Monday, December 27, 2010

Framed Monograms

I was looking for a way to use some of the beautiful holiday ornaments that are now on clearance.  Many of the ornaments are very holiday specific however there are some that can translate year round. 

A few years ago I was looking for some art to hang in our master bathroom.  I had picked up some pearl monogram letters at Christmas time and that is when I got thinking.  Why couldn't I frame them.  I went to my stash of picture frames and found a couple beautiful wood frams that I had picked up at Pottery Barn on clearance and they were perfect.

The frames had 3 different mats inside that you could choose from.  This was perfect because the thickness of the mats created the perfect amount of space between the glass and the back of the frame to account for the dimension of the letters.  I found a nice corresponding piece of scrapbook paper for behind the letter and thus some beautiful and romantic artwork for our master bath.

Note:  Since we just moved last month, we haven't begun to hang up our artwork so I had to dig these out of a box to snap a few pictures. 


On the Menu

2011 is our year to get our family eating habits back in check.  Our plan for the next couple of months is to focus on the basics - more fruit and vegetables (atleast 5 a day), more lean meats and less white flour.  So, here is the menu plan for the week...

Monday - Chicken Cordon Bleu with stir-fried veggies

Tuesday - Taco Tuesday

Wednesday - Sweet & Sour Pork with stir-fried veggies and brown rice

Thursday - Pot Roast with Carrots & Potatoes

Friday - New Year's Eve - Pizza on the Grill

Saturday - leftovers

Sunday - dinner at the in-laws

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 1: The Play Room Purge

Today was day 1 of the 7-day dump and decrapification and I spent the morning upstairs.  Sorted through the pit that we call the playroom and did a bit of sorting, organizing and purging. 

{BEFORE}   ...yikes, what a mess!

We had pulled a bunch of toys at the time that we moved but it seems that there is always a few things that can be pulled out.  Today's boxes included a bunch of happy meal toys, cheap plastic cars & trucks, wood puzzles and the Mega Blocks (which have been replaced by a huge tub of Legos).  The toys will be put on the yard sale or included in the Just Between Friends sale in the next couple of months.

{AFTER}     ...this should last about 5 minutes...enjoy!

After a couple of hours in the play room, I moved on to the kids clothes.  Christmas stockings always contain new socks and underwear at our house so it was a good time to purge that drawer.  I also was able to pull a small box of shorts, pants, shirts and shoes that no longer fit too.

{TODAY'S PURGE}  ...feels so good!!!

While cleaning up stairs we were also able to open the windows and let in a little fresh air (gotta love AZ winters).  I also washed the sheets, vaccuumed, and mopped the bathroom floor. While I was cleaning, organizing and purging...Gary had the kids outside.  Z got a new bike from Santa and is loving his big boy wheels!  S is become a pro at riding her bike without training wheels (she mastered it in just a couple of hours over Thanksgiving break).  Since it was such a beautiful day, Gary also started sanding the desks I found at a flea market last month.  Will share this makeover project in the future!

All in all, today was a huge success!  See you tomorrow for Day 2!!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Countdown to a New Year!!!

The benefit of moving just over a block is that you don't have to carry anything very far.  The detriment of that is you don't really pack.  This makes an intersting dillema when you keep your same "systems" in place that worked (or maybe didn't work) so great in your old space - but just don't seem to as effective in the new space.  We packed up cabinets and moved them from one space to another without really having a plan.  We moved dressers without emptying drawers which meant, no purging was done.

Now, factor in that today is Christmas day and our living room appears that a toy store and half of Target have exploded right here in our new home.  It is time for a serious 7-day dump - it is time to rid ourselves of the unwanted, unused, and unneeded.  I want to start 2011 with a clean slate - so this week some major decrapification needs to happen.  Thus, is born....

We will dig through drawers, comb through closets, purge the playroom and more!  The countdown to a new year starts tomorrow morning at (well, whatever time I decide to drag my booty out of bed)!!!  Good night!

Monday, October 25, 2010

My dream for a Mom Cave!

I work from home doing online work.  I manage our household financials and ever growing calendar of events (with a 3 & 5 yr old).  I am an avid couponer.  I love to scrapbook and do crafts (and hope to find more time to do both).  I assist with homework, started this blog and do my best to care for my family in the best way I know how.  So....the "office" in our new home will be my Mom Cave!

I am very excited to have a room - with a door!  Right now it is a blank slate with beautiful blue walls and nothing else.  We will move our desk and some of my favorite Expedit shelves from Ikea in but after that, it is nothing.  In our current home (the one we hope sells soon!), the office is in the living room with the desk serving as a sofa table and the craft "room" (if you can call it that) is an Expedit book shelf in our Master Closet, the coupons are in the coat closet and the excess office supplies are in our son's closet.  Having one locations for everything will be incredible.

My vision for this new space is comfort, style, and function.  It will be a work in progress, but I look forward to comfy desk chairs (yes, 2 as I will share the space with Gary - as a business owner he is called upon to work at home on occasion).  I would also like a great, stylish chair in the corner to sit and read a magazine, enjoy a cup of coffee or whatever.  We will need lamps, some fun art and a command center with calendars and places to put the "paper" that enters and exits the house.  We will need some additonal office storage solutions (I am a Virgo and my desire for organization is in my blood).

