Friday, March 29, 2013

Our Easter Plans...Wishful Thinking

Thanks to the restaurant industry my husband will be working Easter Day. All day. (Tip your server well friends!) Luckily enough for us though, he has tomorrow off. And I have some serious plans!

Ready?....

I have yet to ever get my kids an official Easter Basket. Shame! Here in Monogramville every other kid seems to have their own personalized gingham and ribbon wrapped tote. Not mine. Pretty sure ours came from the dollar store. Every year I say I will get my kids something better. And every year I just don't care. (I could go on about how I really could do without the whole Easter Bunny and candy filled eggs idea but I'll save that for another post). This year I noticed the baskets of my friends kids. Not baskets at all...rather buckets. These were adorably professionally painted buckets mind you. So I decided to steel the idea! After searching Wal-Mart and Lowe's, I finally found the right size galvanized bucket (5.5qt) at Tractor Supply today...$3.99 each! All this to say...we'll be painting buckets tomorrow. I'd like to have each kid paint the bucket on their own and then I'll come back with a vinyl decal and add their name. That is the idea.

For inspiration purposes...
 
kinda wish I could ever do the initial thing
 

 
chalkboard paint is clever...they could redecorate it each year
 
Since we have not done one lick of decorating for Easter we also have some eggs to dye. So glad Alan will be around for that fun! On top of dyeing eggs I'd like to try our hands at decoupaging paper napkins. I found some adorable napkins at TJMaxx that will coordinate perfectly with the Vera Bradley place mats I was gifted years ago. Fingers crossed three kids, glue and thin paper goes over well.
 
No doubt they'll turn out like these...
As a kid we always decorated an Easter tree. I have a few of the small decorations we used and hope to have the kids make some more. We don't have an official tree like I did growing up so Alan and the boys will have to cut twigs for us. I'm thinking this will be the extent of our table decor.
 
 
 
My dad and Step-Mom will be bringing a dessert on Sunday (she's a fabulous cook so I like to let her do what she does best. I'm kind like that.) I wanted the kids to also have a small something sweet that they could help make. So we'll be trying to pull these off tomorrow as well.

 
Throw in a local egg hunt at the park...

And to top it all off...I have been saving egg shells for weeks so the kids could enjoy another confetti popper party. We made these for Ada's birthday (geez, still no post on that?) and they were a hit. So I figured we needed to pull off another round during this egg season. What better way to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ Jesus with the smashing of egg shells and confetti on your siblings?

These are the plans. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Yard Work: Mulch It

With Spring officially here I've been thinking about how we intend to use the spaces in and around our home. I have visions of flowers and picnics and porch parties. But our yard has not been up to par for such ideas. Who wants to picnic among weeds?
 
Last summer we dove head first into yard clean up, but after the tragic poison ivy episode (yep..tragic) the yard was left to total neglect. And come springtime we were left to pay the consequences. But luckily it wasn't anything a little sore muscles and a dump truck's worth of mulch couldn't fix.
 
 
For the record: a dump truck coming to our home is the coolest thing to happen. Ever.
 
 
Normally posts about yard work make me yawn. But after the two days it took us to spread this junk..you're gonna see some before and afters.
 

 
This is the area right off the pack deck. To left when you come up the stairs. It was the worst and what we walked by everyday...begging for attention.
 
 
The walkway is still waiting for some more help but I think this is definitely an improvement.
 
 
To the right of the walkway. Thank goodness some mulch helped this pitiful mess.
 
 
How I adore our weeping will on the side of our home!  I'd love to see a bench underneath this beauty someday.
 
 
The front left of the house underneath the birch.
 
 
 
The backyard sides at the end of the retaining walls. Major improvement.
 
This little area right off the patio is an excellent spot for some annuals....and perhaps a climbing vine?
 
Obviously these are just a few closeups of the more noticeable improvements in the yard. Once Mother Nature realizes its Spring and not Winter I'll be back out for some more updates.
 
