Backyard progress

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I love this time of year.  I got the kids off to school one morning a few days ago and was cleaning upstairs when I walked by one of our french doors and the morning light was streaming across our backyard.  It was such beautiful natural light!  I had to stop and take it all in.  And then take a picture.  :)  We are lucky that because of our weather we can really use our backyard all year long, but everything looks more beautiful in the Spring!  Our yard is still new so it’s fun to see plants and flowers finally blooming.  It’s still a work in progress and there is a lot I want to eventually do, but after living with such a small yard for so long in our previous house, having all of this space and grass for the kids to run and play on feels like a dream!  I’m going to do a post at some point with more details on our back yard because I get lots of questions about our trampoline, fire pit and bike trail so that will be coming soon!

We are finally getting ready to order outdoor furniture and I’m so excited!  It will be wonderful to have cozy seating areas and lounge chairs to sit on by the pool.
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Every time we visit one of the Hawaiian islands my absolute favorite thing is the color of the ocean.  It is so BLUE.  And not just one shade of blue, but every shade of blue.  Navy and turquoise and teal and indigo…  It’s just breathtaking and I could stare at it all day!
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So when I came across these gorgeous outdoor pillows from Pottery Barn it was love at first sight!  If I can’t be in Maui every day I’ll just try to recreate the feeling as best as I can.  :)  Operation furnish the backyard is in full force!  I have the design figured out and most of the furniture ordered.  I’m especially excited to be able to entertain more.  We’ve had a few parties in our yard, but with nothing other than a handful of folding chairs to sit on I haven’t been that motivated to have friends over.  Add that to my not so hot cooking skills and I haven’t felt like I’d make the best hostess.  ;)  But with the yard finally decorated I’ll be ready!  It will be so cute no one will care about the lousy food!

At least that’s the plan.  :)
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Couple more pics I snapped a few days ago in the yard.  El drives me crazy doing her gymnastics all over the house.  She is getting really good.  And it is seriously scaring me.  The other night she was doing back handsprings down our hallway and I felt my heart leap out of my chest!  I feel like I’m just holding my breath in anticipation of a trip to the emergency room with this girl!  Thank goodness I can send her to the trampoline or our makeshift gym to practice where it’s at least a little bit safer.  Moms of teens – is this what it feels like when your child starts driving?  Or worse!?  I don’t think I’m cut out for this stuff.
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Of course after El puts on a show my little buddy has to show off with a few of his tricks.
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Ta-da!  He’s clutching to a map of Disneyland.  His beloved “treasure map” of course.  :)
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Two of my three musketeers dipping their feet in the pool.  :)
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And since I’m rambling about my lousy cooking skills (again), emergency room scares, and treasure maps and totally NOT sticking to the point of this post (what was the point of this post?) I might as well show you my latest progress in the living room.  We have a table!  Another one!  And that’s it.  Ha!  My end table came and we have no couch to set it at the end of.  Couch is backordered another month.  :(  Man I’m having a hard time being patient!  Everything for this room is picked out and ordered.  Major accomplishment for me since I’m such a slow decorator.  Now I just want to snap my fingers and have it all here!  I’ll have to be patient I guess.

And brush up on my pizza ordering cooking skills in the meantime.

:)

