Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Card Holder

I'm a copy cat--and proud of it.  They say the first step is admittance, right?

Last week I was surfing blogland and saw how Pink and Polka Dot made this Christmas Card Holder.

We have 2 christmas card holders, but in the back of my head, I thought if I saw one I really liked, I would probably buy one.  I saw her idea and filed it in the back of my brain.

That afternoon, I was wandering around at hobby lobby and happened to see the chair webbing and thought, oh, cool.  That's where it is. (by the fabric trim)  Mental note for next year.  Then as I was making my way to the back of the store, I went down the wood craft aisle and happend to see the mini-clothespins.  It was a sign!  lol.  So I was like, ok.  I've got to do it.




The clothespins were only 2 bucks and some change.  The chair webbing was 99 cents/yard, and I guessed at 2 yards.  I already had some ulpolstery tacks at home.  And I grabbed some red spray paint.  I love those mini-cans!

This is the easiest thing to do...I tacked it at over the top of the door, and at the bottom.



And hung a wreath over it.  (I'm in a 'wreath on inside doors' phase right now)  But since the Moose is loose, I can't put too many cards towards the bottom, so I'll have to take the wreath down in a few more days to make room for more cards.   OR I'll probably just go back to the HobLob and buy some more webbing and put up another one on another door.

 I haven't spray painted the pins yet.  Probably won't.  I'm too much of a rusher to take the time to do that. 






I love it...simple.  Total cost with spray paint (optional) = $8 (+ or - some change, and depending on what's on sale that week)




 Happy Webbing!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

O Christmas Tree!







TDC is having a Christmas Tree Party!  Check it out!

Sooooo...here is our tree.  Nothing too fancy.  (Read about my BOW here)  I had more plans for the tree, mostly to use some cool picks this year.   But I started too late.  And that is ok.  I'm content with it.  (and contentment is a new thing for me this year) 


This bow makes me happy!





hmm...thinking we might have to go a little fatter next year...We'll see what I can find on clearance after Christmas. 

Notice no ornaments at the bottom of the tree.  There is this thing running around here we call Moose.  There is a bell where he can reach...he'll ring it and say, "ding dong, ding dong". 

Meredith keeps asking where the star is for the top of the tree.  I keep telling her we have a bow this year.  To which she replies with a scrunched up face, 'no mommy, we're supposed to have a STAR!'   Then I try to change the subject.

I love ornaments.  And I usually buy/collect ornaments throughout the year that are all about us, and/or commemorate a special occasion, or...

From out-of-town places we visit...

Gulf Shores/Orange Beach vacay '09
 

For Mike....policemen & ornaments that represent his Irish heritage...






And I try and re-live my past with owls...



and cheerleaders...

 

I try and buy an ornament each year for whatever the kids are into..like Mickey, Minnie, Wizard of Oz, High School Musical, etc......it's a mix. This represents Tyler loving music...

 

Before we were married, a friend from church threw us a Christmas Shower.  So we received many ornaments---and 7 years later I still use them all, and I can tell you who gave us each one.  This one is from Pat Reed...a neat lady, and dear family friend.




I collect Willow Trees...


And we love the Vols!.....when they are winning!  (j/k)




I could go on and on...I am very sentimental, so I love that I can tell you a story, or tell you what an ornament represents.  It's fun to travel down memory lane each year.

I love all kinds of  trees...whether they are fancy and extravagant, or simple.  But I love that our tree tells a story about our family...past and present.
Merry Christmas!!!





Friday, December 11, 2009

Kids & Christmas

Meredith is really getting into Christmas.  Each year, she understands more and more.  Will...well, he is 18mos, and just likes to rip the ornaments off the tree.

I bought Meredith a small Christmas tree.  I gave it to her before I could buy any of those mini-ornaments.  But she went right to work decorating that tree!







