Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

Mother's Day was so delightful! The weather was absolutely perfect so we packed a picnic and headed over to the Art Center and ate back behind by the rose gardens.

The kids got pb&j and fruit while RJ and I got some amazing cheese from our new favorite store: The Cheese Shop. We also enjoyed some prosciutto and a loaf of ciabatta bread. Now that's my kind of picnic food!

Henry got a little bored waiting for us to finish up so he ran laps around us.

Harper girl.

Henry boy.

This boy is a serious mama's boy...and I love it. It makes me feel a bit smothered at times, but I know it's something I will miss when he's older and way too cool for me.

The roses have started to bloom. It was so beautiful!

Thanks to my sweet family for making Mother's Day so special this year. Oy! I love 'em.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Harper Bloom is 3

Harpe's THIRD birthday was last Friday. I can't believe this sweet little thing is already 3!!
Her big "Dora" birthday party is this coming weekend, but this weekend we went up to RJ's parent's and had a fun little party for her. We had an awesome time!

She's been excited for her birthday for months so I'm actually glad we are spreading it out over 2 weekends because it makes me sad that it's over! What will she talk about once her "Dora party" is done?

Of course both kids enjoyed the yummy cupcakes.

Then we opened a few presents. She got some cute dress up clothes from grandma and grandpa. She loved it!

Oh, Harper Bloom. You have brought so many laughs and blessings into our lives. You have entered that hilarious toddler stage where pretty much everything you say makes us laugh. You are goofy, feisty, sweet, loving, daring, and just plain ol' precious. Your best friends are boys. Cute boys. Oy. Already praying about that one.

You are so sensitive and so cuddly. Just telling you "no" breaks your sweet little heart and you just want to cuddle. I love that. I will for sure miss that. 

I so look forward to the years ahead of getting to know you even more. 
You're my baby girl! 
We love you and are so beyond thankful that God created you.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Big Girl Room

Long time, no blog. I know! So much has happened and so much is currently happening that I don't even know where to begin, so I'll start with a really no-brainer post like Harper's big girl room. Okay? 

Since my little girl is almost 3 now, she was ready for a new room. And I was really ready to finally put up all the vintage treasures I've been collecting for the last 6 months. 

I painted the walls white. And I love it! 
The ceiling got a coat of a dirty yellow with little scallops all along the top:

Literally, the only thing that is new, new is the bed skirt and the pink paint. Everything else is from garage sales, goodwill, online garage sales (facebook) and thrift stores.
Now that, my friends, is being green.

When I was little I used to love playing with nik naks. My sister had a bunch of them on her bookshelf and I always snuck in there to play. I loved it! So that was my inspiration for Harper. I wanted there to be lots of little treasures for her to look at and play with as she gets older that are special only to her room. 
And yes. I'll admit it. This is my dream room too.

This clown is my favorite ($5!!) find. Although I'm pretty sure his eyes are looking in different directions every time I go in there.

Below is another ($5!!) find. The kids have already loved playing with the little dolls and clothes.

Gumball machine from Goodwill.

This dresser was already in her room and I painted it "Perfect Strawberry". It ended up being more hot pink than I was expecting. It took me about 5 days to like it, but now I really love it. I distressed it a bit too.

The headboard came from a friend's garage sale that I also painted and distressed. That crazy beautiful quilt was $4 at a garage sale, and some pillow-y goodness thanks to goodwill and a friend's swap event.

The curtains also survived from the nursery. They're super sweet.

My first bunting project. I'm kind of addicted now. I got the lamp at Goodwill and RJ rewired it for me.

This "Bloom" plate also survived from the nursery.

Sweet red chair and a cradle for her babies.

I got this chalkboard/dry erase board for $5 off of a facebook swap group. Excellent!

This wall below is the only part I'm not loving. I just can't decide.

However, I loooove this little lady on the wall for all her niks and naks. So cute!

That's all for now. Thanks for visiting! Now on to some major life stuff for me so I best be going. Have a great week, all!


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thrift Shopping 101

Since I'm a dork and don't really feel like uploading pictures, I got the silly idea to do a little Thrift Shopping 101 course. I'll put all my tips and you can leave your tips in the comments!

I hear a lot of people say they don't have time to search through everything at thrift stores...especially when it comes to clothing. Well, since I'm slightly obsessed with buying used clothes I've learned some things to speed up the process to show that, yes, you can shop at a thrift store quickly AND efficiently!
I've had periods in my life where I'll go to Goodwill once a week when I'm really
looking for things for the me or the kids. Lately it's been more like once a month. One thing that I
always check out is their jeans. Of the 3 pairs of jeans I actually wear 2 are from Goodwill. Nice jeans from Goodwill? You bet! Here's the trick: do not spend your precious minutes looking through every single pair and looking at every single size. It will wear you out, completely frustrate you, and you'll just stop and leave empty handed. The best way to shop for jeans is to use your pretty little eyes and look only for the type of denim you like. Don't like acid wash? Then don't waste your time looking at it! I spend just a few minutes each time looking only at the shade of denim, then only if I like the shade of denim do I look at the tag, and only if it's my size do I try them on. And yes, you do need to try them on. No returns, people.
I don't find jeans very often that work for me, but I at least don't waste a lot of time looking at them. And when you do find a pair for under $6? Well, I'd say it's worth it! I've heard once you try on a designer pair of jeans you'll never go back so I'd like to declare here and now I will never try on a designer pair of jeans.
Over and Out.
Unless I find them at Goodwill, that is. :)

