Tags: house tour 2010

June 2011 kids

Christmas Home Tour 2011

Since it is the season to be jolly, after all, then let's not talk about Christmas cards or the lack thereof. It's Christmas, right? Forget fights with your husband! Let's talk decorating instead! It's much more fun!

Welcome to my humble abode. It looks pretty much the same as last year. Just know that I'm really creative like that. I guess technically I got the Jesus Subway poster and we finally decided on a paint color. But the mediocre pictures are the same! The rules are also still the same, please take off your shoes before coming inside.  


Christmas home tour

Wait! I did get one new decoration this year. It all started in 2002 when my Mom started buying Swarovski crystal snowflakes. I never really had a place to showcase them until now.  Enter this pretty tree from Crate and Barrel:

Christmas home tour


Christmas home tour

Here is a close-up of my mantel. The only difference this year is that I put one of the Restoration Hardware stockings away. I guess I have to have another baby now. Can't wait to design that Christmas card.



Christmas home tour

Lastly, the most popular Nativity scene known to man. Jesus is the reason for the season, amen? Unless you believe Christmas is the time of year when we celebrate the baby of two fathers born by a surrogate Mother. I mean, not that my very liberal viewpoints would ever allow for something like that. We love Jesus around here (and other viewpoints too) and it just wouldn't be Christmas without a little Jesus loving going on.

Christmas home tour

Just like it wouldn't be Christmas without a little arguing among family members. Right, Matt?

A few last details:
1.) If you are coming over from The Nester or Kelly's Korner..Welcome! Wasn't this a lot of fun? Stay awhile! Won't you please join me?

2.) Or if you like lots of baby talk, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, and attachment parenting banter then come hang out too. I'll be talking about it for the next nine million months, give or take.

3.) Also, the Livejournal commenting system sometimes sucks balls. If you can't get Open ID to work correctly, please leave your Blog URL as the subject line OR some place in your message. I promise to come visit you too! ♥

June 2011 kids

Laundry room re-do

So the fun never ends around here. Our newest project involved re-doing the laundry room. I (seriously) spend time every single day in this room, so it might as well be pretty. Right?

Here is the before. Contractor build brown. No character. No love and lots of wasted space. BORING.
Laundry before

And here is the after. Picture me with JAZZ hands yelling TA-DA!!!!
Laundry after

The color is Macchiato by Behr and it is the same color as our living room. Why buy new when you can use what you already have?  

All of the design blogs I read call it "shop your house." Meaning, you should shop around the house and find things you already own to use as decoration first. Then, you should go out and buy new things. I call it "shop your antique collecting parent's garage." The only thing new that I bought were the two baskets. (40% off at Hobby Lobby!) The washboard on the wall? Theirs. The copper pot? Theirs. The wooden bin? Theirs too.

(Thanks, Mom and Dad. To my sister, Susannah, I left the meat hooks. I don't want to hear about how I get everything. This stuff was sitting in the garage. It's not like I took anything from the house.)

(Sorry, avoiding family conflict.)

Our new, super large, laundry basket is actually an old wooden bin. Probably used to store grain or seed and was created sometime after 1890, known only because of the shape of the nailhead.
Large laundry basket

Laundry details

It was sitting all dusty and getting no love in the top of their garage. So I took it home to live with me. It's the perfect size to fit under the window and collect the incredible amount of dirty laundry that accumulates for 5 people. It's also the perfect size for a certain 4-year-old to hide inside. He hasn't figured out that trick yet.
Another good find was this old copper pot. Who says that I have to store the Tide in the cupboard? Someday I will find the perfect scoop but until then the little plastic cup will do.
Soap container

I love my washer and dryer. My dryer is a SPECIAL EDITION with an amazing three whole cycles to chose from. I think it's special because it does the job. Cora's diapers have ZERO stains and it's not because of me. (I'm lazy, remember? A washer is made to WASH things.) Sure you can have your special, top-of-the-line, high efficient, no water wasted, front loader that needs special soap.

I'll keep my 8 year old machine and care for it until the end.

