Thursday, May 26, 2011

clearing my head

I've decided to take a bit of a break here at Princess Of Quite A Lot.  It's the beginning of summer and I feel like taking a little vacation from my usual routine.  It's something I've been thinking about for a while, as getting creative has seemed to be getting a little more difficult lately.  I know you feel like this so I'm not going to ask you if you do.  You know how you only have so much space in your brain for your daily activities, not to mention just enough hours in the day and enough energy for that alone?  I feel like I need to add something new and different in my head.  Right now there is all that I have to do, plus a little something creative, blog about a bit of this and that and make dinner.  That's it-I know-I'm mentally weak.

So, summer just seems like a good time to step away from my usual routine(and the computer) so that this fall it doesn't seem so usual.    Enjoy the lazy days of summer, come check on me in September. 

Bye for now...

{June 2010}

Monday, May 23, 2011

Finding inspiration at stores you can afford

So our kitchen makeover for the most part is on hold until the counter tops come in at IKEA sometime in July.  In the meantime, I have been working on the little changes we can take care of now. 

We have a small budget, as I have said before and that means finding the elements that have inspired a look at places that leave a lot to the imagination.  Lowe's for example.  Lowe's is one of my favorite places. In my opinion Lowes carries everything that high end stores have, just not as obviously.  When I look at a picture from a magazine or find a blog that inspires a look, it is just the look I am after, not the exact elements.  Some people read the source guide in the back and have to have that exact item.  I go to Lowe's and try and find the element that feels like that item. It's mainly called being cheap, really it's called not being wealthy, but I prefer to call it creative.

In a kitchen that has inspired me, she had a lovely glass ball pendant hanging above her sink. I don't think it was a costly item, just one that you have to stumble upon in an antique store.  I never have the chance to stumble, so I must get creative.  This glass pendant is from Lowe's(not a surprise) and I think it will be just perfect.

 Perfect after this ugly mess is a beautiful shade of white with butcher block counters, a white sink, new faucet, and simple roman shade. In other words, a small miracle must be performed.

This is pretty much the only kitchen in the history of the world to make lovely stainless steel appliances look bad. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

101 ways to wrap a gift card and my graduate

It's that time.  Teacher gift time.  I really do love to give teachers gifts through out the year.  They are so deserving.   I also love to give gift cards and so it is what our teachers will always get.  Sometimes I attach gift cards to a trinket of some kind, but this time around it just wasn't happening.  I went with a gift card for ice cream and while I had great intentions of making them a whole paper flower bouquet, this girl knows when to call it quits with her crazy ideas.  I attached one little paper rosette and decided not to even worry about a leaf.  I've gone on and on about these paper flowers, but they are so cute, and so fun, and I'm a dork.

Have I ever told you I'm obsessed with paper....and I don't even scrapbook....sometimes it scares me to think if I did.

Asher graduated from preschool today.  They had a a really cute program for the parents and I was very proud because he sang his little heart out and knew every single hand jester to the words. Asher loved preschool(he has pretty cute teachers so what guy wouldn't right), and we feel extremely fortunate to have gotten him into this particular program. For a year that started out pretty emotional from the move, it ended with a lot of good friends and fun memories.

These will be fun pictures to look at when he's graduating high school.  Such a handsome and compassionate little boy.  I get pretty excited thinking about his future.  I'm intrigued to see what God has planned.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Week in review

It's been a strange week.  One that started out all sorts of busy with field trips and field days, luncheons and end of the year gatherings, but has ended quietly with Holden home with Strep Throat. The boys have less than two weeks of school left and I feel like I'm in a little bit of a holding pattern until then. 

I'm happy to be looking forward to summer break, as last year  we were moving and I was exhausted and sad.  Things are better now, and for that I am thankful.

So here's what went on this week.... 

 This precious guy went to his Kindergarten screening.  He insisted on wearing his Rocky Hill shirt and earned his first smiley face for counting to 100.  

Holden had his end of the year picnic.  I'm glad Strep Throat waited to hit after such a fun day.

I practiced making paper flowers-can you tell two days stuck at home with a sick kid drove me crazy.  I'm hoping to some how incorporate them into the wrapping of teacher gifts

And the little guy who used to do a lot of this,

 but now does things like this,

had a great week. Doesn't seem possible his 2nd birthday is just days away.

I hope to be back next week with posts about paint colors.  Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

One problem solved...825 to go + a super cute blog

A Solution:

Back in this post, you were forced to listen to me go on and on about the dreaded ugly milk jug at the dinner table.  It is just so "me" to complain, lament and vent. It is so like others to solve problems.  Pepper(an old friend) left a comment about using a pitcher at the table instead. It was like getting hit with a ton of bricks...or like Charlie Sheen was living in my head...duh, winning!

  My ugly jug has been replaced with a much better looking container.  And while it is still plastic(nice and light weight to pick up), I haven't had to get up once. The best part about this is Todd thinks it's completely ridiculous to refill a jug from another jug, that's how I know it absolutely brilliant!

Super cute blog alert!

