Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Creative Whim

Let me start out by saying that I have never taken an Acrylic Painting class; I really don't know what I am doing, besides the few times I have been brave enough to grab a paintbrush and play.

I guess that's my thing... I would say I am more "brave" than I am artistic, lol. I have never made a "masterpiece" by professionals' standpoints, but I love to play with paint and new mediums. I absolutely love paintings with lots of layers and textures and have always wanted to try one out.

I saw a tutorial a long time ago on how to add texture to a painting and the approach that this guy took was really cool so I have always wanted to give it a try. So, last night my courage built up and I took a wack at it. Lets just say that what I produced was NOTHING like the instructors, nor was it ANYTHING like I have hoped it would come out looking like.

That being said, its growing on me and I think I like it...

The first step was to get some joint compound at the hardware store. This proved to be harder than I thought when the guy at the store gave me spackling instead. I didn't realize this until after I started the painting; I was not a happy camper! Stupid hardware store guy! ugh.... I was not off to a good start.

After getting the spackling smoothed out on the canvas as good as I could (joint compound would have laid a LOT smoother so I had to overcome the "crumbles" that spackling would make) I was able to add some texture. I used lots of random things from around the house like a spatula, pine cone, one of Avery's teething rings (don't worry i through it away after I used it, lol), a garlic press, and doilies, etc. I was a bit disappointed with the way the spackling took the textures, also; they were not as deep and pronounced as I would have liked. Oh well.

Here is a pic of just the texture:



Once this dried overnight I was able to add some color. I had originally planned on doing layers of color, letting the dry in between applications and then wiping away where I wanted the under color to show. Due to the consistency of the spackling, it was not as firm as joint compound would have been, or smooth, so I just started adding a bunch of colors all at once.

At first I was really hating it. The man in the tutorial made it look SO MUCH easier and the paint glided on so smoothly. It was very frustrating. But, after working with it for a while and going back 15 million times to add a little here and a little there, I decided I had done all I could do and it was as good as it was going to get.



The picture really doesn't do it justice... Well, to some they might think the picture is better than in person, lol. What is kind of a dark blue here is more of a purple; it's mainly greenish/blue and purple.


I love the colors and I had fun making it. I would really like to try it again, though with the right materials and see if it makes a difference.


I know where I am going to hang it, I just need a beautiful frame to make it look better than it is ;).

Saturday, January 22, 2011

PLEASE!



There's an art studio here in town that offers art classes of all sorts to adults. I am DYING to take some painting and photography and clay... ok all of them, classes!


I get giddy thinking about the things I could make!

Congratulations!






My baby sister, Hannah got engaged last night!! I can not believe it! There is something surreal about your little sister growing up and no longer a little girl in pigtails following you around on the playground. I cant begin to express how happy I am that her and Daniel are finally going to make it official and be together for the rest of their lives. They have such a sweet story since they have been friends and together off and on since about the 3rd grade; we've been waiting for this day for a LONG time! Daniel is going to make a wonderful husband and dad someday. Thankyou Daniel for making my sister so happy. I love you both!




Now, I have to wait 2 WEEKS before I can see that beautiful ring in person!! Ugh!

Favorite Flower



I am totally obsessed with white Peonies lately. They are soo beautiful! I think what I love most about them is that they have such a classic look that is traditional yet can be used in modern settings, also. I absolutely love the small touch of pinkish red on the tips of the center petals. Perfection!


I think I am going to have to do a painting at some point....

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What About The Diaper Bag??



...or maybe the backpack diaper bag??

This article supposedly explains how your handbag describes your personality.... Pretty silly, really... I wonder what they would say about me HAHAHAHA


PS. The first comment at the bottom of the article was precisly this point!

My New Lifesaver



100 count cookie cutters.
Keeps her busy forever while I cook. I can even eat without her hanging on my legs!

Monday, January 17, 2011

So Close!

We finally got some tape of Avery taking some steps. Bare with the videos, they are kinda long, but it takes som coaxing to get her going, lol.






Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Diaper Bag

Up until last week I had been using a normal over-the-shoulder diaper bag. Things started to get out of control when I felt like a pack mule just going to the grocery store. Until we found a cart, I would be carrying Avery (who now requires her blanket and baby doll), the cart cover, diaper bag (that weighed about as much as Avery does) and my purse if I had it with me. It was so embarrassing because just about every time we went someone would stop and ask if they could help me carry all of my stuff when they saw me juggling a million things and dropping half of them, then nearly falling over trying to pick it up!! Geez! I know they were being nice but something had to give!

So, for a while I have been looking for a backpack diaper bag. I found a few that I liked but none that I loved; they all looked too small. For Christmas my sister gave me this lunch box from Potterybarn Kids for Avery's snacks. I love it!!

For some reason I was on their website looking at some other stuff when I randomly spotted that they have backpacks to match the lunchbox! Now, I know they are made for little kids and I almost didn't buy it for that reason, but I thought I couldn't look any more silly than I already did at the store, lol. Plus, it was SO much cheaper than a real diaper bag and much larger so I went ahead and ordered it thinking I could just return it to the store if I hated it.



Turns out, I love it!!!!! I got the Large size, which was good because it fits me perfectly and has so much room for extra toys and clothes, plus the lunchbox clips on the front. One less thing I have to carry!

I love that it is hands free and I can wear it while I shop so it doesn't take up room in the cart.

I may look a little silly, but I think that comes with the territory when being a mom of little ones...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wish List

Here's a few items that I have recently added to my ever-growing wish list. [hint hint, Jeff and any family member ever looking for gift ideas ;)]

1. A Choopa Board

We recently got a whole set of magnetic alphebets for the refrigerator but since we have stainless steel appliances they do not stick. I've been looking for a solution and this one seems to be the best. I think I would like the 16"x22" size for maximum space.


2. Thermax Mini Max Air Purifier

A few years ago we had a sales guy come over and demonstrate the Rainbow vaccuum cleaner and air purifiers (It's a long story and one that Jeff will never let me live down). This one is made by someone else but the same idea. We have super dark floors so every dust partical shows and it drives me crazy! When the guy came to demonstrate it, he left it on for about 2 hours and you would be amazed at how gross the water got! I was sold, but Jeff just wanted the guy out of our house, so we didnt buy anything....
For only $40 I could get 2 or 3 for around the house.

3. A Theit Camera Bag
I can't remember if I've mentioned this one before. I need

something bigger than what I have but nothing huge since I only have one lense. Plus, it's super stylish!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Addiction

I think I have an addiction to REorganizing.
Not to just organizing since I have considered myself a pretty organized person by nature. My closet is color coordinated and sorted by style... by computer files and pictures are separated into individual folders by date and type... for a while our dvd's were alphebitized but Avery has gotten to them... One thing that I HAVE to do everyday is make our beds; it will haunt me all day if it is unmade.... etc. So, I have to say that my real addiction is not being organized but REorganizing. Every so often I get an itch to pull everything out of a closet, clean it out, and put it back in in a different, more efficient manner. I love it! I have always mentally lived by the phrase "Chaos in your environment creates chaos in your mind." It's so true! I feel a sense of peace when I get something cleaned out.

So, this leads me to the reason for this posts...

This new baby has given me every reason I can think of to go through our house and find a new place for stuff. Now that our guestroom is going to be Avery's new room I have to empty out that closet and find any nook and cranny I can to stuff some more junk. (it's amazing how fast you can fill up a house).

Now, to toys... We live in a pretty small house and on top of that we dont have a play room or any place we can convert into a play room, so they are EVERYWHERE!! We have been blessed to be given TONS of toys from our friends, the Raifords, but I have no where to store them! I am going to loose my mind! My father-in-law made us a toy chest before Avery was born but that was filled immediately and now is full of stuffed animals. I had a few small baskets in the living room for toys but now I had to upgrade to a bookshelf. The only two reasonable spots for me to keep these toys are against the wall in our dining room (which is also the main walkway through the house) and against the fireplace (which means no fires on these cold days and nights.. boo!). Here is a picture of what I have had to walk over for a YEAR now:


Now, for a long time I had a table sitting against the wall where I put a few baskets of stuff on, but now Avery can reach them and would pull them down which would then land on her toes... not good! Therefore, the table was pointless because the toys ended up on the floor anyways.


