Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Valentine mantel and a rough day

Oh my goodness.  It's only Wednesday.  My week started off a bit crazy.  Kole is sick.  :(  Hate that.  I hate it for him and I hate it for me.  Monday was L-O-N-G.  He was so fussy and just wanted to be held and of course I had so much going on.  By 5:30 I was completely exhausted.  I'm helping Ellie with her report on Benjamin Franklin due the next day, dealing with Addie in one of her moods, entertaining and holding a very fussy Kole.  I called Kenny at work and our conversation went something like this:

K - Hi babe.  How is your day going?
E - I don't care what call you think you need to be on or what client you think you need to deal with, I need you home.  By 6:00.  I'm hanging on by a very thin thread right now.
K - Oh no.  I'm so sorry.  Should I pick up dinner?
E - No.  I made dinner.  In the middle of this chaos.  Probably a big part of why I'm hanging on by a very thin thread right now.  (Kole crying in the background)
K - I'll be home soon.

7:30 rolls around and Kenny walks in from work.  Kole is in bed.  Girls are on their way to bed.  Kitchen is clean.  I'm a zombie.  

K - So sorry babe.  I tried to get away...
E - You're dead to me.  

Every have those day?  Every day after I get the kids in bed and the house picked-up I feel tired.  Monday night I felt like I was seriously going to die.  It is very rare that I make a call like that to Kenny.  I seem to be dealing with a string of tired/long/hard days with my kids right now.  I know it's not a three kid thing or a boy thing or even a Kole thing.  It's a one year old thing.  I struggle with this age.  Newborn stage and age 1 to about 2 1/2 are so hard for me.  I love my babies and I know I will miss a lot of things when they are all in school.  But some things I won't miss.  Days like my Monday I won't miss. 

The upside to my tough day is that since Kenny felt so bad he couldn't come home early he has been extra sweet and helpful.  I'm happy to report he is no longer dead to me.  :)

I switched a few things up around the house again.  You know.  In an attempt to deal with my life right now.  Organizing and decorating are all about control for me.  I can't control the craziness that explodes around me with my kids every day.  But I can control some things in my environment.  Like my Valentine mantel.  Which I changed -- AGAIN.  

Not a big switch.  Just back to the winter mantel with the heart in the wreath.  And the heart garland.  I like it.  And I promise that I'll leave it alone.  At least for a week or two.

Oh.  And I moved the birds together.  Because they are in love.  At least for this month.  :)

I knew my girls would be upset that once again I didn't have the candy and the heart wreath out, so I put the candy in this dish (a keepsake from my grandma).

Then I moved a few things around and added the heart wreath to my hutch.  

Now when people walk in the front door they immediately feel the love and can grab some candy on the way in!  The girls are happy and so am I!  Kole's happiness is a work in progress...

A quick Valentine mantel recap:




And all is right in the world again.  

p.s.  MUCH better day today.  :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hair Accessories (and a winner!)




Happy Monday everyone!  First item of business - winner of the Scentsy Giveaway!  I sure wish I could say "Who wants a Scentsy?  You all get one!!"  Kinda like Oprah with her cars.  "YOU get a Scentsy and YOU get a Scentsy and YOU get a Scentsy!  But since I'm not Oprah, and since Megan probably wouldn't love me giving out over 300 of her candles, I guess I can't say that.  What I can say is that I just had Kenny punch the numbers in a random number generator on his computer (that's right - I'm staying out of it) and the winner is...  Jennifer who said:

  "I have seen these but don't have one yet.  I would LOVE one.  I love for my house to smell good when someone walks in.  btw Erin I love your blog and your ideas.  Thanks for sharing!"

Thanks and Congratulations Jennifer!  Send me an e-mail (link is on the side of my blog) with your information and I'll make sure Megan gets in touch with you.  If you didn't win and are interested in buying your own Scentsy, you can click on the links to Megan's site in the giveaway post.

Ok!  That was fun.  Second item of business:  Hair accessories.  How I organize them that is.  (This is my blog after all.  Items of business aren't going to be all that business like around here.)  A few of you have asked recently how I organize my girls hair accessories so here is my system...


Several years ago I bought these two long ribbons to hang all of the girls' little bows and clips.  I wish I could remember where I ordered the ribbons from, but I can't.  They would be simple to make though - just long ribbon attached to rings with a bow at the top.  You can't see in this picture but the bows at the top each have my girls' initials on them.  Anyway - this is what the bows looked like three years ago when it was just me and the girls.  Nice and organized and color coordinated.  I like to call this time the "pre-Kole era".  Back when things made sense and my whole life was color coordinated.

Here's what they currently look like.  Post Kole.  Still organized on the ribbons...just not nearly so neat and tidy.  A bit like my life now.   See - I needed a third.  He has mellowed me.  :)

For now I just loop their headbands through the bows on the top, but this is only a fraction of the girls' headbands so I'm trying to figure out a better place to keep all of them together.  Since my "post Kole" life is a bit hmmm...what's the word....insane!  I haven't had time to deal with them yet.

