Friday, December 6, 2013

Five Things Friday: Things I'm Up To

Ok y'all. I'm going to confuse you a little bit. I already posted part of this post, but I wanted to get all five things in one post for my Five Things Friday post this week. I have five new Christmas projects going on in our home. I didn't plan five projects for this post. It just happened that way! Perfect! 

I will start with the Christmas tree bucket makeover, but for more details on that one, you can read my previous post. 

Do you cover the base of your tree? What is your way of covering it? 

I have really enjoyed painting simple canvases for fun these days. We needed something to go above our mantle. We don't have anything up there normally, and that bugged me even more at Christmas. When you walk in our house, you see this once you are walking out of the foyer, so a plain wall and mantle was not going to cut it this year. We needed something big, yet simple… and gold! So I thought I would try painting a large canvas. Now to what it would say. I didn't want something like Jingle Bells or Here Comes Santa. I wanted something that held the real meaning of this season, without being too religious sounding. Don't take that the wrong way. I just wanted something simple. I thought Silent Night, O Holy Night would be just the right words to be painted on my fresh canvas. So I went to the art store, along with my coupon and purchased a 30"x40" canvas, painted a thin layer of metallic gold paint (leaving some brush strokes to keep it a little rough looking) and then went on to paint the wording. I tried to write on the canvas with pencil first, but I couldn't erase well and messed up so I just did it with the paint and hoped for the best. To add to the fun of making this, I had two little helpers so I have a few mess ups, but all in all, I'm happy with it!

Here's what I was working with. I was hoping my vision would turn out at least half as nice as I hoped.
Thin layer of gold.
White lettering.
I went back and forth if I wanted the letters all in the same font or not. Without telling the Hubs which I was leaning towards, I asked his creative advice and he said to go with the two fonts… the same as what I was hoping he'd say! Do you like the added decoration in our fireplace. I thought the fence would be a nice touch. ha. And no, it is not to keep Santa out. Our little elves like to play in the fireplace so we needed a way to keep them out.
Here is a shot without the fence.
And here is my painting. I'm happy to have the simple white and gold look above our mantle this year!
My next project is an Advent Calendar/Christmas countdown. I used Christmas tree and mitten cut outs, gold paper that I cut into squares, some ribbon and mini clothes pins. I made 1/2" slits into the trees and mittens and put the clothes pin through it and then clipped the gold paper onto it. And then I just taped the ribbon to the back of the cut outs. I would have rather hot glued, but this works just as good and it was quicker.
 Now, while I still haven't written the numbers on the front, the back has room for a bible verse (just the location so we have to make the time to look it up and read it out of the Bible) and some of the days have something fun written on it, like pictures with Santa, bake cookies, go for a drive to see Christmas lights, etc. If you are interested in something even easier, and a whole lot prettier (I was trying to go for a fun and kid friendly look for the boys, even though I was loving the look of the gold and black ones), check these out over at Oh My Deer Handmades
While we are on Advent, I like to change up our Advent wreath a bit each year. My original intention was to get big pillar candles in purple and pink, but I couldn't find them, but still wanted a heavy look so I thought I would get white candles in varying sizes to put around the thin pink and purple candles. I needed something to put it on so I went in the basement, found a piece of scrap wood, some stain and made a base for the candles. And, as soon as it stops raining, I am going to pick some greenery off my tree branches from the extras off the bottom of our Christmas tree. It has been rainy here for days and I am waiting for those little guys to dry off. I should go outside now and bring them in the garage so there is a little hope for drying out. You won't see the final picture until that happens, but here you can get the idea of what it looks like.

 Lighting the candles of our Advent wreath was always my favorite little job growing up! I love having lots of candles to light at dinner each night now!
Does your family have an Advent wreath? Is it the traditional kind in a ring with greenery or do you do something different? I'd love to hear your ideas!

And my fifth DIY for you might be my favorite because it is for my boys! I wanted something to hang on their bedroom door. I just took a canvas I had laying around, you can do this any size you want and then I drew the Drummer Boy in the place I wanted and painted around him with red. You can find Little Drummer Boy silhouettes online and then print one out, color the back with pencil and then place it on your canvas, trace around the picture and the lead will transfer onto your canvas for you. I am going back and forth with painting lyrics (in white) or not. I like it plain, yet I think it needs some lyrics. At first I was going to paint the whole song across the red, but I think that is too much, so right now I am leaning towards just painting a verse and some pa rum pum pums. I'll be sure to post a picture in another post how it came out!

