Wednesday, August 28, 2013


One of the outside shopping areas near us did a bit of an overhaul on their retailers and have brought in some awesome stores recently. Ahem. Loft. Yes. Loft is now about 3 miles from my house. Jonathan is crying. And we're getting a Charming Charlie too! Anyway, I'm super excited about the changes. So the "mall" did a grand re-opening event last Saturday. I kept seeing stuff on social media about it and I thought Adalyn would enjoy it. They had trapeze people in the parking lot and had a helicopter land, a bounce house, face painting, glitter tattoos, a fashion show, and a few characters - our local baseball mascot, Cat in the Hat, Curious George and Tinkerbell.  There was a lot going on!

When we got there Adalyn spotted the helicopter in the air overhead and I told her that it was going to come down and land. So we hurried and parked and got her out of her car seat and she watched it land and was entranced. (We parked next to the acrobatic area so we watched there for a moment but all eyes were on the helicopter - including the people supposed to be flipping around.) So we walked over to the helicopter and spotted two people we know. J was talking with one daddy/son while Adalyn spotted her babysitter and her babysitter's son who is Adalyn's friend she plays with every day. They were in line to get a picture in the helicopter. So A's sitter told her that both kids could get in together for a picture. A was quite adamant that she would not be getting in. We tried to talk her into it while we stood there but she was not interested. (I've noticed that in new environments and when there are lots of people crowing around - both of which were happening - she just kind of shuts down and needs space.) So we decided to walk around and see what else we could find to do.

We had promised Adalyn that she would get to meet Tinkerbell and that was all she could talk about. So we knew that needed to be first on our list. Tinkerbell was located inside my favorite baby boutique. This boutique opened when I was pregnant with Adalyn and I was in there often and got to know the owner. She is so sweet and all of her workers are also. They are now located inside the children's floor of our bookstore so as we were headed down stairs we were trying to scout out where Tinkerbell was. She was inside Baby Bundles but the line to see Tinkerbell went outside their door, through the bookstore and then outside the bookstore. So we got in line. And we waited. Well, little did we know that Tinkerbell was doing an entire experience with each child, not just meeting and taking a picture like the rest of the characters in the bookstore. While we waited she did get to meet The Cat in the Hat while daddy saved our spot in the Tinkerbell line. I was surprised she wasn't afraid of him since he was so tall, but she walked right up to him for a picture! She loves all characters. I don't really understand it because they have always kind of freaked me out. (If the Chick-fil-a cow had been there she would have been out of her mind with excitement!)
While we waited Jonathan dropped my name in the door prize giveaway (as we were doing at all the stores). And then we waited some more. Then Adalyn took a potty break and then we waited some more. Get the idea? But let's just say it was worth it! Oh my goodness. First of all, when we were waiting in line I was trying to point out Tinkerbell to Adalyn and instead of looking for a human sized Tinkerbell, she kept looking in the air trying to find the fairy sized Tinkerbell. Oh and before we left the house Adalyn asked if Tinkerbell would teach her how to fly like on the movie. Precious.

Tinkerbell was so sweet. She asked Adalyn her name and Adalyn whispered "Adalyn Crystal". I think it's so precious when she answers people with both names. Tinkerbell had a whole conversation with Adalyn and Adalyn was absolutely starstruck. This poor girl had to be exhausted but you wouldn't know it. She was so good. She'd be awesome to hire for a birthday party!

 She blew some bubbles for Adalyn to pop.
 Then she made a balloon doggie for Adalyn. All while having a conversation with Adalyn about whether she had a dog and what it's name was. Seriously. She made Adalyn's day/week/month!
{Last night the balloon doggie came apart and Adalyn was so upset. Next thing we heard, Adalyn was on my phone having an entire conversation with Tinkerbell about how her doggie came apart and could she please come tonight to fix it. "Ok, thanks bye Tinkerbell." Then she set the phone down and told us that Tinkerbell would be coming to fix it. Jonathan and I looked at each other. What do we do now? We have no clue how to put this thing back together. Still not sure what to tell her.}

