Friday, August 4, 2017

Bathroom Remodel

When we moved into this house four years ago the shower in the master bathroom was basically brand new. Even though it was small, we were fine with it because it was new, clean and had no issues to speak of. Over the past couple of years, the fiber glass began to crack on the shelves and finally on the floor until every time we used it, it would leak water into the basement. It became a necessity to replace our shower and so we find ourselves in the midst of construction. Whenever we do any sort of update to the house we want to make sure that not only it meshes with our style, but that it is high quality and built to last. We have hired a tile contractor since our skills in that department are next to none and we want everything to look professionally done. We demoed the shower ourselves and other than unhealthy amount of white construction dust that covered our entire house as an after effect, the demo was surprisingly easy.

I can't say that I'm the least bit sad to see our old shower go. It was incredibly small and cramped and in the end I always had a fear of falling through the cheaply made fiberglass floor. The size and quality was better suited to a 1990's camper than a house.

Our master bathroom is pretty small, it's evident the first floor has been remodeled and walls have been moved to accommodate previous owners. To make to most of the space that we have, we are extending the shower size by six inches all the way around and tiling up to 7 feet to be level with the door frames (yay for high ceilings!). We are also reversing the swing on both doors which currently open into the bathroom, making entry to the room rather clumsy feeling.

Once the tile and plumbing is complete, we will be hiring a glass contractor to add clear glass doors to make the room feel larger and give it a more modern look. The shape and glass will be similar to this image if everything goes as planned:

We are currently stalled out in attempts to find a plumber that isn't booked out for the next four months. Sharing the upstairs bathroom with two little boys is not ideal, so we are crossing our fingers that someone will return our call soon. Eventually, we would like to also replace our storage lacking pedestal sink with a vanity. I dream of re-purposing an small antique dresser with a bowl type sink into a vanity, but that will be phase two of the project and will happen sometime in the future. In the meantime, I've put together a design board so that we can have a visual of how everything will feel in the room.My husband wanted a modern feel for the room, and I, of course, am envisioning something distressed or antiqued. So in the name of compromise, we've come up with a style that seems to suit us both.

 I've fallen in love with these oil rubbed bronze fixtures, capiz shell light from Potty Barn and towels for anthropologie. Not sure if everything will fit into our budget, but I'm sure suitable substitutes can be found if not.

 I know most popular designers are going for a light and airy feel for kitchens and bathrooms, but I can't help but be perpetually drawn towards black and darker colors. I've agreed to go with a lighter wall color since the room is a bit constricted, but I still have to have my black in the room somewhere.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Starting Up Again

Wow, time flies when you're raising children, working, and trying to keep a handle on life in general. It's been three years since my last post, and it wasn't completely due to negligence. I made the conscious decision to put writing on the back burner because my life at time was feeling extremely stretched with working from home, raising two young boys, starting a Etsy shop for some of my artwork, bible study, working out, the list goes on and on. I was looking through some of my old posts the other day and was warmed by the memories I had recorded here of the boys in their babyhood. I never made the time to write things down in the baby book and while I take plenty of pictures (which I hear are worth a thousand words) I know that I've forgotten so many precious stories and happy memories of their childhood.

I want to have something to look back on the encapsulates the golden era of our family life, something my children can read when they have families of their own. If no one else reads this besides just myself and my family than that's just fine. If others do happen to stumble this way and find inspiration, or get a laugh in the morning while drinking their coffee, than that's wonderful too. Life  is precious and fleeting, and there's a sadness and a beauty in the way that it passes. So, instead of depending on my flaky brain to remember the sweet details, I'll record them here to share with whomever is willing to listen.

First of all, a brief synopsis of how we have all grown and what we have been up to these past few years...


Blake is now six years old and getting ready to start Kindergarten in the next couple of weeks. I'm soaking in all my time with him during the day that I can because this will be his first year of all day school and he will be away from me from 8am to 4pm (cue all the tears). My sweet baby that made me a mommy has grown into the sweetest, most sensitive, funny little boy. He loves nature and animals-especially kitties, riding his scooter, snuggling, outer space, all things made of sugar, and making people laugh. He would sit on my lap and read storybooks with me for hours if I would accommodate him, and some days I do. He has been in Head start the past three years on an IEP (we decided to hold him back from Kindergarten on extra year). It's evident to anyone who works with him that his brain works differently, and in an incredible way. When he's interested in something he absorbs it like a sponge and will come home and tell us everything he learned about that day in incredible detail. When he's disinterested in something, it's the equivalent of trying to bathe a cat. He has an excellent vocabulary, but tends to hyper focus on certain subjects and will usually attempt change the conversation topic to something that suits his interests. His best friend is his little brother, but he also has a friend at school named Leah that absolutely adores him. They play kitties together at school all day and I've been told by Blake that they became friends because"I meowed at her and she meowed back". They've also apparently already named my future grandchildren. I've known since I was pregnant with him that he was special and was going to do something amazing with his life. It's already been such a pleasure watching him grow that I can't wait to see what his future holds.


