

Jupiter Blaze Mini Pendant Glass, red pendant shade

This would definitely bring a pop of color over to the kitchen. We have red couches in the adjoining family room and the rumor is that its good to tie connecting rooms together with subtle touches. This is a great price (I have to get 3!) and doesn't require any electrical work because it would just be switching out the glass. But, I think this might be too contemporary for my tastes and probably would be more than the "subtle" hint of red I'm going for.

Edison pendant light

I love this one, too. I like that it looks a little like an outdoor light. And, while its not as inexpensive as the 1st option, its still not too bad at less than $200 for all three. But, I'd have to change out the whole fixture, not just the shade.

And now let me bring you to the "honey, you've gotta be dreamin" portion of this post. The following are from School House Electric and cost waaaay too much moo-lah, but maybe someday, right (as in "someday someone will create a knock-off that I can afford)?

Old Dominion pendant, School House Electric light

I love how petite this one is and all the color it would bring to the room. I think it might be perfect.

Folk Birds Red Blue, School House Electric pendant light

And I don't even know how to describe how much I love this light. Its too big for my space but I think its the most awesome-ist lighting I've ever seem and captures my style (my idea of what my style is at this particular moment in time, anyway) to a T.

Do you have any dreamy pendants or lighting fixtures that you love? Have you abandoned builder basic for something a little more boisterous? We'll see if I can convince the hubby that this tiny change would make big impact!

Friday, July 15, 2011


So I may be last to the party but I have finally arrived! After 3 months (yes, THREE months) of requesting an invite I am now pinning my little heart out on Pinterest. I don't know what the deal was. I guess "they" could tell how desperate I was to be one of the cool kids. I felt like that same girl (decked out in Umbros...yes. I. Did.) at my first junior high dance praying somebody would ask me to dance. A big shout out to my sis who sent me an invite. Are you waiting on one, too? I'll send you one, just shoot me an email.

And yes, someone did eventually ask me to dance. Swishy shorts and all.

My two best girlfriends and we had a blast!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sum, sum, summertime: Missouri style

Like I mentioned last week, we had a wonderful time in Missouri during June. Summer in Las Vegas just doesn't quite hold the same appeal. I hate missing out on things like this...

The strawberries were dropped off by a friend and while we had to rush to use them, it was such a nice gesture from a "neighbor." I barely recognize my neighbors and would be uber cautious taking produce from them (I'm sure they're all perfectly nice, just proving my point that they're strangers to me).

This cherry is from one of three (maybe 4) trees at my MaMa's house. It's a white cherry (but we call them yella) and they are delicious. They make the most scrumptious cobbler, more like peach than a tart red cherry. Unfortunately there were only enough this year to fill a large sour cream container. My mom and dad think the tree took quite a beating in a hard rain earlier in the spring that knocked off all the flowers. And, on an even sadder note, the day I was leaving for the airport we saw that one tree had been split in half during a storm the night before. The whole thing had to go. I have never seen another tree of this type anywhere and definitely haven't seen this variety of cherry in a store. It makes me sad to think that its a dying breed. Like so much in small town, USA.

What we were lacking in yellow cherries we definitely made up for in gooseberries. A lot of people don't like them but I think a slice of gooseberry pie is one of life's great pleasures. My mom's bushes are especially beautiful and the little red fruits were sweet enough to eat right off the branch (something I wouldn't try with green berries...yuck! They need sugar, sugar, sugar!). There was no pie or cobbler made from these yet though because my mom saves them for our church's annual sausage and pancake supper. There is an elderly man who attends each year in the hopes of getting a slice of gooseberry pie and my mom wouldn't want him to be disappointed. I love that she calls him Mr. Moore. She is 65 years old but he is still her elder and she thinks of him as adult. And I'm sure she is just a young girl in his eyes (ask G, her Grandma Boo-ah is better than any 3 year old playmate!). I think I need to start teaching my kiddos to call people Mr. Smith or Mr. Jones instead of addressing them by their first name. We'll see how that goes.

And these white hydrangeas. I don't think I need to say anything else. Ok, I don't need to but I will. I loved that G didn't differentiate between these flowers and the dandelions she plucked from the grass. Each bouquet was just as beautiful. There's a life lesson there. I'm just sure of it.

We celebrated both the girls during June also. G had her annual Half Birthday party, scoring some great gifts to keep at Aunt J's and Boo-ah and Papa's. Gimme a break, okay? Her birthday is on December 25. Last year we didn't even get to her gifts until the 26th and I had to force it on everyone because everybody was all celebrated out. So the girl gets a half birthday. Its not gonna be fun explaining it the the little one, though.

E celebrated 10 months. Or should I say WE celebrated having her around for 10 months. What a delight she can be (and so feisty, too).

That doesn't even begin to cover the wonderful things that we did and the great family time we had but thats it for my Missouri posts. I could go on forever (especially if my sister sent me her pics, too) but it's time for new things. Finishing up G's room (oh, did I mention I got a cute little mirror for her gallery wall in Missouri?), planning a 1st birthday party, and getting this crazy house in some kind of order. There are still a few lingering items in my suitcase from the MO trip. That should probably be my first priority...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Everything AND the kitchen sink.

So this all began with a post over at YHL. I mean, if John and Sherry can talk about kitchen sinks I can too, right? Right? Well, I'm not in love with my kitchen sink or anything but I did make a little change that has made the dreaded chore of dishwashing a little better.