Baby Bundles was also doing glitter tattoos. Adalyn's never had a tattoo and she's just so funny about new things that sometimes she just won't try things. I want to urge her to try new things but I'm also not going to push her into something she's not comfortable with. (Like last year we went to a mother/daughter nail party and she would not let the lady put the nail stickers on her nails like the other little girls.) So after waiting in line I didn't know if she'd actually go through with the tattoo. But she spotted a Tinkerbell tattoo and it was all over. The lady asked what colors she wanted so she got pink and purple and she was so excited.
And she'll correct you if you say it's anything other than Tinkerbell. She wanted to call up her grandparents to show them (facetime) so we had to take a picture to text to them. I mean, she was all about this thing. She asked if she could take it to church with her the next day. I told her that it'll be going with you everywhere until it comes off. (And even through swim lessons and baths that thing is still on her arm!)

She waited in line for the bounce house but then the fire breather/juggler started his little show near where we were and she decided she was done waiting in the line near the weird man. I didn't blame her. It was way past lunch time so we decided to head out to the car where we ran into Billie, Derek, Eli and Emalyn. So we all decided to stop at Culvers for lunch/ice cream!

We had such an awesome day. It was so much fun and it cost us all of $1 for the glitter tattoo! Yay for free family fun! That night my phone rang around 9pm and it wasn't a number I knew so I let it go to voicemail. I checked the vmail later that evening and found that I won one of the door prizes at Baby Bundes. Their BIG prize. I called them back as soon as they opened on Sunday and we headed over there after church to pick it up. I remember seeing it Saturday when we were walking through the store because it was so adorable. I never win anything so I never expected to hear back from the entries. We got it home and J put it together while the kids napped. (Adalyn's bear not included:))
 Seriously. Is this not the cutest thing you have ever seen?? All the pieces can all be reconfigured too. And the seats lift up for storage! I want this in the adult size! Of course I had to look it up online to see what it retails for. $280!! It's made so well, that Jonathan decided to try it out.
 Adalyn absolutely loves it! When mommy makes it live outside and out of my living room I think she might be crushed. She sits on it to watch TV like it's her own little living room couch.  (Love how she has her little legs crossed on the foot rest.)
So that was our excitement this past weekend. I'd say that it was well worth our while to head over to Lexington Green for their re-opening party! Now, if only I had won that $250 Loft gift card! :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bathroom Mini-Makeover

After we saw how much the new grey walls opened up the dining room and made it feel like we gained square footage I persuaded my dad to paint the half bath too. (On my birthday - how could he say no?) To this day, every time I go in there I'm amazed by how fresh it feels now!

This is how the bathroom looked when we moved into the house 3 years ago. It was bright red and shiny and no, there wasn't a mirror.  Yes, it has a shell shaped sink. Please also picture white/hunter green laminate flooring straight from 1990's. 
 This was the color we painted it when we moved in. Of course I didn't take a picture of the room "styled" with the mirror and decorations. After the red, this color seemed soothing and calm. After living with it for 3 years, it just started feeling dark. We kept the semi-gloss finish since it's hard to go from a semi-gloss to an eggshell (my personal favorite finish) and the shiny walls started to just drive me crazy.

We used Grey Owl (color matched at Lowes) darkened 50% just so it was a little different from the dining room, but honestly no one would ever notice that the two rooms are different colors. I talked to my dad and also the Lowes guy about how to switch from the semi-gloss finish to an eggshell. We really didn't want to buy primer and eggshell doesn't stick well to semi-gloss (according to the Lowes guy). He recommended sanding the walls, so my dad used a liquid deglosser before painting the room. He did have to paint two coats in the room to cover the old paint. We feel like the deglosser did the trick and the eggshell finish is a welcomed change!

I can't decide whether the pictures with the lights on or off are truer of the color in real life so I added both. (I really need to take lessons so I can figure out how to actually use my camera!) 
  I added a little fabric to the white towel to get a little more color in this room. 
  The wall hanging over the toilet was the present I got from my boss for my birthday. So cute right?