I organize their clips, small elastics and bobby pins in little plastic containers.

And use some longer containers for their bigger elastics.

I also use a longer one for their toothpaste and toothbrushes.  


It all fits nicely in a little cupboard inside of their bathroom mirror.

Accessories are easy to reach when it's time to do hair.  Regardless of who is getting their hair done!

And since we're talking hair accessories, I can't resist posting my all time favorite picture of my girls in their bathroom...


{2008 - ages 2 and 4}  

I remember Addison hugging Ellie waiting for her to be done brushing her teeth (she used to do this all the time).  I walked by the bathroom one night and just happened to have my camera in my hand.  Nothing like catching a precious, fleeting moment between your kids.  I've always loved this picture. 

Hope your week is off to a great start!  Color coordinated or not.  :)

p.s.  You can see a mini tour of this little bathroom my girls share here

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fashion Friday

Weekend's here!  And I am SO happy about that little fact.  Yea for Saturday morning waffles!  Yea for   
lounging in pjs!  Yea for no schedules!  Well.  Aside from a Saturday morning meeting, an afternoon birthday party, and church stuff Sunday...yea for not as crazy of a schedule!  :)  


Bought this a couple of weeks ago at The Limited and I've worn it twice.  SO SO comfortable.  I'm realizing that I'm kind of obsessed with grey this season.  I'm probably buying/wearing way too much of it.  But this top just spoke to me.  It said - "roll out of bed and put me on.  I'll feel like your pajamas all day."  
Very hard to not buy something when it says that to you.  

Grey Uggs for the morning running errands.  Grey boots to look a little more cleaned up for an appointment in the afternoon.

This top (comfortable as it is) is a little...blah?  So the next time I wore it I added my cream scarf.  

But just like San Diego temps always do, the cool morning turned into a warmer afternoon so half way through the day I switched to this scarf which isn't quite so hot. 
 (Bought this scarf at Gap a couple of years ago.)

I liked that scarf so much (I'd kind of forgotten I had it) that I took this top I usually wear with my anthro belt...

 and wore it with the scarf a few days later.  
Mix and match.  Match and mix.  

 By the end of the week our mild temps turned into hot summer temps so the kids and I (and the rest of this city) pulled out our summer clothes.  I bought this top and necklace last summer at Forever 21.  I think I paid a whopping eight bucks for the two of them together.  Ellie said to me today "mom!  That shirt is see through!"  I said - "I know!  That's why I have a white tee under it!"  Then she nodded her approval - "good thing mom."  Thanks for watching out for me El.  What would I do without all of the endless help and advice I receive daily from my three little ones.  :)

I forgot to get a picture of my outfit with the wedges I wore, but here is a pic of them.  How fun are those bedazzled stones!  Fancy Nancy all the way.  Addison loves them of course.    

I bought them to go with this dress, but they have been fun to wear with lots of things.  

I also wear my cheap-o Forever 21 top with my yellow shoes and these earrings.  
Nothing like a little summer wardrobe to end the month of January!  
Can you believe January is almost over!?  Is it just me or wasn't Christmas like two minutes ago?
Time is flying by so quickly.  
Probably because I'm in a stage of life right now where I don't have time to catch my breath.   
Only enough time to take pictures of what I'm wearing and then blog about it.  
You know.  Life is all about priorities.  

:)  

Have a great weekend everyone!  

**Linking up at The Pleated Poppy

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Winter and Valentines Mantel

This post may be a bit picture heavy.  There's been a whole lot of mantel switch ups going on around here!  

Remember how my mantel look in December?  And remember how I mentioned that one of my favorite things about it was that it would be so easy to transition into January?

Well it was!  All I did was take off the Christmas garland and replace the silver Christmas tree with this pretty vase and winter-y pine cone twig from Z Gallerie.  (On a side note, Z Gallerie is so hit and miss for me.  Some things in that store I love and a lot of other things I can definitely do without.)  Funny because I bought the pine cones during December knowing I would use them somewhere in my house in January.  Then I hunted so many stores looking for the perfect vase to hold them.  Couldn't find anything I liked anywhere and then I finally went back to Z Gallerie looking for something else.  And there she was.  My perfect aqua vase.  She had been waiting for me there all along.  :)

I love this vase.  And the silver pine cone twig.  
Which has some shimmery glitter on it that sparkles in the light. 


And ties in so perfectly with my shimmery silver wreath.  
And with my shimmery basilica pillar Pottery Barn candles.  
A whole lot of shimmery is going on.  


Kept the birds up.  They've become fast friends.  :)

So three cheers for an easy January mantel!  I love this mantel decor because it is simple and clean. And I'm all about simple and clean.  In case any of you didn't already know that about me.  :)  I think I also love it because we don't have winter here.  This mantel decor brings a little winter inside.  Even if it's 77 degrees and sunny outside like it was today.

In fact, I liked my quick and easy January mantel so much that I really wasn't ready to take it down yet.  So I hung a heart from the wreath and called it my Valentines mantel.   