More soap

Soap and baskets

Laundry, like running a home, is a labor of love. I clean and I wash all the things and I clean and I wash all the things again and I (try to) keep a happy heart while doing so. I put this little heart on the wall that Simon made years ago to remind me of my blessings. I have a home and house full of children and a husband that works so hard to provide for us all.
Laundry is love

It doesn't really match the room and it's not perfect but either is the room or my life. So I think it goes just fine.

6 down, 24 to go.
June 2011 kids

Raise your hand if you like fall fun

A few weeks ago (okay, fine on September 1st) I pulled out my tubs of fall decorations. (Yes, I have more than one tub.) It makes the transition from summer to fall easier. If I can't sit at the swimming pool all day, then I can at least stare at fake pumpkins and flying crows. It makes me feel better.

You know what else makes me feel better? Playing games. Let's play I Spy. Do you remember playing it as a child?  I spy something white and creepy and partially hidden.

No, it's not Cora's pudgy legs in the swing. Those are cute, not creepy. GUESS AGAIN.


No, it's not the white pumpkin on top of the TV. It is creepy how it looks like the pumpkin has a white mustache but that isn't it. Forgive me for not paying better attention to detail. I should have moved that out of the way. Also forgive me for using a flash. Sometimes I don't always consult rule #62 of NEVER USE A FLASH when taking pictures. 

Anyways. Do you give up? Want a closer look at the thing that is white, creepy, and partially hidden?

Fall mantel


No wonder Simon is obsessed with zombies. Actually, I blame you Aunt Liza.  I believe you were the one who first shared with him about zombies. I just follow-up the fun by putting a pretend fake hand on my fireplace mantel. If it freaks you out, think of the hand as waving goodbye to summer. Goodbye summer, we'll miss you. See you real soon.

Okay, let's play again. Here's another view of my living room. I spy something new on the wall. 

If you guessed paint, WRONG. We did finally pick a color when Matt was home for 8 weeks this summer. It's Behr Premium Plus Ultra Macchiato. AKA: brown. Alright, guess again. What else is new on my wall?

Living room

Raise your hand (har, har), if you guessed The Rules artwork. You are the winner! Let's be honest for a second, I struggle with hanging things. I can (obviously) arrange fireplace mantels but never know what to hang up on the actual wall. (I don't believe pictures of my beautiful children count as art.) So when I saw this cheap print floating around on the Internets, I decided that I would try it out.

Here's a close-up:

Family rules

It says: "Love Jesus. Encourage your siblings...share in their joy. Always tell the truth. Obey your parents. Use kind words. Have fun. Sing silly. Dance crazy. Ask first. Be a giver. Share everything...except bad ideas. Say what you're sorry for. Forgiveness is mandatory. Hands are for hugging not hitting. No fussing, no whining, no bad attitudes. Never stay angry. Be considerate. Be respectful. Be grateful."

We've been using The Rules a lot lately in our family. It's so handy (I'm sorry. I can't stop) to have them posted up for all to see and as reference. I'm sorry? You weren't kind to Bennett? GO READ THE RULES, SIMON.  What's that? Did you ask before you ate the last brownie, Bennett? ASK FIRST, remember?   

On one hand, (no more, I swear) I totally think Jesus would be into zombies. If He isn't into zombies, then at least I know that I'll be forgiven. Seriously who else rose from the dead?


June 2011 kids

I can craft!

Follow up to my lame post earlier this week, remember how I said that one project ALWAYS leads to another? Well, it's totally true. 

See it all started when I had a baby. You all knew I had the WORLD'S CUTEST BABY, right?
September 026
Unfortunately and against my wishes, this baby does nothing but grow. In fact, CJ is growing so much and so fast that I felt an unexplainable NEED to start a project that fully embraced Cora's presence in our family. Completely ignoring the fact that the baby crap is over taking my living room and the washing machine is constantly going with her diapers and the carseat is always haphazardly thrown in the garage. Cora is a part of our family and deserves her own space at the table.

And when I say table, I really mean counter.

So, OF COURSE it makes sense that Cora needed her own stool at the counter. I mean, DUH.  Doesn't every baby need a stool to rest her weary feet upon? For the record, I am NO crafty blogger. If you are thinking this is going to be a tutorial on stool making, you are wrong. I don't do 'tutes. (I don't toot either. For real, ask Matt.) But I do take convientently cropped pictures that HIDE my dirty counters and excellently show case my cheap Wal-mart stools.

