Monday, December 27, 2010

2011 Decorating Bucket List

I've always got plans in my head about my next project, and what changes (big and small) I want to make around the house.  So I thought I would share my decorating bucket list for 2011 (in no particular order)---and pray that hubby does not stroke-out when he reads this. 


The Teenager's Room
This is first on the list.  Santa brought him some new bedding and new posters.  We'll paint the room a darker brown tone, and  paint his dresser and desk, too.

Dining Room: New table/chairs/buffet or sideboard---And when I say new, I mean 'new to me'.  I made the mistake of surfing craigslist this morning and finding a round table for only $115, a set of 6 chairs for $100, and a buffet/sideboard for only $150.  They all need some rehab and TLC....you know, a coat of black paint!  My current dining set is fine.  It's functional.  But to me, it's a little too big, and too contemporary for my taste.  It was a compulsive buy when we moved in.

Den/Living Room:
New Paint
Molding Boxes below chair rail
New couch (momma needs a brown couch to hide the fact toddlers live here!)
Paint desk/hutch (currently stored in attic) for den
Downsize double bookcase
Photo Walls

Master Bedroom/Master Bath:
Everything!
PAINT!  (This is the only room in the house that has not been painted since we moved in)
Paint vanity cabinets
Frame bathroom mirror
New light fixtures
I've already got the new bedding...
New window treatments

Guest Bath
Finish cabinets (poly + hardware)
New floor
Frame mirror

The Moose's room
New Paint
Paint furniture
Board and Batten??
Rug
Organization!

The Princess' Room
Just needs a rug, some organization, and some re-arrangement of furniture.

ManLand
I try not to touch ManLand...BUT hubby did mention that he would like some bookshelves.  We have this funky built-in bench type thing along one of the walls that the tv is sitting on.  And it's a place where stuff lands.  So bookshelves on both sides of the tv will be a great addition!  I have an idea of what we can do (inexpensively) so we'll see how that goes.

Wowza.  Eight rooms.  Should make for some good blog fodder for 2011.

And the reality of all this being completed in 2011 is questionable based on my history of finishing projects.  But one of my goals is to focus on one room at a time--so hopefully I can get more things accomplished. (I'm laughing on the inside as I type this)  We shall see :)

Thanks for following!  I hope everyone has a great new year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things...

Merry Christmas Everyone!  I hope Santa was good to you!

This has been a great christmas break!  Work on Monday will be very hard!!

As some of you know, I am a christmas baby...my birthday is on the 23rd.  Sometimes I wish I had a summer birthday to spread out the celebrations, but it is what it is...But just know, if you want to give me a birthday present, wrap it in birthday paper!  Not Christmas!  j/k.  (not really:)

So here are a few of my favorite things from my birthday/christmas celebrations this week:

I love my new VS nightshirt from my friend Sarah at work...I have lived in this thing all week!  (mine is purple)  And I look just like this when I lounge around the house.


I usually treat myself to a birthday outfit...I found this sweater at Kohls.  Booo to the small picture...click the link to see it.  Love it with my black leggings and suede boots.  sexay!  j/k.  The belt with the chiffon flower really makes it.


New Sally Hansen nail polish...color = Flirt.



And a new jogging suit from NY&C.  They are on major sale right now...go get you one!  I got this graphite gray one...


 
My sister got me an owl necklance..hootie hoo!  LOVE IT!  And a Hob Lob gc to go with it!  Thanks sis!




My sis knows me so well...One of my stocking stuffers was the best keychain ever... She put my initials on the other side.  :)



For Christmas/bday I got several gift cards to Lowes!  Is it a sign that I'm getting old when a Lowe's GC makes my heart happy?!   Oh, the projects on my list for 2011!  I'll be sharing my decor bucket list with you soon.


For Christmas, I told ya'll what I really wanted Santa to bring me was a new table to be used as my kitchen island.  Santa delivered! 





So excited!  I'll be using some of my visa gift cards at the thrift stores to find a couple of barstools to go under it.  I can't wait to have a space where the kids can hang out with me in the kitchen.  M loves to help me cook, but before this island, it was hard to have her sit on the counter, or stand in a chair next to me.  She was excited for this, too.  She pulled up a chair to stand in and helped me make our breakfast casserole this morning.  (We then put candles in the casserole and sang happy birthday to Jesus--It wasn't a cake, but I think Jesus would appreciate a good sausage casserole on His birthday morning)

I hope you and your family had a great day!  Merry Merry!!



Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My New Favorite Thing: Dry Shampoo

I'm ususally a few steps behind when it comes to a few things...like, I've still got a crackberry..I haven't joined the IPhone nation yet.  And (gasp), I don't have an Ipod, either...Some people look at me like I'm crazy, but it's just not that important to me. 

Anyhoo..

Ya'll might have already known about this.  And I ususally don't blog about beauty products, so you know I am lovin' this product right now.  The first day I used it, I went to go pick up some things from a friend...she was like, 'don't look at me, I haven't had my shower today', and I was like, girrrrrllll...let me tell you about this stuff! 
I've heard of dry shampoo before, but I had never really seen it.  I stumbled across the Tresemme Frest Start Dry Shampoo in spray form the other day at my Wal-Market.  And now I am so addicted to this product.