Master Bathroom Shelves/Tub

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Sharing part of my master bathroom today!  I finally took some pictures of my bathtub.  Which is definitely one of my favorite spots in the house!
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Ahhh.. feeling more relaxed just looking at these pictures.  :)
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When I first started designing this bathroom the shelves were my starting point.  I knew I wanted some shelves with planks behind them to add my personality to the room.  I’ve had fun styling them!  Over and over.  :)
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Sidenote: To take this picture and get a head on shot of my shelves I had to basically do the Chinese splits across the top of the tub.  I felt that should be noted.  Or applauded.  Or laughed at.  Something.
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I had this picture of my kids in my family room and moved it into the bathroom just to see if I liked the frame.  I was planning on replacing the picture, but I’m kind of loving it in here.  So now it’s staying and I need to find something else for the family room.
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These fun soaps from World Market smell so good!
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The baskets are from my office so now I’m changing that room around and need new baskets for that space.  This is why I never really complete rooms.  I just move things around from one place to the other.  I blame it on my DMD (decision making disorder).  There really should be medication to help people like me.  :)
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The door on the left is to my closet.  But that’s a post for another day!
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Because I have inset craftsman paneling throughout my home I added that to the bottom of the tub.
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When I first started designing and sketching pictures of our bathroom I initially had a beautiful clawfoot tub in this space.  I’ve always loved the look of them!  But unlike some people, I actually use my tub.  Often!  I love to take a relaxing, hot bath after a long day when my kids are in bed and I knew I’d use this tub several times each week.  When I sat in the clawfoot tubs  {yes, I went into stores and sat in tubs!  :) } they didn’t feel as comfortable to me.
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So I decided to go with this six foot oval tub.  I’m 5 3″ and when I swam sat in it I could tell the two of us were meant to be together.
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I debated lots of different window coverings for this space, but ultimately decided on the plantation shutters we used throughout the rest of the house.  Simple and white and clean always appeals to me!
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I still need to figure out something for this blank wall across from the shelves.  I’ve found a few options but nothing I’m in love with yet.  When we were building I decided I wanted to put the Carrara marble all the way to the ceiling on this wall!  But that little decision of mine was made after our tile guys had already capped off the tile with a marble rail and after they had already placed marble to the ceiling in my shower and after my husband had already agreed on the faucet of my dreams.  Needless to say, marble to the ceiling above the tub didn’t make the cut.  :)
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Speaking of my dream faucet…  I decided that just because I didn’t get the clawfoot tub didn’t mean I couldn’t have this beauty to look at every day!  Hands down my favorite fixture in the house.
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Placement was little tricky because I had added drawers to the bottom of my shelves.  I didn’t want the faucet on the left side of the tub because then you couldn’t see it when you walked in the room.  (What’s the point of splurging on a fixture like this if you can’t see it!?)  But I couldn’t put it on the right side of the tub because then it would be too far away to reach.  So I placed it in the middle of the tub and then made the middle drawer a fixed drawer that doesn’t open.
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I use the two other drawers to hold extra candles, bubble bath, wash cloths, and bath salts.
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The green rug looks a little out of place in these pictures, but ties in with the rest of the room.  I need to take pictures of the rest of this room!  I got the tub and shelves photographed and then my kids were circling around me and my camera and I could tell photography hour was over.

When we were building, my tub was delivered early so I had it sitting in my garage in my previous house for months.  Sometimes when I was having a long day and the kids were acting crazy I’d sneak into the garage and hide in it.  Seriously.  Once or twice with a bowl of ice cream.  Since the day I bought this tub it has been an escape for me.

Literally.

:)

Weekend Organizing

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Happy weekend everyone!  Every Saturday morning I spend a few hours getting my house in order.  The kids do some chores (unless they finished Friday during my week ahead prep) while I tackle a spot in my house that needs a little sprucing up.  I thought it might be fun on Saturdays to share a past organizing post or two to help motivate us all!  A lot of times I’m not tackling a new space, but instead just spending 15 minutes getting a space I’ve already organized back in order.  This week my kids are tidying up our craft room and all of the art supplies.
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I love having set places to keep all of the markers, crayons, pencils, etc.  Easy to clean up after a project!
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Since May is right around the corner it’s a great time to coral and organize wrapping supplies.  With Mother’s Day and the end of the school year nearing (plus we have a couple of birthdays) May is a busy gift month!
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You can see my full post on how I organize our wrapping supplies here.
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And last but certainly not least, as soon as I finish this post I’m off to tidy up my junk drawer!  Usually takes a whole 5 minutes to clear out the junk and have it looking like this again.

I hope this helps motivate you to tackle a spot or two in your house this weekend!  Happy weekend organizing!