I could have purchased an already black stool but, really, what fun is that? I am cheap and I am proud.  Before I go any further, if you want a refresher on my kitchen, here are some more pictures.
Stamped stools- before
A little bit of black paint, a Hobby Lobby foam stamp, a little bit of white paint, a WHOLE LOT OF PATIENCE, and BAM! A new, improved, not completely perfect stool that has Cora's name (or initial) all over it:
Stamped stools
When I look at this picture, all I can think about is Words with Friends. How many words can you make with the letters S, C, and B? None because you (obviously) need some vowels. Clearly I need to have another baby who must have a first initial vowel. Allison, anyone? Or how about Eugene? Ursula? Oscar? Cause then I could spell SUB or CUBS or BOAS or COBS or... SCAB.

Um, so now that I've spent too much time thinking about Words with Friends, it's time to move on. Since I had the black paint out, I touched up each kitchen chair and the other stools too.

Kitchen update
Now I just need to find another black frame and add Cora's picture to the wall. It's only fair, right?

Like I said, one project ALWAYS leads to another.  

June 2011 kids

With enthusiasm

I am here to interrupt my regular scheduling blogging of babies, boobs, and boys to bring you breaking news at PPo5, Inc.. (That's Pool, Party of Five Incorporated for the slower ones in the group.) Remember how my boobs were on the local news a few weeks ago? Right now PPo5, Inc is being featured on the Better Homes and Gardens website for my decorating skills.

BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS. Sweet little, 'ole me with my 300 daily hits.


Here is a screen shot:  

 Here is the live link: PARTY OF FIVE IS FAMOUS.
Call me crazy but is that not excellent?

I mean, seriously.

Months and months ago, I received an email from Better Homes and Gardens asking for my permission to use one of my pictures. I was asked to also enter a short description for them to use. I will note that this was all prior to the name change, which is just a minor detail if you ask me. Naturally, you are going to assume that BGH reads my blog, but please don't. I was only asked because I entered a link-up party at The Nester of my living room.



Honored, I tell you. Regardless of how they found me or why. I am HONORED to be included in their lineup of fall mantels. I also have an INCREDIBLE URGE TO BREAK OUT MY FALL DECORATIONS. AND PIE PLATES. AND FAUX PUMPKINS. AND WEAR SWEATERS. AND DRIVE WITH THE WINDOWS DOWN.

(Wait. I already am doing that. Thanks, mini-van a/c for crapping out on me. Too bad I didn't get paid to share my picture, cause I totally could use some money right now to fix the van.)

Anyways, feel free to go 'like' the page. Or please go like the page. It's your choice, of course.

And that's all I have to say about that currently.  It wasn't much, I know. 

It's just that now I have to go eat some HUMBLE PIE.
June 2011 kids

Reveal-O-Fun, part 6? I've lost count.

I know that I should be blogging about Monday Money but I'm skipping this week. Matt's working and I'm tired, okay? Growing a child is hard work. I'm a wee bit cranky too. And a lot nauseous.
But mostly I'm tired.
So, let's just look at my living room instead. It might take me six months, but I will finish House Tour 2010. And added bonus is that The Nester is hosting a Fall Mantel party.


My sister bought the iron tree for me. I like to add different decorations based on the seasons. Right now? Hanging spiders. Mixed among some fall leaves, candles, gourds, and pumpkins. Some are real. Some are fake. But you can't tell which.


No fall mantel would be complete without some real pumpkins. I cheated and bought these at the grocery store. I don't even think my kids noticed. Maybe we can skip the actual pumpkin patch? I'll spend my time lounging on the couch instead.

Living Room
Here's my living room in all it's glory. The animal rug is an African Red Hartebeest. My Dad is a big game hunter, remember? We are yet to settle on a paint color. Good thing I don't care right now. Also, if you need me, there is a good chance that I'm sitting right in the middle of the couch. The red pillow is usually thrown on the floor. The TV is turned to cartoons. The baskets are open and spilling toys all over the room. 

Gosh, it makes me tired just thinking about it. 

If you are coming over from The Nester...Welcome! Stay awhile! I'm not usually this grouchy! I'm doing a weekly series on Debt Freedom. Won't you please join me?

