Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fall traditions

Fall is over, my friends.  The Christmas stuff has been out since late October and that gets on my last nerve.  One holiday at a time, punks.

I love fall.

So let's have a quick look back before we say goodbye to Fall 2015 and gear up for the craziness that is the Christmas season.

Halloween!  I actually didn't used to get into it, but peer pressure is real out in the suburbs, my friends.  My neighbor was busting out the ghosts and shit like at the end of September.  Then my other neighbors started pulling out all the stops, putting up the spiders and lights and tombstones, so I figured I better do *something.*
Did you know that patio furniture is stupid expensive?  Because good God, it is.  One morning, I was online and saw that someone in my neighborhood was selling two chairs and a table for $50 and I snatched that up in the blink of an eye; it doesn't come cheaper than that.  The pillows weren't anything I was interested in, and that's what spurred me to sew my first pillow covers.  I bought a tablecloth from JoAnn's for $3 and I cut it up one night the girls blessed me with a long night's sleep.  That first attempt took me an hour but I'm super proud of how they came out.
I even got the pattern to match up on the back side!

I picked up some orange cushions from Pier 1 and I got my Halloween porch!

I also went to Home Depot and got a mess o' mums and some pumpkins.
Sadly, every last one of those poor mums died because I have a black thumb
but they sure were beautiful while they lasted.

This fall marks the first time that Sofia was really into painting pumpkins.
I was so excited at how much she was into it.
Her masterpiece had gold glitter eyes, a gold mouth, 
a ring of navy hair and pink ears.  It was awesome.

Andrea's was more abstract.  She slapped that paint and glitter on there
and was like "It's gorgeous Mommy." I fully agreed.
Our gym had a big Halloween party and it was actually a ton of fun.
I'm including this picture because I'm so proud of Sofia being able 
to write her own name.  The kid is a genius, what can I say.

I live for matching everything; as long as the girls will let me, I will dress them alike.
It also helps when Target has buy one get one free sales on costumes.  Holla!

All that was before Halloween; we spent the actual holiday in Myrtle Beach because they were doing work on the house (AGAIN) so the girls got to do their trick or treating at the hotel.  

This was right before we were going down to the activity center for their Halloween party.

I tried to get a more posed shot of them, but I'm such a ridiculous amateur that 
I put my poor babies in what was pretty much direct sunlight and I was all, "Smile pretty!"
My poor kids.

The girls had a blast checking out their loot!

I was afraid that they would be the only kids in the hotel for Halloween, but they weren't alone, and the hotel did a great job with all the activities for the kids.  There was a dragon egg hunt and everyone got a 'best costume' prize.  The girls each got 'best big sister witch' and 'best little sister witch.' It was so cute, and I'm keeping their little certificates.

So Halloween was a success; hopefully we'll be in town next year and they'll actually get to do the whole neighborhood thing.  But you know? It was pretty awesome the way we did it too.

Also, the beach.
Always, the beach.

And then came the rest of fall.  We took family pictures, and I switched out my porch decor.
My neighbor's 18-year-old daughter took this, can you believe that?
Talk about skills!
This is going on the Christmas card for sure!

My mums bit the dust, so I clustered all the pumpkins near the front door
and added a wreath that I made in about twenty minutes and 
it makes me smile every time I come up the driveway.

I bought another $3 tablecloth from JoAnn's and this time it only took me 
about twenty minutes to sew the pillow covers.
Right now I'm down to about fifteen minutes and most of that is lining up the fabric
and making the cuts.
When I make my Christmas pillow covers, I'm going to post a tutorial because it's 
so easy I'm kind of addicted now.

Alas, I don't think I'm going to get my bookcases done by tomorrow, but you know, it was fun to dream for a little bit.  However, I WILL get them done by the end of the year.  Hell or high water, my friends.  I mean it.

We're having friends over tomorrow, we're going to stuff our faces, fall deep into a food coma, and then, and ONLY then, will I think about decorating and celebrating Christmas.  I have big plans and I have lots of places inside and outside my house that I want to decorate so for real, stay tuned.  But for now....

