Monday, June 30, 2014

Change of Heart

Hi, my name is Christe and it's been about 4 years since my last blog...

Just a couple of words that I think may define my current state.  All is well - my marriage, my children, my life...why do these words pop into my brain?

I woke up this beautiful summer morning, thinking about "that blog I used to do."  Popped over to the computer, read many of the entries.  Sara was in elementary school (now a teenager, about to enter her last year of middle school), and Allie was a toddler (soon to be in second grade).  I had a positive, shiny outlook despite being a pessimist-at-heart.  ;)  What has changed?  Why do I feel different?

If you ask me if I am happy - I will say yes.  Happy, but restless.  Happy, but not content.  It doesn't even make sense to me, so I don't expect it to make sense to you.

A lot has happened in four years - some great, some not so great.  I suspect that would be the same for everyone else!  Financially, we are much more stable and successful.  I read the entries where I discussed saving money, being a responsible steward, and it all felt really wholesome.  We don't have to watch our financial P's and Q's so much anymore - I've been showered with nice clothes, shoes, expensive handbags, trips, stuff, stuff, and more stuff.  We're not millionaires, but we're living the American Dream - no credit card debt, able to save more, buy more, the perfect picture of middle class.  It's what I always wanted.  Isn't it?  

Something is amiss, and I can't quite put my finger on it.  Yet.  So here's what I hope to do...continue blogging.  I'm not sure what my purpose is, and it's not even important if anyone reads it.  This will be for me - my journey, my story.  I don't know where it will take me, but I do know this:  unrest and discontent will not be the words that define my life or my family's.

Today is different.  I am speaking the words that I've been hiding in my heart.  Acknowledging them is the start of a new page in a new chapter.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

All About the Little Things

It doesn't take much to make me smile.  Unfortunately (for the people living with me, especially), it doesn't always take much to make me frown either.  Or sigh.  Or roll my eyes. 

I did all three everytime I walked into my kitchen and saw this:

This is clearly the sad, catch-all area.  My husband calls me a piler (sad, but true).  I implement organizational strategies often, but they don't always pan out as expected.  You can see some of my sad attempts to organize here.  The file box holds all the monthly bill that have been paid, but kid work from school that I plan to keep and do something with  ignore forever is sticking out in the back.  The hanging file boxes hold business and tax info, as well as "pay attention to me soon," stuff.  A couple of binders and a pile (ack!) complete the desk top.  This is SOOO NOT what I want to see when I walk through the kitchen.  Plus, the wires hanging down were driving me batty! 

In my last post, I told you how I needed a change.  I needed to smile big  not roll my eyes and turn into a raving lunatic when I walked through the kitchen. 

And now that's possible. 

Thanks to a little sanding, a little painting, and a little Hobby Lobby.  I decided to paint the back of the shelves the same color as my dining room to tie the areas together.  I moved the hanging files to the other side, so they are no longer a focal point.  They will eventually move to the office (or the trash) when the office becomes my focus (hopefully before the year 2012).  Since I didn't have enough paint left over, I went to Lowe's and bought a $3 sample and they matched the color for me.  The sample was enough for 2 coats and a little left over for touchups, should they become necessary. 

I pulled several items out of my pantry and started playing around.  The beverage container was screaming to be filled with lemons, but when I went to HL to get some fakies, all their lovely fall decor was screaming to me.  I succommed to the acorns instead. 

Hey--it's thisclose to fall!  It seemed silly NOT to go ahead and do a little planning ahead.  And those things in the corner of the picture?  Yes--it's completely too early for pumpkins.  But this are not orange.  These are fabulously cute!  And cheap! 

I couldn't resist.  Who can blame me?  (Well...someone whose name begins with the letter "M" for starters...) 
He doesn't count!

And the (almost) final outcome???