She really did all of that by herself.  The girl has an eye for design :)

M has not liked Santa at all since she was little.  So when the pre-school had Breakfast with Santa the other day, I chose not to be there when pictures were taken.  I thought she might do a little better without me, and thought maybe peer pressure would be a good thing.  And I was right.  The girl sat on his lap and told him what she wanted for Christmas.  I couldn't believe it.  Just a few weeks ago we were at the mall, and there was NO line for Santa.  And she clung to me even when Santa was at a distance.  So when I saw this picture I almost cried.  

Now all she talks about is Santa and she wants to go see him again.  She said she wanted to call him, too.  So I called my brother and asked him to be Santa.  I gave her the phone, and said Santa was on the line, and her eyes got as big as saucers.  She talked to him for a few minutes.  (all while me and Mike were laughing at David)  All she keeps saying is that she wants a baby doll. 

Now for Will.  Well...to say that he is a 'fraidy cat is an understatement.  I'm not sure what's going on with him.  To be 'all boy', he is scared of the most non-scary things.  But him and Santa don't get along too well
right now. 




There is always next year....

Another Christmas Wreath

Here is another wreath I made...a little different from the other one, but the same concept.  I swear an army of women must have raided both Hobby Lobby's in like 1 day..b/c both of the stores had almost NO christmas greenery/floral/stems/bushes/picks to pick from when I went back.  Hello people!  It's only Dec. 10th!  Good grief!  Give the late girl a chance!

Anyhoo...the customer liked silver vs. gold, and loves berries!  I hope she likes it!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

O Christmas Bow!

I wrote in an earlier post that it took me a few days to get into the christmas mode.  And finally, it hit me.  And it wasn't through a song, or a movie, or shopping...it was through a BOW.  Yes, a bow.  Like I said earlier, I am not a bow kind of girl.  But once I saw these things, I just had to have one, and I couldn't wait to get home and put up my tree!  So here is the bow reveal!




I wish I would have gotten another pattern that had some white in it...I think it would have had more impact...but there is always next year! 

And I was worried that my balls I had were going to be too small...BUT I totally had forgotten that I had bought these bigger balls (giggle) last year, so everything balanced.  Bonus.

Since I waited until Dec. 6 (which is sooooo late obviously) to start thinking about decorating a tree, I missed my opportunity for some cute picks to place on top with the bow, or throughout the tree.  Oh well...again, there is always next year. 

I'm still trying to figure out why this bow makes me so happy. 

Monday, December 7, 2009

O Christmas Wreath

When I saw this wreath over at Living with Lindsey, I knew I had to make it!  I didn't get a chance in the fall season, but when my mom asked me to re-do her christmas wreath, I knew I had to make it for her.

It is a 18" wreath and 14" wreath wired together.  And well...I'm not much for a tutorial...so here are the pics!


Now...if I just had time to make one for myself!!

Christmas Spirit--do you have it?

I'm not sure why, but this year it took me a minute to get in the christmas spirit.  I love fall, and thanksgiving--so I always want to give that holiday the credit it's due.  I haven't ever been into the day after thanksgiving rush of shopping and decorating.  I tell myself that on December 1st is when I get in the mode.  Now don't get me wrong--I'm not a Debbie downer by any means!  Hello!  I was voted 'Most Spirited' in high school for a reason!  Maybe it's my type A tendencies that every holiday has it's place in the month for a reason.  When I posted on FB that I was still in the Thanksgiving mode and wasn't feeling the chirstmas spirit, I received a lot of feedback.  But retailers have been shoving Christmas at me since early October and I just want them to slow it down!  For everything is a season....Anyhoo..I digress.

Well, December 1st rolled around, 2nd, 3rd, 4th....and I thought, ok...what is wrong with me??  Why can't I get to the place where the other 95% of the population is (christmas spirit/excitement-wise)??

I even made a Christmas wreath for my mom, and that didn't spur any spirit!

