I wish I knew then…

There’s so many things I wish I knew now… that I could have learned while growing up…
This isn’t one of those lists where I know things NOW that I wish I knew then…
This is a list of things I wish I knew NOW… had I learned them when I had the chance growing up…
**instead of complaining about lawn work.. I wish I learned how to care for the lawn, the garden, the landscaping.
{because I sit here as a homeowner for the first time,
completely clueless how to do it all

**wish I learned how to braid my own hair
{do you know how much easier to get waves/curly hair by sleeping in a braid?!}
**wish I paid attention when my mom’s biggest hobby was sewing
{didn’t understand… sewing never goes out of style}
**wish I watched my dad fix more things around the house
{this day and age…. it’s not just the man’s job… a girl needs to hold her own}
**wish I knew I’d be spending my weekends shopping antique stores, for the items I grew up with in my parents home
{could have saved a lot of time just keeping their old stuff} 🙂
**wish I knew that one of my best friends would be my brother
{we spent most our lives not getting along, only to find out 23 years later we could be each other best friends}

There’s a lot growing up we don’t pay attention too, thinking it’s either not important… we’ll learn it again if we need too or it doesn’t pertain to my dream job {“celebrity newscaster on E!“} so I don’t need to know how to do that…
It’s funny how it all works out… but it is the truth, because I’m pretty sure I remember hearing once or twice that “doing yard work is good for me”
{at that time thinking to myself … are you kidding me. what’s good for me is chatting with friends on AOL.}

Now I just have to work extra hard as an adult to learn all I could have just known… had I paid attention as a kid.
{is it possible… can you teach an old dog new tricks?}

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Let me pick my heart up off the floor!

I have been drooooooling over this style of rug for months
and this one
there’s a certain style… and I’M OBSESSED.
I want it for our master bedroom which would eventually consist of all these items {or their DIY cheaper version cousins}
well those rugs are on average about $300-$600 depending on size, and for it to properly fit in our master bedroom we are looking at least an 8×8′ rug which runs closer to the $500 price range. {ouch} I’ve accepted even with all my googling and multi tabbing obsession of constantly trying to find a less expensive version, they just don’t exist.
{Today was the day I had my heart broken.
Today was the day I cried a little bit.
Today was the day I cursed at the fact I had a job that distracted me at 11:00am}

You see, at 11:00am, just about every single day I sign into Hautelook.com {love fashion? jewelery? home goods? vacations? then check it out..}
{It’s an exclusive web-sale-site that has new vendors daily at 11am (est)}
Well today, I was distracted at 11am… I didn’t get to sign in until about 12:30… well I click on nuLOOM, one of today’s vendors, and start searching through their rugs when I see this..
{enter imagery of me screaming, throwing everything off my desk, ripping my hair out…steam bursting from my ears… then curled up in the fetal position underneath my desk drowning in my own tears}  {I’m not dramatic am I?}

Know what that $179 price was for too? the 8×10′ rug. Never again will I see a price that amazing.

For a good few hours my heart sat on the floor as I attempted to complete my work day.

I don’t know when I will recover from this.

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Garage Sale finds

Almost every weekend I wake up bright and early (to my two and half-year old who still cries to get up from bed… why, why can’t he just kindly say “momma I’m up come get me…) and get ready for my weekend days.  What do I do you ask?  99% of the time get ready to go out to either garage sales, thrift stores, or antique stores.  I LOVE LOVE checking these places out on a continuous basis just searching for that hidden gem.  I’m 100% convinced I’ll always find a diamond in the rough just waiting for me to give it a second life… I’ve only found a handful of items worth my purchase so far.  However last weekend I came across another piece I couldn’t pass up!
I rarely am willing to spend more than $10 for a specific item… and this was right up my alley.
This ADORABLE step stool! A whopping $3!
I have had a few different ideas for our third bathroom which just so happens to also be “Jackson’s bathroom”.  I would like to do a common middle ground decor that is guest friendly since it is also the bathroom our guests would be using when they come to town, but also I’d like Jackson to know its his bathroom over the next couple years.
One of my favorite ideas was “Vintage Mickey Mouse” theme… Jackson absolutely loves “ickyyyyyyyyyy” as he says, and his room is vintage cars so I thought it would carry through to his bathroom well.  However…. one big issue.  Have you ever seen vintage Mickey. {creepy}
I’m still not sure what the theme or decor will be….. but figured with a young boy you can’t go wrong with blue!

