Thursday, December 29, 2011

playdate choo-choo

when you come to our house for playtime, you always have to play choo-choo train.  both my kids are obsessed with them. 

lucky for betsy, she got to drive. i don't often have that privilege...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

dining room redo

this room was definitely something we wanted to revamp as soon as we looked at the house.  even before we seriously considered making an offer.   

the patterns and colors were the pick of the elderly couple who lived here, and we have NOTHING red, or fake-fruit-baskety.  not that we mind red, but we didn't really want to add it to the mix, either.  didn't help that the wallpaper was already starting to peel off waaaaaaaaaaaay at the top...  so, before we had any of our boxes delivered, we ALL (as you can see) set to work tearing off paper.

we were also in the middle of painting the bedrooms at this time, since they were first on the paint-before-stuff-is-delivered list.  so, some of us would work on painting, and some of us would work on kid entertainment/tearing off wallpaper.  as it turns out, the process in this room was quite lengthy.  various people got a turn helping tear off paper, and we finally finished it up during the paint process below.

as we started to unpack, this became our "undecided" room and was piled HIGH.  we had a table in the kitchen area, so no need to be concerned, right?  eventually, though, we got sick of the mess as it was directly in view from the kitchen and living room.

so, we FINALLY cleaned it out, and tried to find homes for everything.  there's still a small pile here, but we're working on that too.

a little backwards (or upside down), you might say, but we painted the bottom part first.  we knew that we wanted just solid brown and had things on hand for it.  when the painting bug bites, you gotta get to work or the moment will pass...

being still undecided on what to do with top, we set to work on cleaning off the last of the wallpaper and glue on the top section.  we eventually decided to just paint it a color similar to the rest of the house's tan walls, and then figure out some accent(s) to add later.

and (insert drum roll please!)... we decided to try stencils.  the walls are textured, so we weren't quite sure how they'd turn out.  but, the plain tan was tooooooo boring.  i found some stencils here that i really liked, and the rug has paisleys... but, i'm a cheapie, and didn't want to wait for shipping time.  so, i found some DIY stuff at Michael's and set to work.

the base coat is a flat finish, and this stencil we did in the same color glossy finish.  interesting result, and still not quite sure if we like the look.  quite a mess of wallpaper junk on the floor!

the other stencil in progress...


the mostly finished wall, and what shapes show up depends on lighting as you can tell from the pictures above and below.

we added some green circles on the sides of the cream shapes, and added brown swirlies on the glossy tan ones.  like it a bit better with things put back together, and some pictures up!

now, when will we get that light fixture painted or changed?  :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

happy holidays!

2 little things enjoying their snowman cookies on christmas eve

Friday, December 23, 2011

pumpkin spice bagels w/honey nut cream cheese

those MIL's!  they'll get you hooked on yummy stuff!

last time we were at her house, she had these bagels and this cream cheese.  since then, we've made several trips to the grocery store with these in mind.  and, there's only one store that carries the bagels, we've found.

anyone else ever get totally taken by the marketing on a package?  i think the "limited" message means i have to buy them on every trip because they might not have them the next time! 

we've really been enjoying our little breakfast treat - kiddos included.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

fireplace picture gallery

as i hinted in a previous post, i hung some more pictures!  hooray for a few fewer (ha ha) things piled on the floor, and a few fewer (yep, did it again) frames in the bin. 

here's how it worked:
i didn't want to buy anything new to put over the fireplace because we have a LOT of pictures, and most of them are in frames i already like and want to use.  did a little bit of browsing for ideas, and this is what i decided to try:

pick your favorite thickness of painter's tape, and put it in a straight line.  i eyeballed this, but if you wanted to be awesome you could measure it.  problem is, houses never seem to be straight.  you can place the tape exactly the same distance from the ceiling, the mantle, the floor, or whatever you choose, but chances are it won't look straight when you're finished.  you could always use a level, too - but, i went with good ol' eyeballs.  i did measure when i got it where i liked it to make sure it wasn't a crazy ways off from the ceiling trim (just in case the husband was looking).

pick a spot off center and start hanging pictures that touch the tape.  leave the same amount of space between them.

hang a few, pick out a few more frames from the bin, and hang a few more.