I actually have one other small project I am working on. It's a garland/bunting for our foyer mirror, but that isn't together yet, so maybe that can go up on the blog tomorrow! I have so many DIYs I want to do at Christmas, but it is always hard with traveling which limits my time even more than normal. Next year I should start a lot earlier so I can enjoy more projects! 

Feel free to share some of your Christmas DIYs! I would love to hear! And please feel free to use any of these ideas!

a good ol' bucket

Happy Weekend! I am loving the fact that it is Friday night! It's been a long week and next week is going to be just as long, if not longer, so I am going to soak up this evening and the next few days. There are still to do lists, but hopefully there will be fun and enjoyment too!

Normally I would leave Fridays for my Five Things Fridays, but I wanted to get my quick little DIY project up tonight! 

During my childhood, my family had a tree skirt around the base of our tree. I didn't want any old skirt and that is pretty much all I could find. I did find a fabulous furry and soft winter white one at Home Goods and I actually bought it and brought it home. And with a little thought, returned it. I just knew in a year or two there would be water spills and sap drippings on it and it wouldn't look so glorious any more. I couldn't go another year without something around the base of our tree and it wasn't looking good for the whole skirt hunt, so I had to think of some other option. I had seen people do baskets and even silver buckets, but I didn't want it just like everyone else. I wanted it a little different. I had a few ideas, but it would either take more money or more time, neither of which I was interested in spending. So I grabbed a huge bucket, which can be bought at Home Depot. I am pretty sure you can get a 16-17 gallon for around twenty bucks. I also had some gold metallic spray paint on hand so I just gave the shiny steel bucket a once over with some gold paint and wallah, it was done! 

Supplies: Steel bucket (Home Depot, $20)
Metallic Gold (or color of your choice) spray paint (Hobby store - bring a coupon to get it cheap!)

I'm loving gold this year so I have been trying to add in pops of gold so this was my color of choice for this project. If you'd like you could spray it red for a nice bright pop, or cream/white. Anything that goes with your color theme! And, if you are like me and change your color theme from year to year, you can just spray over it next year! 

Be sure to measure the largest part of the base of your tree stand to make sure it fits. Our tree stand is 19" at the widest point and the bucket is about 20-21" so this was perfect. All you do is paint the bucket, and pick your tree up (two person job!) and plop it place it gently in the bucket! And there you have it! A quick, easy, and pretty reasonably priced DIY project! 

Our before was a tree stand on top of white garbage bags. Totally attractive, huh? And now we have a simple gold bucket to complete our tree! 

I have a few more DIY Christmas projects I'll be posting over the next few days. Do you have any DIYs that you or your family have done for Christmas? I'd love to see and have you share your creativity!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Added Light Would be Nice

Behind the larger door in this small corner is our laundry room, with a window. Our kitchen doesn't get a ton of light because the main windows in the room are in the back of the house. A little dream of mine would be to have a little dutch door or possibly a glass panel door there to keep the littles out and the light in! This door has to stay closed at all times because the little men of the house find everything in the small room a lot of fun! The room is very tiny. It is just as wide as a washing machine, dryer and folded up ironing board hanging on the wall. The washing machine door just opens and standing adjacent to that is a tall, cheap, bookshelf from Walmart that we put all of our appliances on (toaster, blender, food processor… all that stuff that I hate on my counters.) That's it. It really is a small room, but the window in there is not serving it's purpose at all with the door closed. Maybe one day we'll put in a new door, but it is a pretty expensive update! Do you have any random house projects that you have on your one day list

