Friday, August 31, 2012

Living Room Progress

This is the slowest house tour known to blogging, but I haven't managed (until now) to get daylight pictures of the living room.  Either the boys are awake and the room is covered in toys, or it is dark out by the time I get off my duff and pick up the toys enough to make our living room look presentable. 

But ANYWAY - thanks for hanging in there.  So the living room.  Where to start on this room?  Well, this is what it looked like when we moved in...
Cozy, huh? That entryway goes into the dining room, which you can read about here and here. Here is the view of the living room if you are standing about where my neurotic dog is standing in the above picture...
So.  As you can see, it's a large space, which is great! Farmhouses aren't exactly known for their open spaces, you know?

We moved our furniture in and sort of shoved it around a few times until it felt like it worked, and then we stalled out.  Eventually I couldn't handle the dirty blue walls anymore, so I took the boys to the "tool store" (Lowes- Jack LOVES it there), and picked up a sample pot of 'Hazy Stratus' by Valspar.  I painted a few sections on the walls, and fell madly in love with the color.  I decided to go ahead and edge around the door, and then I (once again) stalled out and our living room stayed like this for two weeks. 
Instagram pic
Oops.  One night after the boys had gone to bed, Matt and got our hineys in gear and knocked out the paint in this room. And that pretty much brings you up to date on this room...so here we are.
Oh, and check it out! Our entertainment center went from red to green!  As much as I loved the red, it wasn't working in here, and it really didn't hold up all that well.  I am still adjusting to the green...we will see if it makes the cut.   I also bought two chairs to refinish off of Craigslist, but those are still sitting forlornly in the basement, just waiting for me to get around to. 

We also picked up some new lamps.  I loved our yellow ones, but one broke.  It was a sad, sad day. 
The new guys are pretty cool too though.  And yes, that is a wooden giraffe.  In the jungle.  What?

The other side of the room is our office type spaces.  I have my desk facing the windows, and the boys have their table there as well. 
 How cute is that?  Oh, that big white thing next to my desk is an air conditioner.  We lasted one day without AC downstairs before we high-tailed it to Lowes and got the only AC unit we could get our grubby little hands on in the middle of July - because apparently they stop shipping them in the high heat of summer.  Makes sense, no? 

I like the progress we have made so far, but I still feel like it needs a lot of adjusting. 
One adjustment we will be making this weekend (well...Monday probably), will be to this wall...
I am totally stoked to see my idea come to life, let's just hope we don't run into any snags!

And umm...yes.  Those are pumpkins.  I am so ashamed.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Embracing The Camera

I'm embracing the camera with the Anderson Crew today,and sharing some of my favorite pics of Luke and I that Matt took at my little sister's wedding earlier this month. We did try to get a picture of me with BOTH of the boys, but neither felt like cooperating, so Luke and I had our own little photoshoot. 
 Here I am with my co-star.  Isn't he the dreamiest?
 When I spin him he smiles the biggest smile and makes these happy gasping noises.  They crack me up every time!
Oh that baby makes my heart happy!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Orange Oil Cleaner

I pinned this a looong time ago on Pinterest, and actually started making it about six months ago.  And since I am such a prompt blogger, you are now getting this post WELL after I meant to write it.  Ah well.  Such is the life of a bubble-head.

So, anyway.  Let me give you a little back story.  I used to wipe down all of our kitchen surfaces with Windex, and then one day while I made dinner, I noticed Jack licking the table (Eh, kids are weird).  I don't necessarily encourage table-licking, but I think that you have to pick your battles, you know? I got to thinking about how I had just cleaned the table, so it wasn't a big deal that he licked it, but then I got to thinking...would I let my baby drink Windex?  No.  No I would not.  So the search for a safe cleaner came into play.   I found this on the blog Vicariously Vintage, but there are a LOT of tutorials out there.

This is the way WE do it.  I keep a plastic container in the door of our freezer, and as we eat oranges, I simply put our peels in there instead of in the garbage.  When my container is full, I jam as many peels as I can into a mason jar (it helps to let them thaw first).  Then I pour white vinegar into the jar, all the way up to the brim.  I shake it up, and pop in into the fridge.

About twice a week (or more if you think about it), I take the jar out, and I shake it up, then put it back in.  I would give it a minimum of two or three weeks in there, but longer won't hurt.
 When you notice the liquid has the consistency of oil, you can strain it out.  Don't forget to squeeze the oil out of the peels before you throw them away.

I then fill up my squirt bottle, half Orange Oil, half water, and voila!
 A cleaner that WORKS, and is safe for all the table-lickers out there.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Let There Be Light!

When I put up pictures of our dining room, I sort of off-handedly mentioned that we would like to replace the light in there at some point in the future.
You can just barely see the light up there above the table.
We really didn't have any immediate plans of doing so until I stumbled across a chandelier that we both loved on mega clearance at Lowes (plus I had a 10% off coupon).  P.S. - It's still on clearance!

