Monday, April 14, 2014

Organized kitchen drawers and fridge

Well.  As promised I'm posting and not a stitch of laundry was done today.  :)  But I did manage to unpack everything and get groceries (with all three kids in tow - hyper from traveling all of yesterday and this morning and functioning on about 5 hours of sleep).  That was an adventure.  That I don't want to repeat anytime soon.  But I'm still calling today a success!  Kauai pics are still sitting on my camera card so for now I am sharing a few more kitchen drawers I tackled before our trip.

One thing I've really been focusing on this year is helping my kids to be more independent.  I tend to be a bit of a control freak around the house (bet that's news to you) and I'm working on not being as big of a control freak around the house.  Sounds simple, right?  So I organized a separate kitchen drawer that just holds the "kid" plates/bowls/cups, etc.

Now my three little soon to be chefs can easily access everything non-breakable and they can whip up snacks and get drinks all on their own.  And if the drawer doesn't stay quite as organized as the picture above, I'll be ok with that too.

(If I keep saying it, I will eventually mean it.  Baby steps.)

I also organized all of our Glad containers together.  I put some of the smaller containers/lids in a glass bread pan.  Because I'm not the bread making type and it needed to feel useful.  

I love using the Glad containers to hold leftovers and our cut up fruits/veggies for the week.  I mentioned when I showed my fridge in our previous house that I wash and cut our fruits/veggies soon after I get groceries.  I'm more likely to reach for something healthy if it's already washed and ready to eat.  So are the kids.  

Not that everything in my fridge is healthy.  But it does stay organized.  :)  

I want to find some containers to separate a few things in this drawer, but other than that, I'll just do my usual - try to keep similar things grouped together and wipe the shelves down each time I buy groceries. I've found that if I spend 5 minutes cleaning out old things and wiping off the shelves each time I put new groceries in the fridge it keeps everything clean.  That way I don't have to do a massive fridge clean out that would take much longer than 5 minutes.  

 The new kitchen is about half way organized at this point!  On its way to being finished.  

Wish I could say the same for my laundry.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

I'm back

Hi friends!  I missed you all last week!  

I was busy.  Kayaking down rivers with captivating river guides.
Oh.  And my family was there too.  ;)

My girls were out of school last week for spring break and we spent the week in Kauai.  Such a great vacation!  Such a brutal re-entry.  I have a lot to post!  And a lot of bags to unpack and laundry to wash.  I will make sure to prioritize.  Post first, laundry later.   Talk soon.  


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Recent pics

Hi friends!  Popping in with a few recent pics.  Very random.  A little bit of everything and nothing. :) 

Fun spring plate I spotted at Pier One.  Love this time of year with all of the fun Springness popping up everywhere!  (Is Springness a word?  If not it should be.)

Small gifts I put together for the Young Women in our church.  We give them bracelets on their birthday.

I feel like my circle punches are my most used craft item.  Ever.  I use them for everything.  From Valentine's Day cards to school projects to my kids'  albums.  They come in so handy.  

Pretty purple tulips.  A late b-day gift from a friend.  

A blurry pic I snapped with my phone of Ad's last book report (timeline) on Ramona Quimby Age 8.  Don't you just love Ramona Quimby Age 8?  One of my all time favorite children's books.  Although I have about 3,422 all time favorite children's books.  Right now Kenny is reading my girls Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry.  Another one that is near and dear to me.  Reminds me of reading to my fourth and fifth graders every day after lunch.

Speaking of my Ad - a quick pic of her after I spent some time in her classroom last week.  Oh to be in 2nd grade again!  Such a sweet age.

Finally DONE with paint touch up work in the house.  And pretty much everything else that had to be finished.  So many people told me the building wouldn't end after you move in and they were sure right about that.  But now we are done.  Such a happy feeling.  :)

Cute hand towels and a bath mat I picked up at World Market.  I had a coupon and scored all of this for under 20 bucks!  I'm going to try them in my girls' bathroom.

A lot of the plants we planted in the yard are blooming!  It feels like we are seeing some of our yard for the first time.  Having a back yard has changed my life.  We are always outside.  We were outside a lot before too but it always involved me taking the kids' to a specific place outside like the park or the beach.  Now they can run free and wild!  While I do dishes.  :)

Cooking chicken for a salad.  

I made this grilled chicken salad I pinned on my food/recipe board on Pinterest and it was seriously so good!  Try it if you get the chance!