So much more enjoyable to look at!  I now find myself smiling everytime I walk through...
It still needs a little something, but it'll get there.  Other than the acorns and the pumpkins, everything else was shopped from my house.  Pretty stuff, hidden away from sight. 

Take out your pretties, people!  You'll be happy about it! 

Just for a final comparison:

Icky, icky before
Pretty, pretty after

And the wires?   Why did I not have the computer tower on the other side???  Because (ahem) now they are practically hidden from view.  Seriously, sometimes the things that make the most sense don't always present themselves just so in my brain. 

I'm now on the lookout for an ugly chair that needs a makeover.

Parties I'm linking to...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Lot About Very Little

Ever ask yourself...WHAT WAS I THINKING???

I'm asking that very question right about now.  Because this is what's going on in my kitchen as I'm about to hop in bed and grab some ZZZ's:

Tomorrow is the first day of school.  Not for me (Thank you, Lord), but for my girls.  That means we all have to get up early.  Some people say...Get in the habit of getting up about a week ahead of time, so your kids will be prepared.  I say...No way I'm giving up a week of extra sleep! 

Yep...tomorrow's going to be crazy. 

But back to why I'm going to bed with these kitchen shelves in shambles...

I've always been bothered by this little area of the kitchen.  There's a desk, so I feel required to put a computer there.  My husband and I use our laptops either in the office or the bedroom, but I like the idea of having a central computer for S to use in a public area.  The area around the computer is a place where I have to fight my tendencies to constantly dump school papers, things to file, etc.  I generally lose that battle, unfortunately.  I also really dislike the aesthetics of what's actually on the shelves.  So, as I walked past the desk area this afternoon, I thought...I should put something pretty on these shelves and put the cookbooks in the pantry.  Sounds like a quick and simple switch, right? 

You would be SO wrong!!! 

At this point I'd like to give a shout-out to the careless, cruddy painter who painted the shelf last.  THANKS!!!  (Uh, not really).   The reason this person is even on my mind is because as I started taking things off the shelf, little pieces of paint started flying all over the place.  Once everything was removed, it just seemed WRONG to ignore the paint chips.  So I got a sponge and started scrubbing with the thought that I could live with a well scrubbed and clean, yet crappily painted shelf.  Then I wouldn't be THAT big of a deal to just scrape this paint off.  I scraped for a bit and ended up with quite a lot of paint goop, but not all of it. 

It became apparent that I would need to repaint the shelf.  As I contemplated this, I wondered how the back of the shelf would look painted a different color.  I thought the back of the built-ins might look good painted the same color as the dining room. 

Photo from last summer, during a bridal shower is the only pic I could find of the dining room on short notice.  The color is Atmospheric from Ben Moore.
A quick trip to Lowe's resulted in some heavy grade sand paper, as well as a sample color matched to my dining room color.  The tiny sample jar (3 bucks!)  is just enough paint for the back of the shelves.  I came home, sanded the shelf, removed the top shelf and grabbed some primer. Guess what I'm out of???  Rollers.  I'll be stopping by Lowe's in the morning because there was no way I was in the mood to load up the girls and head back there.  (The real reason is there was no way I could listen to the whining that ensues when I take my girls to Lowe's.  Their feelings on a warehouse-home improvement barn?  Not so hot.) 

Which means I'm also going to bed with my dining room table looking like this:


But I have a plan for the disorganization!  A new shopping list, which includes:  2 cute boxes large enough to hold kids' artwork and school papers, 2 photo boxes, 2 magazine boxes, and 2 baskets.  I took inventory of what was getting thrown into that area and it mostly seems to be school pictures, dance pictures, class pictures, art work that I want to keep (most kid work goes straight into the trash), Cooking Light magazines, and some random craft supplies.

If all goes well, I'll go to bed tomorrow evening with that area nicely painted and in order.  Unless I get off task (highly possible).  Because I also had a little of this going on outside:

Yes, that would be an old wooden school chair and a can of spray primer.  I'll share more on this later.  :)

As for now, I'm exhausted from today and pre-exhausted from what is sure to be a fiasco tomorrow morning.  But I sure am excited about giving my new coffee pot a go for the second time!