Unfortunately there were none of those lights in stock at our local Lowes.  Bummer.  We didn't really want to spend too much, but we did want to find something that we both liked, so we figured we would just keep looking until we found one that met our requirements, and if we didn't find one while we lived here at the farmhouse, no big deal.

Later that week I was looking at the light again (because that's what I do...daydream decorate when my boys nap) and I figured I would check one more time if there were any in stock locally.  Nope.  BUT THEN.  Then I changed to the store near my mom and wouldn't you know there were two in stock?!  I placed the order immediately, and we picked it up last weekend when we were down to visit.  We got home and the fun started.  Here is our old little boob light (that honestly didn't light up the space very well).
Adios sucker! I have no installation pictures, because it involved me crouching on the table holding up the chandelier while Matt did the wiring.  It was pretty fabulous though.

The end product was well worth the shoulder burn I got while holding this bad boy up!
We kind of like it.  Like a lot.
I like the way the brushed nickel kind of mirrors the bowl'o'lemons that I have as our summery centerpiece (that's right! I managed not to bust out our fall stuff yet!), and it really lights up that room so well! There is a large pine tree in front of the house, which I love, but it does keep it relatively dark and shady over there, so as the winter months come I am going to like having a nice bright room!
Oh also, I recently moved that little white piece into this room, it is where we keep our construction paper and our markers for the boys crafts. 

Over all, I really love the difference our $42 dollar chandelier makes in this room!

So now...the big question, do I paint those four wooden chairs white?  Bright white?  Antique white (like the little white cabinet)? Distressed?  SO MANY OPTIONS!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Things You Do

I want to be better about recording what my little guys are up to right now, the new things they master, the cute things they say. 
 I started this blog as a way to keep in touch family, and now that we are farther away from my side of our family (who are still faithful readers), I am going to try to make this a monthly series. 

Jack:  You will be three in two and a half months.  You recently mastered somersaults, and you also do a donkey-kick style handstand that scares me every time! I taught you to do a somersault so that you would learn how to tuck your chin to your chest - because I knew that sooner or later you would figure out how to flip on your own - might as well teach you to do it safely!
Luke: You are 10 and a half months old.  You have four teeth.  You say 'bye-bye', 'ball', 'dog', 'dada', and 'mama'.  Oh and we think you might be saying 'brother' (buh-buh), but we can't tell for sure.  You loved to wave to everyone we see and give them your friendliest 'bye-bye', needless to say you are a big hit at the grocery store.

Jack: You can count to 13, you like to do this when you jump over cracks on the sidewalk.  You know your colors and your shapes, and part of your alphabet.  You can draw a circle, and you love to build towers (but you get sad when your baby brother knocks them down). 

Luke: You love being anywhere your big brother is playing.  You have skipped a lot of the baby toys we have for you and gone straight for big brother's cars and trains. Your favorite thing to play with right now though?  Empty spice jars.  You boys have a play kitchen, so one day when I was cleaning out my cupboards I gave you guys a few little spice jars instead of throwing them away.   Sometimes you even go to sleep holding one in your sweet little hands. 

Jack: You have recently started getting out of bed a lot at night.  You go to bed around 8:00 now, but sometimes it will be a close to 9:30 before you actually go to sleep.  We don't like this, but it is something we are working on.  You certainly know how to work the system when you come down and say "I just want to cuddle with you".  Me too, buddy.  Me too.
Luke:  You still aren't the greatest sleeper.  You get up two or three times a night, but you go right back to sleep so I can't complain too much.  You have started napping really well, which gives Momma a much needed break during the days. 

Brothers: You guys LOVE to play together.  You wrestle all the time.  Luke - you always seem to be the instigator, and Jack - you are very good at playing at Luke's level.  You are gentle with him, but you still have a lot of fun. 

So my boys - that is a vague catch-up of the things you do right now.  You keep my days fast-paced and full.  I love taking you on 'adventure days', which are generally just exploratory trips around town that end at the park.

(As I write this - Jack is building a tower on the coffee table, and Luke is sitting under my desk playing with a spice jar.  Today it is cloves.)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Autumn on the Mind

Last week I went thrifting with my little guys, and I ended up bringing home a really cute new fall wreath.  I hung it on the door just to see how it looked...and yeah, I haven't removed it yet.  Couple that with the fact that the temperatures here are maxing out around 75 every day, and suffice it to say...I have autumn on the mind.  

 Here are a few fall pictures from Pinterest that have had me itching to snatch up every pumpkin and Mum I can get my grubby little hands on...

 
Source: bhg.com via Alison on Pinterest




 


Oh man, white pumpkins?  They would look CUTE on my porch...