Monday, December 2, 2013

momma mondays: time change

We spent the past week in the northeast with the Hubs family and my parents. It is always such a wonderful visit when we go back up there to see everyone. But the one thing that gets me as a momma is the time change. The boys had been doing so well at home, waking up closer to 7, 7:30, which was the biggest blessing to a momma that doesn't sleep at night! I knew ahead of time that their schedules would be set off as well as we'd be an hour different. Thankfully it was an hour later there, so mentally I would feel better about early wake ups. 7 at home is 8 in the Eastern time zone. But of course, with the traveling and all the fun being at Grandma's is, the boys wanted to wake up even earlier! They would wake up around 6… Eastern time. Y'all, that is 5 back at home. Now that we are home again, and everything is an hour earlier, I know we will adjust, but waking up and seeing such an early time on my clock is a tad painful. We woke up at 5:30 this morning and the boys are raring to go. Thankfully I don't feel that bad. They are playing and I am trying to gather my thoughts and plans for the week and start to schedule life out so the weeks leading up to Christmas are enjoyable rather than a wild frenzy of to do lists! Today and the days following, we will start to adjust their eating schedule again, the times they go down for a nap, and then bed time. I won't do it all at once, but we will slowly inch our way back to the normal of being at home.

Do you have any tips for traveling with your little ones, especially when changing time zones and getting off schedule? 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Five Things Friday: Fave Bloggers

Good morning! Did y'all have a nice Thanksgiving? Are your bellies still filled with delicious food? Mine sure is! I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite blogs as it is Five Things Friday again! 

1. Paige is the sweetest lady, with a wonderful gift for photography and creativity! She lives in Georgia with her sweet husband and four daughters, all of which have wonderful gifts of creativity themselves!  

2. Sasha lives in the Pacific Northwest with her sweet man and two kiddos, who are really probably older than being called kiddos at this point, but I've been following her for a while and I feel like they can't be growing up too fast yet. She has the best Etsy shop of things she creates herself and I'd like to move in and have a water color date with her, while something we baked is in the oven!

3. Steph lives in North Carolina with her Hubs and three adorable bear cubs! She inspires me as a woman, wife, mom, and friend. I hope one of these to bump into her on our travels through Charlotte!

4. Emily also lives with her sweet family in the PNW and has a wonderful creative spirit about her that I just adore. To have a few tidbits of that gift would be such a pleasure! 

5. Kim lives in Texas with her husband and children, Will, Harry, and Kate (love her choice of names!!!)! She also inspires me as a woman, wife and mom. She has a real love for her family that she proudly shares! You can also visit her site, The Nurtured Home, which is dedicated to posts on family life, marriage, home life, things along those lines. 

I follow a lot more blogs, some of which you can see on the right hand side of my blog, but these ladies are at the top of my daily go to sites. Do yourself a favor and check them out! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

the truth is in the pudge

It's official. I am more pudgy today, when my sons are 15 months, old than when I was about 30 weeks pregnant… besides the massive stomach, of course. Yesterday we took some family pictures and when we got home and put them on the computer, I was horrified. I'm not fat. I'm not overweight, especially for my height, but my goodness, the pudge! The past couple weeks I've felt more pudgy but didn't really take too much notice. I am so busy running with the boys, taking care of the house, going to physical therapy a few times a week, that I spent very little time in front of a mirror. So, I didn't really see the pudge, even though I kinda felt it. 

So, after seeing yesterday's pictures I knew something had to be done. We don't pig out on junk food, but we aren't completely clean eaters, which if you follow regularly, you will know I couldn't handle the Whole 30 diet. My plan, for now, unless something better comes my way, is to have eggs for breakfast, a mid-morning piece of fruit, salad and some sort of meat on top (grilled chicken, lean meat), a light mid-afternoon snack, a healthier-choice dinner, sometimes with carbs, but a very limited amount. And I am debating my evening glass of chocolate milk. If I keep it, it won't be a large glass and it won't be every night (at least I hope not). And water, water, water!

I am not taking away all carbs, all sugars, all of anything. But instead I am trying to reduce as much as possible and eat as whole and clean as I can without making myself a mad-woman. I am also not taking away date lunch/dinner once a week with the Hubs. Just much wiser choices. I am not going to go crazy with it, and I am not going to kill myself with exercise. I am going to try to do my best to add some sort of exercise in though. Even if it is just jumping jacks at each set of commercials during a favorite evening show. It's better than nothing. 

I think I can stick to this plan. In fact, I know I can. I just hope I can see enough of a difference doing it this way. My goal is to do this until Christmas and then I am going to enjoy the festivities (within reason, of course) and when the parties are over, go back to eating as whole and clean as I can, until I reach my goal. I am not looking for a particular number, because it is not the number that is freaking me out. It's the look and feel I am going for… a bit less pudge! 