Well, today was my tipping point. I have been eyeing this shelf and these animal bins for a long time but never wanted to spend the money on it. Today, I had enough and caved in and bought it. It's nothing fancy, but it works and it's so cute! Plus, it cleans up the toys in this area perfectly and it gave me a fix of reorganizing, lol. I love it! I think I am going to have to get some pieces to add on since it is full and her birthday is coming up, but it's good for now.



I think Avery likes it too, but the lion kinda scared her at first, lol.


Now... off to work on that closet back there... it's pretty scary!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's Finished!




This is going to be Avery's napping blanket and pillow when we are not at home. I plan to get this napmat and make a sheet out of the green fabric but I have not got around to it yet.


I found the Owl fabric a long time ago and it came in panels with the pink stripe outlining the picture. So, all I had to do was give it a border and outline all of the details to give it some dimension. It took me a while to find a fabric that I liked for the binding so I just ended up settling with this solid green. Kinda boring, but it works.


Then, I decided I was going to make the pillowcase and sheet and make it a whole set.


I think it turned out so cute! I wish it was big enough for me, lol ;).




Now, to get her a stuffed owl to sleep with :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Before and After

I love weekends like this past one. We were so productive with things around the house! My favorite project, however was that we finally painted our small china cabinet. My sister gave it to us when they moved houses since they didn't have a spot for it. It's nothing fancy (in fact it's really a pretty cheap piece of furniture; I can say that without feeling bad because it was given to my sister by someone who didnt want it anymore either, lol)
Its been sitting in our dining room not matching anything we own but storing our bar glasses just waiting for someone to give it some love and care. Here are the before and after pictures:


Before:

After:


All we did is give it a coat of paint and some crystal knobs. After we got to painting it we realized how cheap it really is... wherever it came from, they used different kinds of wood on just about every surface! Therefore, the it took about 3 coats of paint to get it looking somewhat consistant. Just dont look too close! lol

It looks SOOO much better, though, and makes the glasses really pop. It even matches this piece that we added a few weeks ago!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Double Stroller Shopping

When Jeff and I decided that we wanted a second little one around, what's the first thing I dive into researching? Double strollers.... I know, a little ahead of myself, but I really dont like our single strollers and since I did hardly any research before buying those, I decided I would really focus on finding the right double this time!
These are the features that I really wanted the stroller to have:
-Side by Side (I really want the kids to be able to side next to eachother and also equally see infront of them)
-Lays flat (or very close to flat). Even bigger kids get tuckered out
-lots of pockets
-a cupholder and tray for the kids and the adults
-has a carseat adapter
-very durable and made from strong, quality materials
-has a 3rd kid adaption (I didnt really care how it was, just to be able to allow a third to ride)
-Large sunshade (non of this wimpy small flap that some call a "sun shade")
-adjustable handle bar height (both Jeff and I are tall, but if anyone else is pushing it, they may want the handle to be lower)
-folds flat and is not too heavy (this is not as big of a deal to me, but I need to be able to lift it in and out of the car at least)
-affordable! (ha!, ya right!lol)

Here are a few that I narrowed my choices down to and a short reason why I dont want them:
-The Bob- I really dont run that much anymore so this one just wasnt for me... Plus it was missing some of the key features I wanted
-The Peg Perego Aria Twin 60-40- After checking it out in person, it was really cheap feeling and smaller than I expected. Also missing most features
-The Bumbleride Indie Twin- this one was my second favorite, but it didn't have the carseat adaptor for any brand carseat; the sunshade was much smaller; and there were no cupholders/tray for the kids
-Graco - The only side-by-side that they make is more of an umbrella stroller style than a full stroller

So, this leads me to the stroller of choice....





