Wednesday, October 24, 2012

{house to home} A Little Girl's Nursery Inspiration Board

I was given an amazing gift a few days ago.  Let me start this story by saying that as much as we love our new home, the paint colors chosen by the previous owners are pretty bad.  (Remember my Ronald McDonald kitchen/first floor?)  The master bedroom and the nursery were the worst.  Loud colors and lots and lots of stripes.  Seeing the rooms everyday drove me crazy, but with a brand new baby, the idea of getting it all repainted was just not realistic right now. 
My cousins to the rescue!  Giving me the most amazing gift, they offered to fly in for the weekend and paint both rooms!  Can you believe it?  I was so humbled by their generosity. 
The nursery was painted Benjamin Moore's Buxton Blue, which is gorgeous.  Before and after pictures will be coming soon.  And now I'm itching to get this nursery decorated!  A few of my inspiration pictures:     

Lamp from Urban Outfitters
Frame Display from The Mom Tog Diaries
Pink Gingham Curtains from Castaway to Couture

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

{link list} 10.17.12 Edition

1. These cookies are adorable and would be an awesome gift for the photography enthusiast in your life!

2. I loved this article: 10 Things I've Learned from Raising Girls.  My favorite was #6: Life is a miracle. "I knew this before I had girls. But I didn’t really KNOW this. My body co-knit their bodies with the divine. Their bodies might do the same someday. Their first breaths of air, their first blinks of light (moments that are honestly quite foggy in my memory), those don’t “just happen.” There is some mystery there that makes my soul want more of it."  So beautiful.

3. We definitely won't be accomplishing as much as we did last fall, but you know how much I love a list!  Katie Bower has some great ideas on her Fall Family Fun List that I want to add for next year.   

4. This DIY thumbprint pumpkin card is a darling idea for the grandparents. 

5. Did you hear about 30 Memories in 30 Days Challenge?  Such a great idea.

6. Next on my to-read list: The Shoemaker's Wife: A Novel

7. I am on a cooking roll!  On my list to try: Buffalo Chicken Fingers, Bacon and Cheese Quiche and Baked Apple Donuts.

8. Ever read a blog post and felt like they were speaking just to you?  Or that you could have written the exact post yourself?  It just happened to me.  When I read this on Angie's blog, I got goosebumps and a lump in my throat.  I desperately needed the reminder that I am beautiful, no matter what size I am.  Maybe you do too?   

Monday, October 15, 2012

{etsy finds} One-of-a-Kind Finds at My Vintage Lane

Ready for a new shop full of great vintage finds?  My Vintage Lane is just a treasure trove!  These are just a few things that caught my eye:

1. These slate chalkboards are so versatile.  I'm picturing them as part of a holiday party tablescape, written with the menu.  So cute!
2. I think old cameras are so neat and make for interesting home decor.  I'd put this 1930's  Kodak camera in a bookcase with a few others. Sure to be a conversation starter!
3. The four pint-sized milk bottles would look darling on a kitchen windowsill holding cut flowers.  Or!  The bottles would be perfect in a craft room for those teeny odds and ends.  I love pieces that are functional as well as beautiful. 
4. Buttons can be used for a countless number of projects.  I recently re-found this pin, which got my wheels turning.  I'm thinking of decorating an "A" in buttons for my office and this lot would be perfect.
5. I LOVE this Pepsi crate and can picture it in my big boys' room filled with Legos.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

{recording life} 30 Before 30

October is becoming a special month around here.  We are enjoying every newborn moment with our Little Miss, slowly getting situated in our new home, and oh yeah!  Celebrating some birthdays!  This year, my little D-man is 4 and I turn the big is this even possible?  Time sure has flown. 

So with another birthday comes another list.  (ANY excuse for a new list!)  While I didn't accomplish much on my 27 Goals list from last year, I did love the practice of thinking about all those little things I'd like to do.  The list is a fun challenge for me, so here I go again!  This time, I'm embracing the ever popular "30 before 30" this gives me two years instead of one to get some items crossed off the list! 