2.) Or if you like lots of baby talk, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, and attachment parenting banter then come hang out. I'll be talking about it for the next nine million months, give or take.

3.) Also, the Livejournal commenting system sometimes sucks balls. If you can't get Open ID to work correctly, please leave your Blog URL as the subject line or some place in your message. I promise to come visit you too! ♥

June 2011 kids

Week seven

We've made it to week seven. The only important milestone is that I am yet to throw up. I'm still rejoicing heavily in this fact. No throw up. No gagging.  Praise Jesus.

But, food. Sweet, glorious, food has lost it's appeal. Nothing sounds good to eat. I don't feel like eating anything. I can't find anything in my kitchen. My soul has been sucked away. I love food. I think about food when I go to sleep. I think about food when I wake up in the morning. It's food all. the. time.  

True story: Matt made the Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls and our family favorite, Beirocks, this week. I didn't eat either one. I also have half a pizza from Pizza Hut in the fridge that is untouched. Also, speaking of Matt, if he is working then I won't eat. If he's not here to force the issue, then forget it. I'd rather sit wrapped in my blanket on the couch.

So. Food. I miss you.

Moving on. Remember when I used to blog all the time? I was also doing a house tour? Showing off my house? 

Here's the finished Powder Room. It's been done for like two months but I've been too tired to blog it. I just want to sit on my couch wrapped in a blanket, remember?

Powder room Powder room

Seven weeks down. 33 more to go. I can totally do this. Cause, have I mentioned this yet? I'm not throwing up in that there pretty bathroom.

Eternal optimist, I am not.
No worries

Reveal-O-Fun, Part 4

The much anticipated kitchen pictures are here. I realize that nobody probably cares but my mother. So when I say "much anticipated" I really mean "Look, Mom. The kitchen is done!"

Mom: this one is for you. 

I'm also putting this up at You Capture. Welcome, friends. Stay around for awhile, m'kay?

Before and After:
Kitchen Entry into kitchen
Eat-in kitchen and formal dining Kitchen into dining room

Paint: Behr's Shale Gray  

If you want to see even more pictures, head on over to my Flickr page. I've got a few more over there. (I'm a little over zealous for pictures. Did you notice?) 

Custom stools Bennett's chair
The stools were originally brown and from Wal-mart. (For the record, every store carries saddle-back stools. World Market, Hobby Lobby, Target, Pottery Barn, etc. Wally's were cheapest and we all know that I'm cheap.) I painted the stools using the same process as the table. I then stamped the boys' initials on the top. I did this in order to minimize fighting.

I'm the only one allowed to yell in my house. 

Chalkboard wall Sneak peek 
The chalkboard wall makes me super happy because it was super easy. (I can only say this because Matt did the entire project. I was too busy painting stools.) 
Bennett thinks it's pretty cool too. Especially when he makes "thunderstorms' over and over.

Chalkboard wall in action

The floating shelves, air freshener, and picture frames came from Target. Emily took the pictures. (Love her!) The stapler is from The Barn. The flower pot used to be red until I spray painted it white. You can also see more pots sitting on the counter. The mason jars came from Wal-mart. I took these two pictures on different days. Did you notice? One of the jars actually has chalk now.

I want you to picture a giant WELCOME TO MY KITCHEN in cute handwriting, m'kay?



Or something like that.

Bookshelf More kitchen
The bookshelf fits into this little nook perfectly. I change the clutter on the shelves daily. I won't break it all down, just know that everything is a mix of Pottery Barn and Target. Also, if you look closely at the table, you can see the plastic booster seat that I spray painted black.

Spray paint for the win!

This concludes the finished parts of House Tour 2010. We have paint for the master bedroom but haven't started it yet. Sherwin Williams is also having a 40% off sale tomorrow. I'm thinking of buying 1 or 10 gallons of ceiling paint. 

Matt is going to be so excited.

Mom is coming on Wednesday with paint for the dining room and living room. We haven't picked a color yet. Just remember, it now has to match blue and yellow.

I like to make things challenging.

