Wednesday, November 25, 2009

All Dressed Up...

.....and can't get everyone to sit still for a picture.
Darn it, we didn't get any family pics of us dressed up and even my attempt at all the dressed up kids in one picture was a disaster.
Oh, well. I'll just tell you A got himself a new dress shirt and tie, a haircut and he looked pretty cute. L's hand-me-down dress makeover worked well and it was perfect with her sparkly party shoes. K wore R's outfit from 2 Christmases ago and it was adorable, and R was cute in new pants and a blue dress shirt.
My dress was great except for the fact that I washed it the day before and dried it flat just like the directions say. And it shrunk. Like 2 inches shrunk. Like "I have to hike my slip up to my bra" shrunk. But I wore it anyways because by the time I bought new tights, a slip, a necklace, etc I was going to wear it no matter what! It was cute. A bit short but cute. Here is the best I could do for pictures....

Nice tie!

Notice the grey coat and the fun pearl necklace. I also chose to go for a shorter grey cardigan that looked better than the original black one.
Here are the cuties and their loot...
and here is a lost opportunity to tick "Christmas Card Photo" off the list

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Back to the laundry room

yep, another laundry room teaser.....

We were trying to pick paint colours for the new laundry/mud room and I wanted grey. Thank goodness for sample pots. The middle colour was my original choice Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter. But after I painted the sample, A came upstairs and said "Why did you pick brown?". Yeah, very beigey in that room. So I tried Chelsea Gray (right), nope. Almost black, not what i had in mind. So back to the store I went out on a limb and just got Coventry Gray (up on Left). It is in the middle of those other colours on the paint chips, much lighter than Chelsea Gray and definitely grey-er than my beloved Revere Pewter. It looks great. You'll just have to take my word for it for now. Once the shelves are finished and the doors are on the cabinets I might be ready to let you see.....

Monday, November 16, 2009

What's your vote?

I am invited to my hubby's work Christmas party this weekend (a tad early I know). And I am a little stressed about what I will wear. Here are a few things you should know... everyone at the party will be a doctor or spouse of a doctor except for us and A's three coworkers. It is a catered event. The kids are coming too so I have to be able to move around with them. I have gained some weight since the last time I dressed up like this so I don't feel great in any of my pants/skirts. So, I want to look appropriate and be comfortable. What do you think about these choices? I still have a few days so if they are all bad I still have a chance....
I will get a cami for under this one so it will be more modest
I ripped these tights when I was trying them on so I will be out getting some new ones
Sorry about the funny exposure on this one, it's late, kids are in bed, it's dark in here

Laundry room is progressing

We have been working hard on the house and working hard at work. No more than 3 days off together a month right now is a bit crazy. I am not even sure it is worth the $$ we are saving on daycare. I miss daycare days.
A has been working hard on the laundry room and I see real progress. Our laundry shoot is working again after being out of service for almost a year due to the major changes we have been making downstairs. The plumbing is in, the framing is done, the windows are new, the electrical is done, the laundry room is insulated, drywalled and painted, shelves and mudroom bench in progress. The hitch right now (besides finding time to work) is an area of dryrot in the main room downstairs. It is a lot and it is bad and it has to be replaced. One the laundry room is done I think many hours will be devoted to the wall repair before we move forward in that room. Oh well it has to be done!

Here is a real before of the now laundry room from before we bought the house

Here is the during from last week
Now the washer and dryer are in their final resting place hopefully never to move or be disconnected again for a very long time.
Stay tuned for updates on the paint colour for this room!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Song Lyric Sunday

I was blessed to be able to be in church this week for communion, this song came to mind.

Trust by the Smalltown Poets

so he sat behind his natural defenses
and there he wrestled with the song
he heard his name in every line,
his life in every measure
faced with feelings he could not explain

there was hunger in his hollow hesitation
there was posturing for peace
but even where the spirit willed
the flesh was still maintaining
ground to give only for a sign
and the call went out again

take this bread, drink this cup
know this price has pardoned you
from all that's hardened you
but it's going to take some trust

he lost a heartbeat when he heard the testimony
another soul forsaking pride
and quickened by the spirit
he's so sure that he could hear it
Jesus his Savior calling him to come

come every soul by sin oppressed
there's mercy with the Lord
and He will surely give you rest
by trusting in His word

Saturday, October 24, 2009

that's better

Black. It's so much better than that burgundy/pinky gross colour it was before!
Yep, finally we painted the front door.
Something else I have had on my list since before we moved in (last year) but was not on DH's list. I feel so much better.
Except for the part where we only did one coat so we put the roller, brush and tray in the freezer with the Black Marine Enamel 'til we get a chance to touch it up. And in the mean time everything in my freezer tastes like Black Marine Enamel... I can feel my brain cells dying.... But it's cute right?

