Sunday, November 29, 2015

Christmas Wishlist - 2015

Dream big or go home, right? That is the theme of this year's wishlist. There are a few items that are realistic and necessary... and then there are the extras that are more of a luxury than a necessity.

One | I have been using the same phone case for nearly a year now (which is a serious record for me, let me tell you). I am loving this Indigo case from Sonix for a fancy, decorative case. Then, there is the practical and protective Lifeproof case (which makes much more sense having a six year old and an 8 month old, since both like to steal my phone frequently).

Two | Y'all should see the current condition of our measuring cups and spoons. We have been using them since we moved into our apartment years ago and they have taken a serious beating. These stainless steel ones would be a perfect new addition to our kitchen and I am sure that they would be used just about everyday.

Three | In the same token, our poor pots and pans have just about had enough. They weren't super high quality to begin with, so after daily use for years, they've just given up. This set not only looks pretty, but looks like it would function perfectly for our family.

Four | I take it back, the theme of this wishlist must be "Sara has been using this for far too long and needs would like a new one". Since August of 2013, I have practically been using my beloved target tote bag every day (with a few brief stints of a diaper bag/purse and the comebacks of one or two old purses). I saw this crochet pocket bag on a lady at the Christmas tree farm we went to yesterday, and I fell in love. I've been looking for a cute cross-body bag, and this one totally fits the bill.

Five | These chairs! Oh, I love these chairs. Again, we have had the same clearance-purchase counter stools for years. I never truly loved the ones we have, but I think these Carlisle stools would just be the perfect pair. I realized, after I made this picture, that I actually had looked up bar stools and it turns out that the counter stools aren't actually available right now - which is a serious bummer. But, I have my fingers crossed that they will be available again one day! They do come in a back-less version... but with having little ones around the house, I think we're definitely going to need the backs.

Six | On the weekends, I basically live in comfy pajamas and this thermal night shirt looks like it is right up my alley. And the way it covers your hands and has the thumb holes? Oh that is COZY with a capital C.

Seven | One can never have too many travel mugs! In fact, I really don't have any good quality ones as of late. I broke my favorite Starbucks foxy mug from years ago and the cheap-o ones I purchased from Walmart just don't keep my coffee warm enough now that the temps are dropping outside. This Keurig mug would be perfect, especially since it would fit beneath the coffee machine just right.

Eight | I love, love, love Bath and Body Works' candles! Gosh, they all smell so good. But this Mahogany Teakwood Candle takes the cake. I don't frequently purchase candles; However, when I do they burn almost all day long. There is just something so comforting, especially during the winter months, about having a candle burning at home.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Oh boy, y'all. My heart (and my stomach!) are so full.

Thanksgiving is my favorite. The food. The family. The love. The gratitude. I adore it all.

My duties this year were to make something chocolate-y (Paula Deen's Pine Bark - so rich but super tasty) and pumpkin bread. Somehow, our traditional green bean casserole got nixed from the food list but that was okay because there was so much other food to consume the day of.
On the big day, we woke up slow. Thankfully we didn't have to make too much food since the majority was done the night before. Peyton was dying to make some homemade cranberry juice as a special treat for everyone, so we prepared that via this recipe.

While the cranberries were simmering on the stove, Peyton decorated the chalkboard with a beautiful turkey and this little stink ate some breakfast, as he supervised the kitchen happenings. 

As breakfast was munched and the parade played on the television, we then decorated place cards for everyone that would be attending dinner - Peyton's idea. She is so crafty, that little one of mine.

This year's feast was held at my Aunt's house and to say that her dining room was packed with family would be an understatement. Everything was delicious, of course. And everyone enjoyed each other's company, of course.

^^the obligatory thanksgiving dinner plate picture^^

After everyone stuffed their bellies full of all of the delicious food, we took the party outside to take some family pictures. AND we even got some decent ones! #doublehighfiveemoji

^^poor quality iPhone picture, but look! We're all in a picture together!^^

The evening finished out with singing "Happy Birthday" to my Uncle Bob, everyone enjoying the most delectable of desserts and Rhett playing with pots and pans in the kitchen. We didn't even do black friday shopping this year!! It was so nice to not be out in the stores until dawn, for once.