Now when it comes to tops, I have the same approach. Most goodwills are organized by color which is pretty handy. I don't care for red tops so I don't look at the red shirts. Pretty obvious, I suppose. I also don't shop at Goodwill or other thrift stores for just a plain ol' shirt but more for something unique or vintage. I don't generally buy a Target brand shirt at Goodwill because you're not saving much money. I have found some awesome tops that are super unique, high end brands, or vintage and they are under $4. Pretty sweet. 
Again, just look through everything quickly and those funky prints will pop right out. Try things on to make sure they fit and sadly if they don't, you must put it back. I passed up an amazing $7 denim blazer at a thrift store the other day because it was too tight in the arms. That's the one big bummer about second-hand is that they don't have other sizes in the back. It's a bummer because I'm still thinking about that silly blazer and wondering if I could maybe fit into it someday. 
No, Abby. No!
Walk away.

Shoes? Eh. I never have luck with shoes because I have enormous feet. I look every now and then but generally don't waste my time.

Kids clothes. Same thing...look for uniqueness and then check out the size. I rarely find things for Henry at thrift stores because boys are pretty hard on their clothes. I do find things for Harper though. Did I ever tell you about the time I found NINE vintage little girl dresses all lined up in a row? I nearly hyperventilated and prompted to quickly grab everysingleoneofthem. At $1.69 it's a pretty good deal.

House wares. I usually have an on-going list in my head of things I need for the house yet can't justify buying them full price at the store. For example, I made french onion soup over the weekend and I don't have crock soup bowls. Do I need them? Not necessarily, but it's something I will be keeping a look out for when I'm thrifting. 
Always remember when looking through tacky, outdated decor, that things can be spray painted and turn into a super fun piece for your home. 
I also like to look through their plates for upcoming plate stand projects. 
Generally going through the housewares section is pretty quick. Everything is laid out so you don't have to dig and you either like it or you don't. And then move on.

That's all I can think of for now, but hope it shows you that you can be in and out of a thrift store quickly and efficiently. Of course I enjoy going every now and then by myself and literally looking through every single rack for fun, but honestly on those days I don't have any more success than the days when I quickly scan over everything. 
Thrifting is fun, a great way to "save" money (I mean, you're still spending money so are you technically saving money?) and it's just the thrill of the hunt.

Oh!! My best tip of all? If your children are with you, put them in the cart and go straight to the book section and let them pick out a few books to look at while you shop and then before you leave you put them back. Works like a charm every single time and I've done it enough that they've never gotten upset when we have to put them back.

What thrift store tips do you have? Please share!
Now go shopping!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Penny Table

So I saw on Pinterest, of course, a picture of a penny covered floor and loved it. Then saw someone do that on a table top and super loved it. So I got to work on this awesome sofa table a friend picked up for me off the side of the road a few years ago. At first it was black. Then this summer I painted it the same green as our kitchen island. Then last week I painted it this (slightly obnoxious) blue with a $5 gallon of paint I got at the Habitat Restore....and covered it with about $10 worth of pennies:

I used the E6000 glue I had to stick them all down and am now in the process of poly, poly, poly. I used to have a textured wall paper on top, but when I went to move the tray the other day to paint it blue, a lot of the wall paper ripped off with the tray. I super love how it turned out and I really love that you won't be able to see any wear and tear that usually comes from a painted table top. 

But the (slightly obnoxious) blue color just seemed to perfect and nice next to some beat up old pennies so I distressed the table like crazy. I sanded, rubbed on a lighter green, painted on areas of brown and rubbed that in, and sanded some more. Since the table had 3 layers of colors, it ended up with lots of colors showing through. I kind of wish I had added some shots of red here and that that would poke through...maybe I still will.

And here's the finished piece!

Covering the table with pennies was a little time consuming, but it was certainly easy and the distressing was kind of a stress re-leaser so I would say it was a quite enjoyable project.

Happy Saturday!


Friday, January 6, 2012

I've wondered how much longer it takes those big time food bloggers to prepare a meal when they are taking pictures of every single possible step of the process. I was going to try and do that for fun, but after a few photos I gave up. They must have a 3rd hand to take photos and cook? Or an assistant? Or lots of fancy equipment? All of the above? 
Anyways, here's the recipe and RJ and I loved it! The kids? Well, they ate it...eventually.
I got this package of grain-y goodness from Target the other day. It was about $6, I think, but will probably last a good 4-5 meals so not too shabby.

Saute an onion (sliced or diced) in some olive oil until nice and soft.

Add a cup of grain-y goodness (the recipe called for plain quinoa, which would also be delicious!) and toast it in the pan for about 2 minutes.

Add 2 cups of chicken broth (I was out so just used water) and 1/8 tsp of black pepper and red pepper flakes. (is anyone that exact when it comes to their seasonings? I'm not.) 
Cover and let simmer for about 15-20 or until all liquid is absorbed and grains are cooked.

Then add 4 cups of roughly chopped, fresh spinach. Cover again until spinach is wilted. Add a touch of salt of pepper if needed and enjoy!
I also did a side of sauteed carrots because I'm obsessed with carrots lately. Roasted or sauteed...I love 'em.

Serve up on a fancy, shmancy paper plate and eat away!

This was so yummy! I can't wait to make it again. The recipe is from here.
We haven't been eating healthy at all the last couple of months with traveling and holiday parties, so it felt good to finally give the fam something healthy. And tonight? We're having pepperoni pizza. I made the dough from scratch...that makes it healthy, right?!

Have a great weekend!!


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