Since kids, and since trying to grow my hair long, I'm an every-other-day shower girl (is that TMI?)  You know when it's my 2nd day, because my hair is in a ponytail :)  (like today)



So the morning of my no-shower days, I just spray this in my hair.  You wait 1-2 minutes for it to soak up the oil (ew), and style your hair.   I swear it looks like I really did take a shower that day.  And if I still wear a ponytail, it's not a greasy one.

How it works:
  • Formula with Mineral Clay soaks up excess oil and impurities to leave hair looking refreshed.
  • Contains Citrus Extracts to neutralize odor and enhance clean feeling.
  • Volumizes oily/straight hair that becomes limp in between shampoos, giving hair added body and bounce.
  • Perfect for color-treated hair, it reduces the need to wash as frequently, which prevents color from fading.
It comes in a Foam form, too.  I'll have to try that and see how it works.

So all you busy moms--go get you some dry shampoo!  It's the little things in our crazy lives that make us feel 'normal' or 'like a girl' and not a stressed out mommy that can get us through our crazy days!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Reason for the Season

I love to hear new ideas how moms keep Jesus' birth at the forefront of the christmas season.  Santa and Elf on the Shelf is fun, but it's so important to really remember that HE is the reason for the season.

This past Sunday night at our mommy group at church, our women's minister shared with us different ideas on how to keep Christ in Christmas.  There were many ideas that we all know about, or already do, but here are a few ideas that are meaningful, and easy to implement.

These are great ideas that create conversation, and help you in reiterating the Christmas story to your family and friends.

Jesus's Birthday Cake
M and I made a birthday cake last year for Jesus' birthday.  It was a simple cake.  But I hadn't seen this idea before, or knew that there was a whole other level of Jesus' birthday cake.  Here is a recipe/instructions I found on google.

  • 1 chocolate cake mix
  • 1 white cake mix
  • white frosting
  • yellow, red, & green liquid food coloring
  • 2 (8 or 9 inch) round cake pans
  • Large red candle taper
  • box of small birthday candles
Mix and bake chocolate cake mix according to box directions. Cool & flip out both. Wrap 1 layer and freeze for later use.

Mix white cake according to box directions. Divide batter in half. Put several drops of red food coloring in one half and mix to desired shade. Pour in one round cake pan. In the other half of batter, drop in green food color & mix. Put in other cake pan. Bake, cool, & pop out. Stack first chocolate layer, frost with white frosting, next red layer, frost, and last green layer. Frost whole cake with white frosting. Decorate.

The cake decorations have special meaning:
  • Cake is round = because Jesus was born into a world that is round.
  • 1st layer of cake = is brown for our sins.
  • 2nd layer = is red for Jesus' blood shed for our sins.
  • 3rd layer = is green for life = ours in our new heart.
  • Frosting is white = stands for Jesus' purity & righteousness.
  • Use red icing/gel for a border of hearts around cake sides = represents each one of us standing as witnesses for Jesus around the world.
  • Use yellow icing/gel for a Gold Star in middle of cake top = star of Bethlehem = led wise men to Jesus.
  • Star is 6 pointed =Star of David = Jewish nation in which Jesus is born.
  • Yellow border around Star = Grace of God encircles us.
  • Big Red candle in middle of star of David is Jesus.
  • Light candle then read Christmas story out of Bible. Light each person's small candles out of Jesus' candle & carefully stick in cake. Let our lights shine before men! Sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.





Jesus Tree
Have a separate tree with ornaments that represent Jesus.










JOY Stocking
My favorite idea of the night was the Joy Stocking.  Melanie, our women's minister, told us about a Joy Stocking that her mother does for each of her kids, and even her husband. 

In the stocking are ornaments/symbols of how each person has given her joy through the year.  Melanie wrote a devotional book this year, and her mother gave her a typewriter ornament, representing how Melanie's writing brought her joy.  How sweet is that??!!

It's neat to celebrate our kids and spouses, and remember those proud moments during the year.  Even though you may say it in words, but having a special ornament or symbol will bring back those feelings of joy year after year. 

I like to buy ornaments that have meaning, but have never thought to give them in a special way like a JOY stocking. 



Again, these are just a few ideas...

What do you do with your kids to keep Christ in Christmas?

Dollar Store Project & Sneak Peek

Did you see the dollar store 15 foot garland??  If you haven't, log out immediately and go to your closest dollare store and purchase whatever they have left!

In my vision for a 'simple' christmas, I wanted some plain wreaths with red ribbon to hang over mirrors and inside windows.

I bought a wreath form at the dollar store, and wrapped it with the garland.  It took (2) 15' garlands to wrap the wreath.

Easy peasy $3 project....

I hung one above our kitchen sink...along with a christmas countdown sign from the dollar store.  Ok..I lied, so this was a $4 project.



And if you have followed me for a little bit...can you guess what the sneak-peek is??  (SQUEAL!)  Can't wait to show the reveal!

A little bit more Christmas decor

Here are just a few shots of our decor this year...