Friday, October 23, 2009

let there be light

Changes. Yep, there have been some changes around this house. But of course if you are reading this blog there is no way you would know since I have been MIA. But really I am sorry. I never said consistency was my strong suit.
Fall has come to our house and with it school, soccer and almost full time hours for me at work. Actually last week I worked 44 hours over one weekend. Phew. Makes me tired just thinking of it. Ok. Enough apologizing. On to the developments around here.
I made a cool arrangement at LTO (Ladies Time Out). It is mostly boxwood in oasis so it will live a long time. I got the cute pumpkin pick at Michael's, R picked it out.
I think it is fun and festive. We made it before Thanksgiving (which was 15 people at our house) and it is still in great shape. There are other cute pumpkin-y decs around the living room but I need to take more pics before I show you that. So for now, this will have to do.

The next development is........
My sconces! I planned these since before we had the house, but alas the wiring needed to be run and it wasn't someone's top priority. So I circumvented the boss (DH) and asked the electrician directly how much it would be to add on the wiring of my 2 sconces to the mess he was doing in the basement. The answer? Basically negligible. It was less than a hundred bucks, and the sconces themselves, less than 30 each. A steal I say!
It adds much needed light and character to the living room. And I love them!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Counter Organization and the Shopper Syndrome

My Dad lives in a nursing home. There is a tendency for some of his neighbours to collect things as they travel about. You know like visitors' purses they have set down for a moment, or the neighbours' shoes or teeth, you get the idea. My Mom calls them 'shoppers'. Sweet but very confused little old people walking around looking for something exciting to pick up. Well, as with many scenarios involving confused adults, small children act in similar ways. That is the reason anything important at our house must be put up high to keep it from walking away with the help of a mini-shopper.
The reason I mention this you ask? I am hoping it helps explain the colossal mess next to the fridge in our kitchen.
It's kinda embarrassing. But really we need to keep all these random things away from the shoppers. Otherwise you never know where things might end up. Like the slippers might be under the stove, only to be found when some rewiring necessitated the whole stove being slid out. You know, that kind of thing.
So here it is. This is my attempt to organize the mess beside the fridge. Starting with the paperwork.
The papers are my biggest issue. I don't want to loose anything important and I am visual. I need to see it or I forget it exists. But I cannot live with a disaster as that offends my visual sensibilities as well. The clip boards solve this.
One for every kid and me. A has a magnetic clip (or four) on the fridge as he handles a lot of the paperwork stuff. The boards were a dollar each and were from the big dollar store at the mall. I covered them with scrapbook paper and A hung them on cup hooks. It was pretty cheap and easy but it took forever as each step was held up by a lot of procrastination. I like them so much I might buy 2 more and make it 3 rows of 2.
The drawer unit is from IKEA, painted with black craft paint and decorated with thickers (foam stickers). And the organizer is from Home Sense also a very good deal. All the keys, cell phones and paid bills and of course the chargers and cords live here.
And that is it. The whole system.
It has lots of place to shove junk so it works well for now. Keeping those shoppers out of trouble. And looking darn cute at the same time.

added this to the Beautiful Life linky party at The Inspired Room

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

personal colour palatte

note the abundance of brown and blue- I am trying to branch out!