One holiday at a time, punks.

Turkey turkey fall fall!!

PS - I was going to do a post outlining all the things I was grateful for, but it was sounding like gross humble bragging and just saying I'm thankful for my family and my health and that bullshit didn't come close to how I feel so I'm just going to say that I am STOOPID blessed.  I know JUST how blessed I am, how fortunate I am, how awesome my life is, and for a moment every single day, I give thanks because truly, it's a good life I have.

It's a good life indeed.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Living Room Progress: The Sitch with the Niche

So how are we saying 'niche?'  Do you say Nitch?  Or Neesh?  

I say 'hole in the wall.'

As in, there's a hole in the wall in my living room and I want to do something about it.
Like so.

I don't know why it's only on one side; the lack of symmetry is silly and I would have loved two narrower 'neeshes' on either side of the fireplace.  Pay attention, builders.  The word of the day is symmetry.

Alas, the builders didn't consult me before they built the house and this isn't a custom home where you get to pick everything down to where you want your light switches. (That's the next house.)  

So I've got this hole and I knew I wanted to put a built-in-esque bookcase in there because we have no bookcases in this house and books are life.
Books are life.

There's a guy in my neighborhood that builds things and he came over to give me a quote and I was this close to hiring him but then my DIY spirit took over and I was all "I have all the time in the world!  I can build something MYSELF!"

My husband's laughs could be heard from all over the world.  

That didn't bother me; there are IKEA Billy bookcase hacks all over Pinterest and I knew I could do this.  So, we went to Charlotte because we don't have an IKEA here.  Which makes no sense because there are like a thousand colleges in Raleigh and where there are colleges, one needs an IKEA.  But it's whatever; we went to Charlotte and I came home with two small Billy bookcases.

Like so.

Putting the bookcases together was super easy and I was extra proud of myself.  I bought Kreg mini jig and made pocket holes and everything!  The bookcases were about half an inch too wide so I had to screw them together and the nitch isn't perfectly square, so that bad boy is wedged in there like nobody's business.

Now, the reason why I'm writing about this is because I'd like to get it done before Thanksgiving and there's nothing like putting it out to the Universe, aka you guys, to give you the ol' kick in the pants.

I want to trim it out, put in library lights, and get it all styled and pretty before we have guests next week.  Now whether or not that actually happens will remain to be seen, but it's always good to have goals.

A bit of a wider shot of the living room.
Those are my fall pillow covers; they look more
golden and fall-ish in real life I promise.
And one day very very soon I'm painting all our interior doors black.
Wait for it; it's going to be awesome.

But this is about my neesh.  I have plans for it, my friends.  Plans that I hope to execute in the coming weeks and then I'm going to write about it and it's going to be wonderful.

Oh, and let's talk about my sofa for a quick second.  It's pretty much the most awesome sofa ever and I love it so very very much.  Our old sofa wasn't cutting it in the slightest.

You can kind of see where we were putting the TV in the nitch and the rug was too small and the sofa was too small and it just wasn't working.  We needed a sectional.  I wanted to get a nice one but my neighbors talked me out of it, saying that my kids were still too young and would trash a super nice sofa so we got the Amalfi sectional from Haverty's and let me tell you; I'm so happy with our choice!  Navy doesn't come standard but I had my heart set on a navy sofa and seriously, I love it so much.  Navy is an excellent neutral, did you know that?  It seriously goes with everything and now that I know how to sew pillow covers, I plan to change them out with the seasons and navy is the perfect backdrop.  Even though I'm not about celebrating Christmas until after Thanksgiving, I kind of can't wait to make some Christmas pillow covers.  Because that's where I am in my life; I sew and get excited over pillow covers.  Call me Eunice.

Anyway, the sectional is amazing; I got a jute rug from RugsUSA and the living room is slowly but surely starting to come together.

Keep me accountable, my friends!  Help me finish my neesh before the end of the year!