Speaking of cooking - my mom wanted to get me new pans for Christmas this year because mine are trashed.  But I told her not to.  Because I like them trashed.  :)  I like to cut chicken in them (gasp!) and put them in the dishwasher (gasp!) and generally not worry about keeping them nice.  So my mom came up with another fun idea for Christmas.  

She gave me and my sister and my sister-in-law gift cards to Victoria Secret and said we were all going shopping together and then to lunch and it's a new Christmas tradition.  SO much fun!  I bought these pajamas and have lived in them in the evenings ever since!  This pic is awful because I snapped it quick at night to text and thank my mom.  But I wanted to tell you about that gift idea because I thought it was so clever and fun.  Now we all have something to look forward to after Christmas each year - a little shopping/lunch girl get together.  It was so funny because our husbands saw Victoria Secret gift cards and got excited.  Then we all came home with pj's like these.  

Probably not what they had in mind.  :)  

Some of you have asked me how I am keeping my new house clean.  

I train them young.  


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

New chair!

You guys.  I'm in love.  The chair I ordered for the family room finally arrived!  

It's the Thatcher Upholstered Wingback Chair from Pottery Barn.  And it had me at hello.  
And at good-bye.  And at everything in-between.  

I was torn about what to put in this corner of the room but when I first spotted this chair, I knew.  Suddenly everything was clear.  I can honestly say it is my most favorite piece of furniture I've bought for the house this far.

Those stripes!  Those nailheads!  
It's too much.  I can't take it.  

A few shots of it in the room.  You can choose from lots of fabric choices for this chair.  Easy decision for me because I have always loved stripes.  And I know even though this chair has stripes, it's white and grey and technically another neutral item.  But here's the thing with my thus far "neutral" purchases.  I know me.  This room will never really be decorated.  None of my rooms will.  I get tired of things quickly and like to switch them up.  So I wanted all of my larger, more expensive purchases to be neutral.  Then I can mix up the less expensive accessories with the seasons.  Picture this room with blues/greens/yellows in the spring, pops of red at Christmas, and warm colors in the fall.  Options are endless!  Even with my striped chair.  Did I mention I adore the stripes on this chair!?

This is a pic I snapped of it at the store with my phone the day I fell in love.  It looks good with this grey blanket and beige pillow, but I am going to look for a pillow with a little more personality.

Right now you're wondering "how many pictures did she take of this chair?"
A lot.  :)

At some point I need to re-style my shelves and I really need to find something for above my mantel.  

But for now I'm just happy to gaze at my chair.  

 The rest of the fam approves of it too.  I kept trying to take pics of the chair to share with all of you but these two thought it was so comfortable they didn't want to get off of it.  

Can you hear me as I'm snapping this picture?  KOLE NO!!  STOP RIGHT THERE!!

I flew with lightning speed, scooped him up, and grabbed a tissue before that hand left his face.  

My beautiful chair was saved!  

Life with kids.  

Sometimes we break things in a little too quickly around here.  


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Dear Kole,

Buddy!  You turned four today.  FOUR!  I don't know if I can write your letter this year.  Your daddy moved you into a "big boy" car seat last weekend without warning me first and I cried for 20 minutes.  I wasn't ready for that.  And your dad will never pull something like that without warning again.  :)  I will do my best but if I become a basket case you may have to take over and write your own birthday letter like you did when you turned one.  Birthdays definitely bring out the sentimental sap in your mommy.  Besides, after that letter I think we can both agree that you are the better writer.   

You are at such a fun, adorable stage right now Kole.  I wish I could bottle you up at this age forever. And you have such a charming little personality.  Your preschool teachers always tell me that you make them all melt.  You are so polite.  "Polite defiance" comes to mind.  I'll say "Kole - time to put away your dinosaurs"  and you answer "No thanks mommy.  I'm good playing with my dinosaurs."  You always remind me of your daddy when you do this.  His favorite response when I ask him to do something is a polite "I'm not mad you asked."  I can't ever be too upset at you because I know where all of your tricks come from.  :)

You love Saturdays.  You love to wake up and watch TV in bed with mom and dad and then play play play with your sisters all day.  Every day you ask me how many more days until Saturday.  Yesterday you woke up and came running into our room and said "is it Saturday!? AND is it my birthday!?"  Unmatched excitement over the thought of both happening simultaneously.  :)

You are obsessed with Dinosaurs at the moment so a dinosaur party was the obvious way to go.  You were so adorable with your little preschool buddies.  Greeting each one and telling them "Hi! Thanks for coming to my birthday!  Do you want to come inside my Elmo jumpy!?" 

