OH HEY from two months ago.

Monday, November 24, 2014

No, really. I'm pretty sure these pictures are from like two months ago. BUT because I print my blog into a family book (ahem - or I plan to do that one day...) I just have to go back and post all the pictures! And so. The randoms from two months ago.

because they are both pretty cool.

the spare car seat is the best place to put a little escape artist when he wakes up from his nap and you have to finish sanding something. and yes, that is a wrench he's playing with haha!

birthday dinner out to sushi. my very first sushi experience!...and I did not get any raw fish haha!

and one more because I just love him and he's so handsome!

have I told you yet about Jack's new best friend, emma? she & her family moved into our ward a few months ago and these two hit it off like nobody's business. they are best best friends. I realize you can't even see emma's face in this picture but I swear there are like 50 more pictures waiting to be published with the two of them ha!

hi, i'm phillip and i'm cute.

there was this one time that daddy said he would be off at 5pm because "it's friday!" and so at 5:10 we went outside and waited for him. aaand we waited for about an hour before we finally went inside. he didn't end up getting home until after 7. BLAH. but don't worry - we didn't waste our time. we spent it taking pictures after we got bored of everything else.

just a regular monday morning at our house.

I basically always have to contain Phillip somewhere when we are outside. This swing is a LIFESAVER. I can stick him in there and just give him good push every few minutes and he's happy as a clam to sit there and watch while jack & i color with sidewalk chalk or do bubbles or play soccer.

"mommy! a BIG bubble!"

and i'll just leave you with this super sad picture of this feverish little babe (two months ago, mind you!).
[except i have to admit it wasn't ALL sad because it was the one time that this babe actually wanted to snuggle instead of GO GO GO].

more to come!

[Free!] Christmas Desktop Background

Sunday, November 23, 2014

and so I decided today that I really needed a Christmas-y desktop.
and why not just make one?!
so i did. and i'm sharing it here with you!
you don't have to use this as a desktop background. you can just do the regular and print it to use in your home. just know that it is made to fit a computer desktop so make sure your preview looks okay if you're sending it for printing! - and if you are sending it to print please make sure auto-correct is turned off!

here is is as my desktop background:

You can right click and save right from here or you can go to my shared dropbox folder and download it from there. Find it under "Desktop Backgrounds - Christmas - Merry & Bright." And don't forget you can always request free printables (or desktop backgrounds!) by clicking the tab up top ^.

Sorry it has been so quiet around here lately! I have just been so exhausted lately trying to keep up on all the housework (why does it seem like the cleaning never ends?!) while also catching up on everything that has been sitting around before I had a computer while also prepping for Christmas! And then it seems like when I do have a spare minute to blog, I nap instead ha! So I'm sorry. But I will be back soon! T is off work THIS WHOLE WEEK so I plan to do lots of catch-up! See you soon!


My Christmas Wish List: Playroom Storage!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Yesterday I shared some toddler Christmas gift ideas (+ stocking stuffer ideas! - for santa!) over at the darling He & I blog. I thought today maybe I would share with my my Christmas wish list!

I totally never thought I would be one of those people who asked for house stuff for Christmas.  Last year was our first Christmas that we owned a house and even then I thought asking for house stuff was so boring. And then. Our playroom storage situation (or lack thereof!) became disastrous. You want to see? I'm even a little embarrassed to show you. No judging!

Oh but first. Let me show you what it looked like when we first turned this into a playroom for Jack's first birthday. Exhibit A:

[for the before before picture see this post.]

So at the time of Jack's first birthday you can see we had basically no toys. One small basket and that was that. And I swore I would never be that mom that had an entire playroom FULL of toys. HA. My sister-in-law kept telling me "you just wait." Sure enough, fast forward 16 months, one Christmas, one birthday, and one thousand hand-me-downs and suddenly you have Exhibit B:

AHHH. And this is with almost everything "put away!" Minus the few toys right in the middle of the room. Everything lining the walls is in buckets or boxes or against the wall in it's "spot."

And so my mind started spinning with all the possibilities. Enter Pinterest.

This picture became my main inspiration for storage. Those Ikea Kallax shelving units? Love love love. I also loved the idea of baskets in the bottom shelves and then when I found out you can buy drawer and cupboard door inserts for the Kallax series I was seriously sold. Cubbies + drawers + baskets + cabinets? I'm giddy.

I have an entire (very professional) drawing of the playroom and where all the storage will go BUT. I have to leave you in some suspense for the reveal after Christmas and so today I'm just bringing you my inspiration board!

We plan to have two of these units in the playroom and they will house basically all of the toys. Because I'm a total list-maker I already have written down which toys will go in which drawers/cabinets/baskets haha! And while I'm sure I've missed a few toys in the line-up, I have several leftover (empty!) drawers and cabinets and bins! I'm pretty happy about that. Then again...maybe that is a bad thing. More room for more toys?! AHH.

2. Rain gutter bookshelf. Loving how this is such an inexpensive way to display your books. Plus it seems easy for Jack to find the books he wants (and also hopefully easy for him to put away!).  I also love that I can put board books toward the bottom within little arms' reach and nicer books up higher within mommy-only reach!

3. Futon. This may not be included in my Christmas gift (I do have a birthday just six days later!) but we would love to add a futon to the room to double as a seating area and also a place for all those guests who come to visit to sleep (sense the sarcasm).