:)

Friday Favorites

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Happy Friday everyone!  Sharing a few recent favorites today!  Kicking off with this beautiful Aztec sign from a fun etsy shop I discovered called Vine and Branches.  Caroline makes such beautiful signs!  Most of them have words written on them and I love those too, but this Aztec pattern just spoke to me!  I’ve had fun styling my shelves with it!  It keeps playing musical decor and moving from one spot to another in my house.  :)  Check out Caroline’s etsy shop – it’s so much fun!
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Some of you might remember my favorite key fob I shared in a “favorite things” post years ago.  I have LOVED this thing.  Seems I’m always carrying around so much stuff and I love being able to wear this around my wrist so I can always keep track of my keys!  Plus it helps me find my keys quickly in my purse or on the counter or wherever my five year old has re-located them.  :)
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My beautiful blue key fob was getting a bit worn looking so I ordered a couple more!  A girl needs options.  :)  I got them at the Oh! Koey etsy shop and they have so many fun patterns to choose from.  Aside from being one of my favorite things, I also think they make such fun gifts.  Moms always have their hands full so I think they would be especially fun for Mother’s Day.  Which will be here before we know it!  Just an idea.  :)
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I broke down and splurged on a few Spring blooms from Pottery Barn this week.  They are as close to real as I could find!  Real flowers are definitely a favorite thing and I still love to bring them in from my yard, but I have several spots in my house I want flowers and just can’t keep up with real everywhere.  Plus I’m such an anti-green thumb and with these I don’t have to worry about over watering or under watering!  I surrender.  :)
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My beach/pool side reading while we were in Maui was Love the Home you Have by Melissa Michaels.  Talk about a favorite!  What a gem.  I loved every page of this book.  Not surprised because I have adored Melissa’s blog for years.  There were so many things in this book that resonated with me.  I practically highlighted the whole thing!  Such a great read.  One of my favorite books for sure.  I’m tempted to read it again.  :)  You can order it here.  Trust me!  You’ll love it.

Alright friends.  Those are my latest favorite things!  I’m leaving you with a few of my favorite pics from our Spring Break vacation in Maui.  Re-entry has been rough this week.  I want to go back!
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We went with my sister and her family and it was so fun spending time with her.
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I like this selfie she took on the beach because two minutes after we took this picture we were laughing hysterically.  Seems I’m always laughing harder than ever when I’m with my sister.  We share too many secrets.  :)  Plus she is just so funny.  (My hat seemed to fly away in the wind every 5 minutes which is why I was constantly holding it!)
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This is her little boy with mine.  So happy I caught this moment!  These little cousins are best buds.  Right until it was time to take the elevator and they BOTH had to push the button.  Then they became mortal enemies.  The elevator button pushing war got so bad we finally had to start taking separate elevators so they could both do it.  Then they were best buds again.  I’m sure our kids are the only kids who have to push the elevator button?  ;)
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Heart rock – we hiked to my favorite spot in Maui with my favorite little people.  :)
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One more with the water spraying behind the rock.  So beautiful.  This was a day to remember.
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This is a blurry picture snapped with my phone but it’s the only one I got of the five of us!  Loved spending an uninterrupted week with my family.  This crew is getting really fun to travel with.  As much as I miss having babies it sure was nice to travel without strollers, naps and toddler meltdowns.  We’ve reached a new stage and I plan to enjoy every minute of it!  Should last at least two years and then we’ll have a teenager and encounter a whole new set of problems joys I’m sure.  :)
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Until next time Maui!  Happy weekend everyone!

SOS

Happy Thursday everyone!  Is it seriously Thursday already!?  We flew home from our vacation on a Monday so I have felt “off” this whole week.  Tuesday felt like Monday.  Then Wednesday felt like Monday.  I think every day feels like a Monday when you are recovering from a vacation.  Re-entry is brutal!

But that’s not whey I’m sending out an SOS signal right now.

I have a question for anyone who has a WordPress blog.  Or anyone who is just more tech savvy than me (doesn’t take much) and knows the answer to this question.  I’ve noticed that ever since I switched my blog from Blogger to WordPress my images aren’t showing up as crisp and clear on my blog.  They look great out of my camera and even after I save them “for the web” in Photoshop, but as soon as I upload them to my blog they look grainy and just not as crisp.  Is there a way to save pictures for the web for WordPress without compromising the quality of the image?

I have pictures ready to share tonight but they look so grainy I just don’t want to post them until I get this figured out!  So sorry about the lack of posting.  And thanks in advance to anyone who can help me!  This is the side of blogging that I don’t enjoy.

The only side.

I enjoy all of the other sides.  The projecting and picture taking and writing and sharing and communicating with all of you lovely people.  But the technical, computer, behind the scenes stuff?

For the birds.  :)

Be back soon.  Hopefully with clear pictures to share!