Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Over the past few days I decided that I needed to start making changes in my life. Some deep, some shallow. This is one of the lighter on my list.

This bad boy sits in the corner of my bedroom and is one of the first things I see every morning. Its looking mighty raggedy. When we first bought it, it was fresh, natural and beautiful. I LOVED it. After months of rough man usage and little boy spiderman jumps it looks like hell. I thought about just buying another natural one but I figured it would only be a matter of time before I was back to funk again. So, I explored the colored ones at Ikea. UMMMM...natural slipcovers $30, colored slipcovers $50. Are they crazy? $20 MORE FOR COLOR? No way jose. And the colors were ugly. Im sorry...I'll dye it myself.

So thats what I did. I bought the natural, I bought some dye and dyed my slipcover and waalah.

My chair came out like this...

Pretty right? I like being able to see the legs like in the first pic so I might hem the slipcover, but I havent decided. I used RIT dye. I ended up having to use 3 boxes to get it this color brown. It first came out a lighter brown and I wasnt at all thrilled. Then it came out a darker brown but it looked almost ashy. It needed one more round' in the washer with some dye to get a little richness. I think it could stand to be a little darker but I just cant dye it again. I dont have it in me. This will do. It looks nice. The perfectionist in me is just going to have to shut up on this one. Its quite nice the way it is.

Now for that feathery beauty. You see that lovely pillow in the picture? This ikea slipcover comes with a cover for the standard ikea pillow. It's small, plain and BORING. I saw something on pinterest that inspired me to paint this feathery little number on this pillow. Yupp, I painted that myself. I bought fabric paint for $2 and a fabric brush for $2 and painted a feather on it. You like? Here's a close up. Thats $4. Pretty charming if I must say so myself and it's actually really soft and machine washable.

Heres what I spent on that mini makeover:
Slipcover $30
Dye $6.75 (2.25 a box, I bought 3)
Fabric Paint $2
Fabric Brush $2

Thats less then I would have spent just on a colored slipcover at Ikea AND I got a pretty fancy new pillow. All in a days work. Gotta love a little dye and fabric paint.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fruit Gone Wild: Wiggly Watermelon

On a search for cool things to do with Jello...I stumbled upon Wiggly Watermelon. I immediately fell in LOVE. This is something that apparently has been on the internet forever and somehow had not become apart of my life.

Let me introduce you in case you too have been kept in the dark. This is Wiggly Watermelon. Wiggly Watermelon say hello.

I know, he's charming. Even more charming in person.

You'll have to excuse my awful photos...I should probably learn how to take a better picture. I got the idea from Gourmet Mom on-the-Go. Her pictures are 100 times better.

Anyhow, how much fun is that? It simply is jello that is set inside a piece of hollow fruit. It can be done with lemons, limes, strawberries and oranges too. Imagine these as Jello Shooters for grown up time...everyone will be walking sideways pretty quickly with shots as cute as these. Keeping them alcohol free for the kiddos is fun too.

It's quite the crowd pleaser...

Wiggly Watermelon
Watermelon Rind
4 Large Boxes of Jello (we used Strawberry)
8 Cups of Water for Boiling Jello
5 Cups of Water for adding into Jello after Boiling
*1/4 c. mini chocolate chips (we did not use these...we kinda ate them all)
*Alcohol (optional...obviously not for the kiddos)

How To:
1. Cut Watermelon in half
2. Hollow out watermelon with a spoon or melon baller
3. Make jello as directed on label EXCEPT only add 5 cups of cold water - otherwise the watermelon will not hold up (if adding alcohol, this would be when!)
4. Pour into hollowed out watermelon - I set my watermelon in a bowl about the size of the watermelon to avoid spilled jello (which is a pain in the hoo-ha to clean up)
5. Put watermelon in fridge to set for 24 hours
6. IF you want to add in the chocolate chips - use a chop stick and push chocolate chips into jello about 12 hours into cooling (when mixture is firm but not set).
7. When ready slice and serve AND GET THE SOAP AND WATER READY. The kids will get sticky. Or the adults...depending on your crowd.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Stay at Home Mom

...it's official. I'm officially 2 weeks away from my first day as a Stay at Home Mom.

I remember the day I came back to work after having Patrick. He was 6 weeks old. I ugly face cried the entire way to work. You know, Kim Kardashian ugly face crying. I'm sitting at my desk, calling to check on him as often as possible, eyes red, on the verge of tears and my boobs are leaking. Not remotely adorable. I was a mess. Once I finally got myself together, there was about 30 minutes of quiet that I can admit, was very nice. But then, mommy instincts kicked back in and I sat and watched the clock the rest of the day. Quiet is definately over rated. I wanted my baby.

