Thursday, November 29, 2012

Random Friday

Ann's annual "Favorite Things" party was tonight!  Woot woot!  I just got back and I'm worn out from chatting the night away.  I think I may have lost my voice.  Again.  Time to whip out the lemon water.  And time to share the favorites with all of you!  (Coming soon!)  Oh my word.  Everyone brought GOOD stuff this year!  I'm so excited about the three items I brought home and there are about ten more items I'm absolutely going to buy.  Great gift ideas!  I love this party.  

We pulled out our Christmas movies this week!  I'm so proud of myself for holding off this long.  I was hoping they would entertain Kole a little better than they have.  Turns out he isn't all that into Barbie's version of A Christmas Carol.  What's up with that?  :)

He'd much rather watch Peppa Pig or Sword in the Stone.  I love this picture of him watching Sword in the Stone at my mom's.  I love that he is watching one of my favorite movies.  I love the intent little look on his face.  I love that he is sitting in a chair from my childhood.  I love that his little feet aren't touching the ground.

 Our Elf will make his first appearance on Saturday!  My girls are so excited they can hardly stand it.  

And aside from a few things I have to do, my weekend plan is to finish up Christmas decorating and enjoy reading this new magazine I just picked up.  Christmas decor and gift ideas?  Amazing kitchens? Aqua ornaments adorning the tree?  I have a feeling I'm going to enjoy it.  :)

Happy almost December everyone!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Creative Messes

Sharing a few "creative messes" that have been happening around my house lately.  Oh my word.  It is impossible to keep this place clean.  I've given up!  Cupboards and drawers are still organized (because that's the only way I stay sane) but the rest of the house?  Not so much.  

You've seen Kole's pillow pile.  A daily occurrence.

 And then we have the girls' books turned doll houses.  Creating a perfect center for drawing, reading,

and playing. 

 Next up - houses for the Littlest Pet Shops.

 The furniture is a perfect fit and washrags make ideal beds and couches. 

Friends that are too big for the books sleep in a suitcase.  Naturally.  

When my girls aren't putting their friends to bed inside of books and suitcases, they head to my bead to create a fort for them.  

 "Pillow land fort" to be exact.  

 Which is a bit ironic because there are no pillows left in pillow land fort.  
Kole is no doubt stashing them in a pile somewhere.  

Yesterday my wood floor samples became race tracks.

And just before Thanksgiving my girls came up with this configuration.  They took our Easter tree, added candles, construction paper, pumpkins,

 and a homemade turkey on top. 

 I have NO clue what this is exactly.  I didn't dare ask.  But it entertained my girls for over two hours.  

And that my friends, is a mess I can handle.  


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Range Hood and Bar Stools

Every afternoon the girls do their homework and I do my housework.  And by housework I don't mean cleaning and laundry, although I should be cleaning and doing laundry.  Instead I go over cabinet and built-in sketches, take calls regarding plumbing and electrical issues, and compare prices for light fixtures on-line.  We also eat lots of cheese and crackers during this time.  Cheese and crackers make us think better.  Kole runs circles around the table tapping each of us on the leg and saying "play!?" so we take turns chasing him in the back yard or up and down the stairs.  Then when all three of us girls are worn out and can chase no more we turn on Peppa Pig.  We are always SAVED by Peppa Pig.  This has become our afternoon routine.  :)

Today I have been working on my range hood that will go over my oven.  And by "working" I mean pondering, contemplating, debating, and stewing.  I'm a little torn and would love some help from anyone who has an opinion!  Here is the latest sketch:

I feel like it's SO close to how I want it, but I can't quite say it's done.  Does the top section with the three panels need to be longer?  Should I move the corbels up under the shelf instead of below it?  Do I want to lose the arch and make it straight along the bottom?  The hardest thing about building everything from scratch is having TOO many options.  I'm swimming in options!  Or more like drowning in them.  I would love to hear your opinion on the range hood!  You know.  So that I can tweak it ten more times and drive my cabinet guy even more crazy than I already have.  Thankfully he is so sweet and calm and patient with me.  I need to make him some muffins.  

I'm really not much of an arch person and most things in my house will be straight lined, but I added the slight arch to the range hood because I'm going to do a valance over my kitchen window and wanted the two to compliment each other.   

