Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  We went to our neighborhood Halloween party Sunday and took a couple snapshots of Ward in his lion costume (in case we have rain tonight, fingers crossed the weather holds out!)  

At first, he wasn't so sure

But then he got into character, so he was cool with it

This evening we're going to try some trick-or-treating and go to our in-laws neighborhood parade, which is what we did last year...except I have a feeling Ward will be a little more interested this time (last year he just wanted to eat leaves) :)

We've come a long way from then!  

Hard to believe this is probably the last year I will choose his costume, I'm sure he'll have an opinion next Halloween!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Planting a Fiddle Leaf Fig (or any plant, really)

Editor's Note:
I have received many, many comments and links to this post in the past year (thanks, Pinterest!).  Just and FYI, the technique shared below is my own experience with my FLF.  I am in NO WAY an expert on FLF's or any plants in general as I mention below.  There are many other recommended ways to pot indoor plants.  So...on that note, plant at your own risk and make sure to do thorough research depending on your climate and plant's needs.  Good luck and thanks for visiting!  :)

I am one of those people who can't keep any plants alive (unless it's a cactus and requires basically no watering).  BUT- I have been eyeing the Fiddle Leaf figs since I spotted the 5-footers for only $35 at Home Depot a couple months ago.  Despite my terrible watering tendencies, I decided to give it a try and see if I can keep this one alive.   Here is a quick summary of what I did:

I already had a glazed turquoise planter that my Mom didn't want anymore and it was just begging to finally be used!  I started by adding some felt sticky pads to the bottom of the planter to prevent scratching the hardwood floor.  There was a small hole in the bottom, so I cut down a wine cork to plug the hole and added a line of gorilla glue to the perimeter of the cork to seal.  

Next, I added a plastic liner cut down to fit the bottom of the planter (just in case to prevent any leaks!).  After the liner, I put in a layer of pea gravel (about 1") to ensure the plant will have good drainage and won't ever be sitting in over-watered soil.  

After the pea gravel I popped the plant back in the pot with some potting soil and covered the dirt with (dollar tree) floral moss.

My fingers are crossed that it will live!  The room is pretty bright so hopefully it should do well here.  I am loving how it brightens up the little corner in our dining room.  

PS- Anyone notice the toy car?  I can't seem to snap a photo in our house without one hiding somewhere.

Disclosure- My FLF has been in the pot for 2 weeks now and is still alive...hooray! BUT that obviously makes me no kind of expert in caring for plants- so please use your green thumb at your own risk :)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Family Photos- Ward 19 months

We have this problem in our house where I don't exist in our family photo album.  We have pages and pages of adorable pictures of Ward and Ward with Trey, but almost zero of me...Can any other mom's sympathize with this?  
The other day I was looking for a picture of myself and couldn't find one since last year when we had Ward's 8 months photos taken!   Anyways, I figured it was time for another family photo shoot.

We met my friend Sarah with Fresh Design Group at the park where she got some great shots if you'd like to see....

Monday, October 7, 2013

DIY Painted Chalkboard Pumpkin

Even though it's only officially been fall for a couple weeks, I feel like I'm at least month behind everyone else when it comes to Pinterest.  Since this summer, I've seen lots of pins having to do with pumpkin recipes, pumpkin decor, and all things fall-ish...(you know who you are early pinners).

Well, now it's early October and the only reason I have completed a fall craft is because I volunteered to paint a pumpkin for Ward's preschool fundraiser.  Each class donates a decorated pumpkin for an auction at their fall festival next weekend.

I went to Michael's and bought one of their pumpkins (on sale 50% off).  Although I love fall, orange has to be one of my least favorite colors....maybe it's because I went to UGA and almost every opponent has orange in their uniform??  Anyways, I wanted the pumpkin to be white and gold, not orange.  (Didn't take a before picture, whoops!)

I had heard good things about Design Masters gold spray paints, so thought I would give it a try.  I used the color "gold medal".  After taping off the stem, I sprayed the entire pumpkin.  

Then, using painters tape, I cut 30-45 degree cuts in the tape and applied to the pumpkin.  This by far took up most of the time.  Here is a shot of the first couple of lines with the tape.

Once all the tape was secured in place, I went back over the pumpkin with Rustoleum white matte spray paint.  I highly recommend using a white matte spray paint instead of a gloss because in the end it really makes the bright gold paint stick out...almost giving it a gold leaf stamped effect.  After I removed all the tape, here is what it looked like:

I would have been fine with leaving the pumpkin with the overall pattern if it was for me, but I felt I needed a little something extra since it was for Ward's school auction.  I painted an oval in chalkboard paint on the front of the pumpkin and then using chalkboard pens (if you haven't tried them, they are amazing!) wrote "trick or treat" on top.

Here is the final result!

The cool thing is, whoever ends up taking it home can write whatever message they wish, so the pumpkin can last through Thanksgiving and not just for Halloween.

