Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

Do you all do holiday/ Christmas cards? I do, I LOVE them! And I'm not ashamed to tell you I ordered ours in mid- November from Tiny Prints my go-to for all cards!!! I'm a big Christmas geek! Though I really don't like to decorate before Thanksgiving! Anyways, since my "real life" cards went out this past week I thought I would share the sentiment with my blogging life friends!!

Hope you all are having a wonderful season and a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas at our house

We are all decorated for Christmas and loving the festive spirit- if only we could get this Texas weather to cooperate and give us some festive/ December like weather!
my DIY'ed garlands

looking back at our wreath and baby tree

Without a fireplace mantle we hang our stockings with care on the baker's rack! 

Our Christmas tree! No themes or fancy ideas here- we like to use personal ornaments from our childhood and ornaments we collect from our travels! Also- you'll notice the bottom part of the tree is empty, Sam took it upon himself to start taking down ornaments for us so we are keeping this section empty to avoid any broken/ ruined ornaments

dining room table

breakfast room!! 

This is hardly all of our decorations but certainly the big areas! I hope your house is full of holiday spirit and you take some time to enjoy the season (and avoid the malls!!) 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Baby bump

It's getting bigger folks as I am officially in my third trimester!! Crossing my fingers I don't completely blow up!! I've been pretty happy with my little bump thus far :)

25 weeks

26 weeks- please don't pay any attention to my lack of makeup! There was a time when I would never have considered taking this pic un-made up yet alone post it online but oh how things change! haha

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Built in cabinets

We've been talking forever about putting some built ins in our back living room or "wii room!" Pretty much since we moved into our house! But as usual there were a lot of other things on our list that got checked off first. Since we found out we were having a baby this subject has come up again, with more  gusto! See, we don't have a single built in in the house- outside of the kitchen- so storage is at a premium and there is nothing that comes close to providing all of the storage that some built in shelves/ cabinets would provide, so . . . we bit the bullet and I am so beyond happy about it

After getting bids from several cabinetmakers we ended up going with our usual contractor who has done tons of work for us, including most recently the interior doors, and we are always pleased! The most amazing part to me has been how clean and fast they are. In one day we went from this at 9am:

to this around noon:

to this by 5pm:
All in one day!! I was more than impressed. They built everything onsite (in our driveway) and had everything sanded and cleaned up before they left! They measured for all of the doors and came back a week later to add the doors! 

Exactly one week later:
doors! Oh and in case you are wondering- that hole is going to hide our TV wires down to the cable box below! We will be remounting our TV in the same basic spot!

and pretty hardware! 

Then while we are out of town for a few days they came in and painted! 

I didn't want to be here because we are using the oil based paint which just wears so much better but smells TERRIBLE! 

So excited to show you the final product! I am salivating at all this toy (and baby gadget) storage!! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas garland

So I've always been in love with this garland from Pottery Barn:

It's lovely right? But its also $140 for a 6 foot strand... ugh! Even just to cover my outside columns I would need 4 because six feet really isn't long enough to go all the way around the column more than 1.5 times! So it adds up, fast and P said it was a no go! Clearly the logically decision but I was so sad until I ran across this tutorial for making a DIY version of this garland here

Y'all!! This is so simple, I shouldn't have even needed a tutorial but I really just had no idea it would be so simple. Let me warn you though- it is simple but it is definitely time consuming! I'm a little slow and I wasn't totally paying attention, choosing to watch Christmas movies on ABC Family while I did this little project, so each 9 foot garland took me about 2 hours- I think. The first one probably a little longer and the second one went faster as I got the hang of things! 

Just like in the tutorial I picked up two 9 foot pre-lit GE garland from Lowe's and a bunch of ornaments from Hobby Lobby during one of their 50% off decorations week! SCORE! I used only small and medium ornaments, not the large ones and tied them on with some floral wire stuff that looks like green twist ties. 
Here you can see my three tubs of small ornaments- these covered all 18 feet of garland along with 24 (6 packages) of the medium size ornaments that come in 4-packs

This too was in the holiday section at Hobby Lobby on the aisle with their garlands and wreaths. I ended up using two! 

I just cut a bunch of strips of the twist ties into about 3 inch pieces and strung them through the ornaments (do get shatterproof plastic ornaments since these will be outside!) and attached them to the garland. I did all of my larger ornaments first, then came back and filled in space between with the small ornaments. 

I decided to use silver and red like the Pottery Barn wreath AND gold since my front door wreath is all gold- I thought I should bring some gold into the picture! 

Overall I spent about $60 on ornaments and $60 on the two garlands so $120 total vs the $700+ I would have spent to pay for the PB ones. . . while time consuming, I think the 4 hours in "labor" were well spent! 