Oh Nolan, our little spitfire, how we love you. He is full of crazy antics and sound effects. He will drive you to the brink of insanity and then bring you right back with a sweet little kiss on the cheek. At 4 years old he is officially in Pre-K this year, and is already asking why he can't go to the big school like Blake. He loves tractors, backhoes, monster trucks, ketchup, watching Youtube, and getting into mischief. He is rarely ever still and had the most adorable cackle type laugh. He is the epitome of Dennis the Menace with a twinkle in his eye and a sly grin. There's nothing that he doesn't give full effort too, rather it be popping wheelies on his bike, loving with all of his heart or getting his way. When he was a baby he had a scream that sounded very similar to a fire alarm, and he used it often. He has a already had quite the portfolio of disasters and trouble that his curiosity and determination has gotten him into. He makes me laugh daily and still has some of those baby boy looks that just melt my heart and make me want to spend my entire day snuggling him. His teachers tell me that he tells that BEST stories in class, complete with sound effects and hand motions. Even though he can be exhausting I'm so incredibly proud of him. My pregnancy with Nolan was actually unplanned, and we were quite shocked when we found out that he would be joining us. Even though it sounds cheesy, he was the best surprise we ever have recieved. He and his brother are the best of friends, and the stark contrast between their personalities has helped Blake to come out of his shell and overcome some of his fears. I was somehow blessed with the most amazing little boys, and I try everyday to be worthy of this gift that I have been given.

My Husband and I

I've since changed employers and now work part time from home with my husbands company as a project coordinator. Working with your spouse is both rewarding and frustrating at times, although I do feel like it has brought us even closer together. My days are filled with hustling boys to and from school, making snacks every five minutes, laundry, electrical takeoffs and invoicing, more laundry, cleaning, cooking, and running my Etsy shop. I'm so very blessed to have a job that allows me to has flexible hours and work when I can, but it can still be highly stressful when you're on the phone with a customer and have a four year old yelling from across the hall that he needs his butt wiped. We recently converted our guest room into an art studio/creative space for me to paint, loom, hammer, saw, glue or whatever other crazy project I'm currently up to. I have to brag that my husband thinks so highly of my creativity to suggest that I allow it to take over an entire room in our house. You've gotta love a guy like that. I recently finished a two year bible study that went though God's word all the way from Genesis to Revelations. It was a great experience and I'm currently seaching for a study that with do a comparison on different verses on certain topics. I still struggle to keep God a center in my life and not get swept away by all the things of this world. Luckily for me, he is a thousand times more loyal than I and always calls me back when I wonder too far.
My husband is currently going to school for his Master's Electrician License and I'm so proud of the work and time that he puts into his goals. He has always been an incredibly hard worker and great provider. He is passionate about his family, learning new things and ideas, and the Broncos. Our house is never peaceful during football season, haha. He is most certain my best friend and always pushes me to better myself and to not become complacent. We've been married twelve years next month and I'm so very thankful and blessed to have such an intelligent, affectionate and hardworking partner in life. We spend hours talking about all aspects of life, dreaming big, and reminiscing about the years we've already spent together. I am so incredibly excited about our future together and the adventures we will have raising our family.

Our Family

We've managed to stay quite busy fixing up our century year old home over the past four years we have lived here. We are currently updating our (very small) master bathroom. We have grand plans to pull up the carpet and refinish original hardwood floors beneath. We are slowly adding more and more landscaping, beautifying the decor, and updated the light fixtures. We've already put thousands of dollars and probably hours as well into making this home our own and leaving our mark. I have a special place in my heart for old things and this house is certainly one of them that deserves it's own post with all the history I've learned about it.

We take a yearly family vacation, our first one being to Galveston Texas. It was my, and the boys first time seeing the Ocean, and it was an incredible experience! We hunted for crabs and shells, played in the waves and built sand castles. I can't wait to go back! It seems you always leave a piece of yourself when you visit the ocean. We have also vacations to Lake Powell,  and Glenwood CO. It's a goal of ours to ensure that our children are well traveled and we hope to someday take them on an international trip.

