Thursday, October 30, 2014

Everyday pics (insta round-up)

You guys.  I love Instagram.  Love it so much.  Blogging used to be more of an on-line journal for me.  A peek into our every day.  But now that my blogging time is so limited (partly due to two girls who are getting older and staying up too late!) I'm not able to share as much as I wish I could.  Instagram has been such a fun way to quickly pop in with friends and blog readers and share a peek of what's going on around our house.  I decided towards the end of each month I'll do a quick Instagram round-up on the blog so that those of you who aren't on Instagram can see what we're up too also.  I like everyone to be invited to the party.  :)  And if you aren't on Instagram - join!  I hesitated for so long thinking it would be one more social media thing sucking up my time but it really isn't!  It's so fast and easy.  I can quickly see what my friends are up to while I'm waiting in the school pick-up or grocery store line and post something in one minute while my kids are getting their shoes on.  Ahh -- modern technology!  So here are a few pics from October - complete with hashtags.  Because they're fun.  :) 
Saturday thoughts

Girls party!  Fun afternoon having the girls from my girls' classes over to swim.  Kids had a blast.  Kenny and I are comatose on the couch.

Sitting down to eat my favorite lunch.  Salad with fruit followed by purple skittles.

Puttering in my pantry

Sporting my Fall bags... at the swimming pool.

After school snack is ready to go!  We ate so badly on our trip.  Jeans are tight today so I'm whipping us back in shape.  If I have this ready when my kids walk in the door and are STARVING I have a much higher success rate getting them to eat their veggies.

Unfortunately I'm sporting a not so cute accessory this Fall.  :(

Popping in later with a post but for now I just wanted to say happy Monday to all my friends.  Grateful to have all of you in my life!

Whole family got flu shots today.  Then this little guy got 4 more.  Holding my kids while they get shots never gets easier for me.  Keeping him home from pre-school.  5 shots deserves a day off!  And lots of ice cream.

 Halloween picture banner is up!  Fun to see past Halloween pics and reminisce.  Happy October!

Our after school routine.  Shoes off in the mudroom.  Then El feeds the turtles while this little one spills EVERYTHING about her day.  And then some more.

Ellie just presented me with her Sunday to-do list.  Complete with pictures and a box for the check mark.  I gotta say... this just warms my heart.

Enjoying an unexpected child free stroll through Target.  Such a luxury!

And that's a wrap for October!  Aside from all of the Halloween fun that will be shared today and tomorrow.  (You can follow my instagram feed at erin_sunnysideup)

Happy Halloween everyone!  Have a safe one!  
And save some skittles for me.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Organized art supplies (a new solution!)

Talking organized art supplies today!  I know.  We've talked about organized art supplies before.  That's because I have a thing for art/school supplies.  And for keeping them organized.  :)  Just before school let out last June I got our art supplies under control with this fun wooden bottle caddy.

It worked great for a few months, but I realized my kids were reaching for the markers, colored pencils, pencils and crayons the most often.  Our crayons were in a different container in a drawer and it didn't make sense to have them separated from everything else.  I knew once school started and the kids were living in the craft room I needed a better solution.  

These are the things that keep me up at night.  ;)  

So this is what I came up with!  I found this cool wooden tray at Tai Pan in Utah over the summer and bought it thinking I'd use it on my dining room table.  But then I came home and decided to try putting pots inside of it to hold our most often used art supplies.  

Perfect solution!  I still use the other wooden organizer to hold scissors and brushes and supplies we don't use as much, but the pencils, crayons, markers and colored pencils that we use over and over every day are right out on the table - easy to reach.  I might paint the black pots another color - or switch them out at some point, but for now (until I figure out the direction I'm going with decor in this room) the black works great.  I almost borrowed the wooden trey to put some pumpkins and fall accessories in it for the living room, but I knew we'd miss it too much in the craft room.  The kids use this every single day.  Problem solved!  Whew.  Now I can sleep.


When I took these pictures I snapped a few of the craft room so I can finally show you one of my favorite rooms in the house!  It's empty and not decorated yet, but coming soon anyway.  Is everyone having a fun Halloween week?  It's always a busy one!  I'm holding off on Christmas decor but am having a hard time restraining myself.  I promised my husband I'd wait until Halloween is over but then all bets are off and I'm turning this place into a winter wonderland!  

Just minus the winter.  

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Easy Halloween Treat

Tonight was movie night with the kids which included our all time favorite Halloween treat.  One night when the girls were little I grabbed a few snacks I had on hand in our pantry and tossed them together and ta-da!  Just like that our family's favorite Halloween treat was born.

What makes it a "Halloween" treat?  It's in a jack-o-lantern bowl of course.  

Plus it includes candy corns.  Candy corns, like a jack-o-lantern bowl, signal Halloween.  Additional items include: popcorn, pretzels, fishy crackers, and m&m's.

It's funny to me that this simple combination is such a hit with my kids.  Part of the reason is because they only get this treat a couple of times in October which adds to the magic and makes it seem extra special.  Some squeals may have been heard down the street when I whipped this up tonight.  Took me a whole 5 minutes.