You like that last picture that includes our lovely floors? Between the floor and the sink, we know that there are some larger items we could update in order to do a full makeover to this room, but we're not in that position so the next best thing is to update the "cheap" things that make a big impression like the wall color and decorations. Maybe down the road we can do a full makeover to this bathroom. For now I'm thrilled with these updates! I feel like I got a whole new room in my house!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Cayden Stats

We had to postpone Cayden's 12 month well-check because two days before that appointment I took Cayden in to the doctor fearing he had an ear infection. Thankfully there was no ear infection but he did have a virus that included a high fever with throat blisters. Poor baby was so sore! So although we could have done his 12 month appointment that week, his doctor recommended that we push it back so he wouldn't deal with throat blisters, teething and shots all at once.

Last week we went to his well check. Yes, I showed up on the wrong day and time. (I did show up to the appointment time that I had in my phone calendar so I'm not completely crazy. But somehow I typed in the wrong appointment in my phone when I scheduled it.) Thankfully since we were already there they saw us. I felt so bad because it was two days before first day of school so they were packed with people getting their back to school appointments in.

Anyway, all is well in Cayden's world. He has not yet pulled up at home but his sitter says he pulls up continually at her house and has been for the past two weeks. The doctor said that we have 4 weeks for him to start pulling up consistently at home before she sends us to physical therapy. He's just not interested in standing/walking/pulling up. He flies around the house crawling and he seems happy with that. I'm not worried about it. He's not behind on any other milestones. I think he's just laid back and frankly I'll take that over being hyperactive!

Here are his stats:
Height: 29 7/8" = 75-90%
Weight: 22 lbs 8 oz = 75-90%
Head: 17" = 2-5%

Cayden was laying on the floor laughing and I had such a good view of his funny three teeth on top so I had to grab my camera. That 4th tooth is just taking it's time coming through. It's bulging and so close! I think it looks like he's a big boy who lost his front tooth. Ha:)
 And the bottom three teeth. So funny how they came in like that with three on top and three on the bottom. His fourth bottom tooth has finally broken through. You just can't see it well yet.
 Out of focus but still so cute!

 Adalyn saw Cayden laying on the floor laughing for pictures so she wanted in on the fun and laid down to laugh for her picture. 
 This picture cracks me up. She looks like she's trying so earnestly to smile big:)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Pictures

I always want to dress my kids in matching/coordinating outfits but it's really hard to do with a boy/girl! (Especially when most clothes come from consignment sales.) I had a precious outfit for Cayden to wear today. It's a Bella Bliss outfit and if you know how pricey that brand is, you will be impressed to know that they are located in Lexington and have two warehouse sales each year and I bought this outfit for $10 last December! I love scoring a deal:)  Cayden had some of his 1 year photo shoot pictures in this precious outfit but had never worn it to church so I decided he needed to today.

Adalyn likes to "help" me pick out her dress for church. Usually I get to her closet first and pull 3 options she can choose from. Today she got to her closet first and asked for this dress. I started to say no because she has worn it recently to church but I stopped myself when I realized that it perfectly matched Cayden's outfit. Too cute! So these matching/coordinating outfits today is thanks to my 2 year old!

I wanted to get pictures of them in their coordinating outfits but neither felt like smiling at the same time. Of course.
 Sweet sister comforting Cayden.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Weigh In

It's been a month since I've blogged about my weight loss journey. I think it's high time to write an update. I've been plugging away using my lose it app and I have been consistently losing weight even if it isn't as fast as I'd like:)  My first highlight is that all of my size 10 cropped pants/jeans that I was so excited to squeeze into just two short months ago are all baggy and frumpy looking. I was thinking about it and even in June when Lindsy was visiting I wore a pair of jeans to work. They fit but cut off my circulation and I had a horrible stomach ache after work from them. I wore those same jeans yesterday and they are so loose that they slide around on me now! I don't love looking frumpy, but I do love knowing that my hard work is paying off!  For my birthday my mother-in-law gifted me a Loft gift card and I think I may need to cash it in on some 8's!! I'm going to shop my closet first but I was always a 6 before getting pregnant and when you gain during pregnancy you buy maternity clothes, not bigger sized jeans so I think I'll need to buy a couple until I can fit into my old 6's. Hopefully that will be sooner rather than later!

