Monday, April 21, 2014

Take Time To Smell The Roses

Or in this case, the tulips. If you follow me  on Instagram you have probably picked up on the fact that we packed up our suitcases and headed south to Nashville. It's been nearly six years since we moved back to New England from down south and I've been itching to go back ever since. I can't get enough of the sweet tea, southern drawl, and hospitality.

I am also much in need of some quality family time with my hubby and sweet little loves. This is the perfect time for us to getaway and just be with each other without work or responsibilities around the house to interfere. We are putting everything on hold this week to just be with each other. That means blogging too! I'm going to take the whole week off and am going to stop and smell the roses. I'll be back next week, refreshed and recharged! See y'all soon!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Flashback Friday: Ladybug Cake

Back when I only had one child and she wasn't very mobile yet because she couldn't walk and refused to crawl, I had all the time in the world to spend hours trying to replicate anything and everything I saw on Pinterest. Those were the days.

So for Addie's first birthday I decided on a "Tiffany Blue and Ladybugs too" theme and made not one, but two cakes! 

The first was a simple round chocolate cake covered in red fondant. I used black sugar paper for the dots (shout out to the hubs for having the patience to cut perfect circles out for me!) and icing for the details around the face and writing. 

I went a little overboard for her party and with the help of my mama created this:

I ran out of fondant so stuck with icing and used the rest of the sugar paper for the ladybug's spots. I picked up a few candy flowers and added some grass using green icing. My favorite part (but it took forever and I kept dropping them everywhere) was adding the tiny pearlized sprinkles to the bottom layer. I was still finding these darn things on my kitchen floor when we moved out two years after her party! 

Nowadays I totally cheat and order cakes from a local bakery with just plain white frosting. It allows me to decorate it any way I want without spending the time I don't have prepping, baking, and frosting. Ain't nobody got time for that. And let's be honest, my kids could care less what the cake looks like!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Making our house a home: Little Man's Room Inspiration

I had so much fun playing around with all different ideas for Mason's room. Currently, his walls are painted Gullwing Gray so I wanted to incorporate some bright and bold colors. This little guy has so many toys so baskets + bins for storage are essential. Finally, I want to find some decorative pieces to hang on his wall that he won't outgrow before kindergarten.

Mason's Room

A lot of these items we already have in his room already (similar crib, similar lamp,wire basket) and some we have down in the basement (Monaco print, play table). I am also leaning towards using some of the decorations I made for his first birthday party, especially the newspaper letters I made with Mod Podge. That being said my goals is to do his entire room for $140 or less! If I don't set a budget I get completely carried away. 

Here is what his room looks like now:

Not awful, but the walls are way too bare and the whole room is just too dull for my style. Looking forward to brightening it up!

For sources on inspiration board click here.

I can't wait to start bargain shopping for items that match this look!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Flashback Friday: Entryway Remodel

I completely forgot to share my favorite house project so far, our entryway remodel. While Sean and I were both on vacation for Christmas we tackled this small area and made it a space more conducive to our crazy schedule and hectic mornings. 

This door leads into the house from the garage and is our primary source of entry. It became habit to pile bags for work, preschool, daycare, or store returns on the floor or door handles. As you can imagine, it drove me nuts!  

So, rather than let my hard working hubby enjoy his much needed vacation I put that man to work. I drew a sketch and picked out the hardware I wanted before setting him free to be one with his tools and paint. While he had that covered I took the kids to, where else, Target in search of a new rug.  

The hubs makes it look so easy...but really, it was kind of a pain in the rear to get the right cut & size because apparently this wall is just a tad crooked! The best part of it all, though, is that the entire project (new rug excluded) was less than $40! You can find the same supplies (batten board, baseboard, paint to match it all, and hooks) at your local hardware store. Sean used some fancy nail glue and white nails to mount it to the wall.

I added a simple white framed mirror that we already had (similar here), my new rug (also Target, but can't find online link), and voila! I now have a pretty spot to corral bags, hats, umbrellas and jackets!

I love the look of batten board and wainscoting and now want to do it everywhere in the house. . . laundry room, Mason's room, bathroom, everywhere. Speaking of which, the votes are in and between comments, Facebook and Instagram, Mason's room is the clear choice for my next "making our house a home" project. I cannot wait to tackle my little man's room!

P.S. See more ways we try and stay organized here, here and here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Loved by a Workin' Man

He ain't much on roses but he'd walk a country mile
to pick a handful of white flowers that would make his baby smile.
He won't do the dishes but he'll sweep you off your feet
and he'll make you feel like the prettiest thing that he's ever seen.

