Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Clock Transformation

I've been inspired by the clock evolutions I've spied around blogland in recent months.  It wasn't until I saw what The Nester did with her clock that I finally stopped dreaming about the possibilities of my own clock and put things into action.

  I bought this clock circa 2003 from The Great Indoors.  It was on major clearance, I think I paid around 125 dollars for it, but the sticker on the back says it's original price was 525 dollars. Glad I knew better than to pay that!  I loved The Great Indoors, but sadly it went out of business just a coupe of years after it opened.  The clock face pops in and out, it really is just a faux Grandfather clock.  The clock stopped working after about a year, so basically it was a space filler in my old and current home. 

 My apologies for such a poor before picture, but it's the only one I could dig up.  Being a hit and run blogger, I often make rookie blogging mistakes, such as not taking a before picture.  Here she is in all her Tuscan and Scroll glory hanging out in my former home's kitchen. Psst... Please excuse my awful kitchen table, we didn't have blogs back then.

And here she is now after some easy, doable and quick improvements...I LURVE her!

First things first, I removed the black scroll door to visually open her up a bit.  Gave her a quick and light sanding then sprayed her up with some primer.  I used Rustoluem's Winter Gray to give her a nice finishing glossy spray.  Barely gave her time to dry, because I'm impatient like that and brought her into the house.  She looked beautiful!  I shopped the house to dress her and if I may I think she came out looking pretty good.  And yes, you're not seeing things, she really did have a beadboard back built right into her!  I got lucky with that one!

 The clock is from Pottery Barn, you can find it here.  I was kinda digging the whole clock in a clock thing.

I bought the vintage books from my local thrift shop.  I picked them for their colors, not for their content.  I think their perfectly aged.

 I used a piece of heavy card stock and hot glued an E (for our last name) on it that I had lying in limbo.  If I see a cool E for a reasonable price, I usually pick it up.  I'm glad I did.  And one last look at my pride and joy.

 Thanks for stopping by! 

Friday, June 01, 2012

Angry Birds 5th Birthday Party

The boys 5th birthday has long passed, but I definitely wanted to post about in the blog.  We left for Disney just three days after the party and life just gets busy sometimes.  Their birthday is right after Christmas so you'll see some Christmas decorations lingering.  Without further ado...the handmade Angry Birds party 2012.

The boys decided back in October that they wanted an Angry Birds party.  There wasn't much to order online or to buy in stores so I had to improvise.  I bought some colored card stock and got to work.  I cut each eye, beak, eyebrow, tail etc. myself and glued it all together the old fashioned way.  It took many man hours, but it was a labor of love.  The boys were really excited about the whole process which just made every bit of it worth it.

Luckily the boys received the Angry Bird pillows as a Christmas gift from their Auntie so they also doubled as party decorations.  The yellow angry bird behind them is actually a balloon that popped.  No worries though, we just re purposed him as a wall decoration.

 Jake's favorite bird was the green boomerang bird so he picked that bird to be on his cake. Anderson liked the blue bird.  To each his own bird.  I had the cakes locally made by someone.  The birds were made of fondant so the boys were able to gobble them up.

We set up a little angry birds vignette on the cabinet ledge above our stove.

 We downloaded some angry birds wallpaper and used photoshop to add the text in the framed photo above.  We printed it at Costco for 5.99.  Not a bad deal for a 16 x 20 poster.  My cousin actually gave us the bubble gum machine.  He inherited it with the business he bought and it was just sitting around collecting dust.  We cleaned it up and filled it to the brim with m & m's.  The kids and adults loved being able to turn handle and get a treat.  We made some adjustments so no coins were necessary.

I ordered some Angry Bird balloons from eBay.  They came all the way from Malaysia!

Hope you enjoyed peaking in on our party!!!

Linking up to Tatertots and Jello.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My Kitchen

I'm showing off my kitchen today and linking up to Whisper Wood Cottage's Talent Scout Contest.  It's a chance to have your kitchen featured in Cottages and Bungalow's Magazine.  LOVE!   I've recently made some changes to our kitchen to brighten things up.  Let me show you around...

This is my favorite part of the kitchen.  When we built two years ago, I knew I wanted some glass cabinets to showcase some pieces.  I didn't really have anything to showcase, but I wasn't going to let that stop me.  I picked up some inexpensive dishes from IKEA and filled it with a couple of baskets I found on clearance at Pier One.  I spent less than 50 dollars on everything.  I just recently cut a piece of cardboard the same dimensions of the cabinet and used spray adhesive to glue some fabric onto it.  It lines the cabinet and it can easily be changed out if I decide to change colors or grow tired of it.  So far I'm really enjoying the look of it and love how much more dimension it gives the cabinet.