1. Join our new library and actually use it!
2. Lose all of the baby weight...get back into those old jeans!
3. Read 40 books.
4. Run a race with my Dad.
5. Make pasta from scratch.
6. See a movie in theaters.
7. Learn how to make my own cleaning supplies.  
8. Take a family vacation to someplace we've never been.
9. Sew a dress for our Little Miss.
10. Grow tomatoes.
11. Purchase an original painting from an artist on etsy.
12. Make tie-dye shirts with the kids.
13. Eat only local foods for a month.
14. Become debt-free (minus our mortgage).
15. Visit the National Zoo with the kids.
16. Donate blood.
17. Make a new recipe every evening for 30 days.
18. Take the kids to Legoland.
19. Go hiking.
20. Run a successful online home decor business (Big White Farmhouse).
21. Have a family photo printed onto a canvas. 
22. Send five friends/family surprise presents just because.
23. Host a game night. 
24. Purchase a new knife set for the kitchen.
25. Grow succulents.
26. Visit an aquarium.
27. Redesign the blog so it looks more professional.
28. Financially support (in a small way!) a family fundraising for an adoption.
29. Visit NYC.
30. Collaborate with another blogger on a project of some sort.

Monday, October 8, 2012

{chit chat} Monday Almanac (vol.2)

From the Kitchen
Since our sweet girl was born, meal planning has gone out the window.  And while I'd be lying if I said I was tired of trying out all the local joints around our new home (oh yum!), our budget just won't allow it.  So I made a small challenge to myself to cook dinner this week.  Again, keeping my expectations LOW, I'm only committing to three "real" meals.  Baby steps!  On the menu: Crockpot BBQ Chicken, Beef Stroganoff and Italian Chicken.    

Around the House
We've got toys everywhere, so I'm researching and designing organization systems.  Craigslist has been checked daily, but so far, no luck.  I'm hoping to find a good deal soon! I'm also thinking one more Goodwill purge should take place...the boys' birthdays and Christmas are near!

M's been asking daily if we can do school, so we're slowly going to ease back in.  Phonics, math games and the occasional art project will be just enough this week.

I'm two weeks postpartum and just starting to feel ready to getting back into shape.  I need to dig through a few boxes, but I'm determined to find my "Postnatal Rescue" DVD and get started!  I'm also planning on walking with my family for the Little Flowers Virtual 5K...have you registered yet?

Plans and Schemes
A trip to the pumpkin patch needs to be planned soon.  I also hope to start brainstorming Christmas me crazy, but I know I'll blink my eyes and it will be here! 

Currently reading A Secret Gift: How One Man's Kindness--and a Trove of Letters--Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression, which I'm finding fascinating.  Have you read it?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

{chit chat} And Then There were Four...

Knock on wood, but life with four little ones is pretty great.  Loud and a whole lotta crazy, but still great.  I feel like I've said all pregnancy: Once you're outnumbered, why not add one more to the mix?!  Good thing she's such a natural fit.  She's already proven to sleep through anything (which is a must with three big brothers!), is a natural nurser (such a blessing!) and has every male in her family wrapped around her finger.  

The transition to four has gone relatively smoothly for us, so I'd like to share my humble tips for newborn survival.  Let me know if you have any others to add!

1. Keep your expectations LOW. 
For my first day solo at home, I had one goal for the day: survive!  Other than feeding myself and the kids, I had very low expectations.  No long to-do lists taunting me.  Nope, if I could keep us all fed and happy by the time my husband got home, I declared the day a success.  Anything else accomplished was just icing on the cake.  So when I managed to fit in a few loads of laundry, bill paying and some bedroom organization...well I just entered rockstar category. 

2. Do one thing for yourself everyday.
I think Mammas can get overwhelmed in the newborn stage easily without this step.  Find that one thing that makes you feel beautiful/sane, and make sure you do that everyday.  Some Mammas may need to get dressed everyday.  Some may feel better with a little makeup on or the ability to blow-dry their hair.  For me, if I can get a shower in, no matter how short, it does wonders for my day.  I feel clean and ready to conquer anything. 

3. Don't be too proud to ask for help.
With the births of my older two boys, I think I felt like I had to prove myself as a mother.  So I tried to do it all, asking for very little help.  Ironically, these were the times where I struggled the most with the Baby Blues.  With baby number four, I've finally learned my own limitations and I try to call out for help before I reach my breaking point. 

4. Step back and see with new eyes.  
Sometimes with the exhaustion that the newborn phase brings, it's hard to see past the feeding and diaper changing and the older children watching, etc etc.  But if I could offer any advice, it would be to make sure you take the time to step back and see the good.  When I really take the time to see, I see three big brothers who just adore their sister.  I see a healthy baby girl who is so sweet, it makes my heart hurt.  I see a family that is so, so blessed. 
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