So just a few bucks got me this step stool that usually runs $26 at Target.  It has some bumps and bruises, but nothing a little sand paper wouldn’t take care of…
I grabbed the sand paper and rubbed off the first layer of paint and gloss and helped rub out some of those dents.
I used to use paint with brushes when I first started doing small projects like this… but quickly learned spray paint is so much easier!  I put on the first layer of primer… and then did about two more layers just to be sure it will leave a nice finish for the paint.
{One of my biggest challenges is I get “spray paint happy” when working on projects… I don’t leave enough drying time, or I spray way too much paint and it pools.  Slow and steady is the KEY with spray paint!}
Then came the paint… as said Jackson’s room is “antique” themed and his walls are a greyish dark blue.  He doesn’t really have any bright exciting colors in his bedroom, and that’s because that’s what I usually lean towards.  Initially I leaned for the can of navy blue for the step stool but decided a brighter blue would be a good change.
My $6 investment ($3 step stool and $3 can of spray paint) turned out great.
And no more dents or bruises
Nothing too exciting… but hearing my husband say he loves that I look for these types of projects rather than rushing to Target to buy the $26 step stool makes him happy {makes me happy}

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Families are like fudge… mostly sweet with a few nuts

When you marry your husband… you inherit a family.
Some can’t stand their in-laws,
some never get to see them,
others get lucky and have great ones.
I inherited a family greater than I could imagine, and not just when we married, but from the beginning of when we began dating they took me in as one of their own.

My husbands mother’s side of the family and her husband have this gigantic family that lives within minutes of my parents actually so it works out fantastic come holidays.
{This post is dedicated to them, as we just returned from yet another fantastic vacation with them. The vacation being the large delay in blog posts}

When I try to explain the family gatherings… there are no words.  Just laughs and smiles of how much fun this family is!  It goes beyond the immediate family to the extended family… not a single person goes without an amazing personality and attributes to be an important addition to the family.

Courtney, my husband’s sister, has become a best friend.  Though I may be completely intimidated by her at times, she’s incredibly fun and reliable.  I was lucky enough to have my sister-in-law be one of my maid of honors at our wedding {yes, ONE of my maid of honors, I was also lucky enough to have TWO maid of honors!}
No one can have enough of this girl, including myself…. I love and miss her.

from my wedding

Billy’s mom, Alix is one of the strongest women I know.  She’s raised the most amazing son and daughter, and has built herself an amazing career.  Her group of friends proves that she has a personality that you always want to be around.  Within a short time of knowing her, she became a top contender on my role model list.  She’s been there for me since the beginning {she was even in the delivery room of our son Jackson… now if that’s not closeness I’m not sure what is!}

{enter super fun adorable picture of Alix and I}
I would but I’m too nervous she’d kill me for picking the wrong one

Scott’s the step dad who I’ve looked up too since I met him also.  He’s one of those guys that’s amazing at everything he does {and I’m not kidding, he can rock everything from photography, to gardening, to building anything…there’s a reason he’s nicknamed Martha Stewart}  He just is an amazing dad, father in law, and step dad.

With this family you can add in the additional fantastic bonus brother Alex, hilarious brother-in-law Ryan and the Norwegian brother Tore.  Now this might all be too mushy for some… and corny for others.  But to me, I just needed to state how much I appreciate and love my in-laws.  They’re wild and crazy… but accepting and loving.  As previously mentioned, this extends out to their relatives and any family gatherings is always a guaranteed fiesta!

Family photo, including me even prior to engagement

At the wedding

So here’s my cheers to you guys!  Thank you for everything you do for me and for Jackson.


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Our newest family addition .. it’s so {Cozi}

Life’s hectic… and everyone’s looking for their own niche to stay organized when everything else around them seems too chaotic to settle down.  My husband and I have two completely different organizing styles that pretty much counteract each other…. makes for interesting days.
He’s a stacker {doesn’t like clutter}… I want things laid out {more visual otherwise I’ll forget about things}.  He wants the kitchen clean, I want the bedroom clean.  It doesn’t stop there… however, as marriage is, we’re continuously learning to compromise in order to stay sane.

We’ve gone through a handful of dry erase boards to keep current our “this month’s to-do’s” however, never seems to be enough.  I’ll make lists for grocery shopping, we’ll have lists for “to do’s” around the house… those just lead to more paper that Billy ends up stacking… and I end up forgetting about … {are you seeing a pattern here}.

I’ve used so many different online organization tools, they just never seem to “stick”.  For instant Google Calender and syncing it with my cell phone.  They seem to work great for a week or two, then disappear into the back of mind never being functional.

However, we seem to have found one that may just work for Billy and I both!  {a middle ground perhaps? a balance to our opposites?}  It’s an online calendar with sooo many great features for families with active kids that I can only imagine how much user-friendly it continues to get for larger families.

