Posts by Paula:
Catherine drew my name for Christmas this last year and gave me a beautiful gift. She got up at 5am one freezing cold morning to be able to make it down to Temple Square to take pictures of my favorite temple. Then she printed the picture and framed it for my home. As I was looking through all of the pics she took I wanted to share a few of them with you because my sister is so talented.
Wish you were here!
(Note: These pictures were so cute I had to publish them even if Paula had more plans for the post. My only defense is that as a proud aunt I couldn’t stop myself! -Brooke)
I used to love the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, and the description of all of the trouble that follows such a foolish act, but I didn’t realize just what a metaphor those books could be until last Wednesday. I work a night or two at the hospital each week and when I come stagger home in the morning my baby is ready to hit the day running. I however hit the floor as I collapse on a heap in the living room. My baby is very good and will generally just play in the living room while I keep one eye on her. (The other is of course examining the back of my eyelid if you catch my drift).
Well, last Wednesday the morning began as it usually does with me on the floor and Baby crawling all over me when the thought popped into my head that my keys were in my jacket pocket where they could fall out easily to the ground and into the clutches of a child. She knows those keys are off limits and therefore very desirable. In my less than cognizant state I was not able to command my limbs to move and get my keys to safety. Then I promptly forgot about any such notions.
That evening I became aware that my keys were missing and that the hunt was on. This sweet child initiated a week long game of hide and seek with my keys. (oh yes, she looks sweet when she is asleep). Actually she is very very sweet.
Convincing my husband not to change the locks on the house just yet took a little bit of time but I was sure the keys must have been somewhere in the house because we had only been outside once that day.
Ta Da! there they are stuffed into that noisy toy along with another toy that doesn’t belong there! After a week of searching through each room thoroughly I found them well hidden in this toy. I am so glad that I didn’t lose the keys outside and that Jim Dear didn’t change the locks quite yet. But man is that a lesson to me! Take your keys out of your pocket before collapsing.
Lately I have been thinking about the far off, but much anticipated kitchen redo for my little starter home. I actually love my kitchen, but there are a few things I would change or add to it. Besides taking down the TWO layers of wallpaper, I would love to replace the Formica counters which look like they are from the 1970’s sporting a marbleized appearance and gold flecks in abundance.
I have been looking at my options which need to stay in the inexpensive range due to my lack of mullah and the fact that my house is a starter home and beautiful counters like granite would probably not fit in the neighborhood.
With that said, I learned about butcher block countertops and discovered a new love! I think they are gor-ge-ous! Just take a look at these pictures!
I got this next picture from HGTV.com’s review and tips on different counter tops. I am in love with this look and have decided to put in a farmhouse sink someday when I get these lovely counters.
And who wouldn’t want this kitchen?
I think I have established how beautiful butcher block countertops can be.
Now I have to look at it from a more practical view. From what I understand it can be unwise to have butcher block close to a sink because the wood is pourous and at risk for rot or mold. Ack! No one wants that, but from what various sites say this isn’t a problem as long as you periodically seal/oil it. I think I could handle this.
Also, butcher block can tend to scratch, however, I won’t be cutting on it and other reviews say that it isn’t too hard to sand out scratches. I don’t think I would mind a few anyways as this can be a form of “character.”
The other thing to consider is cost. I have found that this is pretty much my least expensive route (minus the farm house sink) if I get my counters from Ikea. The next least expensive counters would be formica which can look nice when you are on a budget, but I really love the butcher block countertops. Formica hardly requires any maintenance though and so I wonder if this would be a better route when it comes to the sale of this starter home in a few years.
What do you think?
Would you buy a house with butcher block countertops in the kitchen?
Would I be hurting the resale value in my home?
It has begun! The weather is turning cold, decorations somehow have wiggled their way out of the crawl space and into my living room and my husband very surprisingly suggested we set up the Christmas tree!
He suggested this.
Do you know how amazing this is? He’s the one who says that it is wrong to listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving!
Of Course I threw down everything I was doing and flew into the crawl space to drag out the tree before he could change his mind.
Now if this Christmas Spirit was all my doing none of this preview of Christmas would be surprising, but the Christmas bug has gotten to him as well and it is a beautiful feeling.
It’s gotten to my baby too.
So far our tree looks like this. I have many more decorations to put on it but I have to go find hooks for them.
Note the Angel, she cost about $2. My mom found her at a craft store in July marked down about 90%. Yay for July finds!
So when do you put up your Christmas decorations? Is two weeks before Thanksgiving too early? Give me your opinion and leave a comment! Merry Christmas to all and Happy Holidays!
PS: if you haven’t commented on Monday’s Giveaway post go check it out and add your name to the drawing!
So other than getting ‘stop-dead-in-your-tracks’ sick, here are just a few things we accomplished this last week at home.
Got new windows in. Now that part of the house won’t be so cold. (Only about a million things left to do before the porch is cute, but hey, let’s celebrate our accomplishments).
Removed the old windows. Now I just need to find an aesthetic purpose for them or sell them.