Yawn.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Pleather Perhaps?

You'll have to forgive my brain...it wanders. A lot. I'm still working on the hallway...and the yard...and a ton of other projects around this house of ours. But today I'm looking for some dining chair inspiration.

Years ago Alan and I purchased 8 Chippendale dining chairs off EBay with the intention of painting them white. Only two received the paint treatment. The others were neglected then eventually sold. I love, love love the two white Chippendale chairs we use as host chairs. Our other chairs are from Ikea. Cheap, but I like them.

 
I had never changed the fabric of the Chippendales until last Thanksgiving (seriously, that morning.) It was originally a basic beige upholstery fabric that had seen better days. To spruce things up before the big turkey day I quickly upholstered some old Ikea curtains to the chairs. I really wasn't that concerned with the longevity since it was already scrap fabric and I had intended to replace it soon anyhow. (Soon? It's almost April.) They looked fine for about oh... 2 days. These chairs have seriously taken a beating since moving into our home where we use the "good" dining table for our everyday dining.

With my monthly Lunch Club to be hosted here next week, I'm on the hunt for a fabric option that will be a bit more permanent and practical. For everyday use a wipeable fabric would make sense with three kids. I like the idea of leather (OK, pleather). Here's an idea of one option on the mind...dark and wipeable.

(These aren't the same style of Chippendale chairs we own, but the theory is the same.)
 
Modern Dining Room
 
This entire home at Coastal Living makes me swoon. Love how the chairs feel a bit edgy in this could-be-too-sweet dining room.
 
 
 


How easy would these chairs be to wipe clean?
 
 
 Not quite the fabric I had in mind but love the contrast.
 

This kitchen has been on the top of my dream kitchen list for years. Love!
 
 
And one more just for fun. This floral print is lovely, but think I'd rather use such a beauty as an accent....at a desk perhaps?
 
click images for links
 
So there you have it. What my mind is thinking about these days. Is there any question why things don't get done around here? My body and my budget just can't keep up with my thoughts!
 
What's on your mind lately?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy First Day of Spring Y'all

We've been enjoying our Georgia weather here lately. A bit rainy, but all these fresh blooms need a good soaking so I accept.

Currently I'm in the middle of feeling completely bogged down by the demands of tending to my home (keeping it clean actually). As I type I'm taking a break from the to-do list that haunts me. My mind is racing in so many directions, none of which want to focus on Lysol or Windex. So I thought I'd take a moment and reflect on what today actually is...the first day of Spring.

Fresh beginnings, new birth and my personal favorite...the welcome back of outdoor entertaining. I hope in the midst of your daily happenings you can find a moment to celebrate the start of the new season.

coral tulips blue vases


Matsuura
 
 
Peony ♥
 
click images for links
 
Happy First Day of Spring Y'all
 
 
 
 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

We're back...and loving Emerald

Last week the kids and I had a lovely trip to my Mom's in Florida. We hate it when Alan can't join us (Daddy is just WAY more fun in the pool than this sorry Mama) but we managed to enjoy ourselves anyway. I love that my kids are making memories with their grandparents like I made with mine when I was growing up. And luckily Georgia to Florida is much easier a drive than Georgia to Iowa! Phew!

As soon as we arrived back it was yard duty time. Poor Alan had a few days off so we put him to work. I'll have more details on all that fun stuff later, but for now.... it's St. Patrick's Day!

Is this a holiday you celebrate? Not so much here. Sorry all you Irish folk. But I just can't seem to get my head around this holiday. Although... my family will be wearing green today...so put your pinchers away!

One idea I can get on board with is the Pantone Color or the Year Emerald. And that translates to the love of the Irish right? I'm enjoying seeing this color pop up everywhere from decor to makeup, but I also think a little goes a long way. How about you? Here's some eye candy for you....



 Now I want Emerald shoes...

crushculdesac:

Desire to Inspire via Kika Reichert

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I am LOVING this dresser makeover!