Now I just wish I had made an extra for myself....

What did you do this weekend?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Decluttering & DIY photo board

No idea why, but I have been on a decluttering roll lately.  We have a built-in desk in our kitchen (circa 1980 style) that rarely gets used....let me re-phrase, rarely gets used as a desk.  Typically, it is my catch all place for the diaper bag, purse, little shoes, mail, and the list goes on.   Every time I walk into the kitchen, it's one of the first things I see and the clutter was driving me crazy.  Here was the depressing view, don't judge ;)

I knew by adding a designated place for mail, catalogs and just everyday stuff I could eliminate the mess and visually it would feel so much better.  I was on the hunt for a cheap photo board, but decided I could make one myself and save some $.  BUT then I found this at the goodwill for 3 bucks:

I knew I couldn't even make the board for that cheap, so decided to do an easy recover with scrap fabrics I already had.  I like to call this a "nap time" project because it is so easy and I can finish it while my little guy is sleeping.  I won't bore you on the fabrication details, this is pretty self explanatory!  Here is it recovered...

  I already had the gray & cream fabric, and found some navy blue shoelaces (!) that I thought could work as a nice accent.  (PS- no idea why or when I accumulated them, but hey- it works).  For a finishing touch, I spray painted the buttons gold.

I added a basket that I already had for mail and the photo board can now be used for important mail, pictures, invitations, etc.  I still need to remove the ceiling mounted fluorescent light (gross), tweak some of the accessories...and maybe find a fun chair.  But for now it looks clean and it works!

No one has actually sat at the desk yet, but now that there is no more clutter maybe I'll start ;)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

DIY Growth Chart

Ward had his 18-month old check up last week and as always, was a little on the scrawny side when it comes to weight (15th percentile!).  However, he has always made up for the lack in weight with his height...which is now 90th percentile!  I ignored the nurse saying I should ''put more butter" on his food and am happy with having a long and lean (and healthy!!!) boy. 

So, the point of this rambling?  Well, I've had this 1x10 sitting in my garage for probably 2 months now that I intended to make a growth chart with.  After his Dr. appointment I figured it was time to get started before he sprouts up any further undocumented!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Road Tripping with a Toddler

One of the reasons I wanted to start/(restart) this blog was to share some of our family experiences and memories so I can look back on these posts as an online memento years from now.  In addition, I'd like to open up conversations with others on experiences similar to ours...the good, the bad and the ugly!  There are so many things I am learning as a new parent and I would LOVE to hear any tips or great advice that any of you have picked up along the way. :)

That being said, I am extremely inexperienced in traveling with a baby/toddler.  When Ward was an infant, I felt like I had to stay cooped up in our house and we rarely went anywhere!  We made one trip to the beach when he was 2 months old, but that was it.  

A couple weeks ago over Labor Day weekend, we took a family trip to the beach.  This was our first long drive in the car with Ward since that trip when he was 2 months old.  After talking with some friends, we decided to leave around Ward's bedtime to ensure a smooth and quiet ride.....didn't quite go that way!

The first hour was great...Ward babbled in the backseat and I thought for sure he would fall asleep at any minute.  Instead, things took a surprise turn for the worse and he screamed for the next 3 hours straight.  When I say scream, I don't mean cry.  I mean S-C-R-E-A-M.  Oh.My.Goodness.  It was not fun.  

We finally arrived at our hotel about an hour from the beach (couldn't check in until the next morning at our rental).  I thought, Surely he will CRASH in the pack 'n play since it is 2am AND he didn't nap today." (I forgot to mention it was a no nap day.)


The only place for the pack 'n play was next to our bed, tightly squeezed between the bed and the wall.  Every time I laid him down he would hysterically cry and/or reach over and hit me in the head.... not exactly ideal.  However, every time I got him out and laid him between Trey and I, he would calm down.  Finally, we threw in the towel and let him sleep in the big bed....and here's what ended up happening.....I'm sure many of you have seen this nice illustration:

I'd say Ward's favorite positions were "The Roundhouse Kick", "Snow Angels", "H is for Hell" and...."The Stalker".
He would randomly sit up and lean over to Trey and say "hi dada" and give him a kiss.  It was actually really adorable, but at 4:30am at this point we were just delirious.  

So, in the end we have a lot to learn about traveling with babies/toddlers!  Here are some tips I've gotten from friends since that fateful day....

1). Invest in a TV for the car!  Play Baby Einstein and keep them occupied.  We are doing this on the next trip!

2). Do NOT (I repeat, Do NOT) put the pack n play where your child can SEE you (or is close enough to hit you repeatedly on the head).

3). Have lots of (new) toys available.  I have a friend who suggested going to the dollar tree and stocking up on cheap new toys.  Keep them wrapped up and then have something new for them to explore/play with every couple hours.

4). Don't think that because you can ride 7 hours in a car without stopping, they can too.  Trips will always take longer than you think.  Just stopping once at a gas station and getting him out of the carseat or 20 minutes so he could look at the cars and trucks really calmed him down for a bit.