You love to jump Kole.  Our trampoline is your best friend so we knew a jumpy was the only way to go for your party.  Even though it was a dinosaur party, you picked out Elmo for your jumpy.  You beat to your own drum and we have learned to roll with it.  This day was all about you.  :)   You were basically in your jumpy from the minute it arrived at our house (10:00 am) until I dragged you out of it for bedtime around 7:00 pm.  Your dad and I are thinking the Elmo jumpy needs to become a permanent fixture in our yard.  :)

 Although you did emerge to play Ellie's rendition of pin the tail on the dinosaur.  

And of course to blow the candles out on your dinosaur cake.  

Then it was back in the jumpy.  You cried when your friends left.  It was so tender.  You didn't want them to leave and not jump with you anymore.  So mom and dad took turns jumping with you.  Until we could jump no more and then we recruited your sisters to fill in.  Your sisters love you so much Kole.  

You have come a long way from the days of just being one of their dolls.  :)

You are now old enough to officially complete the three musketeers.  Always up to mischief.  Always full of endless energy.  Always providing comic relief to your parents.  And most importantly - always together.  Sometimes I look out the kitchen window at you three playing together in the yard and in an instant I am so full of gratitude I feel like my heart might burst into a million pieces.  It's the same way I feel when I pick you up at preschool.  You see my face and your little eyes just light up and you come running.  How unbelievably lucky I am to get to be your mom.  

Your favorite foods right now are noodles and yogurt and your favorite TV show is Dino Dan.  You live for weekends and you love to wear shorts.  You get so mad when it's cold outside and I make you wear pants.  I'm always grateful that we live in a place with nice weather so that I don't have to fight that battle too often.  :)  You are such a good sleeper Kole.  You always have been.  You tell me good night and I love you mommy and then you go right to bed without any problem.  You love books.  You ask me to read to you at least 20 times a day.  All too often we drop whatever is going on and sit on the floor somewhere in the house to read about Dinosaurs or to see what Little Critter is up to.  You are a great story teller Kole.  You love to make up stories - especially ones about big scary monsters.  You are a happy little boy but you definitely have your moments of unhappiness.  Sometimes you get mad and tell me "mom I am SO frustrated!  That makes me a boring!"  (Which means you are bored and not happy with whatever we are doing at the moment.)  

Luckily you never stay "a boring" for long because you always have three girls instantly working overtime to cheer you up.  Your own personal cheerleading team.  :)  You've also got your daddy who you adore and can't get enough of.  You ask all day "when will daddy be home from work?"  You also constantly ask "is it time to go to the zoo with my daddy today?"  One of your all time favorite outings.    

Your speech has come so far in the last year Kole.  You are speaking in full sentences and are almost completely caught up to your peers.  At your last meeting with all of your preschool teachers they told me that you have achieved every one of your goals and last year's thirty pages of goals is down to two for next year.  We have all worked so hard to get here.  I left the meeting and got in my car and cried.  I cried because I was overwhelmed with happiness and relief and most of all just so proud of you.  You are such a smart little boy Kole.  You learn so quickly and you try so hard.  I never doubted your ability to shine for a second.  

You have my heart Kole.  You have had it wrapped around your little finger from the second we met.  Sometimes your daddy gets slightly frustrated with me because you can do no wrong in my book.  I can't help it.  You are my little boyfriend who all of a sudden isn't so little anymore.  Even though you turned four today, you will always be my baby.  You will always have your mom's heart wrapped around your little finger.  
But I do know that you are such a "big boy" now and so proud of it.  And we are all proud of you little buddy.  We love you to pieces and I can't imagine our family without you in it.  Things would definitely be "a boring."  :)  You make me smile every single day.  I can't thank you enough for all of the smiles.  And for all of the kisses and hugs and cuddles and conversations.  I can't thank you enough for all of the happiness you bring me by being sweet, perfect you.

Happy 4th birthday Kole!  Love you forever. 

Love, mom

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Family Room Decor Update!

Time for another update on how my family room is coming along!  Sometimes it feels like it isn't coming along.  This room has been harder for me to decorate than I thought it would be!  Finding a rug has not been easy.  