decide you're happy with the arrangement. 
(i like things that are not exactly centered, and this works for me!)  

find some updated pictures so the 2 babies on the far left don't have to be sideways. 

open the mail, and find new pictures of the cousins!  thanks, amy!! 

realize that there are no pictures of your son, but 3 of your sister's wedding. 

consider that a project for another day.
mutter under your breath because project progress just makes new lists. 

frames hung.  check.

and, this pic is just to keep it real.  the pile on the right is a bunch of unpacked-but-nowhere-to-live stuff.  at least it's smaller than the other 3 piles we've had around, and now there's only one pile.

new list:
find a few other things from the already unpacked pile to live on the mantle.
change up the pictures in the frames.
move the right deer in just a tad.
sort junk pile.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

ice skating

a fun evening with friends, even if taking a 4 yr old and a 1 yr old to the ice rink is a crazy thing to do! 
anxiously waiting for their skates

the gang:  andy, us, betsy, eric, jacob


each time we would suggest a break, or suggest watching everyone else skate a bit, we were met with "no! i ride" (read: don't you dare take me off this ice.)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

pallet right up!

or, pile it right up!  (thought i'd better explain that one...) in our new compost bin!

the nice temperatures coaxed us outside this weekend, and we got some leaves raked.  we've (read: i've) been meaning to get this project done since it looked so simple here.  now, we've got a spot besides the flowerbeds and yard to put earthy stuff so it can rot.

john at the young house love blog went to a bit more trouble than we did. we had some old stakes from the previous owners and some metal bars (like the black piece in the above pic) from a lawn mower crate just lounging around in the garage, so we put 'em to work!

it was really simple for me, of course, because i was just standing around bossing because we just picked out a good spot for the compost, pounded the stakes in, and set the pallets over the stakes.

a couple of screws on the corners means she'll stay together better, and be more square in case the neighbors are looking.  you ever wanted to seem square to your neighbors?

and, here she is!  isn't she pretty?

a few more well-placed, but still-sticking-out-quite-a-ways screws in the front, and there's a nifty removeable door pallet. 

holds the leaves well, now we'll see how well she composts!

Friday, December 16, 2011


my sweeties all dressed up
my littlest sweetie with her first up-do, and it's even in motion.
this girl is busy, busy!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

pumpkin again? in december?

well, actually, yes.

[yes, this is where there should be a picture of our front step...]
we had a big ol' guy on our front step, and he still looked so nice that we hated to just pitch him.  so, we chopped him up and cooked him down.  sounds kinda mean, 'eh?

my punkin-head.  the paint on his shirt is foreshadowing for something you might get to see.  if, IF, IFFF we ever get it finished.

cut it up, scoop it out, and try to find enough pans to fit it in so it can all bake at one time.  we didn't want to be at this alllllll day, people.

wow.  that's lotsa pumpkin!

stir until smooth, and then...

find a spot in the freezer! 

these little containers have certainly come in handy.  their initiation was strawberry jam with melita, but i've used them a ton since because they stack nicely.

there you have it!  come visit, and we'll make you something with it!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


thing 2's favorite game recently has been to pretend to "seep."  she gets the blanket from her crib, a pillow from the couch, and snuggles up on the floor.  she's surprisingly quiet, so if you walk in the room and she's "sleeping," she'll be sure to let you know her displeasure in being disturbed.
eyes all scrunched up, pretending to be asleep
shhhh mommy, i'm trying to sleep
back, mommy, rub back.

the 2 of them like to play this in brother's room in the beds, but i haven't been able to get any pictures yet.  it's sooooo cute.  :)

Monday, December 12, 2011


i was attempting to hang pictures over the fireplace, when i was quite interrupted by someone playing "peep-a-boo" with her daddy.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

how you be doin?

found this card when we were unpacking a box of completely useful items.
this person definitely has a friendly name for a business card. 
think he/she was destined for a service industry job?

Friday, December 9, 2011

monster jam, matchbox style

these little things have the best time lining up little cars and running over them with little monster trucks.
yes, you guessed right!  that red piece under the monster truck is a jack.  it had to be lifted up so he could work on the wheels a little bit.
lining up...
and the monster truck RUUUUUNNNNNS over the cars!!!!!!!