This idea came about when I was searching blogs to decide what the perfect capsule wardrobe would contain. This means the least amount of clothes creating the most amount of options. Most every list had a suggestion of a limited colour palette, but often it was black, white and red. Oh, and the clothes were often blazers, blouses and skirts. Not exactly what I had in mind.
I wear pajamas to work (scrubs). My hubby has it even easier, he wears pajamas and a hat (he works in the OR), so we really don't have the whole professional wardrobe thing happening.
Also we live a pretty casual lifestyle and have 3 kids and their accompanying grubbiness to contend with.
A long time ago a friend of mine hosted an image workshop at her house. We were all young teens at the time and wore jeans every day. This lady was on about hemming your skirts to be pegged in at the bottom, etc. Not quite where we were at. But we did get our colours done by seasons, remember that whole thing? My mom had her colours done in the 80's (Color Me Beautiful) I think when she was returning to work after being a SAHM. I remember at this party the consultant couldn't quite decide what I was. In the end I think they said I was a Winter. And they gave us a book of swatches of colours that would look good on us. I of course threw it away a few years after that as I had no idea what to do with it.
So I eventually found the Space Between my Peers website and instantly took to her idea of a colour palette that is derived from your own colouring: hair, eyes, skin tone. Really you can't go wrong if you use the colours God gave you.
gratuitous baby shot- I wish my skin was as smooth as hers!
For a while I was wearing only Brown and Blue as I like those colours, I have brown hair and blue eyes and it was easy to find both in the store. But with everything, I am getting a bit tired of such restriction, so I have searched the internet for info on this season thing, to see if I could figure it out. After a lot of reading I have decided I am a Summer who leans towards either Winter or Spring, can't quite decide. I have warm coloured hair and cool coloured skin. Not quite enough of a contrast to be a winter like my sis, but not warm enough to be a spring like my mom.
me and my mom- she has warm skin tones and I have cool
my sis and my mom's best friend- both Winters
The main point being I am now wearing browns (tan to chocolate) and grays (they really seem to suit me) for neutrals, and blues (turquoise, light blue, aquas, etc). My goal is to branch out to greens (I have olive accessories but need some fresh green to see how it looks) and cool red tones (burgundy, raspberry, dusty pink).
When you have a limited colour palette it makes shopping easier, and mixing and matching much easier. The whole point is to give me a wardrobe where everything goes together and one where I can get the most bang for my (limited) buck.

Some references if you are interested in this sort of thing:
Academichic (cool combos and modules on colour)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

hanging around

I have had a bit of trouble with blogger. I tried 5 times to upload pictures last week and tried twice to comment on my s-i-l's blog with no luck. There are lots of thought in my head just hanging around.
Hopefully I'll figure it out this week...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I heart shoes

At this time of year I spend a fair amount of time assessing my family's wardrobes. Moving summer stuff in to boxes, sorting out what doesn't fit and needs to be kept for a sibling or what doesn't fit and needs to be given away (sniff, my babies are indeed getting big). It seems wise also to assess my own wardrobe as the seasons change and see where the gaps are.This will lead me to write about a bunch of things that have been on my mind for a while, and they all fall under the title of wardrobe planning. And there is nothing I love more than planning.I think a great way to great the new season is assessing what I have (inventory), then assess the gaps and then make a list of what I need (shopping soon to follow!!).

So without further ado I am going to show you my shoe selections.

The dressy shoes.
My dressy clothes are mostly black and grey. Shoes are the same. Top left from my bro-il and sil's wedding last year, basically rhinestone flip flop wedges, and I like them. Top centre silver flats- I am in love. Top right black heel sandals, hard to walk in. Bottom left black peep toes, also in love, bottom centre small heel mary jane comfy but something about the heel is kinda frumpy, bottom left black moccasin slides are very hard to keep on my feet especially when chasing kids or in the winter.
The verdict: looking good (especially for the amount I dress up) but I could use more functional black leather mocs, and a pair of flesh toned low heels for all the non black dressy things I own.

The boots.
Snow boots, rain boots, fake leather boots (brown of course), and cute short rain boots (sure to be my walk to school favorites this winter. My hubby informs me that the brown ones aren't feminine enough to be worn with a dress. When did he get his degree in fashion? The same time he got his MD I guess.
The verdict: Black or grey nice boots are in order. More feminine brown ones if they are super cheap. And must resist the cute patterned rain boots I see everywhere as I really do not need them.
The dressy casual shoes.
These are shoes I would wear with jeans and a nicer top all the way up to dress pants. Cute mom look or casual church look, ya know? Too many to go into detail, but suffice to say I have a thing for brown flats. The gray ones are wedges and a bit too big so they are hard to walk far in.
The verdict: I could use some more grey or colourful flats that are good for walking.

The comfy functional shoes.
Good for any activity from chasing kids to a nice long walk. Top left tan Reeboks. Top right Clark springers, the most comfy shoes ever! but slightly outdoorsy/old lady looking. Bottom left olive green Pumas love them and they were bought on sale! Bottom right ancient NIKE runners currently used for working out and work.
The verdict: need a new pair of actual runners for work or working out, and a cute pair of coloured runners like the pumas or reeboks would be nice too since they are well used.

