Friday, February 24, 2012

Pinterest and Broken USB Ports

Well, I have 40 bazillion things to show you, but I can't upload photos from the camera. ARGH. The weather here is also just *lovely* and I find myself in a very strange mood today. Disillusioned with the lack of sunshine, bored from being indoors for months now, and definitely retaining a lot of water from the husband's valiant attempt at making Chinese last night. Seriously, I'm so puffy I'm sporting the maternity sweats. But, I'm doing what I always do when I'm bored/lazy/in need of desperation/trying to avoid eating chocolate. Here you go. Disclaimer: they are random, but the reflect my mood!

Love this, especially today:

And this, because I really should be doing laundry, but...

Yes, please:

Source: via Valerie on Pinterest

I have a ridiculously tall and fashionable friend that I could really resent for being so perfectly scarfed at all times, except she is way too nice to resent. And also because now I have her secret:

Source: via Mandy on Pinterest

My husband would love, he's not violent, just really, really, really blunt:

Source: via aleks on Pinterest

I could use this...I'm trying to learn how to paint on canvas. Frustrating. Especially since husband is amazing at it.

Why, yes, I would love to have a mosaic just like this one:

Source: via Rebecca on Pinterest

My kid needs this bedroom. Love.

Met my husband in college, while he was working as a barista. Made me laugh in a sort of mean way.

Super cute:

And finally, a very merry you!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Swimsuits, Spring and Baby Weight

                                                                               Source: via Lori on Pinterest

I normally just talk about home and family, but I'm going to depart a bit from that. Swimsuit season is almost upon us. No, not here in the NW, but in Texas, where we'll be in about a month, visiting friends and family we haven't seen in 3 years. Gulp. Oh, and did I mention that I've had 2 babies, nearly back to back in that time?! Double Gulp! Here's Baby #1, aka Ms. Toddler:

And Mr. Baby:

I'm not that much heavier than normal, but I'm definitely not as toned. I gain about 40 lbs with each pregnancy: half of it goes away in l&d, and about 3/5 of the rest of it is gone by the time my kiddos turn 6 months. But the last 5ish pounds is sticking stubbornly to my hips, thighs, and butt. I have a muffin top and I hate it. Fortunately or unfortunately, my husband likes me a bit heavier. The no-judgement part is wonderful, but when I do try to diet, he sabotages me as much as he can. He maintains that when I lose weight, my head looks too big for my body. Isn't he sweet? Don't get me wrong, I don't hate myself or anything like that. And if I'm never any other size, it certainly won't mean the death of my self esteem. It is just that the way I think of myself doesn't match what I see in the mirror and it's...unsettling. Does that make sense?

To complicate matters, I breastfeed so "dieting" isn't really much of an option and while exercise is ok, it does have it's limits. Which is fine, because I hate exercising. So, I figured the best thing to do was to just cut out as many empty calories as possible, which means dessert and alcohol. Alcohol was a piece of cake, pun very much intended. If you figure about 80 calories per glass of red wine (my particular poison) 3 times per week, I'm saving myself 960 calories per month, or keeping about a third of a pound of my derriere, whichever you prefer. Dessert is harder for me. I've cut back but haven't given it up fully. But hey, every little bit helps, right? We also do not own a scale and probably never will. It makes it harder to measure progress, but I want to measure that by how I feel and how my clothes feel on me, rather than by a number. Or, I'm just scared of the scale. You decide. ;)

We're also kind of doing a modified Slim Fast thing: we're replacing 1 meal of our choosing per day with a shake. But it isn't a slim fast shake- those things have a crazy amount of sugar and they're expensive. I toss a banana, a cup of low fat yogurt, and 3 cups of almond milk into our Ninja and we split that. I get a reduced calorie meal, baby gets his nutrition. It's a win-win. And yes, the husband is on board, though he usually tops his shake off with a cookie or 3. And yup, he is maddeningly thin. Side note on our Ninja if you're thinking of getting one: in the words of Kung Fu Panda, "Said to be so sharp you can cut yourself just by looking at it." Just ask my index finger. The thing is amazing and probably the best 50 bucks we've ever spent on a kitchen appliance. This is the set we own, and it unequivocally ROCKS!