Then on Saturday, the 5th, it hit me.  Julie and I went to the Carousel of Shoppes at the Agricenter.  A lot of the vendors were selling 2 foot wide ribbon made into BOWS for tree toppers!  OMG!  They were gorgeous.  And I am NOT a bow person!  But I HAD to have one.  And so did Julie.  The best part about this bow, is that we paid $10 for a spool, and the lady made us our bows for free!!!   Jackpot!! 

After I got home, all of the sudden, the pumpkins sitting around made me cringe!  So I cleared out all the fall decor and was ready to put my tree up b/c I wanted to decorate with my new bow!   But I looked at the clock and it was 11:15pm.  And hubby was too tired to pull it down. 

So stay tuned for the Big Bow Reveal!   This weekend was crazy, and hopefully I'll get the tree and mantle decorated this week! 

YAY CHRISTMAS!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Lipstick Kitchen

We have lived in our house 5 years now. I love our house. It had everything on our wishlist when we were buying. God really blessed us. And it was a blank slate, which was awesome. A realtor had bought it and really did a lot of cosmetic work. The house was built in '88, so all the trim and doorways were brown wood. He painted all of it white, and all the walls were painted a flat taupe. It had new carpet, new marble in the entry, new heating & air, and new white linoleum in the kitchen.

I'll have to dig to find pics of the house when we moved in, but here is an early pic of the kitchen.

Compared to the zero-lot-line we came from, this kitchen was my dream kitchen! Lots of countertops and cabinets!! The other side of the kitchen (that you can't see) is the eating area. It has great bones and great potential.

But then came babies who cost money. And a budget for a new kitchen is put on hold. And like the hubby says, everything is functional. (I hate that word)

So I lived with the cream ceramic tile with scattered fruit tiles for a couple of years. Unitl I couldn't stand it, and painted them green. I wished I would have done it earlier. And I lived with no hardware for a few years, then finally found some I liked from Lowe's.






But the floor. OMG the floor. It was ok for about a year. Then as the babies came, and just living in the kitchen as most families do, it is harder to clean, and the white shows everything! And not to mention the track mark in the floor from the vacuum.


The kitchen is the first thing I see when I walk in the door from the garage. And everytime I walk in, I think about what I want to change. And as much as I am in the kitchen cooking, all I can think about is the changes. Changes that are el cheapo.

My contractor friend came and gave me an estimate to re-do. My 'cosmetic' changes were in the tens of thousands. (Did I mention I'm cheap?) On to the next idea. I had painted my cabinets in our old zero lot line before. I knew I could do it, but just for giggles I got an estimate = $3k. I think I'm in the wrong profession. My mom used a reasonable counter-top guy, so I had him come and give an estimate on low-end laminate = $2500. (enter game show wrong answer buzzer sound)

So...I've researched some DIY projects on blogs and forums, and here is my plan until we win the lotto. I'll call it my Lipstick Kitchen plan. And the total cost should be about $1100. I'll keep ya'll posted on the budget.

Wall color: The current color throughout the house is Asian Jute from Farrell Calhoun. It's been up a few years now, and I'm ready to change it. I want a green kitchen. So I am going to use the same green that is on my tile backsplash b/c I love it so...and greens are sooooo hard to shop for!

Cabinets: I love black cabinets, but my hubby doesn't. I also love the french country cream cabs with a black glaze...so here is my inspiration.

Haven't broke it to hubby yet that I am planning on painting cabinets again...shhh...

I bought paintable beadboard wallpaper from Graham & Brown for the door panel insets, and cabinet ends...see inspiration here at the Southern Hospitality.

Countertops:  The builder grade laminate at Lowe's is really not bad looking...And it comes in all the popular granite colors, and it is el cheapo!! I'm going to use the black labrador color. Yay black! It will hide more dirt than the cream laminate I have now.

Backsplash:  The tile is coming down!!! I don't care what it takes...and pretty sure I'll use the faux silver tile backspash from Lowe's...still not committed to this, though.