I'll add pictures of the garlands up outside later when I show you the rest of our Christmas decor! 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

House work

In preparation for Baby M we have been doing some work around the house in addition to just planning the nursery!

First and foremost was to replace our worn out/ hollow core doors with some new solid-core pretty pretty doors! I've been wanting to do this for a while and it makes such an amazing difference in the house I can't even tell you! They have so much more character now!

We also painted the office which will become the nursery and finally replaced the large picture window in that room as well! It was the only window we hadn't replaced yet but needed to be replaced with safety glass since it will be in the nursery and it goes so low to the ground!


and after! Yes that's another small sneak of the nursery progress but clearly not how it will end up! (With the printer and extra art hanging around!) 

While we were at it we also painted the shutters on the front of our house. I hadn't realized how terrible they looked until our neighbors painted theirs and I actually stopped to look at our shutters. Such an easy project and WHAT a difference!


Oh and we finally got a real comforter on our bed after about a year of just using the coverlet! I still want another pillow or two to add to it but we are loving it thus far! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

my new "office"

Well as you know- we are in the process of changing our office into the nursery so we had to find somewhere else for the "office" to go and we are out of rooms! So I knew it would be a corner in some room and after much debate (and at the advice of sweet Holly Mathis) we decided to swap the console table in the guest bedroom for a desk and it's been working out really really well! 

the console table before:

And "office" area now: 
Eventually I plan to get a lateral file cabinet to put on another wall but for now the rolling cart has come  with! 

And since we needed the old office closet and shelves for the nursery I am now keeping extra office supplies in this little cabinet which was previously totally empty! 
This is clearly an old pic- see the corner of the old duvet! 

Even though its smaller and less of an office, P and I actually like it so much better! I have loved this room since we painted it navy and added the new grey and white striped bedding from West Elm so I LOVE sitting in this room! And P loves coming and sitting/ relaxing on the bed to chat while I'm working! 

And the desk/ chair/ whole set up is just prettier! And who doesn't love working with pretty surroundings?? Much more inspiring than an office cubicle if you ask me! 

*The new desk is from Overstock and the acrylic chair is from the Tobias chair from Ikea! I am about to go back and get some for our breakfast room too because it is SOOOO comfortable I can't even get over it! Oh and it took about 5 minutes to throw together! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sam's 1st birthday

So in my absence from the blogging world, we've been up to a few things! First and foremost we celebrated Sam's 1st birthday!! It was a very exciting day and we spoiled him rotten!

with the largest rope toy ever- and his current fav!

everybody around here gets the birthday hat! 

 It was so fun that he was exhausted and fell asleep in dad's chair pretty early! Looks like it was tiring for everyone around here! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

pumpkin chocolate chip bread

I ran across this recipe on a blog I read, Our Best Bites, and it is amazing! I followed the recipe word for word and it was wonderful so I had to pass it along! It would be perfect for Thanksgiving- either as breakfast or dessert- take your pick!

2 cups all purpose flour (spooned into measuring cup and leveled)
1 cup whole wheat flour (again, don’t scoop!)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup white sugar
6 ounce container vanilla yogurt
3 eggs, slightly beaten
15 ounce can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (plus a few extra for the top of loaves)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 2 9×5 (or similar sized) loaf pans with nonstick spray and set aside.
Combine flours (after you put your flour in the bowl, just grab a teaspoon or two of it and toss with chocolate chips to keep them from sinking to the bottom), cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Whisk gently to combine and set aside.
In a separate mixing bowl combine brown sugar and white sugar and whisk to combine, breaking up any clumps of brown sugar.  Add yogurt, eggs, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth.
Slowly add dry ingredients to wet and mix together, being careful to not over mix.  When combined, gently stir in chocolate chips.   Divide batter between loaf pans and sprinkle a few extra chocolate chips on top.  Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer comes out with a few crumbs attached.  All ovens are different, I would set your timer for about 45 minutes and keep an eye on it after that.  Don’t overbake!
Let cool for 10 minutes and then run a sharp knife around edge of pan and remove loaves from pan.
All info and pic from Our Best Bites- YUM is all I have to say! I would even make this without the chocolate- that's how yummy the flavor is! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Nursery sneak peak

So I told you last week that you didn't get to see the nursery until it was totally done but that just seems cruel since I get to look at it 70% complete every day :)

So for now I will give you a small sneak peak! We aren't really doing a "theme" so to speak as just using colors and patterns I love and adding some fun and whimsical touches! The room has pops of navy, grass green, grey and white! Boyish but not too baby boyish because lets face it, if I did a baby theme I'd have to redo it in 2 years (who knows maybe even less) and I just don't think I could possibly love it nearly as much. 

Without further adieu. . . 
sorry for the iphone pic but you can still see LOTS of aspects of the room here so it will have to do for now ;)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bump alert!