My second HUGE milestone was that this week I was able to wear both my wedding band and engagement ring for the first time since I was about 5 months pregnant with Adalyn! (Over 3 years!!) My rings are really wide and my fingers are really short so the rings take up my finger to almost my knuckle so even though I've been able to wear either/or I've never been able to fit both on together until this week! It was amazing to wear them both. I was on cloud nine with excitement all day! Unfortunately my finger broke out with a red rash/itching so I haven't been able to wear them both again. I don't know what that is all about, but my finger better get over it's issue because I'm going to wear both rings going forward!

I've been running pretty consistently 3 or 4 times a week between 3 and 4 miles each run. I've really built up endurance and have even increased my speed! Jonathan and I ran in an evening 5K last Saturday. He got a PR with a sub 20min 5K and I got a great time also. I can't say it was a PR since my running isn't even close to the speed it was back before birthing two kids, but my time for this race was WAY faster than it has been since being back running. My time was 32:10 with an average pace of 10'03". To give you a sense of how much better that is than where I was, my last 5K was June 8th and I ran it in 34:11 with an average pace of 10'25". So I took a full 2 minutes off of my race. I'll take it. My 5K PR back before children was 23:56. I will get back there! I just have to keep plugging away. This month I've run a total of 39.2 miles! We have 3 more 5K races we have signed up for this fall and then I have a 7 miler next March. I love races!!

Ok so here are my weekly weigh in's since my last blog post on July 12.

July 19 - down 1.8 lbs
July 26 - down .4 lbs
August 2 - down 1.6 lbs
August 9 - down .2 lbs
August 16 - down 4.4 lbs

Total since May 1 - down 27.8 lbs

My app is supposed to help me lose 2 lbs a week and up until this past month, it had done exactly that. After having 4 weeks that I lost less than 2 lbs, I was getting a bit down on myself. I know that fluctuations happen and that my running has built muscle, etc. but I really wanted to see the scale move. This morning when I went to weigh in I wanted to be in a new set of numbers on the scale. In my head I wanted to lose at least 3.5 lbs so I was thrilled when I saw the 4.4 lbs loss!

I have 8.8 lbs left to lose to reach my goal! Being less than 10 lbs away from my goal feels great! It's so close I can taste it!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My New Dining Room!

For a while now, I've been itching to update our dining room. It's the first room you see from our front door and since it's a rarely used room in our house it has been horribly neglected. When we first moved in, the dining room was one of only two rooms in the house that weren't yellow. (And it wasn't just one shade of yellow. Each room was a different color of yellow. Lovely.) I rushed to find a color for this room (as I did for every room in the house) when we moved in. We had used a chocolate color for our great room in our old house so I wanted a lighter wall color in this house. When I chose the wall color it seemed so light (compared to what I was used to) and I really liked it.

I found heavy curtains at Pier 1 that were very much my style in our old house and I liked the look of them. And then I hung the gallery wall and called the room done. That is until it started feeling like a dark cave in there! The front room has a large window and gets amazing morning sun but not much light in the afternoon/evening. So the room always felt dark. I always felt the the room needed more pops of color but I could never figure out where to put color.

Moving in 3 years ago.

 Please excuse the mess on the table. Decorations had already been removed from my buffet in order to start painting when I realized that I needed to take some "before pictures". 
 Along with the mess on the table, this picture also has the new curtains hanging so this is a really bad before picture!
 Here's a pic from Cayden's party of the other side of the room.  I still think it's pretty. It was just too dark.