Isn't she a beauty?  I'm in LOVE!!!


Bought the sample pack until I find out which brand I love the most.  Sometimes it's good when old things break.  (According to the hubs, 4 years is not old, but I'm having a hard time being sad).  Bye- bye, Mr. Coffee!  Thanks for all your hard work! 

Night, all!  We have a big morning ahead and sleep is required! 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cupcake Love

Is there anything better than a cupcake? 

The correct answer is...NO! 

Especially if the cupcakes are from:

Aw, yeah!  You read that right!!!

Actually, I was a Sprinkles Virgin when I took this picture.  Being the well-read person that I am (People, US Weekly, etc.), I knew of Sprinkles' reputation. I mean, if an 88 pound starlet will stop being anorexic for the 60 seconds that it takes to inhale a Sprinkles cupcake, then, dang...they must be GOOD!

Plus, a 6-pack runs $19.50.  So seriously, they must be GREAT!  M didn't even bat an eyelash when he paid, but that's mostly because he was trying to get out of the doghouse.  (Kinda thinking we should have been across the street in Pottery Barn instead). 

They're packaged so pretty.

The box is pink on the inside.  So cute!  So cupcakey!

Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of all 6.  Too many hands dove into the box before I could stop the madness.  You'll just have to imagine the rest.

The one with sprinkles (get it?) was mine.  Peanut Butter Chip. 

To be honest, not their best effort. 

Sweet S had Red Velvet.

TO DIE FOR!!!  I know this because she took pity on her poor mama and gave me a couple of bites.  BEST CUPCAKE EVER.

Little A is a traditionalist.  She went for basic vanilla.  Pretty yummy!

Plus, she's hanging with Papa while she eats.  Yep, she's in heaven!

They make different flavors on different days, but Red Velvet and the Marshmallow Chocolate are daily specials.  Totally worth your time and the calories you'll intake!

And I'm not even being paid to say this.  :) 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Fave Linky Parties

My favorite parties to link to are listed below.  If I missed out on one that you really love, please leave me a comment! 

Decor Mamma

Keeping It Simple

6 Inches of Ribbon

The Girl Creative

Show and Tell Green

Fine Craft Guild

Monday, July 12, 2010

Awesome Way to Start the Week!

I'm having so much fun playing around with blogging and decorating - all at the same time!  There are so many great ideas out there, and it's a blast deciding which ones are right for me, as well as coming up with ideas of my own. 

I want to say "thanks" to Cheri over at It's So Very Cheri for putting my Parisian Dresser on her "Favs List" and to Wendy at The Shabby Nest for showcasing the dresser on "Linky Love."  How fun and awesome are you guys?!  Check out their blogs if you haven't yet - such fabulous ideas! 

I threw myself way out of my comfort zone a couple of months ago when I decided I couldn't take it anymore and painted my youngest daughter's sad hand-me-down furniture.  But once I completed the furniture, I knew the bed would need a makeover or a takeover soon!

"A" slept in this bed like a Stepford Child when it was in its original crib form - for nearly 3 years!  Right around her birthday, last November, I decided to take the front piece off and let her be a "big girl" in the toddler bed. 

Ha!  What that actually did, was give A access to get out of bed as she pleased!  I knew I would never be comfortable sleeping downstairs if she wasn't going to stay in her bed.  Plus, I happen to like sleep.  So...I did what any sane tired pushover mother would do...I gave her the option of going to her sister's room next door if she woke up.  It worked!  It worked for about 2 nights and then when I called, "Bedtime!", A just ran straight into her sister's room and in her sister's bed. 

A claimed not to like her "little bed" because she was now a "big girl."  (She's always a big girl now, unless she wants my help, at which point, A pouts that she's only "tiny big.") 