I doubt I will have any updates along the way, but instead just a post right before Christmas to let you know how it is going with a possible before and after, or part of the way there, picture. If you have any tips for quick and easy exercises or snacks and meals I can work in, please let me know!!! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Momma Mondays: God, You are penciled in.

God, You are penciled in. I am ashamed to write that, but it is the humbling truth. When I was single and then even at the point that I was married, but not a momma yet, I would make the time to actually leave the house and all I was doing to go to Church. I would attend Mass or pray in adoration in the quiet of the Chapel. Some days it was one or the other and some days it was even both. When the boys arrived I still did my best to get to Mass with them each day. It wasn't always daily, but it was the majority of the time. I made sure I kept it a priority, while still keeping motherhood a priority, being sure it didn't take away from either of my babies' needs… or the needs of the home. But now it is getting very hard to take two squirmy, talkative boys on my own. They seem to be at an age that they don't understand to be quiet and they don't want to stay still in their stroller for 40 minutes. I don't want to be lazy, but it is just too darn hard with only two hands. I still try a few times during the week though. Buuuutttttttttt, whether I go to Church during the week or not (Sundays are always a given, plus the Hubs is with me), I need to be sure to leave set time for prayer in my day and a lot of times it means actually writing in my daily planner, pray, rosary, spiritual reading, quiet prayer… whatever it may be. It is pathetic that I am not so connected to Him that it has become a given, but sometimes I allow the dailiness of life to get in the way instead of making Him a main natural part of that dailiness without writing it down. 

Do you have tips for keeping your little ones quiet in church? I am hoping to order this one of these days. My Dad sent me the link for it and I also happen to know this man's sweet daughter, so it should be good. How about a daily devotion or favorite prayers that you keep in your days? How do you make sure to fit Him in your day? 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Little DIY

In case you are looking for something to do this weekend, I have an easy and cheap DIY project for you! I have always loved bulletin boards, but never really liked the look of the cork. I've thought of covering them before, but it was years ago when I was a young teenager and probably would have put an awful pattern on it, or something that certainly would not look good in our home. And then it was thanks to the sweet blogger extraordinaire, Paige, that I realized it would look fabulous if it was done with a neutral fabric. I made a small version a while back, but it never fulfilled my desire to have one as large as Paige's. So this week I made a quick trip to the local craft store, with a 40% coupon in hand and bought a large cork board and a yard of linen-like fabric to cover it. It is such a super simple DIY, and I could easily tell you how it is done, but I want to make you go see Paige's fabulous blog to see how it is done! Since this only went up recently, I don't have it filled yet… soon though!

And in case you want to see a few more shots of her photo board or her jewelry board that is just like it, you can check out these links as well.

An Embarrassingly Simple DIY Jewelry Board

Friday, November 22, 2013

Five Things Friday: On the Go

I don't know about you, and I hate to admit this, but I don't always make time to really get myself ready for the day. Some days I am lucky to just get out of my pjs and throw my hair in a ponytail… no shower in the am. But, I have some tricks that help keep me rather fresh for only having spent 4 minutes getting ready.

1. My favorite deodorant! I have not tried, but I can guarantee it would keep me feeling and smelling fresh for days, shower-less. 

2. Olay wet cleansing cloths are wonderful to give your face a quick clean and a pick me up without needing to get out your soap and splash water all over your face, risking getting your hair wet when you don't have time to dry it!

3. Number three is really a two parter, but we are keeping it as one for the sake of the five-things. There are two things that help keep my hair with some body and oil-free, and the first is actually baby powder. You have to make sure you really work it in so you don't leave your hair looking like you have white powder in it or even with a grayish tint! I have enough natural grays that I make sure to really work it in so they are not accentuated! And the second thing is dry shampoo spray. It's not very expensive and is another option for keeping my hair looking good for a shower-less day.

4. When I don't get a good night's rest, which is most nights due to a lack of being able to sleep, I tend to have dark circles under my eyes in the morning. So a little under-eye concealer always helps with that.

5. And to perk my eyes up a bit and not look so sleepy, mascara! Almay's Get Up and Grow seems to be my favorite so far. I've tried the expensive kinds and many cheap kinds but they all seem to make my lashes clump, thick (not in a good way) and spidery.

