Tuesday, February 15, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things...

My New Jacket
Ok, I'm so proud of myself I just had to share! We have a Gap Visa and get kickback money to Gap for the $ we occasionally spend on it. So every couple of months I get to treat myself to an *almost* free new something. This time around it was a charcoal-grey corduroy jacket.
It. Goes. With. Everything. 
I debated quite awhile on this particular purchase. I like the idea of denim jackets but find the associated restriction of movement nightmarish. And I don't like wearing them with jeans... which is all I wear. This alternative looks awesome with light or dark denim, any shirt I've tried under it so far, and is sooo stretchy and comfortable I seriously feel like I'm wearing a zip-front sweatshirt. And it's on sale for less than half it's normal price. And it runs about a size smaller than Gap normally does. And you can find it here http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=65180&vid=1&pid=768469
Just in case you wanted to check it out ;)

ReRuns for Kids
I don't know why I've been so snobbish about visiting this store. It could have something to do with some hazy, but unpleasant memories of shopping there with my mother as a child. And when I say "shopping" I, of course, mean driving her up the wall by whining/ begging to leave. Hmmm, why could those memories have turned out unpleasant?
Today, though, was the day. My beautiful 7 month old daughter is now wearing 12-18 month clothing, all of which caters toward summer. When she will BE 12-18 months (did you hear that Briella?).
I decided she needed a denim jacket to go with all her summer dresses, and that I didn't feel like paying $20 for one. Enter: ReRuns for Kids- consignment shop extraordinaire.  We came, we shopped, we conquered.
Children's Place Jersey-Lined Denim Jacket
Originally: $20, Tagged at: $5, I paid: $4
Children's Place Tutu Skirt
Originally: $15, Tagged at: $4, I paid: $2.50
Both were brand new (still had their original tags and stickers), and for some reason were even cheaper than they were tagged at! I'm not sure if this is a normal thing, but I'm really ok with it if it is!

Valentine's Day (Re: My Husband)
I totally feel for those of us who currently hate this holiday, I've been there, but I'm also very pleased that my hubby changed that.
We had our Valentine's date this last Saturday. Five hours of childless bliss :) Paul took me to Belgique, a charming Belgian waffle cafe in the basement of the Reed Opera House. They offer a gluten-free menu, I believe are run by Christians, and just opened a cart in the mall. This place also ranks among my new favorite things. Go there, eat amazing Belgian waffles for $5. Buy their mixes. Don't let them go out of business!!!
Back to our date: we then wandered around the opera house, enjoying the unique shops, and purchased some amazing hand-crafted soap at S.L.A.B. We both wanted to check out Plato's Closet, a consignment shop located near Target off Lancaster, so we did and found some good stuff. Proceeded together to Red Robin, where we consumed two pounds of gluten-free steak fries, and ended our date with coffee at French Press which we drank while walking around the outside of a home we dream of buying. Stalkerish, yes, but it is vacant so I don't feel too bad :)
On Valentine's Day I helped West pick out a balloon and candy for Paul, and then he and I made Daddy a card while Sissy was sleeping. 

Please note: my little Da Vinci matched his color choice to the color of the word "Happy"! I'm so proud :)
And yes, that balloon has seen better days.

Paul returned from work with a bouquet of bright tulips and a chai frosty for me (gone long before the camera was ever thought of), and we all shared homemade Valentine's pizza for dinner. I've said it before, and I'll say it again- love is never more sincerely expressed than when written in chicken and barbecue sauce.

Feeling very thankful today for all that God has blessed me with :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Ottoman Project

We recently acquired new couches (for FREE!!!!!!! To be pictured later in this post...) and, in the process of redecorating our living room,  decided that our three long years without a coffee table must come to an end. Unfortunately, I cannot think the words "coffee table" without visualizing my child's temple split open.
Hmmm. A dilemma.
My amazing husband is the one who conjured our wonderful solution: ottomans!!! The search began. Our requirements:
Must provide storage
Must double as a coffee table
Must be easily tucked away when needed
Must provide foot-restige
Must be light beige in color
Must be inexpensive

All of these requirements were met for $20 a piece at Target. Oh, how I love that store! Here is the winning candidate:
Laaaaaaaaa!!!! Even now, I can sense your awestruck wonder! :)
Anyhoo, this darling dear met all our requirements, but outsmarted us on one point- you get what you pay for. The bottom was nothing but cloth covered cardboard. Envision, if you will-

The two year old enters the room, assesses his surroundings, and discovers a new piece of furniture. It's small. It's light-weight and easily maneuvered with a little burly toddler true-grit. It would look magnificent upside-down, and crowned with a small human being....

Umm, yes. It was only a matter of time before our darling dears were in the dumpster. So we got our do-it-yourself on and for and extra $20, made these pieces that will last us a good, long while. Even if they are regularly crowned with little people. 

First, Paul skill-sawed us some studier bases, I painted them black, and we added higher quality sliders to  ensure our beige carpet did not also turn black. I think they look so much nicer!

Next, we went to work on the lids. We wanted them be able to flip and serve as a coffee table of sorts. They almost worked as was (covered in cloth), but I happen to be notorious for tipping over any container of liquid that could possibly touch our carpet. A trait it seems I have passed to both our children. We wanted something more stable.

Originally, I thought we would have to add an additional wood square, like we did underneath. Lucky for me, my husband is brilliant. He (very gently) pointed out that all we had to do was remove the cloth. 
So we removed. 

And we painted. 

And we had our lovely mini-coffee table! No melon-splitting here! Booyah!!!

AND (da da da dum!) our new couches with the finished product!!! 
All our pillows were used with our old couches, but I love them much more with the new. And please note the soft, cozy throw (which I am currently wrapped in)-- scored at Target for $4.99!!!

I'm tempted to share the of the rest of the room, as we moved everything around to compliment our newest additions. But, alas, I'm not finished with them, so you will have to wait ;)
I AM planning a memory wall over the couches, though, inspired by this Pottery Barn link.
Would the bottom display not be divine?

And Mal- totally did not mean to rip off your ottoman post! I had this one in the making as I read yours, and had to giggle that we were riding the same blogging brainwave :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Halloween thru Christmas

A little late, I'll grant you, but here's a few super-cute highlights of what went on while our camera was out of commission...
 The astronaut and the chili-pepper... I think that sounds like the makings of a great children's story! 
Or not :)

Christmas Party at Great-Grandma Susan's

"Papa Paul" (my grandpa) collects train sets and my grandma collects porcelain houses... 
Westly was in heaven!

 Operating the train all by himself! He was so proud :)

My grandparents have a lot of acreage and have raised llamas and kept horses for years. We always take the kiddos out to visit when we are up there :)

This is Briella's first encounter with an animal of this size! I love her face! It made me dig up a great photo of Westly's first time up here, he wasn't much older than Briella!

 I love these cute pics of my brave boy :)

 Daddy and West playing on the haystack

So there you have it! We DID exist October thru January 2010!!!
Thanks Mom, Dad, Amanda, and April for all your contributions!