Which bring us to nearly 8 months later, with A sleeping in her sister's room each night. 

My original plans to turn her "little girl" bed into a "big girl" bed were to paint the headboard and maybe add some wood appliques along the curves to dress it up a bit.  However,  I also began to stalk Craigslist from time to time looking for a bed that might work as well. 

And then...drumroll, please...a couple of days ago, my search on CL yielded THE PERFECT BED!!!  I showed it to A, who just went crazy over it!  She jumped around in circles, saying, "Please get me that bed!"  And then I taught her how to bat her eyes at Daddy while she asked for the bed.  ;) 

Last night, he picked it up!  Eeek!  And I'm going to give you a sneak preview:

My heart is aflutter for this gorgeous thing!  Of course, I had to promise Papa Bear that we wouldn't rush right out and spend a ton of $$$ on bedding in order to get him to pick it up.  But we are going to have a BLAST picking out something that's just right!  (And if you know anything about me, by "we" I mean "I"). 

Of course, now I'm dreaming of just the right small table and lamp to go next to it.  With maybe a cute mirror at eye-level for A.  I'll definitely be stalking some thrift shops this week!  I'll continue to post pictures as I work in her room!  FUN!!! 

Will she sleep in may be wondering?  That's funny...I'm wondering the same thing!  But until it's all said and done, let's just pretend that everything is going to work out beautifully!  I'll keep you posted!  :) 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Out of Control

Seriously, peeps, I AM OUT OF CONTROL!!!  In more ways than one! 

Let me explain...

It's been raining cats and dogs around here for pretty much the whole two weeks of my "summer staycation."  Shockingly, it did let up for the 4th, so that we could do a little of this:

And this:

                                             Sassy S doing her thing

          Mama, Baby Girl, Smoke & Sparklers

I would have liked to put up a better picture than that, but when husbands take the photos, they don't tell you not to bend down so much so that all your parts stay covered.  Hmmm...

Anyway, back to the rain...

It rained.

And rained.

And rained some more.

So suddenly, I didn't feel like doing anything.  Cause I had that rainy day depression going on.  And it's summer, so the kids are home and I can't just let my inner lazy take over and just lay on the couch flipping TV channels.  (Not that I do it when they're in school...uh...that much anyway).

Sooooo...I finally forced myself to snap out of it!  I have a list of projects I want to get done around here, and I decided to focus on one.  But I've found out that projects are like books.  You see, I keep a stack of books next to my bed that I want to read.  I don't know which one I'm going to read next though because I don't know how I'm going to feel when I'm done with this one.  If I've read several light hearted books (ie...chick lit), the next one might be heavier.  If I've just read a professional book, I might feel like reading something lighter next.  And so on...

All of the projects on my list were on the "heavier" side.  Like put wainscoting in the upstairs hallway.  Or re tile the fireplace.  Or paint the guest room (not too heavy, but the ceiling needs to be done first and I dont' feel like it yet).  Oh!  There's re staining the cedar chest that my dad brought over because it was filled with crap (and I do mean CRAP) from my childhood.  (Thanks, Dad!)  Not really feeling it at the moment. 

Can you believe this stuff is even on my list?  And by that I mean MY list???  As in Christe's personal to-do list?  Like I said, I'm spinning out of control!  I just painted a couple of little dressers and now I think I can save the universe or something!  Crazy!  :)

I know where almost everything is in Lowe's now!  Sometimes I go there to look around for tools that I know I'm going to need!  And I'm going to need some major tools VERY SOON what with all this proactiveness.  I am contemplating BUILT-INS in my youngest daughter's room.  Faux built-ins and designed by me, but still...I'm not calling anyone.  (Except for maybe my dad...he needs to get over here and help a daughter out!) 

But I veered off subject again - as you can see, none of those projects were doing it for me.  I needed something with instant gratification.  A quickie, if you must. 

