Monday, August 31, 2009


Since I've become a mother, I've used the term "melt my heart" a lot. Almost on a daily basis I would guess. I mean, when you have these baby blues staring back at you how could you not?!

Today I had a major heart melting moment. The boys have been great about giving out kisses lately and God knows I ask for a lot of them. Those kisses are my favorite thing next to dark chocolate.

When I was leaving to go back to work after lunch, I shut the baby gate at the top of the stairs, with Ben watching me through the wooden bars. He smiled and waved (not the moment I'm talking about but that alone is enough). I asked him for a kiss and we shared a lip lock through the bars of the gate.

Sweetest kiss ever.

How did I get so lucky?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

{and the winner is...}

The samples I ordered from Lumber Liquidators came yesterday and much to our surprise they looked nothing like the online photos.

The darkest of the bamboo samples was super dark. Pretty...but just wouldn't flow with the flooring we have in the rest of the house.

The oak sample was OK, but the planks are really skinny and we want something more substantial.

It ended up being a choice between the two lighter bamboo samples and we ultimately chose the darker one. It is an almost exact match to our current wood floors so the transition from our front room into the new flooring will be almost seamless. I like that it is bamboo because I feel like I'm being a bit environmentally conscious as well.

Here are the photos I took last night (please ignore the scratches on the sample - the hubs was testing out how easy each one was to scratch with his keys LOL :)

It blends in perfectly with our current wood floors...

Oh how I can't wait to get rid of this awful carpet!!!

And here it is compared to the stairs. We are going to put it down in our entryway as well, so we wanted something that was complimentary to the stair color, which is darker than the other floors.

Off to call the contractor, get this stuff ordered and pick an installation date!!! Eeeeee!

Monday, August 24, 2009

{Design Star}

I've been religiously watching this season of HGTV's Design Star, as I have every season so far. I have to admit that overall I haven't been wowed by the contestants' design skills.

There have been a few designs that have really stood out in my mind. One was Dan's white room challenge design. Very inventive, unique and out of the box. I loved what he did with the wood and the apples.

Another design moment that I loved was on the first episode, when Antonio painted the bird sculptures that they hung over the fireplace hot pink. I absolutely love the mix of the hot pink, white and gray.

He definitely has a vision and won't let anyone deter him from it...we learned that on the military family episode when he refused to paint the walls tan. Although it was a good outcome, the way he went about it was a tad shady.

But I digress...

I wanted to talk about last night's challenge and what a downer it was. makes me think that I could be a legitimate contestant on this show. Granted, I don't know what the time constraints and pressure can do to one's thought process, but I would like to think that I could come up with some fantastic designs.

Jason's and Torie's room were quite disappointing. It is hard to say which was worse, although I think that Torie should have been sent home. Her room had no cohesiveness and the wall feature with the little girl's name was horrendous. Seriously?

Her client wanted and "artist's loft"...why not do a brick feature wall? Floor to ceiling curtains, some oversized artwork. That would have evoked the loft feeling much more in my opinion.

Is it just me or do these designers not know how to use curtains??? Especially Jason. in the military family episode, he claimed he couldn't find curtain rods that would work for the design. That is just crazy talk can buy curtain rods at ANY home store, AND you were putting them underneath cornice boards so the color/style really weren't crucial. But I digress again...

And Jason...Jason, Jason, Jason. He had the pink princess room. The only thing I loved in his room was the chandelier. And it didn't make up for the rest of the space. The painted border around the window?

This is where curtains come into the design. Some beautiful silk or organza panels with a big chunky rod would have made the room so dramatic. And the place mat headboard? Again...seriously? That room was begging for a velvet tufted headboard. Every princess should have this from Urban Outfitters for instance would have been gorgeous...

The designers had a budget of $5,000. How in the heck did he spend that much money on place mats and cheap looking shelving? I have no words.

Dan and Antonio's rooms had some great points, but overall were, again, disappointing for me. I loved what Dan did with the TV. Hated the hot pink and the wall treatment over the bed.

Very surprising coming from him and his past designs. In fact, nothing really goes together now that I look at the picture of his finished design. And what is on the mirrored closet doors?

Antonio got such a fun room and I loved his concept, but it was way too haphazard for me.

The dinosaur stickers all over the was just way too busy. But, his client loved it and how cute was he?! "Spaghetti!" LOL :)

My overall favorite was definitely Lonni. And her hosting was pleasantly surprising as well. Who knew she had such personality? She always seems so dry and boring to me during the challenges, but she really stepped up her game. I loved her room, from the sophisticated feel to the palette she chose and the wall of baseball bases. All it needed, again, was some curtains.

Next week's challenge is a yard makeover, which doesn't do much for me, but it will be interesting to see what they come up with. What were your thoughts on this episode? Who do you think will win it all? I'm rooting for Lonni...


Slowly, but surely, I am making this new house our home. It is so frustrating not to be able to get decorating projects done when at the pace I would like. Thank goodness for my mother-in-law, because I don't know how I would have gotten anything done without her help. She took the boys for half the day on Saturday and I got a few more projects knocked off of my list.

First was painting our front door. It was a bad shade of burgundy when we moved in (and a bad paint job as well) Here is the before:

Now it is a nice warm shade of brown:

I also had time to do some decorating and re-arranging in the boys' rooms. I hung up some new artwork in Landon's room including the autographed Ben Harper poster that the hubs won, and a very precious photo of Landon with his Great-Granddaddy. Landon loves this area now...whenever we are in the he goes right over to it and points at everything. So adorable.

And a new little arrangement on his cabinet:

I also switched out some owl prints in his room for "L" and "H" alphabet cards (his middle name is Harper):

I think his room is a lot cozier now. :)

In Ben's room, I got a few shelves installed in his cute little nook, as well as a collage frame and some knick-knacks.