Let me introduce you to our newest family addition, “Cozi“.
It is so great, because not only does it have an easy to use and organizable calendar for the whole family, but has features like alerts for reminders, grocery list, to do  lists, you can send family members messages directly to their email or phone.  It’s color coded for each individual of the family and you can select which event pertains to which member.

Beyond all those great features, it also has a community where you can get great ideas for family events, “Green” cleaning, and meal recipes.



I skipped to May to show you an example of what a “month” outlook appears as:

If you create an event and make it designated to a specific family member, you’ll see it color coded to that specific member so you’ll always know who has what going on.  Each day is large enough you can see multiple events occurring simultaneously.
{we haven’t added too much to May yet…
April was a bit too crowded already to show everyone

Just wanted to share our latest addition as it is such a great tool for family organizing and one more thing to make our crazy families less hectic is ALWAYS a pleasant addition.

{Psssssst. In no way was I persuaded to do a review by Cozi, or any other company.  I am simply expressing my opinion to others and providing information I personally would like to know if doing research of a product.}

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Completing those “must have” moments!

I have been waiting for a while, searching for quite some time, scratching my head trying to figure out WHAT am I going to put as the wall decor in my master bathroom.  Inspiration came from here but I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to fill the frames with.  As cute as they did it, I knew my husband would look at me weird everyday if I hung random words on the wall even if I did think they fit “perfectly”.
I’ve always wanted my master bedroom to be comfortable, soothing, relaxing and enjoyable but the bathroom has never been a big “must be perfect” kind of room for me.  That was until somehow magically,  I found the PERFECT paint color {Behr paint+prime, s/satin Elephant Skin}.  Suddenly, our master bathroom became a big To Do on my checklist.  I literally smiled every time I went into our bathroom because I loved the color so much.
{almost every room in our house up until that point, and past this point, has gone through a polka dot phase because I haven’t been able to decide…somehow, this color was the first and only option I chose for the bathroom, perhaps that’s why I love it so much. so simple. so easy}

Well come one rainy afternoon as I’m browsing the blogger world I came across this beauty, which was actually featured here.  I instantly knew this was my first and foremost project I’d be tackling one night.
Thanks to Jamie I went out gathered the few materials I needed to complete this project and put just a small spin on it to finally answer my question of master bathroom wall decor.

{click for tutorial}

Such an easy great idea for personal artwork for any room!


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A Yard in Progress…

Moving into a brand new constructed home last November was great for us as first time homeowners.  There were no repairs to be made, just a blank canvas to transform into our own style and living space.  However, the yard… was a different story.

We obviously couldn’t do anything all winter, and just had to wait for spring and summer to start this huge task.  The front yard (and like three feet of the backyard) was sodded before moving in.  This is our back yard.  YIKES.  Combination of bad dirt. Bad crab grass. Dormant sod…. just … YIKES.  That beautiful green grass you see way off to the right side, would be the neighbor’s yard, not ours.
Never having owned a lawn before we were literally starting from scratch.  I have talked to 50 different people at Lowe’s for advice, I’ve read hundreds of websites… trying to figure out the best way to tackle this job.
We decided to seed the lawn a different kind of grass than the front lawn because it will grow and green seasonally faster than the other kind will.
Last weekend Billy spent most of Saturday raking up the lawn, then fertilizing, then seeding, then lots of watering.  We got fairly lucky as it rained an ample amount the following week, which I was hoping would allow us to see our little seedlings to start sprouting.  Though, no such luck.
Grow little seedlings…. GROW!

That was last weekend…. This week has been a little different.

The number one thing we have been so excited about for our house was getting our fence! I absolutely cannot wait to have a finished fence and finally be able to let Jackson run around and play without having to constantly chase him and worry he’s going to run into the streets.
The gigantic project has finally begun!

Jackson keeping his eye on the installers.



{Oh! I’ve been SPOTTED}



{This is better… now they can’t see me.}



Well [Day One] of the fence installation and here’s how it came along…

We did a Vinyl All American Dog Eared fence from Lowe’s.

Looks great and I know we are going to love it!  However… our lawn is NOT loving the process….Now where we had sod… we have concrete, ripped up grass, and dirt….
{big sigh}
more work for us after.
Not to mention… remember all the seeding and work we did last week?  Take a look at our lawn now…
Those little seedlings aren’t gonna handle this too well… Looks like another attempt at it after our fence is completed will be necessary.
{ahhhh being a homeowner}

It’ll all be worth it when I can show you guys a picture of me… feet up… margarita in hands… and Jackson running around playing with all his toys and enjoying the summer days!

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