I mean...can you imagine leaving this face every day?

I know there are a lot of moms that gripe about being a stay at home mom. They never have time off, or sick days, or feel like a slave to there homes...but I feel like thats how ALL moms feel. Working and Stay at Home Moms. Working moms dont get off work at 5:00pm. We start our second job doing what Stay at Home Moms do all day AND we miss the best part of the day: spending quality time with our kids. Cooking dinner, cleaning the house, getting baths and doing laundry doesnt really create a lot of room for 'Quality Time' in a 4 hour time slot. I cant say how many lunch breaks I have spent running home to throw food in the crock pot and a load of laundry in the dryer just so I can have more time in the evenings to play cars with my handsome little man. No Mom's get time off. I never take sick days alone. If I'm home sick from work, chances are my baby is home with me. Right there chillin on the couch next to me. Why? The guilt. Being a working mom I steal as much time as I can with my little man because I feel guilty when I am missing out on time I can be with him.

But the money, oh the money. I could go to Aldo right now and buy a pair of $90 pumps and then stop in bebe and buy a $100 dress and Patrick would never know. It wouldnt be his business. Once our bills are paid, his money is his money and my money is my money. Now...we will be sharing money. His money. He'll be in my pockets at all time. THIS is going to be the biggest challenge I see so far. I dont know how stay at home moms do it. I have always been so independent with my money. AND now, I'm going to be leaning on him to pay the bills, buy the groceries, buy all our boys stuff AND keep me looking and feeling pretty. Thats a scary little leap of faith right there.

When reading this, I dont want stay at home moms to think that I'm saying that being a Stay at Home Mom is easier then a working mom...no, no, no. Not even in the slightest. I think being a stay at home mom is probably one of the most challenging jobs a woman can have. Or any person really...we know men couldnt do it. All I'm saying is that it's a better job. It's work that means something. It's work that feels good. That is personally meaningful to your life. You're not sitting at a desk doing something that anyone could be doing. Working for a company where once you leave they will forget about you in a year. Stay at home moms are making there houses homes and creating memories with there children that will be there forever.

AND I'm over the moon to start my new job. I cannot wait. I know it wont be easy. But it'll be amazing. And I think thats what matters.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Confessions of a Hillbilly

Growing up, I remember always having a nice house. It wasnt perfectly clean, decorated or fancy but it was always tidy and well kept. Our yard was always beautiful and we always had somewhere to be very proud of. Though I may sound like a judgemental little twit from the suburbs for saying this...when I would visit friends houses that werent clean I would get almost an anxiety about playing there. I remember being 5-6 years old and avoiding certain peoples houses because of the clutter. Lucky for me, almost all of my friends had very clean, very well kept houses and yards. When my mother passed away I quickly I soon found myself being one of those people that were a little embarrassed of my house. It wasnt as nice. It wasnt as clean. My dad worked hard and did a damn good job, but...its hard for one person to do what two people did. Especially, when that one person is a man. No offense. Women are just better at...well, everything.

My handsome man just turned 3. To me, this means that the whole 2 year old amnesia thing is wearing off and he's going to start developing memories of his house and home. I want him to be proud. I want him to invite people over and the only thought he and his friends have are playing.

With ALL that longwinded nonsense behind...here is where our hillbilly yard comes into play. Somewhere along the last couple years I have completely abandoned my backyard and it definately shows.

Yupp, thats a car tire. Thats also a ridiculous amount of seasonal toys that have been sitting back there since...last summer. Oh and a jogging stroller. Kind of embarrasing. Here's a close up of that nonsense just in case you didnt get enough the first time...

Not good, then there's our porch. It's little and has lots of unused potential. Here's a picture with our lovely Kita. See all that crap in the background behind her. I shamefully admit, it's been sitting there for a while.

As well as all the stuff sitting on the sides and underneath the porch.

To be completely honest, these pictures dont do the uglyness of our backyard justice. It truly is ugly. Uglier then I think I can even show in pictures. But the pictures are ugly enough to embarrass me. Thats kind of the point of this whole post, to embarrass me into getting this backyard into tip top shape. Nothing will move someone faster then embarrassment.

Our plans for the backyard arent lavish by any means but they will make our backyard somewhere where we can bbq, play and work. Mostly DIY and cheap-o projects to make this space feel more like an extended room off of our home.