I can't believe that next year, Everett will be 20 months old! and Peyton will be 7, almost 8! Gosh, time sure does fly. I am grateful that I have so much to be thankful for and I can only hope that next Thanksgiving will be as wonderful. Now excuse me as I go raid the fridge for some leftovers.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

8 months // Everett Orion

Length| Just about 28 inches!

Weight| 23.5 pounds. I think you're starting to plateau a little bit with your chunkiness. But I'm perfectly okay with that! Stay my little (not-so-tiny) baby forever? Yes? Okay. Glad that's settled.

Hair| You have quite a few lengthy hairs on top of that big ol' noggin of yours. But it's still really not that long. It seems to be getting thicker though, so we're on the right track.

Eyes| Still hazel, just like your Mama and Dada's.

Nicknames| Rhett, Sir Chunks-A-Lot, and any combination of chunky man, baby boy, little man, sweet boy, sweet man, etc.

Eats| You love your puffs! And graham crackers. And fried plantains. And dust bunnies. And toys. And basically anything you can get your chunky little hands on. In all seriousness though, you eat just about anything that we try to feed you. Which is way different than your sister's current eating habits. ;) Let's hope we can continue to keep your diet so varied, even for so little a person.

Sleep| You are such a rock star sleeper, Everett! Gone are the days of bedtime protesting (as long as you aren't overly tired and cranky). You fall asleep around 9pm and wake up somewhere between 6 and 8 - mostly around 7/7:30am.

Clothes| Well, today I squeezed you into 6-9 month pants but they are certainly busting at the seams. Your wardrobe ranges from 6-9 mo. all the way up to 18 mo.! We just went through all of your drawers and put away the 0-6 month items (which made me so very sad). I can't even believe that you once fit into those tiny newborn onesies. So little!

Diapers| Still size 4. No diaper upgrades just yet! Though, we are currently using those Huggies I'd mentioned last month and even though I don't mind them, I think when we get more at the store, we'll go back to the Pampers.

Loves| Everybody! Still. You love to eat. You love to chew on anything and everything, particularly magazines and your toys. Speaking of toys, you are absolutely bonkers about THIS one. It is your favorite-est toy in the whole wide world. I don't know what we would do if we ever lost it. CRAWLING- and just being a squirm in general. You have always loved when I say "TOES!". Remotes, phones, and anything else you aren't supposed to have (like the cat and dog's food bowls, gross!). // Bath time! You are such a little water babe and love to splash around in your tub. It makes me wish we had a regular sized tub to bathe you in (and, let's be real, for mama to take her own bubble baths in) but for now, we don't. One day, that will happen, though!

Dislikes| Being tired but not wanting to go to bed. // Not being held when you're cranky. Or tired. Or when you just want to be held. // Still not a fan of Mama trying to get your boogies out of your nose. Don't think that will ever change. // Having your diaper changed! Oh my word, has this gotten so difficult. You want nothing to do with diapie changes anymore. The second we lay you down on the changing pad, you fuss and try to flip yourself over immediately! Sometimes it takes two people just to keep you belly-up for the single minute it takes to get a new diaper on you. // The same goes for changing your clothes. Such. A. Hassle! // Being confined to your jumper or your walker for any period of time, unless you're in a really happy mood.

Milestones| You are a not-so-lean, not-mean-at-all, crawling machine! You zoom all over the house, no problem. We've had to start being more mindful of the things that we leave on the floor or within reach of your tiny little hands. // You can pull yourself up on just about anything and we officially had to lower your crib (the whole way down!). // You will walk while one of us is walking with you, bent over to hold your little hands. // You said your first word!! And it was "Dada". Sure, I was hoping it would be my name ;) ... but watching your Dad's face light up when we heard that word come out of your mouth was priceless. A moment and a feeling that I will not soon forget. // You've started playing peek-a-boo! For a while, one of us would hold you and sway back and forth in a doorway or behind a wall to play peek-a-boo with the other - but now you lean forward and backward all on your own and it is the cutest thing ever! Though, I think everything you do is the cutest thing ever, as parents do. // You have FOUR teeth now! Both bottom and both top in the front. I sure hope you keep that gap between your top two, just like your Dada ;)