5).  If times are getting tough, roll down the window.  At least the white noise helps drown out the earth-shattering screams....and may even calm them down a little.  (This worked for a good 15 minutes).

Any other ideas?  I'd love to hear....I know babies fly free 2 years and under, and we want to utilize this before he gets too old, but I have to muster up the courage!
In the end, the rocky start was worth our beach trip.  Albeit there was little sleep that first night, he made up for it the rest of the trip getting worn out playing on the beach! :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Adorable Kid/Baby Sheets

I stumbled upon these crib/toddler sheets and thought they were all adorable! There is definitely a growing nautical trend these days.
Really loving the Serena & Lily Cut Circle, Restoration Hardware Vintage Planes and Layla Grace Out to Sea prints ...

Restoration Hardware Vintage Plane Blueprint

Restoration Hardware European Whales

Serena & Lily Aqua Trellis

Serena & Lily Cut Circle
Serena & Lily Blue Crab
Layla Grace Out to Sea Blue

Unison Home Regatta Marine
Unison Home Anchors

Land of Nod Yellow Stripe
Land of Nod Whales

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

DIY Kitchen Table Refresh

Our dining table was an awesome my parents basement.  They have had this oak table since they were first married and I knew it would be the perfect size for our small breakfast nook.  My mom painted the table black a few years back, but I wanted to strip off the paint to expose the wood.  Here is the before, please excuse the terrible iphone picture...I really need to remember to take better "before" photos!

I really was hoping I could achieve a worn wood look like this table from Restoration Hardware.

Enter paint stripper.

I have used this a handful of times before.  Just follow the directions on the back, slather it on and scrape off as much gunk as possible.  It helps to use a wire brush to get into the hard to reach spaces.  Also, make sure you wear thick rubber gloves!!  Some of the paint can be more stubborn and is really difficult to remove, here is a progress shot.  (Notice how orange the original oak color was...would have gone perfectly with my original garage chair find!)

Once the majority of the paint had been removed, I broke out the sander to buff the remaining paint off any hard to reach areas.  

I didn't bother to get every single bit of paint off (you can see it shows in the darker areas, but I figured when the stain was on it would give the table more depth). Even though I liked the rough unfinished look that was unfolding, I wanted the end result to be more of a gray color.  For the stain, I chose this Varathane Weathered Gray.  

I tested it out on a piece of wood we had in the garage, and it was too dark at first.  I messed around with combining some white paint and diluting the solution with water so it was a very thin gray-wash like consistency.  Once I had the desired color I wanted, just brushed it on, wiped the excess off with a rag, and let it dry.  After everything was set, I painted on 3 coats of poly (and didn't even bother to sand between coats).


In the end, my concoction of stain & paint worked out pretty well.  I wanted that aged wood look that would still be sealed and strong enough to handle a typical toddler mess! The best part is, since the table was free and I already had most of the materials in our garage the total cost for this table was for one can of stain!  Here is the table with the newly painted & stained chairs.

Now I just need to get some art for that back wall..... Have a great Tuesday :)

Monday, August 26, 2013

DIY Garage Sale Chairs Update

One of the many differences between our house now vs. our bungalow is the amount of rooms we have.  One example is the kitchen, we now have a spot for a kitchen table as well as a formal dining room.  Since we only had the one dining table previously, I needed to find something for our breakfast nook.

Luckily, one day my MIL called me because she came across some {cheap!} garage sale chairs down the street.  I got the 4 chairs and they threw in a matching long rectangular table for $35.  These are not my dream dining chairs by any means, but will work just fine until I can find exactly what I want to use one day.

I don't have a photo of the entire set, but here is the chair in all it's 1990's glory:

I unscrewed the seats and sanded off the finish until it was raw with a circular sander. Then added a coat of dark walnut stain & a couple coats of polyurethane.  

For the frame, I simply painted over it with some semi-gloss Ben Moore color Fieldstone, which is a grayish hue with slight green undertones.  The back of the chair was a beast to paint with a brush, I have a tendency to be an impatient painter (which usually leads to drip marks). Next time I would like to use a spray gun on something like this.  Jenny from Little Green Notebook has a great tutorial here that I want to try.

Here is the finished product...much better!  This was SO easy and I think it really updates the chairs into this decade. :)

And here is the side by side comparison:

Tomorrow I'll post about the kitchen table fix.  Have a good one!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Boy Room Inspiration

I've been thinking of a couple little changes for Wards room now that his little personality is shining through. He seems to be more of a little boy than a baby!  

Here are some boys rooms that I found inspiring:

Love the art!

 The Teepee and Rug are great, also love the animal prints.
Abbey Nova via Cup of Jo

Again, the teepee and art!

Patterns, pillows and deer head
Armadillo & Co

Stripes again and great car prints

ralfefarfars paradis