Monday, February 28, 2011

oh that baby

I'm not sure we will ever stop calling this child "baby".  In fact, I have to admit that it gives me great joy to call him baby. I call him "that baby", like I'm pointing to him as to not confuse him with any other baby. That one, he's all mine.  I have everyone in the house calling him "that baby", and it sounds something like this...

"Hurry, give that baby what he wants!"

"Who made that baby cry?"

"MOM! That baby has stinky pants!"

"Do you think that baby will ever sleep through the his own bed?"

"Boy, that baby should never be allowed on an airplane again."

He is something special.  He has brought his brothers a tremendous amount of fun, softened up his dad to the point of sappy, smoochy all night snuggles, and made his mom feel like the brightest star in the planet.  He loves to tickle wrestle, play cars, and tell us all what to do (and where to sit, and how loud to talk).  His favorite stuffed animal is Curious George, his favorite book is called "Hug" and his favorite place to be is on his mom's hip with his head on her shoulder. Yep, I've just decided I'm calling him "that baby" as long as he allows it, and then under my breath for the rest of my life.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

a face lift of sorts

I'm turning into a once a week blogger, what is happening to me?  Bloggers around me are stepping up their game while I'm sitting on the bench daydreaming.  Bottom line is winter months(no matter the weather) leave me uninspired with a hint of grumpy.  That explains my lack of passionate projects, the other part to that is the kids have been sick, Todd has been sick and the whole month of February has felt like one big snotty blur(gross!). 

March is sure to get me focused, as we head to The Bahamas(that's right, just me and Toddy!), hopefully stay healthy, and start our kitchen...face lift.  I dare not call it a renovation or remodel, because this is truly a low budget event.  I question if I can even compare it to a  face lift.  It's more like laser treatment for dark spots and wrinkles.

I thought I'd share with you some of the ideas that are racing through my brain on how we can get the most bang for the buck in our little Rocky Hill Split-Level-Wish-I-Was-a-Cottage-But-Lack-The-Curb-Appeal-And-Did-I-Mention-I'm-A-Split-Level(yep that's our house's official name).

Let me refresh your memory on just how unappetizing the kitchen is today.

 What do you think-should I keep the wallpaper? Oh, but it wouldn't "shine" without the green counter tops.
I can't believe I didn't even clean the counters off before I took these photos to show you.  Just a testimate to how little I care about this space in it's present condition. Sometimes I look at this kitchen and can't believe we ever bought this house.  I mean,  you really have to have some inflated confidence(or be utterly and completely naive) to take on this project ESPECIALLY when you don't have 50k to spend.

So, here's the plan. 
  • widen the doorway to the dining room
  • replace floor with neutral 18x18 tile with dark grout
  • rip out soffet(if there is nothing behind it-fingers crossed)
  • remove any trace of decorative trim(i.e. the thingy above the sink area)
  • replace all appliances with stainless steel ones
  • paint cabinets white
  • replace pulls and knobs
  • remove doors on cabinets to right of sink, or take them down completely and replace with open shelving
  •  bead board back splash
  • butcher block counter tops
  • pendent light above sink
  • new sink and faucet
I think that's about it, except for all the unknown disasters, I think it will be a piece of cake! I'm leaving you with some of my inspiration links from blogs that I am studying and visiting on a stalker like basis.

{above pictures from This & That}

This & That has a very informative post on butcher block counters.  Thank God for people like her who can educate the rest of us on how to do it right!

The Lettered Cottage has a beautiful kitchen that inspires me.  I'm going to work hard to copy absolutely everything she does!

Jennifer Rizzo has a great kitchen as well, all the elements I want in a house that is probably similar to the age of ours.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's happening!