Life is crazy right now between work, school, and construction, but I really wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mermaid Tiara DIY

My niece will be celebrating her 7th birthday this weekend, and of course having two boys I always see my nieces birthdays as an opportunity to obsess over girly-ness! I decided to go with a beach/mermaid theme since that is her current bedroom design. While searching for mermaid decor on Etsy, I came across some beautiful mermaid tiaras made from seashells and rhinestones and so decided that it would be easy enough to make one myself. It was fairly easy and I'm happy with the results:

You will need:

Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Sea shells
Glitter paint

To begin, paint the seashells in the glitter paint (I used blue and pink) Then wrap the headband with the ribbon and glue in place. Now you can start gluing on the shells! I started with a large starfish in the middle and just worked my way out from there.

I tried to keep it sort of symmetrical by coordinating the shells on either side. 

It was really a fun project and what seven year old girl wouldn't love an authentic looking mermaid tiara? I know this twenty-eight year old girl would!!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Valentine's Day Plans

Something about Valentine's day makes me very giddy and nostalgic. I remember when I was a little girl, my Dad would always give my mother and I flowers every year. Hers was usually a bouquet of fragrant red roses and mine were typically pink carnations. I remember making homemade valentines to give out to family and the class parties back in grade school. I love the concept of the day, a celebrations of sweet! 

Of course, every holiday is more fun when kids are involved. Last year, I decorated the mantle with felt hearts, candles and little cupids (all of which seem to have disappeared during the move). I bought the boys adorable valentines day pajamas and we ate finger foods in front of the fireplace and had "Cupid Floats" (vanilla ice cream, strawberry soda and heat sprinkles) for dessert. 

While I still search for the elusive Valentines Day decorations, I spruced up the chalk board in Valentines day fashion with lyrics to one of my favorite songs

Valentines Day is on a Friday this year, so of course the pressure is on to create something extra special! I'm really digging the idea of creating a fort in the living room and making s'mores in the fireplace! 

I found this on Pinterest, couldn't find the original source, but it looks like it would be so much fun! Definitely something both the kids and the adults would enjoy!

Here is hoping the kids go to bed at a decent time so the hubs and I can enjoy a romantic evening!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Beer cake diy (30 beers for 30 years!)

I've been wanting to make a beer cake for awhile now, and our brother in laws 30 Birthday turned out to be the perfect occasion. Once I realized the correlation between the number of years and the numbers of cans in a case of beer, a theme was born. They are easy make and fun to decorate, and I know I will be making them again in the future!

Supplies you will need:

Case of beer
3 cake rounds (12 inch, 10 inch and 8 inch)
Large plate
Adhesive tabs
Wooden skewers
Pipe cleaners
Rubber bands
Decorative elements (I used curly ribbon, some sparkly twine and labels I made on Photoshop)

Now, a couple pointers~

I highly recommend the large plate to support the weight of the cake. All of the tutorials I found on line just built the cake off of the 12" cardboard round which is going to get really sketchy if you need to actually transport the cake anywhere. I found the one I used at Michael's in the candle isle for $1.99.

Adhesive tabs are also very important if you plan on transporting or moving the cake anywhere. That sucker is going to be heavy and awkward and keeping those cans from rolling off or tipping over will be a lifesaver. Plus it is super fun watching the recipient try and pry the beer cans loose :)

The picture is pretty self explanatory. 

The cake is stacked as such:

12" round - 13 cans
10" round - 9 cans
8" round - 8 cans

I did sticky tabs in between each bear and each layer to keep everything steady. Rubber bands work well for keeping the shooters and cigars steady on the skewers. I wrapped the wooden skewers in pipe cleaners to dress them up a little and then just stuck everything in the crevices of the cans. Wrap some ribbon around the layers, slap on some festive decorations and you are good to go! 

Friday, January 24, 2014

No fuss potty training?

If you clicked on this post in hopes of finding an easy no fuss solution to potty training, you misunderstood the title. 
I phrased it as a question because I have no idea what I'm doing!

My son Blake (a.k.a. B), now two and a half, is still romping around happily with a diaper clad bum. I'm starting to notice some odd looks from strangers when I take him into a public restroom for a diaper change. I find myself analyzing the children on the "Pull-Ups" commercials and trying to guess their age. It's obvious that we are running a little behind on the potty training game.