Our backyard itinerary for this spring/summer:
1. Getting all that JUNK to the dump or goodwill
2. Powerwashing our pavers and then repaving our patio with them to make everything nice and even - lots of work but it'll be cheap!
3. Buying a new patio set, I'm thinking this one
4. Making a potted plant garden
5. Grass! Were gonna try and grow some grass!
6. Buying a shed to store our lawn mower and other outdoor tools
7. Powerwashing and restaining our porch
8. Making a sandy area for Patrick's water table
9. Putting up some sort of lattice under the deck to keep all the leaves and winter muck out from underneath
10. Adding some solar lighting for breezy summer nights

Today were taking stuff to the dump, cleaning it up and donating it. Hopefully our first little step will make a BIG difference.

Cheers to spring!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tray'ding Spaces

...you like that post title? I know, I'm clever.

Lately, I have been seeing laquered trays all over design magazine, blogs and catalogs.

Like these from west elm

I came across a tray that I bought a little over 10 years ago from Pier 1. It's a solid little wood tray but is dark and drab and totally not our style. I thought that maybe I could use some left over paint and make it into something new. Something pretty that could serve as a catch all for everything the hubby dumps from his pockets every evening.

I stole a couple hours during nap times and started a new project.

Here's the tray before her facelift

And that super low...obviously 10 years ago price tag from Pier 1

I spray painted the entire thing white

I couldnt decide what I wanted to do with it from there...but I knew it needed something. As I was digging around our "house stuff" shelf in our laundry room storage I found this little guy.

I bought this originally intending for it to be the color of our guest bathroom. All the boys in our house objected. Suprised? Yeah, me niether.

Anyway, here's the tray after the first coat. First coats of paint always look like crap. Thats normally how you know your doing a good first coat. It's kind of thin, uneven and not cute by anyones standards. Oh, and as you can see...I didnt even bother using another paint brush. I just used the one right out of the bottle. Super easy.

Then the second and final coat. She's all done!

And here she is in her new home...

The best thing about this whole project...was that it was free! Gotta love free!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Getting Undressed

...this has little to do with actually getting naked. But does have everything to do with nudity. My nude dresser that is.

I have had this dresser for almost 10 years and its in amazing condition. There are a lot of knicks, scratches and even chunks of wood that have chipped off, but it creates a certain character that you can only get with real wood furniture and with all the faux wood furniture out there, you have got to respect a little character. She's pretty much perfect. But the color? Oh the color was killing me! It wasnt a bad finish or a bad stain but the color was not working for our bedroom at all. We needed something sexier. Something a little more modern and a little younger. I thought white would be perfect with super modern hardware to tie in the other modern elements in our little love nest.

Here's the befores...

...and a courtesy before shot with my little helper

and now...my new dresser, all jazzed up

...and a close up of the hardware

How'd I do it? It was ridiculously easy.
1. Undress this pretty little thing. Take all the hardware off. Simple enough.
2. Use wood putty to fill in the holes were the old hardware used to be.
3. Very lightly sand the entire piece. This piece didnt take much sanding because it only had a very light stain. Anything shiny or with any kind of gloss would need MUCH more sanding.
4. Give her a bath. I took an old wash cloth and wiped down the entire thing. It helps clean up all the dust from sanding so your paint goes on smoothly.
5. Paint! I used a simple straight off the rack white paint in a satin finish. If your prego like me I suggest a low VOC paint, a room with lots of windows and a mask. Just to be safe.
6. Add new hardware. Measure and line it up. Drill the holes and screw in the new pieces. Easy peasy!

AND it was super cheap.
I literally paid...
$12 paint
$9 brush
$0 sandpaper (already had on hand)
$17 hardware
$38 TOTAL!

The makeover was super simple, super cheap and changed the entire look of our bedroom. With a piece this big we needed something that would pull everything together and I think this did it. High paint brush fives!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Boy or Girl?

I am OFFICIALLY 2 weeks away from finding out whether I have a little boy or a little girl in my belly. I'm thinking it's a boy.

Do I want a boy more? No. Is that all I can picture? Yes. I can see me having "my boys" so much that I am having dreams based loosely around that term. I can see football games, broken arms, pizza and LOTS of grass stains in my future. As hard as I try it's really fuzzy trying to picture polka dot leggings, mini ugg boots and tea parties. As much as I would LOVE that I just dont see it happening.

I know the hubby would be over the moon for a little boy too. He keeps telling Patrick that his little brother is in my tummy. Thats a pretty certain statement.

At least I know that in 2 weeks, if they tell me ITS A GIRL! I'm not going to be the only shocked one.

On a whats going on now note...I cant stop thinking about TGI Fridays Mozzarella Sticks. And I'm wondering if they can make cheese fries?