So when I am really quick and on the go, this is my go to for looking and staying fresh! Do you have any quick tips to share?! 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Life Lately

My life is filled with little bits of craziness. I don't have any lavish blog, wardrobe, career, or hobby, like a lot of lovely bloggers out there, but these little men make each bit of the craziness of my life lavish! Take a peek into our life, full of love and little adventures!

Gussy adores his brother. There are fights on occasion, but these two boys love each other.
The men of the house, big and little, are really into smoothies.
 Mr. Sweetness, my little Gap Baby.
 These three make my life complete and keep me laughing.
 Sometimes Momma entertainment just doesn't cut it for these boys. And sometimes, Momma needs a break to get things done.
The most highly coveted toy in our home: the scoop. With it comes much entertainment and many fights. 
 Though our little men are naturally caffeinated, Will enjoyed his imaginary cafecito with his Papi on Saturday morning.
 These needed a pick me up. They're not done yet, still need some embellishments, but gold is always better!
 Love being his second shooter! We attempted a family photo on our own. The boys didn't know to look at the camera since we were both in the picture with them! We'll try again.
 We made a trip to a local goat farm since we have little men in our home that are strictly goat milk boys.
 I found my cotton fields. Not peak time, but it was still a joy to happen upon some!
 I love my little men! 

There are very few pictures of the three of us. I am thankful for this candid one. I hope to get more with my little men soon… When we shoot our Christmas card photo.

 This makes me crave salads.
 This little man loves to open the shades for me every morning. I love him. And I love that he knows to do this!
 We have a hugh Taylor Swift fan in our house. Morning dance party to his favorite of her songs!
 And speaking of Taylor Swift….
 A visit to the Hubs at work. Break time or hard at work? Hmmm… 
 This boy is filled with sweetness!
 He's a thinker for sure. He makes this serious face and then a moment later bursts out in laughter. He knows exactly what he is doing.

 Cozy morning breakfast with the fam!
 I love this handsome guy. He keeps our life cool.

 Getting prepped for 2014! Love the hint of gold foil!
 Conversation with the Hubs… Me (after what feels like the 10th football game of the day): "Don't you ever get tired of watching football?" The Hubs: "Do you ever get tired of Hallmark movies?" Me: "Ah. Good point!" And from there I went back to my 3rd movie of the day. 
 Major perk of taking the Hubs car to physical therapy!
 These two are not just brothers, but truly the best of friends.
 Mr. Sociable himself.

"Okay guys, which one of you is my favorite? Who ever gives me their cookie first wins! Go!" - jimmy

 Secret Santas are out in the mail! My sister-in-law is always the one that arranges this and I offered to take it off her hands and give her a break from it this year. I was happy to help and happy to have fun being the elf this year!
 This is the best eight dollars I've spent in forever!
 They grow up way too fast.

Oh Will. He is always such a character.
 This little man is forever smiling.

 Another picture from our cotton field adventure!
 Welcome back cuties! How I've missed you!
 Hello sweetness. You brighten my day.
 Skyping with their grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great uncle! 
 As if they aren't squish-able enough already. 
 Oh and this sweet boy. Though I get frustrated being the only one he will go outside with, he keeps a smile on my face. And he is a sweet companion and guardian for the boys.
 While we are on the puppy pictures. We had to say goodbye to this sweet pup of 14 years, who was the Hubs co-worker. He greeted the Hubs each morning when he arrived and sat by his desk in the office. The Hubs is really going to miss this sweet boy. I had to make sure I had my last goodbye with him that morning.
 Oh this sight. How lovely. Actually, though it wasn't the best appointment, I got great relief from it! And I graduate therapy tomorrow because of it! Woo hooo! Now only neck/back therapy for this Momma.
 One more of one of the sweet boys I spend my days with!
And last, but not least, home.
If you are still with me after that load of pictures, thank you. I felt the need to catch up with ya'll.
Life with littles keeps me busy, busy, busy.
I want to craft, be artistic, make things, read, blog, the list goes on. But I seem to just end up wanting to plop down on the couch when I am out of work… which is really never. I just slack at that point.
I promise the next life lately post won't be so picture soaked!