As always, sometimes the LJ commenting system sucks balls. If you can't get Open Id to work correctly, PLEASE leave your blog URL in the subject line or some place in your comment. I promise to come visit your blog too! ♥ Of course, feel free to add me to your Google Reader. I'm funny. Right?
Spy guy

Reveal-O-Fun, Part 3, Simon's Room

As we continue on the Reveal-O-Fun/House Tour 2010, let's take a brief check into Simon's room. I really want to show off the kitchen but I'm waiting until everything is finished. Here's a hint: my pointer finger hurts due to excessive use of spray paint. 

So! Simon's room. Should we start with a before and after shot?

Yes! Okay then. Here's the before and after:
Bedroom 2 Simon's room

The paint color is Porter Paint, Hi-Hide called Walden Pond. It is by the far the best paint we've used so far. You can't see any paint streaks down the walls.  Unfortunately, the Porter store closed it's doors in Lawrence this week. Apparently business isn't doing well.

I guess they missed the memo that I have still have to paint my dining room, living room, laundry room, powder bathroom, master bathroom, and all the ceilings.

I know.

Simon's room  

His bed and bed spread are also from Pottery Barn Kids. Back in the day, Matt used to work in the Pottery Barn stock room. I'm kicking myself for not taking better advantage of their employee discount. (Don't you love when I give random details? It's like I have the need to tell you, dear reader, everything.)

The dresser is from my childhood. It is an antique that my parents gave to me. It still has the same drawer lining from my childhood. (Again! With the details!)

It should also be noted that Simon's bulletin board is very clean. I took the opportunity to clean the entire surface while he was visiting Grandma's house. He wasn't happy.
Simon's room 
The bookshelf is handmade by a man named Paul Grace. My Dad owns a general construction company that was originally owned by his Dad. When my Grandpa was alive, Paul was his go-to carpenter. Paul, who is at least 80 years old, made this for me. I love this bookshelf.

Please (again) take note of the clean shelves. They are now currently covered in many Lego creations. 
Simon-nator Simon shelf

Here are some of the wall decorations. The cup full of pencils is a mason jar. I've become obsessed with mason jars. Thanks a lot, Jami. Also, would you look at that cute kid? He wasn't being cute tonight. He has another loose tooth. He whined and cried and created enough drama that one would think he's a fifteen year old girl.

The clock is a Storytime Collection Clock called Tinplate Toys. (Bennett's clock is from the same line too but I can't remember the name of it.) My mom bought it as a gift one year. What??? You wouldn't want a clock as a gift? Remind me to tell you about the time I got red sheets for my birthday when I was a child. There was also the year I received a ceiling fan.

Simon's lucky though, he's already got a fan.


In the hole: the bedroom? It might be awhile. We haven't started painting it yet.

June 2011 kids

Reveal-O-Fun, Part 2, Let's Review

We're starting with Bennett's room because my Mom requested it. First a disclaimer: it is basically his old room in a different place. Hence the title. Aren't I clever?

Same paint color Celery Sprig by Behr. When we were moving, we found an entire gallon of unopened paint leftover from his old room. Easiest paint decision we've made so far. I took these pictures at night, so the color is a bit lighter/less yellow. (Did you notice the sleeping boys?!)

Same bedspread and letters and lamp and nightstand all from Pottery Barn Kids. If you recall, the wall used to say BEN. I finally bought the additional 'NNETT because we rarely call him Ben. If you are into name calling, Bennett's a fun-hater and refuses to play along. "I not chicken-head. I Bennett!" Another favorite? "I not a baby. I Bennett!"

The letters are a wee bit high and look funny to me. Suggestions? His name is almost the same length as his headboard. Speaking of his headboard, it used to be the back ledge of his crib. (Please check out that link. What happened to my baby?!?)

Bennett's room

The table used to be in Simon's room. Simon only threw a very small (read: epic) tantrum about it being moved into Bennett's room. I'm such a mean mother.
The bookshelf used to be in Bennett's closet. Matt and I bought the piece from the Habitat for Humanity Restore and painted it navy blue. It was one of our very first DIY (that stands for Do It Yourself, Mom) projects, so no pictures of the process.
Sweet fat baby Bennett  Bennett's toy shelf

On deck: Simon's room. Don't get excited. Same furniture. Same accessories. Different paint.

In the hole: the kitchen. I'm loving it. Grayish-blue paint, black table, black floating shelves, chalkboard paint, and a few DIY projects. This week, I promise.