See this ugly white dish drainer? Well, I've wanted a silver one for a while now (I'm talking about 5 years or so). But it seemed like a silly expense until the white coating cracked and it started rusting. Yay! Now I can justify that huge purchase (or $12.99. Whatever. I'm weird about spending $$ on certain things). So I've been looking for a new one since we moved here but couldn't find silver in a small enough size.

Enter this blackish/shiny beauty from Target. Why does Tarjay always save the day? I even like it better than the silver. Va va va voom!

I know. You're a little embarrassed for me because I'm talking dirty to a a dish drainer. Get over it. This kinda stuff really pushes all the right buttons for me.

That also got me looking around the kitchen for some other things I could fix easily and my eye fell on the dumbest thing ever that lives right under my cabinets...

Why, oh why aren't these two outlets closer together. Who wants their phone right in the middle of the counter (the stove is to the right in this pic)? Lame-o. So I added this little picture that is super wipeable (it used to be above my sink at our old house and holds up awesome...thank Mom!) and I'm really digging it.

I'd like to get something a little smaller that I can actually hang over the outlets but for now its functional (as in hiding the UG-LEE) and adds a nice little bit of color.

And, if you're curious, yes I am cooking Guinea Fowl with Red Wine for the Hubs and my little squirts (um, no. not so much. The Silver Spoon cookbook is for pleasure reading and for lookin' purty, not really for cooking at my house).

And, I figure that since I'm sharing little snippets of the kitchen it might be time to show you the whole she-bang.

The builder chose everything (except the paint) and there are a few things I'd (possibly, maybe, even though we'll move in 2 years) like to do.
  1. Change out the pendant light covers. I figure this wouldn't cost too much and could add some real pizazz.
  2. Add knobs and pulls to the cabinets. I always wanted to do this at our old house too but never did. Weird since its not that expensive and I feel like it adds a lot.
  3. Get a new sink faucet and sprayer. Especially since the sink is visible the moment you walk in the front door. This one works fine but is a little ho-hum. It would have to be on sale.
  4. Get some counter height stools for the island (a little tricky because the vinyl and carpet butt together in exactly the wrong spot. bah. another builder boo boo).
  5. Add a backsplash. Something blingy and zingy. Probably glass mosaic.
Well, that's it for me today. I need to get back to de-feathering my guinea now or it'll never be ready for dinner in time (actually there's pork in the crock pot). Maybe I'll put together a little list for my 5 kitchen updates to share with you later this week. I also want to show you some more of my Missouri trip because it was just so darn awesome.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I have a dream...

I have a dream that someday my children will have a big backyard to explore. Not just a giant rectangle of perfectly manicured grass (or astroturf) but a REAL backyard. One with places to hide, hills to roll down, trees to climb! My mom and dad have an awesome yard for playing. There is plenty of shade, trees to climb, a garden to check up on, even an overgrown field where Grandma Boo-ah mowed a path for exploring.

So on to day two of our Missouri trip recap where we embraced the humidity and enjoyed playing outside...

Don't ask me why G is looking so angry. We were having fun, I swear!

Isn't she cute all propped up with her ice cream. And everything had to be delivered via bucket. And while it's not the treehouse from the movie Now and Then (which I loved and should watch immediately if its available on play now Netflix),

it is the best treehouse/platform EVER because her Boo-ah made it just for her.

Yes, she's in her jammies and its late afternoon. That's what being with grandparents is all about, right? Breaking the rules in all the best ways possible.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

On hiatus.

I really love blogging. I do. I love "meeting" other people online and seeing the creativity that is out there. But I am a BAD blogger. Yes, I was out of town for 3 weeks with a poor internet connection and a lot to do. But that is no excuse. I should have let you all know before I left. Updated you weekly on the haps in my neck of the woods. But no. I didn't. So instead I'll be showing you what I was up to over the next few days/weeks.

I was in Missouri visiting my family while my hubs travelled to Alaska for work. Missouri is home for me and I miss it desperately. Here's a little taste of home...

One of the first things I did after arriving in KC was take E outside to experience real grass. We have the fake stuff. Yes. I do mean astroturf. Apparently in Vegas it's the way to go. But I wanted her to wiggle her toes in it, rip chunks of it out of the ground, even try to down a few blades before I could swipe it away from her fiercely strong little grasp. So I plopped her in the grass and within a millisecond my sister was screaming "NOOOOOO! She'll get chiggers!"

Ahhh. I'd forgotten all about those tiny, invisible pests that can make summer an itchy nightmare. So here's my Missouri love #1
  • Chigger Stick. (Or a Benedryl stick but that's not nearly as fun to say)
We also celebrated my bro-in-law's birthday with an annual shrimp boil which was great fun...

Not really a Missouri thing but that's how he celebrates every year. And, its reminiscent of New Orleans which is near and dear to my heart as well.

You should have seen the amount of butter my momma dripped and dropped into this pan. It was glorious and terrifying all at the same time!

So, MO love #2 is
  • a party with my peeps and good grub!
Stay tuned for more of what I did in Missouri and hopefully a pic of some curtains that I'm hanging in both girls' rooms. Glad to be back!!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Let freedom ring!

What a wonderful day to celebrate all that we have! Better than Thanksgiving in my opinion. We are spending time with friends, relaxing, and enjoying just being together after 3+ weeks apart.

The girls decked out in our RW&B...

Our first smoke bomb of the day (fireworks are still just as awesome as when I was her age)...

Happy 4th of July! Thank a Vet! God bless America!!!