Floor:  I've looked at different laminate hardwoods, but even at 1.99 sq/ft., it wasn't cheap enough for me. I finally found some peel and stick vinyl from Lowe's...(I told you this was a lipstick re-do!)And read many positive comments about it on the Garden Web forum. And I got it on sale for .88 sq/ft! yee haw! Can't wait to cover up the white linoleum! My hubby bought the floor for me this week and I cried like a baby! It's the small things in life, you know?? Thank you honey!! I love you!

Light Fixtures:  Scroll back up and look at that fan. ugh. I've been wanting a new fan in the kitchen ever since we have moved in. We did replace the globe with a light kit. But it's FUNCTIONAL! Not sure yet if I will paint this one, or get a new one...we'll see. But I've got plenty of black and brown spray paint (ie, free)!!!

Island:  I don't have one. And I don't want to pay for one. So my idea is to buy an unfinished base cabinet (36x24--nothing too big), use the beadboard wallpaper for the insets and ends, paint it black, slap some countertop on it, and hopefully it will look a little something like this. If I could just have one barstool at the end of the island I would be elated. Two barstools= ecstatic.

So we'll see how this goes! I'm tired of thinking about it...I'm ready to do some work!

The first thing I'll tackle is re-painting the walls. That's easy. Then I'll tackle the cabinets. With some extra time off during Turkey week and Christmas, and New Years...I'm hoping to get the whole kitchen done by the end of January! So stay tuned!!!!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Working Mom Guilt




Does every mom cry on their kid's birthdays???

My baby girl turns 3 years old today. And I am an emotional wreck. These 3 years have been awesome. We are truly blessed with a precious, smart, beautiful, and funny little princess. And I thank the Lord for each day with her.

And it's times like this when I really analyze how I am doing as a mommy, and if I'm doing a good job, and if she is going to turn out ok.

Being a mommy is the best thing ever, and the hardest thing ever, at the same time. Whether you are a mom who works inside the home, or if you are a mom who works outside the home, the bottom line is we ALL work. And we all have our share of guilt, and our share of always thinking what about me? and what about my wants & needs? Then another layer of guilt of even thinking those thoughts. It's a vicious cycle.

As a mom who works outside the home, I measure time with my kids in hours. During the work week I'm with them 30 minutes in the morning, then I pick them up around 5:30pm. I try to stretch their bedtime till 9, so I can get 3.5 hours with them. Wow--4hours/day. (I have actually never put that in writing) The weekends are precious hours to me. Friday nights me and the hubby try to squeeze a date in. But I'm too much in a hurry at dinner to get back to them that I don't enjoy it.

I try not to plan things on Saturdays, but inevitably, things are planned, and Sundays are busy with church, lunch, nap till 5, then the dinner/bath routine from 5:30-9pm.

The kids are in a christian pre-school. I do not worry about them during the day. I know they are being loved. Truly LOVED. And for that I am so thankful. Meredith amazes me how much she learns and soaks up everything. Her mind is a steel trap (which is good and bad sometimes:) But then I feel guilty that I am not the one teaching her things. But then again she would probably never learn all these new things with me 24/7.

I go through the cycles of:

-I'm a working mom, I'm providing for my children, everything is ok, I'm handling this pretty good.
-I'm a working mom, I don't want to be a working mom, but I don't want to stay home either. I'm not handling this very good.
-Am I really doing what God wants me to be doing?

And my thoughts throughout the day and at the end of the day are...

-Did I kiss my babies enough today?
-Did I tell them I love you enough times?
-Did I give enough hugs?
-Are they going to be scarred for life that I am only with them 44 waking hours a week?

I know the answers to these questions...and I know all mommies ask the same thing of themselves everyday....

So to all mommies...if you don't hear it as often as you would like, You are doing a great job!!! You are a great mommy!

Now off to kiss my sleeping babies one more time...and oh yeah...happy birthday Meredith! I love you!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Amatuer Skills

As far as my hobby list goes, like any girl, shopping would be my number one. Thrift shopping, I might add. I hate to say that I am cheap, but well, I am. My husband loves to deer hunt. I love to price hunt. And I get the same reaction to finding a good deal as he does killing bambi. (no comments please!)