When we bought our dining table and chairs from World Market, we also bought the matching bench.  The bench fits nicely under the bay window and it's easy to grab it when we have guests over and need more seating.  I recently purchased the pillows from Home Goods.

I made no sew curtains for the window above the kitchen sink using the same fabric I lined the cabinets with.  The fabric was purchased at  JoAnns.

It's difficult to see behind the flowers, but we have a pot filler that I absolutely love.  A small splurge, but worth the money.  I picked up the vintage scale at a local antique shop.

Here are a few more views of the kitchen....

My plan is to paint the chairs at the island cream sometime in the near future.  Just doing the research right now and building up the courage.

This is the small hall where our pantry is located and on the adjacent wall I set up an area to display my twin boy's art work.  Our fridge is not magnetic and I definitely wanted a place to showcase their preschool masterpieces.  There is an A and J on the wall for their initials and I purchased the bulletin board at the Pottery Barn outlet.  It's difficult to tell because the hall is small and it's hard to get a good picture, but the bulletin board is quite large.  

And just for fun, here is a look at our kitchen's past

Planning the details of our kitchen was by far the most stressful part of building our home.  I had so much trepidation about having white cabinets after living in dark wood kitchens my entire life, but we absolutely love it.  It's so bright and airy!  Hope you enjoyed the tour, as I have loved peeking into all of the beautiful kitchens that were linked up.
Linking up to Evolution of Style and Tatertots and Jello. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

You can't put a number on it

I guess I've really been away too long.  Logged onto blogger, only to find out everything has changed.  Life slows down for no one I guess.  Sorta fitting though as my thoughts lately have been focused on how the past five years we've enjoyed this sort of slow paced life the boys have instilled on us.

As the end of the school year draws to a close, so does this chapter in our lives.  It was decided a few months ago in the school district I work in and the one the will boys attend, that next year the schools will implement a full day of Kindergarten for all students.  I knew it was a possibility, but I really didn't give it serious thought.  There's been talk of a full day program for years and it hadn't happened...yet.  I was expecting to continue on with my part time schedule and spend precious weekday time with my bubbies but that is no longer the case.  My little guys will be shipped off to school, 5 days a week all day long.  The prospect of that gives me momma anxiety. 

I know it's legal, I understand it is what everyone else is doing, but us?  We can't do that, we've never spent that kind of time away from each other.  I don't want to give up our stolen moments during the week, while everyone else is doing the grind and we are baking, meeting Daddy for lunch, blowing bubbles, and playing in the tub till their little fingers turn to raisins.  I don't want to jump back in to the rat race, I like it here in my own little world where the clock dictates nothing.  I'm not ready to hand them over and I'm certainly not ready to not be the most influential person in their lives. 

This phase of life will be over soon.  I'll do my best to keep outside distractions to a minimum and to maintain the slow pace of life that we enjoy now.  I don't want to get sucked into a monotonous routine. I want to keep enjoying all the precious moments that come with parenting little ones at this age.  That is to be my focus, not work, cleaning, and meal planning.

Just out of curiousity, I did the math the other day on approximately how much money we gave up by me staying home for a couple of years and then working part time.  It was a quarter of a million dollars.  Know my first thought? You could offer me a million dollars for that time and there is no way I would trade it for the world.  No batting of an eyelash, no regrets just immense gratitude that we were able to it.  It was worth every bit of a quarter of a million dollars and more so.

Monday, February 27, 2012


I strive for this everyday....      

                                      Oh give me patience when wee hands
Tug at me with their small demands.
And give me gentle and smiling eyes.
Keep my lips from hasty replies.

And let not weariness, confusion or noise
Obscure my vision of life's fleeting joys.
So when, in years to come my house is still
No bitter memories its rooms may fill.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Today you turned 5...

Anderson~Today you turned 5 and I want to tell you a bit about yourself. You're a very smart and insightful guy. You're curious about the world and wise beyond your years. You often ask questions that I don't have the answers to. You are a get er' done type guy, just like me. If there is a job to be done, you don't procrastinate. You would rather just do it than waste time complaining about it. For the most part, you really don't complain at all. You have lots of love for life and your family. You often tell Daddy and I that we are the best Mommy and Daddy in the world. When you become a parent, you'll be able to fathom how much that really means to us.

Your one quirk is your picky eating habits. Boy are you hard to please when it comes to food. There is very little variety in your diet and you are pretty stubborn about trying new things. I'm afraid you inherited this from me. You enjoy pretty bland foods, but the one thing I can't wrap my mind around is that you love black licorice jelly beans. Such a specific taste, not enjoyed by the masses, but for some reason you love them.

Your teacher tells me a nice way that you talk quite a bit in preschool. You're a real storyteller with lots to share with your teachers and classmates. It doesn't surprise me, you've always been outgoing and friendly with strangers. If someone is willing to listen, you can give them an earful. That's okay though, I've seen you brighten the days of countless strangers over the past 5 years.