And if you want your own splash of emerald in your home check out this pillow... Fun!
 
emerald green splash Throw Pillow

click images for links

Will you be using emerald this year?  Happy St. Patrick's Day Leprechauns!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Fun Friday No. 1

Happy Friday y'all! In our home Friday night is family night. Cook some pizza...play some wii or watch a movie is what you will (almost) always find us doing on Friday Nights.

The term "Fun Friday" floats around my friend circle quite a bit. Whether it's a "love" date with a spouse or a challenge from our dear friend's blog...Fun Friday is a day to make it a point to have fun!

Alan and I took a marriage class the last couple weeks at our church. Such a blessing! Every week we had a "date night" assigned for homework. I loved all the ideas they suggested and even began to think of my own could-do-with-kids-and-no-money style date night ideas.

And as much as I love my marriage, it is hard work. (Can I get an Amen?) But we must stay on top of the connection we desire with our spouses. It is top priority! Top! Maybe, like me, the idea of a "date night" brings dollar signs to mind...babysitters and pricey dinners? There's no need! Unless that's what you want of course! Date night doesn't mean you need to get rid of the kids. All you really need is the attitude to have fun! And who doesn't love their marriage the most when they're enjoying themselves?

That being said....I've decided to start my own Fun Fridays. I'll be starting with a monthly challenge. These might be Family Fun Nights or Date Night style. Because our kids will only benefit from seeing us have fun in our relationship, but sometimes...an evening away can be the best way to love them. No matter what, we all need more fun in our lives!

This month's Fun Friday idea...

 
Obviously you could bust your moves with or without the kids. How about both? Crank it up while they're awake then turn the music down after they go to sleep. I'll let you figure out how to have fun after that!

For us, the kids and I are on our way to my mom's house in sunny Florida tonight! But we will definitely be putting on some very serious car dancing. So if you happen to be on I-75 this evening....we'll be the swagger wagon...with swagger.

I hope you love these ideas as much as I do!

Happy Fun Friday Friends!

How do you keep the fun in your marriage, family, life? I'd love to know!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Framing it up

The frames are finally up! These frames have been in piles in the storage room since we moved in just waiting to be loved on. Thanks to this gallery wall on the basement stairs I've managed to hang the vast majority. There are still a few spaces that could use something small so I'll be picking up more small canvases soon. I'm open to other ideas as well.



My goal was to just get the frames and canvases on the wall. I will figure out what goes inside later. It's hard enough to hang a gallery wall without trying to figure what colors look best next to what. I can now place more art and photos inside what has already been established. Clearly I have a lot more work to do.



The large black frames with a black edge inside were all purchased from the kids' school as fundraisers. Don't you love that racket? Twenty-five bucks a pop to buy your own kid's artwork! It all goes straight to the art department so we don't mind...much. Other than those pricey pieces the rest are up for a good face lift. Some are in dire need of repainting.


Going towards the top you can see how I clearly disregarded whatever was inside each frame. Knowing this will be their permanent home, I'll be better able to match each frame with an appropriate photo or artwork. I'll be swapping out a lot anyway. The main focus of this wall/space is the kids and their art. And I have no shortage of artwork to choose from!

 
Looking down towards the basement, you can again see the need for some artwork rearranging and photo filling. Also, I'm still contemplating what will fill the narrow wall on the bottom. I'm thinking one big piece...but what? Hmm...
 
I am loving the impact this one wall makes on our entire home. Nothing can make a house feel like your home more than photos on the wall.
 
So now I'm on to filling those blank spaces! What have you been up to lately? 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Basement Stairway Progress

Last week I managed to pull of a painting project! Yippee! This was the first effort towards updating the basement. Short of the set up and the infrequent cleanup, we have yet to do any home improving down there. Although my mind is full of ideas! 
 
