Monday, July 30, 2012

pottery barn pillows on the cheap and more part 1

 Since it is almost Aug which mean back to school time I though I better post these beach pillows. I am a lover of anything coastal. It is probably the style that comes the easiest to me and that I am drawn to. I love so many decorating styles but this by far is my top style. I like it because you can be very electric with it and incorporate other styles easily as long as you stay with similar color schemes. Vintage also goes very well with Coastal/Hampton style and I love finding "Found" decor.  Can you say Pottery Barn designer wanna be!! I love almost anything PB and to me it is Coastal Classic at it's finest.  It would all fit perfect in my Hampton home, a girl can dream, right?  
The draw back is that PB is expensive. Some of it is fair in price because the quality is great. Some of it is ridiculous like their kid's sheets that are 200 thread count no thank you. I usually always buy something when I visit.  I saw these coastal napkins for only $6.50 and thought I could use them to make pillows.  So so easy.  If you can sew a straight line you can do this!!  
 I did not take step by step pictures because it is easier to just explain it. You simple find fabric to go on the back, I used drop cloth so cheap and right color. Put good sides facing each other and sew a square but leave one flap open. By a insert at PB or I suggest Ikea they are even cheaper and down too.  Put in the pillow then flip in the fabric so no seem shows then sew it closed. 
It cost me $6.50 I already had the fabric and pillow.  Do you spot Champ?  The dog is my shadow, he loves to be in pictures too.  Every time I snap a picture he plops right down in front or appears like a ghost somewhere in the photo.

 I added my dishes above my antique dresser.  I wish I had more wall room.  We have lots of windows which are nice but limited room for pictures and dishes of course.
 I added a couple slip covers that I had to brighten this space up.  
 Vintage dog I found at the antique/flea shop.  I like these dogs and I have no idea why.  They just grow on me just like the lamps, topiary, shell and white dish syndrome I have....
 Old trophy vase
 I have turned the basement into our mostly baseball room. My husband never demands a Man Cave or never tries to decorate the house.  Although he has good taste and I love his opinion I wanted to make a  area he could relax in. Above I found this glass jar in a dumpster months ago. We were driving by and I saw it sitting on top of a bunch of wood.  My sweet husband of course laughs at me along with Jaden and Drew saying "look mom, that looks like you could use that"  I should say that he totally has bought my ideas at this point because I have proven junk can become magazine worthy.
 I didn't have anything on these walls so I thought I would add a couple of Rob's old jerseys.  One was from college and the other was from his time he played in a summer league that prepares you for the minor leagues.  They are both special to him and the kids think it is pretty cool.
Jaden on the kids side of the basement in his element. I will be adding a few more things from around our house in the next day or two. We have not had a lot of down time this summer but I need to get on a regular blog routine. I don't want to forget so many things that my kids say and do. They keep me laughing that is for sure.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Petting Zoo fun

 Last week I took the kids to this fabulous petting zoo.  We all really like animals so I thought this would be perfect.  It was very kid friendly and we were able to feed almost all the animals. The place was so clean and the animals were all so happy and friendly.  I am sure it did help that we were feeding them.  If your near the Pittsburgh area this place is worth a trip.  They have two locations we went to the one that was in the Laurel Highlands closer to us.  
 This camel was one of our favorites.


 These boys are so funny!! The go around the house playing Crocodile Hunter and Billy The Exterminator
 The monkeys really wanted special cheerios that cost more, so we went through lots of quarters feeding the monkeys. They were so funny!!  
 Lauren wanted to ride a horse so we marked that off the list.
 These two were buddies the camel and ox.  Each animal had a retreat out of the sun and each had a buddy which I thought was really sweet.
 Little goat just born a few hours ago
Beautiful Peacock.  We had a great day!!  Best summer yet!!  I can't wait to go back to this place it was so fun.  This week we are getting ready to go to Washington D.C.  Can't wait to take the boys.  Lauren is staying with Nana.  Lots of reading but should be a great time.

Friday, July 13, 2012

How Many Summer's?

 Jaden looking Chill.  I was thinking about this the other day I only have 9 more summers with Jaden. Just yesterday we were out shopping at Target and they had all the going off to college stuff out. I looked at Jaden and I said,"Hey Buddy before you know it we will be buying all that stuff when you go away to college."  Tears in my eyes..sniff..sniff  He is growing up so fast. He of course says,"Mom I don't want to leave you."  "It will be in a long time, don't worry about that but one day you will want to leave me."  Are we all crying yet?  Drew and Lauren are not far behind, I have already used many of our summers down till these kids are grown. This year has been our best summer yet by far. The kids are finally old enough to do anything even at the spur of the moment. The only issue we have is Lauren at hotel rooms.  For some reason she will not fall asleep.  It really is quite annoying, for some reason it is party time to her and the rest of us are so tired. So far this summer we have joined the pool, Drew is swimming now and Lauren will probably be next year.  The kids love the pool.  We go to the amusement park down the road.  To many spiny rides for me, it can be a little much but they enjoy it.  We have been exploring lots of new things around here. Each week we do one new thing and we change it up a bit depending on the kids input. The kids are at a perfect age I wish I could freeze them for a while. 
 We even have done some science experiments.  Jaden aka the professor made this soap expand by using the microwave.
 We went exploring for fish, frogs, and salamanders.
 We found a big turtle, Drew loves turtles.
 Rob had a business trip in Richmond, VA the kids and I joined him. They love to go with daddy.  We went shopping and explored for the day.  It is fun to go on these 1-2 day trips and see new things.
Here we are, not many picture of mom and dad together.  Drew loves to take his pictures.  
Enjoy your summers, there are not to many left until the kids are grown. I know those days well that seem so long with lots of arguing but try to enjoy each day and don't wish the return of school to soon. We all will miss these days.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Before: Kids bathroom 
We finally have the kids bathroom done. This was another project that took a lot longer then expected. Contractors should flood to this area.  For some reason they are all very busy and everything takes a long time. Like everything in our house before our Extreme Makeover we had lovely oak cabinets, and brown checked vinyl floor and a very old nasty toilet. We also had a hairline cracked tub which ended up needing replaced. That was such a pain!!  I first picked a basic unit nothing fancy tub/shower. A few weeks later the product had a defect and needed to be changed out. I decided to go with Swanstone which is like Corian. I wanted subway tile but the previous was cheaper at $4700 ): Can you see tears. Tile would have been another $800, boo!! Who would have ever though a bathtub and shower with no fancy jets or anything would be that much but in fact this is the going rate around here. Once that was done, Rob changed out the sinks and faucets.  I painted the cabinets in Dover White and replaced the hardware.  We framed in the mirror and I pained the bath Sherwin Williams Favorite Tan.  Last the floor was put in which is the tile that looks like planked wood. We did a few things ourselves and tried to save where we could but lots of these bigger projects need the pro's.  Rob also changed out the the old brass lights on both sides of the mirror, that alone made a huge difference. 
After:
Better? I love these floors!! I love it, It turned out just like I thought.I still need to get bamboo blinds or something but this room is done.