I like Knoxville.  Something I like the most is the weather.  Most Knoxvillians would probably say it's been a harsh winter and they can't wait for spring, but let's just say they have no idea what harsh is.  Coming from the Midwest, this is glorious.  I will admit, in December when it was snowing and cold, I wondered what the heck was going on.  Part of the silver lining in this move was supposed to be the more enjoyable climate. January and February have proved to be a wonderful change from below 0 days and no green grass until April.   Spring in Iowa seemed to give me more anxiety than it did pleasure.  There was something about living in a deep freeze for nearly 5 months of the year that causes complete chaos when it finally decides to warm up.  On the first 60 degree day you go crazy trying to enjoy every last drop of sunshine because your not so trusting that it's going to stick around.  I have found that in Knoxville, spring must happen a little slower and with a lot less drama.  Little things are starting to pop out of the ground, beautiful birds have returned to drink out of the pond, and we can work in our yard without the anxiety of getting it all done in one weekend. 

I little pop of yellow has shown up in the yard.

Something I saw(scroll down her page to see the little church amongst the moss) back in December had me filling glass containers with reindeer moss.  Not loving this candle, but am on the hunt for a little treasure to nestle down in this instead.

You can find moss at Michael's.  This collection had a bit of everything in it.  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

happy {belated} Valentine's Day

I have written many times about how I shop all holidays for myself.  It just works for my husband and I so that's what we do.  Flowers mean nothing to me on Valentine's Day, love notes are passed between us daily when we pray together, cards are just more recycling that I drag out to the curb. I know...I'm a minimalist at heart(and none of this applies to my children-we do all that sort of stuff for them-don't want to upset anyone).

BUT, acts of kindness, now that really gets my love tank full(or "melts my butter" as 320 Sycamore put it in a similar post).  When my husband spends the time to work on my honey-do-list, I feel like I am a well taken care of wife(when he doesn't curse all the way through it I feel even better!)

Todd recently went up to Cincinnati, and while he was there he picked up a new dresser for our bedroom from IKEA.   My tank was nearly topped off when he went into IKEA(with one of his sales guys no less), found the patience to find and purchase the dresser during a very hectic day, and then had it driven home to me.  My love tank runneth over when he spent an entire Sunday afternoon putting it together. 

{Hemnes dresser for IKEA}

 I no longer have the closet of a college student.  Everything has it's place.

Even with an aversion to drilling into brick, he hung my sunburst mirror perfectly.
I love you Toddy, thank you for making me feel like an actual princess... of quite a lot.

*note...this room is still a work in I need a mantel.*

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Favorite Things: Babies

{photo from}

I've been accused of having baby fever(very different than Beiber fever!).  I may never feel like I'm done having babies, even though I am. Totally done.  This precious movie lifted my baby fever spirit and I highly suggest you watching it if you adore babies too. 

My kids loved watching with me, especially Sloan.  Parts are a little National Geographic-ish so be ready for a question or two. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Favorite things: a happy face

I'm 37.  There, I said it.  When your 3 years away from 40 you start thinking a lot about your face.  Luckily, my sister Kit is well informed on all thing related to skin and looking good.  After consulting the mirror this summer, I decided I needed to consult her on what basic remedies I could use to turn back the clock just a smidge. She recommended Retin A and exfoliation.  While I don't have the budget to try the greatest of all skin products, I decided to spend the dough on Obagi and use my go-to "drugstore" scrub.  The result is has been great and now my shiny skin, faded dark spots, and diminished fine lines are one of my favorite things!

Obagi can be prescribed by your Dermatologist.  Get in there and ask them for it, you know you have some moles that need to be looked at as well.

Burt's Bees Citrus Facial Scrub is at Target.  I've used it for years.  It may not be the greatest, coolest and trendiest facial scrub, but I think it does the job.

My mirror came.  I'm doing the happy dance.  There must be something wrong with me because along with being excited about the mirror, I'm more in love with it because it was expertly wrapped with twine when I opened the box.  I heart Ballard Designs!
Also, I did indeed cook my country heart out this weekend.  I made the PW's Olive Cheese Bread(umm ...yummers!), Mashed Potatoes, Chicken Fried Steak(what? I told you I was getting my cowgirl on), and Oatmeal Crispies. PW was on the Today Show this morning-too cute.