 No cooking involved + squealing excited kids?  My kind of treat. 

Thought you might want to whip it up this week at your house too.  

You can tell your kids I said "you're welcome."

And Happy Halloween.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Easy Halloween Picture Banner

I've always loved displaying pictures of my kids during the holidays as part of my decorating.  So many fun memories are made each year!  I love to have them out for our family to look at often.

In my previous house I made this aqua frame for my family room so that I could easily switch out seasonal pictures.

But the frame wasn't working in our new family room so I decided to just hang the pictures across my fireplace mantel.

It turned out cute and was SO easy to do.  It took a whole 15 minutes and my kids love it!  I already had a lot of these past Halloween pictures so I just developed a few more recent pics to add to the banner.  (All of the pics are 5x7)

 I used thick burlap from the craft store and just folded it in half.  

 I moved a picture so you can see what the burlap looks like underneath.  

I was trying to figure out how to attach it without damaging my mantel or the paint so I wrapped the burlap up on each end of the mantel...

and then just pulled each end underneath the lanterns (the right end was much longer than the other to reach the opposite side).  I did this at first just to see if the burlap would work and how it would look, but it held everything so well I just left it like this.  No need to come up with a fancy attachment and make things harder than they need to be!  Especially for something seasonal that I will take back down soon.

 Then I just used clothespins to attach the pictures.  

*sidenote:  I did a little happy dance when I went to find my clothespins!  No searching because they were organized so nicely with all of my school/craft supplies in a labeled bin in my office.

Made me want to ditch the mantel decorating and start organizing another office cupboard!  But that's my problem.  I start too many things and then don't finish anything.  So on that note -- back to the topic at hand.  :)

 The clothespins and burlap worked great.  Like I said, so easy.  

My kids love the banner and having our favorite Halloween books out.  Makes it really feel like October.  They come over to this spot every day to look at the pictures and read a book or two.  I especially love walking in the room and seeing one of my girls reading to Kole.  So sweet.  

Looking back at these pictures makes me realize once again how quickly my kids are growing up.  It's a good reminder to me to slow down and enjoy this fun time of year with them.

Happy October friends.  


Monday, October 20, 2014

Our new staircase

This weekend as I was putting away the kids' new Halloween costumes (they've been running around in them all week so excited for Halloween) I suddenly flashed back to this week last October.  Around this time one year ago we moved into our new house.  I truly can't believe we have been in the house a year!  I still feel like we just moved in.  I use that excuse all the time when people come over to explain away the state of my home.  Ignore the mess and the empty rooms!  We just moved in.  A year ago!  Ha!  Might have to come up with a new excuse.  :)  I decided in honor of our one year house anniversary I should finally show you our stairs!  (If interested you can see the beginning stages of these stairs here.)

I don't know why I have such a fascination with stairs but I do.  I had almost every detail of this staircase already designed in my head before we even met our architect (Coastal/Craftsman with a modern twist!).  First of all - that runner!  Chosen by some of you!  I love it.  So thank you to all of you who voiced your opinion in this trendy vs. safe post and helped me make this decision.  I'm so glad I listened to all of you!  (And to my husband who likes to remind me that he chose that runner too - I just didn't really listen to him until all of you agreed.)  :)  I love this view of the stair runner because it ties in so nicely with the mudroom baskets you can see down the hall.  Not really planned but I'll take it!

I wanted to do something unique that I hadn't seen before so we came up with this fun detail on the side of the stairs.  I worried that it might be too busy, but everything else is so clean and simple that I think it works.  I'm excited to dress these stairs up for the holidays!  

Simple inset panels that match the molding throughout the house.  My favorite look.  :)

This is a view of the hallway with the formal dining room on the left.  

 You come to the stairs  quickly after entering the house through the garage.  Mudroom, laundry room, and powder bathroom are on the left.

Then my office (dutch door you can see on the right).  The main living areas (kitchen and family room) are across from the stairs.  

I decided to stain the top of the molding to match the treads and railing.  

Sorry.  Just realizing now I took way too many pictures of the stairs.  

One of every view from every angle apparently.  

Obviously they take me to a happy place.  Mostly happy that they are actually finished and we can enjoy them.  When you're building it feels like you'll never reach that point!  

I loved this modern light fixture and knew early on that I wanted to use it somewhere in the house so I was thrilled when I realized it fit perfectly over our stair landing.

I think it works with all of the clean lines in the molding.  And I love how pretty it is at night!  It really lights up the staircase. 

It also ties in nicely with the black and white striped rug in the upstairs laundry room.  The only thing in the upstairs laundry room!  Other than hampers full of dirty clothes of course.

I'm planning on bringing more black in the upstairs hallway at some point next year when I get around to finishing the upstairs.  I've made a lot of progress in the girls' rooms!  But at the rate I'm going I'll have pictures ready to share with all of you around 2016.  

You'll have to cut me some slack because after all, 

we did just move in.