Not only does this stroller have almost every feature I wanted above, it has a few more! Here are my favorite features and why I love it:

-Not only does it recline all of the way, the foot rest pops up so that their legs can lay straight instead of being bent downward while sleeping

-Theres a large pocket behind the seat backs and two for the parents on the handle

-you can get a cupholder (seperate charge, of course) to add on the parents handle

-It also has a universal carseat adaptor! No matter what carseat you have (within reason of course) it fits! So, you can use one side as a travel system style, and the other kid can sit normally

-There is an adaptor for a third kid (or one that just wants to stand instead of sit) called a "Glider Board" that you can put behind the seats for them to stand on and "help" push

-The sun shades are HUGE and have 3 positions

-Also and adaption for a tray for the kids

-There's all sorts of different kinds of covers but I probably wont get any of them

-The wheels come on and off. I think this might come in handy when you put it in your car and the wheels take up a lot of room

-Tall seat backs. I put Avery in their smaller model and you could tell that it wouldnt be long before she grew out of it

-Of course, the pretty green color!





The only downsides that I have found so far (after seeing it in person) are that it is heavier than I expected. This isn't really that big of a deal to me cuz I could still lift it. Also, it doesnt fold super flat, either. It gets smaller than you would think since it is so big, but it wasnt super impressive. I've seen smaller ones.

The biggest downside is it's price.... bummer! I get sick just thinking about it, but I have about 8 months before Griblet 2 gets here so I am going to do some serious saving till then! I have found it on ebay several times for about 1/2 the cost but I still can't commit to it yet.



Anyways, I think that's all....

I hope I didnt bore you with this, but I have had several people ask why I want that stroller so bad, so I thought it would just be easier to put it up on here for everyone to read.

Wish me luck on saving up till August! :)

Avery 11 Months






Avery is such a happy baby!! I get asked all the time if she is always so "smiley" and of course, I respond with "Yes, as long as she's not tired! lol"

Here are a few developments that we have noticed this month:


1. She has a total of 6 teeth now. This has helped so much with her eating solids! She is off all baby food and eating table food now. I have to say that it gets pretty hard to find new things to give her that are easy to eat, small, not too strong of flavors, and of course nutritious. I feel like I give her the same things all the time. I am really going to have to get more creative at the grocery store.

2. She can stand securely on her own for good amounts of time. She even stood up a few times with out pulling up on anything!! I think it surprised her as much as it did me, lol. She is taking a few steps but still needs the confidence and more balance to take off. It won't be long now!

3. As I have pointed out here, she LOVES pillows! If there is one in reach, she is taking it!

4. She has some new dance moves... also mentioned here. No matter how many times she does it, it's funny every time! For some reason "Jingle Bells" would really get her going!

5. Santa brought her a baby doll for Christmas and she has been attached every since. It's not quite as special as her blanket, but its right up there in the ranks!

6. We've hit a milestone this week.... She is weening herself of needing a bottle to go to sleep. Now, I know a lot of people would shake their finger at me and say that was a bad habit to get into, and maybe it was, but it happened. Up until just recently she has wanted a bottle to go to sleep. Now, she still wants one for comfort, but she doesn't need it to go to sleep. At night, and sometimes at nap time, she will drink for a few minutes, then spit it out and roll around in my arms as if to tell me "Mom, I'm ready to get into my bed now!" So, I've been putting her in bed awake and she just rolls over and goes to sleep. It's AWESOME!! I know people say I should have trained her a long time ago to do that, but I have always believed that things like that they eventually grow out of... What's the rush??


Anyways, now it's time to start planning her first birthday! I can't believe it!! Invites are already out and decorations are bought. My baby isn't such a baby anymore... :(


Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas 2010

This year was so special since it was the first one for Avery and we got to have Santa come visit for the first time. I think she really had a lot of fun and instantly got the hang of pulling the paper off the presents! Unfortunetly we did not take that many pictures, but here's some from the week:
This is the Raggedy Ann quilt that my mom made for Avery


Big Sister!



Avery is going to be a big sister come August! We couldn't be happier!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Head Banger!

Avery's got some new dance moves...



video




video



video


Please excuse the blurryness.... Our camera is not an auto focus when set to video so Jeff forgot to focus... Oh well

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