We tried this aqua rug from Z Gallerie.  I really like the rug, but didn't love it in this space.  A few things about it didn't work.  For one it was a Dhurrie rug (like we now have in our formal dining room) which means it's a flat weave and not that comfortable (realized this after I ordered it!).  Fine for the formal dining room under a table, but not what I wanted for our family room.  I wanted something more comfortable.  I was also worried about wear and tear.  This is the room where we all hang out and this rug will get the most traffic/spills/dirt, etc.  I also didn't love the rug with the coffee table.  Maybe it's just me but something about it just looked off??  Another concern for me was that it would be too much pattern (especially too much trellis pattern!) competing with other patterns that are coming soon.  So back to the store it went!

This rug was another option I was considering.  I ordered a smaller size to just see how it fit in the space before I ordered the big one (a tip to save money on shipping both ways).  Much softer, but I didn't love the shade of blue.  So back to the store it went!  A lot of things have been going back to the store around here lately.  Trial and error!  

Because the blue patterns weren't working for me I went to Restoration and Pottery Barn and pulled some neutral patterns that might work.

So for a while my family room floor was a lovely hodge-podge of rugs.  
Reminded me of a patch work quilt.  

While the great rug debate was going on some fun mail showed up at my house. 
Remember this console table to the right of the fireplace?

My baskets arrived!  I ordered these fun baskets to put on the bottom shelf.  I have loved these for a long time and knew while we were building I would find a place for them somewhere in my house! (Baskets are from Restoration Hardware - shock I know.  Sort of love that place.)  

I tried out my yellow lamp on the console (I've had this lamp for years) and I love the look of a lamp in that spot, but I don't love the yellow or the light shade in this space (the shade doesn't pop enough against the white) so I found a new lamp for that spot that I'll share soon.  The rest of the table top will be fun to accessorize!  Although with what I don't know yet.  Aside from loving the look of the baskets, I also wanted them to hold our blankets.  We all love to curl up under blankets when we watch TV and I needed a place to hide them all.  

Although a certain someone keeps taking the blankets out of the baskets... 

and piling them up in a corner of the couch.  He loves them all out in a big pile!  Drives me nuts.  
Probably wouldn't drive me nuts if our blankets were pretty blankets that worked well with the decor.  But my husband's beloved Charger blanket?  Not so much.  :)

Back to the rug... 

Because I was worried about the room being too busy once other patterns are introduced I decided to try a more neutral rug in this space.  This is Pottery Barn's chunky wool and jute rug.  While it isn't what I originally pictured for this room, I think it looks really good.  It's a combination of the color of my couch and my table.  Plus it's SO soft.  It doesn't look like it would be, but it really is!  Nice and thick and comfortable.  It will hide everything my kids dish out.

I was going to put a jute rug similar to this in my dining nook under the table, but if I keep this in the family room I think I'll add a colored/patterned rug in the nook instead.

Even though I really like the rug in this space and it meets all the criteria of everything I was looking for, it feels so bland to me right now!  Because it is bland.  

I'm trying to be patient waiting for some pattern and color.  :)

I tried putting my glass bottles above the TV but I'm not sure if I like them there?  
I'm going to re-do the shelves at some point.  The vintage books are staying, but I'm moving everything else around.  Nothing is safe in my house for long.  :)

Here's a peek of things to come for this room...

The grey/cream fabric on the left is what I chose for my drapes.  I'm really nervous about them.  
I love the fabric, but I know drapes will completely change the look of the room so I hope I like the change!  It's always hard to picture something like that for me and custom drapes aren't something I can return.  (We had to order custom because the doors/transoms are so tall.)  I don't do well without knowing I have the option to return.  :)    

Here are my pillow fabrics.  (I crossed out the one on the far right because we were considering that for a rug for a while - ordered a sample and didn't like the look of it at all).

 Here are the pillows/drapes together.  

To be honest, I originally pictured brighter colors in this space, but everything really colorful I've tried just hasn't looked right.  For whatever reason more neutral/soft colors look better in this room to me so I am playing with brighter colors in other rooms.  I do love the pillow fabrics and I'm excited to have pillows on the couch!  One more thing for Kole to pile up and move around.  On second thought... maybe I'm ok without pillows for a while... 

In my last family room post I mentioned finally deciding what to do with the left corner of the room.
I ordered a chair!  And I love it and it comes on Thursday.  So I will share it soon!

I'm anxious to see how this rug works with the drapes and pillows and chair.  
Then I will decide if it's for sure a keeper.  But so far so good.  

Whew!  That was a long post.  With decor posts this long, don't be surprised if I change my mind on furniture/accessory selections by the time I'm done typing.