I had in my head that I wanted to paint light grey walls in the dining room and entryway. And I really wanted to do bright yellow/white graphic curtains. Well, finding yellow/white graphic curtains is harder than you would expect. The only ones I could find were way out of my price range online. So one day at Hobby Lobby a fabric caught my eye and I decided that maybe I should just make curtains. (That's what I've done in 3 other rooms in the house since I never can find pre-made curtains that I like.)  I asked the lady at Hobby Lobby to cut 86 inches (I believe) of fabric. I knew I wanted 84" curtains and gave myself 2" of seam allowance. I asked if it was returnable if I decided I didn't love the fabric in the house. She assured me that as long as I didn't cut it, I could return it. I took my trusty 40% off coupon to the front and got my curtain "panel" for $15!

I hung it on the current rod with safety pins and left it like that for a couple weeks to make sure I loved it. I did. So I sent Jonathan and my dad back out to Hobby Lobby with exact specifications for what to buy. (I was neck deep in party decorations/food prep for Cayden's party the next day and the guys were nice enough to run errands.) This was one of those projects that I just HAD to have done at the last minute. You know how that is, right? The nice thing is since I had them cut separately, the fabric was already cut to the length I needed for each panel. The sides didn't need to be hemmed, so I just used hem tape for a top and bottom hem and then used drapery clips to hang it from the curtain rod. These were the easiest curtains I have made yet! I love how they turned out!
You can see how they are hung in this picture. 

I picked up two paint color swatches from Benjamin Moore. One was Moonshine and one was Grey Owl. Both of these colors were used by my favorite home bloggers and I loved how their walls looked. Grey is so hard to choose! You don't want it to be too green or too blue. I held both swatches up to the fabric and decided on the Grey Owl. And I LOVE it. Jonathan thought it looked a bit too white on the walls when my dad painted a few spots on the wall because next to the old color, it did look white. But once it covered the entire wall, it looked very grey.

My mom and I ran out to Hobby Lobby. So glad it's only 5 minutes away since it's my favorite home store! And we found a few pops of yellow for me to add to the room to tie in the curatins, including fabric that I made into a runner for my table. (Our Ikea table is massive and normal table runners are way too short for it so I had to make my own.)  I love the bird cage because it's so not "me". It didn't have a price tag on it at the store and it was the last one and I was convinced it was going to be $50/$60 (like the black ones on the same table) and I would have to put it back but I went ahead and asked the cashier and found out it was $34 but on sale for 50% off so I got it for $17!! I was so excited! I'd like to drop it down a bit from the ceiling but I haven't found the right chain yet. (Lowe's had a 10 foot for $10. Um no.) I am absolutely in love with this room now!  It honestly feels like the room doubled in size and it's not just in the background anymore. It's open and part of the house.
 I raised the curtain rod because I love the look of curtains hung high. (I still love the look of my windows without the blinds. That also helped to get more light in this room!)

 Looking down the hall toward the front door. The yellow "B" used to be hung at our old house and was a gold color. My dad spray painted it yellow and I love how it looks. (Can you tell my dad enjoys doing projects around the house when they stay to watch the kids?) My next idea is to paint a dark stain on the stairway handrail. I love the idea of it tying into the dark pops in the room and the ORB doorknob. 
 The middle family picture will be switched out as soon as I can decide on which family picture from C's photo shoot I want to have made into a wrap! I think the gallery wall pops so much better against the lighter walls. Love this look!
 It's so hard to get pictures of this room because so much light comes in now with my airy curtains!
 This is my view coming down the stairs each morning and I love it!

I'm thrilled with how a gallon of paint made our entire downstairs feel like an entirely new house! It is a difference between night and day! Here's hoping our guests enjoy the changes as much as we do!

Linking to Beneath My Heart Best DIY of August Party.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Kitchen Shade

In the past few months I've noticed things around the house that I want to spruce up. Thankfully most have been easy/inexpensive fixes. Of course there are still many expensive items (green kitchen counter, shell half bath vanity, bathroom CARPET) that are still on my list to upgrade but we don't have the funds for those. So I decided to tackle some of the smaller items on my list.