At the request of a few- okay one- here is a bump shot! I guess its good to keep to remember how the belly changes through out the pregnancy! 
@19 weeks

@ 22 weeks! 

I'll try to be better about taking some pics as we go along- the bump is definitely growing bigger and bigger each day as my second trimester comes to a close! I think baby boy has had a growth spurt in the  last two weeks! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Baby M is . . .

a boy!!! We are so excited and have been feverishly planning the nursery. I do have to admit- I am a horrible blogger. . . we found out this news at the end of September and I am just now telling you!  Sorry folks-life's been busy!

We found out on a Tuesday and told my family on Friday night! It was crazy hard to keep the secret but so fun to have surprise everyone together! We weren't going to do any big reveal but last minute decided it would be fun to do a piƱata! Thanks P for the idea- which the next week I saw three times on Pinterest. . . and I thought we were being unique!

It was a very fun reveal, especially for the kids, but we added some adult friendly blue items as well, that we then had fun with. . . 

ps- no babies ingested any alcohol for the making of this picture! 

And I am so excited to eventually show you the nursery. I thought about adding pics as we got different parts done but I think its more fun to just see the before and after! So you'll have to wait a little longer as we finish off the big pieces and then add all the fun little details!

Friday, August 24, 2012

My intuitive puppy

Why yes Sam! I am!!!! How did you know???!?
P and I are excited to announce we are expecting our first child in February 2013!!! 

I am officially 14.5 weeks along and so far everything has been smooth and easy (well other than being laid up on the couch for about a month feeling awful) This is also a huge reason as to why I wasn't really blogging. When I was having morning sickness (all day long) the computer screen and even my phone screen made me feel even worse! It wasn't until the end of July I was on my computer more than 5-10 minutes a day! But sickness aside baby is healthy and I am feeling much much better! 

So now along with all the other random stuff I blog about you'll be getting some baby updates too I'm sure! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Michelle Armas print

So, remember back in March when I mounted the big print I saw on Pinterest onto some plywood and hung it above my couch? Here's a refresher

I was really excited about it and really liked it a lot- it make a big impact since 1. it was so big and 2. it was one item versus a lot of small little things. But apparently my DIY skills aren't aren't as mad awesome as I thought they were. . . SAD.

Over the months the print has started falling off the plywood- so in an effort to make it more permanent i went and sprayed adhesive all over the board and laid the print back down. Good, right? Not so much now it has air bubbles all over that I can't get out  AND its really stuck to the board so when I tried to take it off to just have it framed instead, it started to rip. . . again SAD. At least I only spent about $85 for the whole big thing, I guess

We've known for a month or so this was coming, it was starting to look pretty ridiculous! ANYWHOOO, I've been looking around for a while and came across the new prints that Michelle Armas is doing of some of her popular paintings. I have been obsessed with Michelle's work for a while now but her big paintings (which are AMAZING!) are a bit out of my price range right now! But when I saw that she was in the emerging artists sale on One Kings Lane a few weeks back, you know I jumped, fast! At 40% off of the normal price of her prints, it was a STEAL and came in just 2 weeks or so!!!

Now we have this pretty print of Michelle's Laura painting on stretched canvas over the couch and I'm in love!
So I promise to get some better non iPhone pics of the new print  SOON but it just came in the mail and I couldn't help but show you :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

doggie mat

So this is a little random but I just had to share about this new mat we bought to put under Sam's food and water bowls. We love our puppy to death- I mean how could you not with this face
LOVE him, but I was not loving the water strewn all over our kitchen floor pretty much every time Sam drank any water! Like watch out you might slip and fall, all over! Folks, our dog is a messy drinker, I said it! 

We had bought a few cheapie door mats that were supposed to help absorb/ eliminate the water. FAIL! Not only did they not keep the water from  being all over the floor, they started getting moldy. . . awesome! 

So we finally bit the bullet and bought this Water Trapper Pet Placemat from Orvis and we LOVE it! Beyond the fact that you can personalize it, which I have to admit totally did me in, its so cute, but it WORKS!!! The water sloshes all over the mat and then disappears! AMAZING!
I just had to share in case anyone else out there has a messy drinker too! Oh and Orvis has no idea who I am, and I'm not getting anything for telling you about this- just wanted to share the love! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sweet Baby G!

Well as promised I had to throw up a few more pics of my sweet nephew G!
He was born June 21st and is just the cutest thing EVER! He was close to 10 lbs when we was born so carrying him around is like lifting weights and playing all at the same time! I was lucky enough to stay for 5 days and play with him and my sissy after he was born!
poor baby- getting poked and prodded is no fun! 

clean and happy

new family :)

sleeping with his hands up! He still does this- so cute

chillin with Coco

With uncle Christian

my fam (minus spouses)

My mom- Coco

Baby G's Houston grandparents

and my FAV pic of baby G!