The summer shoes.
I actually didn't wear the crocs at all this year, although I do like them (comfy, indestructible). I found them in our shoe storage box just a few weeks ago, and put the brown pair at the back door for running out to the garden with the kids. The middle pair of flip flops are Clarks and oh so comfy. They were pricey but worth it to me as I wore them every day for 2 summers. I actually tried to buy more but Clarks didn't seem to make this simple style this year. The left flip flops are dressier and the right ones are plastic from Old Navy. I also have royal blue, gray and olive green plastic flip flops that I didn't pull out this year (I worked a lot this summer) but are still good.
The Verdict: no need for flip flops, but will replace/add to the nice Clarks if the opportunity arises.
After writing all this I realize I have indeed inherited my mother's crazy shoe obsession! But I am in pretty good shape in terms of having something to fill most needs. I will make a list and keep my eyes open for deals. It is much better for me to shop like this than to go and have to find something. Bad choices come from that type of pressure. Also to note I don't really wear heels even though I qualify as petite. I am much more interested in staying on my feet (while carrying one or more children and running after the remainder) than I am about appearing taller. I think I am generally well proportioned so why try and pretend I am tall. 5'2" (and a quarter, thank you) is plenty tall enough for me!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Song Lyrics Sunday

This World by Caedmon's Call

There's tarnish on the golden rule
And I wanna jump from this ship of fools
Show me a place where hope is young
And a people who aren't afraid to love

This world has nothing for me and this world has everything
All that I could want and nothing that I need

This world is making me drunk on the spirits of fear.
So when he says who will go, I am nowhere near.

And the least of these look like criminals to me
So I leave Christ on the street

This world has held my hand and has led me into intolerance
But now I'm waking up, but now I'm breaking up
But now I'm making up for lost time

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Song Lyric Sunday

Wait and See by Brandon Heath

I was born in Tennessee, late July humidity doctors said I was lucky to be alive
I’ve been troubled since the day that I got here, troubled to the day I disappear
That’ll be the day that I finally get it right

There is hope, for me yet, because God won’t forget, all the plans he’s made for me
I have to wait and see, he’s not finished with me yet, he’s not finished with me yet

I never really was that good in school. Talked to much, broke the rules
My teachers thought I was a hopeless fool all right.
I don’t know how but I made it through, it’s one of those things you gotta do
I always had a knack for telling the truth.

There is hope, for me yet, because God won’t forget, all the plans he’s made for me
I have to wait and see, he’s not finished with me yet, he’s not finished with me yet

Still wonerin’ why I’m here. Still wrestling with my fear
But oh….He’s up to something,
And the farther out I go, I’ve seen enough to know that I’m not here for nothin’
He’s up to somethin’

So here’s my time to be a man, follow my heart as far as I can
No tellin’ where I’m ending up tonight
I never slow down or so it seems, but singing my heart is one of my dreams
All I gotta do is hold on tight.

There is hope, for me yet, because God won’t forget, all the plans he’s made for me
I have to wait and see, he’s not finished with me yet, he’s not finished with me yet
He’s not finished with me yet, He’s not finished with me yet.

Sorting it out - the Answer for kids art

If it weren't for my husband, who likes to throw everything away, I might just be a pack rat. I am a very visual person so I really hate working around clutter, but I am kinda sentimental so I am sad to get rid of things. One thing I have a lot of trouble getting rid of is my kids beautiful art. They make something every week at Sunday School and then at Daycare, and Preschool. That doesn't even take into account the stuff they make at home. I am at a loss for what to do with it all. I did try taking pictures of it, but that is hard to keep up with. I tried sending it to my Grandma who lived far away, but she is gone now. I still like the idea of sending something to Aaron's Grandparents in the mail every month even though we do see them in person. The kids would probably like that too. But again, that is hard to keep up with. So at A's urging I finally purged it all. This is what I started with.Pretty bad, I know, considering my oldest just turned 5! Well, I successfully weaned it down to one drawer, only partially full! I put the rest lovingly in a bag and told A to get rid of it quickly before I changed my mind.
I got rid of anything without a name, date, anything that was essentially a duplicate, and anything broken.
I saved a variety of things for each kid (well mostly just for the boys, L is pretty young yet) from different times and different types of crafts, drawing, cutting etc. I felt great afterwards knowing that what I did save is organized by kid and dated and safe in a big drawer. Now I just need to be selective with the new art that comes through our door.
I also spent some time sorting out some other stuff...
Can you tell what it is? I have a system for this too. More on that next time.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Kids' rooms