Love you so much Anderson!

Jake~Now it's your turn. You're pretty patient at waiting your turn, you're just an easy going guy like that. Very much like your Daddy in personality. Your a little lover and very affectionate. I'm the number one girl in your life right now and I love it! You are a bit more reserved than Anderson and equally as smart in your own way. You often hide your talents and surprise Dad and I at times with how much you really do know.

You tend to procrastinate and move at your own pace. I like that though, because it reminds me to slow down and enjoy things. You notice the small details in things that I often miss and your memory is a sharp one. You have a quiet confidence that is admirable and you are very much an independent guy. You love playing alone and could keep yourself occupied for hours if you needed to. I've never heard you say you were bored. Not once.

You are a homebody. You love to be at home and give us grief when it's time to go out and do something. You love your toys, your room and the familiarity of home and family. You're a great eater and will try new things. You enjoy spicy foods (like Daddy) and can put away a lot of food in one sitting. You've lived up to the nickname we gave you as a baby...Bubba.

Love you so much Jake!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fall Wrap Up

This fall has come and gone so quickly, but we enjoyed it to it's fullest. There were several trips to the cider mills in and around our house. We apple picked, made apple bread and sweet little mini apple pies. There were small town trick or treating events, a preschool party to not be missed and of course the big day itself. As you can see from the picture, by the time the 31st arrived, the boys were tuckered out. Or at least sick of all the pictures. I couldn't help but take advantage of the fact that they were still small enough to fit into shall we say a more "babyish" costume and easy going enough to not really care what costume they wore. They may have been a little old for these costumes but Mommy needed one last Halloween to cherish before the super hero, scarey guy costumes surface.

In November we had professional pictures taken of the boys. They came out beautifully but when we added up all the expenses, we decided to give our own camera a shot. The above photo was taken by Kevin, the perfect depiction of their silly and unique qualities. We were lucky enough to get some great shots. We'll still order some from the photographer, but now we don't have to spend a such a fortune. Note to self...become a professional photographer in my next life.
Thanksgiving was nice family day. We spent the earlier part of the afternoon with Kevin's family and then the second half of the day with my own. The boys love spending time with Grant and Claire. They have so much fun with them and Grant and Claire are such great role models for the boys. Two days after Thanksgiving was Claire's birthday and we all went to see The Muppets and have dinner together.

December will arrive in just a few short hours and we welcomed the Christmas season by attending the Big Bright Light show in downtown Rochester. We watched in the rain as Santa lit over 1.5 million lights lining Main Street. We've decked our halls, made a list for Santa, reunited with our Elf on the Shelf and started watching all of our favorite Christmas classics. Christmas will be here in just a few short weeks followed up by a very big day soon after. The boys 5th birthday.

I wish I could say I am excited. I'm not. I'm dreading it more than the fact that a week after they turn 5, I'll turn 36. Since before they were born, I've always used the age of 5 as my what if age. I wonder what they will look like when they are five? How will their personalities be at 5? How tall will they be, what will be their likes/dislikes, who will their friends be, etc.... Now it's here and I know all the answers to my questions. I've never imagined them much beyond 5 because 5 seemed so far away and it was always difficult to see my babies as anything else besides babies.

I want the past 5 years back to re-live all over again. I want to feel their soft fuzzy baby hair, wiggle those teeny, tiny toes, pluck a binky into their mouths and melt into them. I want it all back, learning to walk, hearing those first words, boring mundane days in the winter, exciting discoveries with each passing season. I'll even take the days that I felt like I was losing my mind.
I can see now just how important the work I was doing was. I often felt like I was so busy but at the end of the day I had not accomplished a thing. I was wrong. We gave them every bit of ourselves and enough love and affection to last a lifetime. In return we have two amazingly bright and every bit as loving little boys. They have beautiful spirits and a potential that cannot be measured.

Since we can't stop 5 from coming, we are going to do it up big. The boys have asked to have an Angry Birds party. I've been working on handmade decorations for the past month since there really aren't any Angry Bird party favors. We had previously planned a trip to visit my parents in Punta Gorda, FL this March, but plans have changed due to a wedding. So instead we are going to surprise the boys on their birthday with the news that we are going to go back to Disney. We are going to leave on my birthday, a week after their birthday. Kevin and I felt a bit strange about taking them back before it's even been a year yet. As I explained the apprehension to my sister she reassured me that I should take advantage of their age right now. She said she wishes she could have that time back with her kids to do it all over again and it didn't take much for her to convince me that you can't do Disney "too much" when they are this little.

So goodbye to fall and welcome to the upcoming winter. I won't wish you away like I have in the past because I need every precious day to create more memories with my three boys.