Thursday, August 28, 2014

Entryway Bench

Remember this blah entryway?

 That turned into this fantastic entryway?

But then I realized I needed a new bench because I simply could not deal with the one I had so I drafted up a sketch of one for my dad to make me the bench that I had to have for the space?

And then my mom would send me teaser texts like this one?

Well, I finally got it.  And it is perfect!!!!

 The pillow is actually a placemat!  I wish I was the genius behind that idea but I am not.  Got the idea from this blog.

 Those little cowboy boots were Sully's gift for starring standing up in his uncle's wedding in Nashville in May.

Here is the hidden corner I have never showed you.  The wall above the board and batten is still a work in progress and the organization is not optimized yet.

And one last pic...

Can't wait to haul it outside for some fall sibling pics this fall;)

Linked up to Thrifty Decor Chick Decor Chick Link up party.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Band Wagon

I did it.  I recently hopped on the Essential Oil band wagon.  I know, they are all the rage right now.

A friend of mine had mentioned that she was going to put an essential oil order into Young Living one day and it was the perfect opportunity to try some since she could order them at wholesale prices.  I had heard about and read about Young Living oils on some blogs that I follow.  I *think* they are the only essential oil company that can prove the purity of their oils.  I started out with Lavender (to help littles relax and sleep), Fennel (to increase my milk supply), Lemon and Lemongrass.  The next month, I ordered a few more for my collection.

I have to say, I am pleased with the effects.  I feel the lavender does help my littles sleep soundly and fall asleep faster (and if nothing else, they smell divine).  At first I was applying the oil undiluted to their feet but I have wised up and now dilute it so I get much more for my money.  Also, it is probably best to dilute the oils for littles to avoid any skin reaction.  (Some of the oils HAVE to be diluted even for adults so read the labels carefully!)

I think the biggest struggle for me was figuring out how to apply the oils without having it be such a pain, such a production.  And knowing the dilutions.  Luckily, Amazon was there to save the application dilemma and my friend was there to save the dilution dilemma.

I have always secretly wanted to be a mad chemist, compounding elements and making wicked potions out of them.  Well, this comes close.  I had my oils, I just needed to be able to apply them easily.  On Amazon, I found a carrier oil.  I chose coconut oil but you could use avocado oil or even olive oil (although that is kind of greasy, I know because I tried it).

I ordered the oil and some roller ball applicators and some little plastic pipettes for mixing.

Then I made up some Thieves and Lavender dilutions for both the kids.  Sydney's had to be diluted more than Sully's because she weighs less.  Sydney's dilution was 1-2 drops per 2 tsp of carrier oil and Sully's dilution was 2-4 drops per tsp of carrier oil (per Dr. Scott Johnson's book "Surviving When Modern Medicine Fails").  (Actually, I gave them the same Lavender dilution because I knew she could handle it since I was applying it undiluted for a few weeks on her.)

The roller ball applicators are awesome because you just roll it on their feet and rub it in.  Easy!  I also whipped up the Thieves dilution as I anticipate using it a lot this fall and winter to combat sickness.

Now I certainly don't claim to be an Essential Oil guru.  Everything I know I learned from my friend or the interwebs.  I also know that there are lots of ways to use them, i.e. applying to the skin, diffusing or ingesting.  So far, I have just applied to the skin but I will be getting a proper diffuser soon.  It has been fun to learn about them and see how a natural product can work.

Excited to learn more...

Gotta keep these kiddos healthy from the inside since apparently I cannot keep them from banging themselves up on the outside.

(He may or may not have bounced her right off the chair after this pic...)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bathroom reveal

Well, after our old dinosaur laptop was unable to obtain a wireless signal anymore and we were forced to get a new laptop, I was able to figure out how to download pics to this new laptop and can finally share my upstairs bathroom makeover.

Here is the the before:


Then came the new wall color, painting the vanity, new shower rod and shower curtain, new vanity light and a DIY towel hook.  Which got us to this...

Which already made a huge difference.  But my vision was for much more of a change.  And it was accomplished by adding a barn wood frame around the mirror and some barn wood shelves over the toilet (thanks Dad!!).

 Lantern I got from a Swappers Meet while in MN recently.

 Wash clothes at the ready for cleaning baby and toddler bodies.

 Q-tip container was another MN buy recently.

Close-up of the new light fixture (that I installed myself).