 We left the counter top for now.  I didn't feel like paying another $2,000 for the top, ha ha seriously.  It is the kids bathroom and it looks fine.  With everything else done it does not look bad at all.
 I love this lantern.  It was one of my Marshall's favorite finds.  I actually bought two of them.  I love how TJ MAXX and such copy the looks of much more expensive stores. The quality is not as good but you get the look which is fun for those of us that like to change things out.
 A picture of a toilet. I posted this because I love using this hook rack for the kids towels. It works out well because they can hang their own towels up. We are almost done with all the big projects.  We still have to to do our upstairs landing in wood and get some carpet. We are slowing down and enjoying life more, this can all really drain you.  It is very rewarding but at the same time takes lots of patience, work, and late nights. I really love smaller day projects the best.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

Look Who is 5!!

Dear Lauren Grace,
My little girl is now 5!!  It is hard to believe that your not a baby at all anymore but just remember you will always be mom's baby. This has been a great year for you.  You are growing and maturing each day and you surprise me with your inquisitive thinking. Your one of those kids that is always two steps ahead it defiantly keeps us on our toes. Yes you are strong willed at times but mostly because you want to be part of everything and not miss out.  Your not a fan of going to bed at night because you just love to stay up late late. Your our night owl. You always wake up happy so it is hard to really argue with you.  You love your boys as you call them, you idolize them. Jaden and you argue more but I think it is because your both leaders and have a lot of similarities.  Drew is your cuddle bug and your protector. Drew and you are buddies. You both play well together and many times I find you two snuggling on the couch together.  Your favorite color or colors I should say is purple and pink.  Your favorite foods are pancakes, hot dogs, and pizza and you love ice-cream.  That is your favorite desert with mint chocolate chip being your flavor. Your favorite activity is drawing and crafts. You also love balls, and playing in water.  You are becoming such a great artist too. You love to draw rainbows, cats, people and write letter to mom that say "I love You." You love mermaids, and your starting to really enjoy girly things especially cooking with mom.  You tell me you want to be a cooker (: when you grow up.  You are really changing little girl, and we have lots of great days. You make friends everywhere we go and people are just drawn to you. You're sensitive, sweet and care about others.  You love animals and were devastated that daddy caught a mouse in the basement..You cried and cried! Each day you tell me you love me and that your glad I am your friend. Lauren I am blessed to have you as my girl.  Mommy and daddy love you no matter what.  Keep smiling sweetie your a miracle!
Love,
Mommy  
Lauren with her Nana and Grandpa
We had a great weekend my parents came to celebrate. I thought this was cute of Lauren watching newlyweds go by in carriage.

Lauren wanted to go to Chuck E Cheese for her birthday weekend.
He came and brought her a chocolate cake and sang to her.


Lauren and daddy
Tues was her actually b-day.  She requested pancakes of course.  After pancakes she went to her first tennis lesson. Lauren is not a dancing kind of girl at this point. I want the kids to be who they are  whatever they love Rob and I Love.  I don't know a lot about tennis but she loves it and wanted to play.  I have a friend here who's sister in law teaches lessons. She was excellent!!  Lauren loved Miss Kim and did phenomenal.  She showed her some drills and taught her basics.  It was about 100 degrees the morning of her lesson but Lauren listened perfectly the whole half hr.

We may have a future Little Miss Tennis Star on our hands. She likes the William's sisters because they are brown like her. She loves being brown and has a great self image, I am so happy about that.  She also loves being white too and would be happy being either, ha ha.  From the mouth of a child, so darn funny.  I am laughing all the time with these kids.

Lauren and her Miss Kim
Cute!
Later that day she opened her presents with her big bro's

Drew speaking of adorable stuff kids say tells me last night that I am the best woman he has ever known and he wants to marry me.  He loves his mama!!
Jaden my man of wisdom tells me today that ladies have lady power and can do anything but if you get them angry it is not pretty.  Love this boy!
I love this picture, she was hiding in the shade behind Jaden at our huge HOT fourth of July Parade.  Lauren is our firecracker baby she was born on July 3. It fits her personality perfect and she loves that their are fireworks just for her each year.
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