*PS - I went to my neighbor's house tonight for a party where you buy stuff and I had lots of wine, so I'm really hoping this all makes sense and is entertaining and you like it because your girl has a straight up buzz and I'm loving it.

You're so pretty.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Allow me to reintroduce myself

Hello again!  It's so nice to see you!

I do hope that this is the start of something beautiful and that I'll get to visit here more often, provided the two small people in my life give me that time.

Now, I feel like I've been gone so long and so much has happened that a little recap is in order.  And on the off chance that you're reading for the first time, I'll bring you up to speed.  A lot's happened since my last post and it's always fun to look back to see how far you've come.

Join me on Memory Lane, won't you?

Way back when, I was unmarried with a hot boyfriend.
 Not a care in the world.

After a while, we got married.

Then it got complicated, and life took off at breakneck speed.  You see, on the day we got married I thought I was pregnant.  I mean, I was; I thought I was pregnant with a live baby but it turns out I wasn't.  That was my first miscarriage and it was bad.  Like, so bad that I didn't think the sun would ever shine again and it was a downright shitty way to start married life.  

But, that was our start and through a LOT of tears, fights and despair, somehow we persevered.  I had another miscarriage, but finally I carried a live baby to full term and my first daughter Sofia was born.

Sofia's birth story 
Part 1  
Part 2  
Part 3  
Part 4  It's kind of an awesome read, if I do say so myself.
  It seems like it was yesterday.

Time passed, and we decided we wanted to add to our family.  We knew what we were up against, and I had two more miscarriages and it sucked.  Hard.  However, once again I was able to carry to term and my second daughter Andrea joined us almost two years ago.

Her birth story was pretty epic too.

I am blessed beyond measure.

Life as a mother of two is a ride for sure and the A Number One reason that my writing took a distant backseat.  That hot boyfriend I married and had those beautiful babies with?  He has an amazing job that he loves, but that job takes him out of town a lot.  A lot a lot.  I'm on my own the majority of the time and actually, I hope to be able to write more about that in the future.  

But him being gone means I'm responsible for everything 24-7, no breaks, no tapping out, no helping hands.  All Mom, all the time.  And did I mention we move a lot?
This was our first house, in Texas.  
I loved that house so very much.

Three years later, we moved to Pennsylvania and this little ranch
became our home.

Two very short years after that, we came to North Carolina
and this is where we lay our heads.

If you're keeping track, that's three houses in six years, three states, a baby in each state (except here; I told Drew that there will NOT be a baby in North Carolina.)  It's a lot, and while the adventure is fun, I'm looking forward to putting some roots down and sittin' a spell.

My babies are four and almost two now.
Someone please tell me when the hell and how the hell this happened.

This too, please.

My days are so full sometimes that all I want to do at the end of the day is collapse in bed and binge watch Netflix.  These days I'm starting to feel like I'm catching my breath and one of the first things I wanted to do was come back here and reconnect with you, my readers and friends.  I've missed you guys and it warms my heart more than you know to get those emails checking in on me, making sure I'm still alive.  I've said it before and I'll never stop saying it, you guys are the best.

So I'm back.  I'm here and I'm going to do my best to stick around and update more frequently because I've got ten months worth of stories to tell and I do hope you'll want to hear them.

As always, this blog is a reflection of my life in its current state and currently, I'm all about being a mom and daydreaming about decorating my house.  Do you remember way way back, I was terrible at sewing?  Well guess what?  I'm pretty decent now and I'm regularly sewing things!  Nothing major, I'm not making wedding gowns but I've made things and they don't suck!

With every move, making our house a home is a priority for me and this time, it's no different.  I've just got a gigantic canvas now and it's been a fun challenge.  I've been doing little things here and there and I'd love to share them with you and as usual, I've made mistakes (jewelry storage anyone?), I've learned things and maybe I have some knowledge that might of use to you.  If nothing else, I'm always good for a laugh.

So thank you.  Thank you for checking in on me, thank you for sticking with me and I will be back soon!



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