He likes to get dirty but he cleans up good,
he drinks with his buddies but he prays when he should.
And there ain't nothing better than
being loved by a workin' man.

He don't write love letters but he loves to make things right
with a heart the size of Texas, two arms to hold you tight.
He won't do the laundry but he'll keep your car real clean
and he'll make you feel like the prettiest thing that he's ever seen.

Cause he knows how to treat his woman 
and he knows how to make ends meet.
He'll take you for a ride in his four wheel drive
and he'll fix about anything.
He likes to get dirty but he cleans up good,
he drinks with his buddies but he prays when he should.
And there ain't nothing better than
being loved by a workin' man.

I love my workin' man. 

"Loved by a Workin' Man" by Pistol Annies. For other songs that sing to my heart click here, here, here and here

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Finding Time

One of the things I find my fellow working moms struggle with most is balancing work and home. I have conversation after conversation with my friends at work about the difficulties of giving 100% to both our jobs and our families. It is tough. Real tough. I come home from work exhausted some days and all I want to do is plop my behind on the couch, watch TV and order out dinner. Of course, this isn't an option. I've got kids to pick up, toys to play with, dinner to make, baths to give, bedtime stories to read, a house to keep clean and laundry to be folded.

Even though our time during the weekdays is limited it is so important that I find time for my little loves. From the moment we get home until I kiss them goodnight, Addie and Mase are my number one priority. We stick to our daily rituals and routines as best as possible and have at least one hour of uninterrupted playtime. To maximize the time we spend together during the week I let them help me out in the kitchen while I cook dinner. Mason does a great job of "managing" the kitchen from his highchair with a serving spoon and bowl to play with while Addie is more of a hands on sous-chef who helps combine ingredients and stir things up. We play music in the background and dance and sing until we're ready to eat.

Working mama or stay at home mama, having more than one child is an adjustment! I make it through most weeks with my head above water, thankfully, but still find it very difficult to find time to spend with each of my babies individually. It is practically impossible to spend time with just one during the work week. Sean has some pretty crazy hours so I fly solo until after 8pm most nights. Hopefully, by that time they are both fast asleep! The best I can do, right now, is carve out time during the weekend for each of them.

For Mason it is still simple and easy enough to just play with cars and trucks in his room, read books, chase each other around the living room, or go for walks around the yard or neighborhood. For Addison, it is the time we spend making a craft or baking something together in the kitchen that is most special to me.

I love having time with just her while Mason is napping. She has both Sean and I's undivided attention and for two hours (give or take) she doesn't have to share, or listen to me say, "Let me just change Mason's diaper first...I'll do that as soon as I'm done giving Mason his snack...Why don't we play in Mason's room instead so he doesn't break that."

How do you balance your time between multiple children, or work and home? Do you carve out time for yourself? Also, don't forget to cast your vote on which room I should tackle next to make as part of the Making Our House a Home series!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Making Our House a Home: Hallway Reveal

This past weekend Sean and I were able to put the finishing touches on our upstairs hallway. A few weeks ago I shared a before photo and inspiration board for this previously unused space. Originally I intended on creating a retreat area for guests and visiting family. I ended up compromising and created a space that was both kid and adult friendly. A comfy chair, plenty of books and magazines for all ages and interests, and finally some family pictures!

I'm not in love with this rug but it works for now. It was an impulse buy last summer (an online purchase returned to Target that I had to have). I spent less than $50 on it but still haven't found the perfect place for it. I would love to find a round shaped rug with a more neutral color but it just isn't in the budget right now. I'm also looking for a better chair, preferably one without arm rests that won't look so bulky. We originally bought it at Ikea about 6 years ago and over the years has made it's way from our bedroom, to the living room, to Mason's room and now here. I allowed myself to splurge on the bookshelves and frames. I am so happy to finally have some family pictures up on the wall. I think the space above the chair needs a little something too, but I haven't quite figured out what I want to put there yet. Any recommendations? 

The great thing about these shelves and frames is that I can constantly change the decor depending on my mood, holiday and season! The baskets were both HomeGoods finds. The one on the left holds all of my favorite home and parenting magazines. On the right, Easter books for the kiddos to pick out and read before bed at night. All of the other decor you see is a collection of pieces I've accumulated over the years, mostly from HomeGoods and Target.

I a really happy with how this space came out. The kids and I love curling up in the chair at night to read books and it is the perfect napping spot for both of my boys on the weekends.

On to the next room! I need your help deciding. . . laundry room or Mason's room? Cast your vote in the comments section below!