                                                                                     Source: via Nicole on Pinterest

When the sun is out it isn't drizzling with conviction, we take the kids on long walks down to the square of our small town. The loop from our house to the square is about a mile round-trip. I do loathe "exercise" but walking, bumping into good acquaintances, and maybe stopping for a true Italian Latte I can handle ;)

I already have my swimsuit and LOVE it. It fits, but it could look better. Actually, I have an embarrassing confession to make. I can't pick out my own clothes or dress myself. I can put together a stunning outfit, complete with accessories for someone else, but I simply cannot dress myself. I actually have to tell my husband what I need, i.e. 2 pairs of jeans, a long.sleeve top, and some sweaters, please! and he picks it out and I try it on and he tells me if I look ridiculous. Of course, I feel plenty ridiculous. SO yeah, where this all ties in is that when I went swimsuit shopping, I picked out a few, husband picked out a few and them I tried everything on. Mine were disasters. I am the world's oldest Barbie Doll. Except for the actual World's Oldest Barbie Doll.

Speaking of swimsuits, I found this little number on Pinterest and think it is just the coolest. Yes, I'm weird:

                                                                                        Source: via Elisabeth on Pinterest

So, am I just strange, or do any of you struggle with this? Any good, healthy & safe weight loss tips?

Monday, February 13, 2012


Lately, I've been seeing teal everywhere. It looks so up to the minute without being overly trendy or obnoxious. Teal: it's the new neutral lol.

When I saw this room with all of the different teal, turquoise, and green elements mixed with a little pop of red, I knew that teal would totally work in our home. Granted, our decor is nowhere near as stunning as this picture, but it does have many of the same colors going on, particularly in our living room.

Source: via Anaika on Pinterest

And then I saw this picture. I love love love the wall color. I got a quart of paint in as close to this shade as possible. More on that later.

But how to blend it in? I think it looks fantastic with white.

And grey. Grey looks amazing with everything, though.

Whomever did the glaze technique on this piece is my hero.

I recently scooped up a pair of grey Foo Dogs from the clearance section at Target- half price, baby! Really and truly, I'd had my eye on the red Foo Dogs, but they were full price and I figured the grey would be more versatile anyway. 5 bucks each? Yes, please! I'll show them off soon.

Ready for a tangent? Here we go! My grandmother has so many things in her home (it's gorgeous, btw) with the Chinese peach symbol. My dad collects Ho Tai, the little man whose heart was too big for his chest, so it slipped down to his belly.

I like Foo Dogs. I also like dogs in general, too :) Ok, Foo Dogs are actually lions, but all I see are fluffy puppies. I mean, what's not to love about this dude?!

Source: via C on Pinterest

So, I'm off to do something white, and teal, and grey, and fabulous all over. I'm thinking it might be time to tackle our mantel once and for all, too. Wish me luck!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Stenciled Curtains

For a while now, I've been thinking that our living room was a little...boring.

I think our son does a pretty good job of making it look good, but I can't really expect him to hang out in the living room all day ;)

Our curtains were pretty inexpensive to begin with and I figured they'd be the fastest, cheapest thing to change up. I found this 3 pack of Martha Stewart Living Stencils at Michael's for about 16 bucks. If I'd actually remembered the 40% off coupon that we'd gotten in the mail, they would have been a whole heck of a lot cheaper. Grr.

They have kind of a fun, 60's ish vibe that my husband really likes, so I figured it was a good place to start. We picked out a few of our favorite patterns and tested them out on a flattened diaper box.

As much as I liked the pattern in turquoise, I had some concerns about the scale looking a little wimpy on our curtains. I was also a little worried about how long it would take to completely fill up a panel, so we opted to go with the sort of floral/circular/ mum looking patterns. I knew from our test that I wanted the turquoise to be the predominant color, too. Actually, I would have gone with red had I been left to my own devices, but my husband loves all shades of blue and I take my brownie points where I can get them. I know it's kind of weird that I'm married to a dude who is into color, but he spent several years living in Battleship Grey barracks rooms, so when the man asks for color, he gets color.

I swiped borrowed his acrylic paints and used this fun little touch up kit to start rolling the color on.