Here are the two options for the window valance and I'd love to get your opinion on this too!

Option #1

Option #2

Do you like it better with two panels or three?  Thanks in advance for sharing your sage wisdom and advice!  I clearly didn't eat enough crackers and cheese this afternoon to power through this decision on my own.  

Now for some more decisive new house news, I bought bar stools!  

What do you think!?  My designer (who lives in Utah) called me one afternoon and said "Erin!  I found some bar stools that are totally you in TJ Maxx at such a good price!"  He took a pic with his phone and as soon as I saw them I called my mom.  "Mom - I love you.  Remember how I'm your favorite and how I've brought you so much happiness over the years..."   :)
"What do you want Erin."
"I need you and dad take his truck to TJ Maxx and pick up some bar stools for me.  Keep the receipt just in case I see them and change my mind.  Oh.  And then I need you to store them for me until the house is finished because you know I don't have an ounce of room for them in my current house."

She and my dad went to TJ's and got the bar stools for me.  Clearly because I'm their favorite and have brought them so much happiness over the years.  And I don't want to return them!  Even though my dad predicted that I would.  (Such little faith dad!)  Fingers crossed they will look good in the new kitchen!  I can only fit three under my island, but I bought four just in case I need an extra.  Accidents tend to happen often with my crew.

I love the nail head trim and that they are leather so they will be easy to wipe clean.  Pretty and practical.  Something I'm always attempting to achieve.  YEA for my first furniture purchase for the new house!  And thanks mom and dad.  I love you both and suppose the two of you have made me pretty happy over the years as well.  


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving re-cap

Love my mom's house and yard this time of year.  

Such a beautiful neighborhood.  

The kids were lots of help with the leaves.  Such a novelty for them.  Palm trees tend to stay in tact in our neck of the woods.  :)

My mom breaking the bread for stuffing in her pj's on the phone.  Comfy multi tasking at its best.  

This table was taken over by the kids for coloring and crafts.  

Family bonding time.  We always end up chatting in the backyard while the kids play.  

They were outside all day long.  

Except for when they were inside on the computer.  Kole's latest obsession - ABC Train on YouTube.  If you have a toddler, google it and enjoy four minutes of peace.  

You're welcome.  :)

Enjoying time with Kenny's fam.  This pic was taken while everyone was talking to his little brother on the computer who is serving in the military out of the country right now.  He was missed.   

Time for an Oreo turkey craft!  

These little suckers are harder to make than you'd think!      
Not Pinterest worthy, but El's turned out better than mine did.  
Fun to make and even more fun to eat.   

My girls with Kenny's sweet grandma.  Love this picture. 

My nephew in the leaves.  Also love this picture.  

And I especially love these pictures:

A great game of chase never gets old.  At least for a certain two year old.  I have to admit - it was nice sitting this round out for a change.  :)

Winner and Lemon Water

Thanks to everyone who entered the book giveaway!  
Here are the winners (picked by

Winner of Deliberate Motherhood:

Jenny who said:

Oh my gosh, either one of these books could help me out in so many ways!!! I am a mother of 5 boys, two of which are disabled.... So being a good mom, keeping my sanity and staying organized are pretty much three of my top priorities!!! Great giveaway regardless who wins!! ;)

Jenny P. from Racine, Wisconsin

3 Winners of The Staying Organized Survival Guide:

Sue who said:

Hey, Erin! Hope you're having fun with all your crew taking pictures instead of cooking (that's how I weasel out of stuff I don't want to do, I'm the self-appointed photojournalist!)
I'd love to win either of these books. Cokeville, WY. Can't wait to see your weekend report!

Cathy who said:

I would love to win either one of those books for my daughter. I think she would really love either of them. 

Hope you and your family enjoy your Thanksgiving.

Ileana who said:
Love, love, love your blog! I would love to win the Staying Organized book!
Fairmont, WV

YEA and CONGRATS!  If you are a winner, e-mail me (erininsandiego at gmail dot com) and I'll get the books to you!  If you didn't win and still would like a book, I linked to them on Amazon in my last post.  They are both very reasonably price so pick one up for yourself for Christmas!  You deserve it.  :)


I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  Ours was wonderful.  Except that I was sick.  That wasn't wonderful.  Kole and Ad are sick too so we are very much still in recovery mode around here.