I love what TDC did in her dining room with all her apothecary jars, so I had to copy.  But my ADD kicked in at some point, and I didn't fill each one, but you get the drift :)  PLUS-by the time I got to the stores for the fake snow, it was sold out!  Geez!  Didn't know that fake snow was so popular!  (mental note for next year)




Dear Willow Tree people: why must your nativity sets be so expensive?  Maybe I'll get a new addition to my starter set this year for my birfday, or from Santa...



Our tree...


Dining room chandy..
(I did the kitchen chandy like this, too)

The past few years I've tried to stay in the red/green/white/silver color-scheme family.  (Meredith didn't understand when I told her NOT to put the gold balls on the tree:)

But next year...color schemes are out...Man I want some turquoise and purple and pinks...to go with my new favorite ornament!





Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ballard Inspired Mantel

It seems like each year, I'm just not satisfied with my mantel...I'm sure it's fine...but, to me, it's always missing something. 

Here is 2008...


2009...



This year, I wanted to be simple in my christmas decor.  (bwahahahaha)  I'm just not sure simple is in my DNA.  More on that later.

If I had a picture of my Ballard inspiration I would post it here...but I don't...

BUT--If you remember your Ballard catalog, the mantel had simple garland hung above the mantel, with mercury glass & candlesticks.  And there were vases filled with berries....like this...




You know...those berry branches that they were selling for like $50 for a set of 6 branches?  Um...can we say highway robbery??

Anyhoo...back to my reality...and off to the dollar store.

I'll go ahead and show you my Ballard-inspired mantle so you can see what I'm talking about...




So this is where I say...It's the same...but different...

BD's garland didn't have ornaments.  or lights. (remember when I said simple isn't in my vocab?)  And their mantel was much longer and deeper than mine, and it held more candlesticks.

I got the vases from the dollar store.  (dolla dolla, holla holla).   I originally kept them clear, and wrapped burlap around them (see above) with the berry branches (mine are from hob lob $1/each).   But I really wanted the look of the mercury glass without paying for it.

So I grabbed some stainless steel spray paint, and sprayed the INSIDE of the vase.



Oh...and I painted my stocking holders ORB (oil-rubbed bronze)...too

I did add more green berries to the red berries...

But alas...it's OK...I'll battle it again next year.  But I have realized that maybe my stocking holders are my problem...they are taking up too much room...




Your thoughts & comments welcome...

merry merry!

Can't wait till Santa comes....

Because this is the only thing on my list...


And my kitchen will be DONE!!!




Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Meredith is 4!

Meredith turned 4!

Here are a few pics from her party (4 weeks ago:)  I did get a little domestic and make chocolate-covered pretzel rods (with the help of my wonderful sister!)  Instead of giving out treat bags with leftover halloween candy and toys, I thought that the pretzel rods would be cheaper better.  I saw where DecorChick had done this for her little girls 1st birthday.  It was so easy!





We had cupcakes!  And I bought cupcake toppers from Blissful Nest's Etsy Shop.  I actually bought the DIY printables, and cut them out, and glued them to the sticks myself.  Of course I was trying to save a few pennies, and it would have been just as well to buy them already made :)  But I like to punish myself for no reason...what else is new...  The thank-you tags on the pretzel bags are from Blissful Nest, too.



(who knew glass hurricanes could make halloween candy look cute!?)

The original plan was to have the party at the pumpkin patch like last year.  But it rained, so we had everyone over to the house.  (enter freak-out mode)  I hadn't planned to entertain the school kids + family at the house!  But my sister Melody came to the rescue! 

She took charge of the craft...the girls decorated their own crown, and the boys could decorate a visor.  The kids loved it!

Ella & the birthday Girl

I swear Melody was a lifesaver that weekend.  It was like having my own stay-at-home wife!  She grocery shopped & ran errands for me while I was at work.  Thank you Mel!!!

Meredith loves to paint, draw and write...She can write her own name.  She loves to write her letters and words...the girl amazes me everyday.  Here is her christmas list.  I hope Santa can figure this out! 


And she loves to decorate!   Lord I have created a monster.  More pics to come on that!

I will leave you with a few shots of her 4 year pics, courteousy of Southern Style Photography.


We love you Mere Bear!

Kitchen Changes & A Little Project

Remember how I loved my green kitchen?


 Yeah, well...

I now love my Latte Kitchen.



I don't know how to explain it, but everytime I came home and walked into the kitchen, I felt stressed.  It was like the green was screaming at me.  But now, I feel calm.  Like I can breathe.  Now nothing is competing the green...ahhhhhh...

Hubby thinks I'm crazy.  I probably am.  But ya'll understand.





And here is my 'little project'...I added some ribbon above the window so I can display the kids artwork!  I just tied the ribbon on each end of the rod, and used some leftover mini-clothespins from my Christmas Card Holder project from last year.  Meredith loves to help me choose which of her papers get displayed!


Lipstick Kitchen update:  We still haven't put up the backsplash. 





Yes, it's 6 months past my June deadline...the tiles are sitting in the laundry room waiting.  hmmm...maybe before my MOPs christmas party here next Tuesday night?  ha!  we'll see!