Thursday, December 30, 2010

{Swedish New Year}

So if the hubby and I were going to a fancy NYE party tomorrow night I would wear this fun dress from Kohl's...

And maybe something like these completely out of my budget little numbers on my feet...

But in reality the hubby and I, along with Mom #2, are going to IKEA tomorrow which will require a slightly different ensemble...

OK, so I won't really be wearing an IKEA bag halter dress, but that is impressive, right?

Then we'll maybe have dinner out at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Because who needs ruffles and heels when you can have Swedish meatballs and enchiladas?!

What are your NYE plans friends?

{Someone please buy that dress for me and dance the night away in it!}

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


We had a really exciting, overloaded and rather exhausting {but in a good way} holiday weekend.

This Christmas felt like it was truly the boys' first Christmas, because they are old enough to fully participate and experience the excitement and anticipation of everything. Dan and I had so much fun buying their gifts this year and seeing the twinkle in their eyes and their huge smiles as they unwrapped everything.

On Christmas Eve we put the boys in their new PJ's, read The Night Before Christmas and set cookies and milk out for Santa. I was able to quickly snag a few shots of them all ready for bed {they were just a tad excited}...



Earlier that day we did Christmas with my parents and the boys got some fun new toys including super cool light saber things...



And a tool bench...


You better believe I'll be putting them to work with those tools! ;)

On Christmas morning the boys went straight to work on their stocking and gifts...


They got lots of new cars...



And a Toy Story Train...


And other equally fun goodies.

Landon snuck in a little track time...


Then we all got dressed to head over to their Gigi's house to celebrate again!

More gift opening of course occurred...



And we all enjoyed some yummy food and cookies...


and Gigi enjoyed some cuddle time with three of her favorite boys...


Make that four :)


Yes! Got him to smile!

You are probably wondering if the adults got any presents.

Why yes, yes we did.

Are there any photos of said presents? Not really. At least not of us opening them. Once you are a parent you are rarely seen in photos again. Hence the lack of a family portrait from the day {added to the fact that Dan just loooves having his photo taken.}

I did take photos of two fun gifts I from Dan that involves lots of sugar...


And one from my parents that will hopefully get lots of use soon...


And I am wearing the sweater that Mom #2 gave me today and I really love it. It is from the Vera Wang line at Kohl's and has pretty ruffles down the front...


Sooo...if you are still with me, that was our Christmas weekend in a nutshell. A really big one. :)

Of course on Monday I had to get a case of the fun stomach bug that is going around. I'm still feeling yucky today, but hoping I'll be back to 100% very soon...or at least for Friday so Dan and I can celebrate the New Year with a nice meal.

How was your holiday? I would love to hear about it!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


When we bought our house {almost two years ago now!} I was bummed about the flooring. Our old house had hardwoods that were in great shape, and our kitchen had a brand new wood parquet floor.

The new house...well...had old unfinished hardwoods in the front room and two of the bedrooms. And yucky carpet in the kitchen and family room. The entryway had old, stained linoleum.

You could say it was a flooring disaster of epic proportions.

And I never thought we would be able to afford to replace all of that flooring so quickly, but we did. And on a tight budget! I thought I would share our flooring journey to give some inspiration to others who are on a similar budget.

So let's take a look at the before and after shots, shall we?

The entryway went from this...


To this...



Much more welcoming, right? And at 99 cents per square foot, the laminate we used was very easy on the budget.

We put the same laminate in the kitchen/family room to replace the yucky - and yes, I have to say yucky again - carpet.

Here are some super before shots from the inspection day...


Oh yes, friends, the toe-kick is carpeted too. For optimum comfort.


And yes, the area in front of the door was tiled but not the kitchen. Genius.

And here is the after, although this ginormous room is still a major work in progress {I'm still hoping that Genevieve will knock on my door one day soon with a brand new kitchen}...


Love the random toys and laptop on the floor. I like to keep it real friends.

The flooring in these two spaces cost us around $1200 and that was for installation as well. Considering that was a total of around 600 square feet, it was a great deal and a good low budget solution for such a large space.

Next up is our front room which we currently use for our dining room and office/crafting area. This space had original hardwoods but they were in terrible shape.

Here is the best worst before shot I could find. It really shows the lack of finish and stains that were on the floors. Of course the cute two year old distracts your eyes just a tad...


And here is a a photo from inspection day...


And here is the after...


And for a comparison...the old and new finish...


Now that they are refinished I can't believe we lived with them for over a year. But you do what you gotta do, right?

This project cost a total of $600 because we used a local independent contractor who was able to keep the cost down for us. We also live in a low cost of living area, so I'm sure that helps us out as well.

And finally, just last week we had carpet installed in our bedroom and Landon's room. {Ben's room already had a nice shag carpet so we left his alone.}

The hardwoods in these rooms were in the same shape as our front room, and since they are bedrooms we opted for cozy carpet instead of refinishing the wood.