My Valentines mantel and I were getting along just swimmingly.  In fact, we were kind of in love.  Until my girls came home and saw it.  And they said - "Mom.  That is NOT a Valentines mantel."


Remember my Valentines mantel last year?  Well they wanted to know where the heart wreath was.  And the tissue heart garland.  And the candy.  Of course.  The candy!  
We can't have a Valentines mantel without the candy.  
(Sorry birds.  You weren't cutting it with the kids.)

So I combined a few things from my favorite Valentine mantel and the kids' favorite Valentine mantel and came up with this.  
Less black.  More white.  And aqua.  
The aqua looks a bit like a loner color on the mantel but ties in nicely with the rest of my house.  

I tossed my tulips in a white pitcher.  And gave my girls their candy.  

Then I put up the heart garland that we made last year,  

hung the wreath and switched my winter candles for some red ones.  

And now my girls are happy.

Me?  I'm kind of missing my vase and birds.  I'm sure they'll find their way back soon.  
Like after we've eaten all the candy.  
Which won't take long.  :)

Which one is your favorite?  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Scentsy Giveaway!

***This giveaway is now closed.

Ok.  If you've read my blog for a while now you know that I'm a candle girl.  (Hello Fresh Balsam candle from Bath and Body Works - I am still obsessed.)  So when Megan (a sweet blog reader) contacted me about doing a giveaway for her Scentsy Wickless Candles I was excited!  I had never tried Scentsy products before and was curious about how they work.  For those of you who haven't heard of them, Scentsy Wickless Candles are ceramic warmers that are a safe alternative to a candle.  With the warmers there is no flame, no smoke and no lead.  The ceramic warmers use a low watt light bulb that melts specially formulated scenty wax that creates a long lasting aroma that fills the room.  They are safe to use around kids, pets, and in your home, classroom, office, or anywhere.  

There are so many cute warmers to choose from and they come in a variety of sizes, ranging from plug-ins that are perfect for bathrooms and laundry rooms all the way to full size warmers that are perfect for any size of room.  



I chose the "Hampton" warmer since I'm kind of obsessed with all things Hampton and white these days.  (Is anyone watching the show Revenge?  Dream home!!)   Since I don't live in the Hamptons, I figure the next best thing is my Hampton warmer.  :)  I love the way it looks on my counter!  Megan sent me several scents to try and I have enjoyed them all but my favorite so far has been the "Christmas Cottage" scent.  I know.  I'm wearing yellow and smelling Christmas scents in January.  I'm breaking all the rules and Ioving it!  :)  They have over 80 scents to chose from so you are sure to find something you love.  


I just placed a couple of little wickless bars in my warmer and within minutes they had melted and my house smelled so good!  One thing I noticed that was different with these compared to my regular candles is how the smell filled my whole house.  Usually when I light a candle I can only smell it in the kitchen where it is located.  I can seriously smell my Scentsy candle all over my whole house, including the upstairs.  I love that!  The smell is so strong that I only need to have it turned on for a little while.  Then I turn it off and enjoy!

One of my favorite things is to be in a clean house listening to the hum of my dishwasher with a candle burning (or in this case, not burning).  :)

Want one of these for yourself?  One of you will win a full size warmer of your choice and a scent bar of your choice.  And you will love them!  If you are anything like me and love to make your house (or office) smell fabulous.  Leave a comment on this post if you are interested!

Happy Wednesday!! 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Organized Bath Toys

Hi everyone!  Several of you have e-mailed me and asked questions about how I organize certain things (and about other topics) and I just wanted to let you know that I WILL get around to answering your questions on my blog at some point.  Thank you for being patient!  A few of you asked recently how I organize my kids' bath toys.  Great timing because sorting through them was on my trusty "to organize" list.  BTW-it was pouring rain today.  I was planning on exercising with friends and running errands, but because of the weather Kole and I opted to spend the morning at home in our pjs.  I got so many spaces checked off my list!  I always organize best when it rains.  :)  Now I just need the sun to peek out so I can take pictures of everything!  

I've had my kids' bath toys organized the same way for years.  About every 6 months (usually while my girls are in the tub) I dump all of their toys on a towel and go through them.  I get rid of stuff they aren't playing with anymore and put away toys that aren't for the tub that always somehow make their way into my "tub toy" bins.  Because I sort through these toys so often it's a quick ten minute job.

I just use simple plastic bins that I've had for years and divide the toys by categories...sorta.  They get messed up and that's ok.  I'm fine as long as they aren't spilling all over the place.  
I keep all of the bath toys under one of the bathroom sinks.  I keep the lids off so that they are easy for the girls to grab and put away.

After bath time we always toss the toys in the sink.  Then after the toys have dried off (for the most part) one of us tosses them in the bins.  Letting the toys dry out a little keeps them from getting mildew-y.  Is mildew-y a word?  I guess it is on this blog.

 Kole was so content playing with all of these toys while I was going through them!  It was seriously the longest he has sat still in weeks.  I think we may need to re-organize the tub toys more often.  

Like every afternoon.  :)  

 Happy Tuesday everyone!