4. Labeled storage bins. Loving how the pictures on these bins would make it so easy for little ones to find their toys really easily and to clean up on their own! Because I've become pretty experienced in working with felt after making Jack's quiet book, I think I'm going to attempt to DIY these but if you're not that type (or just don't feel like taking the time!...I do not blame you!) you can find all sorts of cute ones for sale here.

OH. and PS we had a painter come out to give us a bid on changing all that cherry molding to white. I have to say I do love the cherry and making the decision to go white and ruin the integrity of the wood was not easy BUT the dark wood just does not go with the cheery, playful feel I'm going for. And so white it will be! 

I knew that if I wanted my playroom storage plan of action to be put into effect anytime soon that it was going to have to be my Christmas. And you know what? I'm actually really, really excited about it. The boys and I spend lots of time in the playroom during the days and I'm really excited for it to be a functional, clean & TIDY space where we can play, explore, learn & read!

If you're looking for more playroom ideas head on over to my playroom pinterest board. And make sure you stop back by after Christmas for the big reveal!

What ideas have you come up with for storing all those toys?!

The Closet: Before & After

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

When we first moved into our house (18 months ago!) we had a plan to create storage for our shoes.  Until that happened, my shoes were being stored in boxes in my walk-in closet and T's shoes were being stored on the floor against a wall in the master bedroom.  Neither of these temporary storage solutions were at all ideal.

My shoe situation often turned into this.
[ahem...yes, all my pictures will be as poor of quality as this. sorry!]
Yeah, it's pretty embarrassing. And while it was easy clean-up (just toss everything into boxes!) it was a nightmare every time I was hunting for a specific pair of shoes.

Originally, my father-in-law was going to help us build some type of shoe storage. After he passed last year we knew we were going to have to do some things on our own (we are so handicapped when it comes to anything semi-construction). We've done little tiny projects here and there (read: painted, a few really super tiny yard fixes) but I think we were both a little terrified to do anything remotely difficult. But finally one day I was SO frustrated at the shoe situation that I declared the following weekend SHOE STORAGE BUILDING WEEKEND.

We loaded the boys up and took them to their favorite place ever (you know, because of the car carts!)

This will absolutely not be a DIY post because I do not at all recommend you build these shelves the way we did.  We totally botched it but you won't be able to tell from the pictures :)
Jack was pretty impressed with the wood cutting machine at Home Depot but Phillip was absolutely not a fan. You should have seen how fast this smile turned into giant tears and the poutiest face you've ever seen.

After not just one (as planned) but many weekends (ugh!) we took our walk-in shelf situation from this

to this

a little side by side action for you?
[oh sorry, did you already scroll back and forth 50 times?]
Like I said, we definitely botched it but we are pretty proud of the turn-out anyway!
Considering we have ZERO experience. Zero.

I think Tom's favorite part is it forced me to purge my shoes. I think I must have thrown out ten pairs. And now my new rule is one pair in, one pair out. I was doing pretty good about that until I bought a pair of booties at Gap last week and I just can't decide what pair of shoes to trash! Oh, do you want to see Tom's shoes?
Yeah, he has nine pairs.
I haven't even counted mine but the comparison is pretty ridiculous.
3 shelves vs 7 shelves [some double stacked haha!]

My last shoe problem resided with my boots.
I was not very happy with the slumpy top situation.

I remembered reading somewhere [probably pinterest?] that you could stuff your boots with cut up pool noodles to keep the shape. So I picked up some clearanced pool noodles at Target, sliced them up and voila! My boots stand up!
Preeeetty happy about that.

So what do you guys think?
Do you feel inspired? HA.
Have you even done a project where you had no idea what you were doing? Tell me about it!


Friday, November 7, 2014

if you are an insta user, please tell me you have heard of chatbooks!
when i first saw someone post about chatbooks i knew immediately that i wanted in on it!
[let me stop right here and tell you this is not a sponsored post. i just genuinely love my chatbooks!]
you pay $6 per book (free shipping!) and chatbooks will print your insta photos into the cutest little books! each book is filled with 60 photos (you can choose which ones you want - or don't want! - to include) and then every time you hit 60 new photos you are sent a new book to add to your collection!

it took me a few weeks to finally get a chance to order mine and then once i did i couldn't wait for them to arrive. i already had a little place reserved for them on a shelf in my family room and i just knew jack jack was going to love them!
^this is a really poor quality picture that i just snapped right now, but can you spy them?^

i think i squealed a little too loud when my box of chatbooks arrived and jack did love them. knowing that i'll be getting a new book every time i hit 60 more pictures makes me want to post to insta even more! then i get a new book sooner + more pictures to enjoy!

and you guys. it's only $6 a book! and there are codes all over the place for one book free! when i was ready to order i just searched the hashtag #chatbooks and clicked on a few pictures until i found one that had a code for your first book free haha! not the most convenient way, i'm sure, but it worked for me! and sidenote: their customer service is superb!

i love that these are small and perfect for little hands and also that they are so cheap that if they get ripped on accident it's really not a big deal. my plan has always been to print our blog into Blurb books (still need to get around to that one day...) but those are so expensive that i know i won't want the kids to just flip through them on a regular basis and definitely not on their own!

Like I said, this post is sponsored in no way
I paid for all my books (minus one, with the coupon code!) and chatbooks has no idea who i am.
we just love them and wanted to share a great product!

have you ordered your chatbooks yet?!

happy friday!

That one time we went to the corn maze.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

^pretty sure jack & emma could have done the corn maze 5,000 times and been the happiest little clams. but emily & i were both getting tired of crawling through tunnels haha!

 ^sweetest little friends.



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