We have 2 inch (fake) wooden blinds in all of our windows and I realized that we never ever closed the ones on our first level. Never. And they covered up the top 1/4 of the windows when they were raised because the blinds are thick. I had mentally taken them down a ton of times but one night after work I grabbed a chair and a screwdriver (to use to pry the little brackets open) and went to town. J thought I was crazy. I got the blinds down from the living room and the kitchen (that blind didn't even work so we couldn't lower it if we wanted to!) and then I had to have Jonathan's help to hold the one in the dining room since it's a double window. Blinds are heaver than you expect! (J made sure I left all of the brackets just in case we ever want to hang them back up but I can't see that happening.)

I absolutely love the no-blind look on the windows. Our windows are tall and now we can actually see out of the entire window which I absolutely love in my living room because my windows open to green trees and the blinds don't get in the way of the view now! My living room windows already had drapes but my kitchen window never had a curtain or valance on the window so once the blinds were down, I loved the look but it just felt like something was missing.

I looked up this post from Young House Love and saw how easily they made a fake roman shade. I really didn't want to do a traditional curtain rod/valance. I wanted something flat and I knew the exact colors I wanted in the fabric and I knew I wanted a floral. I kept my eye out for the the fabric that I could see in my head but had never seen in real life. (This is always my problem. I get a crazy idea and then can't find what I need!) One day I was shopping for Cayden's birthday decorations at Hobby Lobby and I decided to stop by the fabric department and have a look to see if they had anything new since the last time I was there. And they had the exact fabric and colors I had seen in my head! Perfect! I was so excited! I only needed 1/2 yard and I don't even think it ended up being $10. In that same shopping trip I also found the fabric for dining room curtains that I had been on the hunt for! I love Hob Lob!

After the kids were in bed I got to work on my new shade using these directions. I stopped to get a 1x2 piece of wood and white duck tape at the store. I already had stitch witchery in my sewing box.

We measured the window and left an inch overhand on either side of the window. I wanted to mount it above the window so that the shade didn't interfere with the view out the window. Jonathan took it outside to cut it and pre-drill 4 holes in it.

 While he was cutting the wood, I measured the width of the fabric and cut it and hemmed the sides with the stitch witchery. (BTW, sorry for the awful night time pictures with bad lighting.)
 When J was finished with the 1x2, I cut small pieces of fabric to wrap around the two ends and secured it with white duck tape. Since my fabric was thick I did have to go back and cut out some of the overlapping fabric so it would lay flat against the wall. I just wrapped it like a little package.
 Then I taped the top of the fabric onto the board. Once we held it up to make sure I liked it I put the tape all the way across the board to make sure it was secure. The picture below is the part that goes against the wall. 
 I wasn't sure how long I wanted my shade so I taped it up and had J hold it up to the window and I moved that "hem" around until I liked the length. 
Once I had the length, I ironed in a crease and then cut the extra fabric off and ironed in the hem tape. Then J just had to screw the board into the wall (under the fabric) using the 4 holes he pre-drilled into the wood. (Yes my hubby enjoys doing home reno with his shirt off.) (Or he was relaxing on the couch and I dragged him off of it to help me... that's more like it:))
 Let's look at what the kitchen looked like before.  This was when we moved in. The whole house was yellow. (Excuse the moving mess on the counters.) I honestly have a gag reflex and chills when I look at this picture because it brings back memories of All.Of.The.Yellow in our house before we swiftly covered it. {shiver}
 After we painted but the before the blinds broke in the upright position. Still messy moving-in counters.
And now this is what it looks like!

 See my pretty view? This is why I didn't want the blinds covering the top 1/4 of the window. 
 Without lights. This is a truer picture of the colors of the fabric. I love the extra color it adds to the kitchen!
 Yep. Still keeping it real with the bottle and sippy cup in the sink and travel coffee mug on the counter. This is life. 
This was a super easy, super inexpensive update that I feel has made a huge impact on this room! I'm so glad I finally found the fabric I dreamed up in my head and it turned out exactly as I hoped it would. And hey, I wasn't planning it but the dark green in the fabric even ties in our horrendous green counter tops. Maybe we're bringing green counters back and everyone will want them in 2014...or maybe not.

Linking up 
TDC Before and After