We purchased a potty a few months back. It's one of the ones that plays a song when it senses "moisture" and lights up when you flush it. It's still sitting upstairs, unused in the boys bathroom. Other than being "flushed" a bazillion times, it is completely pristine. To be honest, I'm the one that is pumping the brakes. Why? It's definitely NOT because I like changing dirty diapers, or spending hundreds of dollars a year on diapers, wipes, diaper pail refills and all the etcetera. 

It's because I have no idea what I'm doing. 

Ask me to house train a dog, sure no problem. Litter box train a cat? Easy as pie. I grew up with animals and know the steps to get from point A to point no more poop on the floor. Kids are way different and there are sooooo many emotions involved. A dog, for instance, is not going to cry if he pees in his new
 batman underwear.

The day we brought the potty home, I set it on the floor, bent down and said to B, "Okay buddy, this is where you are going to go potty from now on. So, instead of pooping or peeing in your diaper, you can go in the potty...okay?". The scowl on his face wasn't encouraging. I figured I would let him test it out, so I took off his diaper and set him on the potty. 
Big smile, "I going POTTY!"
Me *nods and encouraging smile*
2 minutes go by....
"Are you done yet buddy?"
2 more minutes go by....
At this time he stands up and waddles out of the bathroom bare-butted with his Pull-up around his ankles. I look down; Nothing. I sigh and follow B to pull up his pants. I no sooner get them back on and smell something funky. "Blake.....did you just... are you dirty???" The telltale smile said it all. 

I started perusing Pinterest in search of ideas to help us along. I clicked on a link that said, "Potty Train your Child in THREE DAYS!!!!" What, what what?? I eagerly clicked on the link. The basic idea was that you corral your child into a manageable space, strip them naked and present them with a potty.  Every time they have an "accident" you place them on the potty. Red flag right there; if they aren't wearing a diaper, where exactly does the said "accident" go?? Oh no, no, not the floor!! You better plan on hiring a HAZMAT crew if my kid is going to poop on the floor. I don't think so, next option...

Ah here we go, simply place your child on the potty in fifteen minute intervals. Every fifteen minutes??? I'm lucky If I remember to eat lunch during the day let alone put my kid on the potty four times an hour! I have a job, another toddler, and a household to take care of woman!

Feeling discouraged, I sat him down in front of "Elmo Potty Time" on Youtube. I consider loading up the Amazon cart with super hero under-roos, potty champ stickers, plastic sheets, and potty basket prizes. Then I realize that until he makes at least one deposit in the potty bank, they will just go to waste.

I try and remind myself that I don't know any six year olds that aren't potty trained and then I start to cry because that's four years from now. I love my little boy, poopy booty and all, but I know this is a necessary step in his development and I can't help but feel a little bit like a failure. I hear moms with 13 months old brag about how they just got their baby out of diapers by using some sort of potty training boot camp method. I've heard of other kids that refuse to even sit on a potty until they are four. I know he will be ready eventually and if there is anything that I have learned in my two and a half years experience parenting is that he will do it when HE is ready. I'm not going to be pushy, but I want to encourage. It may take significantly longer than three days, but I know we will get there.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Chalkboard image transfer tutorial

It's been awhile since I've posted thanks to a three day trial I got suckered into for jury duty. It seems as if my house has been transformed into a large void whose sole purpose is to contain the mountains of dirty laundry which fills it. Three days off for momma and daily duties doesn't end well. : /

This week will be a juggle of catching up on work, laundry and playing with my sweet little boys, whom I have missed terribly!
We are looking forward to the weekend and the prospect of having our team make it to the Superbowl!! I designed a chalkboard for the AFC Championship game this weekend between the Broncos and the Patriots. 

 I used a simple transfer technique that allows any image that you can print to be transferred to a chalkboard. Anyone can do it and it will look like it was done by an artist! It's also great for text if you don't have a steady hand with letters. 

You will need: 
Printer paper
Chalk board

Sounds too easy to be true? Continue to be amazed~

Step 1: Choose your design and print to the correct size (I typically convert to black and white as to not waste any colored ink):

Step 2: Rub chalk on the BACK of the image, covering the backside of the image completely. 

Step 3: Tape the image to the chalkboard with the chalk covered surface to the chalkboard.

Step 4. Use a pen with a cap on to "trace" the image with moderate to firm pressure. Be careful to not let your hand smudge the image. Only apply pressure on the lines that you want to transfer.

5. Remove paper.

6. Fill in the lines and add color!

And Whala! You have a perfect image!

Now go gloat to all your friends!