My mom made me countless glasses of lemon water.  Heavy on the lemon.  Did you know that lemon water makes your sore throat feel better?  It really does.  Or maybe it was less about the lemon water and more about being taken care of by my mom.  I'm not sure, but sitting by her Christmas tree next to the cozy fireplace sipping lemon water was my favorite memory from Thanksgiving this year.  

One of my quartz samples made a perfect tray for my lemon water.  Still trying to find counter tops for my kitchen that look like marble but aren't real marble.  I want my mom to be able to come and visit and squeeze lemons all over my counters and not worry about them staining.  I am a fan of lemon water.  And worry free quartz counter tops.   :)

Being sick over Thanksgiving certainly didn't stop me from eating way too much food.  Kenny went on a strict pie diet while I devoured an unhealthy amount of turkey.  You all know how I feel about a good turkey sandwich.  

The two of us will be attempting to eat a bit lighter next week to make up for our incessant gorging.  

We'll see how long it lasts before the Christmas festivities start.  

I might as well pull out the stretchy pants right now.

Any of you doing the same?


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Book Giveaways!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Popping in on turkey day for a fun giveaway!  I'm giving away two books and I'm so excited about both of them!

I'm grateful for a long list of things each Thanksgiving but motherhood is always at the top of that list.

Being mom to these three pretty much tops everything.  They drive me crazy on a daily basis and I wouldn't have it any other way.  And yes, I know I need a more recent picture of my three kids all together, but once Kole started moving we said good-bye to calm, posed family pictures.  Most of my recent pics of him now are of the back of his head running away.  :)  

The first book I'm giving away is all about motherhood.  In fact, it's a book written by a group of mothers.  A group of wonderful mothers who all have such inspiring words to share.  

The book is titled Deliberate Motherhood: 12 key powers of peace, purpose, order and joy and was compiled by the women at The Power of Moms.  I've been to one of their motherhood retreats and learned so much.  I knew I would really enjoy this book.  Motherhood is such a journey of highs and lows and this book is full of wonderful stories and uplifting ideas from over 60 mothers.  I just received this book and have enjoyed reading it so much!  I started with the chapter written by my friend Sarah from Clover Lane and couldn't put it down!  She is always so inspiring to me and so were all of the other mothers who's chapters I've read so far.  I'm so excited to give one copy of this book away to one of you!  You can also check out 71Toes and MaisyMak (two other fun blogs) for another chance to win because they are also giving away one copy of this book.  SO fun.  :)  

OK - so if motherhood is my ultimate favorite topic a very close second would have to be organizing.  I know - this is not news to anyone reading.  :)  I'm so excited to give away three copies of this fabulous on-line book:

The Staying Organized Survival Guide.  You guys.  When Chloe wrote me and asked if I would do a giveaway for her book I told her that I needed to check it out first.  Obviously I'm pretty protective of my blog and only want to do giveaways for things I really stand behind.  (Which is why I politely turn down most of the giveaway offers I receive).  I was planning on just skimming this book to see if it would be a good fit for my blog and before I knew it, time had flown by and I had read the whole thing!  I loved it!  I felt myself nodding the whole way through and have blogged about a lot of the same things Chloe mentions in her book.  This book is great for someone who wants to be organized but doesn't know how or where to start.  You will spend just 15 minutes a day for 30 days organizing your home and along the way you will learn strategies to help you get and stay organized.  What a great way to start out the month of January!  *You do need to have an Amazon account to get access to this book.  

I have truly enjoyed both of the books I mentioned above and think either one of them (or both!) would make a great Christmas gift for you or someone you know.  You can read more about Deliberate Motherhood here and you can read more about The Staying Organized Survival Guide here.  

If you would like to win one (or both) of these books, leave a comment below that includes your name and city.  Let me know which book you are interested in winning and I will pick some winners on Saturday.  YEA!  :)

I can't believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving!  It crept up so quickly.  If you are planning on starting your Christmas shopping on black Friday good luck!  For those of you who are new to my blog (hello and welcome!), here are the links to some of our favorite toys and gift ideas if you need suggestions... 

I'll be posting a few more fun gift ideas during the next month!

Happy shopping, good luck with the book giveaways, and have a fabulous Thanksgiving everyone!