The roller was soaking up more paint than it was depositing, so I eventually just switch to a regular old brush. In areas where I couldn't clamp the stencil to the fabric, I just weighted it down.

I didn't really have a plan for stenciling the patterns on... I started at the bottom and just worked my way up., though I did stencil the patterns on according to size, working largest to smallest.

Once I got the blue and red on, it occurred to me that the patterns kind of resembled a kaleidoscope, so I added the quad stars in. The effect is pretty fun and still allows for a lot of light to filter in. I think these may eventually wind up in the kids' room, but for now, I'm digging the pop of color they add.

For the facing window, I went with my dominant red, but kept the star grey so that each panel would tie in with the other. Why not, right?! Actually, these are my favorite, but I am a red-aholic so I guess it really isn't that shocking.

FYI- the acrylic paint was Artist Loft in Turquoise, Brilliant Red, and Grey all from Michael's.

Hope you like them! The weather is more of that patented Pacific NW "bright haze." Good pretty pictures aren't going to be happening today, unfortunately.

I did finally get a few decent evening shots. The sun had just started going down, which happens SUPER quick here, so I was running around flipping on lights, fluffing curtains, and chunking toys into their bins. As you can see, Ms. Toddler rescued her Cinnamon Bear.

Linking with Kristi at A2D!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Better Pictures of Our Kitchen Reno

Well, it's actually just one better picture, but I'll take it. We had a bit of sun, so I took advantage and photographed the kitchen. It is really, seriously hard to get good quality indoor pictures in the Pacific NW even with a good camera and lots of lighting. It just doesn't happen. But, I got my one pic, so I'm a bit happier now.

Loving it, though of course I would forget to hide our delightful trashcan :(

Back to it, then. I'm stenciling the curtains in our living room, so hopefully, I'll have that ready to show you on Friday. I can already tell that getting a good pic of the finished product is going to be challenging, though. If you've ever lived in this area, you know all about the "bright, dreary gloom" as I like to call it. It's just this weird grey haze with just enough light bleeding through to make everything look hazy. Good stuff! But, I'm almost done with our curtains, so stay tuned :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Beadboard Backsplash

I was never really a fan of beadboard until we bought this house, but now I'm in love with it. We were running a bit behind schedule with our kitchen reno, which didn't make us feel great about the prospects of using the cute little rectangular tiles we'd originally planned on. We were also a tad over budget, so we really wanted to cut costs somewhere were it wouldn't affect the look or functionality. Beadboard is really inexpensive...I think we paid maybe 12 bucks for each 2 foot section.

We had this weird laminate looking "backsplash" that had a thin strip of metal on top and bottom.

Pay no attention to the crazy eyes, he's really (reasonably) harmless.

Pulling that off really messed up the wall behind, so the thickness of the beadboard really paid off for us. Otherwise, we would have wound up trying to repair and level it.

We started the process by using brown construction paper to make a true-to-size template. We just rolled it out on the wall, taped it, and used a Sharpie to mark the light switches, electrical outlets, and any angles we'd need to make to accommodate window sills. We laid the paper template directly over the beadboard and started cutting. Sorry I don't have pictures for you...the camera battery was charging and we didn't have the time to wait for it.

My husband used this great tool from Porter Cable to make the cuts. It's sold over where the Dremels and Rotozips are and it ROCKS! We've killed both a Dremel and a Rotozip before, so we went ahead and shelled out for the Porter Cable and we haven't been disappointed.

Once we'd cut it out, we slapped two coats of Glidden's Blue Grey Slate on and we were good to go. Since we used a reasonably glossy paint finish we didn't have to seal it, though I may still go back and do it just because. Best part: I'd gotten the quart of Glidden for free during one of their Facebook promotions a few months back. Yeah!

We chose the trim style we wanted and painted it using two poor old beat up Ikea chairs as makeshift saw horses.

The beadboard we adhered to the wall using a comical amount of liquid nails. For the trim we used really tiny finishing nails, which I still need to go back over with paint.

And that was it. So simple and so inexpensive. And so pretty.

We're still working on our floor and boy is it a mess! And since we're notorious for tackling 30 million projects at once instead doing them one at a time like reasonable people, I hope to show you a fun and inexpensive little project I've been working on for our living room. See you Wednesday!