I can't wait to move in!  Let the Mom Cave commence!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Let the painting begin!!!

Well, the adventure is underway and things are crazy as ever.  Over Labor Day weekend we took advantage of the paint sales, rebates, and some FREE gift cards I earned through MyPoints and bought 10 gallons of COLOR for our walls.  On Wednesday, September 22nd we got the keys and started to clean and work.  We hired a paint contractor to come out and paint the main space since it is crazy big and super high ceilings.  It looks awesome.  The last week or so I have been busy painting too!  Here is where we are at...

(I am going to have to add the main living space photos tomorrow as i realized I don't have any after photos of those rooms on my camera.)

Daughter S was very involved in selecting colors.  Of course she wanted all pink but we were able to convince her to add some green.  Her white furniture should look great in here.  She also got a new ceiling fan to replace make up for the missing light fixture in this room.

Son Z was also involved in color selection with a bunch of help from Mom & Dad.  He is getting a NEW bed and some fun new accessories too!  He also got a new ceiling fan to replace make up for the missing light fixture in this room.

Right now, this is our FAVORITE color we have selected. 
We will have ALOT of blue rooms, but we love blue!

Confession - this paint was selected because there was a gallon of it on the "mis-mixed" cart at Home Depot and was half price.  We also removed the boring builder mirror and added a great framed mirror I found at Fry's for just $8.99.  I want to add some more chocolate and green accents to warm this room up a bit more.

(almost) after
This is the same blue as the powder room.  We also removed one section of the cabinetry so that we could put our upright freezer in here as well.  We will also create a mudroom space in here to hang coats, backpacks and drop shoes since this is the first room just off the garage.

So, there is round one.  Can't wait to actually put furniture in these rooms, accessorize and share some of the fun decor projects I am working on to make this house our very own!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The First Swim!

So HAPPY that the temps have stayed in the 100s for a few extra weeks so we could enjoy the pool for a few days!  Gotta love the extended Arizona summer - I know, 100 degrees for the gazillionth day is horrible, but haven't you heard, we just bought a house with a pool and we are SO excited about it!  After working at the house all day, we took our "maiden" swim!  We are going to love having a swimming pool!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's Ours - Let the Adventure Begin

It's official, we took possession and we have keys, after a few ups and downs.  The pump had went out on the pool and the bank agreed to fix it.  They replaced the pump, drained the pool, pressure washed it and put it all back together - and then...didn't maintain it, so it was green again.  At the last minute, they got it taken care of to our satisfaction and the closing went through without a hitch.

Now we are busy - really busy.

Cleaning - how can people live in such filth - dirt, dust, splatters, stains and more, so much more

Repairing - how can people have so little pride in their possessions - holes in walls, replacing missing fixtures, repairing broken fixtures, and more, so much more

Trust me, you will not believe some of the stories we have to share.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Our Wild Ride

So, we were sitting on the couch on Friday night two weeks ago (I know, we have a crazy social life) and Gary mentioned that one of our favorite 2-story models in our neighborhood was back on the market after a foreclosure and had an awesome price.  We both were like, "that is a great price, wish we could afford to do it right now".  Had you asked us, we were not even thinking of moving for atleast a year or two and the thought of selling our current house in this market was NOT appealing. 

Out of curiosity, I did a quick google search and realized with the current low interest rates, we could end up paying only a couple hundred more a month than what we are paying now.  (Crazy, I know.)  We went to bed.  We woke up on Saturday morning, poured our coffee and both said "why not?"  Well, buying a house means we need to sell our current house so we immediately went to work - cleaning, decluttering and sprucing up the joint.  We were NOT looking to buy a house so our current house was no where near ready to be put on the market.  Most of the projects we were working on - sprucing up the yard, touching up paint, scrubbing down the floors, and more were projects that have been on our "to do" list for far too long and regardless, needed to be done.  We worked HARD all weekend...I think we both lost several pounds of sweat with all our hard labor.

They were having an open house on Saturday afternoon so we cleaned ourselves up a bit and headed over to check it out.  It was beautiful - needs some love, elbow grease and a coat of paint but awesome!  We went home (around the corner) and said, what do we have to lose, let's put in a bid.  So we called our friend, a realtor (who was on vacation) to help us put together an offer.  We also called a friend in the mortgage business to start the process of getting us qualified - again, we were NOT looking so we had to start from ground zero.  We put an offer in on Monday afternoon - it was accepted on Tuesday.

This 2-story model has always been our dream house - it allows us to have a guest bedroom, a den, a playroom for the kids, a 3-car garage (for storage) and best of all, this house has a great back yard with a POOL!  It is hot here in Arizona and we have been dreaming of a pool!  This house is "Our Forever House" - the house we plan to be in at least until the kids are gone and we look forward to making this house our home, room by room, bit by bit.

On a whim, we are buying a new house!  And thus starts our wild ride!