Managed to finally finish the lamb costume. (Pardon the smudges on her face. I tried painting her nose but she just rubbed it everywhere! She really is a clean baby most of the…ok, half of the time. The other half of the time she has smeared food throughout her hair).
Carved our annual scary pumpkins.
Raked the leaves. Funny, you can’t tell now.
But most importantly, we managed it in style. Oh yeah.
Why is it that babies love to pull things out, but don’t understand how to put things away? Why can’t it be the other way around?
And this is just part of the afternoon. It might be time to start baby proofing.
Hello World! So I have blogged about my dreams for a cute porch before and now I am finally doing something about it.
As you can see, my porch is enclosed by old unfortunate aluminum windows and sliding doors. I have been completely uninspired by this porch and therefore have not done anything to it, except to try hanging some curtains in hopes that they might hide some ugly hardware. Well, I have been thinking about this porch for a year now and finally I have a plan… I’m going to just start ripping things out and then we’ll have to fix the porch up right? Therefore, I began with the window on the side and it’s sill which had to come out.
Then I was able to recruit my husband to take out one of the doors which opened up the porch immensely. It may not look like much now, but I have a feeling that it will look fairly well when we are finished with it. My husband was great and took out the other set of doors.
Now we had to wait to get replacement windows for the pair on the front porch which were cute, but single paned.
In the interim you can see my meager attempt to dress the porch up with pumpkins and a baby.
Finally the windows arrived and my husband again, got to do much of the work. It is amazing how a little baby can really get in the way of accomplishing things. Here he is taking the fins off of the windows, they weren’t supposed to come with fins, but somewhere the order got messed up. Oh well, nothing a little razor knife couldn’t fix.
Baby being held out of the way of trouble!
After slipping the window into place we shimmed it so that it would stay level and square. I also learned the handy trick to measure diagonally from a top corner to a bottom one, and then from the other top corner diagonally to the bottom corner and if the measurements are the same, then you know the window is square!
Finally I could begin caulking around the window, you don’t see it now, but I chose “brilliant white” exterior caulk. Unfortunately it was way too cold by this time to put in the second window, but once it is in I will have to post a picture. All in all, it was a pretty simple project, I’m glad we are getting it done.
Coming up sometime in the future we will finish demolition on the porch and get a cute rail put up and maybe shutters and new paint. I’ll keep you updated as I go.
I have been in my house for a year and a half and have hung a total of about five pictures. Therefore, I have some very bare walls and I need your help! One wall in particular has been on my mind and I finally am doing something about it. Previously I was going to hang floating shelves and put all sorts of beautiful decorations on it but Ikea stopped selling the shelves I wanted and I became too lazy to do anything about the wall. But not anymore! I recently went to the local goodwill store and bought a bunch of different frames.
I laid them out on my lawn for a little photo shoot.
Then I kept this little girl from crawling all over them.
I finally sanded and spray-painted them. It took a few coats and now I am out of paint and need to get more to finish with one more large frame.
Next I took April’s advice and cut out pieces of paper the size of the frames and arranged them on my wall. So far this is the arrangement that my husband and I can agree on best. What do you think? (the middle left one is curling in on itself in case that isn’t obvious in this picture).
Then I found some pictures online that I wouldn’t mind placing in some of the frames. I have some ideas for the other frames, like old family pictures but I have yet to photoshop them (or rather, have my husband photoshop them). Bwa ha ha.
Let me know what you think about the picture arrangement. I would love input. Also let me know of any ideas you may have for pictures or fun things to put in these frames. I have some, but I am very open to ideas.
My husband turned 30 this weekend! And though time is moving on, he is still a kid at heart. I realized that I had to give him a pretty special birthday cake to mark such a momentous event.
Problem: I am not a cake decorator, in fact, I have never really decorated a cake in my life! Hmm, isn’t that what the internet is for? So I began my search for cake ideas and decorating tips and in the end I found inspiration from this blog all about cakes! I opted for an old school Nintendo paddle. Though their cake turned out beautifully and far more professional than mine ever could, I am not disappointed in my work.
I began by making a carrot cake, my husband’s favorite, and then I burnt it.
Arg, so I started over again and was very very careful NOT to burn this one. Ahh, much better. I let the cake cool and then tipped it over onto a tinfoil covered cutting board. Thank goodness for the wax paper I had put down in the bottom of my cake pan or I don’t know if it would have come out.
Then I smoothed on a thin layer of icing all over the cake to prevent the crumbs from getting into the top layer of icing. Now this is all very elementary, but still an adventure for me, a first time cake decorator.
I then used Wilton’s black concentrated gel to turn the icing black. I have heard that black can make icing bitter, but perhaps since this was a cream cheese frosting it wasn’t really affected. I used less to get the gray color (obviously). The red buttons were with a gel icing that I bought at the grocery store.
The red was the perfect color until I realized I had to write with it on the black and then it disappeared. I was running out of time at this point so I just had to mix it with the white and call the pink writing good. Oh well. It was still tasty.
(And of course we had to get the family picture before we dug in.)
YUM! Pair cake with some homemade ice cream and it doesn’t matter what your it looks like! Well, Happy Birthday to the best guy ever. May the next decade be filled with happiness and fun!