There have been some major developments in the downstairs renovation, but the fact that it is now plumbed and framed doesn't make for a visually stimulating blog post. In fact it looks beautiful to me (my hubby built it with his own 2 hands after all) but to everyone else it just looks like a construction zone!
Unfortunately, everything else in the house has come to a stand still because we are pretty short on free time right about now. I have many decorating ideas in my head but I am either at work, or my hubby is at work, or if by some strange fluke we are both home at the same time he is working on the basement. So my projects have not been getting done. Maybe you can use your imagination and picture a few cute projects in the kids rooms....See there on the wall above baby L's crib? A blank wall you say? No, it is a monogram and stars pasted on the wall in pink fabric. Cute don't ya think? Oh and her fabulous rug? Great isn't it?
And here on this side of her room under the mirror that I painted that was my Grandma B's once upon a time is not the IKEA dresser and change table but a white painted wood dresser with dovetail joints and all that the previous owners left in the basement. All I have to do is strip the many layers of paint off it and re paint it white and get new hardware, then presto it will appear in this very spot! I am happy with her little wood kitchen though. All the kids play with it and I think it will be enjoyed for a long time to come.

Now on to the boys room.R's bed, complete with the star quilt I made him when I was pregnant with him.
And this is K's bed (you can tell can't you?). When made, it is very similar to his brother's but the quilt at the end has some greens in it and was made by my talented friend Christina. Oh and the stars above his bed were yellow in his nursery but he destroyed them when he was 2. So I remade them in a more appropriate colour scheme for this room. They are just wood stars from Michaels covered with scrapbook paper. This paper has vintage planes and cars and boats on it. It is perfect! And took all of 15 minutes to do.

And what about using your imagination in this room? Oh my, each by has their name in big white painted letters over their bed and these adorable red shelves in the shape of an airplane, for storing their treasures (lego and such).

This is the area right by their door and it is pretty much done. The top picture is R's birthday etc and it was painted by his great grandma Nan. It is beautiful and very professional quality. Then below it is K's picture that was a baby gift from my work, it is gorgeous. It has his name and all his birth info is hung on each letter with a little tag. On the back the meaning of his name is written out. It is so classy. Then the bottom rack is three star hooks that my mom brought back from Pennsylvania many years ago, and A mounted on a board for my. They are metal and the hooks are rough hewn nails. I love it. This is where clothes live when they can be worn another day before going in the wash.

That's it. I wish there was more progress to show, but I am afraid there is drywall and wiring and windows that need to happen before I get to any little details like these.
For now the rooms are cozy enough and fun. They do the job!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Not quite sure what's missing...

This living room is still not there. Not quite sure what's not working.... I changed up the pillows to see if that would help. This fun patterned pillow was the inspiration. It was from the grocery store. I love it, but I think it looks a bit lonely on the bench.Then I did my ever-so-classy gluegun cloth napkins to make a few coordinating accent pillows around the room. I am happy with them. The blue feels more like me.
I guess it's the fact that I still need lighting, a new couch (or cover), a new fireplace, etc. is my distraction here. I will keep thinking on it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Birthday to ME!

My scrapbook cake from Uncle G and Auntie N, how creative!

My B-day is smack dab between princess L and big boy R so it gets little attention. Which is ok, really just fine. This year my mom was away too, so there was even less fan fair than usual (Mom likes a good party).
So we had a few family members over for desert the day after my actual birthday. And a lovely and delicious cake. And of course a super thoughtful gift from my in-laws.
On my actual day the kids were in daycare and I was off.
My sweet hubby surprised me and took the day off work so we could hang out together. We worked out, visited my Dad, went shopping for clothes, and went to the Boathouse for a late lunch, then we picked up the kids. What a great day!
These are the TWO dozen white roses (my fav flower) and the MAC cosmetics gift card from my MIL.
And this very flattering picture is what I looked like after I ran.
That's right, I ran. For 35 minutes. Well, after running the first 10 minutes, I ran for one song and walked for one song. I haven't really ran since High School, I hate it. But I like to get sweaty and work hard, and I have been reading about Chi running and I wanted to give it a try. They call it effortless, injury-free running. You can see by my face that it was not exactly effortless, but it wasn't bad. I was not sore at all the next day. It is not really practical for me to run when I spend most of my time at home with 3 kids, but maybe in the fall.
And now I am 31.