And boy does it really cozy up those spaces...


Disclaimer: **Ignore the random toes in this shot, and the fact that our bed is sitting on the floor. The boys love jumping on it that way so who knows how long it will take us to put it back on the frame. Plus it kind of takes me back to our just got our first place and can't afford a bed days, and that makes me smile. **

Here is Landon's carpet...


And the transition from the newly finished hardwoods in the hall to the carpet...


Call me a dork but this shot really makes me smile.

We hired Lowe's for this job, because they had a great deal on the carpet {94 cents per square foot!} and we were able to finance the project into easy payments. Including installation this project came to a total of $550. Not bad for two cozy new bedrooms!

So are you still with me?

I hope I haven't bored you with my adventures in flooring, but I'm super excited that we finally have good quality flooring in our entire house. And for less than $3,000, we were able to get over 1500 square feet of brand spanking new/re-finished floors.

I hope this gives my fellow small budget decorators some hope!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

{hungry man}

Even though it is written for the mom who cooks in mind (my hubby does most of our cooking), I think this book looks like a great resource for our testosterone heavy household...

Right now it is like pulling teeth to get the boys to eat but I know there will be a day when we can't keep food in the fridge because it instantly goes into their mouths.

Any tips from moms of older boys out there? I grew up with one sister so we had rather dainty meals at our house.

Sorry Dad.


Bouncing on the bed with Dad is pretty darn fun...





We've also been practicing our self-defense moves. It can get dangerous around our house!


And don't forget the kisses...


Happy Tuesday friends!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

{never too late}

Over the weekend I finally finished decorating our fireplace for Christmas.

It's never too late, right?

I have had a wreath idea in my mind for a few weeks now, and finally finished it up on Saturday while the boys were napping. I really should have taken some progress pics, but the camera would have ended up with hot glue all over it.

So here is the finished product...


I covered a few old ornaments with yarn (get ready for lots of hot glue on your fingers with this project!)...


And made some rosettes and leaves out of felt (about the easiest project EVER)...


Glued on some more ornaments...

And taaadaaa!


The only thing I purchased for this project was the grapevine wreath, which was $3.99. The rest of the ornaments, yarn and felt were already in my stash!

For the mantle, I used my ridiculously long knitted ivory garland (I made it last year for our tree but it was still too short), some antique tinsel, faux greenery, various ornaments in the same shades of green and silver as the wreath, and three votive holders that put off the prettiest glow...


When I asked Landon if he liked the wreath, he said "its perfect."

Nothing like a toddler to validate your craftiness!

Friday, December 17, 2010

{bump bump}

A conversation with Dan as we were driving around town listening to Christmas music:

Dan: "Whoever thought that "ba-rump-a-bump-bump" would be a good song lyric?"

Me: "Well, I think it is "pa-rump-a-pum-pum" and it is supposed to sound like a drum."

I love a man that can make me laugh, and I will never be able to listen to that song the same way again.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

{the rush}

I've definitely been feeling the holiday rush the past few weeks.

And the blog has taken a back seat unfortunately. Sorry friends!

With Christmas just a little over a week away I'm trying to focus on what we need to get done, what gifts need to be bought, the fact that we are getting carpet installed in our bedrooms tomorrow so we have to move all of our furniture out tonight {yay and yikes to that one}, and also trying to just slow down and enjoy this holiday with the boys because it is the first year that they are really into it. And that is really fun.

But in the rush of it all we have had some really fun times so far this month. This past weekend we celebrated Christmas with the hubby's extended family and it was a really wonderful weekend. Here are a few pics from the insanity that is a Ford Christmas...

The boys helping hand out the presents...


Tearing into their new tool bench from Aunt Debi and Uncle John...


Noah the red-cheeked reindeer...


Ben sporting his military look...


We also took the boys to see a local train display on Tuesday night. It is a pretty impressive set-up with numerous toy trains and a child-size train the children can ride. We weren't sure if the boys would want to ride it or not, but when we asked they both said "YES!!" so on they went...

But the minute they started to move Landon freaked out and starting screaming. {This was actually the second freak out...the first was on the old freight elevator we had to take to the top gotta laugh, right?!}

So Landon got off and Ben rode it all by himself! We were so proud of him. He was so darn cute riding that train... {he looks SO thrilled, doesn't he? LOL }

Ben also rode the carousel...twice...

The boys loved watching all of the trains and this year our nephew Noah got to come as well...





And yes, I forced the hubby to take a family photo. I decided to add some captions for you since you weren't there in person to witness the taking of this lovely shot...


Ahhhh the holidays. ;)

But seriously overall I'm super excited about Christmas and I can't wait to give the boys their gifts and enjoy the weekend with family.

How is your holiday stress level right now? Maybe we all need one of these in our stocking...


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