You ladies out there in bloggy world know that a girl has needs.  And you always come through!  I found my project and all the materials were on-hand in this house and garage.  No expenditures required!  So thanks to The Girl Creative for hosting her linky party, which is where I found this idea from Craftaway's blog!  Perfect for S's room!

Now, Sweet 'lil S has been so very good during all this rain.  She's played school, watched movies, helped her mom do laundry and dishes.  She's worked in her "nail shop" ( should see my mani/pedi right now); she's taken pictures of hairstyles that she created for her American Girl.  She really has not complained about boredom! 

I knew that making this cutie dress canvas would be so perfect for her room and something we could do together.  (I could place a not-so-subtle foreshadowing alert here, but I won't.) 

S had a couple of old canvases in her closet that I scored at a yard sale for a couple of bucks each.  She started painting one, hated it, and hid the canvas in her closet -- a very spooky land -- things may enter, but there may be no exit!  (Insert scary music here).  Brave woman that I am, I opened the closet doors, attacked the clutter demons, grabbed the canvas, and ran for my life! 

Then I grabbed a can of black spray paint from the garage and sprayed over the old picture.  Can I help?  (No, only moms are allowed to use spray paint. It's very dangerous.)  But I thought you said we were doing this together.  (We are, after the paint dries). 

The next morning, rain continued to pour as I pulled out my blue painter's tape and taped a fake frame onto the canvas.  Can I help?  (In a minute, we need to make sure the tape is straight).  Note my use of the word "we." 

Paintbrush in hand, I pulled out the leftover pink paint from S's room makeover.  Time to paint a cute top!  I practiced, er, modeled for S on a piece of cardboard, then handed the brush over.  (Yes!  I'm sharing!)  She didn't like the way hers looked, so I encouraged her to "keep practicing for next time" as I took over continued to model and painted the top onto the canvas.

Waiting for the top to dry was like...well...waiting for paint to dry!  (There's a reason why that's a saying). 

Next up, sorting through fabric scraps to find something cute for the skirt.  Let's just say, we both had our ideas.  And not to be an evil mother or anything, but can we please just stick with the color scheme?  You know, the one we I picked out for your room??? (Oooh--even I'm not liking myself at this point). 

Is it any wonder that S decided to entertain herself in the living room with an episode of iCarly?  I continued to talk to her from the breakfast nook in a sing-songy're a wonderful consultant!  What do you think about this for the skirt?  Hmmm...have you thought about...? 

As I played around with fabrics and placed pieces onto our work of art, I called out...what do you think we should use  for the belt?  Hmmm...but wouldn't this one really make it pop?  Yes, I think we'll use this one.

(Can you believe S just had that cute, tiny hanger on hand?  And that wonderful furry trim?  And rhinestones?  Her scrap box was amazing!)

S, would you like to paint the frame?  No?  OK...if you insist.

It's dry!  Which way do you want the hanger to point?  We're I'm going to glue it on now.  Good choice!  And the necklace?  Here or here?  Here you say?  Excellent choice! 

We should do one of these for A's room!  Wouldn't a ballerina be cute on a white background?  Oh, you think a princess?  Hmmm...let me think about that...

Yep...seriously out of control!!!  When hubby came in from work, I had our my artistic endeavor on display in the living room.  Hon, look at the cute canvas S and I made for her room today!  And S quickly, mom did all the work

But isn't it cute?  Didn't we I do a nice job?  ;)

Although S probably won't get any warm fuzzies remembering the fun time she and her mom made it together.  Which was kind of the point of the whole thing...

Maybe she'll remember framing these fabric scraps that will hang with the canvas? 

Oh, wait...I did those too. 

Everyone, quick!  Lay your virtual hands on me through your computer and shout...Control Freak, Be Gone! 

Whew!  That's better!  I resolve (even though it's not January) to let S have complete artistic control over the next canvas. 

I think...