I've been desperately wanting to create a wall gallery of all the kids artwork plus family photos on the wall leading to the basement from the main floor. I have stacks of frames still waiting for a home since the move. But before all that excitement can happen I needed to paint.
 
We inherited a mostly warm color scheme in regards to the paint colors. And I've been wanting to brighten things up ever since day one. For this project I was looking for something bright, but not loud and would work well as a backdrop to the rainbow of colors in the kids' art. After picking out a sample Alan and I both had approved, I noticed it was surprisingly similar to the color we had painted the hall bath upstairs. (still to come) So in an effort to save time and money...we scratched the sample and went with what we already owned...the remaining paint from the bath project. Score on not spending any more money!
 

painting the basement stairway

Any who... this is the current state of affairs on the basement stairs. The paint color is Glimmer by Olympic Paints. It's a soft sometimes green sometimes blue shade. It just feels happy!
 
This weekend I will be trying to finish the gallery wall (mostly anyway) by painting frames and hanging the artwork. Can't wait to get some more color in that space! And hanging pictures is an instant way to make your home feel like your own.
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Living Life on Purpose

An idea that has been on my heart for while lately (or pretty much my whole life to be honest) is the thought of living life on purpose.

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At first glance this might seem like a pretty silly notion...life on purpose? How could it not be on purpose? It's life.

But hear me out.

I've been going through one of those "why am I here? what's the purpose of my life?" typical Angie phases. I even broke down one day recently on a friend. Luckily she was a good sport and offered some great guidance. And I am taking it all to heart. (She's a smart cookie.) We discussed topics I enjoy, what I feel I'm good at and what others have said they value in me. I came up with a few thoughts. But when I try to reflect on what it is that I truly enjoy, what it is that is an honest interest to me I come up with one word....growth.

I have come such a long way since adolescence. Oh, if you only knew! But even in my darkest of days I have looked at how I can be better. Not that I feel I am a failure, not by any means. But I long, I strive, I desire to grow.

If you were to look through my book collection it would be pretty depressing for most. It's basically the self help section of Barnes & Noble. Seriously. And I love it!

I love the idea of fresh starts and change and progress and becoming a better Angie. The whole shebang...a better wife, mother, friend, christian etc. But I don't just desire to grow in such weighted areas of my life, I also want to hone in on the small, more trivial matters. Because in the end will it really matter if I had a "pretty" home? Nope. Not in the least. What will matter is how I used that home. Did I use what was given me to best of my ability? Or did I just let it go to waste?

I could observe that same principle in every aspect of life... Did we eat all the produce or am I throwing out spoiled fruit?  Am I making an effort with my marriage and tuning into my role as the wife or am I taking the relationship for granted? Perhaps most importantly...am I doing my best to raise these kids, or are we just surviving?

I don't want to discard the notion of having a life that is enjoyable and, well,...fun. I only wish to get the most fun out of this life.

A lot of people Instagram. Why? I think it's mainly because it offers the chance to stop and take a moment to look at what it is you are currently experiencing. Is it enjoyable? Is it dreaded? Is it worth the 3.2 seconds it will take you to capture that moment? Capture those moments! Collect them on a phone, in a jar, in your memories. But make sure you get the most out of them.

When we moved into our new (looking at a year) home all the ideas of living intentionally were swirling around me. I set my mind on the fact that we (well me) will live intentionally in this gift we were given. There is no excuse not to. We will get the most out of every square foot. We will use this home to better ourselves and hopefully others.

So...the question is, have I? Well, kinda. Obviously, "Living Life on Purpose" will be a life long journey. And will be something I am always trying to improve. But I do feel that now that I have actually pinpointed what it is I enjoy most in my life, which is getting the most out of my life, I can start this journey with more focus.

All that being said...I think this idea is essentially the theme of this blog, of my ideas. To get the most out of life...to stop and look around...and enjoy it all!

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Let's not miss this life friends!
 
How about you...are you living life on purpose? Are you getting the most out of your days or are they just piling up? How intentional are you living?