But deer hunting and price hunting is not what this post is about. It's about hobbies. (Did I mention I have ADD?)

Another one of my hobbies I have loved since I was in elementary school is making wreaths. I have lots of memories of me and my friend Nikki going to Michael's and making small wreaths with ribbon and painting little wood thingys mauve, blue, and peach, and putting magnets on the back for our mom's fridges. I was a pro with a glue gun at an early age. Then I gradually made bigger ones, too.

But I haven't made a wreath in a long time...but plan on making some for christmas, and re-doing old ones of my mom's. I bought the stuff to make this wreath like Living with Lindsey for my mom...stay tuned to see how it turns out!

From wreaths, I transitioned into making flower arrangements because I couldn't bear to pay the prices retailers want, when I know I can make the same thing at the cost of supplies. (hello 50% off from hob lob!) And I love to find containers at the goodwill. And mostly, because it's more fun to make them, than buy them! I guess it's about using that creative side of my brain.

I posted some pics of some arrangments on my FB and had some positive response, so I thought I would share here in bloggy land.

This one sits on my dining room table during the year....


I made 2 recently for fall...I can't pick a favorite...I love both of them. One for the mantle (yes, I used to sell Southern Living :) ....


sorry this is so dark :( and whoops, crooked candle! While reading the Nester one day, she talked about layering accessories, so I gave it a shot. Mom says it's too much. And if you knew my mom, you would know what an oxymoron that statement is. And I mean that in a loving way :)



and one for the dining room....I found 2 of these containers at Goodwill for 5 bucks each. Used one container for this arrangement in my dining room....

front...

back...

And used the other container for this arrangment I made for my boss (from the team) for boss' day. (which really looks better in person) This fits nicely in her nook at the top of her stairs.



My cousin had this arrangement on her kitchen table, so I took a picture of it, and copied it. Easy peasy. And it usually sits on my kitchen table, and not the loft wall. (in case you were wondering) Container came from ROSS ($8)


I made this for my sister Melody a few years ago. She lives in Marietta, GA and I miss her so...She already had the container.



And this usually sits on my mantle...(container by SLAH) It might go back up after Christmas...we'll see...


Speaking of Christmas, here is a Christmas arrangement I made last year for both myself and my bestie Julie. I tried lots of different rooms, and different lighting to get a good pic, but this is the best I could do. The container (you can't see) is a round metal, from Old Time Pottery ($9) that I spray painted black.



Some people ask me to make arrangements for them, and I would love to. BUT just be warned things might shift a little :) I use styrofoam (or whatever the green stuff is called) in the bottom of course, but the fillers are usually just stuck in there. I just don't have the patience to secure every stem (ie ADD).

Maybe I'll do a tutorial one day...lol.

What is your hobby??

Saturday, October 17, 2009

August/September

August & September flew by--here are a few highlights:

ELMO!
Myself, my mom, Julie, and Kim took all the kiddos (M, W, Jackson, & baby Mady) to see Elmo Live...Now if you know me well enough, I am deathly afraid of clowns & puppets. When I got a glimpse of all the Sesame Street characters on stage, I will admit that I choked up and almost lost it (crying in fear). But I put on my big girl panties and did it. Meredith does not know that I am afraid, and I don't want her to know. I don't want to pass down that fear. But fun was had by all!

Here is a pic from Labor Day...we just cooked out at my mom's house and the kids played in the pool in the backyard...Tyler is such a good big brother!
the Delta Fair!
Me and Mike loaded up M & W and met Julie, Chad, Jackson, and baby Brayden at the fair. It was a little hot, but the kids had a blast. It was good that Meredith & Jackson could ride the rides together...Jackson was leary at first, but good ol' peer pressure made him cave in! They rode the train, and the alligators, the dragon, and the monkey! And of course we saw Monkeys Riding Dogs! And visited the petting zoo.

They got their tickets! Ready to go!