 And there you have it.  The bathroom has a totally different look and feel for minimal investment.  Are there still things I want to change?  Of course (linoleum floor).  But I think it would be a waste of money since I have plans/visions for a complete bathroom remodel several years down the road.  This is perfect and looks even better in reality than it did in my head.  I am eager to change up the shelf decor with the seasons.

From this...

To this....

I still have one last decor item to add but I will get to that later.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

He's growing

Dear Sullivan,

Over the past two days, I swear you are maturing right before my eyes.  Just 3 days ago, I could not wait until 3 was over and you were 4.  Three has been tough for all of us.

Sullivan:  "Want to know what my favorite food is?  CANDY!!"

Sullivan: "Hey mom!  Get a picture of me eating my ring pop!"

From your aversion to foods that are wet or sticky to your poop on the potty strike, we almost didn't make it.  Our patience ran incredibly thin as your continual need challenge us to our limits increased.

 But then the last 2 days happened.

Suddenly, you are being beyond sweet and kind and you are listening.

Suddenly, you are pooping on the potty!!!!  It only took your dad telling you that he was going to teach Sydney how to poop on the potty before you and whoever did it first was going to get the big boy bike.

You won.

So proud.

Suddenly, you are drawing pictures of guys with hair and noses and ears and arms with one finger and calling them your "best friend."

Suddenly, you are using words like enormous and beautiful and comfortable.

Suddenly, you are eating Spaghetti-Os and Hamburger Helper.

And you got this big brother thing down pat.

I didn't think it was possible, but your already high voice somehow becomes 6 octaves higher when you talk to her.  If she is crying you comfort her by saying, "Don't be sad!" in the highest, sweetest voice my ears ever heard.

If I had only one word to describe you, it would be life.  You are life.  You live it with everything you have and feel it with every emotion possible.  There is continuous discussion about everything in life.  Why?  Who?  Where? and Why? again.  It is completely exhausting.  But at the same time, allows me to see life through your eyes.  And that has been pretty amazing.

I know you are still going to be 3 tomorrow.  I know we are not in the clear yet.  But I just wanted to say thank you for these days.  Mama really needed them:)


Monday, August 4, 2014

Upstairs bathroom update

Our upstairs bathroom has been the armpit of our house for years.  It is neglected and forgotten about.  Truthfully, it is embarrassing.  I painted this room the first year we moved into our house.  I chose what I thought was a nice neutral color only to get it on the walls and have the hubs ask, "why did you paint the bathroom flesh color??"  I thought he was ridiculous.... but he was right.  It was all wrong.  Over the years, I did change out the shower curtain and add some art but it was no use.  It was not working.

Nevermind the paint lid and screwdriver on the counter.  I had already removed the art, towel racks and started prepping for paint before snapping these pics.  

Since we can't remake the bathroom into a larger, more spacious bathroom right now, I at least could update the place better.  (Ideally, I would like to knock out the wall behind the shower since that is our walk-in closet, and extend the bathroom back several feet, put in a double sink vanity and put in hexagon floor tiles.  Yeah, apparently I have nothing better to do but dream about house updates.)

I painted the room a greige (grey/beige).  Any you already saw the hook rack I made here.

New shower curtain and curtain rod.

New light fixture which I installed myself!!

 Sorry the pic of the light is hard to see.  I have never seen the bathroom so bright in the last 9 years we lived here!  Holy light, Batman!!! I will get a better pic of that soon.

But more exciting, the vanity got a new look with some paint and hardware.

Paint: Behr paint and primer in one, blueberry twist in semi-gloss.

Love it!!  More to come...

Friday, August 1, 2014

Just patting myself on the back over here...

Why?  Let me show you...

The upstairs bathroom makeover is well underway.  I hated that we really only had one towel rack and an over the door hook for 3 towels.  Drove me batty.  I needed something to hold more towels AND was cute.
So, I took an old board I found in the rafters of my garage and cut it down...

Spray painted it, sanded it down with an electric sander, stenciled some numbers on it with the grey/beige wall color I am painting my upstairs bathroom...

Applied some Polycrylic and attached some hooks and bam!  I have a "new" towel holder for my bathroom.

I promise I didn't paint the bathroom pink.  It looks like it but it is actually called "Smoked Oyster" and it is by Behr.  I am still having issues with taking photos indoors without any natural light and without the flash.

For exactly $0!

This one shows the color a little more accurately.

But where did I get the hooks, you ask?

From this hook rack I had in the entryway that I don't need anymore after putting up the board and batten.

Now there was nothing wrong with this but it just was not going to fit with the style of the bathroom.

It is pretty much perfect.  Stay tuned for more bathroom updates...