I hope you all visited Jones Design last week to catch all her flower tutorials.  If not, make sure to check them out because they were adorable.  The paper ones from Monday were my favorite.  Today she had a link to a great blog.  Run, don't walk, because the craftiness is too good and don't miss her weekly menu!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Questioning my judgement

Good Lord I decided to have a garage sale.  What was I thinking!? Two days of sitting in my garage.  I've made $30.00

Since my judgement is clearly cloudy, I feel like I need to ask you what you think of fake flowers.  I'm usually not a fan, but I went ahead and bought some for my mantel display and I have to admit that I'm pleased. 

Do I need to be commited? 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

shared spaces:organizing my messy people

I have been a mom for 7.5 years and I have officially tried every contraption, every method, every bin, every thing out there to try and get/keep my kids organized.  While some have worked, most have only worked temporarily.  The one thing I have figured out is that their needs(organizationally and otherwise) are always changing-hello full time job!  There are a couple things I know for sure: the colored bin thingy from Target does not work(to prove this I have purchased and given away at least three), hooks are a must, and you can't have enough baskets. 

Two of the boys share a room.  They love it.  I know they love it because at the end of a day where they may have argued and carried on for hours, they always go to bed  talking and giggling with each other.  I think that's a good thing. What is not a good thing, or I should say, what is a hard thing, is keeping a shared space looking and feeling good.  Organized bedrooms are important to me, basically because I have to walk by.  Also because it's important to get good rest and who can feel restful in a mess.

I don't expect this space to be spotless all the time-pleeeease as if they could oblige.  Everything just needs a place when it is picked up.So here are my tried and true tips for kid's bedrooms.

 Trophies, ribbons, special trinkets(garbage most of the time for Holden-the boy who can't part with the wrapping), needs a special spot.  Everyone has a shelf.  This shelf is constantly edited-by edited I mean things are thrown away to make room for something else. 
We have a couple different spots in the house for book.  These are favorites. A basket with a lid to conceal  little toys found nearby at the end of the night.

 Everyone has one basket for stuffed animals.  One-that's a rule.  If it starts to overflow something has to be given to Goodwill.

 At the moment we have one dresser, but another will eventually make it's way in here.  It holds jeans and shorts.
 The top drawer has more "special" things.  I once tried to just have one shelf per child, but realistically they collect more and they can't be stopped.  I don't want to deny them the things they find important, but I don't want to look at it either.  They have cards, fliers, stuff they don't want Sloan to have.  Just the other day Holden had a Honey Nut Cheerios box in there-really-I let it stay for a few days and then it magically flew out to the recycling-he noticed. Again,a basket for each. Never get rid of your baskets!

 Hooks are crucial to these people.  Hats, extra bags, capes(?) are all in one spot.  I originally  had this shoe rack thingy downstairs but guess what, no one put their shoes in it!  Now it holds gear.  Soccer gear at the moment, but the plan is all uniforms, special equipment to wear etc. go in these cubbies.  I might have to get a basket on the top for anything that won't fit :)

 I hang all their shirts and dress pants.  My number one gripe was shirts stuffed into drawers that came out all wrinkled not to mention all over the floor in a mad hunt for just the right T-shirt.  Having everything hung up makes seeing t-shirt easy, no wrinkles and except for the occasional broken hanger due to pulling(should get better as they get taller), shirts are kept in their place.  I should have them divided up per boy-need to work on that.

The bins hold underwear, socks and pj's for each.  This is surely a temporary method, as their clothes will only get bigger and won't fit in these forever, but this is a versatile piece that can be used in a laundry room, garage etc.

 I used to have a laundry basket in the closet for dirty clothes, but dirty clothes just made it on the floor next to it.  I swear when I bought a hamper and brought it out in the open, dirty clothes were actually put into it-amazing!  This one will have to be replaced soon.  It's looking a little tore up.  I think it has something to do with Sloan wearing it on his head when it's not full of laundry...well...truthfully even when it is full of dirty laundry.  It that gross and something I should be embarrassed of?

Bunk beds are the best.  It's like camp every night.  The ultimate kid organizer-one stacked on top of the other.  In the past I have only used a bottom sheet and blankets for bedding-the top sheets are too hard to deal with on the top bunk-which never ever gets made.  Asher did get a sheet set this year with a top sheet and it's not much of a problem on the bottom bunk, although for the record it is driving me crazy that you can see it poking out in this picture :)  My favorite part of the room is the clip on lights. I don't know why, I guess it's just something I would have liked as a child.  When it's "lights out" and each one turns on their little clip light to read it's just cozy.  Just a boy, a book, and his dreams.

Monday, May 2, 2011

project revisited

A while ago, actually February 2008(can that be right?), I made a little butterfly art inspired by one of my favorite scrapbookers Ali Edwards.   Becca made a version for her niece last year and it inspired me to try again for a baby shower I was headed to.  It is a precious little project, especially for a little girl. 

You need a double matted frame, the butterfly punch from Martha Stewart's scrapbook collection(found at Michael's), little foam mounting squares,  and lots of pretty paper.

It's not easy to find a double matted white frame.  This one had silver on the inside mount so I just covered it up with strips of paper. 

Sweet and simple right? All that pink is divine!