Source: hgtv.com via Beth on Pinterest


I will wait until September 1st, I will wait until September 1st, I will...

Well...I will try.  Are you itching to break out the russets and oranges, or are you still savoring the summer?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Outdoor Progress

When we first saw the house, it looked like this...
It has a nice sized porch, but it is pretty barren on it's own.  We painted the door, and then Jack helped plant a little garden out front. 

Since then, we have made a few more changes.  Our first house number was 1330, and we had bought house numbers that we never used.   THIS house is number 10, so I dug out those old numbers and slapped them on the front door.
Somehow this makes it feel cottagy to me, and it also helps people find our house (our first day here, someone tried to deliver Chinese food to our house by mistake, because none of the houses here have house numbers).

We have also hung two hanging plants on one side of the porch, and we have put Bruce the Blue Spruce next to our little red bench as well.  Another switch we made was to hang a few stars outside to balance the one window.  Our first house had one lonely window out front just like this one, so this is more or less the exact same arrangement we had there as well!  So how about a picture of how it is looking now?!
I should mention that we did this on the cheap too.  The plants are all from out first house except the two red mums, which were $2.50 a pop.  The paint for the front door was about $10, and the hanging plants were on clearance and around $8 total.  So for around $25 I think we have made a pretty good impact!

Here is a closer picture of the little garden out front.  This thing was a labor of love, not because it was that hard to actually plant, but because Matt and I had to first take out a nest of yellow jackets living under the porch.  Ugh.  Not fun, there was a lot of shrieking involved on my part, and THEN those sneaky yellow jackets tried to make a nest in on of my side mirrors on my car.  The horror! AGH! But anyway...the flower bed...
The flags everywhere are Jack's contribution.  I got him little flags for the 4th of July, and he loved sticking them in the ground anywhere he can.  The rocks in the front are actually from our wedding, they are rocks from the little rocky beach where Matt proposed.  Awwwww.  Also, I ran out of rocks about a foot too soon.  Eh, whatever.  I still like it!
So there you have it! Our outdoor progress.  It's certainly a lot nicer to pull into the driveway and see a home that looks like people live in it, versus an abandoned looking house! Our to-do list out here has shrunk rapidly, although we would still like to powerwash the siding.  Maybe this weekend!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Tot Olympics 2012

In honor of the London Games, my sister and I cooked up a fun day for our little ones. 
The first event was a biggest splash contest.

The judges went wild! (Yes, my brother is holding up a "1", which is exactly why he was not given a scoring card to begin with)

Next up was water polo, but mostly they just splashed in the pool.  Still fun!
 The little ones continued the match in the pool, while the older boys warmed up for the big footrace!
 For a while it was a close race, but Emerson eked out a win in the end!
 Sweet Victory!!  Next event - SHOTPUT. 
 Yes those are croquet balls and a spray paint court, but to a kid - this is serious stuff!

There was also a high jump somewhere in here, but I didn't manage to get any pictures of that event.  The last event was 'archery'.  We drew a chalk bulls eye on the patio and the three oldest kids attempted to break a water balloon in the center.  Little did we know, those balloons were tough! We eventually put rocks in the middle. which did the trick!
After archery, the littles lined up for the awards ceremony.  In a historical first, there was a four-way tie for gold! What are the chances?!
We had so much fun, it is amazing how cardboard and plastic medals can really make a little one's day!

Did you do anything to celebrate the closing of the 2012 Olympics?  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dining Room Progress

The dining room is the first room that we painted, so that is the room that I have had the longest to make 'ours'.  There are still some things that I would like to do in here, but it has come a long way.  Let's take a look at where we started...
...not too bad, but it was a little on the fleshy side, and it is hard to see in the pictures, but these walls were filthy.  I am a girl that likes some color, so this is where we are now...
I am thinking that I might paint the wooden chairs white, just to break up some of that brown, brown, brown, in the middle of the room.  To be honest they are in rough shape and need some serious gluing anyway.
The color is called "mysterious ocean fog" which, for whatever reason, makes me laugh every time I say it.  My $0.50 owl painting found a home front and center, and from people's reactions it is definitely either a 'love it or hate it' type thing. I happen to love it, so it stays!
I still haven't done anything about that cat door, but my mom had the idea to put a chalkboard for the boys over it, so that is on my ever growing project list.
This shelf came together with items that I pulled from other rooms throughout the house, and I kind of love it! Plus - I can always find Jack's hats in a hurry!
The quote on the chalkboard is one of my favorites from Winnie the Pooh (also that photo was clearly taken at night, yowza).

There are definitely still some large projects that need to be completed in this room, namely painting the chairs, securing the cat door, and switching out the light for something a little more 'dining room', but I am happy with how far we have come!

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