Events| Well, the mudroom that your Dad and Papa Ron are working so hard on renovating, is almost a completed project! #highfivesallaround // Your Dada turned 29... which means he'll be 30 next year. Which means he's definitely an old man! + Papa Ron turned 60 this year. Craziness! We celebrated with Mexican food and margaritas (Not you, though. You just had a baba ;)). // Halloween! You have your first Halloween in the books and, naturally, you dressed up as a tiny, muscle-clad Batman. Your sister, however, made a perfectly beautiful little witch and was more than happy to collect all of the candy for the both of you. We carved pumpkins and watched Charlie Brown. It was a good holiday, for sure. // We have been lucky enough to have GiGi around to watch you every weekday while your Dad and I are at work, but her schedule has gone through a mandatory change with her work that resulted in me having to go part-time at my job. It's bad because that means less in our bank account each month, BUT it's also absolutely great because that just means more time spent with you and your sister during the day. // I am anxiously awaiting this upcoming holiday season so that we can celebrate your first Thanksgiving and Christmas... and to eat some delicious holiday meals because they're my most favorite of the year. I am hoping to start new traditions with you and Peyton that you two will (hopefully) remember forever and maybe pass on to each of your children once day. Being both of your mama is my favorite. I love you, sweet stinky sir.


a little bit of life lately:

**This post was originally written back at the end of October, but I am just now getting around to posting it... Such is life, am I right?**

It's been a while since I've done any sort of "what we did this week/weekend" update and I know that I will regret not capturing those moments here to reflect on later. This past weekend was simple, but filled with fun - my kind of time well spent!

On Friday, Peyton went to a fun trick or treat event at a state park with her Dad and his family (one of their yearly traditions) so my Dad and Nick worked on the mudroom for a bit, before we headed out to Home Depot to pick out our "faux wood" tile. I've been so excited to see this room come together because, considering what it looked like before, it is going to look SO much better now! There were decisions to be made about which tile would look better...

Originally, we had planned on the right - "Rustic Bay", I think it was called) but instead I liked the lighter "Dapple Grey". Ironically, our first picked just looked too "muddy"... for the mudroom ;)

After we loaded up the car with our tile purchase, we headed towards Walmart for some much needed baby formula and other essential food items. This little munchkin man was so good for us, and it is so much fun shopping now that he can sit in the cart like a big boy. 

Since it was so late, neither of us felt like cooking dinner. So, Little Ceasar's pizza and crazy bread (while snuggled in bed!) it was! Hashtag fatties but we love it.

Saturday started off with a bath for little man. He loves bath time and will splash around and play with his bath toys 'til his little heart is content. 

Nick and my Dad spent the morning working on the mudroom, so Peyton, Rhett and I got ourselves together and hit up the library for some new book selections for my little which, Peyton and then we made the drive to go pick up my Dad's birthday presents (his birthday was Sunday!).

Once we came home, we relaxed and were bums for the rest of the evening. 

The next day, Peyton and I took a trip to the hair salon down the street!
She got her bangs trimmed and Mama became a redhead! 

When we got back, Dada and Papa Ron worked super hard to finish up the mudroom floor.
The day before, they had laid the tile and then Sunday they filled in all of the gaps with a dark grey grout. It looks so good!

^^ The tile before the grout was applied. ^^
Me, Peyton, and Rhett spent the afternoon preparing for the evening of Papa Ron's post-birthday celebration by baking a cake. Which was, not without a few whisk and spatula licks - because icing is tastyyyy, duh!

^^ Peyton showing Aunt Nenna the card that she made for Papa Ron while they were facetiming. ^^

It was a wonderful weekend, indeed. And then that Monday we carved pumpkins and listened to Halloween music. There was also an in-living-room screening of "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" that I was more than happy to be a part of. Life with this family of mine could not be better.

