Thursday, May 26, 2011


It has been project time around here lately- so I thought I’d share a few of our before and afters…

A few months ago Craft Warehouse’s flat folds table was full of cute, girlie fabric for 3.99 a yard, so (because I’m insane) I decided that I could make most of Laney’s summer clothes myself for cheaper than I could buy them so as of last night I had used up most of my fabric and here’s a sampling of what I accomplished, brought to you by a not so willing model.


For the skirts I used this tutorial from Made. I made half a dozen skirts using this tutorial and it is probably the easiest sewing I’ve ever done!

The purple dress and brown top are from this tutorial. It took me once to get the sizing right but then I really loved how it fit nicely without having to use a zipper.

Finally, the charm pack dress is a variation of this pattern. I also made a pillow case dress but I didn’t like the way it fit. You’ll notice it’s only dresses and skirts because my little princess still refuses to wear pants.

Phew- that was A LOT of sewing, but also a lot of fun.


Next we took on a flower bed in the back yard- this isn’t the real before it’s more of a mid-way. This bed used to have a tree in it and was full of rock. Ryan pushed down the tree (!) and we picked the rock, then Ryan outlined it in this tile and planed flowers.


Here’s the after- I really love how it looks now!


Here’s another project that’s been 6 months in the making- Ryan’s fish tank. Ryan and my brother in law Jake, cut a hole in the wall, then built a stand, plumbed and ventilated the back room that houses the supplies. Then Ryan built the frame for outside the tank, and began the extensive chemistry experiment that is a salt water fish tank.


Here’s Laney checking it out after we first filled it with water, and here you can see some of the equipment required.


Here’s what it looked like once he attached the frame (don’t mind the mess in the background)


And here are a few of our newest additions. You have to wait for awhile to let the tank get established before you can add fish- so these are relatively new and we’re hoping they live!


When we moved Delaney into her own room she needed a dresser, but I quickly realized that all the new furniture is not only expensive but made like crap. So my parents donated this old dresser for me to refinish. (this dresser was my dad’s dresser when he was a little kid- pretty cool). Here’s the before-


And the after- I thoroughly enjoyed the process and someday when I have more free time (ha!) I would really like to try it again.


Last one, I promise. In March I repainted our basement grey (if you look at the fish tank pictures you can see the before and after paint colors) . I was looking for curtains and my genius friend Jessica saw these tablecloths and suggested I turn them into curtains, which I did. It was a super simple and cheap project and I’m thrilled with how they turned out.


Okay- that’s all. I think we used up all our energy in the last 6 months, so we’ll take the next 6 off! Smile

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Mother’s Dilemma, A natural history of Three Meals

* In case you didn’t catch it, I plagiarized the title of Michael Pollan’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma- GREAT book, but don’t read it if you like what you currently eat. It made me give up pop, and I’m still pissed about it. (thanks Lisa Jean for the recommendation)*

My kids are early risers, they are both up and at ‘em no later than 6 am. I am not an early riser. Let me say this again, just to be clear, I am not an early riser. So, when they get up, I put them in our bed to watch cartoons until hunger, or the absurdity of 2 kids, 2 dogs and 2 adults in a bed force me to to join the world of the living. Then it’s the first of the three meals I’ll put on the table each day; breakfast.


Breakfast at my house is almost always the same- oatmeal or cold cereal (we decided that turning on the stove in the morning in my condition is a safety hazard) and fruit. So, each morning, I stumble my bleary eyed self into the kitchen and prepare breakfast for my kids amid demands for the pink minnie bowl, a big girl spoon, and a princess cup all while my darling son is crying and pulling my pajama pants off.  ( I could discipline them, but as a rule, I don’t speak before 8 am so I just go to my happy place.) I feed Colt his oatmeal and get Laney’s food on the table, then clean up their mess, change a diaper and unload the dishwasher. Once that’s done I make myself coffee, with Laney’s “help” and sit down to eat my breakfast. But, NO, not so fast mom- apparently their breakfast wasn’t good enough. NOW they want MINE. That’s right, these little beings have taken my smooth stomach, perky boobs, my ability to sleep, a job I loved, and my sanity…. now they want my Yogurt?! I THINK NOT.

Thus breakfast ends with both my kids in tears, because Mommy won’t share.


15 minutes after I clean up the debacle that is breakfast I start Lunch. Which is almost always PB&J or Mac and Cheese (gross, I know, but I need healthy ideas for lunch-any ideas?). Now, my darling daughter is VERY particular- she wants to “help” if your making a sandwich but that means you MUST do the peanut butter first, then the jam. Then, you must cut the sandwich into squares and put it on the ladybug plate (OCD much?). You’d think that after all that she and her brother would gobble them up, but you’d be wrong. What they will actually do is lick off all the peanut butter and jam and then throw the rest to the dogs and tell you they’re still hungry. My husband will eat assorted leftovers or a sandwich and then open all the cupboards while sighing that there is no food for HIM. After my family is fed, I generally eat the cold, leftover version of the leftovers.


15 minutes after I clean up  lunch, it’s time to get ready for Dinner. By this time I need some wine and music to get going (which explains our daily pre-dinner dance party). It is a comment on how much I hate cooking that I require the same playlist to work up the energy to cook dinner and as I do to run a 5k.  For some reason dinner prep, always, brings out the worst in my kids. They cry, pull all the spices out of the spice rack, dance on cookie sheets, and generally make me wish for more wine. Then daddy’s home and we (they) sit down to eat. Meanwhile, I’m running a marathon, fetching ketchup, milk, paper towels to clean up the spilled milk, salt and more paper towels. If I’m lucky I sneak in a few bites of lukewarm dinner then start clearing dishes and related shrapnel.

1/3 of my day has now been monopolized by food prep (the other 2/3rds have been spent breaking up fights and wiping butts, respectively) and I have yet to eat a bite of warm food. (you’d think I’d be skinny but I tend to make up for it by eating Ice Cream after they’ve gone to bed- ha- take that kids!)

At this point I’m so ticked that I begin to price out private chef’s (who am I kidding? I also google mail order brides because, honestly, I’m considering a sister wife at this point).

And the best part? I get to do it all over again tomorrow… and the next day, and the next day, and the next day…

Friday, May 13, 2011

Delaney’s new room


Until recently Laney and Colt have shared a TINY room, but I finally decided she was ready for her own room (and I was ready for a little more sleep).  I was worried she wouldn’t like it since any change is hard for her, but I was wrong and she LOVES her own “special room”. 

She got to pick out some stickers for the wall ( can you tell which half of the room I decorated?  Not the princess side for certain) and I refinished some furniture that used to be my mom and dads. I didn’t want the big recliner in there but Delaney insisted that it was her Daddy’s chair (for story time) and it had to stay, so it did.


Having the kids in separate rooms was long overdue, they both sleep SO much better and it’s easier to get them down for naps- so momma’s happy too! Smile

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Meet Rosie

This is what happens when Ryan and Laney go to the pet store without me…

Meet Rosie- Laney’s new Guinea Pig.


In all fairness I gave the go ahead on this one awhile ago but Delaney had her heat set on a cat (I’m deathly allergic) and was refusing anything else. I guess yesterday she changed her mind.

She loves it and so does her Daddy. I’m not so sure- it’s a little rodent-y for me maybe it’ll grow on me…