I framed a "B" alphabet card for him, and hung that over his dresser.

I moved the bird canvas that was previously there to over his crib, where it now hides the useless intercom that's smack dab in the middle of the wall.

I also put up my fun new chalkboard wall decal a few days ago. A wire shelf I already had will serve as a great chalk / pretty decor holder. I love how it greets us as we walk down the stairs. A great place for positive reminders.

Now all I need is to buy some chalk! What quote do you think I should christen it with?

Happy Monday is going to be a busy week!

Friday, August 21, 2009


We are one step closer to the hurdle that is our kitchen/family room flooring. From a recommendation at work I found a contractor to do the installation. His quote was refreshingly affordable so now all we have to do is pick what we want! We are going to go ahead and have him install the same flooring in our entryway also. Right now it is sheet vinyl and not pretty at all. I am sooo anxious to have him get started!!!

This has been a frustrating process of finding something, thinking about it for a few days or a week, deciding it isn't what we want...and doing that all over again...and again...and again.

I ordered some samples from Lumber Liquidators so we can actually see some options up close before we make this big decision. Here are the samples...there are a few different types of wood and colors, but since it is hard to tell what a color will look like on a computer screen I decided to give us a wide variety to choose from...

This one is ash and an engineered, click together flooring. The upside is easier installation, but it can't be refinished down the road. I can't tell from this photo if it will have a redish hue, so I'm interested to see what the sample looks like.

Three different bamboos (two of them might be too light but you never know...and it is more affordable) I think this first one might be a nice match to the wood floor in our dining room and our stairway.

And an oak in a darker stain. From just the online photo I like this one the best. It is dark but not too dark and a nice chocolate color. Of course it is one of the most expensive.

The samples should arrive next week and then we can *hopefully* make a decision and order it!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I've fallen in love with flickr's photo editing program, picnik. (Thanks to my friend Allison for sharing her secret for making her already gorgeous photos look even more lovely.)

I played around with some old family photos and love the results. There is just something about photos from the 50's and 60's that just pull at my heartstrings, especially when they are of my family. The beautiful couple is my grandparents and the cute little girls are my mom and my aunt. I could look at these all day.

And the same affect (but not nearly as lovely) with Dan and I on my 31st birthday.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Friday, August 14, 2009

{shout out}

I must give a shout out to Etsy seller Alliebeans!

I won a blog giveaway over on Etsy Stalker and it was for one of her adorable Porta Pouches. I got to pick the fabrics and just a couple days later this lovely arrived on my doorstep. How cute is this?!

AND it is the perfect size for my MP3 player!

Thanks again Alliebeans!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I am very lucky to have some extremely talented friends. Some are amazing seamstresses, some are just super crafty, and a few are fabulous photographers. One of the latter is my friend Kelly. She is also SUPER sweet and a great listener (she is a therapist so she kinda has to be).

She has a lovely Etsy shop, CraftTherapea, where she sells her dreamy prints. I purchased one for our bathroom and was finally able to get it framed and hung in our bathroom last night. I absolutely . love . it!

It goes perfectly in there, and will look even better once the walls are a more neutral and soothing shade of gray.

Make sure you check out her shop and find a dreamy print for your home!

Monday, August 10, 2009


I'm not sure why, but turning 31 hit me a lot harder than turning 30. Maybe because when I turned 30 I was in that "just had twins somebody help me get through the next few months without losing my mind" haze. My 30th year was such a roller coaster that I didn't really have time to stop and'm 30! Even so, I am now 31 and I must say that I'm really looking forward to the year ahead. The boys are in such a fun stage, we are getting ready to welcome another little boy into the family this fall (no...I'm not pregnant, sister-in-law is!) and I'm just excited to see what life has in store for us.

The celebration started a day early with MIL having us over for dinner. She and SIL surprised me with the cutest dress that I had been eyeing at Dillards. It reminds me of Meg Ryan in French Kiss...loooove it...

On my actual birthday, I ended up taking the day off of work so I could have some me time that day, and I'm so glad I did. That morning the hubs went out and got me breakfast from Starbucks, and I got some quality playing time in with the boys. Then the hubs gave me my present...the most adorable bag from Etsy...

And the Mat Kearney CD I'd been wanting...

Best morning possible really.

Then, I took off to Kohl's to shop for a bridal shower gift for my friend Erica, who is marrying Dan's cousin Eric on September 19th. We are sooo excited for their wedding. Cutest couple ever!

After some shopping, I picked up lunch at Chipotle and headed to MIL's house, where I scrapbooked for a good 4 or so hours. I finally got started on the boys' 1st Birthday album. I'm having A LOT of fun with this one. I bought a bunch of stuff from the Sassafras Lass Bungle Jungle line which is just perfect for their cirucus party theme. Here are a few pics of the pages I worked on. Still a work in progress...

When I returned home, still on a scrapbooking high, I walked into the dining room to find the most beautiful vase full of flowers from my sweet internet bff's. They are the best!

If that wasn't already a perfect day, my parents took the boys out for dinner and some shopping so the hubs and I could go out to dinner. Don't we look really white? And happy? :)

We went to Red Lobster and stuffer our faces with fish and biscuits. Mmmm...

Then we rented a movie to watch after dinner, but by the time we got the boys to bed we both passed out on the couch and recliner. I don't know why we thought we could stay awake for a movie. Wishful thinking I guess...

And finally, because I'm obsessed with handbags, I bought this lovely Fossil orange leather number with some birthday money from the parents. Isn't she beautiful?! And I got her for 70% off which makes it even better! Here are my two new bff's hanging out together. Don't worry will both get equal shoulder time.

If my 31st year is even half as good as the first day was, it will be a wonderful 365 days!


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