Life is good. So, so good.


Saturday, November 7, 2015

mudroom inspiration

Since we have moved in to our home... actually, since the day that we walked through the house before we even made an offer, we knew that we would want to renovate the mud room.

It was a dark, very dingy room that was just kind of thrown together and neglected. I think it was actually a porch that was converted into two spaces, our laundry room and mudroom. The laundry room was actually finished out nicely, but the poor mudroom was just in shambles. Considering we almost always enter the house through the mudroom, it was driving us crazy to be greeted by old, nasty carpet, weirdly dark slate blue/grey walls that were peeling, and depending on the season - either freeeeezing or scorching hot temperatures (since it was so poorly insulated).

Thankfully, after two years of living in our house, we have finally come to a point where we are ready to renovate and make this space the beautiful room it deserves to be! So, I present to you, my design board for this soon-to-be-fresh space of ours:

Isn't it beautiful?!

Thanks to Pinterest (picture 1 and picture 2), I've had so much visual inspiration for what I wanted for this space. I craved an area that was fresh and light to walk in to -- as well as a functional and practical place that served as a holding tank for the mountain of shoes that we accumulate during the week as well as for our jackets, winter accessories, and other random things that come with being a family of four (+ a dog!).

I am a sucker for the bright and airy and ever since I watched my very first episode of Fixer Upper (Love me some Chip and Jo Jo!), I've been wanting to implement some shiplap into our home somewhere, anywhere, everywhere!

Here's the (rough) floorplan to give you an idea of what we're working with:

The floors: We laid the tile a few weeks ago and it is just so, so gorgeous that I can't even contain myself. We went with the Porcelain "Wood" Tile in a Dapple Gray color and it looks amazing! Originally I had wanted the herringbone pattern on the floors (similar to pictures in the design board), but we went with just the standard, staggered design and I am pleased as punch with the way it turned out. We are thinking that eventually we will want to lay a similar tile in the kitchen and foyer and I was worried that having the herringbone in the mudroom compared to the regular design in the rest of the rooms would just not look right.

The benches: Next up from the floor would be the bench(es). I wanted a place where the kids could sit down and either put on or take off their shoes. We came up with an L-shaped bench with half of it being closed off on the bottom and having an opening top for storage (think: hats, gloves, scarves, umbrellas, etc.) and the other half being open on the bottom to keep all of the shoes out of the way. So, I was thinking of making the bottom portion of the storage bench a white shiplap frame and then having the seats resemble the reclaimed wood pictured at the top.

The walls: I'm still not sure what I want to do about the walls. I would love to shiplap the whole room! Buuut, I think Nick would kill me after all of the hard work he has done on the dry wall in that room. So, we shall see what we come up with. For now, I'm definitely thinking to keep all of the walls a neutral white to keep the space feeling bright, since it is such a small room.

The doors: Months ago I painted our kitchen door that beautiful Robin's Egg blue color with spray paint from Home Depot. I absolutely fell in love with it and, to this day, I am still so happy when I walk into the kitchen and see it. I am not quite committed to painting the outside door any other color than white, so that'll probably stay a blank canvas until the room is mostly complete and I can gauge what color would suite it best.

The coat hooks: We have these hooks in our foyer and I think they are so classic looking. I am super excited about putting some at not only adult height, but kid height so that it's easier for Peyton, Rhett, and any future little ones to hang up their own jackets or backpacks.

The ceiling: First, and foremost, we've already purchased and hung this light fixture and I can't tell you just how beautiful it is! We tried it with an Edison bulb, but the light that it gave off was just too yellow. So, for now we just have a regular light bulb there. As far as the ceiling goes, if we don't end up decking the whole room out in shiplap (or even if we do!), I would LOVE to do a white bead-board ceiling.


And there you have it. I can not wait to see this room reach completion! Hopefully finishing that will give us the gumption we need to get started on our kitchen. Or maybe to at least re-paint the rest of our 1st floor.. and by "we", I mean "Nick" --  Just don't tell him I said that ;)